By Eric Dickmann

April 24, 2023

B2B Marketing, Lead Generation

B2B lead generation is an essential activity for businesses to ensure they reach the right audience and attract them to buy their products or services. It involves finding the ideal customers for a given business, researching these customers, and then developing engagement strategies. This research can include formulating a target market, using tools such as social media and content marketing, optimizing local listings, leveraging email marketing, and much more. Ultimately, the goal of B2B lead generation is to help companies generate enough interest in their offering that potential customers take concrete steps toward making a purchase.

Approaching B2B lead generation digitally also requires the use of modern tools and technologies such as machine learning algorithms, automation platforms, predictive analytics software, customer relationship management platforms (CRM), artificial intelligence (AI), data-driven insights, web crawling technology, and many other resources available today. All of these technologies will help inform your efforts in B2B lead generation by providing valuable insights into customer behavior. Keeping up with what’s new can be key to successful B2B lead generation since technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace. By staying informed of the latest trends in sales and marketing technology, you can equip your team with the best resources needed to be successful in turning these newly found prospects into paying, loyal customers.

Getting leads can often be challenging if you don't know the proper steps to take. A CMI research study has shown that 85% of marketers put lead generation on top of their priority list; however, 44% of this group rate it neutral when it comes to effectiveness. This article will tackle ten strategies to increase the effectiveness of your lead-generation programs.

B2B Lead Types

B2B leads are people, organizations, or businesses that are prospects to purchase products and services from other companies for business rather than individual use. However, even small businesses may be interested in purchasing from B2B companies, depending on their needs and requirements.

When it comes to qualifying and converting leads in the B2B space, extra effort is required from salespeople and marketers. That is because traditional lead generation tactics usually only lead to contact emails which may not guarantee any response as this address can belong either to a secretary or a customer service representative of the prospective companies. Thus in order to develop an effective sales strategy, one should research their target market thoroughly and find out who makes the purchasing decision within those organizations before they begin reaching out.

Marketing Qualified (MQL) B2B Leads

Marketing qualified leads (MQLs) are those potential customers who could potentially be interested in a company's product or service. They are identified and measured by the marketing team based on set target criteria, such as website subscribers or content downloads. Unlike sales-ready leads, MQLs have shown tentative interest but have not yet been sold on a product or are ready to purchase. Some marketers find that MQLs have already done enough research to know they’re looking for a product and have qualified themselves as ready to speak with a sales representative, while others prefer to put more effort towards nurturing them into making an eventual sale.

MQLs can come from both inbound and outbound special campaigns designed to capture their attention and move them down the lead funnel. As most sales reps don’t have time to pursue passive leads, this is where marketing departments tend to step in first and handle basic customer outreach in order to identify MQLs. Companies often use analytics-backed systems like scoring algorithms and automated workflows aimed at moving MQLs through the process until they reach a point where they interact directly with a rep. Nurturing these ‘warm’ leads can result in higher conversion rates in the long term.

Sales Qualified (SQL) B2B Leads

Sales-qualified leads are an important part of any B2B lead generation strategy. A SQL is an incoming lead that has displayed interest in the company’s product or service and has taken some form of action to engage with sales personnel, such as requesting a demo, calling the sales department, or messaging on social media. With this type of lead demonstrating real-time engagement and interest in a purchase, they should be given higher priority than other types of leads.

Properly screening and nurturing a B2B sales lead can help you better identify when a customer is likely to convert. As a result, your sales reps can quickly focus their efforts on those who are currently showing active intent. Paying attention to these highly valuable prospects will significantly improve your ability to close more deals quicker and maximize efficiency for members of your team.

Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is a process that helps businesses determine the quality of leads they have generated. By assigning a numerical value or score to each lead based on various criteria such as job title, company size, and engagement with marketing content, businesses can prioritize their outreach efforts and focus on leads that are most likely to convert into paying customers. Once a lead reaches a certain score threshold, they are considered a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) and are passed on to the sales team for further qualification. If the sales team determines that the lead is a good fit for the business and is ready to make a purchase, they become a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) and are guided through the sales process. Lead scoring is an effective way to streamline the sales and marketing process and ensure that resources are being used efficiently.

How a Fractional CMO Helps with Lead Generation

A fractional CMO is a part-time or contract Chief Marketing Officer who works with a company on a temporary basis. Fractional CMOs provide strategic marketing guidance and leadership to businesses without the need for a full-time executive. They help companies create and execute effective marketing strategies, manage marketing budgets, and oversee marketing teams. Fractional CMOs are a cost-effective solution for small and medium-sized businesses that may not have the resources for a full-time CMO but still require high-level marketing expertise. They can also provide a fresh perspective and bring new ideas to a company's marketing efforts.

A fractional CMO can help a company create a B2B lead generation strategy in several ways. First, they can conduct market research to understand the target audience and identify the most effective channels for reaching them. They can also develop a messaging strategy that resonates with the target audience and creates a sense of urgency. Additionally, a fractional CMO can help create a content marketing plan that provides valuable information to potential customers and positions the company as a thought leader in their industry. They can also manage and optimize digital marketing campaigns, including search engine optimization, social media advertising, and email marketing. Ultimately, a fractional CMO can help a company generate quality leads and increase revenue by developing and executing a comprehensive B2B lead generation strategy.

Not All Companies Have a Chief Marketing Officer

Having an experience marketing leader is important when you're developing a B2B lead generation strategy but not all businesses have the executive role of Chief Marketing Officer. This is especially true of small and midsize companies. In those firms, they might have a VP of Marketing, Director of Marketing or even a Marketing Manager. The title doesn't really matter. The concept of a fractional CMO is an experienced marketing manager who can help create a comprehensive strategy and manage its execution. 

No matter what title may or may not exist within your organization, if you're looking to increase B2B lead generation, chances are you'll find significant value in engaging a fractional CMO.

Lead Generation Strategies

Generating qualified B2B sales leads can be a challenge in today's digital world. In order to stay ahead of the curve and keep your sales funnel full in 2022, it is important to utilize the latest technologies and strategies available when it comes to lead generation. MQLs and SQLs are great examples of using technology-driven lead generation tactics; however, there are many other efficient approaches that can be used to tap potential customers.

From content marketing and email campaigns to webinars and retargeting ads - all of these techniques have their own advantages when it comes to finding business leads. In addition, tools such as CRM systems, LinkedIn, account-based marketing platforms, predictive analytics software, and more will give your team a serious leg up on competitors. Utilizing intelligent automation along with human touch points has been proven successful time and time again for sourcing new contacts efficiently for B2B sales lead generation.

Create Valuable Content

Content marketing is a powerful tool for business owners looking to increase their target audience and revenue. By creating content catered directly to the target group, businesses can position themselves as experts in their fields, build trust with potential customers, and generate organic traffic and leads. Content marketing also aids SEO optimization, making it easier for potential customers to find them through organic search engine results.

Organic exposure is essential to content marketing success; it’s what drives potential customers to the pages or blog posts where content lives. If a website isn't ranking in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), businesses might as well be invisible online. Proper research needs to be done in order to determine which audiences will benefit most from their content and how they should be addressed using the right language that resonates with these groups. When done correctly, companies can increase traffic flow by placing quality content on their websites, increasing brand recognition, and allowing for greater exposure all around.

Creating high-quality, evergreen content is key to maintaining credibility and loyalty as an expert. This is especially true in the digital age, where constantly churning out new and valuable content for your audience is a must. Everyone wants their content to provide something of value and stand the test of time, which is why it’s essential for businesses to create engaging, timeless pieces that will draw in readers.

Evergreen content should focus on topics that inform your target audience - whether it’s discussing current trends or recommendations they need to know - while also carefully curating visual elements and messaging to ensure longevity and continued relevancy. High-quality evergreen content not only helps drive engagement with your audience but can also increase conversion rates due to the increased trust and authority you build every time someone consumes your material. Carefully crafted evergreen content can help you build meaningful relationships with customers over the long term and eventually convert leads into loyal customers.

Personalize Outreach with Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

An account-based marketing program (ABM) is a marketing strategy that focuses on specific high-value accounts or clients rather than a broader target market. This approach allows companies to tailor their marketing efforts to the unique needs and preferences of each individual client, increasing the likelihood of success. An account-based marketing program typically involves research and analysis to identify key decision-makers within the target accounts, followed by personalized outreach and engagement efforts. This can include customized content, targeted advertising, and personalized messaging. The goal of an account-based marketing program is to build stronger relationships with key clients, increase customer retention, and ultimately drive revenue growth.

Personalizing your website and B2B sales and marketing materials is a key factor in successful lead generation. Gone are the days of traditional mass marketing, when one size fits all. In the B2B sector, where competition can be high, targeting specific leads and customer segments is more important than ever before. Account-based marketing gives you the ability to tailor your messaging in order to appeal to particular buyer personas more effectively. You can also extract data from visitors’ IP addresses to better tailor your website content for geographical demographics that are most likely to work with you.

With more than 70 percent of B2B marketers already taking advantage of personalized web content, it’s invaluable for beating the competition on lead acquisition. While personalization takes more effort than sending a generic email blast, it will ultimately push you toward better results if done correctly. Investing time and resources into ABM or using marketing automation platforms that support personalization features is a smart move this year – you don’t want to fall behind!

Engage Your Target Audience

Today, social networks are no longer simply for publishing or promoting your content to potential buyers. They are an essential channel for developing social proof and making meaningful connections with prospective customers. Companies that leverage social media for their business often find it to be a source of strong growth and success.

The average person has 7.6 active social media accounts and spends more than two hours per day on them — this represents an incredible opportunity for brands to engage with their target audience in an effective way. Taking advantage of this starts by being active, consistent, and relevant across the platforms you choose to operate on. You can also create engaging content that your audience can truly benefit from, as well as track analytics so that you know what kind of content resonates best with them. Additionally, consider joining or creating communities related to your brand so that like-minded people can share ideas and collaborate together. Personalizing social media interactions is key to building relationships which can be extremely beneficial for the growth of any business over time.

Optimize Conversion Funnels

When it comes to optimizing landing pages and CTA’s for lead generation, there are a few key strategies that can help to improve the overall user experience. By focusing on SEO best practices, providing relevant content that outlines the benefits of your offering, and implementing customer testimonials into marketing campaigns, businesses can give visitors a clear understanding of what they will get in exchange for signing up or placing an order. It is also important to select just one goal per landing page and provide concise messaging in CTAs so as not to distract users from the primary action that needs to be taken.

When creating website offers to turn your visitors into leads, you must decide whether or not you should gate the content. The decision to use gated versus ungated marketing content depends on the marketing goals and the target audience. Gated content, which requires users to provide personal information in exchange for access, is typically used for lead generation and building a database of potential customers. This approach is useful when the content is valuable enough to the target audience that they are willing to exchange their contact information for access. On the other hand, ungated content is freely accessible to anyone and is typically used to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to a website, and establish thought leadership. The decision to gate or ungate content should be based on the value of the content, the target audience's willingness to provide personal information, and the marketing goals.

Finally, improving conversion rates may be achieved with A/B testing – this enables marketers to experiment with elements such as copy, imagery, and color variations in order to determine which version performed best with their target audience. Regularly assessing the performance of landing pages boosts the visibility and reach of campaigns, resulting in higher conversions. This comprehensive approach helps businesses to stay ahead of competitors when it comes to engaging customers and converting leads.

Tune Your Website

Having a website that is optimized for B2B buyers is essential to creating a successful business. The first step towards optimizing your website is to ensure it loads quickly. According to studies, if a page takes more than three seconds to load, up to 40% of visitors will abandon the site before they get to see the content. To make sure that viewers don’t click away, optimize your website performance by implementing techniques like compressing images and minifying HTML and JavaScript files.

Another important aspect to consider when optimizing your website for B2B buyers is responsiveness across multiple devices. Making sure you have an equally user-friendly experience for those browsing on phones, tablets, or laptops can mean the difference between winning and losing potential leads. Having content optimized for mobile devices, such as click-to-call phone numbers and large buttons, makes using a site much easier on the go. Make sure all the pages are laid out correctly and text can be read easily so prospects don’t have any difficulty navigating around your website. Taking these steps will help you increase sales with better conversions as more potential customers view your website as trustworthy and reliable in comparison to other companies in the same field.

Ask for Reviews and Feedback

The importance of online reviews in today’s digital age cannot be emphasized enough. With nearly all consumers researching reviews before making purchases, businesses that don’t make use of the available feedback are leaving money on the table. A recent study found that the vast majority of consumers read online reviews prior to selecting a product or service provider. Companies should take advantage of this and establish platforms for clients and customers to leave their input about their experience with the company's services or products.

Not only does this help build social proof and increase conversions, but reviews can also have an effect on local search ranking. As mentioned in the study from RevLocal, customers are likely to spend 31% more on companies that have outstanding online reviews than those that don’t. Businesses should take proactive steps to encourage their clients and customers to take part in reviewing their products and/or services.

Feedback can be exciting and terrifying. Either way, businesses need to consider feedback and how to translate it to deliver better products or services. A Deloitte survey reveals that customer-centric businesses are 60% more profitable than product-centric ones. Paying attention to what your customers are saying is good for business!

Existing B2B customers are also good prospects for new sales because they have already established a relationship with the company and are familiar with its products or services. They have already demonstrated a level of trust and satisfaction in the company, which makes it easier to introduce new products or services. Additionally, existing customers are often more open to exploring new options because they already have a relationship with the company and are more likely to be receptive to new ideas. This can also lead to increased customer loyalty and retention, as well as potential referrals to new customers. Overall, targeting existing B2B customers for new sales by asking them for feedback can be a cost-effective and efficient way to grow a business.

Use Ad Retargeting

Retargeting is a great way to turn lost website visitors into customers. It provides an additional opportunity for your brand to capture attention — and, more importantly, influence — those who have already shown interest in your product or services. Not only does retargeting help reinforce the message you’re sending, but it also serves as an effective follow-up tool.

This strategy of strategic digital marketing is yet to be fully adopted by B2B marketers but is becoming increasingly popular. This is due to the fact that it offers one of the highest ROI opportunities available. With 70% of marketers allocating 10% or more towards retargeting campaigns, now could be the time for businesses looking to take their online presence up a notch by enhancing their visibility and engagement with prospects and leads as soon as they leave their site. Turn up your retargeting to start benefitting from repeat visits, higher conversion rates, and stronger relationships with your target market.

Incorporate More Video

Video marketing is a powerful tool for businesses to reach their target audience. It provides an opportunity to engage potential customers and increase conversions, resulting in more sales. Studies have shown that executives watch video content regularly, and over two-thirds of those viewers visit a vendor's website afterward. Video content also has the potential to influence purchasing behavior significantly. One study found that 64% of consumers decided to make a purchase after watching branded videos. Additionally, adding a video on a landing page can increase time on the page while boosting conversion rates.

By ramping up their video marketing efforts, businesses can create engaging content and maximize results as they reach out to potential customers. Videos provide an excellent platform for demonstrating products and informing buyers about features, advantages, and benefits associated with various offerings. Utilizing creative visuals backed by strong storytelling will help brand messages cut through the clutter. Smartly placed videos can further strengthen relationships with current customers by keeping them informed about relevant information and new developments related to products and services on offer.

Test Your Campaigns

A/B testing campaigns is an effective way to identify the most successful marketing methods. Through trial and error, marketers can analyze two different website versions in order to determine which version resonates better with potential leads. During an A/B test, a marketer might change any elements on the website, such as headlines, copy, images, or CTA buttons, to see which works best in terms of user engagement. It is important for the marketer to create two lead generation campaigns and compare the results of each page in order to gain insight into which page performs better.

The benefit of conducting A/B tests as a part of your marketing strategy is that you can continuously optimize your websites and landing pages to increase engagement amongst your target audience. This process allows marketers to narrow down the most effective method when it comes to driving conversions. Moreover, A/B testing enables marketers to stay up-to-date with consumer trends in order to adjust their campaigns according to user preferences. Conducting regular A/B tests also provides invaluable data that helps marketers make more informed decisions regarding their digital strategies.

Maximize LinkedIn Outreach

For any B2B business, an active presence on LinkedIn is essential to engage with the right audience and drive more leads. It is important to create a complete profile on LinkedIn, including keywords, to get found by prospects. For example, businesses should include in their profile all the services they offer, customer testimonials, and user reviews as it adds value to their page and makes it look trustworthy. Additionally, highlighting the achievements of the company through awards or recognition in your posts will help draw positive attention from prospects.

In order to create an effective presence on LinkedIn, marketers are encouraged to post interesting content regularly on their pages. The content should be curated according to their target market while creating content that is relevant and engaging at the same time. This could range from sharing helpful industry tips or curating useful insights-related news stories within your field. Furthermore, you can also promote special offers or discounts exclusive to those visiting your page from LinkedIn, which could further encourage prospects to convert into leads.


In conclusion, these ten lead generation strategies are essential for any B2B business looking to grow revenue. By focusing on building relationships, providing value, and leveraging technology, you can attract and convert high-quality leads that will ultimately drive your sales and bottom line. So don't wait any longer. Start implementing these strategies into your B2B lead generation process today and watch your business soar!

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Eric Dickmann

About the author

Eric Dickmann is the Founder / CMO of The Five Echelon Group, host of the weekly podcast "The Virtual CMO" and YouTube series "Work-Life" and a fractional CMO for a variety of small and midsize companies. An executive leader with over 30 years of experience in marketing, product development, and digital transformation, he has worked with large, global companies and small startups to develop and execute marketing strategies to bring innovative products to the market.

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