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B2B Sales Lead Generation Ideas for Small Business

    Business-to-business (B2B) leads require extensive nurturing before a prospect will convert into a client. To generate B2B leads for your sales funnel that are most likely to result in closed deals, you must also grow brand awareness in a way that builds trust. In this article, we explore 12 tactics to build a strong B2B sales lead generation strategy that provides a constant stream of buyers interested in the products or services your company offers.

    Not sure where to get started? Before you dive into the lead generation techniques for B2B teams below, download our free template to help identify and organize your lead generation activities.


    1. Leverage Existing B2B Lead Databases

    One common way to generate B2B sales leads is by purchasing them. Providers like UpLead allow you to pull leads lists and import them directly into your customer relationship management (CRM) system based on fields such as contact information, job position, industry, and company size.

    However, the leads you purchase will be unqualified since you’re just buying data—but they are still likely to be a good fit and ready to be nurtured. You’ll distribute the new leads to your sales team and launch lead qualification and nurturing campaigns as part of your sales process.

    UpLead B2B contact search list.

    UpLead contact search by criteria (Source: UpLead)

    Pro tip: Based on the leads and type of contact information you are looking for, find a provider that offers lead information within your budget. Check out our in-depth guide about the best places to buy business leads to learn more.


    2. Generate Inbound B2B Leads From Your Website

    Attracting inbound leads through your website produces marketing qualified leads (MQL), and even sales qualified leads (SQL). First, you have to gain traffic from your target audiences to landing pages on your website using search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, social media and Google Ads, email, or content marketing.

    Once a site visitor arrives, the goal is to get them to respond to a call to action. This could be the site visitor submitting a web form, clicking on a phone number to call your business, chatting with a live bot for information, creating an account, or some other desired action.

    Platforms like Unbounce empower you to quickly create professional landing pages and web forms using professionally designed premade templates. The platform also offers tools for developing web page copy, optimizing web traffic to your landing pages, and providing intelligence on landing page conversion rates.

    Unbounce offers tools for developing landing pages.

    Unbounce lead generation landing page (Source: Unbounce)

    Pro tip: Online reviews are a trusted source for leads to evaluate prior to exploring your website for more information. Develop a system for generating customer reviews and posting them on your website and Google My Business listing to give leads positive reasons to visit your website.


    3. Create Lead Awareness With Introduction Emails

    A more personal way to generate leads is by having sales reps send introductory emails to unqualified leads (known as cold emailing) to create awareness of your company. Email contacts can be purchased, found by searching online (including searching B2B social sites like LinkedIn). They can also be acquired from networking, such as business cards collected at an event, your email contacts, and your LinkedIn contacts.

    An excellent way to determine if your introductory emails are effective is by using email tracking software. For example, HubSpot offers a free email tracking system that allows you to see when and if an email recipient has opened your message.

    HubSpot Email Tracking

    HubSpot email tracking (Source: HubSpot)

    Pro tip: Use a call-to-action (CTA) button in your email signature to guide the recipient to your intended objective. Examples of a CTA in a signature include adding a link that says “Click Here to Schedule an Appointment” or “See How We Help Businesses Like Yours by Clicking Here.”


    4. Engage in Cold Calling Campaigns

    Similar to sending introductory emails, cold calling campaigns offer a personalized way to generate qualified leads by calling them on the phone. Cold calling allows you to get a response right away (assuming the prospect answers your call), compared to cold emailing.

    power dialer is a great tool for managing cold calling campaigns. They allow you to line up all the calls you want to make and then dial the numbers for you in order, saving you time and helping you get prospects on the phone more quickly. Certain cloud-based phone software, such as Freshdesk Contact Center, offer this feature.

    Image of Freshdesk power dialer page.

    Freshdesk Contact Center power dialer (Source: Freshworks)

    Pro tip: Ready to start your first cold calling campaign? Check out our article about how to write cold calling scripts, complete with free templates to get you started.


    5. Use Content Marketing to Attract B2B Sales Leads

    Content marketing refers to developing media content, such as articles for a blog, e-books, industry reports, videos, or podcasts, to promote your business. The purpose of using content is to educate potential customers about topics relative to your offerings. This leads to decision-makers wanting to learn more by reaching out or visiting your website and starts the sales process for long-term nurturing.

    If you’re struggling with developing content ideas, HubSpot is a robust resource, specifically for blog articles. They offer a free tool to help generate blog post ideas based on possible terms in your marketing strategy.

    HubSpot Blog Topic Generator

    HubSpot blog idea generator (Source: WordStream)

    Pro tip: Whether the content is directly on your website or being posted on social media, always use a call to action associated with the content, such as a link to an online web form or an automated appointment scheduling tool like Calendly to help leads learn more by scheduling a meeting with your sales team.


    6. Create Social Media Campaigns

    Running social media campaigns to generate B2B sales leads involves posting content, running ads, or searching for specific types of leads on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. When deploying a campaign, one option is to create a post and then pay to boost it on the platform so more people see and engage with the post through likes, clicks, or comments.

    Another option is to use platform tools like Facebook Ads to help generate leads. Facebook Ads lets you run custom business ads that target Facebook users based on a wide range of demographics, including but not limited to geography, behaviors, and job titles.

    Pro tip: Social media management software like Zoho Social allow you to schedule your content posts in advance so you don’t have to worry about making posts on the day of publishing. Zoho Social also lets you monitor your upcoming posts on a calendar-style view so you know what’s coming up.