How to Take Charge of Your B2B Lead Generation

B2B Lead GenerationAt a conference recently we were talking about the age old question of how to generate new leads for our businesses. Regardless of your industry or market, you’re always on the hunt for new prospects and leads. They’re the lifeblood of every business, and of your B2B business. In fact, lead generation can be a little more tricky in the B2B market, since your prospects aren’t always an obvious group like in B2C. However, if you’ve done your market research, you know exactly who your market is, so then it becomes a matter of getting your content out to them.

Aside from doing that research, are there other things you could be doing to manage your B2B lead generation better? Any tactics or ideas that would help you streamline your process and get your pipeline filled with a constant stream of leads? Here are 6 ways to take charge of your B2B lead generation.

1. Find the right combination of new and old.
Successful B2B technology companies have been able to combine new ideas with old ones in their products and services, so doing the same with your marketing tactics makes sense. Just because something’s new doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. In fact, using the new technology to do an “old” thing might just be the best thing for you. A Twitter client like Buffer can help you schedule all your social media messages at once; a social media platform like Hootsuite or Sprout Social let you do that and more. Want another way to combine the new and old? Use some B2C marketing tactics in your B2B marketing.

Attract more B2B leads with honey2. Attract more prospects with honey
We’re bombarded by sales messages all the time, even more so in the B2B market. Produce some non-salesy marketing content and you’ll see how your prospects will appreciate it. They’ll look forward to your content, and you start building a relationship with them. That’s what you want to be doing, creating relationships. So treat your leads and prospects like people and turn off the sales message for a while. You might be surprised at the reaction.

3. Does your brand have a face?

I’m not talking literally, but does it have a personality? Having personality makes you more memorable, so see how you can incorporate that into your B2B content. B2B products and services don’t always lend themselves to personalization like this, but it will pay off for you if you can. For example, remember those PC vs Mac ads? By putting a face and personality to the two sides, Apple was able to inject some humor into the campaign…so much so that I’m still talking about it now.

  • Try getting one of your corporate trainers to read through your latest How To blog post and then publish the video on your site.
  • Create a “typical” buyer persona and have that persona write a “Dear Abby” type of letter. Then answer all the questions to show how your product solves his issue.

STOP Collaborate and Listen4. Stop, collaborate, and listen
I was talking about this recently with another B2B marketer, as we were both surprised at how less “social” social media had become. Marketers were using it as another broadcast platform, instead of what it was originally designed for: creating connections. Stop just talking “at” your fans and prospects, and start listening. You’d be surprised at how often they’ll do the same for you.

5. Analyze your leads
It’s great that you can pull in all sorts of leads, but if you’re not converting them, there’s no point. Do you know which lead tactics are working for you? Once you know what is working for you, do more of that. Drop something that’s not working and save your time and money. Remember, “likes” aren’t always leads.

6. Nurture your leads, don’t hammer them into oblivion
Not all leads are ready to be converted into a customer, so don’t force it. Make sure you’re only passing qualified and ready leads to your Sales department. But how do you figure out if they’re ready? Well, lead nurturing is a topic all unto itself, so Marketo has created a great Lead Nurturing cheat sheet you can use for this.

What else are you doing for B2B lead generation in your business? What’s working for you?

One Comment

David Cheng August 30, 2013

We’re actively doing “2. Attract more prospects with honey” right now and would love your thoughts. I think my colleague Andrew is working with you on this.

One other thing: we learned from our own content marketing that the best content is actually helpful and may not drive leads, but only brand awareness, which is still pretty valuable. See: