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  • Writer's pictureKyle Meadows

B2B lead generation strategy & best tactics for 2024

Updated: Dec 27, 2023


Welcome to NGG - this weekly 16-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:


Successful B2B businesses thrive on effective lead generation. But getting quality leads comes with tough challenges.


Budget constraints. Industry saturation and competition. Poor lead quality. This bunch can negatively impact any B2B lead generation process.


Fortunately, they won’t be your lot. In this article, we’ll walk you through the B2B lead generation approach that helps us generate up to 350 qualified deals in 1 month.


You’ll also learn about creating a B2B lead generation strategy, see some practical tactics by other experts, and know how to set yourself up for success if you lack B2B lead generation expertise.


What makes an effective B2B lead generation strategy?


Before answering, we need to agree on this:


👉🏾 strategy is not a tactic. 💯

Using channels like SEO, PPC, and organic search is not a B2B lead generation strategy. These are B2B lead generation tactics.

But don’t take my word for it. Rand Fishkin, CEO of SparkToro says:

Strategy is how your beliefs (about your target audience, customers, strengths and weaknesses, competition, etc.) inform your approach to marketing. When you hypothesize, hopefully with data, about which channels are worthy of testing, which audiences to reach in which order, or why to structure your brand’s positioning and messaging in a particular fashion, that’s strategy.Put another way, “Tactics stem from strategy,” Rand adds.

When creating a strategy, you need to tailor it to your organization, industry, product/service, and revenue model. Why? What applies to other companies may not apply to yours. Take these 2 AI-powered translation management systems, for instance:

 

Audience

Enterprise companies/global brands

Freelancers, small translation agencies, localization managers

What our audience cares about

High-quality translations

Low price

Ease of reaching our audience

Difficult

Easy

Strategy

Use an outbound email marketing strategy to reach our audience

Create a content marketing program focused on SEO and YouTube

Clearly, these audiences and what motivates them to buy are different. Meaning, the tactics for reaching them will differ. But creating a strategy requires looking beyond your audience. Find out what to consider below. 


1. Identify your ideal customers


Most marketers struggle with lead generation because they skip this step. Even those who do barely scratch the surface. The outcome? Failure to know or understand their ideal customers.


Your ideal customers are not “manufacturing companies with 200+ employees” or “digital marketing companies with 100+ employees in the U.S.” Building a profile of your customers transcends these. 


According to Yuriy Boyko, to create an ideal customer profile (ICP), you need to understand the demographic, firmographic, psychographic, and behavioral info of your customer.


These will help you go from “we target manufacturing companies with 200+ employees” to “we target U.S.-based operations managers in manufacturing companies with 200+ employees who want to monitor energy consumption at machine level and meet their ESG goals and cost reduction targets.”


2. List your unique value proposition


Your unique value proposition (UVP) is how your product fixes your ICP’s pain points where competitor products fail.


A simple illustration:


😩Pain point = X👎Competitor 1 – Can’t fix X👎Competitor 2 – Can’t fix X👍Your product – Fixes X


That solution to X? That’s your UVP. 


Think of your UVP as your brand differentiator. These are the reasons customers stick with or switch to your company. For instance, the value proposition of Pairaphrase, an AI-powered translation management system, can look like this:


Value proposition example

Pain point

Solutions

No security and confidentiality

Provides security and confidentiality

Unpreserved document formatting

Keeps document formatting

Single file translation

Batch file translation

After identifying your value proposition, your next step is to emphasize them in your messaging and the lead generation tactics you employ.


3. Outline the channels and tactics for reaching your ICP


French writer and journalist Antoine de Saint-Exupéry famously said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”


After identifying your ICP and UVP, you need to think and use data to validate the tactics for executing your strategy. These could be PPC, cold email, review platforms, or content marketing.


While you’re at it, ensure you document your strategy. Research shows top marketers are 414% more likely to report success when they document their strategy.


4. Set SMART goals


Goals give you direction. They let you know when you’re slipping up, fuel your drive to create better outcomes, and keep you focused on your growth and revenue targets.

When creating goals, keep them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound).


How this looks in practice:

SMART goals

Non-SMART goals

Get 300 sales-qualified leads per quarter using [tactic].

Get more sales-qualified leads.


This goal isn’t measurable and time-bound.

Launch an email campaign to generate 500 new leads by [date].

Launch an email campaign to generate new leads by [date].


This goal isn’t measurable.

Now that you know what goes into a B2B lead generation strategy, let’s go over some tactics you can use for execution.


B2B lead generation tactics and acquisition channels


There are several tactics for generating B2B leads. This list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s one that has produced results for us and other top B2B marketers we know.


1. PPC and retargeting


Ideal customers who browsed your website or responded to your campaigns could forget about you quickly. The reason? They are not ready to buy. Instead of filing these leads as lost opportunities, run a PPC campaign using intent-focused retargeting ads. This means you should create different ads for leads who visit specific pages of your website.


We know this works because we’ve used PPC to generate 123 deals in a single month. What’s better? We were able to optimize our ad cost from $550 to $275 per deal. 😮 That’s a steal, and here’s 1 way we pulled it off:


Other ways to get the most out of your retargeting campaigns include:

  • Identify the buyer intent and send relevant resources to catch the attention of your ICP.

  • Create custom retargeting lists and ads based on different action-based triggers.

  • Map your sales funnel and design unique landing pages for retargeting leads in various stages.


To learn more about how we use retargeting to attract warm leads, we recommend you watch this video by Silvio Perez:


PPC and retargeting

🏆 Best for: All B2B business.👍 Pros: Re-engage potential leads. Increase conversion rates.👎 Cons: Requires ad spend. May be perceived as intrusive.💰 How to increase leads to conversion odds: Segment audiences. Create compelling retargeting messages.


When to use PPC and retargeting

  • You want new leads fast

  • You run a new company

  • You have a large marketing budget

  • You have a large total addressable market

  • Search volume of terms related to your product is low

  • You sell a high-ticket product


Budget:

  • SMB: Up to $1,000 per month

  • Startup: $1,000 to $10,000

  • Enterprise: Over $10,000


2. Cold email outreach


Cold email is one of our cheapest customer acquisition channels. Besides helping us generate leads at $200 per deal, our leads close rate from cold emails is also high.

To make cold email outreach one of your best B2B lead generation tactics, you need to give prospects something unique. Average response rates stand at 7% today because many prospects don’t get triggered to take action. They are tired of reading and responding to outreach messages that don’t resonate with them.


To get better responses, take a page from our team which specializes in cold email outreach. Here are some of our tried-and-tested tips for nailing email campaigns:


  • Create a personalized video.


  • Infuse personality into your messaging.


  • Be on brand always.


Cold email outreach


🏆 Best for: Low budget companies, startups, high-ticket products.👍 Pros: Get leads quickly. Test your go-to-market strategy.👎 Cons: Tough to scale. Increased chances of emails entering spam.💰


How to increase leads to conversion odds: Adopt cold emailing best practices.


When to use cold email outreach

  • You have busy ICPs

  • You never want your pipeline to dry up

  • Search volume of terms related to your product is low 

  • You have a small total addressable market

  • You have a limited marketing budget

  • You have highly customizable offerings

  • You are running a new company


Budget: About $1,000 per month for tools + upwards of $3,500 monthly salary for an SDR


3. LinkedIn outreach and marketing


There are 3 approaches for generating B2B leads on LinkedIn:


  • Create organic content: This is non-intrusive and lets leads come to you.

  • Do LinkedIn outreach: This is intrusive but lets you get leads who may not contact you.

  • Run paid LinkedIn ads: This is intrusive, costs money, and is expensive.


Of these approaches, creating organic content is easiest and gets you visibility. The problem? You need to think, create, and post content all the time. That’s hard. It gets worse because some leads may see your content but may not reach out. To fix this, combine organic content creation and LinkedIn outreach. That’s what Paul Dickau did to snag $40K in 3 months.


At Nexar, we used a similar approach by first developing a 3-pronged organic content plan to build a client’s personal brand and achieved great ROI. Our plan for the company CEO’s account focused on sharing personal stories, business insights, and brand-focused content. The result? Over 400,000 post views within 220 days.


Beyond the high LinkedIn metrics, our process involved targeted LinkedIn outreach. This led to 53 quality appointments with interested buyers.

Here’s one of the outreach messages:


If you have the resources, don’t stop at just content and outreach. Yes…

Content + outreach = quick results


But…Content + outreach + paid ads = Quicker results


Bottom line: Go the extra mile and use all the resources at your disposal to win leads. 


LinkedIn outreach


🏆 Best for: New startups. Companies selling mid to high-ticket products.👍 Pros: Wide audience reach. Engagement opportunities.

👎 Cons: Requires consistent effort. May not directly lead to conversion all the time.

💰 How to increase leads to conversion odds: Include call to action in your organic content. Supplement organic efforts with targeted ads.


When to use LinkedIn

  • You’re new to your industry

  • You prioritize brand-building 

  • You have a point of view that differs from the norm


Budget: Upwards of $1,000 per month for outsourced LinkedIn content


4. Social proof


B2B buyers want to learn more about your business from trusted sources like communities, review platforms, and reports. User reviews, in particular, have become a key factor in B2B purchasing decisions.


A TrustRadius study reveals that buyers increasingly rely on user reviews to research and weigh different options before making their final decisions. Only 23% connect with a sales representative to continue the conversation.


Positive reviews make a solid case for you and drive more inbound leads, so building social proof through user reviews should be a top priority in your lead generation strategy.


To maximize social proof for your business:

  • Collect testimonials from your customers.

  • Create in-depth case studies on successful projects.

  • Collaborate with industry experts to get their endorsements.

  • Work with media partners to increase brand mentions on social media.


At Nexar, we’ve placed social proof at the core of our framework to build the strongest argument for our services and drive more conversions. While we know that Clutch, G2, and other review listings tend to have a high CAC, we also know they produce a high quality of opportunities.


Adding review platforms like G2 to the mix further convinces prospects of the ROI we can deliver.


Relevant reading: How to generate B2B leads from Clutch

Social proof


🏆 Best for: All B2B companies.👍 Pros: Build credibility. Obliterates prospect objections.👎 Cons: Requires ongoing efforts. Needs other B2B lead gen tactics to first attract the lead.💰 How to increase leads to conversion odds: Share social proof on your website. Use it in your written and visual content. Share them on social media.


5. SEO Content


Whether you’re investing in on-page, off-page, or technical SEO, one element that brings your SEO efforts together is content. 


If you operate on a tight budget, you need to keep your costs per lead low. To do this, you could adopt the collaborative growth framework and prioritize blog content creation for bottom-of-funnel keywords.


Leads who search for these keywords usually have a high transactional intent. And since they are ready to buy, it's ideal that you put your best foot forward by working with writers who can deliver such articles.

Irina Yelisova, says:

To create bottom-of-the-funnel content for our target personas, we look for writers with:Real knowledge in B2B sales and marketing (preferably former or real practitioner)
Experience writing solely for B2B companiesExperience in running deep research, interviewing experts, and using relevant content platforms for surveying SMEs. 
The best writers might not be enough to deliver content that stands out. What makes the difference is an excellent writer + practitioner’s insights from SME interviews.

Adapting these to your industry and brand will help you get the best-fit writers who can deliver content that drives results. Doing this is your best bet for turning SEO and content into a cost-effective channel that also supports other lead generation channels.


Blog articles


🏆 Best for: B2B businesses whose leads find information using search engines.

👍 Pros: Positions your brand as an industry authority. Great for long-term customer acquisition.

👎 Cons: Requires ongoing effort. Results may trickle in after 6–12 months.

💰 How to increase leads to conversion odds: Focus on bottom-of-the-funnel keywords first. Optimize for search intent. Use lead magnets to attract email sign-ups. Prioritize quality over quantity.


When to use articles

  • You don’t expect the articles to produce results instantly

  • A sizable number of leads use search engines to find terms related to your business  

  • Distributing your content where your ICP hangs out is in your content creation process


Budget: Varies. Around $1,000 or more for a high-end article.


6. Original research reports

Research reports are fantastic lead generation resources. At The Predictive Index, Erin Balsa used a single report to generate $680K in revenue.


Here, our B2B cold email outreach benchmarks have brought us 2 closed deals with lifetime value upwards of $50k. The beautiful thing about research reports is the limitless assets you can make from them.A single research can turn into 4 blog posts, 2 persona-specific gated reports, 2 webinars, and hundreds of LinkedIn posts. For instance, besides bringing us leads, our research report insights helped us create:


  • What is the best time to send a B2B email?

  • What are B2B cold email response rates?

  • Sales follow-up statistics in B2B


These articles (including the report) are a fine way of getting backlinks which will boost search results for our blog and promote our site on the SERP. When publishing a research report, you might be torn between gating or ungating it. We recommend gating because simple qualifiers like “job title” can help you know if a lead is a good fit.


Original research

🏆 Best for: Companies that want to attract attention and build thought leadership.

👍 Pros: Establish authority. Attract media attention.

👎 Cons: Resource-intensive. Time-consuming to create.

💰 How to increase leads to conversion odds: Distribute the research on social media. Share the research on your site. Use the research to collect and qualify leads.

When to create original research reports:


  • You’ve identified a gap in your market your original research can fill

  • You sell a high ACV product


Budget: From $7,000 to $20,000 (depending on the research)


7. Referral selling


Referral selling relies on customer advocacy to generate positive interest in your business and bring high-value leads. 


These leads have a higher conversion potential because:

  • They know how you can help them

  • They trust you based on their friends’ referrals


For your referral selling program to work, you need to design incentives for customers who referred you, create a template that explains how you’d approach referred leads, and show gratitude after winning a lead through a referral.

Always circle back to the person who referred you, thanking them and updating them on the progress. It’s a nice gesture that keeps the door open for future referrals (especially if the person you’ve been forwarded to never got back to you).
Anastasiia Ivaniuk,

Doing these will speed up your process and reduce your heavy lifting.

About referrals


🏆 Best for: B2B businesses with satisfied customers.

👍 Pros: Leverage existing relationships. Gain prospects’ trust fast.

👎 Cons: Relies on customer satisfaction. May not be scalable.

💰 How to increase leads to conversion odds: Incentivize referrals. Maintain strong customer relationships.


When to use referral selling:

  • You’ve satisfied lots of customers

  • You can satisfy your new customers


8. Lead capturing


Inbound lead generation works.

But if you’re not capturing and nurturing leads, identifying those who are a fit today or those to follow up with later becomes a chore. This is where lead capturing shines.

In 5 months, downloadable files helped us capture almost 600 leads. We’ve qualified 9% of these leads with different statuses. We also have 49 opportunities and 2 closed deals. Not much, not bad either. Even some captured leads who went with competitors are our potential clients.
Why? Our sales executives can follow up and close them if the competition is underperforming. For other leads, it’s bad timing and our sales team can connect with them later. This makes lead capturing a beneficial and long game.

After determining that your content is great for lead capturing, follow these best practices with your lead capture form:

  • Stick to a maximum of 5 fields in the form.

  • Run A/B tests to optimize every element of the form.

  • Use welcome or exit-intent pop-ups to capture leads.

  • Add only the most relevant questions to qualify your leads.

  • Decide a strategic placement for your form on landing pages.

  • Include microcopy to explain your stance on privacy.


Here’s a great lead capture form example by HubSpot. This form displays the number of steps a visitor has to complete before submitting the form. It also highlights HubSpot’s privacy statement to tell users their data is safe.


Lead capturing


🏆 Best for: All B2B businesses.

👍 Pros: Affordable to execute.

👎 Cons: Requires constant optimization. Leads may unsubscribe from your list if your resource was below expectations.

💰 How to increase leads to conversion odds: Create compelling resources that add value to leads.


When to use lead capture forms

  • You’re ready to play the long game

  • Your email marketing skills are top notch

  • You don’t easily give up on warm leads


9. Podcasts


Podcasts as a lead generation tactic is a long-term play.

Don’t publish a few episodes and expect leads to fall in line. They won’t.


Succeeding with podcasts requires planning, thorough execution, and 101% consistency.

An outstanding podcast model is Chris Walker and the Refine Labs team. They’ve published over 450 podcast episodes and attribute $7.3 million of their annual recurring revenue to their podcast.


Podcasts

🏆 Best for: Niche markets.

👍 Pros: Build a loyal audience. Easy to consume.

👎 Cons: Slow growth potential.

💰 How to increase leads to conversion odds: Feature industry experts. Ask featured experts to share their episodes on social media. Promote on various social media platforms.


When to use podcasts

  • You’re not looking for leads right now

  • You are willing to track podcast leads through self-reported attribution


Budget: Upwards of $1,300 per episode for podcast content creation

Now, you may know all of these tactics for generating B2B leads. However, if you lack the time or expertise to execute them, your brand growth will take a hit. 


What do you do when you lack time or expertise for B2B lead generation?

Outsource. You could outsource either the strategy creation, tactical execution, or both.

Belkins does it. We help 180+ clients with services like cold email outreach, demand generation, sales development, and LinkedIn marketing.


 

Whether you’re outsourcing lead generation or any other service, look out for a brand with industry expertise, transparency, irrefutable social proof, and a clear process.

If implementing other B2B lead generation tactics is on your radar,

FAQ about B2B lead generation


How much does B2B lead generation cost?

B2B lead generation costs vary widely. Spends will depend on your industry, your need for a strategy, or a need for strategy and execution. Based on my agency experience, B2B businesses spend between $5,000 to $30,000+ for deliverables like content strategy, content creation, content distribution, and reporting.


Marketing is a long-term game and you need to first invest before harvesting. To start some SEO content, PPC, or outbound, you need about $15,000 to $20,000 monthly. If everything is done right, in 4–6 months, you can get a positive ROI.

What is the best platform for generating B2B leads?


LinkedIn remains a powerhouse for B2B lead generation because of its professional user base. That said, all audiences may not spend their spare time on LinkedIn. Reaching out to them where they hang out, like professional Slack communities, is a great call too.


How can I maintain a high ROI and reduce CAC?


To get a high return on investment (ROI) and lower customer acquisition costs (CAC), you have to focus on data. Use the insights to optimize your sales funnel and refine your lead generation process. Keep in mind that some data has to be self-reported or you might assume your efforts are not producing results. For instance, attribution software won’t be able to identify a lead whose first touchpoint is your podcast.


Also, you can provide additional training for your team, hire new experts, or even turn to professional agencies to fill in the skill gaps.


How do I improve the quality of my leads?

Sugar always attracts ants. If your content and every other tactic you execute is relevant to your leads, they’ll naturally associate with you. If you’re taking the outbound route, use B2B lead lists sparingly.


How do I generate leads faster?


Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut, especially when you’re operating on a low budget. However, if you have the resources to outsource, do it by all means. Outsourcing will give you a heads-up about the ideal customers you should be targeting, their pain points, and other information that would have taken months to uncover. You can also speed up lead generation by running paid ad campaigns, asking for referrals, and using the help of professionals.

How do I find leads in a new market?


Conduct thorough competitor research. A good place to start is the website of your competitors. Know the logos of brands on their home page that competitors use for social proof? Start figuring out your ideal customers using that information.

  

What are the best B2B lead generation tools I should use?


The ideal tool set depends on your specific needs and goals. Here’s our recommendation of B2B lead generation software:


  • Reply.io: For multiple mailing accounts

  • GMass: For an outreach kick start

  • Crunchbase: For researching startup-related contacts

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

  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator: For professional teams with extended budget

  • Hunter: For quick email research and validation

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

  • HubSpot: For larger teams with complex sales activities

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