A 10 Step Marketing Plan for Successful B2B Lead Generation


b2b lead gen and nurturingAre you tired of hit and run lead generation? Sick of buying lists full of unqualified leads? Is your sales team spending most of their time networking without bringing in any new business?

If you answered yes to any of these questions above, you might have a lead generation problem.

Your Lead Pipeline is Your Future

You’ve heard it before. The ability to bring in quality leads is directly correlated to the success of your business and next quarter’s sales can be predicted from this quarter’s pipeline.

So why do you settle for lead generation that falls flat? Because you’ve been sold a bill of goods.

The outbound lead generation services try to make it look easy. Just hire us to do your telemarketing and your pipeline will be full, they say. But it’s not easy to consistently generate new, qualified leads. Because B2B lead generation isn’t easy, if you’re willing to put in the elbow grease, you can gain an advantage on your competition.  Luckily, the process can be pretty simple.

We’ve put together a 10 Step B2B Lead Generation Campaign Checklist that you can download right now. The checklist will guide you throughout the process of generating leads with your website.

It covers:

  • How to attract the right visitors to your website.
  • How to get high rankings in Google and other search engines.
  • Everything your site needs to become a lead generation machine
  • Why nurturing leads is so important

Marketing isn’t about being clever or making people laugh. It can do those things but first, it needs to help your business grow.

Feel free to use the checklist as a guide for your next marketing initiative.

It will keep your marketing team’s eyes on the prize – generating leads and customers.

Let’s take a look at the 10 Steps to a Successful B2B Lead Generation Campaign:

1. Identify Your Target Audience

Every single campaign we execute at GoBeyond begins with the same question:

Who are we targeting?

You can’t hit the bulls-eye with a blindfold on and you need to know who you are speaking to in order to craft content that resonates.

The best way to define your target audience is to create a buyer persona and use that persona as the muse for your content creation.

The concept of a buyer persona gets confusing and we often see companies try to speak about their ideal buyer persona in generalities like female 28-54 or male 45-65. Those generalities are just demographic information – you need to give your buyer persona some life so it can be the inspiration for all your content creation!

A well-crafted buy persona is a fictional representation of your ideal client.

Think about the decision makers inside the companies that are your best clients. Create a fictional mash-up of them. Explore their hopes and fears.

What motivates them:

  • Is it business growth or is it security?
  • Is it company advancement or keeping the status quo?
  • Is it looking good to superiors or getting good results?

Answers to those questions will shape the tone and voice of your content. Answers will also help you decide which topics to write about because you’ll know what your ideal client wants to read. Get to know your buyer persona. Write down her hopes and fears. Give her day an itinerary. Discover where she goes to get information.

Make your buyer persona as vivid as possible and watch you content flourish.

2. Set SMART Goals and Benchmarks

You’ll never get where you want to go if you don’t know when you’ve gotten there. Your marketing needs to have SMART goals  so you know when it’s successful or when to shift gears. We see lots of companies unwilling to apply hard goals to their marketing. They talk about things like branding and top of mind awareness – that’s not how we roll.

We believe marketing needs to have specific, measurable goals and that you’ll never know if you’re on the right track if you can’t read the sign-posts.

3. Create Your Lead Magnet Offers

“Contact us for a free consultation.”

If this the only offer you have on your website you are missing out on some serious leads. That call to action isn’t a lead magnet at all. If fact, it’s more like a lead repellent. Studies have shown that only 3% of your website visitors are ready to engage in a sales conversation.

Let’s face it, everyone knows your free consultation is really a poorly disguised sales call.

In B2B lead generation, that just doesn’t work anymore.

You need to have at least three offers on your site. With three offers you can address all the visitors to your website – no matter what stage of the buying process they’re in.

You need an informational offer, which doesn’t sell your services but educates the prospect on why they need something like your service. For example, imagine you are a logistics company. You ideal customer might be the Supply Chain Supervisor at an automotive parts manufacturer. Your informational offer showcases your expertise, establishes you a trusted authority and provides them with valuable, educational material.

Next, your middle of the funnel offer gives prospects a chance to learn more about how you, specifically, can help them. It will provide useful information too, but at this point, you should also position your company as the solution your prospect needs.

The bottom of the funnel offer is a higher perceived value offer than a free consultation. It’s designed to trigger sales-ready prospects, who need a little something more than a “free consultation,” to contact you.

3 offers for this fictional business could be:

  1. Top of the Funnel or Informational Offer:
    “How to Achieve True Mobility in Your Supply Chain” ebook
  2. Middle of the Funnel or Filtering Offering:
    “Supply Chain Case Study: How We Helped Acme Manufacturing Go Mobile”
  3. Bottom of the Funnel Offer to Replace “Free Consultation”:
    Sign Up for a Free Supply Chain Efficiency Assessment

Adding these offers immediately elevates the lead generation.  You go from speaking to 3% of your website visitors to making offers to ALL of them!

4. Build Your Automated Lead Nurturing Workflows

Now that you have offers to make, your website has a chance of generating quality leads. As long as your offers are compelling (hence the importance of addressing them to your buyer persona), website visitors will convert into leads.

The next step is to nurture your leads down your sales funnel.

Since 97% of your website traffic is looking for information, you want to give them that information in a way that also moves them down your funnel.

Your goal is to move a lead from information qualified to marketing qualified to a sales qualified lead.

Here is a graphic used in Content Marketer’s Blueprint to illustrate the online marketing funnel and how your prospects move from the top to the bottom:

b2b lead nurturing funnel


5. Keyword Research for Lead Gen

In the first 4 steps above, you put your online marketing engine in place. Now you need to produce and share content designed to attract prospects to your website.

Your content should educate and entertain your prospects so they convert into a lead. In order to do that, however, it has to get found. Writing content with specific keywords in mind, is the first step to getting your content found.

There are lots of ways to come up with your initial target keywords terms. Ten Keyword Research strategies are outlined in this post on Hubspot.

Supercharge your keyword research

Two tools that we like to have fun with around the office during our keyword research are Ubersuggest.org and Soovle.com.

At Ubersuggest you can input a seed keyword and Ubersuggest crawls the Google Adwords Keyword Planner and spits back related terms, sorted in alphabetical order.

Soovle is a tool that lets you input keyword phrases into a search bar and it shows you the auto-suggest terms for 7 different search engines – Google, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube, Amazon, Wikipedia and  Ansers.com.

Knowing what people are typing into these search engines is powerful information. We highly recommend you use this tool during your keyword research.

6. Write a Blog Post Designed for Lead Generation

There are 7 main topics prospects search when vetting your company on the internet:

  1. Comparisons – Ex: Netsuite vs. Intacct vs. Quickbooks
  2. Reviews – Ex: The Only TEM Software Review You Need to Read
  3. Problems – Ex: 5 Lead Generation Problems and Solutions
  4. “Best of” – Ex: Best Used Cars Under $15,000 in 2014
  5. Pricing – Ex: The True Cost of CRM Software
  6. FAQ’s –  Any questions you get from prospects should be answered in blog posts
  7. Content Offer Sub-Topics – When you create a content offer, break it down into re-usable parts and use them as blog posts.

Once you’ve chosen a keyword and have settled onto a title that corresponds to a topic above, writing your blog post will be much easier.

During the post you can direct visitors to a landing page, so they have the opportunity to turn into a lead.

7. Share it on social media

The whole point of writing a blog post designed for B2B lead generation is to then drive traffic to that post.

There are 2 ways you can drive traffic to the post:

  • Share it on social media and
  • Get it ranked in the search engines.

If you’ve been following along with our checklist, your blog post will be optimized to be socially sharable and rank well.

This stage of the lead generation process relies on any audience building and activities you’ve done up to this point. You can’t just show up with a new blog post and expect the leads to flow in.

Cultivate your audience and train them to engage with your content so when you share a blog post designed for lead generation, they take interest and click.

8. Optimize Your Post for SEO and Sharing

We’ve already written extensively on how to optimize a blog post for the search engines.  We’ve also broken down examples of 5 business blogs you can use as models for your own. If you follow the advice in those articles, your blog post will gain traction in the search engines AND be socially shareable.

Admit it….you’ve shared things on social media without reading them through.

They had a great headline. The opening hook was powerful. You’ve shared the author before. Whatever the reason, you passed it on without reading it.

That’s o.k. Just make it easy for your readers to do the same. Not every post will speak to every reader’s immediate problems.

Write in a way that gets them to share it anyway.

9. Analyze Your Lead Gen Campaign Data

If you’ve made it this far into your lead generation campaign, we congratulate you. You’re 99% ahead of your competition. The key is to stay ahead of them and that is done by analyzing your data, discovering what works and what doesn’t.

Throw away what didn’t work and repeat what did!

You’ll need to find out how people are finding your site. Do they come from:

  • search engines
  • social media
  • other websites
  • email campaigns
  • all of the above?

When they arrive:

  • Do they convert into a lead? How often?
  • Which CTA’s produce the most clicks?
  • Which landing pages convert the best?

Compile all the data you can and standardize how you present it to your team. That is the only way your marketing will improve over time. Everything else is just “a gut feeling.”

Your marketing deserves more than gut feeling!

10. Report and Adjust for Maximum Lead Generation

Your hard work shouldn’t go unmeasured, unreported or unadjusted. You set hard goals and benchmarks at the beginning of this campaign, now it’s time to celebrate your successes and eliminate the failures.

Make no mistake, some blog posts will flop, some CTA’s won’t get clicked, some landing pages may not convert well. No Big Deal!

Let the data be your guide so you can consistently adjust and optimize your campaign.

We recently had a prospect ask us to bring more traffic to their website because they weren’t getting any leads. We took a look in their analytics and saw that they had over 75,000 visitors in the previous 30 days.

We told them:

“You don’t need more traffic, you need to optimize your site to convert on the traffic you’re already getting.”


Many businesses immediately jump to “we need more traffic” but imagine this scenario:

Your website converts traffic into leads at .05% – it takes 200 visitors to get a lead. You can try to increase traffic but the faster route to lead generation success is to optimize the site for conversions. Boosting your conversion rate to a modest 1%, will double your leads on the same traffic!

Examine the data and make data driven decisions in your marketing. Your sales team will thank you!

How to Generate Even More B2B Leads

If you follow the 10 steps above, you’ll generate more leads with your website….it  is that simple.

There is no silver bullet for consistent and quality lead generation. You must put quality effort into a system in order to generate quality leads from that system. If you’re willing to do the work, the rewards can be tremendous because most of the time, your competition isn’t willing to do the work.

That’s what makes you remarkable!

The key to succeeding with this B2B lead generation program is to produce content your ideal buyers actually want to consume. You need to answer their questions. You need to show them (not just say), you’ll be able to solve their problems.

If you’re ready to make a commitment to creating marketing that generates & nurtures leads until they’re eager to buy from you then download our B2B Inbound Marketing Campaign Checklist below.

Execute that plan and generate as many quality B2B leads as you need!


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