Does your B2B company depend on a lead generation system that brings inconsistent results? Struggling to establish a stronger pipeline that will ensure you maintain a steady growth rate? Looking for more effective B2B lead generation ideas to test?
Lead generation is the backbone of your B2B sales strategy. However unfortunately in today’s competitive B2B marketing environment it’s extremely hard for a B2B company to avoid “back breaking” and get along without “spinal fractures”.
Your competitors attract your prospects inbound and attack them outbound generating your leads for themselves day in and day out using the same well-known overused strategies, tactics, techniques, toolsets and skillsets as you do which makes your potential clients absolutely immune to your message.
It’s time for you to break through this sad picture and become a lead winner.
So I’ve reached out to my favorite digital marketing experts and asked them to share their favorite B2B lead generation growth hack to help you supercharge your B2B lead growth.
Let’s find out what works best for them to see what you should try, revamp or give another shot.
Content marketing and SEO obsessed consultant | Great work brings great referrals | Google is #1
The best B2B lead gen strategy I’ve found is referrals. Treating your customers right is the surest way to get more customers. And referrals tend to be the best customers, too – they already know what to expect and are incredibly easy to sell.
Michael J. Schiemer
Frugal Entrepreneur | Digital Marketing Manager | Investor | Top 100 Social Media Influencer | Author of The $10 Digital Media Startup
My favorite B2B lead generation growth hack is utilizing LinkedIn to the fullest extent possible. I connect with as many key decision-makers, business owners, and entrepreneurs as possible on LinkedIn so I have a point of contact for thousands of companies. These are people that are actually authorized to BUY.
I also consistently create and share quality content that has a clear call-to-action with my growing LinkedIn network, which helps to convert visitors into full-fledged leads and customers. The versatility of LinkedIn and the opportunities it offers for B2B growth is hard to beat.
David Meerman Scott
Marketing and sales strategist, entrepreneur, advisor to emerging companies, bestselling author of 10 books including “The New Rules of Marketing & PR”
Newsjacking — the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story to generate tons of media coverage, get sales leads, and grow business.
Digital marketing strategist & founder of Bulk.ly – ambidextrous bowler skilled in SEO, social media, automation & analytics.
I’ve seen the best results with re-marketing guides/ebooks to website traffic that did not convert the first time they were on the site. This works really well with top of funnel traffic in that the majority of the traffic might not be familiar with your brand, services, or products. By offering them a piece of content to help build trust and establish a relationship, you can then use lead nurturing to move them further down the funnel.
CEO of Vulpine Interactive – a social media marketing agency that helps build contagious brands and passionate fans. He’s regularly seen speaking and blogging about growth and digital marketing in San Diego, San Francisco, and across the universe.
My best B2B lead gen tactic would be targeted LinkedIn outreach:
- Get LinkedIn Sales Navigator for $80/month.
- Do a hyper targeted search for people in your ideal role, industry, company size, location and save it as a lead search.
- Buy a tool called LinkedIn Sales Navigator extractor. Connect it to your account and export the lead list.
- Now you can scrub the list by removing bad fits, existing clients, etc.
- Create an opening connection message. Something like “Hi name, I saw you work in marketing at company and thought I’d reach out.”
- Create a compelling question as what we call message 1. Something like, “Great to connect. What’s the biggest struggle facing your department right now?” Or more specific, if you do your research, like, “I noticed some of your recent social posts were pretty sales-ee, what’s the strategy behind that?”
From here, you can hire a VA to initiate the outreach and first message process, and then you can check back in the account regularly for activity. The ultimate goal is typically a 15 minute discovery call.
To build on top of this strategy I also recommend frequent LinkedIn posts and articles (and now videos, woohoo).
Founder of Digitalux.co + columnist at Huffingtonpost, Inc, Entrepreneur, Business.com
In terms of which strategy I would say is “best”, it would probably have to be Content Marketing. Why? The marketing funnel for B2B leads is much more extended. It takes a much longer time for someone to become a qualified lead and then go turn into a client/sale. Content Marketing is one of the most scalable ways to generate leads and build trust in potential new clients or customers.
Here’s my number one tip… Guest blogging. Yes, everyone knows about it but not everyone uses it correctly. Most people use it as a way to build links but you should be using it as a way to build relationships. It’s only of the reasons I was ranked a top content marketing influencer by Onalytica — I built strong relationships with the site owners and their audiences.
CEO of Score More Sales, a sales consultancy that helps mid-market companies solve their sales team issues to grow more revenues. She also is working through WOMEN Sales Pros to help get more women into sales rep and leader roles.
My favorite lead gen growth hack is to build a “third list” – a list of referrers who ultimately can connect me through social channels, by email or even in person to decision makers in companies where buyers are. It is not the quickest thing to do, but it is the surest over time.
Start small – you may only have one or two names of industry leaders who know others in the industries you work in. Maybe you have none – so work to get a new referrer every month. You’ll end up with one list of prospective buyers who you’re working to reach every day, a list of clients, and the third list of those who can and will recommend or refer you.
What’s great about the third list is that one person can refer to to multiple others. You’ll build trust in these referrers and they will be like “feet on the street” for you.
Bootstrapping 2 companies. Co-Founder of GrowAndConvert & Wordable.io . Previously ran marketing for 2 VC backed startups in SF
If B2B companies are investing in content marketing, to drive traffic to their website, they should use the community content promotion technique. The strategy consists of finding groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+, as well as communities in your niche, subreddits, and more, and then sharing your content in those places. By using this strategy, you can drive thousands of visitors that you know are in your target market, back to your website.
SEO & Content Marketing Consulting Director from Sydney Australia. Work with Big Brands, Funded Startups and B2B’s to drive huge growth online.
One great B2B growth hack is making comparison landing pages. For example, if you are CampaignMonitor, ensure that you have a comparison page for each competitor (MailChimp, Hubspot, etc…) and have the content been long form.
This is an easy growth hack to drive conversions in the B2B software space, this is a tactic used by affiliates and more brands should adopt it.
Evan leads a team of revenue growth experts at Transform, Inc. which offers the first truly comprehensive analysis of your business’s revenue generation activity, and makes data-driven recommendations for growth. Clients: Verizon Wireless, Macy’s, Xerox, Kodak Alaris and others that shall remain nameless.
My favorite B2B lead gen growth hack – if growth hack is defined as an uncommon alternative to primary channels – is the use of Twitter for 1-to-1 prospecting and engagement. I’ve landed major enterprises through Twitter conversations, including Macy’s, and have built up great relationships with thought leaders through it as well. Leveraging a tool like ManageFlitter, you can generate high-volume high-quality conversations out of thin air in minutes. Just put “Chief Marketing Officer” or your relevant title target into the Bio field in the Account Search feature.
A lateral-thinking digital marketer holding solid experience in both agency and client-side settings. He is Founder of the eagerly-anticipated: OPTIM-EYEZ platform.
Need B2B leads? Harness the underrated power of Social Media!
Superb Content Marketing is its perfect partner…and using one without the other isn’t advised.
To be relevant to your target audience’s needs and attract valuable leads that convert at a rapid rate, your content offering across both social AND your website must present the following attributes:
Use your social channels to promote such content, and the content itself to direct people to interact with your brand on Social Media. It should be a harmonious cycle!
The more awesome content you produce, the more opportunities arise for you to share and engage…
And the more you genuinely share and engage, the more leads you gain! #Simples.
Digital Marketing Consultant | SEO Director at Hennessey Consulting | Content and Social Media Marketer | Columnist on Inc | Author | Speaker | Activist
My favorite growth hack is acquiring customers from Hacker News and Reddit by tapping into niche communities to create exposure.
First, play and become very familiar with what these communities want was well as what they reject.
Serve them good new that’s not promotional, if it’s perceived well you’ll have tone of other subreddits (sub communities picking it up)….that’s amplified exposure.
That first viral wave might not covert but the link you get from them from other publishers picking it up, and the increase of rankings you’ll get sure we’ll be targeted audiences.
Director of Content at Reflektion.com | Investigative journalist and content marketing leader | Top 50 content marketing influencer
Right now I’m excited about the potential of email courses.
At Klipfolio, my colleague Phil Gamache launched an email course about key performance indicators. Subscribers receive one email each day for five days, and each email takes 5-minutes to read. We’re seeing incredible results (not only on lead generation but on our company’s MRR).
founded LinkedIn For Business to teach and empower businesses to take control of their social footprint, intentionally connect, build credibility, invest in long-term relationships for unlimited growth potential.
Your network is your net worth and requires an investment in people. Being thoughtful and intentional with how you connect and engage matters to the results you gain. Salespeople who learn social selling practices are more effective because they connect directly with business decision makers and they build better relationships resulting in more profitable long-term opportunities.
Social Media Marketing for Recruiters and Small Businesses
My tip for generating more B2B leads via social media is to concentrate on activities that spark conversations being started. There is so much focus on growing accounts, driving web traffic, re-marketing to improve conversion rates. But I would say that conversations with decision makers trounce everything else when it comes to winning deals. So take a step back from what you are currently doing on social media and re-engineer how you are spending your time to instead focus on things that prompt targeted conversations to be started. Within days I am quite sure you’ll be amazed by the results you start to see.
CEO and founder of Ariad Partners, has over 20 years of experience in helping companies from Fortune 100 to startup generate leads, increase sales and accelerate value. Get more expert advice about inbound marketing, SEO, lead generation, sales and marketing alignment on her blog.
My B2B lead gen growth hacking tip is to leverage your newsletters and emails as a sales funnel. With a well segmented list and targeted content, you can use your emails to help your prospects on their buying journey or grow your wallet share of existing clients. Map your content to your buyers process and then deliver over the course of the buyer’s journey. A general rule of thumb is that if your sales process is usually six months, spread the content out over the same period.
Founder of Codeless, a B2B content creation company | frequent contributor to Kissmetrics, Unbounce, WordStream, AdEspresso, Search Engine Journal, Autopilot, and more
Make the unscalable, scalable. The best B2B results come from 1-1 connections. Those, by definition, don’t scale. But you have to do it to build the trust required to get mo’ money. Take direct mail. Writing a personalized note for each contact doesn’t scale. But you’ll get better results. So bring in more people, build out better processes, and turn something like that into an assembly line to produce a better, consistent end result. It’s not easy. But the ROI is worth it.
Google Expert – Speaker | Mentor for Queen’s Young Leaders Commonwealth Programme at Cambridge University
“Different Strokes for Different Folks!”
Not sure I qualify as a growth hacker but if so that was mainly through content marketing and social media, especially Twitter which is out of this world for SEO reasons as well as connections.
I do think business comes from many different places so it’s best to start where you feel most comfortable and whatever works for you, whether online or in [shock horror] real life.
- Conferences, seminars, events and networking
- Testimonials and referrals [word of mouth is always the best!]
- Content marketing
- Social media primarily LinkedIn, Twitter, oh and BeBee [I hear David Grinberg’s voice to me ]
- Email marketing
We all feel comfortable in different scenarios and situations so do what makes you both successful and happy, whether that be on or offline.
TEDx Speaker, Dragons’ Den Failure & Internet Entrepreneur
GIVE YOURSELF SOCIAL PROOF!
E.g. Email the competitors of someone that you already work with and say “We just got awesome result X for your competitor Y, would you also like result X?”
And if you don’t have any customers yet… give away your product/service for free until you get result X for someone… and then reach out to their competitors to get them to pay 😉
And BOOM… you have your first B2B client.
Marni shares cool things that help you build and grow your business. She also writes for iBusiness magazine. Marni has been obsessed with technology ever since watching the 1984 advertisement for the Apple Macintosh
If you have the Free Hubspot CRM or above and Chrome you can take advantage of this B2B growth hack. Go to your Chrome extensions and install LinkedHub. My favorite feature of it is sequences. It allows you to enter a search in LinkedIn and then send a sequence of connection requests and then messages to the people who connect with you. The cool thing about it is that all of the messages back and forth are recorded in Hubspot.
Definitely check it out!
Transforming B2B sales effectiveness with the Value Selling System®
Apply the power of focus – be crystal-clear about the common characteristics of the organisations that represent your ideal customers, the business-critical issues you can solve better than anyone else, and the roles most affected by those challenges or opportunities. Then link your social media, thought leadership and targeted outreach together to establish yourselves as the go-to experts in enabling your target customers to achieve a (significantly) better future state. And having carefully chosen your focus, stick with it until you achieve the results you deserve.
Blogger, lead generation manager, marketing assistant helping local B2B companies turbo-charge their lead growth
Create a potential client roundup post:
- Find prospects
- Send them cold emails inviting to participate in your roundup
- Ask their thoughts on an issue that your business solves (50-100 words minimum) – make them complain, reveal their struggling and ineffective solutions they use
- Collect their replies and put your content together (50 inputs minimum)
- Reward your roundup contributors with links back to their websites
- At the end of the post explain how your business solves the issue and why you’re the best
- Attach a case study for proof
- Pitch your tripwire offer, free trial, free consultation, etc
- Email your roundup contributors the link to your article when it goes live
- Reward your roundup contributors with a freebie as a way to thank them for taking time to participate (ex. free month of your software, free consulting session, free course, etc), something you normally sell at a high price.
- Promote your post to get other targeted eyeballs to see this content
Create a happy client roundup post:
- Email your clients inviting them to participate
- Ask them for a brief case study on an issue you helped them solve (100 words minimum)
- Collect their replies and put your content together (25-50 short case studies)
- Reward your roundup contributors with links back to their websites
- At the end of the post tell your readers how you can help them with this issue
- Pitch your tripwire offer, free trial, free consultation, etc…
- Promote the article
Lead generation is just the first battle.
Two more left to win – lead nurturing and lead conversion.
Can’t wait for you to join our discussion! Got questions? Would you like to share your most favorite B2B lead generation hacks? Want to rant about your lead generation campaign? Feel free to speak your mind.