Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business.
Without a consistent flow of leads, chances are your business will struggle to generate enough revenue to continually grow.
Unfortunately, successful lead generation is one of the biggest challenges that a business faces.
According to a survey by the B2B Technology Marketing Community, generating high-quality leads is the number one challenge that B2B marketers face.
In fact, over 60% of the 800 businesses that they surveyed reported this as their biggest challenge.
If you are reading this article, chances are it is a major challenge for your business as well.
For that reason, the purpose of this article is to walk you through some of the best practices that experts throughout the B2B community are using to successfully generate high-quality leads.
While it would be impossible to utilize all of the practices outlined below, taking action on just a few of them can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of your lead generation strategies.
So, without further ado, here is a look at ____ of the best practices for lead generation from the experts:
#1 – Craft Valuable, and Targeted, Content – Barry Graubart (Founder of Content Matters LLC)
Content marketing has been taking over the lead generation scene for quite some time now.
In 2014, the team at WebDAM created an infographic outlining the fact that B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those that don’t.
Today, not participating in some type of content marketing is somewhat of a sin in the marketing world.
A lot of the problem, however, is with how to effectively come up with and create content that can generate those high-quality leads that you are looking for.
Barry Graubart, founder of Content Matters LLC, pointed out how to be successful in this space when he said:
“Content marketing is the perfect way to generate leads, particularly for B2B companies. The key is to define your target market, then provide valuable content to them.”
Graubart is a major advocate of creating content that is highly targeted to the prospects that you are seeking out.
Doing anything other than that or working to speak to a broad audience over a targeted one has become a waste of time in a world that is already crowded with too much content.
Making the effort to create valuable, targeted content is one of the most efficient ways to gain high-quality leads for your business.
#2 – Focus on Educating Through Content – Dayna Rothman (Director of Content Marketing at EverString)
There is no doubt that useful and educational content is the new norm in the content marketing world.
Content marketers are starting to wise up and realize that consumers and potential leads have no interest in being sold about the reasons that they should buy from your business.
As former Marketo content marketing expert Dayna Rothman says:
“Today’s consumers don’t respond well to self-promotion. They don’t want to be sold to; they want to be educated.”
Putting an emphasis on education over self-promotion can help develop a trust with your leads before they become a part of your funnel; therefore, immediately making them higher-quality leads.
Michael Port, author of Book Yourself Solid, has an entire stage of his Book Yourself Solid Sales Cycle dedicated to educating his target market before asking them to buy.
He, like Rothman, is a firm believer in the value of educating consumers first in order to develop trust and establish yourself as an expert that can help.
From there, guiding your leads through your sales funnel will be a much easier and more efficient process.
#3 – Make Your About Page a Conversion-Friendly Hub – Jen Havice (Contributor at Unbounce)
One of the areas that a lot of businesses do not think about when it comes to lead generation is their About page.
The typical thought process on about pages is that they are nothing more than an area for you to tell the world a little bit about your company or, if you are really ambitious, talk about your mission.
But many businesses do not realize just how important their About page is connecting with consumers and potential leads.
As Unbounce contributor Jen Havice points out:
“Your About page is a primary connection point for customers. It’s a place where they can not only find out more about what makes you, your business, or product tick but more importantly, what you can do for them.”
The basic point Havice is trying to make is that your About page should not be as much about you as it should be about what you can do for potential customers.
This is a vitally important point to understand if you want to turn your website into a lead generation machine.
While you can get a lot more information about the steps you should take to turn your About page into a conversion-friendly hub through her article, the main takeaway that Havice provides is that you should:
“Use your About page copy to tell visitors how your product or service will be able to benefit them. Keep bragging rights to a dull roar.”
If you can effectively manage to build strong copy for your About page and combine that with a solid call-to-action, you will then have the opportunity to guide potential leads right into your sales funnel.
#4 – Build Your LinkedIn Following – Rebecca Corliss (Contributor for HubSpot)
Social media marketing is a type of marketing that has been difficult to measure for quite some time.
For years, marketers have been looking for ways that they can effectively use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to generate quality leads.
For most of these platforms, the efficiency of generating leads from them is simply not at the point where they can be counted on as a reliable option for lead generation.
That is with the exception of LinkedIn.
According to a study from, traffic from LinkedIn has by far the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate of any social network; at 2.74%.
Twitter and Facebook, on the other hand, come in with conversion rates of only .69% and .77% respectively.
The reason for this, as HubSpot contributor Rebecca Corliss points out, is because:
“People join LinkedIn to showcase their career, work expertise, and find content and information to make their professional lives better. So businesses who target other businesses will naturally find a higher concentration of their target market on LinkedIn.”
She goes on to point out that most individuals using LinkedIn are already in a business mindset and are therefore more likely to be looking for the content or expertise being provided.
At the end of the day, the opportunity to generate quality leads through LinkedIn is greater than any other social network.
For this reason, it is important that you make the decision to invest the necessary time and effort into growing your LinkedIn network and experimenting with ways to establish yourself as an authority figure.
#5 – Adopt a Pay-It-Forward Mentality – Ric Dragon (Author of Social Marketology)
Ric Dragon is the founder of DragonSearch and author of Social Marketology.
He is also a lead generation expert who has some unique advice for businesses looking to truly make a mark with potential customers.
As he says, you need to:
“Adopt a “pay it forward” mentality, and don’t stop and evaluate each interaction for its potential value to you.”
This is an interesting concept in a world where analyzing every specific situation or interaction has become the norm for sales people and marketers.
As Dragon continues to point out, adopting this mentality is a very different process than what you traditionally see with lead generation.
He even gives the example of his own business, where he claims that DragonSearch was able to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars of business by authentically connecting through Twitter with individuals who have a similar passion.
But the real difference maker in Dragon’s ability to generate these leads was by adopting an ethos of generosity.
With results like that, adopting this pay-it-forward mentality should certainly be something that you look into for your business; especially if you are looking to generate leads through social media.
#6 – Participate in Co-Marketing – JR Rodrigues (CEO of NetCablesPlus)
One of the strategies that has begun to become popular across the marketing industry is co-marketing with other businesses.
From working together to produce top quality content to leveraging audiences through cross promotion, this can be an extremely effective strategy for lead generation.
NetCablesPlus CEO JR Rodrigues is an advocate of this option, saying that you should:
“Consider forming alliances with complementary, noncompetitive vendors to exchange leads, promote each others’ products and services, or any number of other mutually beneficial activities.”
The real benefit of co-marketing is that you can receive immediate access to a lot more potential leads than just about any other method possible.
It is also one of the most cost-effective ways to generate a large amount of quality leads.
Inc.com contributor Stephanie Gruner wrote a valuable article on The Secrets of Cross-Promotion that you would be wise to check out if co-marketing is something that interests you.
#7 – Make it Easy for Individuals to Become Leads – Alan K’necht (Digital Always Media Inc.)
If there is one thing that marketers can do to immediately increase their lead conversions, it is to make it easier for individuals to become leads.
Far too often, businesses will create a high level piece of content that is useful to their audience and will fail to generate leads from it because there is no way for readers to give you the lead.
Alan K’necht, executive at Digital Always Media Inc., agreed with this statement when he said:
“Too often, there is no call to action with any form of capture.”
This makes it impossible for readers, whether they are interested or not, to become leads.
K’necht points out that you should at least be creating a basic registration form on each webpage or piece of content that allows potential leads to enter their email address.
#8 – Make Sure Your Website is Conversion Optimized – Brainrider
In today’s day and age, there is absolutely no excuse for not having a website optimized for conversions.
While there are tons of resources available to you for generating traffic to your website, far too many marketers do not take the proper steps to optimize their website to turn that traffic into leads.
Brainrider is a knowledge marketing group that has written a fairly extensive guide for how businesses can ensure that their website is conversion optimized.
A few of the tips that they outline for conversion success include:
- Creating more effective calls-to-action
- Displaying your expertise through content
- Creating customer-focused navigation
- Following of SEO best practices
Following these four tips to ensure a conversion optimized website should be one of your main priorities if successful lead generation is your goal.
#9 – Utilize the Customers You Already Have – Branndon Stewart (CEO of OutboundEngine)
There is very little doubt that generating customer referrals and word of mouth advertising are extremely effective for bring high quality leads into your business.
In fact, according to a study from the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, 54% of consumers say that word of mouth is the driving force behind their purchasing decisions.
While this is probably not a surprise, marketers and business owners everywhere struggle to find ways to effectively generate this word of mouth advertising for their business.
One of the ways that OutboundEngine CEO Branndon Stewart says you can do this is by utilizing the customers that you already have.
As he says:
“For most businesses, the best lead generation strategy is to focus on getting repeat business and referrals from customers you’ve already won.”
Cultivating an environment where customer loyalty is encouraged and rewarded can be an extremely effective way to do this.
Doing so will then give you the ability to ask those loyal customers to refer you to their friends, family, and colleagues.
Madan Chartered Accountant founder Allan Madan has said that his business receives an average of three new warm leads from each client that they receive referrals from.
Building upon that to create a referral tree can be an absolute game changer for any business.
At the end of the day, you are not going to get those referrals unless you ask.
#10 – Use Webinars – Oli Gardner (Contributor at Unbounce)
Webinars have been raising in popularity over the years as a lead generation tool for businesses.
Biznology recently showed the potential of webinars, even if you have not been doing them for long.
They ran their first webinar in early 2015 and ended up with 100 registrants, out of which 50 people attended the live webinar.
Out of those 50 attendees, they received 23 qualified leads for their sales team to work with.
That is some pretty strong evidence of the success that can be had with webinars, no matter how much experience you have with them.
The benefits of webinars are vast.
Unbounce contributor Oli Gardner pointed out five of the main benefits, including the fact that:
- They are free
- Easy to partner with another business
- Access to high quality leads
- More perceived value
- No geographical boundaries
With all of these benefits and the fact that you can easily leverage your current customer base to generate viewers, there is certainly a lot to gain from using webinars.
The Final Word
At the end of the day, identifying the lead generation tactics and strategies that will be most successful is one of the hardest jobs for any business or marketer.
That is not even to mention the fact that many of the best practices are changing annually, forcing you to adapt quickly to those changes.
While utilizing a few of the best practices outlined in this article should certainly help your business, it should be understood that testing is necessary.
There is no one lead generation strategy that is effective across every industry.
Make the decision to continually test and adapt to the lead generation strategies that work best for your business and you should have no problem creating a constant flow of leads for your business.