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  • Writer's pictureKyle Meadows

8 best lead generation tools and software for B2B in 2024


Welcome to NGG - this weekly 5 -minute document explaining how to leverage AI and omnichannel cold outreach to book B2B sales calls so you can scale your business.

If you want to grow your B2B business, book a call to learn more about how we can help:



Lead generation is challenging for small, medium, and large businesses alike. Everybody wants an influx of hot leads overnight, but your desire alone isn’t enough to make it happen. You have to build up a team, equip them, and give the process time.


Lead generation tools for B2B do speed things up, yet not all are created equal. To get top value for your money, you must understand clearly how the tools work, which of them complement each other’s efficiency, and how they will scale as your lead generation efforts grow. Since none of the available tools on the market are free or cheap, you need to look closely into their value before deciding. 


Our experience and opinions shared below will help you make the right choice.


Best B2B lead generation tools


  • For multiple mailing accounts: Reply.io

  • For an outreach kickstart: Gmass

  • For researching startup-related contacts: Crunchbase

  • For all-in-one intelligent AI-powered sales: Apollo

  • For professional teams with extended budget: LinkedIn Sales Navigator

  • For quick email research and validation: Hunter

  • For visual analytics and on-site marketing enhancement: Hotjar

  • For larger teams with complex sales activities: HubSpot


What makes a great B2B lead generation tool? 


Over 2 years at Nexar, we have set a ton of appointments with top decision-makers for our clients. To reach these numbers, we had to send millions of emails to qualified leads from tens of millions of contacts. Now, our team is brilliant, but obviously, no team could do it without some help. Their secret weapon? Knowing the right tools. 


What makes a tool the right choice, you ask? If you have teams of sales and lead gen reps working on projects simultaneously, several factors are important: 


  • Multiple user access. The number one requirement for successful teamwork. You want all your reps to have the access to the system and be able to add and modify contacts in real time.   


  • Rich and accurate data. The more outdated or inaccurate contact information you get, the more time your reps will waste. If you are choosing to purchase a tool, make sure the data is worth it. 


  • Easy cross-platform integrations. You probably use lots of software products already. Make your life easier and pick a tool that can merge with the rest of the ecosystem right away. 


  • Comprehensive analytics. Seeing the patterns across databases gives you valuable insights for enhancing your strategies. Choose the tools that track the most parameters.  


  • Variable automation setup. This feature will allow your reps to automate various scenarios for different audience segments, setting multiple lead flows at once.


This criterion applies to both outbound and inbound lead generation tools. Below is a list of eight instruments that answer all these criteria. Our team is using them daily, and they love the results.


Lead generation tools for B2B prospecting and research


Before sending your bulk mail, you must find the addresses to send these emails. That’s why something that the Belkins specialists do every day is craft an accurate ICP and research the people that would be a perfect match for it. 


While scraping contacts from the web and hunting for the right emails can be an exciting pursuit, when you need to build a lead list of thousands of contacts, doing it manually could take years. So we’ve tested many research automation tools and picked several that work best for us.


The best tool to research startup contacts: Crunchbase


Crunchbase is a powerful platform for prospecting and finding decision-makers in businesses, especially startups. It offers a vast database of companies, funding information, and executive details. Here you can find the right person’s contact through a convenient search tied to data indicating companies’ growth, like funding rounds and IPO status.


Key functionality:


  • Company data: Crunchbase provides comprehensive company profiles, including details about their funding history, leadership, media appearances, technologies used, and more. This information helps in evaluating potential prospects.


  • Funding information: Users can access funding rounds, investments, and funding sources associated with companies, enabling them to identify companies with financial stability or growth potential.


  • Executive details: Crunchbase shows founders, employees, advisors, and board members and offers executive profiles, allowing users to find decision-makers and critical contacts within organizations.


  • Search and filters: The platform allows you to perform advanced searches and apply filters based on specific criteria, such as industry, location, revenue levels, and more, to narrow prospecting efforts.


Unique value:


Crunchbase’s unique value lies in its extensive database and up-to-date information. It provides a wealth of company data, helping you identify prospects, track funding activities, and understand when businesses are trending.


Pros:

  • Detailed company and executive database.

  • Up-to-date information on industry trends.

  • Advanced search and one-touch filtering options.

  • User-friendly interface and a multitude of features.


Cons:

  • The full range of features and data may require a subscription to a higher-priced plan.

  • Limited contact information for individual decision-makers.

  • Some users say Crunchbase has more information on startups than on more prominent, established companies. 


Pricing plans:

Crunchbase offers several pricing plans, with higher-tier plans providing additional features like advanced search filters and custom lists.



  • Free

  • Starter — Starting at $29 per user, per month

  • Pro — Starting at $49 per user, per month

  • Enterprise — Price available on request


Free trial:

Crunchbase offers a 7-day free trial with limited access to its database and features. However, some features still may require a paid subscription.


Best all-in-one intelligent sales platform: Apollo

Apollo boasts a 265+ million database of B2B contacts, which makes it a promising tool for prospecting and lead generation. The platform also provides email outreach and follow-up capabilities enhanced by AI. It helps craft engaging messaging and offers predictive analytics to identify the most promising leads.


Key functionality:

  • Company and contact data: Apollo offers a comprehensive database of companies, including industry information and contact details. Users can find their ideal customers and access executive profiles for key decision-makers in minutes.


  • Email outreach: Apollo enables users to send personalized email campaigns and automate follow-ups to engage prospects effectively. The tool provides email templates, tracking, and analytics.


  • Predictive analytics: Apollo utilizes AI and predictive analytics to help users identify the best leads by analyzing data patterns and customer behavior.


  • Sales engagement: The platform offers tools for managing and tracking sales activities, including task management, call scheduling, and integration with CRM systems.


Unique value:

Apollo’s unique value lies in its workflow automation and predictive analytics to identify the most promising leads. For example, the "buying intent" metric collects data from public web sources indicating the lead’s interest in a specific product or service at the given time (with 98% accuracy), allowing you to step in with your pitch at precisely the right moment. Apollo also offers a comprehensive solution for contact data, email outreach, and sales engagement, streamlining the lead generation and sales processes. 


Pros:

  • Extensive database with accurate enrichment data.

  • Innovative predictive analytics for lead prioritization.

  • Easy integration with CRM systems.

  • Multiple plugins to enhance your work effectiveness. 


Apollo’s plugin for Chrome allows you to add contacts to sequences from LinkedIn and other sites as you browse. 


Cons:

  • Higher pricing compared to some other tools.

  • Advanced features may require additional setup and learning.

  • Limited data for companies outside the U.S.

  • A lot of upselling for most features. 


Pricing plans:

Apollo has 4 pricing plans, and you can request a custom one based on your requirements. 

  • Free

  • Basic — Starting at $39 per user, per month

  • Professional — Starting at $79 per user, per month

  • Organization — Starting at $79 per user, per month (min 5 users)


Free trial:

Apollo offers a 14-day trial period with a limit of 50 lead credits. It also has a free plan with access to several essential features in a “taster menu” format.


Best professional assistant for teams with budget: LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Sales Navigator is a pro tool for B2B sales experts and teams. It leverages LinkedIn’s extensive professional network to help users effectively identify, target, and engage with decision-makers.


Key functionality:

  • Advanced search and filters: Sales Navigator offers advanced search based on various criteria such as industry, company size, location, and job title. Users can refine their search even further and focus on niche segments, for example, by selecting the topics their potential prospects write about.


  • Lead recommendations: The tool provides personalized lead recommendations based on the user’s preferences, network connections, and previous interactions. This feature helps users discover potential leads they may have yet to consider.


  • InMail messaging: Sales Navigator allows users to send direct messages, known as InMail, to LinkedIn members who are not in their network. This is an extra chance to facilitate targeted outreach to decision-makers and key contacts.


  • Sales insights and notifications: Users can receive real-time information and insights about their leads, including job changes, company updates, and engagement activities. This helps engage with prospects at the right time.


  • Team collaboration: Sales Navigator offers features for team collaboration, allowing the admin to invite team members to their accounts and share leads, notes, and insights, which enhances coordination and efficiency.


Unique value:

LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s unique value is in its access to LinkedIn’s vast network with extensive business-related data and connections to over 63 million companies. As LinkedIn is becoming the “new Facebook,” being in its premium ecosystem means getting valuable insights first-hand and building relationships with top B2B decision-makers  organically.


Pros:

  • Access to LinkedIn’s extensive professional network.

  • Advanced search and filtering in one click for precise prospecting.

  • Personalized lead recommendations based on user interactions.

  • InMail as an extra communication channel.

  • Real-time sales insights and notifications (i.e., promotions).

  • Easy integration with customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, including: Microsoft Dynamic, Salesforce, HubSpot, Oracle CX Sales, Pega, SAP, SugarCRM.


Integration of LinkedIn with Salesforce allows you to see the shared connections and recent activity of the person as well as request an introduction right from the platform.


Cons:

  • Higher pricing than other lead generation tools.

  • Limited functionality beyond LinkedIn-specific prospecting and engagement.

  • Reliance on LinkedIn’s user base and data availability.

  • Risk of a ban if youexceed LinkedIn’s outreach limits. 

  • The learning curve for setting and fine-tuning accounts.


Pricing plans:

LinkedIn Sales Navigator offers different pricing plans. 

  • Professional — Starting at $79.99 per user, per month

  • Team — Starting at $134.99 per user, per month

  • Enterprise — Price available on request 


The pricing varies based on the features and capabilities, and you get a 15-25% discount if you choose annual payments.


Free trial:

LinkedIn Sales Navigator offers a free demo and a 1-month trial period for new users to explore the tool.


Best tool for quick email research and validation: Hunter

Hunter, formerly known as Email Hunter, is a lead-generation tool for finding email addresses and validating prospects’ contact information. Its minimal interface focuses on the core service — helping you get and validate the contacts by company, name, or speech and then putting them further through the funnel. 


Key functionality:

  • Email finder: Hunter’s primary feature is its email finder. Users can search for email addresses associated with specific companies or individuals by providing the company domain or the person’s name and domain.


  • Email verification: Ensures the accuracy and deliverability of email addresses, helping minimize bounced emails and maintain a clean email list.


  • Campaigns and integrations: Hunter integrates with popular email marketing tools, enabling users to export leads and launch email campaigns, streamlining the process of reaching out to prospects.


Unique value:

Hunter is a straightforward and efficient solution for obtaining email addresses with high accuracy, enabling fast and direct outreach to decision-makers. We at Belkins saved 25 hours per month per person by using this tool.


Pros:

  • Easy-to-use email-finding functionality.

  • Domain search for identifying leads within specific companies.

  • Email verification to ensure deliverability.

  • A comprehensive database of email addresses.

  • Integration with popular email marketing tools.


Cons:

  • Limited features compared to comprehensive lead generation platforms.

  • The free plan has limitations regarding the number of searches and API usage.

  • Users report the accuracy of the results in a range of 70-90%. 


Pricing plans:

Hunter offers various pricing plans, including options for individual users and businesses. 

  • Free

  • Starter — Starting at $49 per user, per month

  • Growth — Starting at $149 per user, per month

  • Business — Starting at $499 per user, per month


The pricing depends on the number of searches, email verification credits, campaign sending allowance, and payment frequency.


Free trial:

Hunter provides a free plan with limited features and 50 credits for searches per month to test features and validate their effectiveness.


Lead generation tools for bulk emailing


Sending out thousands of emails and multiple follow-ups — this is what outbound lead generation is all about. When you are trying to do it manually, you spend a lot of time, but also there is a high risk of getting bored, losing track of what you’ve done already, and making unfortunate mistakes like double mailing or confusing the contacts’ names. For better efficiency and outcomes, you can now automate and organize this tedious work with digital tools.


Best tool for multiple mailing accounts: Reply.io

Reply.io is a powerful tool for outbound lead generation and email automation. It helps businesses streamline email outreach efforts, engage with prospects at scale, and automate follow-ups to increase response rates and conversions.

If you ask me how crucial is it to have Reply.io on a scale of 1 to 10, I’ll say 9. It will benefit anyone who targets more than 100 leads per week. My favorite feature in it is variables that go way beyond the usual {{FirstName}}. With Reply, you can set up conditional variables, i.e., ask the recipient for their phone number if there is no existing record. Or you can insert dynamic info depending on the moment the email is sent — for example, “Have a nice {{day_of_week}}”.

Key functionality:


  • Email campaigns: Reply enables creating and managing email campaigns for outbound lead generation. Users can design personalized B2B cold email templates, schedule email sequences, and set up automated follow-ups.


  • Personalization and merge tags: The tool offers extensive personalization features, allowing users to dynamically insert merge tags, such as contact names or company details, into their email templates to create personalized and targeted messages.


  • CRM integration: Integration with popular CRM platforms enables seamless data synchronization and enhances lead management and tracking to maintain a centralized view of your prospects and streamline sales.


  • Email tracking and analytics: Reply.io allows users to monitor email opens, clicks, and responses. It provides analytics and insights to measure campaign effectiveness and optimize future outreach efforts.


Unique value:

Reply.io is our primary tool for targeted outreach in Nexar It empowers us to efficiently manage numerous mailboxes and seamlessly switch between our clients, all through a single account. With this capability, we can effectively handle between 10 and 20 clients from one profile. The key functionality is conveniently built into the interface, streamlining every step of the mailing process. Reply.io analyzes the email text’s response probability by measuring all relevant metrics as you write it.


Reply.io analyzes the email text’s response probability by measuring all relevant metrics as you write it.   

Pros:

  • Exceptional value for money, wrapped in convenient packages. 

  • Support team is prompt and proactive, ensuring no client is left hanging. 

  • Business model facilitates user growth, with pricing tailored to future expansion. 

  • Swift onboarding process is user-friendly for both pros and beginners.


Paid packages allow integrations with all prominent CRMs, in particular with Salesforce, Hubspot, Zendesk and other popular alternatives


Cons:

  • Pricing can be relatively high for small businesses or individual users.

  • Advanced features may require a learning curve or technical expertise.


Pricing plans:

Reply.io offers different pricing plans, including options for individual users, small teams, and larger organizations. 

  • Free

  • Starter — Starting at $60 per user, per month

  • Professional — Starting at $90 per user, per month

  • Custom — Pricing available on request

 

Free trial:

Reply.io provides a free 14-day trial period on all packages for new users.


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Best platform to kickstart your outreach : Gmass

Gmass is a popular tool for bulk email campaigns and mail merge functionalities within Gmail. It simplifies sending personalized mass emails and tracking responses directly from a user’s Gmail account.


Key functionality:


  • Mail merge: Gmass integrates with Gmail to provide mail merge capabilities. Users can compose personalized emails using custom fields and simultaneously send them to many recipients. The process is very straightforward even if you don't know how to mail merge.


  • Automated follow-ups: The tool enables automated follow-up emails to non-responsive recipients, helping increase engagement and response rates.


  • Email scheduling: Gmass allows users to schedule email campaigns at specific dates and times, ensuring optimal timing and delivery for maximum impact.


  • Open and click tracking: Users can track email opens and clicks within their Gmail inbox, gaining insights into recipient engagement and identifying warm leads for further follow-up.


  • Campaign analytics: Gmass provides campaign analytics and reports, offering metrics on open rates, click-through rates, and response rates. It helps measure the effectiveness of email campaigns and make data-driven decisions.


Unique value:

Gmass’s unique value lies in its integration with Gmail, making it a convenient solution for users who prefer to work within their existing Gmail interface. Its simple and user-friendly approach lets you conduct bulk email campaigns and track responses. It is excellent for beginners since you don’t have to set up your domain and can start running your campaigns right from your inbox.


Pros:

  • Seamless integration with Gmail.

  • User-friendly interface and ease of use.

  • Easy contacts migration.

  • Automated email scheduling.

  • Tracking and analytics within inbox.


Cons:

  • Limited functionality compared to dedicated email marketing platforms.

  • Dependency on Gmail and its limitations in terms of daily sending limits.

  • The accuracy of tracking numbers could be better.


Pricing plans:

Gmass offers different pricing plans, including options for individual users, business teams, and high-volume senders. 



  • Standard — Starting at $16.58 per user, per month

  • Premium — Starting at $24.91 per user, per month

  • Enterprise — Starting at $41.59 per user, per month

  • Team — Starting at $1,250 per year for 5 users


Free trial:

Gmass provides a free trial for users, allowing them to send up to 50 emails per day for free. Be careful! The test emails you send out count toward this number.


Lead generation tools for increasing conversions


If outbound marketing suggests you go out and attract the attention of people unaware of your product, inbound marketing is all about making people come to you looking for your unique proposal.


The shortest way to set up inbound lead generation is to hire a B2B demand generation company and raise awareness about your brand, products, or services. 

Another way to go is to have an established content marketing strategy that drives people to your website and landing pages. From there, the marketer needs to focus on effectively converting traffic into leads and leads into customers. 


To set up our pages most effectively and capture as many quality leads as possible, we at Belkins use two tried-and-true tools: Hotjar and HubSpot. 


Best visual analytics tool for on-site marketing: Hotjar

Hotjar is a powerful behavior analytics tool that helps businesses understand and analyze website user behavior. It provides valuable insights to optimize website performance, improve user experience, and generate more conversions from inbound leads.


Key functionality:

  • Heatmaps: Hotjar generates heatmaps representing user interactions on web pages, such as clicks, scrolls, and moves. It helps businesses identify areas of high engagement, click patterns, and scroll behavior, providing insights into what elements attract or distract users.


  • Visitor recordings: You can record and replay user sessions on your website. Get a detailed view of how visitors navigate through the site, where they encounter difficulties, and where they drop off, helping identify potential conversion bottlenecks.


  • Conversion funnels: Hotjar offers conversion funnel analysis, enabling businesses to track and analyze users’ steps to complete specific actions or goals on the website.


  • Feedback and surveys: Hotjar provides tools for collecting user feedback and running surveys to gather insights directly from website visitors to understand user preferences and expectations, facilitating website improvements.


  • Form analysis: Hotjar offers form analytics to understand how users interact with forms on the website. It helps identify form abandonment points, field completion rates, and usability issues, enabling businesses to optimize lead capture forms.


Unique value:

HotJar visualizes and analyzes user behavior. Its comprehensive tools let you see and understand how visitors engage with a website, helping optimize your UI, UX, and conversion rates.

 

Pros:

  • Conversion funnel analysis to optimize the conversion process.

  • Feedback and survey tools for gathering user insights.

  • Form analytics to improve lead capture forms.

  • User-friendly interface and easy implementation.

  • Variety of heatmaps and visitor recordings for visualizing user behavior.


With HotJar, you can see different heatmaps showing where users click, how they hover around the site, and how deep they scroll on the page (shown on picture.)


Cons:

  • Limited features compared to all-in-one marketing automation platforms.

  • An activated Hotjar tracker can slow down the website’s performance. 


Pricing plans:

Hotjar offers pricing plans based on the desired features and the website traffic coverage, all with a 20% discount when paid annually.


  • Hotjar Observe (heatmaps and site recordings) — From $31.2 to $170 per user, per month

  • Hotjar Ask (feedback and surveys) — From $51 to $68 per user, per month

  • Hotjar Engage (automated moderated user interviews) — From $299 to $471 per user, per month


Free trial:

A free trial for new users lets you explore the tool’s potential. The free package has a good range of features for basic analytics, and you can use it for unlimited time. 


Best CRM for larger teams and simultaneous lead and sales work: HubSpot

HubSpot is a comprehensive marketing and sales powerhouse with a wide range of functionality to support lead capturing, nurturing, and management. It provides a holistic solution for businesses looking to generate and manage inbound leads effectively.

On a scale of 1 to 10, HubSpot is 9. It works best with the bigger scale when your base is over 1000 leads/month and you have a team of 5+ people working at the same time with those leads. HubSpot’s best feature is workflow automation, which is more flexible than in other tools. Analytics has a lot of predefined reports and is rather customizable if you need to create your own. Templates, workflows, and pipelines are the features that the team loves most.


Key functionality:


  • Lead capturing forms: HubSpot offers customizable forms that embed on websites, landing pages, or blog posts, allowing you to collect information from inbound leads and store them in a centralized CRM system.


  • Lead nurturing automation: Automated email workflows and lead nurturing campaigns build engagement over time. It allows businesses to send personalized emails based on user behavior, interests, or specific triggers, helping move leads through the sales funnel.


  • CRM integration: HubSpot’s CRM system acts as a centralized database for storing and managing lead and sales information. It provides tools for lead segmentation, scoring, and sales pipeline management.


  • Analytics and reporting: Comprehensive analytics and reporting features help track lead generation performance, campaign effectiveness, and overall marketing ROI, giving insights into lead sources, conversion rates, and revenue attribution.


  • Landing page builder: The platform includes a page builder with drag-and-drop functionality, allowing users to create customized landing pages optimized for lead generation and conversion.


Unique value:

HubSpot’s unique value lies in its all-in-one approach to inbound marketing and sales. Here you can capture leads, nurture, and run CRM and analytics functionalities in one platform with fantastic co-working capability.  

 

Pros:

  • All-in-one platform for inbound marketing and sales.

  • Automated lead nurturing workflows and email campaigns.

  • CRM integration for centralized lead management.

  • Comprehensive analytics and reporting.

  • Customizable lead-capturing forms and landing pages.


Cons:

  • Higher pricing compared to standalone lead generation tools.

  • The platform’s extensive functionality causes a learning curve for beginners.


Pricing plans:

HubSpot offers different pricing plans, including options for marketing, sales, and CRM functionalities. You can mix and match your bundle; all packages come with a 10-40% discount when paid annually. Pricing for the CRM suite is as follows: 


  • Starter — Starting from $50 per month

  • Professional — Starting from $2,531 per month

  • Enterprise — Starting from $6,560 per month


Free trial:

HubSpot provides a free subscription plan with limited features and a 14-day trial period for the professional bundles, where you can try out their tools for marketing, sales, service, CMS, and operations management.


Other popular B2B lead generation tools

  • Salesforce: A huge platform that helps you track and nurture leads, manage customer interactions, and improve processes. A ton of third-party plugins enable almost any functionality for it. 

  • Leadpages: Create and optimize landing pages and forms to capture leads with easy-to-use templates, A/B testing, and simple integrations. 

  • Mailchimp: An email marketing tool that allows you to nurture an email database, design campaigns, automate follow-ups, and make customizable signup forms, all in a cheerful, user-friendly interface.

  • Sumo: A suite of tools for capturing and converting website visitors into leads. Fill your site with engaging features like pop-ups, welcome mats, scroll boxes, and smart bars.

  • OptinMonster: This tool focuses on creating effective opt-in forms, pop-ups, and other lead-capture tools. It allows you to target specific audiences and do A/B testing.

  • Drift: Provides chatbots and live chat to engage with your website visitors, and capture and qualify leads with real-time conversations.

  • ZoomInfo: A B2B contact database and lead generation platform with heaps of accurate data, features to identify and connect with potential leads, and automated dialing tools.


What took thousands of hours decades ago can be done in minutes today with the right tools. Solutions like Reply.io, Gmass, Apollo, and Hunter will help you collect thousands of contacts in minutes; HotJar and HubSpot will help you gather insights and convert leads to prospects. Equip yourself with all of the above, and use your new superpower to go from the portrait of a consumer in your mind to full pipeline in a matter of days or even hours. 

The list above includes our favorites. Yet, as new solutions and features emerge, the popularity of different tools fluctuates. So, when investing in software for your lead generation team, consider your business needs, evaluate the features and benefits of available products, and read up-to-date reviews before deciding.


And if you don’t have time for the learning curve, no problem. Our specialists are happy to consult with you about building up the sales processes in your company and support you with education and resources — just let us know.

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