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Lead Generation & Research

What Is a B2B Lead Generation Strategy?

The fact that keeping their pipelines topped off with decent leads is helpful for conversion and revenue is known to all companies. Yet, there are still B2B organizations that fail to funnel all their efforts into a single, well-thought lead generation strategy.

Getting the attention of the people who can potentially get interested in the product or service and attracting them to buy is a never-ending process for successful companies. For B2B and B2C companies alike, it is impossible to grow your customer base and revenue. Let’s examine B2B lead generation services used for making a strategy closer.

What is a B2B lead generation strategy and why is it important?

All business leaders know what lead generation is and what key B2B lead generation methods are available. But random actions directed at identifying prospective leads aren’t a strategy yet. Only a long-term goal and a plan on how to achieve it shape a strategy.

Key methods for keeping your pipeline full include:

  • SEO-friendly texts on the company’s website, blog, and social media accounts;
  • landing pages (as lead magnets to drive traffic to the website);
  • cold email outreach & cold calls;
  • webinars or live events;
  • referrals & networking;
  • search engine marketing (SEO, paid search, ads).

And each activity and method from the list responds to the place leads occupy in the sales cycle. Initially, a potential customer can learn about the company’s product or service from podcasts, tradeshows, webinars, or a social media post. Then, warm leads that have already exhibited interest get included in email sequences. If a purchase decision is not ripe yet, the leads are retargeted through paid ads and further nurtured into meetings and deal closing.

Lead generation is essential for the world of B2B sales because high-ticket selling takes longer than B2C, and potential customers need a period of courting, so to say, to make sure that the product or service is effective for their specific issues.

That’s why the product’s Ideal Customer Profiles and the key sources of qualified leads must be figured out before any other pieces of the lead generation puzzle fall into place. Matching prospects against ICPs will help find the best-fit leads. Having access to productive sources of leads will provide an endless stream of leads. 

Good business lead data in B2B lead generation

To attract leads, you need to find them first. So, collecting important B2B data is Step No. 1. B2B data, also known as lead data, is vital information concerning a potential customer (lead), such as the person’s name, email address, company name, and job title.

The quality of B2B data determines how fast a company’s sales team will start prospecting and nurturing. It’s impossible to go into the nurture stage with poor-quality data as sales reps won’t be able to find qualified leads or cannot establish proper contact with leads that have no email address or phone number. For example, if an SDR has only the lead’s name, job title, and no email address, it will take longer to identify the lead’s company and ways to establish the contact. If the data is inaccurate and the lead is not a decision-maker as the SDR expects, the valuable time again is wasted, and no positive outcome is achieved.

When buying lead lists from third-party vendors, your team should understand how business-to-business leads can influence your performance. Ensure the lead data you buy is fresh, complete, and accurate. This is why it is so important to partner only with a trusted B2B lead generation company such as Belkins.

Should you choose an outbound or inbound lead generation strategy?

When capturing leads in their sales pipelines, each business creates a useful combination of inbound and outbound strategies.

As the name suggests, sales reps resort to an outbound strategy when they reach out to prospective leads through cold emails, LinkedIn outreach, and telephone calls and try to interest them in the product or service.

An inbound lead generation strategy implies that the company’s content or product draws leads in. Leads warm up on their own and get in touch with sales reps. They read posts and articles, explore case studies and white papers on the website, and sign up for webinars and free trials. In B2B inbound, reps reach out to leads only after they leave their contact data in lead forms or use other ways to indicate their interest to have a conversation.

How to develop a strategy for a B2B lead generation process?

Although each B2B company has its own bundle of lead generation activities, the overall process may include the following.

Step 1. Setting a goal. Goal setting gets the entire team on the same page and helps team members to align their actions. A defined goal and clear deadlines are helpful, too.  

Step 2. Gathering data. Before the team starts looking for leads, each team member must clearly understand what they are looking for. Analyze the company’s past deals and use the information for mapping Ideal Customer Profiles.

Step 3. Sourcing leads. When the team knows who the leads are, they will understand how to find them. Some leads are better to be reached out through social media or emails, while others can be captured through SEO-friendly useful content and an inbound lead generation strategy.

Step 4. Using AI for personalization. For any lead gen activities, AI-powered insights are useful. Sales development outreach needs tweaking and adjusting for every segment of your email sequence. Each written piece on social media and the website should appeal to some of the company’s buyer personas.

Step 5. Including automation software. At least 30% to 40% of office tedious tasks can and should be automated. This general idea largely means B2B sales teams can use lead generation tools for various activities, from sales development to cold email blasts to the sales process.

Step 6. Assigning each lead gen activity. In small B2B companies, a single SDR can be in charge of the entire lead generation process. In larger organizations, the sales cycle is divided between each member of the sales team. Some businesses outsource such services to B2B lead generation companies

As a result, a company gets a team of sales reps where each member is in charge of a strand of the sales development strategy. At that, the overall strategy keeps all the members working together and creating cohesive narratives for potential customers.

Choosing among B2B lead generation companies

Many companies don’t have the salesforce to set up an endless flow of qualified business leads and have high sales closed rates. Either their sales team are terrific closers who are eager to have more leads, or the reps spend a lot of time nurturing leads, and their conversion rate is low.

Outsourcing B2B lead generation to third-party companies will create a consistent and predictable pipeline of leads. What is the most important when looking to outsource B2B lead generation? Here are our top 5 aligning strategy tips.

  • Check out the company’s background. Research the company to find out how they operate, what industries they worked in, and what their testimonials reveal about them. Check out their reviews and references.
  • Clarify their methodology. Check out their workflows and ask how they approach each stage of the buyer’s journey. How do they gather lead information? Do they use scripts in email sequences? How have they organized their pipeline?
  • Negotiate only with the providers who offer test leads. Even 5 to 10 free leads will allow you to see if your emails bounce back or get a negative response, which means the lead data is stale.
  • Make sure the vendor cares about you. It’s possible to generate high-quality leads only if the vendor knows your product or service and the value of your offer.
  • Map out lead qualification and appointment scheduling. Qualifying leads is an important part of sales development. You must be sure that the prospects you get are of top quality. Appointment setting is often the last step before handing over the leads to the buyer’s closers.

How to set up your own strategy for generating pipelines?

Streamlining all your prospecting and nurturing efforts into a unified strategy is an efficient move towards more loyal customers and better revenues. If you have had an internal staff doing the sales cycle and are now perplexed at how to implement a new strategy, consider outsourcing the entire process from lead research to appointment setting.

That way, your team will focus only on closing. Try professional B2B lead generation with Belkins, and your reps will have a constant flow of leads to convert into sales.