B2B Lead Generation: 7 Proven Strategies That Really Drive Results

Gary Wellington
January 17, 2020

According to HubSpot, 61% of marketers say that generating traffic and leads is their top challenge. Are you among them? In this post, we’re going to take a look at seven proven lead- generation strategies you can use to push your results further and acquire more high-value B2B customers.

What Is B2B Lead Generation?

Before we dive into the seven proven lead-generation strategies you can use, let’s quickly define what we mean by the term “B2B lead generation.”

B2B lead generation is the science of identifying and attracting viable business customers for your product or service. Marketers use a number of lead-generation channels and strategies to reach their potential customers.

The most effective marketers use a cohesive lead-generation strategy that covers both inbound and outbound channels. For instance, they’ll use SEO, event marketing, emails, PR, social media, and many more options to generate interest among viable leads.

Superstar marketers manage to routinely attract high-quality leads that lead to more sales and higher conversion rates. This skill can have a huge impact on the bottom line of a business, and it can really transform the profits of a company.

If you’re going to generate high-quality B2B leads, you must be able to master the most common lead-generation strategies and pursue more niche options (e.g., according to your location, industry, and target customer).

Why B2B Lead Generation Will Be about an Overall Strategy, Not a Single Tactic 

When people try to picture lead generation, they often have the tendency to think about a particular channel or campaign. The most effective and talented marketers are able to adopt a bird’s-eye view, in order to see all those tactics alongside one another. How can they be leveraged to form a cohesive strategy?

B2B lead generation is about much more than just individual tactics. Here’s a look at why a cohesive lead-generation strategy is so important…

Better-quality leads

If you create a deliberate B2B lead-generation strategy, you’ll be able to elevate the quality of leads you generate. If you use the right strategy, you’ll inevitably find more appropriate and potentially valuable leads.

More accurate investments

With so many potential lead-generation channels out there, marketers must be able to effectively manage their budgets and allocate their resources. A strategy can help them accomplish this goal and achieve the best ROI possible.

An ever-evolving strategy

A robust lead-generation strategy with the right structure can empower marketers to diligently collect data and monitor performance. In other words, marketers will find it easier to adjust and polish their strategies over time.

7 B2B Lead-Generation Strategies You Should Test

Now that we have a foundation, let’s take a closer look at seven proven lead-generation strategies you can take for a spin. We’re confident you’ll find something useful here. And it might just help you improve your lead-generation results.

1. Morgan Williams: Achieve an excellent ROI with an elegant cold-email strategy.

There are an estimated four billion email users worldwide. Cold emailing is by far one of the most popular communication methods for businesses around the world, and there’s a lot of lead- generation potential here.

If you can find your way into the right inboxes with the right messages, you could generate promising new leads.

Morgan Williams is a sales-development professional who helps B2B companies transform prospects into customers. In his excellent cold-email case study, Morgan outlines how he used this viable channel to secure a tremendous ROI and earn new clients.

What did they do?

Morgan launched his campaign by creating an outbound marketing stack. He used three key platforms:

  • Mailshake
  • Pipedrive
  • G Suite

After he intelligently established his system, Morgan started finding viable targets for his campaign. He verified those emails with an email checker, then adopted two distinct strategies to contact his leads.

Next, Morgan wrote and scheduled his emails. He used Mailshake to program the logic of his sequence and launched the campaign. From that point onward, he grouped his responses in broader buckets.

Morgan followed up the positive responses with a phone call, and he eventually closed an impressive percentage of his leads.

What were the results?

In his case study, Morgan shares the positive results of the campaign. The results are very impressive, and he offers a great breakdown of key numbers, including emails sent, bounces, opens, replies, and closed deals.

Morgan also provides a glimpse into his expenses, revenues, and profits. By the end of the campaign, Morgan achieved a fantastic ROI of 2,061%.

Why did it work?

Morgan kindly shares his four reasons for success, as part of his case study:

  1. He relays that templated responses are huge timesavers. With these responses, he was able to more keenly focus his efforts.
  2. He says that an important part of his success was closing on the phone with a foot-in-the-door offer. He opened with a risk-free offer, in order to get the working relationship off to a great start.
  3. He explains that he had to be methodical and patient when it came to responding to feedback from his leads. A positive response didn’t mean that the lead was ready to buy; Morgan often had to provide additional information.
  4. He says that timing played an important role in the success of this project. He also explains that a higher volume of emails inevitably means a greater chance of success.

How can you replicate it?

Morgan very generously shared his fascinating yet clear case study. If you follow his steps, you’ll quickly be able to create your own outbound marketing stack and start sending out those cold emails.

If you’re looking to elaborate on Morgan’s strategy, you might want to put a stronger emphasis on split-testing your campaigns. A number of email-marketing platforms can provide you with rich statistics, which will allow you to more effectively optimize and refine your emails.

2. Intronis: Complement direct mail marketing with a multichannel approach

Intronis is a data-protection company that’s been in the industry for over 10 years. It currently serves around 50,000 companies. Aaron Dun is the Chief Marketing Officer. In this case study, he explains how Intronis was struggling to capture viable leads by using typical marketing efforts, such as email and cold calling.

What did they do?

The team came to this realization: To get access to the higher-level employees within its target companies, it needed to execute a multichannel campaign that was centered around direct mail.

The marketing team put their heads together and created a unique direct-mail campaign. Since their target audience was predominantly made up of males between 30 and 50 years old, they decided to send a classic Atari video game replicator as the key incentive.

Their piece of direct mail would also ask the recipient to schedule a 30-minute call with sales. In return, the recipient would receive a more modern game console.

Once the creative vision for the campaign was in place, the team got to work and broke the following work down into these key steps:

  1. They started refining the audience for the campaign. This process involved high-level strategic discussions with senior team members.
  2. With the recipients confirmed, the team developed the actual piece of direct mail. Their concept was very impressive, and the console was delivered with a sticker that said “Intronis got game,” along with the company URL.
  3. They experimented a lot with the timing. Eventually, the team concluded that Monday was the best time to send them, since that scheduling gave them the rest of the week to follow up with their clients.
  4. The team also learned how to most effectively incorporate email into the multichannel campaign. Emails were used throughout the campaign, and a number of options were available, according to the actions of the prospects.

What were the results of the direct mail campaign?

The results were excellent. In terms of key metrics, the project achieved:

  • A conversion rate of 35%
  • An ROI of 700%
  • 10% of all bookings for the year

Why did it work?

Aaron Dun is the Chief Marketing Officer at Intronis. He explains that the campaign was successful due to a few key reasons.

First, he explains that his best advice is to “get outside your own head.” He clarifies that outside-the-box thinking can take direct-mail initiatives to the next level and help companies unlock some great results.

Dun also explains that the marketing team was very methodical about executing this campaign. The marketing team broke the campaign down into different rounds. They targeted just 50 prospects at a time, so they could properly track their results and relationships with each target.

How can you replicate it?

There’s a lot to unpack in this great case study, and we think Dun did an excellent job of sharing the reasons why this project was a success.

If you’re hoping to achieve direct-mail success, you’ll want to make sure you deliver a strong concept that can capture the imagination of your recipients. You’ll also want to complement that concept with great copy and a high-quality feel, in order to generate high-value leads for your business.

3. SoftwareConnect: Accelerate follow-up response time, in order to secure cold-calling success.

According to figures from RingLead, 80% of B2B sales calls end up in a voicemail, and over 90% of them go unreturned. If marketing and sales departments are going to improve these numbers, they’ll need to pull out all the stops.

In this case study, SoftwareConnect explores the impact of a new notification tool. The author then explores the data from over 60,000 calls made to web leads, in order to identify how this tool had an impact and how businesses can elevate their cold-call success rate.

What did they do?

In May 2014, the sales team implemented a new piece of internal software that instantly alerts team members when a website visitor submits a request.

The team carefully monitored the impact of the tool, and they pored through the data to answer these four key questions:

  • How does the speed of a follow-up affect results?
  • How many calls should be attempted?
  • What’s the best time of day to make a cold call?
  • What’s the best day of the week to call leads?

What were the results?

After implementing the system, the SoftwareConnect team monitored the follow-up speed to determine how a cold call affects results. Here’s a look at the key results brought about by the implementation of this tool:

  • On average, the team was able to respond within one minute, which doubled the number of contacts they were able to reach.
  • They made at least 10 attempts to connect with qualified leads.
  • Generally, the morning is the best time to call.
  • It was slightly more effective to call from Tuesday to Thursday.

Why did it work?

In general, companies fail to respond to leads quickly enough. In fact, the average company will take a staggering 46 hours and 53 minutes to respond to a lead.

This initiative worked so well for SoftwareConnect because their simple tool helped the sales team expedite their response time. In other words, the sales team was able to strike while the iron was hot and capitalize on the interest of their web leads.

How can you replicate it?

This case study emphasizes the rudimentary nature of the notification tool. In fact, it was little more than a single screen that offered a single button to alert the sales team when a request was submitted via the website.

If you’d like to accelerate your response time, perhaps you’d like to invest in a similar tool or create your own alert. These tactics could expedite your response time and help you double the number of contacts you’re able to reach.

You could also replicate the data analysis from this project. So you should pay close attention to what works and when to constantly improve your results.

4. Respect.Studio: Use LinkedIn to sell socially and organically. 

Respect.Studio is a digital marketing agency that focuses on complex marketing automation for a number of businesses. In this particular case study, the author outlines the way his agency worked to help a Ukrainian IT outsourcing company build an efficient and stable LinkedIn lead-generation strategy.

Review.Studio manually and individually connected with appropriate LinkedIn leads.

What did they do?

To begin, the Respect.Studio team worked alongside the client, in order to identify an accurate, narrow target audience. It narrowed down the target audience until it arrived at a group that clearly portrayed accurate firmographic criteria.

Next, the team crafted a sequence of efficient outreach messages that would be sent via LinkedIn. The team focused on five “ingredients,” in order to craft an efficient outreach message:

  • Personalization: The team made sure they included opportunities for personalization.
  • Benefit: The team capitalized on the client’s strongest pain point.
  • Smoothness: The message took an authentic approach that aimed at creating a dialogue, rather than starting with an offer.
  • Value: The messages tried to drive value to targets, in the form of business insights and case studies.
  • Size: The team focused on crafting brief and concise messages, rather than sprawling texts.

Equipped with these messages, the team created an account and started manually dispatching invitations to appropriate leads. They manually tracked each lead in a spreadsheet and replied when it was appropriate.

When a lead reached the appropriate level of warmth, the team passed it along to the client for a call.

What were the results?

In terms of key results, Respect.Studio shared the following:

  • For each profile, the social selling initiative generated 8 hot leads per month. 
  • Around 3-4 of those 8 hot leads engaged with the team each month.
  • The monthly price of the campaign is below $900. In other words, a single closed deal would achieve a significant ROI.

Why did it work?

We believe this particular social-selling initiative worked so well because the team had a deliberate and well-worked plan. All too often, marketers launch social-selling campaigns without performing the appropriate groundwork.

In this instance, Respect.Studio diligently tried to add structure to their social-selling campaign. So they were able to properly organize and make the most of each lead, which drove true value to their clients.

This project is a great example of the way patience and a strategic mindset can help marketing departments achieve a fantastic ROI and generate high-quality leads.

How can you replicate it?

If you’d like to engage in social selling to generate more leads, you might want to follow the structure described in this case study. Then you’ll be able to spin up a new lead-generation initiative in no time at all and start forging authentic connections.

If you have the infrastructure and budget, you might want to elaborate on this case study by adding those new leads to CRM. This tactic will help you more effectively organize and nurture those leads once you’ve made first contact with them.

5. The Hoth: Significantly lower your cost per lead with strategic PPC campaigns.

The Hoth is an SEO company that helps businesses get more traffic. In this PPC case study, the author takes a look at the ways The Hoth took an existing PPC campaign and dropped the lead cost by over 85%. Simultaneously, they boosted the lead count, which saved them thousands on ad spend.

What did they do?

The client operated a high-end speciality home-goods store. So The Hoth wanted to improve the results of its PPC campaign.

To begin, The Hoth audited the existing campaign, in order to identify what was working and resolve any costly mistakes in the account or setup. The company provided this helpful baseline screenshot of the performance of the campaign:

After having performed this initial audit, The Hoth took the following important steps:


  • Fixed setup issues: With this fresh audit, The Hoth uncovered issues with triggers and tags.
  • Improved ad groups: The Hoth team discovered that the account had a lot of ad groups, which used the same generic ad. So they created a new set of ads.
  • Created landing pages: The Hoth created a suite of new high-converting landing pages, in order to make the most of new traffic.


What were the results?

The steps taken by The Hoth team significantly improved the PPC fortunes of the client. After executing the three key areas above, the PPC became an even more powerful lead-generation channel for the client.

Here’s a look at the new results:

As you can see, the conversion rate received a significant boost, while the cost per conversion dramatically reduced by 85%. The case study also states that the team from The Hoth kept working with the client.

Why did it work?

We believe this project worked so well because of the methodical approach The Hoth team adopted. We particularly like the way the team logically worked to secure quick wins and get immediate results for the client.

This case study offers a lot of great lessons, as far as the world of PPC lead-generation campaigns.  To get the best results, you should be sure to regularly manage and optimize your campaigns and healthily scale your campaigns.

How can you replicate it?

If you use PPC as a lead-generation channel, you could draw lots of inspiration from this case study. It might inspire you to perform an audit of your current performance, or even work alongside a specialist agency.

The case study from The Hoth is useful because it shines a light on some of the key areas you’ll want to focus on, such as the ads and landing pages. These tactics are great ways to add structure to any PPC review.

6. HubSpot: Use content upgrades and post updates to master SEO & content marketing.

Undoubtedly, HubSpot is one of the largest names in the marketing space. This company has achieved incredible year-on-year growth, largely thanks to its flawless online marketing initiatives.

In this Sumo case study, Chris Von Wilpert dissects the HubSpot lead-generation machine to peek under the hood and see what really works. One of the key trends he identifies is HubSpot’s “content upgrade conversion machine.”

What did they do?

HubSpot often makes good use of two important content marketing tactics…

The first is content upgrades. In other words, HubSpot regularly creates and offers gated content related to the subject at hand. A prominent example is HubSpot’s “How to Use Excel” guide. This training material is offered in a blog post on the same subject, which gives HubSpot the power to generate more leads with great calls to action.

HubSpot regularly offers a number of different content upgrades. They’ll sometimes offer eBooks, but they also offer a number of guides, templates, generators, and more.

The second technique is updating old blog posts. HubSpot does an excellent job of updating its existing content, so it remains fresh and provides value for future readers. HubSpot pieces often contains an editor’s note that explains what has been updated.

What were the results?

While we don’t have access to the exact numbers, we can confirm that these tactics do indeed work by checking HubSpot’s impressive and sustained success!

The more you pay attention to HubSpot’s content, the more frequently you’ll start noticing those tactics being used regularly.

Why did it work?

These two tactics work very well for HubSpot because they drive value for leads and keep content fresh. Due to the inclusion of content upgrades and regular updates, HubSpot’s content evolves over time and offers an evergreen utility for readers.

How can you replicate it?

Once of the best things about this lead-generation strategy is that it’s somewhat simple to implement.

When it comes to content upgrades, you should make sure you widely promote them and retroactively upgrade your previous posts to include them. You should also dive deep into your analytics data, in order to see which pieces could be worth updating.

Depending on the tool or CMS you use, you’ll be able to see when your posts were last updated. This benefit can make it easy for you to identify pieces in need of a quick update, due to new information.

A key takeaway from this look at HubSpot is that you should see your content as a living, breathing thing. Some content marketers have the tendency to click publish and forget about a piece of content. But if you want to get the maximum ROI from your content marketing, you should monitor and adjust it over time.

7. Findlay Hats: Generate leads using authentic and tactful community engagement.

The internet plays host to countless digital communities that allow potential leads to congregate and pursue their interests. But they’re often resistant to marketing, so you’ll need to authentically and tactfully engage communities.

In this example, we’ll take a look at the way Findlay Hats, a manufacturer of attractive hats and caps, managed to beat the odds and drive a staggering $28,000 in sales from a single viral Reddit post. 

What did they do?

Over three years ago, the owner of Findlay Hats posted a picture of himself and a customer on the immensely popular r/pics subreddit (which currently has over 23 million subscribers).

This owner (Jimmy Findlay Hickey) struck gold, and the post was quickly whisked to the top of Reddit’s frontpage. In a podcast describing the event, Jimmy explains he could tell the post was gaining traction within fifteen minutes, and he forewarned his colleague to expect a slight increase in demand.

His decision was organic. As a Reddit user, he had a good feeling that the community would find the story interesting.

What were the results?

Jimmy explains that before the end of the day, the e-commerce store had processed a very impressive $28,000 in sales, and the post attracted 60,000 visitors to the company website.

Lots of those new customers are still purchasing products from Findlay Hats to this day, and Jimmy has managed to cultivate a community around his company.

Why did it work?

Any marketer familiar with Reddit will understand that the average user is very hostile about marketing attempts on the platform. Businesses accused of “shilling” or vote manipulation are quickly downvoted, and they even run the risk of alienating users.

In his interview, Jimmy explains that he believes the post was a success due to the fact that his post was personable and contributed something genuinely interesting to the community.

If you look at Jimmy’s post and Reddit account, it’s immediately apparent that he was posting as a user first. His account was already years old, and he’d been active in many of Reddit’s communities—all of which helped him avoid allegations of manipulation.

How can you replicate it?

There is room for success on Reddit, but it’s reserved for users who know how to communicate effectively. If you’re hoping to liven up your community-engagement efforts and target Reddit, there’s a lot to learn from this interesting case study.

Here’s a look at the key takeaways:

  • Above all else, you’ll need to really take in Jimmy’s advice about authenticity. 
  • You’ll have to ensure that your post is useful to the community. 
  • You should confirm that you’re forthcoming about any commercial intentions you have behind your post.
  • You’ll want to spend a lot of time on the platform, in order to grow accustomed to its various codes and conventions.
  • You should grow a mature and organic account that you can use to share any posts.

The Best B2B Lead Generation Software

If you’re going to execute on those B2B lead-generation strategies, you’ll need the right tools at your disposal. To help you cover all your bases, here’s a look at the key tools, according to their primary functions.

Lead Provider: SalesRipe

SalesRipe is a contact data provider that helps businesses identify and connect with new customers. This clear and intuitive platform is easy to use, and lead-generation experts can get started in a matter of seconds.

SalesRipe is very helpful at lead generation, thanks to the suite of powerful features it has on offer. Lead-generation professionals around the world use SalesRipe to build targeted prospect lists, access the most accurate data, manage their leads, and target specific contacts or companies.

Cold Mails: Mailshake

Mailshake is an outreach tool that gives businesses the ability to send personalized cold emails at scale. This tool helps businesses connect with more prospects, book more meetings, and ultimately generate more sales.

Mailshake offers email-outreach automation options to help marketing departments with lead generation. It also includes an integrated phone-dialer, along with strong social sales acceleration. These tools are offered within one dashboard, and they can improve connect rates.

Cold Calling: Aircall

Aircall gives modern businesses a sophisticated phone system without the headaches that come with hardware and complexity. This cloud-based service empowers businesses to create phone systems from anywhere in the world and integrate their own apps with it.

Aircall can also help with lead generation, thanks to its sophisticated reporting and metrics. This platform makes it easy to track a number of KPIs, so teams can make measurable improvements to their lead-generation strategies. Aircall also places a strong emphasis on growth and scalability, which makes it easy to spin up new numbers and teams as needed.

Direct Mail: Postalytics

Postalytics wants to offer marketing professionals a personalized approach to direct mail, in order to boost their results. This tool achieves this goal by making it fast and simple to create integrated direct-mail campaigns. It also offers delivery and response statuses on each campaign.

This tool boasts intelligent personalization that helps push open rates upward. Postalytics also places a strong emphasis on performance tracking, so marketers can understand exactly where they stand and how the tool works for them.

Social Selling: LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a useful solution that helps sales professionals target the right buyers, understand key insights, and engage with personalized outreach. As the name suggests, this tool allows sales professionals leverage the size and scope of LinkedIn’s vast user base.

The tool is particularly useful for lead generation, given that it can help sales professionals engage in social selling. This advantage helps forge genuine connections and opens up a whole new lead-generation channel.

PPC: Adzooma

Adzooma aims at making PPC campaigns smarter and more effective. This platform provides a single platform from which to manage and optimize advertising across key channels, such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft Ads.

The platform offers a number of important tools that can help augment PPC lead-generation activities. For instance, it helps automate routine tasks, and it compiles sophisticated reports to help you make your PPC investment work for you.

SEO: Ahrefs

Ahrefs helps you become an SEO champion. So you can attract more leads than ever before via your website. Ahrefs offers up a number of useful SEO features, such as a backlink checker, SEO auditing functionality, and competitor insights.

This tool is trusted by some of the world’s largest businesses, and its offering is more mature than most competitors on the market. SEO experts who use Ahrefs can look forward to poring through sophisticated reports and making data-backed decisions, in order to generate more leads.

Content Marketing: WordPress

WordPress is an immensely popular content-management system, and it currently powers around 60% of all websites built using a CMS. This platform is adored by marketers around the world, thanks to its seemingly infinite number of plugins and unparalleled flexibility.

If you need to generate leads using quality content marketing, WordPress can make it very easy for you to format and share your content. Users can also put together a unique stack of plugins, in order to level-up their offerings and produce irresistible content that generates leads.


We hope this piece has given you some lead-generation inspiration and strategies you can put to the test. You’ll need a great contact data provider to get started, so launch your free 7-day SalesRipe trial today.

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