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Effective B2B Lead Strategies that Guarantee Growth



Are you ready to learn more about the secrets of B2B leads and the intricate world of B2B marketing? Generating B2B leads is the stepping stone of growth, and businesses all over the world allocate all their resources into lead generation. 


Before the Internet, lead generation was limited to a geographical area small business is located in. Their pool of customers never exceeded the natural borders of their towns, cities, or states.


However, in the digital age we live in, lead generation has scaled, and now includes the entire world. Finding clients who only live in one area is not enough for meaningful revenue, and will not allow the company to grow exponentially.


Numerous new tactics and tools can help create meaningful B2B marketing campaigns that will drive leads to convert. The modern businesses should focus on automation, not only to save time but to remove the possibility of human error that can result in lead drops and team burnout.


This article will explore how to win different types of leads and successfully convert them into clients. We will focus on:


  • A few tips on how to create goals and KPIs

  • Which tools to use for exponential growth

  • Sources that convert well and deliver quality leads 

Generating B2B Leads that Lead to Converts

It may seem hard to create strategies for B2B lead generation. However, there are a few things that can be done to turn online users into visitors, leads, prospects, and customers.



But before going into B2B lead generation strategies let’s walk through the different types of leads and other relevant info. 

Different Types of B2B  Sales Leads

B2B leads are quite easy to understand and categorize. There are three types of leads according to the level of interaction and interest: 


  1. Cold

  2. Warm

  3. Hot 


Cold lead

Companies that are a good lead based on your business services or products but have not yet been in touch with you. These are the leads that need to activation by advertising, such as through B2B Facebook Ads.

Warm lead

A lead that has shown some interest either by interacting on the website, either 

by downloading something or filling out forms.

Hot lead

Leads that regularly interact by opening emails, downloading rich materials, or requesting a demo, for example. This is the lead that has already been through a sales qualification


How to allocate the leads? Using the ‘lead scoring’ strategy is one method that helps add specific criteria to add a score to the lead according to actions taken. For example:


  • 10 points if the lead opens an email 

  • 15 points if the lead clicks on a link that’s in the email 

  • 30 points if the lead downloads marketing material


It’s up to you to decide the total of points, and when to add them, so you create your own lead scale. Lead scoring can be very helpful with profiling. It also saves a lot of time the sales reps would otherwise use to validate leads.


Source: Martech

Realistic B2B Lead Goals and KPIs

The sales process is not only about generating leads. It is also about setting goals that the sales team can reach based on realistic data.


Why are goals important?


The goals have a direct impact on the team’s performance. People respond better to what is actually doable, and let’s face it: selling is not a piece of cake and can be tiring. Statistics show that there’s a 34% turnover rate on sales teams. Therefore, it is critical to set realistic goals and performance indicators. 



But how? Let’s group the existing indicators in two categories: leading and lagging.


  1. Leading: These are the indicators that help ‘lead the way’ to success, the actions that need to be taken to make sure goals are achieved. This is how you measure actions that will lead to sales closure.


  1. Lagging: This category includes all indicators for the after-sales. It’s the output of the sales process as the performance of the leading indicators highly impacts these.


Now that you are familiar with the categories, let’s check the KPIs for each one. Keep in mind that by definition, “a KPI is the critical indicator of progress toward an intended result.


Source: https://kpi.org/

B2B Leading KPIs

The leading indicators have a direct impact on sales. Therefore, you have to list everything that leads to closing deals and making money. For example:


  • New leads per funnel stage

  • Total number of calls

  • Total number of meetings

  • New opportunities

  • Opportunities lost

  • Proposals Sent vs. Proposals Accepted


B2B Lagging KPIs

Remember that these are the indicators that pretty much measure the ‘after-sales process.’ It’s kind of like running a quality check and control, and it helps other departments such as finance, for example.


A few indicators to inspire you:


  • Total sales volume

  • Total discount given 

  • Up Sale and Cross Sale

  • Client acquisition cost

  • Contract renewal rate

  • The sales cycle length in total and for each phase

  • Revenue from new clients

KPI tracking: It’s critical to track KPIs on a weekly basis and analyze results consistently. 

Should Your Business Pay for B2B Leads?

There is always a concern when it comes to quality leads: are paid lists a good strategy?


Let’s go over the list of pros and cons, as it is the only way to decide if paying for B2B leads is the right choice for your business.


Pros

Cons

Expanded reach: you’ll be able to reach out to leads that may also have been gathered offline, which expands the targeting opportunities

The contact info can be outdated or wrong, and there’s no guarantee the leads will be real

There are a lot of vendors. It’s possible to look for the ones that have good references

Your email and campaign might be marked as spam, and the tool you use can ban you from sending further campaigns

Easy way to get a lot of emails

These are all cold leads, and conversion rate might be low


What brings the highest results to most companies is creating their own leads database by running consistent B2B marketing campaigns. Let’s explore a little bit more about how to create a qualified database in the next section.

Attracting B2B Leads that Close

Inbound marketing and content strategies can increase the sales rate. They work really well and can be a fantastic way of generating leads and driving them to conversion.


The Internet also influenced how B2B sales are made and how people behave during the sales process. Let’s look over B2B statistics and trends that show how executives - B2B buyers - act.


  • Social networks influence 75%

  • 89% use the internet to research providers

  • 73% of global traffic to B2B websites originate from SEM

  • 76% say the most crucial factor in a website is the information available


The math is simple: inbound marketing uses strategies based on content to attract and nurture people. This way, the leads learn more about the service offered and get ready for a salesperson approach. 

How to create an inbound marketing campaign

The inbound methodology focuses on four stages that drive people down the sales funnel. There are professionals specialized in inbound marketing who can successfully create a campaign.




Attract

Turning strangers into prospects

The attraction stage is when you reach people who are not yet familiar with your service or product. The goal is to drive them to the website and other social media and share content that will address their problem.

Convert

Prospects into Leads

Once you get the attention, you need to work on qualifying them. This is when you offer something in exchange for their contact information such as email, the company they work for, phone number, and other useful details. Create and share ebooks, industry articles, studies, and other materials. 

Close

Leads into Customers

Create a campaign to nurture the leads with useful content. Avoid spamming them, but don’t go weeks without any content. Use a CRM tool or other software to keep track of interaction.

Delight

Customers into promoters

Word of Mouth marketing is very efficient. To maximize efficiency, make sure your customers are happy and informed. Don’t overlook newsletters, personalized offers, exclusive content, etc.


By creating a successful inbound marketing strategy, you’ll be able to feed relevant information continuously. This information can make your company a ‘go-to’ source about specific topics, consequently gaining their trust and converting them into clients.

The Sources for Strong B2B Leads

More options generate qualified leads other than the inbound strategy, but some might be more expensive or time-consuming. You have to choose the best source according to your budget, market reality, and opportunities.


Source: Venture Harbor

Events

Webinars and offline events such as industry fairs are an excellent place to talk to a lot of people and source qualified leads. 


The leads sourced offline can be added to online campaigns.

Cold Emailing

Back to the question: “should I buy mailing lists?”. 


No need to do that. You can use a prospecting tool and create your database.  Additionally, you can personalize the message and automate the entire process to save time.

Cold Calling

Cold calling is an old and famous technique. It starts with listing companies that can become potential customers. The next step is calling to either talk to the possible qualified contact or gather emails to add the person to the cold emailing list.

Partnerships

Partnering up with other B2B companies that are not competitors can be an excellent source of prospects. However, this has to be done carefully and always with mutual compliance.  


Another option is to ask companies to refer your services or products, and in exchange, you do the same.

Referrals

The best way to generate referrals organically is to gain your customers’ trust. Delight them so they’ll feel comfortable giving you a customer testimonial, or referring you directly.

Convert a B2B Lead to a Customer

The buyer journey is crucial for conversion. Typically, it consists of three stages:


  1. Awareness

  2. Consideration

  3. Decision


Source: Hubspot


If throughout the process the lead does not feel comfortable, they won’t become a client. Therefore, focus on the tactics that will help improve conversion and increase sales. 


Each stage of the funnel has best practices that can help when creating an ideal B2B strategy.


ToFu

Prospects and leads are in the research phase. Share with them relevant content to establish your company and product/service as an authority and market leader

MoFu

Once you have established interest, nurture the leads with videos, infographics, and market research. It’s your chance to bond with them. The key is to approach the audience as a problem solver.

BoFu

Offer product materials, charts, quizzes, how to’s, and testimonials. Narrow down your leads and create segmented campaigns. Don’t waste your time, or theirs, by sending irrelevant content.



The B2B sales cycle is usually long heavy on bureaucracy. Therefore, it is essential to keep the lead engaged even when the deal is about to be closed. Don’t ever stop sending useful information, tips, and whatever great content your team creates. 


Source: Demand Gen Report



Tip: Another powerful tactic involves measuring each piece of distributed content to find out which pieces convert more and perform better.


Find the Right Tools for B2B Leads

Automation is a great help when it comes to lead generation, nurture, and other strategies needed to create and convert leads. But, sometimes it can be hard to find the right tools for so many jobs.


Use one suite that does everything you need, and you’ll save a lot of time and increase lead generation efficiency. The right tool can capture leads, drive traffic, and create content. 


Some of the main functionalities of the proper tool are:


Prospecting

The first step to success is to use an email finder that can also verify emails and create automated email campaigns. These tools usually have native templates to help and often offer analytics and statistics.


The right tool should offer integration with CRM and other platforms.

B2B Exchange

Influencer marketing is the upgraded version of mouth to mouth marketing because people trust what influencers say. They are the authority. 


A B2B Exchange tool can help you reach a lot of qualified leads and boost brand awareness. It’s an easy way to find trustworthy people to share your content.

Content Writer

You no longer need a big team of writers. A personal content writer tool can help by creating unique and personalized content, in multiple languages and based on keywords that you choose.


The tool should automatically create a content calendar and deliver daily articles. It kind of works like a content curator as well.

Social Proof

What people around us say matter when it comes to purchasing.  Social proof on your website is also an excellent tool to increase interactions and turning prospects into leads. 


It’s good to either add customized messages or share a localization message to get the visitor’s attention. Either way, a social proof widget is quite easy to implement and can be of great help.

Sales Chatbot

Chatbot use has increased as technology improved. A good sales chatbot can be easily installed, customized (messages and scenarios) and also works as a lead generator by capturing leads and sending to the sales team.


This is another excellent tool to continuously feed the sales pipeline and also to assist with client support. 

Subtitle Extractor

Creating useful and unique content can be hard, and require a lot of creativity and time. 


By using a YouTube subtitle extractor, your company can automatically have access to millions of video subtitles and generate content related to the topics.


B2B Lead Tracking and Retargeting

A successful growth strategy includes a lot of tracking, analyzing, and reviewing. That is why you should focus on lead tracking and everything that comes with it.


What to track? When? How?


  1. Sales Lifecycle. When you share content, you should track what works best in each stage. After you create your sales journey and decide what type of content to share, you need to think about the distribution channels and ways to track interaction and conversion performance.


  1. Sources. Monitor the channels that convert more and work on strategies to improve. Sometimes this KPI will help you to stop focusing on a channel that does not yield. Track the expenses of each channel. You can either track by individual sources or categorize by Direct, Referral Traffic, Organic, and Paid.


  1. MQL and SQL. Each funnel stage should have a clear goal. Check weekly and monthly if the strategies are generating enough Marketing Qualified Leads and Sales Qualified Leads. This helps in understanding which phase of the process should be improved.
    Quick Reminder: MQL is the lead that has shared some information such as email, phone number, or a job title. SQL is the lead that has already requested a demo, meeting, or live presentation.


  1. Revenue and ROI. Revenue is the whole reason why sales exist in the first place. Making money is how businesses survive, so make sure you are tracking how much money the sales team is bringing in. Plus, it’s vital to measure ROI (return on investment) of your strategies. Otherwise, you’ll never know if the plan is working and adding value to the company.

B2B Lead Retargeting

Retargeting is among the strategies that convert the most for B2C. However, B2B campaigns can also benefit from retargeting. If you think about it, the decision-maker is also a customer and will act as a regular consumer while researching for a solution.


Source: Kenshoo



The statistics below show how useful and powerful retargeting can be:

  • Only 2% of visitors convert on the first visit, which makes retargeting crucial for success

  • Retargeting Display ads generate 70% more conversion than standard display campaigns;

  • Three out of five people consider ads showing products they previously saw on another page;

  • Retargeting CTR is 10x higher than the Display Ads CTR (Click Through Rate).



B2B retargeting is on the rise, and sometimes it can outperform B2C retargeting by 147%. This strategy can be used in all funnel phases. Taking advantage of retargeting will yield results for a fraction of the price of more traditional digital advertising methods, such as display ads.


Retargeting is useful for brand awareness (ToFu). However, if the content and creative are well planned, the strategy can also help to inform and nurture (MoFu) and also to convert people (BoFu).


Other relevant information about B2B retargeting:

  • Use emails to run B2B retargeting campaigns. 

  • B2B customers are usually very busy, so a retargeting campaign can work as a reminder and a trigger;

  • LinkedIn retargeting can be a great way of sharing content such as whitepapers, which 66% of B2B marketers consider to be the best way of generating leads;

  • Creating audience segments and delivering personalized content helps drive people to the website and it shows a 20 to 60% CTR, a lot higher than non-customized campaigns;

  • Optimize for mobile: over 50% of traffic on social media comes from mobile. Brands should be offering their content to all users, no matter which device they are on.

  • Invest in cross-channel retargeting.




The tl;dr on B2B Sales Leads

Generating B2B sales leads can seem complicated, but is, in fact, quite a simple process that businesses should not be afraid of. Companies looking to grow should spend time crafting their foolproof B2B marketing plan, setting up goals, and choosing the proper tools to get the job done. When it comes to tools, Anyleads offers a full suite that anyone can use to generate leads and drive growth. In the end, whichever tool you end up using, make sure it is the right choice for your company, and make sure it can handle all the requirements your team puts forth.


Author

Mathieu Picard

CEO, Anyleads, San Francisco

We are the leading marketing automation platform serving more than 100,000 businesses daily. We operate in 3 countries, based in San Francisco, New York, Paris & London.

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Sales Chatbot

Install a chatbot to capture visitors data and convert them to leads.

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Personal content writer

Get unique daily content for your business redacted by a artificial intelligence writer.

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Prospecting

Find & verify emails, send automated drip campaigns and generate sales.

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Youtube extractor

Extract subtitles of Youtube videos to create unique content.

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B2B Exchange

Increase your visibility and virality with a community of influencers.