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10 B2B Lead Generation Strategies

Written by:

Victoria Yu is a Business Writer with expertise in Business Organization, Marketing, and Sales, holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business.

Edited by:

Sallie, holding a Ph.D. from Walden University, is an experienced writing coach and editor with a background in marketing. She has served roles in corporate communications and taught at institutions like the University of Florida.

10 B2B Lead Generation Strategies

10 B2B Lead Generation Strategies

If your company operates in a B2B environment, that means you naturally have fewer leads to target than a B2C company. With such a small pool of potential customers, you already have your work cut out for you when it comes to attracting qualified leads.

Once your business has targeted its most obvious customers, you might find yourself at a loss when it comes to strategizing new plans for attracting more leads. But don’t worry. Well aware of the challenges you might be facing, we created this guide tol walk you through 10 of the most effective lead generation strategies for B2B companies that are designed to help you strengthen your business’s sales funnel.

Key Takeaways

  • B2B lead generation strategies are important because they help a business create more consistent sales, thereby enabling the building of a strong brand reputation in an increasingly competitive sales environment.

  • Before you start your B2B lead generation campaigns, it’s important to create ideal customer profiles and buyer personas to determine your target audience.

  • To attract more leads, some lead generation campaigns you could employ include content marketing, social media marketing, influencer marketing, and email marketing.

  • Some other lead generation strategies you could employ include publicizing your reviews and testimonials, improving your website, creating landing pages, attending in-person events, and selling to former customers.

Why Is Lead Generation Important?

First of all, what is the point of going out of your way to generate more leads? If a customer needs your product or service, can’t you just trust them to come to you? 

Well, there are two issues with waiting for customers to come to you. The first issue is that the wait could easily turn into a lack of growth for your company, and the second issue is that without widespread awareness among potential clients, you could possibly be waiting forever. 

With the two issues mentioned above in mind, let’s look at how lead generation strategies can work to effectively solve these issues by creating more consistent sales while driving brand awareness.

Creates Consistent Sales

The problem with customer-driven sales is that if customers decide not to patronize your business for whatever reason—perhaps they found a better deal elsewhere or a market downturn dried up their budget—your business would quickly lose all of its business and go under. 

If you want to maintain, expand, and grow your business at a consistent rate, you will need to find a way to create a steady stream of leads without relying on the whims of the market.

Drives Brand Awareness

Since the internet came along, buyers have become spoiled with choices when it comes to sellers in their industry. That means that sellers such as your own B2B company now have to work harder to stand out from the crowd while proving to potential customers that you’re the best choice for their needs. 

To help you drive brand awareness, lead generation strategies can enable a business to take the first step in proactively discovering, reaching out to, and selling to leads. Though not all of these strategies will result in converting leads to customers, strategic, consistent, and extensively applied lead generation tactics will spread your business’s name out into the world and net you more customers overall.

Because it is better for businesses to utilize lead generation strategies than not to utilize them, let’s look at the 10 most effective ways to generate new leads for your B2B company.

Before You Start: Create Ideal Customer Profiles

Since it would be a mistake to put the cart before the horse, before you get to work on learning and using lead generation strategies, the first step is to paint a picture of your preferred customer or client. Before reaching out to bring in more leads, you need to consider who you are targeting. Who is your target audience, and what is the exact type of potential customers (leads) you are hoping to attract? In other words, you need to understand your company’s ideal customer, and you need to create an ideal customer profile (ICP).

Identifying key traits that signal your highest-value customers, such as firm size, industry, growth rate, and pain points, will help you create lead generation strategies and materials that directly appeal to buyers who fit the profile. 

You could also go one step further and create a buyer persona, which is a semi-fictional representation of your ICP, created using the data you gathered for your ICP, and given a unique personality and backstory. While buyer personas are generally used more by B2C companies, they’re also helpful for B2B companies looking to target specific people and job titles in the targeted companies.

For example, while your ICP could be a company of over 5,000 employees with a revenue of $2 million annually, your buyer persona could be a chief sales officer named Deborah whose goal is to increase the sales department’s conversion rates by at least 20% in the next year. 

With an ICP and buyer persona in mind, your marketing and sales teams will be more equipped to identify the ideal customers for your business and will be better enabled to create meaningful content that will appeal to the most qualified leads.

Content Marketing

Rather than simply asking potential customers for a sale, one of the best ways to generate leads for your company is through content marketing, where your business creates engaging, helpful online material to attract traffic to your website. 

Some examples of content you could provide include white papers, e-books, video guides, data reports, case studies, research, and templates for your website visitors to use. In particular, we’d recommend focusing on rich media content, such as videos or interactive tools, that will leave a deeper impression on their viewers.

By building a strong, reputable name for your business, word of your company’s trustworthiness, authority, and high-quality service will spread throughout your market, naturally drawing in more potential leads to your company. 

The Content Marketing Institute claims that the top three goals B2B marketers have achieved through content marketing are creating brand awareness, building credibility and trust, and educating their audiences. If you’re currently struggling with one of these three key areas of lead generation, content marketing should be a priority for you.

Social Media Marketing

While you might be thinking that social media marketing is for B2C companies, and that social media platforms are made mostly for consumers and, therefore, are not meant for business. You might be wondering why your B2B company should even consider using social media in your marketing efforts.

Though most of the popular social media platforms cater to consumers, some social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, focus on cultivating professional and business relationships. By focusing your efforts on industry-focused social media platforms and online spaces, you can effectively connect with other sellers and buyers in your industry and discover new sales opportunities.

Which social media platform should you leverage, though? According to the Content Marketing Institute, the most popular paid social media platforms for B2B content marketers in 2023 were:

  • LinkedIn (78%)
  • Facebook (56%)
  • Instagram (29%)

Of these platforms, LinkedIn advertising was rated the most effective (93%), so we’d suggest you start your social media marketing campaign there to begin with.

Beyond simply networking and prospecting, you could also implement your content marketing strategy through social media to build a reputation in your industry space.

Publicize Reviews and Testimonials

According to the social proof principle, a person’s opinion and decision are influenced, a lot, by the opinions and decisions of other people. In other words, when faced with a decision, a potential customer will trust the judgment of previous customers and base their own decision on others’ reviews.

Because of this, a crucial part of your B2B lead generation strategy should be to promote and publicize any honest, glowing reviews, testimonials, and endorsements that previous customers have left of your business. Display these prominently on all of your lead generation channels, such as your website and social media pages.

If a potential lead is on the fence about contacting your business, seeing stellar reviews will convince the reader that your company can deliver on its promises. Potential buyers will be more likely to overcome their hesitancy and reach out to your sales representatives to discuss a potential sale, scoring a new lead for your business.

Influencer Marketing

If you’ve reached the maximum potential of your own company’s organic audience and network, influencer marketing could be a great way to reach a completely new audience, building trust and generating leads aplenty. 

With influencer marketing, your business will sponsor an influencer in your industry — perhaps a trusted subject matter expert or a popular leader — to promote your business or showcase your product to their followers. This ringing endorsement will raise your reputation with that influencer’s audience base and encourage them to consider your company should they ever find a need for your product or services.

Influencer marketing is another lead generation tactic often misunderstood as serving the needs of only B2C companies. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Media Post reported recently that 88% of B2B businesses utilize influencer marketing, with an average return of $6.50 for every $1 spent on it. So, not only is influencer marketing popular in B2B spaces, it’s also quite effective.

To make the most of an influencer marketing campaign, be sure that your selected influencer’s audience matches the ICP you created earlier.

Email Marketing

A tried-and-true lead generation strategy is email marketing. Email marketing allows marketing teams to reach leads anytime and anywhere, making it the all-accessible pinnacle of digital marketing.

According to LinkedIn, email is the top lead communication method for buyers, with over two-thirds (66%) of buyers stating a preference for being contacted by sellers through email. Plus, as emails cost relatively little to compose and send, the return on investment for an email campaign is quite high – $36 for every dollar spent, according to Litmus.

To make the most of your cold email marketing campaign, we recommend taking the time to research each lead and personalize your message, value proposition, and call to action for that lead’s specific needs. With a more targeted approach, you’re bound to get more favorable results.

Improve Your Website

When a customer has a question or need, the first place they’ll likely search for answers is Google. That means that an important part of your lead generation process is to meet potential clients where they are, and that means putting your website front and center, at the top of search engine results pages.

If your marketing team hasn’t spent the time to make an appealing and optimized website for your business, you could be missing out on quite a lot of organic traffic and potential clients.

If you already have a good website and need to optimize it for best search results, you’ll want to boost your search engine optimization (SEO) score. To do this, you will need your site to include headings containing relevant keywords related to your business, such as product offerings and service locations. Most SEO platforms include a research bank to help you with keyword optimization.

You’ll also want to improve your site’s reputation by filling it with valuable content and obtaining backlinks from reputable sites. Your content marketing strategy will do quite a lot of heavy lifting here, from being hosted on your website and sharing your site’s content around the web.

Finally, once your potential lead has arrived at your website, you need to make sure its user interface (UI) is appealing and intuitive so that visitors can freely browse to their heart’s content. Once their interest has been nurtured, they will reach out, and you can begin your sales pitch.

Create Landing Pages

So how exactly does a visitor to your website or viewer of your online content “reach out” to you and become a distinct lead? The answer to that is a landing page, a page on your website that’s designed to receive website visitors from outside sources and collect their information through lead capture forms.

For example, if you ran a paid ad campaign on LinkedIn Ads and Facebook Ads, you would set up your ads so that people who clicked on them would be directed to a specific landing page on your website. Then, by comparing traffic between each landing page, you can determine which marketing campaign was more successful in generating leads.

The landing page’s messaging follows up with the promise made in the original ad and encourages visitors to fill out a lead capture/contact form with their name and address in exchange for useful content, called a lead magnet. With this information, sales reps can reach out to these leads and nurture them to a sale.

To best leverage landing pages, you’ll want to create specific landing pages and lead magnets for each marketing campaign you run, tailored for each buyer persona and pain point you target. You will need to clearly display your call to action or lead capture form to move site visitors down the sales funnel. 

Attend In-Person Events

Post-Covid, in-person events have made a roaring comeback as buyers and sellers are eager to make memorable connections face-to-face. Attending in-person industry events is a great chance for your company to discover elusive leads and network with fellow professionals.

Especially in a B2B space, attending in-person events could put you in contact with high-quality leads and help you engage in meaningful conversations with them. Even if potential prospects have no use for your product or service at the moment, being able to put a face to a business name will increase your chances of being the first to come to mind when the buyer encounters a pain point.

Some events you could consider attending are trade shows, networking events, conferences, product launches, and charity events. Beyond simply attending and mingling with the crowd, you could also make a stronger impression by participating as a speaker, showcasing your professional expertise, and building more of a name for your business.

Look To Your Existing Customers

Our final tip for B2B lead generation is to search for leads from among your previous customers.

Think about it: if a buyer has already bought from you, you can be sure that they already meet your target audience, trust in your brand, and are fully qualified to make a purchase. There’s no need to spend extensive time qualifying and nurturing the potential lead.

In more specific terms on how effective retargeting is, Semrush describes that though the probability of selling to a new customer is only between 5-20%, the probability of selling to existing customers is between 60-70%. That means you gain a lot of profit for considerably less work!

There are two main ways you can sell to previous customers: upselling and cross-selling.

In upselling, your sales reps attempt to convince the customer to upgrade their current solution for a newer model or higher-tier subscription package. This is most effective a few months after a customer has made their purchase, once they’ve had ample time to try out their current product or service and identify areas where it could be improved. By appealing to those unmet needs, sales reps can convince customers to upgrade to a better solution.

In cross-selling, your sales reps promote a product or service related to what the customer bought previously that could enhance their current solution. This is most effective when done before the customer completes their first sale, promoting the cross-sell as a minor add-on to their current purchase. For example, when you select a product you intend to purchase on, the site shows you other products purchased by buyers who selected the same product you selected. Nevertheless, cross-selling is also quite effective post-purchase.

The caveat to selling to your previous customers is that you’ll have to keep in close contact with them post-purchase to determine if they’re satisfied with their purchase. To help you on that front, customer relationship management (CRM) software can track customer interactions and serve as a historical customer database.


What is a B2B lead generation strategy?

B2B lead generation strategies describe how a business-to-business company identifies, attracts, nurtures, and sells to potential business clients and customers. 

Rather than waiting for customers to come to the business, lead generation strategies set up actionable, repeatable, and measurable methods that B2B companies can use to fill their sales funnel with highly qualified leads.

What are some best practices when running B2B lead generation campaigns?

When building your B2B lead generation campaigns, some best practices are to create content to attract qualified leads, designate separate landing pages for each of your ad campaigns, and customize your content to appeal specifically to each customer segment or buyer persona you target.

Once your business begins to attract more leads than your sales team can handle one by one, it would also be helpful to set up a lead scoring system, which assigns numerical points to leads depending on how qualified they are. With a scoring system in place, your sales and marketing teams can quickly communicate an inbound lead’s sales potential and prioritize the most important leads first.

What’s a common pitfall to avoid when making B2B lead generation strategies?

In the course of deploying your B2B lead generation strategies, you’ll likely use several different software systems and tools to help optimize and enhance each strategy, such as marketing automation software, email campaign management software, a CRM system, and more. These all contribute to your marketing and sales teams’ tech stack.

The most common pitfall we see with lead generation campaigns is that companies fail to integrate the information from these software tools together. This creates information silos, greatly reducing the overall flexibility and effectiveness of your lead generation campaigns as data is trapped in separate systems. 

To overcome data silos, we recommend taking inventory of your current tech stack, eliminating unneeded software tools, and integrating your tools together into one host platform. This will help you gain a comprehensive understanding of your B2B lead generation efforts.

What are some other lead generation tactics I could use?

Some other lead generation strategies you could use include affiliate marketing, video marketing, referral programs, and online events. If you have the money, you could also boost your current lead generation methods using paid advertising tools or by investing in designated lead generation software.

How can I measure the effectiveness of my B2B lead generation strategy?

You can measure the success of your B2B lead generation strategies by measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) such as conversion rates, cost per lead (CPL), and return on investment (ROI). Lead generation tools such as marketing automation and CRM software can usually provide you with these live metrics.

If you’re caught between two versions of the same content, you can employ A/B testing to determine which version of a piece, A or B, performs better with your target audiences.

Using these metrics and comparing performance between lead generation methods, you can adjust your business’s strategies accordingly to improve results and hone in on the most optimal lead generation tactics.