B2B Lead Generation Services – How to Choose a Trustworthy Supplier
B2B lead generation is the holy grail for marketers. Great content and solutions need fresh audiences to see them, but high-quality leads in the technology sector are tricky to obtain.
61% of marketers say B2B lead generation is the thing that they struggle most with [source: B2B Technology Marketing Community, via Marketing Insider Group], and while there are numerous B2B lead generation companies offering the service, it's seen by some as a bit of a dark art.
Plenty of lead generation agencies are not transparent and open about their methods. Therefore, B2B marketers can be left disappointed by the quality of the leads and the lack of transparency from the lead gen company.
That's why trust, transparency, and integrity are vital considerations when choosing a B2B lead generation agency to work with.
How to do B2B Lead Generation
Content marketing is one of the strongest B2B lead generation strategies, and many technology businesses produce their own valuable content – whitepapers, eBooks, and case studies – to gain new audiences.
We've worked with dozens of companies who put lots of time and effort into producing such resources with the intention of generating new leads: but then haven't had the social media following, or the engagement, to attract any readership. but then struggle to distribute their content to the right new audiences and see the results they were expecting.
Other marketing strategies, such as advertising on social media, can help, but the effect is limited.
For example, LinkedIn's lead generation limitations are quite considerable. Over the years, LinkedIn's advertising has grown very fast, meaning the platform is crowded with adverts, and the ads are more expensive, while its audience targeting and campaign reporting are not quite as granular as we'd like.
The most effective way to generate high-quality B2B leads, we find, is through content syndication.
When generating your leads through content syndication, you should only work with a supplier who gives you complete transparency into their B2B lead generation services. For example, where they host your content, how they distribute it, and how they generate your leads.
Some lead generation companies, like Headley Media, can host your content on their own websites. For example, at Headley, we run our clients’ content syndication lead generation campaigns using our own content library websites. Taking this approach allows our audiences to download your educational content in return for their contact details. Then, if they fit your criteria, they will be eligible to become a lead. Reputable lead generation companies will also have a stringent quality control process to ensure your leads are of the highest quality.
As an example, take a look at our Reader Journey, which breaks down our lead generation process.
Furthermore, trustworthy B2B lead generation services should be able to deliver your leads using a fixed cost-per-lead (CPL) approach. This means you'll know the exact number of leads you can generate for your campaign's budget.
Over many years, we at Headley have mastered how to do B2B lead generation. We can publish your content on one of our five major technology brands, in the IT, HR, marketing, finance, and electronics sectors, which between them have native-language websites across 60 countries.
Our 200 user-friendly, ad-free websites are used as resource libraries by tens of thousands of decision-makers worldwide who are actively engaged with our content and happy to share their contact details in exchange.
B2B Lead Generation Services
A good B2B lead generation company should be able to offer you a range of sophisticated B2B lead generation services to suit your objectives, content and budget.
At Headley, these range from a Single Touch campaign, whereby prospects are exposed to one piece of your content to fill your marketing funnel with early-stage leads; to a SoftBANT campaign, using multiple pieces of content and assessing your leads' Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeframe so you can prioritize follow-up with those prospects that are indicating strong buying signals.
There are also various other services you can use to enhance your campaign, such as:
- Account-based marketing, where you have a hyper-targeted list of companies
- Detailed profiling, where your leads are profiled according to the likes of company size and job titles
- Intent data leveraging, where leads' research and intent are cross-referenced with 3rd-party data to find whether they are in the market for your product.
You can read more details about each of these in our ungated B2B lead generation guide. This guide includes some general B2B lead generation tips, too, such as:
- Ensure only professional information is being gathered from potential leads. At Headley, for example, our gated forms only accept company email addresses – a Hotmail email address will be rejected
- Check your lead gen agency requires leads to tick a manual checkbox explicitly opting in to be contacted
- Check all the data for each lead has been validated by the supplier: are all details, including job titles and email addresses, accurate and up to date?
Working With a B2B Lead Generation Company
The B2B lead generation industry has its fair share of unscrupulous suppliers who are not transparent and often outsource their campaigns to 3rd parties, so you need to be sure of what you're getting from your lead gen agency.
We know that sinking-heart feeling when you press 'send' on a follow-up email communication and bouncebacks start pouring in. It's better to know in advance whether your supplier is using 3rd party databases or content syndication services and whether they're validating the leads generated.
Reputable B2B lead generation companies syndicate your content via their own B2B lead generation websites. Headley Media has 200 of these across 60 countries.
So you have a huge choice of markets to choose from internationally, and you can be confident that each one has a large readership of professionals looking for relevant content.
Our B2B lead generation service is 100% digital – therefore fully traceable – and gives you leads that are engaged with your own content.
These professionals have found your content on one of our websites, willingly given their full business card information in exchange for being able to read it, and are actively thinking about not just the services your brand provides but specifically your brand.
They're primed for contact.
Choosing a B2B Lead Generation Agency
Where does a B2B lead generation agency get their leads?
With many B2B lead gen companies, you might find it difficult to get an answer to that question. High-quality business card data is incredibly valuable, but if you don't know where it came from, it loses value. When you reach out to those prospects, you're likely to find them hostile and wondering how you found them.
A good B2B lead generation company will be able to show you exactly where your leads have come from. In Headley's case, it's from your own content: prospects have used your whitepaper, eBook or case study for their business, and given us their details in return. They're expecting to hear from you. You can even use your published research to start the conversation when you contact them.
GDPR and other similar data protection laws around the world have muddied the waters for lots of B2B lead gen agencies: but not for Headley Media. We were already operating fully under its scope, by requiring our readers to give full consent for us to contact them.
As with any business you work alongside, the key consideration is trust. You need to be sure your agency is not subcontracting your marketing campaigns to 3rd parties without your knowledge or consent. If they are using 3rd parties, they need to be able to show you the reader journey, from end to end.
Read our Quality Lead Generation Checklist: any B2B lead generation supplier you choose to work with should be able to answer every question.
Our Approach to Local Language Lead Generation
We're continually investing in our portfolio of lead generation brands to help our clients reach the audiences they need.
Our 200 websites span 60 countries and 32 languages.
We've built our portfolio of content library websites over 12 years based on the demand from our technology clients and the audiences they need to reach.
Our readers come to us for high-quality content in a distraction-free environment. That means you'll find no adverts or editorial content on our websites, just great content. Putting our audience and their experience first has helped us build a loyal and engaged readership of technology decision-makers across IT, Finance, HR, Marketing, and Electronics Engineering.
Explore our lead generation brands: