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November 29, 2022

The Top 7 B2B Lead Generation Strategies - and 1 Transformational Tool

by 
Albert Finder

Lead generation is hard work. B2B lead generation is even more demanding and quick-paced. So how can companies get ahead when new tools, approaches, and strategies seem to evolve on a daily basis?

The digital age has brought about a lot of conflicting information online about generating B2B sales leads.

That’s because theorizing and talking about B2B lead generation is much easier than actually doing and succeeding in it. 

In reality, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Successful sales teams rely on several proven tactics and adjust them as necessary depending on industries and opportunities they pursue. 

However, that doesn’t mean that lead generation needs to remain stagnant. 

In fact, there have been recent breakthroughs in B2B lead generation strategies that have created paradigm-shifts in quality and results (more on this soon)

So what can you do to generate more leads today, and what are the most recent breakthroughs you need to know about?

In just 90 days, customers using Lift AI to find ready-to-buy leads on their website report up to 10x improvements in chat conversions. Read about Formstack that increased its pipeline by 88% or PointClickCare that saw the metrics go up by 400%

The Traditional Way

A reminder for those asking: what is B2B lead generation? In simple terms: It is a method that marketing and sales teams use to persuade target audiences from other companies to come and consider your own organization’s products or solutions. This is usually accomplished by determining who the ideal target audience is, then marketing to them through various means in order to drive them to your offering (typically housed on your website).

Before diving into effective B2B lead generation strategies, it’s important to acknowledge that generating leads for B2B is fundamentally different from B2C. Selling directly to consumers is a quicker and more straightforward process. In the digital age, it’s also primarily self-serve and doesn’t require as much nurturing from the sales team. 

B2B lead generation, depending on the industry, can stretch for weeks, months, and even years (when trying to land a really large corporate account, for example). This means that not only do you need a full pipeline of opportunities, it must be diverse as well, since waiting on a bunch of large accounts to close can result in missing revenue targets in the short term. So, you need to use several B2B lead generation tactics at once. 

Unlike its B2C equivalent, B2B lead generation also requires more information from your potential leads, such as name, email, phone, company, job title, etc. To have leads share this information with you can be difficult, and you need to put forth a very compelling value proposition to have them part with it.

With all this in mind, let’s go over seven B2B lead generation strategies that have proven to work with a variety of leads across industries, plus a bonus eighth that covers the most recent breakthroughs.

Let’s assume you already know who your target audiences are. From here:

1. Build lots of custom funnels for targeted messaging 

The days of getting all your leads through the same channel using the same messaging are long gone. Today, there’s so much competition that putting all your chips on the “Super Bowl ad” (or its equivalent in your industry) is going to cost you a lot without giving much in return. 

What you should do instead is design lots of smaller campaigns, addressing very specific issues within your target audience. 

For example - one campaign might start with a Google ad that targets a low-volume but niche keyword that would be very relevant to a certain segment of your potential customer base. Then, you would ensure there’s a custom landing page created for those visitors and linked to that ad campaign.

2. Rev up your content marketing

Having more high-quality content on your web properties (e.g. website, landing pages, email archives, social media) is going to rank them higher in search engine results, due to better SEO (search engine optimization).

SEO is frequently regarded as one of the best sources of creating B2B leads, ahead of email marketing and social media. This means that supporting your marketing campaigns with great content, whether it’s blog posts, case studies, or white papers, is likely to continue to pay dividends for years to come.

For example - Use ahrefs.com to create a calendar of SEO-optimized content to write, then distribute those articles through email, social media, partners, etc).

3. Experiment with dynamic web design

Just as most companies rely on one static content funnel, they also use the same website design to attract all potential customers. This means they are missing out on hundreds or even thousands of conversions every quarter.

Is your website a perfect fit for every visitor? Probably not. But if you invest in doing A/B tests and experimenting with different images, copy, forms, flow, and more — you might get pretty close. 

In addition, instead of funnelling all customers through your homepage, try creating specific landing pages that would match the theme of your marketing campaigns and convert visitors earlier in the process.

For example - Use Mutiny to create custom versions of your existing pages. It can dynamically replace the words and messaging on your landing pages to fit certain audiences.

4. Grow your following online

Lots of companies dismiss or neglect their social media channels, but being active and sharing useful information on social media is one of the best ways to cast a wide net and be noticed by companies outside of your primary focus area. 

Historically, followers on social media played the role of social proof, showing that your company is trustworthy and continues to build its credibility. Today, followers represent leads that should be converted.

For example - Use LinkedIn advertising to target other businesses with specific messaging. This is particularly important for B2B lead generation as many people have their company name and role listed, allowing narrow targeting to your exact target audience.

Hot tip - Create a compelling video ad, then set it up for video views amongst your target audience. Then, create retargeting ads which target people who viewed 50% or more of your video, with more action-oriented messaging (as these viewers are more primed to convert).

5. Invest in thought leadership

Building yourself (or other key members of your team) up as a thought leader is not easy but has lots of benefits. You’ll likely be noticed by peers from other industries and approached directly, bypassing many levels of traditional lead generation funnels. 

For example- You can start sharing your knowledge today by answering questions on Quora, submitting your pitch to various conferences, and organizing free (or paid) webinars. Running a personal newsletter can also be a good way to build a following over time.

However, this is more typically done by investing heavily in your own blog (in a different context than SEO-optimized articles) and then distributing that across all available channels (LinkedIn, Email, etc). In addition, writing guest blog posts for companies in adjacent or complementary industries can be a good way of demonstrating this thought leadership while sourcing new leads. 

6. Get active pursuing leads

If you don’t get too many leads through your website and other marketing activities right now, or they are just mostly not a good fit, you and your team need to get out there yourselves. 

Creating lists of target accounts and cold-calling? Yes, sure. But also turn on your creativity. Write interesting pitches and reach out to people through LinkedIn, meet them at industry events, start your own lunch-and-learns or meetups — possibilities are endless and good things come to those who hustle. 

For example - Use Google search to find the next most relevant conference to your business, then make a plan to attend. Consider creating business cards that include an offer or incentive on them, or drive people to a custom landing page made for the event.

7. Know what leads are engaging with you (~30% of traffic)

If you’ve completed steps 1 through 6, you’ve likely invested a fair amount of time and money into your B2B lead generation strategy. However, you need to measure that it’s actually working. That’s why many companies use an ABM (account-based marketing) software which can automatically identify visitors on your website by matching their IP address to a third party database of contact information. 

It can then tell you who came to your website or engaged with your recently launched campaign - if you see a target account in that list, you know that your other tactics are working. You would also then follow-up with that account as quickly as possible before the lead goes cold!

For example - Use 6Sense to help identify which contacts and accounts are coming to your website, so your sales team can follow up with them based on their fit to your ICP.

The New Way

8. The transformative tool to find leads and buyers on your website right now (100% of traffic)

Once you have completed steps 1 through 7 and all of your marketing engines are going at full speed, getting people to visit your website probably won’t be an issue. The issue then will be — how do you increase your conversion rates? 

Sure, you can use #7 to know who is on your website, but ABM technology typically only identifies up to 30% of your website traffic. Plus, knowing they were on your website was one thing, but how do you know if they are actually interested in moving forward?

We can all agree that waiting on your customers to fill out a form or request a demo is not the most effective B2B lead generation strategy for your website, as typical conversion rates for those are anywhere from 0.5-2% - a handful at best.

At the same time, being too proactive and talking to every single visitor through something like online chat will use up all of your BDR resources, and your BDRs will spend a lot of time contacting visitors who are not that interested or not yet ready to buy. 

The solution here lies in being able to read visitors’ behavior right from the moment they land on your website, then determining how likely they are to convert (known as “buyer intent”).

This is what’s made possible by Lift AI. 

Lift AI is the only buyer intent solution on the market that is able to read real-time (also known as online) buyer intent and tell you which website visitors are actually interested in your service or product. 

The way Lift AI does this is by leveraging an ever-evolving machine-learning model, trained on over one billion data points and 14 million live sales interactions. As a result, Lift AI is able to identify the buyer intent of every single visitor, even if they are anonymous and not known to you.

Once you install Lift AI, it will automatically detect high-buyer-intent visitors and allow you to connect them with your BDRs through the chat tool you already use (e.g. Drift). Doing so increases the chance of instantly converting visitors while they are on your website demonstrating high intent.

Lower-scoring visitors can be delegated to a nurturing bot or a self-help guide instead. 

What’s more, you can integrate Lift AI with practically any tool you use, from CRMs to marketing automation platforms. As mentioned, you might know something about 30% of your traffic, but nothing about the 70% of traffic who remains anonymous without Lift AI. You can also create retargeting lists for visitors who show high intent, or use content personalization tools to show custom messaging to those same visitors.

In just 90 days, customers using Lift AI to find ready-to-buy leads on their website report up to 10x improvements in chat conversions. Read about Formstack that increased its pipeline by 88% or PointClickCare that saw the metrics go up by 400%

Try Lift AI free for 30 days. No credit card is required. Just paste a small JavaScript snippet to your website, and you’re ready to start. 

You can see that B2B lead generation is not about one specific approach, but rather a combination of strategies that are suited to your industry and potential customers, from creating customized funnels to identifying buyer intent in real time with Lift AI.

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