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17 Best B2B Lead Generation Strategies, Why They Work, & Real-World Examples in 2023
17 Best B2B Lead Generation Strategies, Why They Work, & Real-World Examples in 2023
From differentiating channels to understanding buyer personas, here are 17 answers to the questions, “What are your most effective B2B lead generation strategies? Can you explain why they work well and provide an example?”
- Explore Channel Differentiation
- Talk on Niche Podcasts
- Try Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
- Leverage Content Marketing to Get High-Quality Leads
- Introduce Yourself With Handwritten Notes
- Publicize More Case Studies
- Lean into Digital Advertising
- Create a LinkedIn B2B Social Selling Strategy
- Systematically Reach Out and Nurture B2B Prospects
- Answer Questions on Quora
- Provide Free Incentives
- Look Back at Past Activities for Untapped Opportunities
- Design a CRM for Personalized Outreach
- Hire a Virtual Assistant for Cold Email Outreach
- Generate Sales Enablement Content
- Rely on Customer Referrals
- Know Your Buyer Personas
Explore Channel Differentiation
In 2023, you need to explore new channels for lead generation. You can't keep relying on the same few channels to bring in leads. The recent issues with Google AdWords show just how precarious a strategy can be when you rely on a narrow range of channels.
Ultimately, the most powerful form of lead generation is the traditional channel: word of mouth. Identify your brand evangelists and turn them into marketing machines with referral and affiliate programs. People referred to your company by a trusted source are 18% more loyal than a customer gained by other means and are four times more likely to refer more customers to your brand.
Benjamin Graham, Content Strategist, AnswerConnect
Sales teams have to adapt to the changing B2B marketing space. Relying on what's always worked may not be helping you reach your full potential. The name of the game is diversification.
Talk on Niche Podcasts
There are over 2 million podcasts in the world. Most of them are niche-focused and have highly relevant listeners—they just need you to find them and pitch a topical conversation. We've had outstanding success in telling our story via podcasts, and I consider podcasts to really be a fantastic way to communicate with our target markets.
The key is to know what you're talking about and to have a pleasant conversation. Podcasts are not an explicit sales platform, and you won't be invited there to sell your product. Talk about the industry, recent news, research, or trends. If you're competent, it'll show, and people will pay attention.
Ken Fichtler, CEO, Gaize
When your audience perceives you as an expert in your field, new leads are significantly easier to generate. That's because a foundation of trust already exists before your first meeting.
Try Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
One of the most effective B2B lead generation strategies is account-based marketing (ABM). This approach involves identifying and targeting specific, high-value accounts that are most likely to convert into paying customers.
By focusing on a smaller number of accounts and tailoring your marketing efforts to meet their specific needs, you can increase the chances of making a successful sale. This strategy works because it allows you to personalize your marketing efforts, which can be more effective in B2B sales, where the buying process is often longer and more complex.
By getting to know your target accounts and understanding their pain points and goals, you can create highly relevant and interesting content that addresses their specific needs.
Will Gill, Event Entertainer, DJ Will Gill
If you tend to try and land the "big fish," account-based marketing can be an effective method to generate sales leads. Remember that when you narrow your focus you need to ratchet up your customer service efforts by an equal portion.
Leverage Content Marketing
One of the best B2B lead generation strategies is to use content marketing to attract and engage potential customers. This involves creating valuable content, such as blog posts, whitepapers, and webinars that provide insights and solutions to the problems faced by your target audience.
The strategy works because it helps to attract potential customers at the top of the sales funnel when they are in the information-gathering stage. By providing them with valuable information, you can position your company as a trusted advisor, and increase the chances of them becoming a customer.
An example of this strategy in action is a software company that specializes in project management solutions for construction companies. They created a series of blog posts and whitepapers discussing the common challenges faced by construction companies, and how their software could help to solve them. As a result, they could generate a significant number of leads and close several new deals.
Luciano Colos, Founder & CEO, PitchGrade
Introduce Yourself With Handwritten Notes
It's common for B2B marketers to occasionally forget that the businesses they're contacting aren't faceless corporations. Even the largest companies are comprised of people, and it's the relationships you build with those people that open the door to the organization. That's why handwritten notes are so powerful for B2B sales and marketing teams. The more comfortable a prospect is with your organization the more open they'll be to your pitch, and nothing builds instant rapport like a warm, personalized, handwritten introduction. Familiar prospects become quality sales leads.
To optimize your B2B relationship marketing and generate leads more often, use Simply Noted to automate your handwritten campaigns. We offer best-of-industry quality with results that are indistinguishable from real handwriting. You can link us into your existing marketing automation to generate handwritten welcome notes, thank you cards, reminders, and more without any input from you. And with a 99% open rate, handwritten mail is the logical choice for your B2B lead generation campaigns.
Rick Elmore, Founder, Simply Noted
Publicize More Case Studies
For your content marketing efforts to succeed, I recommend focusing heavily on case studies. Business-to-business customers are detail-oriented, reluctant to take chances, and frequently require the input of several stakeholders concerned with return on investment (ROI) before making a purchase.
As many purchasers have acknowledged, this makes case studies true sales enablement content for the medium to late stages of the lead generation process. Avoid having case studies on your site that do nothing. In order to increase your reputation, advertise them shamelessly.
Nely Mihaylova, Marketing Manager, UNAGI Scooters
Lean into Digital Advertising
Digital advertising is one of the best B2B lead generation strategies. It works to hit businesses at the top of the funnel and funnel them toward your business solutions. Google ad spend, social media ad spend, etc. all factor into this strategy.
One example of how this has worked for our business was helping us secure partners for our partner network. We ran ads on Google and Facebook and saw many of these leads convert into SQLs for the sales team. This was a very effective way for us to grow our B2B business.
Marshall Weber, CMO, Stor-It
Create a LinkedIn B2B Social Selling Strategy
Did you know that 65% of B2B decision-makers are on LinkedIn? For B2B, it's no longer an option not to take LinkedIn seriously or your competitors will steal opportunities away.
To generate high-quality B2B leads that convert, you must create a powerful brand for your business and your employees on LinkedIn. Implementing a system of finding key contacts, nurturing relationships, and being top of mind will ensure that your business gets the lion's share of opportunities for new business.
By following this and building a niche B2B community, I could generate one order for $2M (AUD) for a company I worked for at the time! This is one of many victories. In fact, 90% of my new business comes from LinkedIn. Be in it to win it.
Michelle Raymond, LinkedIn B2B Strategist & Trainer, Good Trading Co
Systematically Reach Out and Nurture B2B Prospects
I have a simple four-step system using the LinkedIn platform that has served both myself and my clients well. It has resulted in thousands of dollars in new business while creating a network of ongoing business opportunities.
This is how the strategy works:
1. We determine the ideal prospect profile for our clients and reach out to those people to connect on LinkedIn.
2. We engage those new connections on messenger and simultaneously put out social media content that applies to our client's message yet focuses on solving the big problem the target market has.
3. When it feels natural and makes sense to book a call, we ask for the appointment on messenger.
4. Finally, we use email marketing to re-engage conversations that have gone cold, and we follow up post-call to further nurture the new relationship.
This strategy ensures our clients consistently fill their calendars with qualified appointments that lead to new clients, referral partners, and joint venture opportunities.
Jaime Ellithorpe, Founder & Business Growth Consultant, 540 Strategies
Answer Questions on Quora
Quora is an underrated lead-generation platform that offers solutions to two of the most pressing issues facing B2B marketers: first, getting content in front of buyers; and second, responding to important questions that buyers are interested in and asking.
A definitive solution to both issues is Quora. Answering pertinent industry-related queries with a very thorough, individualized explanation will enable lead creation. Such responses will serve as evidence of the market expertise, impressing potential customers and sparking dialogue. Quora's use can explode the generation of B2B leads.
Shawn Mahaffey, Founder, Wing It
Provide Free Incentives
A good way to get more people to check out your lead magnets is to offer free incentives. It will generate more leads if the incentives are appealing enough to encourage people to provide their contact details.
But not all free stuff is desirable. If the incentives on your site aren't worthwhile, visitors won't sign up with their email addresses.
If you're looking to reward readers to click through to your site, avoid offering content that can be found elsewhere. In its place, offer unique information like in-depth tutorials, case studies, or your own research.
Timothy Allen, Sr. Corporate Investigator, Corporate Investigation Consulting
Look Back at Past Activities for Untapped Opportunities
Looking back is a valuable and often overlooked lead-generation strategy. It gives you an opportunity to see where things have gone well and to identify areas that make little sense to continue pursuing.
If you had a great hit rate in certain verticals or with specific tactics, that doesn't mean those other areas are no longer relevant. For example, if you sent out blanket emails to multiple industries as a test, then decided to pursue the ones that performed best, there's likely still opportunity in the verticals that performed poorly. Folks from those verticals might simply respond better to different approaches, such as phone-based outreach.
Seth Kinney, Sr. Vice President of Global Sales, Inside Sales Solutions
Design a CRM for Personalized Outreach
As an SEO consultant for websites generating 10M+ views per month in competitive tech niches, I've seen firsthand the power of personalized outreach. For example, through personalized outreach, we could identify key decision-makers of several VPN providers and craft tailored emails that resonated with their specific pain points. We saw a significant increase in leads and ultimately closed two large deals, thanks to that.
When a potential lead sees that you've taken the time to understand their specific needs and pain points, they're much more likely to trust your solution and move forward in the sales process.
To make personalized outreach even more effective, use a CRM or marketing automation tool to track and segment your leads in order to tailor your pitches accordingly. Additionally, with tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you can find the key person in a company and reach out to her directly.
Roberto Popolizio, SEO Manager, SupportHost
Hire a Virtual Assistant for Cold Email Outreach
My best B2B lead generation strategy is cold email outreach. It works well because it helps you pitch your ideal prospects without running complicated ad campaigns. You can also automate the process cheaply with a virtual assistant.
I used cold email outreach to build links to my other site. Due largely to cold outreach, I grew my site from a new site to a 56 Domain Rating in Ahrefs. The key with cold outreach is personalization and pitching your offer the right way, whether it's through a targeted free trial or through providing value in return for your request.
Axel DeAngelis, Founder, Jumpcoast
Generate Sales Enablement Content
Most people chase high-traffic, low-difficulty keywords for content creation. This is problematic in the B2B space, as most of the high-conversion keywords involve niche queries by prospects deep in the funnel.
If you chase the popular keywords, you end up with a busy site that doesn't convert, which is a lot of missed opportunities. Instead, create content around the actual problems, objections, and anxieties your prospects face; the more specific and detailed, the better.
To get these insights, speak with your sales team and get the exact language they hear from prospects and clients. Use that language in your messaging. You may only get a handful of visits on these posts, but they have high conversion potential. We helped a client establish themselves as an authority in an emerging space after listening to the problems their clients had; there was virtually no traffic on these topics (according to SEO tools). Within a few weeks of posting, this content was generating leads.
James De Roche, Managing Partner, Lead Comet
Rely on Customer Referrals
With the marketing agency industry being highly competitive, our strongest strategy is a classic one that doesn't fail to deliver! Customer referrals are an excellent way for us to grow—we close nearly 6 out of every 10 referred customers. We attribute this success, in part, to their personal connections with clients and familiarity with products/services, making them more likely to purchase from us.
Oliver Moreno, CEO & Founder, Bright Click
Know Your Buyer Personas
You've probably heard this mantra repeated by everyone, from coaches to co-workers. But knowing the buyer personas only solves half of the problem.
After helping B2B companies with lead gen for over 14 years, we've developed a methodology that has tripled our clients' conversions. It all comes down to dissecting online reviews, discovering underserved problems, and developing target copy for like-minded prospects.
This strategy works not because it's so innovative but because it prioritizes prospects' concerns. B2B leaders struggle with lead gen because they are so immersed in their own field that it becomes difficult to grasp their audience's needs.
As a result, key selling points are overlooked, making it challenging for sales reps to communicate the solution's value. Once we implemented this approach, our performance skyrocketed. In one case, we could convert 22 prospects into sales-qualified leads per month while working fractionally.
Vito Vishnepolsky, Founder & Director, Martal Group