Marketing Strategies for B2B Lead Generation 

| By Maggie Swift
Marketing Strategies for B2B Lead Generation 

There’s a lot of misinformation online about what B2B lead generation entails. 

Articles about big corporations like Alibaba and Salesforce pushing B2B lead gen are common, but the truth is that those brands are big enough that they do not need to do much to get leads — even just posting a meme will generate sales from their social media.

But what about a business like yours that doesn’t have the monster resources of these companies, nor the brand power to bring leads in on autopilot? 

You need B2B lead generation marketing strategies specifically tailored to your market that also follow how you operate your business. 

As a marketing agency that typically focuses on small to medium businesses with yearly revenues of $5 million to $20 million, we have tested many B2B lead generation strategies specifically for companies of this size. 

In this article, we have put together these strategies to focus on solving 4 main issues with B2B lead generation:

  • Not enough leads or lack of an overall lead-generation strategy
  • Poor lead quality
  • Proper lead tracking 

What is B2B Lead Generation? 

B2B lead generation involves identifying other businesses within your ideal client profile that are most likely to be able to afford your services/products and have an actual need for them—and finding ways to get them to buy from you. 

The first step is finding a way to contact them and then guiding them into your sales funnel using additional marketing touchpoints until they eventually become a sale.

For instance, a wholesale supplier of plumbing and flooring products will need to identify contractors or retailers to whom they can pitch their products. The marketing techniques the wholesale supplier uses to entice other businesses to consider their products over other suppliers will collectively be its B2B lead generation strategy.

B2B Customer Lifecycle and Lead Generation Process

Understanding how a potential B2B customer operates is key to successfully turning them into a sale. Here are the steps that typically go into that process:

Step #1: Find Leads

The first step is identifying potential leads for your B2B products or services. These leads should be companies that could genuinely benefit from your services and also have the capacity to pay for them.

You’ll want to generate contact information for decision-makers at these companies. Then, you’ll need to develop more understanding of their business to be able to pitch to them effectively. 

Here are some of the ways to find new leads:

Outreach Tactics

Handshake, hiring or people networking in waiting room before a recruitment job interview in an advertising agency. Partnership, relaxing or happy employees shaking hands, meeting or greeting in line.

Some of the most effective ways to reach your audience can be with outreach and networking. Some of our favorite outreach tactics include:

  • Industry Events and Tradeshows: Attend relevant industry conferences, trade shows, and local association groups. Bring branded giveaways and be approachable so you can start conversations naturally. Exchange contact details with prospective leads.
  • Industry Publications and Ads: Paid advertising on industry websites can be a great way to generate leads since you’ll be targeting businesses in your niche. 
  • Influencers Partnerships: Identify key influencers in the design and construction industry through social media and offer to collaborate. You may provide sponsored content, give them early access to products, or feature them in case studies. Their networks become your leads.
  • Cold Outbound: Databases like Apollo.io, Seamless.ai and Zoom Info can be a great way to find potential B2B leads if you’re in the B2B space.Using these sales intelligence tools, you can create and automate sequences that are sent to contacts in your ideal client profile.
  • Social Posts: Create shareable social media content on platforms like LinkedIn like polls, quizzes and challenges that potential customers will want to engage with organically.

Other Lead Generation Tactics

While guerrilla tactics prioritize creativity, non-guerrilla tactics tend to be more conventional approaches:

  • Content Marketing: Develop lead magnet assets like eBooks, webinars, infographics etc. incentivizing download/registration. Nurture those who engage further down the funnel.
  • Paid Advertising: Run paid search, display or social ads driving traffic to your website or dedicated landing pages. Test different ad copy and offers.
  • Email Marketing: Use your email list to periodically send promotional emails highlighting your offers, events and new content.
  • SEO: Optimize your website, blog and content for search and organic traffic. Focus on a mix of informative,commercial and transactional keywords. 

Note: While all these can help you generate more traffic, the entire user journey needs to be optimized and robust to drive conversions It’s important that you capture important details like their company name, address, website, key contacts, role, and needs to move on to the next step.

Step #2: Reach Out to Leads

Once you’ve compiled potential leads, it’s time to start engaging them. 

The goal during this stage is to raise awareness about your company’s solutions while determining a lead’s interests and needs. You can do this through personalized emails, phone calls, or by sending collateral and offering a free trial, consultation, or demonstration.

It’s best practice to focus on your ideal client profile’s pain points, rather than product features or functionality. Dive deep here and map out both perceived and real pain points that your product addresses. How do these pain points impact your prospect’s life? What truly moves them to buy?

Pay close attention to how receptive they seem and what questions they ask. Qualified leads will respond positively and ask questions to learn more. Track your interactions and follow up regularly to continue the conversation.

Step #3: Qualify Leads

As you interact with potential customers, you must determine which ones are truly qualified and ready to do business with you. If you have a clearly defined ideal client profile, this should be easy for your sales team to sniff out.

Look for signs that they understand the potential value of your product, have an identified problem or pain point your solution could address, and have a budget and approving authority.

Ask further questions to evaluate their needs, timeline, and decision process. Qualified leads will be further along in their journey and able to discuss specifics rather than just browsing options. Prioritize following up with these most promising contacts.

Step #4: Close Sales

Once you’ve fully qualified a lead, hand off leads to your sales team to progress them through the rest of the sales cycle and close the deal. 

At this stage, your sales team should perform demonstrations, provide references, answer additional questions, and negotiate pricing to get both sides aligned and finalize a purchase.

As a marketer, you need to maintain close communication with the sales team throughout the sales process to understand if they faced any resistance during the process. This will help you further understand your leads’ pain points. Lead tracking is also important because it will help you understand what leads are generating more traffic. 

B2B Lead Generation Strategies That Work for Small Businesses


Having a strong, professional brand is the foundation of any B2B lead generation efforts. Even for a small business, it’s important to look established from the get-go when they are dealing with other businesses. 

A responsive website with a good user experience and clean design allows you to make a good first impression regardless of how customers initially find you. Be sure your site loads quickly, has high-quality images and graphics and provides valuable information about your products or services upfront.

It’s also critical to include social proof on your site through testimonials, case studies, or success stories from real clients. Highlighting how your offering has benefited others helps build trust with potential leads. 

Your target audience wants to feel confident your solution can address their specific needs. Don’t just state capabilities; show the results customers have achieved. Include direct quotes, figures, or unsolicited feedback to strengthen your credibility.

SEO + Lead Generation

Search engine optimization and pay-per-click ads are powerful and affordable ways for your business to reach other businesses who are actively looking for a solution you provide. Their searches show us their purchase intent and which stage of the buying process they are in. 

For example, while one such keyword would be “buy countertop online” for B2C, the B2B equivalent would be ” soapstone countertop wholesaler”. Targeting such keywords with Google ads can also improve your chances of more visibility online. As these keywords cater to commercial intent, they make for warmer leads.  

Plus, SEO builds credibility for your brand, which makes it easier for other businesses to trust you as a business. When you show up consistently for many keywords in your industry, they are more likely to think your business has a good standing in your industry. It’s also easier to see a business as professional when they create content that’s top quality and answers their concerns via informative blogs. 

This is especially true for B2B businesses where sales cycles are not instant, such as a wholesaler of bath products approaching an interior designerto purchase items wholesale from them. The design business would want to gauge demand for the bath products in the market, see their product details, their showroom reviews, how they present themselves online, and how much they know about the design process itself. This would determine if a deal pulls through or not. 

But what should you do once they are already on the website?  

As B2B sales cycles take long, and it’s rare that a business will buy from you immediately despite having commercial intent — you need to capture their contact information to move the conversation forward. 

Use lead magnets that offer a free tool, resource, or guide in exchange for their contact details. Make sure to provide helpful incentives like checklists, ebooks, templates, or even exclusive discounts that address specific pain points they have in their business.

You want to prominently feature your lead magnets on your site with clear calls-to-action to optimize it for lead generation.

Leverage Your Brand and Personal Brand

Regardless of whether you are in the B2B space or the B2C space, people buy from other people — not just business entities. If you’re a business leader who has a strong voice or presence on platforms like LinkedIn, you can also use it to generate more leads for you. 

Even if you’re just getting started, getting other business owners to hear from you can be a way to build trust. Start by sharing industry insights to establish yourself as knowledgeable in your field and connect with relevant contacts. You can leverage video marketing to introduce your company and services in a personal way and stay more memorable.

Social media groups centered around your industry can also be other places where sharing valuable information through real discussions can help you build business connections that become leads.

Another great tip is to use your brand’s current loyal followers to generate leads for you. Just like in a B2C setting, a referral program makes your most loyal customers advocate for your business in exchange for a reward, such as exclusive discounts.

Tips for Making B2B Lead Generation Work

Making your B2B lead generation successful takes some planning and effort, but focusing on a few key areas can really boost your results. These are some tips that you should consider taking into consideration:

1. Define Your Ideal Client Profile

Let’s get one thing out of the way first: Just like in the case of B2C businesses, any lead generation strategy is bound to be ineffective if you don’t first map out what your ideal customer looks like and what prompts them to buy from a business. 

Without knowing the demographics of your target market, chances are that every marketing strategy you deploy will result in a lower ROI than it could have otherwise. So, before you start with any of these—first start by spending some time thinking of your ideal audience and developing an ideal client profile.

Review your target market thoroughly and identify traits like company size, industry, pain points, budget, and decision-makers. 

Get specific on details like demographics, job roles, locations, and any other qualities that define your perfect client. With a well-defined profile, you’ll be able to create highly targeted content and messaging.

2. Create Engaging, Share-Worthy Content

Once you know your ideal prospect inside and out, focus on creating valuable, share-worthy content.

Go beyond product brochures and aim to develop content that provides real solutions to your prospect’s problems. These are some aspects to consider.

  • Useful guides
  • How-to videos
  • Case studies
  • Tools
  • Templates and other educational resources

These will position you as a trusted industry expert if they genuinely help readers solve issues. Make the content scannable but in-depth enough to retain attention. Optimize it for searchability and sharing on social media too.

3. Focus on Branding and Awareness

Branding and awareness are also crucial for nurturing long-term lead-generation success.

A strong brand and increased awareness of your business and solutions generates a constant flow of leads through various channels even without active prospecting. This solves the problem of not enough leads or lack of strategy.

While individual content campaigns should have a call-to-action, don’t lose sight of your overarching company message. Consistency is key here. 

Keep the same tone and styling throughout your web platforms and develop compelling branding across your website, collateral, social profiles, and more to clearly communicate what problems you solve and how you solve them differently than competitors. 

Showing up in your audience’s feeds regularly is also important. As your audience becomes more familiar with your brand, they are more likely to engage deeply with your content and see you as a thought leader rather than just a vendor.

4. Continually Refine Your Strategy

Just like any other marketing strategy, you need to measure the effectiveness of your lead generation campaigns and improve them over time to see the best ROI.

Continually refining your B2B lead generation strategy can help solve issues of poor lead quality and inconsistent leads. You get better results by optimizing your targeting, content, and messaging over time to better attract qualified prospects likely to convert into customers.

Monitor engagement metrics and get a sense of what types of content and topics really resonate with your target market. When you tailor your content to their preferences, you’re likely to see an increase in conversions too. 

Set aside time every quarter to study your data and hone your approach accordingly. The time invested in crafting solutions-focused brand messages and content will pay off through increased inbound lead flow.

Final Words

Having an overall plan in place is really important if you want to attract new business leads successfully. The best strategies cover all the different stages a buyer goes through, from when they first learn about your products or services to when they decide to purchase. 

Make sure to experiment with different tactics, like content marketing on your website and social media, targeting specific accounts, digital ads, trade shows, and so on to see which ones work best. Adjust your strategy regularly based on data you get from tracking metrics.


  1. What Are the Different Types of B2B Leads?

The main types of B2B leads include marketing-qualified leads (MQLs), sales-qualified leads (SQLs), and customer-qualified leads (CQLs). MQLs are contacted prospects interested in learning more. SQLs have been pre-screened and are ready to talk to sales. CQLs have been fully vetted and evaluated as ready to purchase.

  1. How Can I Qualify Incoming B2B Leads?

To qualify incoming leads, sales and marketing should work together to identify the key criteria a lead must meet to be considered “qualified.” That includes gathering information on company size, job role/title, pain points, budget, and timeline, and assessing overall fit and needs. Tools like CRM systems and lead scoring models help assign qualification scores to leads.

  1. What Are Some Common B2B Lead Generation Metrics?

Key metrics to track include leads generated, lead conversion rates, website traffic/visits, content downloads, social media impressions/follows, tradeshow booth traffic, advertising click-through rates, cost per lead, average deal size, marketing qualified leads (MQLs), sales qualified leads (SQLs), and average sales cycle. Tracking these metrics helps optimize efforts and resources over time.

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