B2B Lead Generation: A Complete Guide to Generating B2B Leads

Learn about tools, stages, and best practices for effective B2B leads in our complete guide.

Rory Sadler
November 13, 2023
February 24, 2024
Learn about tools, stages, and best practices for effective B2B leads in our complete guide.
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Unless you're generating new leads, your business isn't going to grow.

But, with more and more sales teams going 100% online, the traditional B2B lead generation techniques no longer apply.

Gone are the days when a sales representative would spend most of their time on the road, travelling between prospects.

Suddenly, generating B2B leads is about Zoom, Teams, LinkedIn, and X (formerly Twitter). It's a complete industry revolution – and it happened overnight.

But the same challenges still exist – competing with other companies, building relationships, and driving sales. Only now, it's all digital.

Learn how to navigate this new world of lead generation, from the best techniques to the latest tools below.

We'll cover:

  • What is B2B Lead Generation?
  • B2B Lead Generation Stages
  • Top B2B Lead Generation Tools
  • Best Practices for B2B Lead Generation

What is B2B Lead Generation?

Business-to-business (B2B) lead generation refers to the process by which a business cultivates other businesses as potential clients.

Usually, this is first step in the sales funnel, where you differentiate between those interested and disinterested in your brand.

Unlike B2C lead generation, B2B sales teams target decision-makers within companies, not individual consumers.

These decision-makers typically take longer to decide, ask more in-depth questions, and are less emotive.

B2B Lead Generation Stages

Wouldn't it be perfect if every customer you interact with instantly converted? Unfortunately, that's not the reality.

Instead, the process involves mining each potential lead for information to see if they're likely to convert or not.

Because businesses only have limited resources, you'll want to filter prospects who'll waste your time and marketing budget. That means your internal teams will "qualify" the lead to determine their suitability.

There are three qualification stages:

1. Information Qualified Lead (IQL)

Just entering the sales funnel, the IQL (or a cold lead) is someone about whom you need to find some basic information, e.g., name, company, email, and problem. Based on this info, you can see if they're a good fit for your business.

2. Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)

After showing continuing interest, an MQL has engaged with your marketing team's efforts, e.g., completing a landing page form.

3. Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

Once you've got a clear indication of interest, e.g., sending an email or booking a consultation, your sales team can take over. The highest value lead: they're the most likely to convert.

Some sales teams also talk about a product or service-qualified lead (PQL or SeQL). Unlike the previous lead stages, these leads have often used your product or service before, e.g., a customer who wants to upgrade their subscription.

Top B2B Lead Generation Tools

Monitoring leads, scoring their likelihood to convert, and sending timely emails are all key parts of B2B lead gen. But, without the right lead generation tools, that's more than a struggle – it's impossible. Not only do these tools automate processes, but they also centralise your B2B lead data.

1. Trumpet

Trumpet lets you personalise your cold outreach, using a single digital sales room (or "Pod') to guide prospects through the sales funnel.

Unlike other lead generation tools, this platform isn't simply about generating B2B leads but converting them into buyers.

Through the auto-personalised, collaborative, and trackable spaces, businesses can first introduce a prospect to their brand, using tailored content to educate customers about their products or services.

Tracking everything they do within the pod enables the sales team to score leads, going after individuals most likely to convert. Indeed, these spaces offer greater control of the sales funnel than ever before.

Plus, the spaces can be edited to contain whatever information you wish to include, from videos to competitor analysis to mutual action plans.

Oh, and it also integrates with top CRMs, allowing you to transfer any lead data you've already collected.

2. LeadPages

LeadPages is a leading landing page constructor. Businesses can rapidly create a sales funnel that drives prospects towards a sale or consultation using its drag-and-drop editor.

There's a huge library of hundreds of templates to choose from – each with a high level of customisation.

The platform also helps create popup forms, alert bars, and more. And its new AI features help craft headlines designed to convert.

3. Nutshell

Nutshell is a 100% dedicated B2B lead generation tool. As a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, it collects and stores all your lead information in a centralised location.

That's not all – through the CRM, you can automate lead assignment, lead advancement, and even task reminders.

You'll cut your team's workload, leaving them time to focus on the important things, like building client relationships.

You'll also gain access to a host of analytics and tools, including Nutshell's embeddable forms. That's a fantastic way to generate leads from your site, driving them through your sales funnel.

4. LeadFeeder

Slightly more expensive than other tools, LeadFeeder is another B2B tool. It identifies companies already visiting your site and generates lead information.

Don't let anonymous traffic slip through your fingers – find B2B leads already interested in your brand.

Indeed, this platform gives you a leg up on your competition, identifying leads early in the sales funnel.

Consider that leads only contact your sales team at the end of the buyer's journey, and you can see the power of getting in early.

5. HubSpot Marketing Hub

HubSpot is one of the leading CRM and B2B lead generation tools available. Its marketing hub, in particular, includes a comprehensive toolkit covering email, social media, and more.

The lead capture tool, for example, uses a drag-and-drop editor to create forms that not only collect important information but catch your prospects' eye.

Moreover, based on your collected information, you can segment your audience for targeted marketing newsletters. And that's without considering its other features like popup forms, live chat, chatbot, and more.

B2B Lead Generation Best Practices

B2B leads are significantly more discerning than their B2C counterparts. You can't rely on emotive messaging to spark a spur-of-the-moment purchase.

Instead, you'll need a structured approach. Here's a quick run-through of the best practices in B2B lead generation:

1. Identify Your Target Audience

Your first step should always be to outline and understand your target demographics. Creating a detailed buyer persona – semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers – helps humanise these statistics.

As you craft your strategy, consider key factors like industry, company size, job title, pain points, and decision-making authority. Then, turn these factors into several different personas.

2. Leverage Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing, or ABM, involves creating a hyper-personalised campaign for each account. That sounds like a lot of work.

However, with new AI tools and auto-personalised sales rooms like Trumpet, you can generate a tailored lead-generation tool in a matter of minutes.

ABM can radically boost your ROI and conversion rates.

3. Optimise Your Website

Ensure your website does most of the heavy lifting. It should meet the 30-second rule: explain your company's value proposition in 30 seconds or less.

You'll also want to create specific landing pages for each stage in the buyer's journey.

Include a clear call-to-action (CTA) with a simple method for completion, e.g., a sign-up form. Indeed, companies tend to have over 30 landing pages catering to different demographics.

4. Create Relevant Content

High-quality content marketing establishes your brand as a thought leader and industry authority.

From insightful blog posts to in-depth whitepapers to compelling case studies, this content helps funnel customers through the sales funnel.

Indeed, over half of B2B buyers say they're much more likely to buy from a brand after reading their content.

Plus, by integrating a CTA at the end, you encourage visitors to take the next step. That converts organic traffic into genuine leads.

5. Utilise SEO Strategies

Content marketing is only as successful as your SEO strategy. Perform keyword research to identify the search terms you want to rank for.

Also, analyse your site to see how to boost your ranking – think page speed, site structure, bounce rate.

The higher your rank, the more organic traffic you'll receive. SEO is one of the most reliable methods to generate B2B leads.

6. Use a CRM to Automate Your Marketing

Gathering and storing data helps personalise your marketing efforts. Segmenting your lead gen emails or using the information in your digital salesroom yields impressive results.

According to Adobe's 2023 B2B Commerce Growth Strategies Survey, almost three-quarters of B2B organisations collect behavioural and transactional data to drive personalisation across their website.

That's because it works – resulting in greater engagement, brand loyalty, and ROI.

Boost Your B2B Lead Generation Efforts with Trumpet

Are you ready to take your B2B lead generation campaign to the next level? At Trumpet, we've helped companies big and small convert leads from cold prospects into loyal customers.

That's the power of the digital sales room.

Want to learn more and see our pods in action? Book a free demo today. Or read what some of our 5,000+ users had to say about their experience blowing their trumpets!