B2B Lead Generation
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B2B Lead Generation: The Complete Guide

Every B2B business needs high-quality leads to boost sales, increase its customer base and sustain its existence in the market. Lead generation is the strategic process of finding and qualifying leads for b2b sales and marketing teams.

It is crucial in enabling sales and increasing the company’s revenue. Without qualified leads, your sales team will likely spend most of its time attracting and nurturing the wrong people who are talkless of paying for your products or services.

To save time and cost and put your sales team efforts into good use, you need to identify actual leads that need your products or services and have the financial capability and willingness to buy them.

As easy as it looks, finding the right leads can be a lot more challenging than expected. So we have created this guide to take you through the steps and strategies required to generate leads and some effective lead-generation campaigns that you can use to develop and nurture more leads.

Read on!

Table of Contents

  • What is B2B Lead Generation?
  • What Are the Benefits of B2B Lead Generation?
  • B2B Lead Generation Process
  • Types of B2B Lead Generations
  • Lead Generation Strategies: Social Media Marketing
  • Lead Generation Strategies: Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing
  • Lead Generation Strategies: Blogging
  • Lead Generation Strategies: Email Marketing
  • B2B Lead Generation Best Practices

What is B2B Lead Generation?

b2b lead generation process

B2B lead generation is finding and bringing prospective customers to your organization. B2B marketers usually conduct it to identify and initiate an interest of potential customers. An important factor about B2B lead generation is that the leads must be potential buyers who should more likely get benefitted from your business.

Lead generation is the first step every success-driven business must go through before making a sale. When you find your target audience, you can pique their interest by collecting their information and pushing them into the initial stages of your sales funnel, and nurturing them to convert them into paying customers.

The types of leads you generate will depend on the campaign and marketing platform you use. Usually, most B2B companies have different criteria set for how they evaluate a marketing-qualified lead and a sales-qualified lead. It varies based on the specific area or niche their business operates in.

What Are the Benefits of B2B Lead Generation?

types of b2b lead generations

Developing and implementing effective B2B lead generation strategies is crucial to the overall success of every sales team. Some of the other significant benefits of B2B lead generation include,

1. It Builds Brand Awareness

Most lead generation tactics consist of brand promotional campaigns and efforts that can significantly build your brand visibility and help you create a good reputation.

Since many people prefer to shop with brands they know and trust, businesses can leverage lead-generation campaigns on social media and blogs to help them be more aware of your brand and make it trustworthy.

2. It Benefits Buyers and Sellers

B2B lead generation serves the needs of both parties involved in sales – the buyer and seller. As a result, sellers can create more awareness for their products, service, and brand and capture more people’s attention.

In contrast, buyers also access all the critical information they need to understand their problems better, the best ways to resolve them and make meaningful decisions. For this reason, you must ensure that your lead generation campaigns keep the prospect’s needs at the core.

3. It Increases Sales Opportunities

B2B lead generation revolves around building sustainable business relationships with prospects and existing customers.

When you show that your business is the perfect solution for all your prospect’s pain points, they are more likely to consider buying your product or service. This increases sales opportunities and revenue for your organization.

4. It Drives High-Quality Leads

The lead generation process can be very challenging, especially when you are yet to define your target audience.

This is where lead qualification comes in. B2B lead generation and qualification allows you to use proven and effective tactics to find and qualify leads. This way, your sales team can work with high-quality leads that are more likely to make a purchase.

5. It helps you learn more about your target audience

Developing and implementing lead-generation campaigns can help you gain a lot of information about your target audience – their pain points, needs, goals, and interests. You can better understand your target audience’s needs with all this information.

You can ask the right questions that help you understand and develop the best ways to solve their problems and improve your marketing message and content. To improve this, you can leverage social media and analytics tools to gather and analyze your target customer’s data better.

6. It Appeals to Your Target Audience

People don’t like being advertised to or compelled to buy a product or service. Instead of hard selling your product or service to your prospects from the onset, you can add value to them with customized content and marketing messages. Using this method, you can create awareness about your product or service and persuade them to buy them.

7. It is more Affordable Than Advertising

Advertising and marketing efforts can be expensive and burn your organization’s revenue gradually. Be it online or offline advertising methods, you could still find yourself spending hundreds or thousands, or even millions of dollars, depending on the size and needs of your business. Aside from social media or native advertising methods, it can equally be expensive to run and strain your business goals.

However, with lead generation, you can find lead, build relationships with them, and educate them using well-defined lead generation tactics. Depending on the type of ad you run, you only pay for a type of ad once, which will never be sufficient for your prospects to make the buying decision.

 8. It Boosts Revenue

Unlike outbound marketing strategy, inbound lead generation strategy persuades your prospects to consider your business instead of pushing them away. Driving organic traffic to your website, and social media page increases your sales exponentially.

Importantly for a team with limited salesforce, lead generation helps you drive thousands of leads within a short period. Additionally, you make more sales by automating your sales process, ultimately increasing your business revenue.

B2B Lead Generation Process

b2b lead generation strategy

Although it is a crucial part of the sales process, so much goes into the process to get the best out of the lead generation process.

Step 1: Finding the suitable B2B Sales leads

This first step involves finding the contact information of the prospective customers. You can’t understand how to target high-value leads without the correct information.

Hence, sales and marketing teams decide on the best way to generate leads by either sourcing for it in-house, buying it from a lead database (not advisable for B2B lead generation), or generating by a third-party lead generation company.

Step 2: Contacting the lead

After gathering and compiling all the necessary information about your leads, the next important step is to reach out to the leads using cold email or phone call outreach, social media, or simply responding to inquiries.

Step 3: Qualifying and prospecting for high-quality leads

It is not enough to reach out to the leads. Sales reps must also be proactive by measuring the possibility of the leads turning into paying customers. Although the most straightforward way to achieve this is by analyzing their response, interests, and budgets, sales reps can take this a step forward by using the following tactics:

  1. Research & awareness: This is the stage where prospective customers become aware of the solutions to their problems and seek more information about them. The Awareness stage is when they read and download different content, such as blogs, whitepapers, case studies, etc., to find solutions to their pain points.
  2. Consideration: This is the stage where the prospect becomes more determined to solve their problem by finding a product or service that offers solutions to their problems and begins to be receptive to these vendors.
  3. Decision: This is the stage where they begin to filter through the different vendors that match their needs and set up meetings to make a decision.

Based on the interaction that takes place between a sales rep and the prospects, you can determine which stage the prospects are currently in, develop the right strategies to nurture them and, possibly, close the deal.

Step 4: Close the deal

The final stage is to close the deal. Finally, after meeting with your prospects, you should have successfully convinced your prospects to choose you over your competitors. Once they feel convinced that your product or service can solve their needs, they make a purchase, and you get to close the deal. After this, you can transfer them to customer success for onboarding.

Types of B2B Lead Generations

There are two main types of B2b lead generation methods – online and offline.

1. Online B2B lead generation

b2b lead generation ideas

Online B2B lead generation uses digital marketing methods and tactics to find and qualify b2b leads. Some of the prominent online tactics include the following:

1. Content Marketing is creating high-quality content and tailoring it to meet the needs of your target audience. This tactic helps you appear as a trustworthy brand leader, a reliable source of information, and keep your brand at the top of their minds.

2. Email marketing involves sending promotional emails to nurture leads by building relationships with them over time. Unlike spam, these emails should be helpful, offer advice, cover a new subject, and contain valuable resources without being intrusive.

3. SEO: Search engine optimization (SEO) is optimizing your website and web content for online visibility on search engines. It involves generating relevant, high-quality organic traffic from search engines to your site.

Using SEO strategies, you can create blogs and other content and include long-tail keywords to help your site become more visible on search engines and help more prospective customers find you online. The key to a successful SEO strategy is to keep track of your competitor’s search volume and organic traffic and decide on the keywords to target.

4. PPC: Pay-per-click advertising involves targeting key terms or phrases in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Safari, and Bing to promote your product or service to your potential customers. Unlike SEO, which is unpaid, you pay when someone clicks on your advert on search engines.

Many businesses use PPC to make their site more visible and easily accessible to prospective customers. According to Google, companies earn average revenue of $2 for every $1 they spend on PPC ads.

5. Social media marketing: This new kid in the block has grown to be a powerful force in the marketing space. Social media lead generation involves using social media channels to be available where your customer is and show them your approachable, human side.

B2B marketers use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., to build personal relationships with their target audience with relevant and highly engaging posts.

2. Offline B2B lead generation

email marketing b2b lead generation

Offline B2b lead generation uses traditional marketing methods to find and qualify b2b leads. Some of the prominent offline tactics include the following:

1. Event marketing refers to planning and organizing an event to promote a brand, product, or service. Although event marketing can come in different sizes and styles depending on the size and policy of the business, they all leverage the power of face-to-face meetings with prospects and existing customers to increase sales.

2. Networking: This business model relies on person-to-person sales and the power of having a solid contact network to find and interact with prospective customers. It would be best if you hopped on every opportunity you get to meet new potential customers and build relationships with them.

3. Event sponsorship: This allows sponsors to offer their investment to companies in exchange for marketing their event. Meeting many people and introducing your product, service, or brand is easy.

Events vary from company to company and it would be more feasible if you go with a suitable package and budget that suits your business.

4. Direct mail marketing: This is a marketing strategy that involves sending physical letters, packages, mailers, postcards, or brochures to prospective customers’ home mailboxes.

Although the popularity of this marketing strategy has changed over the years, you can reach out and connect with prospects more personally and effectively than through email marketing.

5. Print advertising: This is a form of marketing that hands out physically printed marketing materials, such as brochures, magazines, white papers, flyers, etc., to prospects to introduce your brand, products, or service to them, increase brand awareness and get them to consider your brand over your competitors.

6. Outbound calls: These are calls made by sales agents to prospects to find if they have any need for your product or service. It includes telemarketing, cold calling, customer service calls, marketing calls, marketing research, post-sale follow-up calls, customer surveys, etc.

Though outbound calls had been a go-to lead generation method for many B2B marketers, the process can be challenging and results can be unpredictable as the leads are primarily unsolicited.

Lead Generation Strategies: Social Media Marketing

b2b lead generation tactics

Social media marketing refers to using social media channels to reach target audiences, drive them to your website and enhance sales. It is a crucial aspect of B2B marketing and less expensive than traditional advertising costs. According to HubSpot research, 44% of marketers identified social media as their best channel for getting new customers.

It is an essential channel for top-of-the-funnel awareness. Although many other digital channels can help you gain higher conversion rates than social media, keeping your brand at the top of your potential customer’s minds is crucial.

b2b lead generation platform

An effective way to improve conversion rate using social media is by creating helpful content with lead capture forms. This way, you gain new leads as more people download your content. The two most important social media channels to focus on includes:

  1. Facebook Ads
  2. LinkedIn Ads

Facebook Ads

b2b lead generation software

One of the surefire ways to generate qualified leads for your business is to run lead-generation campaigns on Facebook and Instagram using your Facebook page, Ads Manager or Meta Business. These ads are helpful when you want to target right prospects who are most likely to be interested in your products and services and persuade them to sign up/ fill out a form to get the latest updates from your business.

These ads allow prospects to sign up for your business offerings via a mobile interface. These ads are designed to target your specific audience and are highly customizable. Using Facebook, customers can sign up for these offers in just two taps without leaving Facebook. Remember that although Facebook leads ads are effective and can help you navigate your mobile shift, they are not meant to replace landing pages.

While running Facebook ads can help you capture leads on Facebook and Instagram, you still have other channels, like your landing pages can help you capture leads from organic search engine results and PPC.

LinkedIn Ads

best b2b lead generation

Over the years, LinkedIn has gained more popularity among B2B marketers. LinkedIn ads are mainly used to generate quality leads for your business and leverage professional demographic data to target the right audience based on title, industry, company name, location and many more.

Aside from capturing leads, LinkedIn ads help you retarget prospects based on their interests, connect with them and build account-based ad campaigns. Although running LinkedIn ads can help you increase your engagement rates and overall campaign success, you should still adhere to the following tips to increase the success rates of your LinkedIn ads.

  1. Always target your audience based on buyer persona.
  2. Ensure that your ads have a newsworthy, topical angle.
  3. Continuously test your copy, CTAs, and images.

To increase your campaign’s success, you should share testimonials or case studies in your LinkedIn ads to help your potential customers see and connect with the network of people you have already helped.

Tips for Running Successful Social Media Lead Generation Campaigns

Below are three crucial tips to consider while running successful social media lead-generation campaigns.

  1. Always use the proper CTA.
  2. Offer something to your customers before requesting their information. Consider using marketing collaterals such as printed brochures, ebooks, newsletters, graphics, and so many others.
  3. Use scarcity and exclusivity

Lead Generation Strategies: Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing

what is b2b lead generation

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) lead generation creates leads using pay-per-click advertising – placing ads on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Although it is relatively new to the marketing field, PPC lead campaigns can help you create highly targeted ads to drive leads that convert.

b2b lead generation tool

This form of advertising uses a wide range of paid platforms such as Google AdWords and Display Network. Aside from Google, you can also use affiliate marketing, customer referral program, social media advertising, trade media display ads, and B2B review directories or comparison.

Although many unpaid and effective lead-generation strategies can help you drive high-value traffic and increase your site visitors, you should not ignore PPC campaigns. They can help you gain a competitive advantage.

Tips For Running Successful PPC Lead Generation Campaigns

Below are crucial tips to consider for running successful PPC lead-generation campaigns.

  1. Be available where your audience is.
  2. Set up proper tracking for your ads.
  3. Create a unique landing page with compelling copy and visuals.
  4. Be specific in your campaigns and Ad groups.
  5. Insert your lead capture form in your PPC ads.
  6. Present compelling offers that they can’t reject.
  7. Always target keywords with purchase intent
  8. Use negative keywords.

Lead Generation Strategies: Blogging

b2b lead generation tips

Blogging is a crucial aspect of content marketing strategy and has become an effective way for companies and B2B marketers to generate high-quality leads. Blogging involves creating valuable and engaging content to gain the attention of your defined target audience. Although your leads are less likely to take action by reading your blogs, you need to push them to take action by encouraging them to fill out a form to read more or subscribe to your newsletters.

ppc b2b lead generation

Other effective tactics that you can consider to drive your reader’s actions include adding compelling calls to action (CTAs) in the blog pots, offering content upgrades and freebies, using interactive content, hosting giveaways, and installing lead magnets. However, regardless of your lead-capturing tactics, you must ensure that you attract and sustain the online engagement of your readers and blog visitors from start to finish.

The three key benefits of blogging include the following:

  1. It increases the chances of making repeat business.
  2. It helps you drive traffic to your site
  3. It helps to convert your web traffic to leads.

Essentially, blogging can help you achieve surmountable success. According to Databox research, blogging is 72.5% more effective at generating leads than any other channel.

Best Type of Blog Content for Lead Generation Campaigns

social media b2b lead generation

Below are the best types of content that you should consider in your blogs:

  1. Opinionated pieces.
  2. Authoritative posts
  3. How-tos.
  4. Original reserach posts.
  5. Infographics
  6. Trending topics
  7. Videos.

Tips for Running Successful Blogging Lead Generation Campaigns

Below are crucial tips to consider to run successful blogging lead-generation campaigns.

  1. Choose unique blog topics
  2. Create helpful content
  3. Create unique content for each stage of the funnel.
  4. Create valuable lead magnets.
  5. Offer content upgrades and exclusive gated content.
  6. Work with your sales team to find and access important information about your audience.
  7. Don’t go overboard with the keywords you use.
  8. Finally, use enticing options

Lead Generation Strategies: Email Marketing

blogging b2b lead generation

Email lead generation is a process of generating high-quality leads using email marketing channels and opt-in forms. Email marketing is one of the best ways to generate leads, increase customer engagement, and increase sales. Research suggests that email marketing campaigns bring in a revenue of $42 for every $1 spent, making it a highly effective channel for your lead generation campaigns.

Email lead generation involves collecting and gathering information about potential customers, such as their names, email addresses, and phone numbers. Beyond generating leads, an email lead generation strategy also includes nurturing and transforming the collected leads into paying customers.

Factors Affecting Email Marketing Conversion

Although email lead generation is highly effective in helping you gain high-quality leads, many factors still influence optimum performance. These factors include the following:

  1. Landing pages
  2. Value offers
  3. Email subject lines
  4. Email Segmentation
  5. Analytics

Tips for Running Successful Email Lead Generation Campaigns

Below are crucial tips to consider to run successful email lead-generation campaigns.

  1. Identify your target audience.
  2. Create a compelling offer.
  3. Create short, engaging, and catchy emails.
  4. Add attention-grabbing subject lines.
  5. Create click-worthy CTAs.
  6. Set up automated campaigns.
  7. Leverage social media
  8. Create personalized and helpful content to keep your subscribers engaged.
  9. Avoid using “no reply” email addresses.
  10. Finally, always ensure that you optimize your email for mobile interfaces.

B2B Lead Generation Best Practices

We explained B2B lead generation, its benefits, types, and process, and discussed the four most crucial strategies. For the final touch, we will also share some of the best practices you should adhere to when running your lead generation campaigns to get the best results. These include the following:

1. Define your target audience

The first and most crucial step before running your lead generation campaigns is to know your buyer personas and possibly segment them into different groups based on their job titles, industry, needs, goals, interests, and other important sectors relevant to your business and marketing needs.

2. Use multiple lead channels

As stated above, there are many online and offline marketing channels that you can use to generate quality leads.

The popular channels are social media, emails, PPC, SEO, and many others. Don’t be fixated on using one channel. For example, if you already use email marketing channels, you can use social media to boost results for your email campaigns.

3. Create lead magnets

To capture more leads easily with any form of resistance from the leads, consider using helpful content or offers that interest your target audience. The best technique for your lead magnets includes social proof, urgency, exclusivity, authority, clearly stated benefits, and immediate gratification.

4. Capture the right information

The goal of creating lead generation campaigns is to find and nurture sales-qualified leads. Thus it’s crucial to capture the correct information to support your sales growth. The crucial information to collect from your prospects is their names, email addresses and phone numbers. You can ask for more data as they travel down the sales pipeline.

5. Be consistent with your blogging

Blogs are crucial to drive organic traffic to your site. Hence, ensure that you create helpful, trendy, topical, and how-to content that increases your visibility on search engines, brand awareness, and authority as a reliable source for highly resourceful and valuable content.

6. Add an opt-in pop-up tool to your site.

Opt-in pop-up captures leads that appear on your site, either by prompting them to subscribe to your blogs or newsletter content.

You can also share discount codes, digital downloads, and exciting offers when your visitors sign up for your newsletters or blogs. Consider adding exit-determining triggers so the pop-ups appear when it senses your visitors are about to leave your site.

7. Integrate SEO and PPC

As stated earlier, PPC advertising is a highly effective marketing strategy that can increase site visibility on search engines and help them find more information on your site. However, it should not be used in isolation.

Aside from that, it can be costly, it doesn’t show your site’s credibility, and more people are less likely to click on links that clearly show they are ads. Integrating SEO into it boosts your site’s credibility and increases your campaign’s success.

8. Closely monitor your competitors.

There is a high tendency for sales teams to feel relaxed and comfortable with just tracking their conversion rates on a month-on-month basis. Instead, you should monitor your competitor’s conversion rates to determine your success.

9. Use automation tools

Sales teams have many daily tasks that can overwhelm them, reducing their sales performance.

Using an automation tool saves time working on manual and repetitive tasks, giving them more time to work on more demanding tasks. Automation tools can eliminate manual efforts and boost your team’s performance.

10. Optimize campaigns for the mobile interface

If you are not already leveraging mobile marketing for your campaigns, there’s no better time to do that than now.

Many buyers have smartphones and are more likely to interact with your campaigns using their smartphones. Hence, you must ensure that your emails, forms, website, blog, and ads are optimized for mobile interfaces.

Bonus Tip: Always personalize your campaign

People generally don’t love to be sold to. The worst case is when it comes from a total stranger. Imagine someone randomly popping into your email to tell you to buy a product. Sounds creepy right? This is why you need personalization.

Ideally, in B2B marketing, you would have researched the target audience. Then, leverage all this information to make them more receptive to your messages. You can do this in the following ways:

  1. Address your leads by their names instead of using generic words.
  2. Understand your leads better to customize your demos
  3. Consider creating and managing personalized data with a CRM tool to improve customer relationships.

Personalizing your communications and marketing campaigns is the key to better client interactions. By leveraging personalizations, you can win your audience’s interest faster and have higher chances of converting them.


Generating B2B sales leads and increasing sales is challenging but rewarding. While you might think the core of b2b lead generation is identifying qualified leads, it goes beyond this as you would have to manage lead qualification, lead nurturing, and a series of back and forths before finally closing the sale. This is where this blog comes in.

We have covered the definition of lead generation, its benefits, the B2B lead generation process, types of b2b lead gen, popular marketing strategies, and best practices to consider when running your lead generation campaigns.