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Proven prospecting strategies from B2B lead generation agencies

Proven prospecting strategies from B2B lead generation agencies

Contents

Introduction

B2B lead generation is a crucial issue for any company. Unlike their B2C counterparts, the B2B market requires a mix of outbound and inbound marketing actions.

This is where B2B lead generation agencies come in, offering their digital marketing expertise to attract demand and capture quality leads. Through SEO, PPC, content marketing, social network marketing, marketing automation and growth marketing techniques, they ensure better visibility and conversion for B2B companies.

This article highlights proven prospecting strategies and successful case studies from B2B lead gen agencies, illustrating how to increase lead volume, lower acquisition costs and boost revenues.

The importance of B2B lead generation

B2B lead generation, or the process of attracting interest in your product or service in order to turn that interest into sales, involves collecting visitors’ (or prospects’) contact details through a variety of means. Inbound marketing teams will talk to you about web forms, downloadable white papers, etc., while outbound marketing teams will talk to you about Linkedin searches, qualified and enriched databases, and so on.

But why is B2B lead generation so important today? This is due to changes in buyer behavior. They are now more independent, better informed and have higher expectations. They do online research, consult reviews, compare offers, and look for customized solutions that precisely meet their needs.

As a result, B2B companies can no longer afford to remain passive, simply hoping that customers will come on their own. They need to adopt a proactive approach, ensuring their presence and credibility in the market to captivate prospects, orient, qualify, engage and support them at every stage of the buying process. They need to stand out from their competitors and prove their added value.

That’s why B2B lead generation is crucial: it stimulates demand, increases the volume of sales opportunities, shortens the sales cycle, builds customer loyalty and, ultimately, boosts sales. But what are the most effective methods for generating high-quality B2B leads? And what strategies should you adopt for successful B2B prospecting?

Effective digital strategies for B2B prospecting

B2B digital prospecting harnesses the potential of the web to attract, engage and convert prospects into customers. It outperforms traditional prospecting in terms of targeting, reach, cost savings, performance tracking and loyalty. Here are a few strategies that are recognized for their effectiveness in B2B prospecting:

Content marketing: an indirect but powerful approach

Content marketing encompasses the creation and distribution of enriching content for your target audience, aimed at informing, educating, entertaining or convincing. This strategy boosts web traffic, increases brand awareness, forges a relationship of trust with prospects, qualifies them and encourages engagement. Content marketing formats include blog articles, white papers, infographics, videos, podcasts, webinars and Linkedin posts.

Here, quality comes before quantity. That’s how you’ll lend credibility to your professionalism. Of course, quality means resources and time spent creating it. That’s why you need to leverage this premium content both on your site and in your outbound prospecting campaigns.

SEO and inbound marketing: capturing qualified leads

SEO, or search engine optimization, improves a site’s visibility and ranking in the results of search engines like Google. Quantity and regularity are 2 very important factors for Google. If you want to please the robot so that you appear first on your keywords, you’ll need hard work and patience.

SEO attracts qualified prospects, i.e. Internet users actively looking for solutions. Integrated with inbound marketing, it relies on the creation of content, a presence on social networks and the use of forms or landing pages to collect contact details.

Email marketing: direct, personalized communication

Email marketing involves sending emails to prospects or customers to inform them, build loyalty or encourage them to make a purchase. To build up a valuable database of prospects, you’ll need professional e-mail addresses. Nothing could be simpler: a little Linkedin scrapping and the use of an enrichment tool will do the trick.

Essential in B2B prospecting, this method enables direct, targeted communication, segmentation of the audience according to specific criteria, provision of content adapted to the buying cycle, and optimal timing for follow-up. Email marketing relies on automation tools to create and send personalized, automatically-triggered campaigns.

With the recent February 2024 update of messaging services like G-suite, mass emailing is becoming increasingly difficult, which is why many companies are turning to Linkedin, the professional social network par excellence.

LinkedIn: the B2B channel par excellence

LinkedIn, with over 850 million users by 2024, is the professional social network of choice for B2B. It offers an excellent platform for prospecting, thanks to precise targeting (sector, company size, position, location), expanding your network, sharing content, participating in groups, creating events, publishing articles and sending private messages. LinkedIn also lets you launch targeted advertising campaigns, such as sponsored InMails and text or dynamic ads.

Traditional strategies still relevant

Despite the rise of digital technology in B2B prospecting, traditional techniques have lost none of their usefulness. They have proven their effectiveness and remain relevant in many situations. Here are a few examples:

Events and trade shows: face-to-face meetings

Trade shows and events offer a golden opportunity to meet your prospects face-to-face. These moments of exchange, where you can present your products or services and exchange business cards, are crucial to establishing strong links. They represent a unique opportunity to raise your profile, assert your expertise and arouse the interest of your targets. Take advantage of these gatherings to organize demos, give talks, or arrange one-on-one meetings with potential prospects.

Cold calls and cold calling: the direct approach

Despite a sometimes negative reputation, contacting prospects by phone without prior interaction can pay off if done well. There are a few best practices to help you make the most of this opportunity: carefully select your prospects, prepare a flexible script, personalize your message, keep it short, ask relevant questions, listen actively to identify needs and offer appropriate follow-up.

The best strategy is to “warm-up” your prospects before calling them. Indeed, sending 1-2 emails and 2 Linkedin messages have 2 notable advantages before calling them:

  1. If they reply to your messages, there’s no need to spend time calling them.
  2. Your telephone hook is ready-made: “A member of my team tried to contact you by email and on Linkedin”.

The aim is not to make them look like a spammer, but to show that you’ve identified them and that you’re sure they might need your solution.

Automation and CRM: the key to more efficient prospecting processes

B2B prospecting is punctuated by repetitive, time-consuming tasks such as finding prospects, sending emails, following up interactions and qualifying leads. Without proper management, these activities can become a source of errors and fatigue. Hence the crucial importance of automation and optimization tools. Here’s an exploration of the leading solutions in this field:

Marketing automation: nurturing prospects effortlessly

Marketing automation uses specific software or platforms to orchestrate personalized marketing campaigns, activated by pre-established scenarios. This key tool enables you to capture leads, engage them with content targeted to their phase in the buying cycle, follow them up in a timely manner and turn them into customers.

The automation of your sales prospecting now has a trump card up its sleeve: MirrorProfiles. By renting our automation-ready Linkedin accounts, you can quickly and efficiently deploy dozens of digital “sales reps” and bypass Linkedin limitations.

What’s more, marketing automation enables you to measure the impact of your campaigns, experiment with different approaches and continually refine your strategies for optimum performance. Names like HubSpot, Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign are among the most renowned marketing automation solutions.

CRM systems: optimized customer relationship management

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system is essential for effectively managing interactions with your prospects and customers. It centralizes key data on contacts, opportunities, transactions, contracts and more, making it easy to plan and track sales activities (calls, emails, meetings). With a CRM, you can increase efficiency, avoid oversights, ensure better team coordination, and boost customer satisfaction and loyalty. Salesforce, Zoho and Pipedrive are among the most popular CRM systems.

However, through experience and support, we’ve come to realize that many companies confuse CRM with Prospect Database. In fact, there are 4 distinct definitions to qualify a person who is in your target group:

  1. Contact file: people from a specific scrap via SalesNavigator, for example.
  2. Prospects: people for whom you have at least 1 piece of information that allows you to contact them.
  3. Leads: prospects who have expressed an interest in your product or service
  4. Customers

Leads (3) and Customers (4) must go into your CRM. But not the contact file (1) and prospects (2)! In fact, if you do this, your CRM will become unusable, as this is where lead nurturing campaigns, such as newsletters, originate. For contacts and prospects, on the other hand, you need real Lead Generation campaigns, classic prospecting campaigns, and so they don’t belong in a CRM. But as a pre-CRM, we developed MirrorCRM to fill this need. Feel free to take a demo so we can explain how it works.

Innovations in B2B lead generation

B2B lead generation is a dynamic field, evolving thanks to technological advances and innovations. Here are the most significant innovations in this sector:

Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning in lead qualification

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are revolutionizing the way companies assess prospects’ potential. These technologies can analyze vast quantities of data to predict a prospect’s potential to become a customer, segment leads according to various criteria and recommend the most effective actions to increase conversion rates. Applications include :

  • Evaluate a lead’s potential to become a customer by analyzing historical data.
  • Segmentation of prospects according to criteria such as business sector, company size, role, behavior, enabling personalized communications and offers.
  • Recommend best practices for each lead, optimizing the sales process.

Chatbots and virtual assistants: constant support

Chatbots and virtual assistants, thanks to natural language processing (NLP), offer direct interaction with users via text or voice messages. They play a key role in improving customer service, lead generation and loyalty. Their usefulness is demonstrated by :

  • Respond immediately to prospects’ frequently asked questions, providing valuable information that builds confidence and leads to a decision.
  • Efficiently collect prospect contact details to create a qualified database and facilitate follow-up campaigns.
  • Offer personalized promotions to stimulate prospects’ interest and encourage their transition to customers.

Case studies: success stories from B2B lead gen agencies

We’ll be highlighting the outstanding successes of two agencies specializing in B2B lead generation. Thanks to the strategic use of appropriate techniques and tools, these agencies have been able to achieve and surpass their objectives.

A successful multi-channel lead gen campaign

Specializing in lead generation for SaaS and B2B tech companies, Getuplead has teamed up with Leadfeeder, supplier of B2B visitor tracking software. It also used 20 Linkedin MirrorProfiles accounts for its outbound prospecting campaigns on Linkedin. The objective? Generate qualified leads and convert them into customers. To achieve this, Getuplead deployed an effective multi-channel campaign, integrating :

  • Targeted Google Ads based on relevant keywords.
  • Landing pages optimized for SEO and conversion rates, offering a free trial.
  • Linkedin with prospecting sequences orchestrated by Hey Reach on the 20 Linkedin MirrorProfiles accounts. Weekly volume: 2,000 people contacted.
  • Nurturing emails to guide prospects who have opted for the free trial towards the purchase of the full version.
  • Follow-up calls from Leadfeeder’s sales team, offering customized demonstrations and answering prospects’ questions.

The results speak for themselves: over 10,000 leads generated, a cost per lead reduced to €15, a 10% conversion rate and a spectacular 400% return on investment.

Impressive return on investment (ROI) thanks to marketing automation

The Affde agency, expert in lead generation for B2B companies, guided Easypromos, a platform for the creation of online competitions, towards an optimized lead gen strategy. The aim was threefold: to reduce cost per lead, increase lead volume and maximize ROI. To achieve this, a marketing automation strategy was adopted, including :

  • Creation of high value-added content such as guides, webinars and case studies, to attract prospects.
  • Use of a marketing automation tool, HubSpot, to design forms, landing pages, workflows and personalized email campaigns.
  • Integration of Easypromos CRM with HubSpot, enabling efficient synchronization of prospect data and sales actions.

The benefits of this approach were remarkable: a 50% reduction in cost per lead, a 300% increase in lead volume, and an incredible ROI of 1200%.

Conclusion

B2B lead generation is crucial for companies wishing to grow and stand out in their market. To successfully attract, qualify and transform prospects into customers, it’s essential to adopt strategies that are in tune with the needs and expectations of B2B buyers. These approaches can be digital, such as content marketing, SEO, email marketing or Linkedin, or traditional, such as trade fairs, trade shows or cold calling.

It is also essential to rely on tools that facilitate the automation and optimization of prospecting processes, such as marketing automation software or customer relationship management (CRM) systems. What’s more, keeping abreast of innovations – such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and chatbots – can give you a distinct advantage in B2B lead generation.

FAQ

How do I get B2B leads?

To obtain leads, you can either buy them from specialized suppliers who offer already-qualified contacts, or generate them yourself. Lead generation involves attracting prospects to your website or social networks and encouraging them to provide their contact details in exchange for an attractive offer.

How do I get leads?

To capture leads, capture the attention of visitors to your site or page by offering them a compelling offer (also known as a lead magnet) to share their contact information. Use a variety of lead magnets such as e-books, catalogs, free quotes or webinars to achieve this goal.

How do I get leads?

To attract leads, focus on attracting, engaging and capturing the interest of your target audience. This can be achieved through a variety of strategies, including adding contact forms to your site, publishing engaging content in exchange for contact details, optimizing SEO to gain visibility, developing a newsletter to maintain a relationship with your subscribers, and launching outbound prospecting campaigns via Linkedin or email.

How do you capture leads?

Lead capture involves attracting, engaging and converting visitors into qualified prospects via a range of techniques. These include SEO, social networking, Linkedin and email marketing, free tools, virtual events, contests, special offers, referral programs, YouTube videos and retargeting.

Picture of Tristan Bance
Tristan Bance

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