You did everything by the digital marketing book: you’ve attracted thousands of visitors and collected hundreds of emails and names on Linkedin.
You then approached them with your irresistible offer.
The result? An eye-watering churn and a laughable conversion rate. Tragic.
So, what happened?
Chances are, you were preaching to the wrong choir. You see, more isn’t always better in lead generation. Unless you’re a horizontal SaaS company like Zapier with a massive total addressable market and an infinite pile of cash, aiming widely rarely pays off.
The good news is that this is fixable. Instead of spraying and praying, you need to focus your efforts on a smaller segment of your target audience who are more likely to buy from you.
That’s what targeted lead generation is about. The practice targets businesses that fit your ideal company persona and are the highest-value customers. Simply taking into account leads’ position in the sales funnel skyrockets conversions by 73 percent.
But how do you find those qualified leads? And how do you and your marketing team reach them? Read on, as I've got loads of strategies and best step-by-step practices for effective targeted B2B lead generation.
So, how do you find those rare gems? And how do you reach them?
We’ll be honest; if you don’t use lead generation software, finding and targeting quality leads will take a lot of work.
However, following these steps makes it possible.
Step 1: Define your ICP and TAM
Targeted lead generation always starts with finding your perfect customer. They hide behind two fancy terms: ideal company persona (ICP) and total addressable market (TAM).
In short, your ICP is the company that needs your offering the most. These ideal customers understand the value of your services, don’t require endless persuasion, and are most likely to convert.
When you know your ICP, you can calculate your TAM, meaning how many ICPs you can target with your campaigns and how much money this can bring you.
What does it do for you? Two things: reveals high-quality leads and helps set realistic sales targets.
Step 2: Build a database
Now that you know who your ICP and TAM are, it’s time to start forming a database with your ICP’s contact information.
If you feel particularly old-fashioned and have some time to spare, you can take a manual-labor approach. Open Excel sheets and start adding the contact info of the prospects you think are a good fit.
80 percent of companies, however, prefer to do these things in a post-industrial manner, using automated lead-generation tools to build and segment databases. Why? Because it increases conversions, it’s affordable and more efficient. So the real question is, why not?
For example, tools like Leedfeeder automatically send leads that visit your website to your CRM in real-time. You can even set up a filter to sift through potential leads to keep only those that qualify as your ICP.
After filling your database with leads, it’s time to distill it further with segmentation.
Step 3: Segment your database
So, you’ve built a top-notch list of high-quality leads, loving every minute of it (assuming you used Leadfeeder). Now, you need to further break them down into narrower market segments of potential customers. To do this, use the information about your ICP and TAP.
The most popular optimization filters Leadfeeder’s users set are:
Demographic Segmentation: gender, age, education, annual revenue, industry, and company size
Behavioral Segmentation: user status, spending or purchasing habits, brand interactions, pain points, engagement, and benefits sought
Psychographic Segmentation: beliefs, values, personality, interests, and lifestyle
Geographic Areas: area code, region, country, city, language, neighborhood, etc.
But you can set any filters that make the target audience clearer for you. The narrower, the better.
After this, you will have a distilled group of the most promising prospects. Plus, now you can tailor your outreach message to each group in the best way that appeals to them.
Step 4: Start the outreach sales process
Now, you’re like a high-end luxury fashion house with a narrow target market and a selected group of the right leads. It’s time to start preparing the right messaging for your outreach activities like cold-calling and messaging campaigns and attracting new customers.
To nail the messaging, look at the segments you pursue and answer the following questions:
What pains is this client trying to solve?
How can our offering help them?
How is our offering better than the competitors’?
What channels does the client prefer (email, social, Google, phone)?
What content do they consume at every stage of the buyer’s journey?
Answering those questions will help make your message personal, specific, and hard to ignore. Then, when it’s ready, you can tailor this message to every stage of the buyer’s journey.
Step 5: Build relationships
In terms of profitability, retention often trumps acquisition. Yes, it’s time-consuming, but it works.
The reason is simple: happy customers = loyal customers. And loyalty is a very, very fruitful thing. Loyal customers bring steady profits, tend to have a higher annual contract value (AVC), and lower your customer acquisition cost (CAC) by becoming devoted advocates of your brand.
Don’t forget about your customers after they buy from you. Regularly provide them with after-sales support and continue nurturing them with relevant content. You will be surprised by the effect this will have on your profits.
Now that you know these steps, let’s take one more — a step back to discuss lead generation strategies in more detail.
When you finally know the qualities of your perfect leads, it’s time to start attracting and converting them into customers. The type and number of strategies you choose depend on your resources, industry, business, and ICP.
But regardless of how you choose to reach your leads, be sure to align your marketing and sales team efforts and provide your reps with a robust framework.
Here is a brief outlook of the tried and true targeted lead generation strategies and tactics for B2B.
Nurture brand awareness
Brand awareness does a lot to facilitate your targeted lead-generation efforts both directly and indirectly.
How do you increase brand awareness? With content marketing, specifically – SEO.
SEO is a long game, but it is always a rewarding one. It requires collecting and targeting the right keywords with your website content.
For example, you can target low-volume keywords with high buying intent, aka bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) keywords. Although they don’t bring much traffic, they’re easier to rank for, and the conversions should be higher.
Targeting TOFU keywords, in contrast, aren’t designed to bring direct conversions but will deliver traffic and help build up your brand awareness and trustworthiness.
Write fantastic landing pages
A landing page is a web page dedicated to a specific offering you sell. It explains the value and prompts your visitors to take action – sign up for a webinar, book a demo, download a template, book a call, you name it.
Landing pages are where you capture the leads. But for them to convert, you need to do three things:
Target the right audience
Have an answer to your audience’s pains
Use copywriting and design to deliver this solution
But the potential of landing pages goes beyond lead generation. You can also use them to test new business opportunities and niches for demand.
Don’t know if a product or service will generate demand? Create a landing page with CTAs, send traffic to the page using paid ads, and take notes.
Flex your social engagement
Of course, I can’t leave out the goldmine for sourcing B2B sales – LinkedIn. Of all B2B leads generated on social media, 80 percent come from LinkedIn.
But prepare for the long run, as LinkedIn is more about the brand than anything else. The more trustworthy your brand is, the more likely your InMail messages will be read and responded to.
Here’s a crash course on building a brand and targeting leads on LinkedIn:
Share your expertise and opinion on your page and in relevant groups
Set up a premium account to see who visits your account and filter your search
Actively connect with your colleagues, visitors, and potential leads
Start a LinkedIn ad campaign to expand your reach
YouTube is another promising platform worth investing your time in. Videos are an incredible instrument for introducing new people to your offering and driving engagement. Plus, if you treat YouTube like a search engine, you can access information you won’t find anywhere else.
Don’t discard paid ads
Paid advertisement is the go-to marketing strategy to earn B2B sales for several reasons.
First, if done right, it can be the most precise way to target high-quality leads. Just take the preferred segment of your audience, create the right message, and target them with your ads.
You can also run A/B tests on different segments and platforms to track which segment or platform performs better in generating leads and conversions.
But be careful: paid marketing in B2B can be tricky. If you do it wrong, it will cost you an arm and a leg. So make sure to find a real pro with successful cases doing paid advertising in your niche.
Leave talking to chatbots
Yes, I know that bots won’t bring you new leads. But they will do something equally important: save you from losing the existing ones.
How? Unlike you, bots don’t take breaks, sick leaves, or sleep. Instead, they are on the watch non-stop. So when a text from a potential prospect comes your way, it won’t slip through the cracks. Instead, it will go directly to your CRM.
Set up sales cadences
Sales cadence is a way to diversify your outreach across multiple channels. You set up a sequence of touch points that “chase” prospects to establish a connection. It includes emails, calls, LinkedIn messages, voicemails, posts, and other activities directed toward getting a response/action from your prospects.
Setting up an effective sales cadence can be tricky, though. You need to personalize your approach with different tiers and juggle multiple instruments without being intrusive.
Since your audience is ready and segmented, think of the top lead generation channels, sequencing, spacing, duration, and content. It can differ depending on whether your leads are hot or cold.
Embrace cold calling
Yeah, I know. Salespeople shutter when they hear “cold-calling.” But no matter how badly you want this practice to die out, it’s still here.
Why? Because if you cook it right, it works.
To make cold pitching less of a torture for everyone involved and increase your chances of closing a deal, do the following:
Validate leads before you call them
Nurture leads via email or LinkedIn before the call
Be sharp and quick in your speech
Analyze your results and make improvements
Don’t forget about referral marketing
Just think about it: how many products or services did you or someone you know buy because a friend, colleague, or influencer recommended them?
In B2B, buying largely happens through word of mouth and peer recommendations. Referrals work like a charm — 84 percent of B2B decision-makers start the buying process with a referral.
However, referrals are hard to track if you don’t have a partner program with a traceable code or link. So consider making referral marketing a part of your strategy, as it’s an effective and largely untapped lead-generation opportunity.
Produce lead magnets
Lead magnets like gated content and pop-ups on your blog and website are great ways to use your content to collect leads.
Here are the types of gated content you can offer in exchange for personal information:
Templates, and more
These are usually middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) leads. Instead of pitching your product, you may need to first nurture them with more content.
Pop-ups and banners have come a long way since they were aggressive and annoying. For example, at Leadfeeder, exit-intent pop-ups are one of our favorite methods to convert readers into sales leads.
The key here is to develop a good CTA and design the pop-up to draw visitor's eyes to the most important content.
Try lead automation software
Just reading about all those lead-generation strategies can be both overwhelming and tiring. The execution is no picnic either, especially if you don’t use tools that automate things.
In reality, you can automate the process from start to finish. From creating lists of quality leads to automating your lead gen funnel, lead generation software makes things easier and faster.
Casting a large net to catch more leads often has the opposite effect. It makes your messaging generic and your pitch forgettable, leading to a high churn rate and low conversion.
If you are confident in your offering, but the results of your B2B lead generation campaigns don't match this confidence, it’s time to double-check your strategy. Chances are, you’re addressing the wrong market, sending the wrong message, or using the wrong channels.
Targeted lead generation solves this problem. To up your game, define your ICP and TAM, build and segment your leads database, narrow your target audience to the most qualified leads, try different strategies, analyze the result, and iterate. Then, rinse and repeat.
More leads, no forms.
Sounds too good to be true? It’s not. Identify companies already visiting your website and turn them into qualified leads to fuel your sales pipeline.Show me how