B2B lead generation can be a complicated process that requires a large amount of skill in addition to a deep understanding of how marketing, sales, and customer service works. B2B lead generation is a process that really shines when the right combination of activities is promoted to a prospect or customer at an opportune time. But how can you find and optimize that delicate balance? These lead generation tips can help.

The Basics of Lead Generation

Lead generation, whether it involves B2B transactions or arrangements with individuals, should be done with long-term goals in mind. Lead generation is never a “one and done” tactic; it requires building relationships, consistent action, and steady strategies to locate and keep highly qualified leads. Though it is a complicated process, it can be broken down into an extremely simplified set of steps.

1. At this point, it is assumed that your business already has an established product or service to offer. This product or service should be able to help customers or other businesses solve a problem they have. Your first step should be helping your prospects understand why they have the problem they are experiencing.

2. Your second step is then alerting your prospect as to the ways in which they can solve their problem.

3. Taking step 2 a bit further, step 3 includes sharing a specific way in which your product or service can facilitate solving your prospect’s problem.

Keep in mind, this is an exaggeratingly simplified way of going about building leads, but it is the basis for all prospecting and lead building interactions.

Top B2B Lead Generation Tactics

Lead generation relies heavily on smart, dependable, and interactive marketing strategies. Consistently, the strongest marketing tactics that help find and build leads are cold calling, email marketing, social marketing, and content marketing. Bear in mind, however, that these tactics only work if you are using them correctly. Your execution of these marketing strategies directly correlates to how effective they are.

Cold Calling
While cold calling may not be everyone’s cup of tea (Thankfully, there are companies who can do this for you!), it is an effective way to generate leads. When cold calling is done incorrectly, however, you can easily annoy or turn off a prospect. Avoid any mishaps by not pressuring your prospect to buy or make a deal on the first call. You have to be in it for the long haul, so don’t be afraid to get a “no” on the first try. There’s a change you called at a time where your prospect didn’t have the funds to make a purchase, or at a time when they didn’t need your product or services, but situations change. You can further the success of a cold call by ditching any script you might have. People can tell when you are regurgitating something you’ve said a thousand times before, and it makes your call feel robotic and impersonal.

Email Marketing
Email marketing has stood the test of time and remains one of the most reliable ways to garner B2B leads. Not only can it lead to higher engagement, but it contributes to more lead conversions as well. Strong email marketing campaigns require carefully cultivating email lists. You can’t just send an email to everyone in your contacts in hopes that someone will read it. You have to select your targets based on the information you will be sharing. After all, there’s no sense in sending an lawn mowing business information about your company’s carpet installation deals. Following that, you want to make sure you are including a subject line that will grab people’s attention without being spammy. And finally, you want your email’s content to be useful to those you are sending it to.

Social Marketing
Being on social media networks doesn’t matter much if you don’t have a following that you consistently interact with. Think of social media as an opportunity to build social relationships, not to self-promote. If you are only sharing or posting content about your business or the services or products you offer, people will lose interest quickly. Instead, share ideas, pictures, stories, and other content your audience can find useful. Your goal is to become an information source, not just a spambot. Just don’t forget to share links to your website so leads can find out more information about what you offer.

Content Marketing
It seems like everyone has a blog these days, but if you think about the blogs you read that are actually captivating, educational, or fun; you can probably count them on one hand. Powerful content marketing requires blogging with intent; you can’t just churn out material because you think you’re supposed to. Strong blogs find a balance between quantity and quality, and publishing content relevant to the audience (customers) they want to attract. Other useful content marketing ideas include creating original and informational infographics, videos, and eBooks to share with your prospects and current customers.

Finding and attracting B2B leads is only the beginning of a successful B2B lead generation strategy. Once you have your leads, it is important to nurture them. Send your prospects regular communications (without being annoying!), check in on them, follow up with them, and make sure your current customers are happy with the products or services you have already provided them.