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5 Ways to Generate More B2B Leads in 2024

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Many publications like Insider Intelligence and Search Engine Land have already made their predictions about the state of B2B marketing in 2024. Some suspect that Generative AI (i.e. “GenAI”) will take center stage; others speculate that Personalization will be at the forefront. Whatever the case may be, now’s the right time to start planning ahead!

In this guide, we’re covering the best strategies for generating more B2B leads, whether this year or beyond. These are time-tested methods for reaching the right audience, engaging customers, and driving high-quality sales leads.

So, let’s get it started. 

How to Generate B2B Leads, Step by Step

No amount of “tips and tricks” will make up for not having a lead generation process in place. A process is formed when you take stock of the tools, resources, and data available to you, and use this information to define an approach specific to your business. You can’t skip out on doing the grunt work!

Here are the steps for building out a B2B lead generation process, starting at core foundations and moving into how to adopt future-thinking strategies into your existing system.

Conceptualize your ideal target audience

Rick Kelly, the Chief Strategy Officer at Fuel Cycle and contributor to Forbes, once described the importance of market research as so: “Data has transformed the way companies approach future-proofing. Employing the right tools to collect valuable insights is crucial for businesses seeking long-term viability and brand success.”

Market data – specifically, insight into your ideal target audience’s behavior, interests, and pain points – should be the base of your B2B lead generation strategy. All initiatives should stem from a core understanding of what your customers want, what they care about, and why they might (or might not) be interested in your services or products.

This “understanding” doesn’t always come naturally, and it isn’t always intuitive. In fact, many times, B2B businesses make assumptions about what companies want, and they end up missing the mark. Don’t make this mistake. 

First, determine the characteristics of your best. These could be based on industry, company size, location, pain points, budget, etc. Tools like Exploding Topics, SEMrush, and Wynter can be used to examine B2B trends, analyze user behavior, and even measure organic Search interest.

Next, segment your audience based on similarities and differences, motivations and needs. Different segments will have different priorities, requiring different sales approaches, marketing creative, etc. 

Then, conduct competitor analysis to understand your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, and Unique Selling Propositions (USPs). From here, you can define your differentiators and market positioning. You should establish a clear statement of what makes your business different.. or, well, better. 

Build and train a sales team

A B2B lead generation system is only as good as the people who build it. By that, we mean your team. Your goal is to bring skilled, motivated, and integral team members together to co-build and refine your system.

Typically, this starts with hiring Sales Development Representatives (SDRs). These individuals should have tenacity, attention to detail, and top-tier communication skills. Sales techniques can be taught; “personality” is more difficult to train. 

Some qualifications might include:

  • Proficiency in CRM and sales tools
  • Time management and organization
  • Adaptability to different personas/industries
  • Ability to handle objections
  • Strategic prospecting and research skills
  • Relationship-building skills
  • Ability to work in a team-oriented environment

Hire SDRs who understand the product, can engage prospects effectively, and are adept at nurturing leads. Then, equip your SDRs with the necessary tools, sales scripts, and ongoing training they need to improve their skills. 

Align marketing initiatives to customer needs/stages

Remember that market research you did? This is where the rubber meets the road.

With the support of your sales and marketing teams, brainstorm lead generation initiatives that align with your customer pain points and the various stages of their buyer journey. 

For example:

  • If your audience’s pain point is lack of time management, you can offer a webinar titled “Efficiency Hacks for Time-Strapped Professionals”, targeting top-of-funnel leads.
  • If your audience’s pain point is outdated technology affecting productivity, you could launch an eBook titled “Maximizing Productivity: A Tech Upgrade Guide for Businesses”, targeting mid-funnel leads.
  • If your audience’s pain point is justifying ROI to stakeholders, then you could conduct a live demo or case study presentation to showcase how your solution directly impacts ROI, with tangible metrics and success stories.
  • If your audience is in the early stages of exploration and researching solutions, you could launch a blog series on “Understanding [Industry] Challenges and Solutions” to address common pain points within the industry.
  • If your audience’s pain point is limited budget for solutions, then you could add a cost calculator on your website, allowing prospects to input their data and demonstrate the potential savings or returns they could achieve by using your solution.

The list can go on and on. The exact strategies you use will vary depending on your audience, the channels you wish to utilize, your budget, and the resources/team available to you. Don’t be afraid to get creative. The point is to make sure your efforts are laser-focused on the needs of your prospective customers. What works for one B2B business might not work for yours. 

Establish a lead qualification system

Lead qualification is another essential part of building a B2B lead generation system. Without lead qualification, there are few ways of knowing whether your efforts are generating promising, read-to-buy leads. 

We published an entire guide on B2B lead qualification here, so be sure to check that out. But, in a nutshell, lead qualification both ensures that you are focusing your campaigns on the people who are most likely to engage with your business, and that you are refining those campaigns for better results (based on the data collected via your lead qualification tools). An effective Client Relationship Management (CRM) will likely do the trick when it comes to rating your leads, assigning them to the most appropriate team members, and measuring success. 

Implement tools and automation

As mentioned above, you should implement CRM tools like Salesforce, HubSpot, or Marketo to manage and qualify leads. But these same tools can also automate your workflows, streamline team communication, gather data, and track interactions.

You can develop criteria for grading leads based on their behavior, engagement, and fit with your ideal customer profile. That way, each sales representative has a clear view of what the lead wants, and can tailor their sales conversation accordingly. 

Beyond that, you can use email automation tools for personalized and automated email outreach. ConvertKit and the like can monitor open rates, track engagements, simplify the campaign creation process, and even integrate with your other sales tools.

Check out some of these recommended sales call and appointment scheduling tools.

Measure, analyze, and optimize for performance

Collaborate with your teams to collect feedback on your lead generation process. Check in often to ensure sales and marketing teams are working together, sharing insights, and discussing strategies to optimize lead generation and conversion.

Together, you should define your company’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), conversion rates, lead quality, and customer acquisition cost. That way, everyone will be on the same page when it comes to measuring the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of your efforts.

Using analytics tools, you should continuously test different strategies, messaging, and channels. See what’s working, what’s not working, and where there might be gaps. Based on analytics and team feedback, you can refine your B2B lead generation strategy for better results. Those who are closest to the work often have the best ideas!

Best B2B Lead Generation Strategies (with Case Studies)

Assuming you have the foundations in place, it’s time to dig into strategies. These are the methods that B2B companies are (successfully) using to generate B2B leads in 2023 and beyond. They have a proven track record of success, indicated by the case studies we have included below.

1. Quality content and syndication

In one case study, VMware, a virtualization and cloud infrastructure vendor, faced challenges in scaling its content operations while maintaining quality and consistency. Laura Bellamy, the director of information experiences, identified that the existing content operation was struggling due to an overwhelming volume of material, limited resources, and transition-related issues.

To address these challenges, VMware implemented an AI-enabled content solution called Acrolinx. This platform automated basic editing functions, allowing VMware’s editors to focus on higher-value tasks such as taxonomy, classification, training, and onboarding new team members. 

The adoption of a content strategy practice led to several benefits:

  • Editors were able to concentrate on more strategic and valuable activities.
  • Employees reported a significant improvement in content quality and efficiency, with 73% stating that the software helped enhance their content quality and 60% noting increased efficiency in content creation.
  • Acrolinx ensured a minimum quality level for content before publication, reducing the risk of substandard output.
  • It allowed managers to focus resources on improving content quality where it mattered the most, enabling them to address issues and emergencies effectively.

Overall, the implementation of content governance software helped the company streamline content creation, enhance quality, and mitigate risks associated with poor content.

2. Tailored campaigns and personalization

Dynamic Yield, a customer engagement platform, utilized several strategies to ensure personalized experiences for visitors across the entire customer journey, from awareness to conversion. Through A/B testing and conversion rate optimization, they were able to simplify their marketing stack to focus on understanding user behavior and tailoring experiences.

Some of the key strategies used by Dynamic Yield include:

  • Advanced segmentation: They used behavioral data to identify user segments interested in specific content, like retailers, unconverted high-intent visitors, loyal blog readers, etc., and tailored their messaging for better engagement and conversion.
  • Customized logo display based on region: They set region-specific logos to increase relevancy and appeal based on user geography, allowing for optimal brand display.
  • Site-wide A/B tests: They conducted data-driven A/B tests across the website to optimize content download strategies, comparing dedicated landing pages versus modals, and tailoring the user experience based on content type.
  • Dynamic display ads through Google Ads: They used CRM data to create personalized, contextually relevant display ads for different phases of the customer journey.
  • Link optimization on paid media campaigns: The brand dynamically optimized their branded links in social media posts to direct traffic to the highest performing landing pages, maximizing conversions at the link level.

These personalized strategies led to impressive results, such as a significant increase in demo requests, a remarkable uplift in newsletter subscriptions, and an 800% improvement in demo requests from personalized display ads. 

Personalization allows for data-driven decision-making, segmentation, and optimization without extensive IT involvement. With personalization, you can create tailored user experiences throughout the B2B customer journey, resulting in more (high quality) leads. 

3. Thought leadership and authority building

The goal of thought leadership is to develop high-quality, informative content that addresses industry challenges and offers helpful solutions to potential customers. This can be demonstrated through blog posts, whitepapers, or webinars that resonate with your audience’s needs.

For example, Neil Patel is a well-known thought leader that provides marketing services, tools, and tips to businesses. His success as a digital marketing thought leader stems from a multifaceted strategy. He builds his personal brand by consistently producing valuable content through blog posts, podcasts, and videos – all of which are related to SEO, content marketing, and social media. He actively engages with his extensive social media following, fostering relationships and trust with his audience.

B2B companies can glean valuable insights from Neil Patel’s thought leadership strategy to enhance their own brand positioning and business growth. Here are a few tips:

  • Publish insightful blog posts, industry reports, case studies, or webinars to establish authority and attract the attention of potential clients.
  • Actively engage with your audience on social media platforms where your B2B audience is present. Respond to queries, share industry insights, and foster meaningful connections to encourage engagement.
  • Seek opportunities to contribute content or insights to industry publications, participate in interviews, or speak at relevant events. Establishing a presence in industry-related media outlets can broaden your reach and solidify your brand as an authoritative source within your sector.
  • Patience is key. Building a brand as a thought leader doesn’t happen overnight. Continue to refine your strategy, adapt to changes in the industry, and persist in delivering valuable insights.

4. Account-based marketing 

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) involves crafting personalized campaigns targeting specific high-value accounts. With that, SDRs tailor their messages (and corresponding content) to address leads’ pain points directly.

Here’s a case study from Snowflake, a cloud data warehousing firm, that increased its booked meetings by 75% through scaled hyper-personalization. In 2018, Snowflake transitioned to an ABM strategy, and achieved remarkable outcomes post-IPO.

Snowflake’s account selection process relied on qualitative data sourced from their sales department. They categorized their accounts based on industry verticals and buyer behavior. They also prioritized alignment across departments — sales ops, field marketing, customer marketing, and sales dev teams — to establish a foundation for cohesive messaging and collaboration. They also implemented resource-intensive, engaging custom landing pages for users, which offered insights for retargeting and SDR follow-up strategies.

As a result, Snowflake experienced:

  • Expanded personalized experiences to over 2,000 top accounts
  • A threefold increase in meeting rates for hyper-aligned one-to-one accounts
  • A notable 50% new opportunity rate with existing customers

Snowflake’s ABM success, driven by qualitative insights, personalized engagement, and robust inter-departmental alignment, serves as a guiding example for businesses seeking to implement a successful ABM strategy.

5. AI-powered retargeting 

Don’t let good leads go to waste! B2B companies can employ AI-driven retargeting strategies to re-engage leads who have shown interest, but not yet converted.

One tool, AdRoll, uses AI for retargeting across various channels, allowing you to reconnect with website visitors and leads through personalized ad campaigns. 

AdRoll has countless customer stories highlighting the impact of AI-driven retargeting. For example, Climb Online, a digital marketing agency, used AdRoll to increase their website traffic and 5x ROAS across all clients.

Climb Online initially ventured into brand awareness campaigns to drive website traffic for retargeting. Thenm, they embraced lookalike targeting to attract new, high-quality customers. This strengthened their appeal to larger clients.

AdRoll’s seamless Shopify integration also helped simplify client onboarding. With over $150,000 invested across eight clients, Climb Online saw substantial returns, including a 34% increase in traffic. 

Like Climb Online, your business can leverage AI-powered retargeting to enhance lead generation results. AI is able to analyze user behavior and preferences, and then personalize content delivery and targeting to drive better leads. Personalization, combined with tailored messaging, increases the likelihood of conversion and nurtures leads through more relevant, timely interactions.

Effective B2B Lead Gen Doesn’t Stop There

At Superhuman Prospecting, we’re in the business of helping B2B companies up-level their lead generation — without the stress of complex campaigns, high ad spend, or massive content volume. We offer tailored and targeted outreach to generate leads and facilitate quality sales conversations. Learn more about our outsourced lead generation, cold calling, and appointment setting services.

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