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15 Tried and Tested Ways to Generate B2B Leads

Ninad Pathak
August 28, 2023
April 1, 2024
Table of Contents

Generating high-quality B2B leads is an art. Unlike blasting consumer ads, B2B requires finesse, strategy...a certain je ne sais quoi. 

You must get inside your prospect's head to understand their pain points and decision-making—create real connections that blossom into sales. 

  • So, what is the formula for B2B lead generation success? 
  • What are the insider strategies employed by the top B2B marketers? 
  • How can you start generating B2B leads without being a pro?

In this article, we're pulling back the curtain on 15 battle-tested methods to power up your B2B lead generation. Strategies that deliver qualified prospects and nurture them into satisfied, lifelong customers. 

Ready? Let’s get started. 

15 Proven Ways to Generate B2B Leads

B2B is different. There are multiple stakeholders involved. And the person you’re trying to talk to is likely not paying. That’s why the approach to B2B lead generation has to be holistic—it has to speak to everyone in the organization while still being personalized.

These 15 methods of generating B2B leads will help you get the hang of the market and create personalized strategies that work for your unique business. 

1. Collaborate With Industry Leaders

When you collaborate with the right partners, it unlocks valuable new opportunities for new business. But how exactly can you make these powerful connections? Collaborate on content. 

You can create a webinar, podcast, eBook, or relevant content asset. You bring your expertise to the table. They bring theirs. Together, you create excellent content that adds tremendous value to your audiences.

Poadast Revenue marketing and more

A great example of this in action is the Factors podcast episode with Alex Sofronas. Factors collaborated with a well-known revenue marketing expert and tapped into a whole new audience (Alex’s followers) while enabling Alex to reach new people.

Here are some of the benefits of partnering up with industry leaders:

  • It lends your brand instant credibility by associating with a well-known authority. People trust companies that partner with experts.
  • You gain access to their audience, followers, and network. This dramatically expands your reach.
  • Combining your expertise creates richer content, and you'll squeeze more value from each piece.
  • It's incredibly cost-effective. You split the work of content creation and promotion.

This is one of the fastest ways to generate leads if you have a well-known brand. It makes finding and partnering with people much more accessible than if you’re just starting. 

2. Optimize Your Website Based on Behavioral Analytics

While partnerships are brilliant, they are slower and don’t provide complete control. On the other hand, your website is entirely under your control—what if you could get more visitors to convert into leads? 

That’s where we bring in behavioral analytics.

Behavioral analytics studies how people use your website—what they click on, how long they spend on each page, what pages they visit, etc. 

It gives you a clear picture of what sections and pages your prospects find interesting and where they drop off. 

Here are some of the benefits of optimizing your website: 

  • Increased conversions from an improved user experience
  • More informed design and content decisions backed by data
  • A cost-effective way to identify and fix issues
  • Continuously monitor and iterate to maximize performance

Suppose you notice that your pricing page has a high dropout rate—people leaving your site after visiting that page. This dropout rate shows friction. It could indicate that the pricing does not match the perceived value. You can try identifying a better price through surveys or asking existing customers for a fair idea of the value.

3. Offer a Free Trial or a Freemium Version

Free trials let people try your products risk-free before committing. Zoom is a prime example of a freemium product. They offer an entirely usable free version, reducing the entry barrier for people to try Zoom. People try the app and ask others to install it to attend the meeting. 

pricing plans of software

The network effect kicks in, and everyone on your team has installed Zoom—it becomes the go-to choice for hosting meetings.  

Now, how can you implement a try-before-you-buy model effectively? Here are a few tips:

  • Highlight your core value proposition in the free version
  • Set clear boundaries between free and paid features
  • Monitor usage and get feedback during trials
  • Make upgrading to paid plans frictionless

The benefits of allowing "test drives" are enormous. You generate buzz, reduce barriers to entry, and build trust. 

4. Create and Promote Case Studies

Case studies show potential customers real-world examples of how your product or service can help them. It tells prospects a compelling story of how other businesses within the industry are leveraging and benefiting from your products or services. 

For instance, we talked to Everstage, a sales commission platform, about the results they achieved using Factors

A case study of factors

After making notes based on the conversation, we wrote a thorough case study documenting their journey to gaining 250% in sales email engagement after using Factors. 

When you create relevant case studies within the industry, you earn brand credibility that allows more people to consider trying you out. 

Here are some tips for making super-effective case studies:

  • Find a customer whose story stands out and is relevant to who you want to reach. Think of the type of businesses you’re trying to reach—suppose EdTech. Find businesses that use your product/service and operate in the EdTech industry.
  • Bring them on for a case study and lay out their journey - problem, solution, results. Use real numbers to prove it worked. 
  • Add in charts, images, or anything visual that will catch the eyes and connect readers to the story.
  • Share the case study on your website, social media, and other marketing channels—you could even turn it into a PDF and use it as lead-gen.

5. A/B Test Your Landing Pages

A/B testing is a handy way to figure out how to improve your website, landing pages, ads, and more. It lets you try out two different versions against each other to see which one performs better.

A flow chart of A/B testing landing pages

For example, HubSpot tested changing the color of its call-to-action button from green to red. That simple tweak led to a 21% increase in conversions! Pretty wild, right? It shows how vital A/B testing can be.

Here's a quick rundown of how to use A/B testing for your landing pages:

  • Pick out the essential parts you want to test—this could be your headlines, call-to-action buttons, or even pricing. Those tend to have a significant impact.
  • Next, make two versions of the page with variations in those elements—one with the original and the other with the change you want to test.
  • Now, to do a proper A/B test, you need a tool. Some of the major ones are Google Optimize and VWO. Pick one from these or use another tool that works for you to run the variations. 
  • Give it a few days or weeks, depending on the traffic you receive to your website. You can achieve statistically significant results faster if more people visit your site daily. 
  • If the variant does better, awesome—make the winning variant your live page.
  • Repeat tests with different elements and pages to gain more insight and improve your website for the best possible conversions.

The great thing about A/B tests is that you can make accurate data-based decisions based on your audience’s preferences.  

6. Offer Free Tools or Templates

Free tools or templates can be a great way to attract leads in the B2B space. Who doesn't love something valuable for free, right?

It helps build trust and shows you want to help, not just sell to potential customers.

For example, Signals by Factors is a free tool that lets businesses track critical metrics. It gives them a taste of Factors without any commitment. 

free tools and templates

Ahrefs also has free SEO tools to help prospects get a feel for the full power of the tool without commitments. 

If creating tools seems like a high investment, businesses can offer free templates everywhere. Hubspot is an excellent example of free templates.

Here are some tips to make it work:

  • Identify a real need your audience has. For instance, Ahrefs’ audience wants to perform keyword research and improve their SEO. 
  • Then, create a smaller but usable version of that module in your product. In the case of Ahrefs, all free tools are a limited version of their complete tool. For instance, the keyword research tool gives the first 100 keywords at most.
  • Also, see if there is a search volume for your creation tools. It will tell you if people are already looking for the tool you’re creating. For instance, according to ahrefs, “free keyword research tool” is searched over 4000 times a month. 

7. Showcase Testimonials

Building trust is so important in B2B. And one great way to do that is by showing off testimonials from happy customers - especially on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn ads with testimonials can boost leads. Salesforce used customer testimonials in their LinkedIn ads and saw a 10% increase in click-throughs. Not too shabby!

Here's why testimonials are so effective:

  • It builds credibility when potential customers see others benefit from your product. 
  • It provides a personal touch and lets prospects connect with real users of your product. It makes it relatable.
  • People like to follow the crowd. New folks will be more likely to try your product if others dig it.

So leverage those raving fan testimonials wherever possible - your website, emails, ads, social posts. Let their powerful stories create a connection and get more leads coming your way.

8. Webinars and Live Events

Webinars and live events are excellent for generating B2B leads. They let you engage with your audience in real time—super powerful.

makethe most for your customer poadcast with nalin

For example, Factors recently announced a live event on LinkedIn. The event allowed them to answer questions and interact directly with potential clients.

Here are some tips to rock webinars and live events:

  • Pick topics that are relevant and interesting for your target audience. Helpful, timely content.
  • Promote it effectively on social media, email, and your website - get the word out.
  • During the event, engage the audience. Encourage questions, give real-time answers, and make it interactive.
  • Follow up with a thank you email, a recording of the event, and any extra resources.

Webinars position you as an expert and allow that crucial human connection. When done right, they can generate solid leads for your B2B biz.

9. Use Interactive Content

Most content marketing is a monologue. Brands want to pitch their products before giving value. But with social media, you must work twice as hard to earn your audience’s attention. It’s much easier for someone to scroll away if you share boring content. 

Instead, try to create content that acts as a conversation starter. Hold an opinion and ask others to comment on their thoughts. Here’s an example of Rand Fishkin stirring the conversation with a relatable question. 

post by rand fishkin

Here’s one by Krispy Kreme that not only makes people interact with content but also reminds them that the new minis are available for purchase

post by krispy kreme

Here are some tips for creating interactive content:

  • Use surveys, polls, and quizzes to stir a conversation and allow easy interaction with your content. 
  • Host competitions that require people to perform specific actions like sharing your post or comment with a particular hashtag. 
  • Provide industry-relevant opinions and open yourself up for a discussion within the communities.

10. Leverage Referral Programs

If your accounts on social media don’t have a large following, it can become challenging to get any engagement. In such situations, you can leverage referrals. Referral programs can be absolute gold for getting more quality B2B leads. 

For instance, ZipWP is a new AI website generator by Brainstormforce, the company behind the most popular WordPress theme, Astra. They created a waitlist, allowing people to climb 100 positions for every additional referral. 

mail verification message template

Due to the cool demos of this product shown by WordPress influencers on YouTube, people are excited to get access to the tool. The waitlist currently stands beyond 22,000! 

That’s the power of referrals. 

Another example of this is Deel. Deel helps companies hire employees remotely without worrying about tax compliance in different countries. To help spread the word, Deel offers $200 per qualified client whom you refer to the platform. This bonus incentivizes people to talk about Deel to clients, giving Deel free word-of-mouth marketing even if clients don’t sign up.

Here are some tips to make referral programs work:

  • Offer incentives like discounts, credits, or cash bonuses to motivate referrals. But don’t break the bank with it—you need to identify your customer’s lifetime value and decide on the rewards based on that number.
  • Make the process super easy for customers to refer others. Provide graphics, text snippets, links, and other information people need to make sharing easy. Make it so easy that people should only need to copy-paste. 
  • Promote the program through email, social media, your website, etc. Remind customers it exists!

11. High Intent Keywords

High-intent keywords are search terms that show someone is looking to make a purchase or do something specific. This keyword research guide by Ahrefs can be a great starting point if you’re new to SEO. 

For example, "best lead generation software for B2B" indicates a person wants to find a lead gen solution for their business. 

They have already identified a problem and the solution and are now ready to purchase the best option in the market. Most keywords starting with “best” indicate a buying intent. 

To use high-intent keywords:

  • See what search terms potential customers use when they're further down the buying journey. For a CRM company, this could be keywords like "CRM systems for small businesses" or "how to choose the best CRM for your business."
  • If someone is searching for the "best" software, give your top 3-5 recommendations for that category and explain why they are the best options. Provide comparison charts, pros and cons, and product walkthroughs.
  • Targeting high-intent keywords can drive more qualified leads, but you may need to refine them over time. Review keyword performance every month or quarter and adjust your targeted terms.
  • The goal is to show up for searches where people are looking for a solution you can provide. Targeting high-intent keywords can connect you with visitors more likely to convert to customers. 

12. High-Quality Videos

The first quarter of 2023 recorded a global video audience reach of 92%! More and more people are turning towards videos instead of text. 

global video audience reach graph

The reason? They’re easier to consume, and if you can make them entertaining, nothing like it. 

Webflow took branded video tutorials and how-tos to the next level! It has a free web design course with Hollywood-quality production and storyboarding. 

You’ll notice this right from their introduction to the course. 

Webflow for beginners: Webflow 101

While it can be challenging to replicate that quality without the big budgets, you can do a lot with a laptop and a good-quality camera. 

Some tips for impactful videos:

  • What topics do you want to talk about? What makes your brand unique? Start with these questions before you begin creating videos. In the case of Webflow, you’ll notice they have an extremely professional yet humorous way of delivering tutorials. 
  • Split the topics into chapters or sections you’ll cover over the next 30-100 days. The longer you plan the timeline, the easier it is to create videos. 
  • Create consistently. When you’re starting, it’s unlikely that you’ll get any views. But social media algorithms like consistency. The more videos you publish, the better the algorithm understands what you do, helping your videos appear in relevant searches. 
  • Stick to a schedule that lets you deliver quality—every single time. There’s no point in creating boring tutorials for your brand YouTube channel. Instead, make a process that ensures every video you create is brilliant and unique to you.

Use keyword research to your advantage here. Add videos about the high-intent keywords you’ve identified. As you develop a library of videos aligned to different stages of the buyer's journey, you can attract more qualified leads over time.

13. Running Ads on Competitor Keywords

Running ads on competitor keywords is a savvy move. When someone searches for a rival's product or brand, they also signal interest in your offerings. They only haven’t seen you…yet.

For instance, Later, the social media scheduling app, is a direct competitor of Buffer. And they leverage Buffer’s popularity by bidding for the name. 

SERP result page for keyword buffer

Some tips to get started:

  • Research competitors and find relevant keywords people search around them.
  • Then, create ads spotlighting why you're different or better. Show your unique strengths.
  • Keep watching how those ads do. Tweak bids and copy as needed.
  • You can also directly use the brand’s name when possible. However, remember to check for trademarks before bidding on a name. 

14. Perform Original Research

Original research can set you apart as an expert in your field. It shows you have unique insights to share. Conducting surveys, analyzing data, and exploring new trends—create valuable content your audience will love.

For instance, if you’re a CRM software company, you can leverage anonymized customer data to understand the average number of leads, the frequency of new lead creation, the intermediate lead conversion for each industry, etc. 

You can even run surveys asking your customers to provide valuable insights from within their business. 

When such a report is published, you not only provide real value to your audience and become an expert, but you create link-worthy content that earns backlinks from other websites that cite you as a source.

15. Conduct Warm Outreach on LinkedIn

What’s better than cold outreach? Warm outreach. If the person you’re contacting has seen you on LinkedIn providing value, they’re more likely to respond than if you’re an unknown account.

Now, switch it up a bit. 

If you engage with your target accounts and leads individually on LinkedIn—commenting on their posts with valuable insights, liking their tweets, and more—you increase your chances of getting a response even further.  

Some tips for effective LinkedIn outreach:

  • Identify leads based on their roles, industries, or interests—go after those most likely to benefit from your offer.
  • Spend a week engaging with your prospects on LinkedIn. Like and comment on their posts. Ask thought-provoking questions. Get in front of the people you want to talk to. 
  • Then, send a connection request after you’ve engaged long enough. Sending bulk connection requests will rarely lead to a good outcome. If anything, you’ll end up with many connections that don’t care about you. 

This approach may seem like a sales trick. But warm outreach is much like dating in the real world—only in business terms. 

  • You become a known face for the person you want to talk to by spending time in the places they hang out (joining similar communities). 
  • After a while, you acknowledge their presence with a nod or smile (liking and commenting on posts). 
  • The familiarity makes chatting much easier (sending a LinkedIn connection request). 
  • Your leads will have fewer inhibitions while talking now since they’ve already interacted with you outside. (DMs or demo calls)

Go from Zero to Hero With These B2B Lead Gen Strategies

And there you have it — 15 tried and true ways to generate and nurture quality B2B leads into happy, long-term customers. I know B2B lead gen can feel tricky sometimes. But, put simply, it’s all about getting to know your audience and using the right strategies to reach them.

We covered much ground here—from sponsoring events to optimizing for buyer behavior and more. What’s left now is finding the strategies that work for you and going all in on them. 

That's where Factors come in handy. 

It tracks the key metrics from all your platforms under a single roof. You can view your prospect’s journey from the first touchpoint to the last, shown visually and interactively.

So, let Factors handle the details. Just focus on making real connections with prospects. Try a few of these methods, and you'll be on the road to lead-gen success before you know it. 

Ready to take your B2B lead gen to the next level? Jump on a demo call with Factors to learn how we can help you scale your B2B lead gen.

Want to learn more about Factors?

See how we can help your team over a quick call or an interactive product tour

Want to make the most of your LinkedIn ads?

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