10 Ways to generate leads for b2b sales

By Karina Collis, Alina Adt & Viktoria Fischer-Werth | June 2020

How do you increase traction for your startup and generate sales leads outside of social networks?

In business to business sales, generating leads is the key to success. However, as with any sales project, it can be difficult to find and maintain an active list of leads. You may start feeling like you've tapped into all of your resources, especially after the long days of making calls, sending emails, and answering chat messages. If you want to be successful in generating leads, you'll have to find new ways to reach a wider audience. It can definitely be tough, but it's in no way impossible.

Below, we've gathered some of the tips from top industry experts in lead generation. These individuals are skilled in generating leads and have market experience. There is more to developing leads than being personable and knowing people. The tips below will help you find new leads and maintain a healthy list of contacts. Moreover, these tips will help you find new leads, not just now, but for years to come.

After all, the road to success in b2b sales lies in the ability to consistently bring in new leads. Being successful can take some time, and, when starting out, it can feel overwhelming. But, using industry-proven tips, you'll find it is easier than you ever imagined.


Tips and Tricks of the B2B Industry
Keep in mind, prior to starting out on your lead generating journey, that you'll want to be prepared for a lot of different outcomes. It's important to remember that no matter how hard you try, you're not likely to land every sale. You might face outcomes that leave you feeling a little bit down, such as:

rejection
complaints
negativity
These are normal in sales. If you keep your head up and remain friendly. Practice being personable, research your product, and make sure you're ready to answer any and all questions from your clients. This is the foundation for being successful in creating your b2b saas sales funnel. Once you've to the right headspace, you'll be ready to begin.

Following these tips, the leads will practically come to you!

1. Practice Best SEO on your personal platforms

Using SEO is vital to your success in successfully creating selling in the b2b world. However, many sales professionals don't understand how to utilise SEO, or even understand entirely what it means and how to use it to their advantage. However, without proper SEO practices, it's easy to go unnoticed.
WHat does SEO Mean?
SEO is known as Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is the practice of utilising specific keywords that users will search for when hoping to stumble upon your product. Having these words in your social media posts, as well as on your personal webpages, will allow you to appear higher in search listings. We're here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?
"According to most research, 60% of all internet clicks go to the first page of google searches."
Therefore, you will want to make sure that your posts are trending high on search pages. Utilising specific words and phrases that users will search for in relation to your product will help you appear more frequently in their searches.
Two overlapping circles, one with purple colour, the second one showing a picture of someone writing on his laptop
Ultimately, you should consider what keywords and phrases users will search for that can lead them to your product. If you aren't sure what keywords to use, consider searching for products similar to yours - what words and phrases are you searching for? Strategically using these throughout your content will help you appear higher on the search pages.

Example of a website grader of SEO rules by Hubspot
Where to start? You will FIND many SEO analysis tools online. Hubspot, for example, offers a free website grader (example on the left side). WE also recommend to check a SEO guide for beginners, provided by moz.com

2. Answer questions on Q&A platforms such as Yahoo and Quora

While answering questions may seem, to some professionals, to be silly or a waste of time, it's a great way to generate leads. Search for specific topics and questions related to your product. Providing individuals who have questions with useful information relating to your product allows users who posed the question to find information about your product.
Two overlapping circles, one with purple colour, the second one showing a picture of a light sign of a question mark
Moreover, it allows you to be in the limelight for those who are also searching for this information. After all, if someone were to search for a product that allowed them to perform a specific task, and in the question and answer section they should information relating to your product, you may have very well secured yourself a sale simply by providing the relative information.

Answering common questions posted online like this is a great way to freely advertise your product and services, and allows you to provide direct lines of communication to you. This is great - those who are looking for your services are able to come to you, all thanks to the information you provided.

Searching even once a week, or setting notification preferences on these sites will allow you to know when a new relative question has been asked. The earlier you answer, these questions, the more likely these individuals will reach out to you directly for information. It's a great and easy way to send leads directly to you.

Screenshot of the search results for “sales” on the website Quora
this is an example of Quora page (we searched for sales-related conversations). Answering common questions posted online is an easy and effective way to freely promote your products and services

3. Use multiple platforms and content format

Utilizing more than one
platform, and creating
content in multiple forms
gives you greater visibility.
If you limit yourself to one platform or one content type, you're less likely to attract a wide audience of individuals who may be interested in your product. There are plenty of different platforms you can utilize for lead generation, however. It's important not to limit yourself to one or two types of platforms. Users often will search platforms they're most familiar with for content and products that could be beneficial to their businesses.
Knowing what platforms your potential platforms your ideal audience will use will help you decide where to direct your primary focus. For instance, more professional products may be best marketed on professional websites and communication platforms such as LinkedIn. Other products and services can be advertised through Facebook, Twitter, and personal blog posts.
Utilising your personal sales blog is a great place to start.
Additionally, of course, you can also attempt to write guest blogs on other people's platforms. This is a great way to advertise your products and services to the audiences of others - not necessarily those who have gone looking for your services. Guest blogs provide platform owners with content for their websites. Additionally, it brings them a wider audience for those searching for information about your services.

4. Utilise paid ads

While using paid ads is disgruntling for some, it is often a great way to generate leads. In fact, generating leads by paid ads is often extremely effective on platforms such as Facebook and other platforms were ads are specifically targeted based on user searches and other data. This is a great way to inadvertently get your product in front of individuals who may be interested in the products you are marketing.
Two overlapping circles, one with purple colour, the second one showing a picture of advertisements at a train station
Often, these ads are not exceptionally expensive, though many b2b companies exact sales agents to pay for the ads out of their own pockets. All the same, you are able to monitor the success of your advertisement campaign on these platforms. This allows you to make changes to the advertisement campaign in real-time, creating an advertising campaign that is adaptable based upon how users interact.

Of course, you can also create these campaigns on other platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, or even throughout the internet and on phone apps. This is an effective way to get your content in front of people. You can track who has seen and interacted with your advertisement. This is exceptionally helpful, as it allows you to track and determine where your ad is most successful, as well as use these interactions to reach out directly to leads.

Screenshot of a search result with Google for “Build a Market Place”. Arrows explaining which part is a google ad, and which one the organic results.

5. Use Customer Referrals

Customer referrals are one of the easiest ways to generate leads. Creating a b2b SaaS sales funnel is a great way to promote sales. Most often, sales agents utilize a sales funnel for this purpose. Creating what's known as affiliate programs will allow you to bring in new leads while making profits.

Typically, the way these programs work is as follows:
1
Initial Customer Base
You have an initial customer base. Individuals purchase the product directly from you, as a representative of the company you work for. From there, individuals who have purchased your product can refer other potential clients to purchase your product. In most cases, you allow these individuals to keep a cut of the profit you would make from the sale.
2
Lead Sources
These individuals will post your affiliate links on their own lead sources. From there, they draw in potential sales that lead directly back to you.
3
Expansion
You share a portion of the profit with the individual who brings in the new lead. They see this as an opportunity to continue generating their own profit. Effectively, these individuals are willing to find other individuals who would be interested in your product for you.
This is a powerful way to generate leads for quite some time. While it may cause you to initially lose a bit of your overall profit, bringing in leads, and using these leads to bring in other leads, will allow you to continue to generate profit as time goes on.

6. Utilise programs to generate leads based upon your website visitors

There are hundreds of programs available online for you to utilise (Lusha, Lead Forensics, Voogy etc). Programs that allow you to backtrace individuals who have accessed your website give you a direct way to reach out to those who specifically have viewed your product. Typically, these websites will backlink to information for your anonymous visitors.

This is a great way to easily connect with individuals who have expressed interest in your product. Reaching out to those who have visited your site, but not purchased a product or provided contact information is a great way to start a conversation.

When you reach out, you have the chance to provide individuals who had potentially were uncertain about making a purchase. This gives you the ability to answer any questions they have about your product. If you have any current deals or promotional offerings for direct contacts, this is also a great opportunity to present those, as it gives you the potential to make a sale.

It's important, however, that you choose the service that backtraces your anonymous website visits. Choosing the right client will ensure that you get the information you need to reach out to these sources. Not every service will provide you with direct contact information, so finding the right service will make sure you know who to contact to sell your products.
Screenshot of a website’s analytics by Leads Forensics.
this is an example of a website's analytics by Leads Forensics. Online you will find many alternative services that will allow you to backtrace individuals who have visited your website.

7. Be accessible to your clients



"Being accessible and friendly is one of the most important things you can do to make sure that you're able to make sales."
Many b2b sales agents have live chats during their available working hours for individuals who are interested to ask questions, get more information, and determine if the product is a good fit for their company. Therefore, you'll want to make sure that your posts are trending high on search pages. Utilizing specific words and phrases that users will search for in relation to your product will help you appear more frequently in their searches.
As with any investment, it is often important for potential buyers to know all the facts and information. The ability to communicate with the seller will be a driving force between those who considered purchasing your product and those who successfully decide to purchase it.

One of the most important aspects of sales is being able to convert a lost sale, or a potential sale, into a confirmed sale. No matter how much information you provide, and no matter how strong your sales pitch, there will always be potential clients with questions about the product. Being readily available to answer those questions for potential clients will help secure a sale.
If you have a client who has a lot of questions in regards to the product or reaches out to you with a question specifically, one of the best ways you can be successful in being accessible to your clients is by offering to schedule a phone call with them to provide more information when they express their interest. A phone call with them gives you the ability to listen to their responses and tell them what they need to hear in order to make your sale successful.

Accessibility will be one of the most important factors in improving your sales and confirming your leads. It isn't always easy, but it will definitely help in the long run.
Example of a website chat box to help customers.

8. Generate more online reviews

More often than not, prior to making a B2B sales purchase, individuals will look online to find reviews about the product itself. This is important to keep in mind, as these reviews will often influence their purchasing decision. Products and services that have little to no reviews online, or negative reviews, are much less likely to be purchased than those that have plenty of readily available positive reviews.
Two overlapping circles, one with purple colour, the second one showing a picture of a hand gesture.
Purchasing reviews, however, is often a bad idea. Instead, you should find ways to influence or reward customers for reviewing your product. Their reviews will ensure that those who are looking for more information and user experience with the product are able to find the information that they need to feel comfortable with making their purchase.

Additionally, for any bad reviews you get - because let's face it, getting bad reviews on occasion may be inevitable - make sure you respond. Responding to a poor review, and making an effort to rectify the situation, will often make your product stand out more to potential customers. Realistically, a response to negative reviews helps make potential buyers understand that you are dedicated to your clients and that you will work to resolve any potential issues.

Naturally, you won't be able to fix every issue, and you won't satisfy every customer. Making sure that your online reputation, however, is good, and that you are available and willing to attempt to resolve any issues, will provide you with a good image. Uncertain buyers are often influenced by reviews, and getting these leads will be important. This is how you generate more sales. The more sales, the more reviews, and then more leads. It's the cycle of sales, which is vital to being successful in b2b.

9. Make lead magnets to get information

Lead magnets are a great way to get information about potential customers. A lead magnet is a gift that marketers offer potential customers in exchange for an email address or other contact information. Typically speaking, these magnets are pieces of information that many potential clients may want. Often, it's a freebie - maybe a pdf with helpful information, or a guide they can print out. Sometimes it's additional information that the potential buyer may want before they purchase the item.
And, to access this magnet, the individual often will need to give you information to contact them. Most often, you'll get information, such as their name, email address, or phone number. This is a great way to gather information for people who are interested in your product and then follow up - usually a day or two later, so as to not feel overwhelming - to see if you can convince them to purchase your product.
Naturally, not everyone will give you a valid email address, and this won't always be the best way to contact them. However, if they give you a good email when you work on email campaigns and reach out to them, you may catch their interest. Being able to follow up with them in the future is often one of the best ways to make sure that you can easily try to convert to a sale in the future

10. Create a focused landing page

Lastly, one of the best things you can do is to create a focused landing page. Landing pages are important in sales, as they allow you to create a sales point. Landing pages are the final point of your sales campaign. This is where potential clients will end up when they're considering purchasing your product, which means it's vital to the success of your sales.
Landing pages are important
in sales, as they allow you to
create a sales point
A landing page should have a variety of information on it, and in particular USP - unique selling proposition. Also, it should have information in regards to the product, its uses, its price, and any other common FAQs. Moreover, you'll want to have information on how other users have felt about the product, as well as the overall benefits of the product itself.

Focus on creating a self-selling landing page. Utilize this page to create a sales point, with all the information you feel like potential buyers would need to be convinced to purchase your product. Doing so will help draw in more potential clients - and if you combine this with our lead magnet, you'll often get user information to attempt to make sales in the future, for those who decide not to make the purchase then and there.
Example of a company’s landing page

Conclusion






Ultimately, at the end of the day, there are hundreds of ways to find potential leads. However, these tips have been used by professionals in the fields. More often than not, they're a great way to connect with individuals who are interested in the product you are selling.
Making sure that you reach out to those who show interest, of course, and using the skills you have as a sales representative, you'll be able to keep an ongoing list of leads, allowing you to have business nearly constantly.

And, don't forget - as you continue learning and developing your skills, you'll find yourself learning new and interesting was to find leads yourself. If you have any other tips or tricks, of course, we always encourage you to share them with us. In b2b, the best thing you can do is help others find their sales voice. Good luck, and have fun!

For more sales insights, tips and trends have a look at our other articles.
by Karina Collis, Alina Adt & Viktoria Fischer-Werth | June 2020

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