B2B lead generation strategies to use in 2023

20 Lead Generation Strategies to Generate B2B Sales Leads in 2024

06 December 2023
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Searching for the right B2B sales leads can feel like an uphill battle. If you’ve ventured into the realm of B2B lead generation strategies, you know just how challenging it can be. It’s certainly not a task for the faint-hearted or those seeking an effortless solution.

In fact, describing it as swimming without your hands or feet, or attempting to solve the Diophantine Equation with limited algebraic skills, wouldn't be an exaggeration. B2B lead generation is far from a leisurely walk in the park.

lead generation guide

B2B Lead Generation Guide

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Not only do you have to navigate a minefield of shrewd buyers and battle hordes of hungry competitors, but you’re also bombarded with tons of misinformation like:

👉 Conflicting research about the best ways to generate B2B sales leads.

👉 Overhyped case studies from giant corporations that could increase sales by tweeting a picture of their lunch.

It doesn’t help that every expert is adamant that their lead generation strategies or lead gen tactics are the best way to get B2B sales leads. The “ugly” truth is:

You have to tailor your approach to the organization, industry, product/service, and audience.

Which often means ignoring self-tooting horns and trialing new ways to generate leads that work for you.

More leads = more sales. To drive growth, you need more leads.

Ready to embark on the journey of finding the perfect B2B lead generation strategies for your business? Let's start by establishing a solid foundation. In this article, we'll delve into the fundamental aspects that will pave the way to B2B lead generation success.

Note: Leadfeeder helps B2B businesses generate more leads by identifying companies that visit your website. Sign up now for a free 14-day trial.

What is B2B lead generation?

B2B lead generation is short for business-to-business lead generation, which describes businesses that primarily sell to (*drumroll please*) other businesses. It serves as the crucial first step in a typical marketing strategy, marketing funnel, or sales process.

Lead gen involves collecting a potential customer’s information — such as name, email, company name, and job title — and using that information to target them with customized sales pitches or ad campaigns.

B2B is different from business-to-consumer (B2C) lead generation, where products and services are sold directly to consumers.

It's important to note that B2B lead generation stands apart from business-to-consumer (B2C) lead generation, where products and services are directly marketed to individual consumers. Furthermore, B2B and B2C businesses employ distinct approaches to find leads, making it crucial to abandon B2C strategies if you seek success in reaching potential B2B customers.

According to Hubspot, the three best lead sources for B2B companies are SEO (14%), email marketing (13%), and social media (12%).

B2C, on the other hand, gets more leads from traditional advertising, social media, and email. 

Leadfeeder lead source chart

It's not just where leads come from — the nurturing process between B2B and B2C is also quite different, which is why marketers have to start on the right foot.

The B2B lead generation process

Mastering the art of acquiring B2B sales leads is merely the initial step in a larger, comprehensive process. To truly drive sales growth, you must establish an effective lead generation process. This process serves as the vital link that aligns marketing and sales teams, providing representatives with a proven framework to follow.

If you’re serious about increasing sales, you’ll need an intense lead generation process. Processes align marketing and sales teams and give reps a proven framework to follow. 

Generating leads involves a series of carefully orchestrated steps undertaken by salespeople and marketing teams to transform prospects into paying customers. But what exactly do these steps entail? Let's delve into this process to uncover the key components that pave the way to B2B sales success.

b2b lead generation sales pipeline

Step 1: Find B2B sales leads 

The first step in most B2B lead generation strategies is finding the contact information of potential buyers. (Luckily, that’s what we’re covering 😏) 

Contact information is often sourced in-house, generated by a third-party “lead gen” company, or bought from a lead database (not advisable for B2B lead generation).

Step 2: Reaching out to leads

With a list of high-quality leads that met all the criteria of your lead scoring system, reps reach out to them through cold outreach (cold calls or emails), social media, other outbound strategies, or by replying to inquiries.

Step 3: Qualifying & prospecting high-quality leads

While interacting with leads, reps measure how likely leads are to buy. 

They’ll do this by gauging the stage leads are at during the buying process. These stages include:

lead generation buying process

1. Research & awareness: The prospective customer is aware of a solution they need or problem they face, and they begin to learn more about it. 

The awareness stage is where they’ll consume content like blogs, whitepapers, and case studies.

2. Consideration: The lead knows the exact service/product that’s needed. They’ll detail their specific needs before researching and “opening up” to vendors.

3. Decision: Filtering through vendors that best suit their needs, the buyer will have multiple meetings and check-in with other decision-makers to complete a purchase. 

Depending on what stage a lead is at, reps will initiate nurturing campaigns or focus on getting the prospect to book a call or demo.

Step 4: Close leads by making a sale

Success! After multiple meetings with different vendors, the prospect picks you, and the deal is done. They’ll now be transferred to customer success for onboarding. Woot!

B2B lead generation strategies that actually work in 2024

The best way to generate more sales is to customize your lead generation strategy according to your industry, product, and target buyers. This is precisely why offering just one or two B2B lead generation strategies wouldn't suffice.

For success, your sales and marketing teams must embrace a mindset of experimentation, continuous learning, and implementation of novel approaches to acquire B2B sales leads. This entails exploring and testing multiple strategies until you discover what truly works for your unique business.

If you're ready to venture into uncharted territory and explore fresh possibilities, we've compiled a collection of 20 B2B lead generation strategies for you to test. These strategies are designed to inspire innovation and help you uncover new avenues to drive sales growth. It's time to break free from the status quo and embark on a journey of discovery.

#1 Run A/B tests on key pages 

With thousands of website visitors browsing their site for office wallpapers, WallMonkeys used a heat map tool to see where visitors' eyes landed first on their website. After receiving the results, the WallMonkey team was confident that they could increase B2B sales leads by tweaking their homepage.

Putting their theory to the test, they split tested a new background image and search bar and boosted the conversion rate by 550 percent. Not too shabby. 

Will changing your landing page image increase conversions?

Will a homepage redesign convert more visitors into leads?

A/B split testing is the only way to find out.

#2 Use content campaigns to generate B2B sales leads 

With less than 100 monthly searches for its target keyword, Snack Nation, an office snack supplier, struggled to increase B2B sales leads through its SEO efforts.

Going after a bigger audience that would include their ideal B2B leads, they created an epic post on “employee wellness” — a broader search term that their target buyers use. 

While producing the post, they took extra care to ensure that it was actually “epic” enough to generate leads.

Results of the “employee wellness” post:

  1. Snack Nation outdid competitors by featuring 121 ideas on “employee wellness.”

  2. They included a large number of contributions from other authorities in the industry. 

  3. They also utilized an aggressive outreach strategy to get influencers to share their posts. 

The post propelled Snack Nation to the # 1 spot on Google for their keyword. 

Despite being over three years old, this post generates tons of traffic and leads for them to this day.

Screenshot of employee wellness idea Google search

As Snack Nation’s story shows, evergreen content can lead to evergreen B2B lead generation. 

So if you can create content that outperforms your competitors, do it.

#3 Earn your buyers' trust with social proof 

Social proof is a powerful part of most B2B lead generation strategies.

Because buyers may doubt claims about your product/service, they’ll look for testimonials to make a more thoughtful purchasing decision. 

The more social proof you can gather on your site, the easier it is to build trust and increase sales. 

Consider adding social proof to your landing pages and homepage, sharing reviews on social media, and creating case studies — collecting positive reviews on G2 Crowd is another excellent way to build trust.

#4 Build a free tool to generate B2B sales leads 

HubSpot offers a free CRM. 

Crazy Egg gives a free Heatmap tool. 

Ubersuggest offers free SEO analytics reports. 

Notice a pattern?

For SaaS and tech companies, one of the best B2B lead generation strategies I’ve witnessed is a free tool.

Offering a free tool works for B2B lead generation because:

  1. It allows leads to “try before they buy.” 

  2. It gives you a solid opt-in offer that attracts high-quality leads into your sales funnel. 

In our early days, we used this exact tactic at Leadfeeder to get users to find and refer leads to us. It’s worked so well that we still offer free trials today!

Also, here you can check 11 steps to set up a lead generation strategy for your tech company.

#5 Use Quora Q&As to generate more B2B sales leads

Using content to educate buyers and answer burning questions is nothing new. 

The challenge that most B2B marketers face is:

  1. Getting content in front of buyers.

  2. And finding questions that buyers are asking. 

Quora (or other forums) solves both of these problems. 

As a social Q&A site, Quora is an underestimated platform for B2B lead generation. 

Writer Nicolas Cole, for example, built a loyal following and a solid reputation on Quora by answering questions with detailed and occasionally personal answers. 

Thanks to his answers on Quora, he skyrocketed the growth of his 7-figure content agency, Digital Press, within a few years. 

Find your buyers on Quora, answer their questions, link back to your content, and profit. 

#6 Use Leadfeeder to power up B2B social sales

AlertOps was struggling to identify the company visiting their website. They knew that “warm” leads were leaving without giving contact information. 

Integrating Leadfeeder into their sales process helped them identify which companies visited their site — even if they didn't download a lead magnet or fill out a form. 

Within a month, they boosted their sales demo rates by 700 percent. They even landed a sales demo with a Fortune 500 company. 💪🏼

Leadfeeder plays a huge role in the [sales] system we built to qualify sales leads and schedule demo calls,” says Nathan Rofkahr, Director of Growth for AlertOps. 

To improve your social sales, pair Leadfeeder with LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

You can start following or retarget cold visitors as warm connections on LinkedIn and personalize your approach. 

And if these visitors return to your site, Leadfeeder will let you know they’re from LinkedIn. 

#7 Publish and promote more case studies 

Case studies should be an important part of your content marketing strategy. B2B buyers are highly analytical, risk-averse, and often need the approval of multiple ROI-minded decision-makers before purchasing.

And — as many buyers have admitted — this makes case studies actual sales enablement content for the middle-to-end stages of the lead generation process.  

Don’t just let case studies sit idle on your website. Shamelessly promote them to skyrocket your credibility. 

#8 Publish original research to generate sales from savvy buyers 

When High-Speed Training published an in-depth report for buyers in the hospitality industry, they saw massive ROI.

Not only did the report position them as the leader in their field, but it also boosted their site’s visibility and earned coverage from 38 different media outlets. 

On average, B2B buyers encounter 13 content pieces before purchasing. Content includes information on a vendor’s website, in-depth reports, and third-party reviews. 

You can use this reverence for data to radically transform your inbound lead generation. How?  

Become a source for industry-related information, trends, and data. Thought-leadership will help you: 

  • Become a respected authority in your industry. 

  • Generate strong SEO backlinks and PR coverage.

  • Deliver value to your potential leads.

#9 Generate quick wins from landing page tweaks 

Everybody loves ripe, low-hanging fruit. 

When it comes to increasing B2B sales, your landing pages — the most transformative points in the buyer journey — are bountiful trees to source fruit. 

Get quick B2B lead generation wins on your landing page by following these steps:  

  1. Back up your copy with social proof (say it louder for the people in the back 📢).

  2. Make your call-to-action (CTA) copy more relevant. 

  3. Upgrade your headline to catch the attention of buyers.

  4. Use a live chat functionality on your page to educate and overcome objections.

#10 Personalize your website with dynamic web pages 

Website personalization is no longer a bonus in B2B lead generation strategies. It’s a must. 

To personalize the buying experience on your site, use dynamic pages and content that adapt to your visitor’s:

  • Name

  • Location

  • Industry

  • Company 

ABM efforts add an intimate touch to the buyer's journey that creates a powerfully personal experience. 

#11 Create hard-hitting lead magnets and incentives

Lead magnets are the bread to your B2B lead generating butter. 

Richard Wood, Managing Director at Six & Flow, describes it as, "A lead magnet is anything that you can offer a prospect that has enough perceived value in exchange for their contact information, like an email address. If you want to create an effective lead magnet, you need to focus on your buyer personas and a specific challenge that they have and that you can address."

But most companies get the whole lead magnet thing wrong. They offer surface-level content that’s already available on a typical blog post. That’s not really “magnetic,” is it? 

Don’t make the same mistake. 

Unless you’re confident it’s valuable, scrap the high-level content and instead share your detailed, real-world experience in the format of:

  • In-depth guides

  • Comprehensive how-tos

  • Detailed case studies

  • Resource libraries

  • Workbooks or checklists 

  • Templates 

#12 Cater to a visual B2B audience with in-depth YouTube videos

If you aren’t using videos in your lead generation campaigns, here are two reasons why you should: 

  1. Ninety percent of marketers agree that video is the best way to repurpose B2B content

  2. YouTube is also the second-largest search engine on the web.  

The math is both easy and appealing:

You don’t need blockbuster videos. You can simply turn your existing content into informative videos that generate leads, just like I did with the example below.

We wrote a guide on selling with video, which prompted the panel discussion — who doesn’t love a theme?

"As humans, we are all drawn to video because of the connections that video allows us to make with buyers.  And when we can do that we win more business." 

- Robert Weiss, President at MultiVision Digital 

#13 Experiment with creative outreach 

Ash Amibirge, a copywriter at The Middle Finger Project, got a 100 percent response rate by mailing physical roofing shingles to her prospects.

Sales rep Jeremy Leveille rapped a B2B song in his email campaigns to get replies from his leads. 

B2B outreach email example

With your competitors sticking to boring cold email scripts, a little bit of creativity in your outreach will go a long way with your B2B lead generation efforts. Recently we've written about the top creative lead generation ideas with examples, feel free to check them out for inspiration! 😉

#14 Target high-value leads on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the place to be for “big deal,” high-value B2B lead generation. Advertising on the platform: 

While competition is rife and cost-per-click is higher than other platforms, the tradeoff is the ability to hyper-target your audience.  

If you’re going to advertise on LinkedIn, make sure you offer: 

  • A premium B2B product or service. Larger lifetime value (LTV) usually allows for the large budget you need to play on LinkedIn

  • Unique, high-level education. LinkedIn members are known for being career and skill-minded. If you’re offering content that will help them, you’re likely to see better returns from your ads. 

#15 Experiment with alternative social media platforms 

Robin, a workplace platform, took a risk by directing their lead generation towards platforms where B2B leads are tougher to find — and it paid off. 

Instead of doubling down on conventional channels like LinkedIn or Twitter, they posted user-generated content on Instagram and Pinterest.

To Robin’s surprise, it paid off. The company’s web traffic increased by 50 percent and brought 20 percent more leads to their door. 

As Robin’s story shows, even if you’re B2B, that doesn’t mean you can't generate sales from B2C social channels. 

Don't be afraid to test out new platforms like TikTok. By getting there first, you might just find a diamond in the rough. 

#16 Cast a wider B2B lead generation “net” with guest posts

There’s a reason why Inbound lead generation pros like Hubspot still use guest posting to increase B2B sales:

It’s an underused (and misunderstood) strategy that works. 

According to a survey by Aira, 42 percent of digital marketers they polled use guest posting:

Guest posting statistics

Even though it has a controversial past, guest posting is still the number one linkbuilding strategy SEOs recommend. 

As a way to enhance your overall search engine optimization, and present you as an authority to a fresh audience of new B2B leads, guest posting is far from “dead.”

#17 Cater to new B2B buyers on mobile 

As mobile traffic continues to grow, optimizing for mobile is becoming an increasingly important part of an effective B2B lead generation strategy. 

According to DemandGenReport:

  • 91% of B2B buyer searches occur on a mobile device.  

  • 74% of B2B buyers research half or more of their purchases online before making a decision.

They also found that B2B marketers already optimizing for mobile are experiencing “reduced purchasing time and higher customer loyalty.”

Given that it takes seconds to check your site’s compatibility with mobile devices, there’s no excuse for not being mobile-friendly. 

#18 Optimize for long-tail keywords to get more sales qualified leads

A long-tail keyword is three or more words long and is very specific. And yes, it usually gets a very low search volume. 

But target the right long-tail keyword, and you trade off search volume for extremely high purchase intent that increases sales with very little SEO effort.

#19 Run campaigns based on competitor keywords

If your competitors flock to certain sites for backlinks or seem to favor optimizing a noticeable group of keywords, that’s a pretty big deal.

It means they’ve found winning keywords that generate leads

Using SEO research tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush, you can take advantage of this by targeting the same sites and keywords to drive more sales-ready traffic to your site. 

A quick tip: Before you spend time and money optimizing for a particular keyword, run a small paid ads campaign to see if it actually attracts and converts your ideal B2B leads. 

#20 Organize webinars to capture new leads

One of the lead generation strategies is to organize webinars for lead capture. A webinar is an online presentation that's intended to engage customers, educate them on your products or services, talk about pain points, build trust, and increase your brand awareness. It's a great way to reach out to potential clients and build relationships with them before they've even signed up for your product.

In addition to reaching out to potential clients, webinars are also an excellent way to attract new leads. If you're looking for ways to generate more sales leads without paying for advertising, consider hosting a live webinar with a special offer or discount code for your product. You can also invite other businesses/startups who would benefit from your product or service as guests on your webinar — this will increase awareness about your business and drive traffic back towards it after the event ends!

Remember, if you treat webinars as one of your marketing campaigns, the most important is to give valuable content to your target audience and your ideal customer.

B2B lead generation tools to grow sales pipeline

As any sales rep will tell you, the more time you can devote to making sales, the more sales you'll make. Shocking revelation, we know. 🤯

Unfortunately, reps usually find themselves sinking in a quicksand of increasingly time-consuming manual tasks. 

In fact, research shows that they only spend a third of their day making sales

Emails, prospecting leads, data entry, and meetings eat up most of their working hours. 

With the right B2B lead generation tool, reps can automate manual tasks and spend more time closing leads. 

While there are a ton of sales tools on the market, listed below are the bare-bones essentials to beef up the entire B2B lead generation process:

Lead generation tool #1: Leadfeeder

Lead generation tool, Leadfeeder

The tracking information is enriched with the contact info of employees from the visiting company. You can follow up with buyers during the research phase, kickstart social selling campaigns, or time your outreach perfectly — all with behind-the-scenes insight that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

Lead generation tool #2: Hubspot Sales Hub

Lead generation tool, HubSpot Sales

From email templates, follow-up marketing automation, and scheduling, to automated data entry, Sales Hub is designed with salesforce productivity in mind. 

Lead generation tool #3: Reply.io

Reply.io homepage screenshot

Reply.io helps you find prospect emails on LinkedIn in a few seconds. You can also automate LinkedIn email searches, personal email outreach, calls, and tasks. 

Lead generation tool #4: Hunter.io

Lead generation tool, Hunter.io

Hunter.io lets you find emails by typing in a lead’s name and the company they work at. You can also browse all emails at a specific company. The first 100 email searches are free. 

Lead generation tool #5: Bombora

Bombora homepage screenshot

Bombora analyzes content consumption by millions of companies to show the topics your leads are searching for. 

It’s a great lead generation tool to help you catch B2B leads during their research phase. 

I’ll repeat: This is a bare-bones list that will help you increase B2B leads, regardless of the B2B lead generation strategy or tactics you use. Check out this lead generation tools post for advanced recommendations. 

The key to B2B lead generation strategies: Find what works for you

Cracking the code to effective B2B lead generation strategies is the key to overcoming the challenges and achieving sales growth. While it may seem like a daunting task, it is far from impossible.

The world of lead generation tactics and strategies can be overwhelming, leaving you pondering questions like:

👉 Which B2B lead generation strategy is truly the best?

👉 Will this tactic genuinely boost sales?

👉 What approach will yield the most favorable outcomes?

Here's my advice: Take a step back.

Overthinking and excessively optimizing your lead generation efforts won't necessarily yield the desired results. Instead, gather your team, collaborate on a few strategies and tactics that hold promise, and then take decisive action.

The key is to discover what works for your specific circumstances, discard what doesn't, and increase sales without becoming consumed by missed opportunities. Focus on:

👉 Identifying where your buyers gather and engage.

👉 Understanding who they rely on for research and information.

👉 Uncovering the factors that drive their purchase decisions.

👉 Addressing their primary concerns and pain points.

By gathering this essential information, you can pinpoint the B2B lead generation strategies that resonate with both your business and your customers, leading to meaningful results.

lead generation guide

B2B Lead Generation Guide

Marketers — need some fresh ideas to hit your MQL targets? Download this guide and fill up your pipeline now!

Download

Note: Generate more leads by identifying your anonymous website traffic with Leadfeeder, sign up, and try for free for 14 days.


Jessie Taylor
By Jessie Taylor

Jessie works in Content Marketing and Social Media for 6+ years and creates authentic, brand-led content that helps turn target audience into customers.

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