B2B lead generation is the holy grail for marketers. You need a ready supply of new, high-quality leads to fill your marketing pipeline and keep your sales team busy - but how do you find them?
According to HubSpot, B2B lead generation is the biggest struggle for 61% of marketers, and although there are hundreds of B2B lead generation services to choose from, not all of them can be trusted.
B2B marketers can be left disappointed by the quality of the leads and the lack of transparency from the lead gen company.
The key is finding reputable B2B lead generation agencies that are transparent and open about their lead generation methods.
It's important to choose lead gen services that can demonstrate they get results with high-quality, integrity-driven B2B lead generation for technology companies.
In this article, we’ll explore:
- What is B2B lead generation?
- How to generation B2B leads
- Targeted B2B lead generation.
- The best B2B lead generation campaigns.
- How to find a B2B lead generation firm.
- B2B lead generation tools you can download.
How to Generate B2B Leads
The major challenge of B2B lead generation services is ensuring quality.
According to Statista, lead generation cost US businesses $4.6bn in 2021, roughly 2% of all US digital ad spending. It's a huge market, but despite that, the quality of leads is still often perceived as being quite low.
You have a couple of avenues to potentially boost the quality of your lead generation: the strategy you use, and the supplier you choose.
First, let’s look at some B2B lead generation ideas.
The Best B2B Lead Generation Strategies
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 through B2B lead generation.
Content marketing is also a big part of demand generation, where the idea is prospective leads come to you organically, instead of you chasing them with outbound marketing.
Demand generation is a slow-and-steady approach that’s less transactional, and harder to track, but is fantastic for raising your brand awareness and nurturing existing leads.
Content marketing for B2B demand generation usually involves ungated content, such as blogs, free downloads, and social media posts.
Whether gated or ungated, many technology companies who need to generate leads put a lot of time and effort into producing resources such as whitepapers and research reports, but then struggle to distribute their content to the right new audiences and see the results they were expecting.
Other B2B lead generation examples, 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 to outsource B2B lead generation through content syndication.
Content syndication for lead generation is a B2B marketing strategy that involves hosting your most valuable content via a 3rd party B2B lead generation service provider. The aim is to promote your content to a much wider, and more relevant, audience as a way to generate quality B2B leads.
Your content is gated, so the potential lead has to give their content details in order to access it. a reputable B2B lead generation firm will then feed those details back to you as a list of leads, after a full lead validation process.
“Massive-volume top-of funnel lead generation will definitely start to dwindle, because the yearn for quality is going to get only greater.”
Kevin Flint, BlueWhale Research
The Best B2B Lead Generation Companies
When generating your leads through content syndication platforms, you should only work with a supplier who gives you complete transparency into their B2B lead generation services.
For example, you need to know:
- Where do they host your content? For example, which content syndication websites?
- How will they distribute your content?
- Ultimately, how will they generate your B2B leads?
Some B2B lead generation agencies, like Headley Media, can host your content on their own websites.
For example, we run our technology clients’ content syndication lead generation campaigns using our own content library websites. Taking a transparent 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.
To find the right B2B lead generation agency, look for those that have stringent quality control built into their B2B lead generation process to ensure your leads are of the highest quality. You can use our ungated Quality Lead Generation Checklist to help you find the right supplier for you.
As a further example, take a look at our reader journey, which breaks down our B2B lead generation process.
Furthermore, the best 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 for technology companies. We can publish your content on one of our six major technology brands, in the IT, Cybersecurity, HR, Marketing, Finance, and Electronics sectors, which between them have 265 native-language websites across 60 countries.
Headley Media's user-friendly, ad-free websites are used as resource libraries by hundreds of thousands of decision-makers looking for technology and B2B SaaS solutions worldwide, who are actively engaged with our content and happy to share their contact details in exchange.
B2B Lead Generation Services
How many of the leads passing from your marketing team to your sales team are actually high-quality leads, which fit your ideal customer profile?
According to Gartner, only 44% of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) that are passed to sales teams are actually suitable potential customers. And of those, only a small number may actually be warmed up and ready to buy.
This is where a good 3rd party B2B lead generation company can make all the difference. With a carefully targeted campaign that incorporates personalization and lead nurturing, you can attract the most suitable leads for your products and 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.
The classic, most simple lead generation service is a Single Touch campaign. This is where prospects are exposed to one piece of your content before becoming a lead.
In a Double Touch lead generation campaign, readers are exposed to two pieces of your content, downloading at least one asset, therefore increasing your brand exposure and warming up each lead.
At the other end of the spectrum of content syndication lead generation services, you have the option of running a SoftBANT campaign.
SoftBANT lead generation uses multiple pieces of content to assess 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 (ABM).
This is a hugely popular type of targeted B2B lead generation because it’s all about personalizing a campaign based on the audience.
With ABM, you start with a target account list (TAL) of most likely, potentially-lucrative businesses, and find the most relevant people within those businesses.
You then target those individuals with relevant, personalized messages. An ABM lead generation specialist can help you build your TAL and personalize your messaging.
Leveraging Intent Data
Intent data targeting is the art of tracking your leads’ product research and intent, and cross-referencing it with 3rd party data, to work out what stage they are in the marketing funnel - and when your sales team should get in touch with them. A good B2B lead generation company can help utilize intent data within your marketing campaigns more effectively.
When you gate your whitepapers, webinars etc. with a content download form, you don’t have to stop at contact details: you can ask more questions.
Enhancing your B2B lead gen with audience intelligence strategies such as using profiling or qualifying questions is one of the best B2B lead generation techniques for assessing your leads’ suitability and readiness to buy.
B2B Display Advertising
Most good B2B lead generation firms will allow you to boost your lead gen campaign with display advertising.
B2B display ads give you another opportunity to reach potential leads through well-placed ads across relevant websites, meaning your target audience is more likely to remember you when it’s time to buy.
After generating your leads, it’s just as important to nurture them through the marketing funnel, to ensure as many as possible convert to sales.
B2B lead nurturing and lead scoring are two vital steps if you don’t want your new leads to decay and become cold to your business.
The best B2B lead generation providers can provide nurturing as a B2B lead generation service, helping to deliver leads who are already warmed up to your business and products.
The Complete Guide to B2B Technology Lead Generation
You can read more details about each of these in our ungated B2B lead generation guide.
The 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 Gmail, Yahoo, or 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 bounce-backs 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 over 250 of these across 60 countries, and its brands cover content topics for the IT, Cybersecurity, HR, MarTech, FinTech, and Electronics industries.
Our B2B lead generation service is 100% digital – therefore fully traceable – and gives you leads that are engaged with your own content.
The senior professionals who use our content library websites 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.
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 265 websites span 60 countries and 32 languages.
As a B2B lead generation specialist, we've built our portfolio of content library websites over the last 14 years based on the demand from our technology clients and the audiences they need to reach, across the globe.
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.
We’ve got loads of useful stuff on B2B lead generation for marketing professionals. Check out our B2B lead generation resources for hundreds of blogs, whitepapers, eBooks, and more.
Explore Headley Media's Lead Generation Brands: