Lead Generation Guide

15 Lead Generation Strategies that Really Work in B2B

Published , Updated 14 mn
Profile picture for Axel Lavergne

Axel Lavergne

Co founder and chief editor

Axel is one of Salesdorado's co-founders. He's also the founder of reviewflowz.com, a review management tool for B2B SaaS companies

The idea was to avoid “simply” listing approaches and methods for generating B2B leads.

We’ve focused here on how to generate leads, with an emphasis on the 15 most important strategies, and examples of how to apply them on a small, medium and large scale.

For each lead generation strategy, we give you our advice on how to test them, exploit them and scale them up.

#1 Work on your offer segmentation

Instead of having a generic, somewhat vague value proposition, it’s better to segment your traffic sources, and put an offer in front of them that you can’t refuse.

The idea behind this tip is that you can optimize anything in marketing, but nothing is as impactful as a great offer.

A great offer is one that’s perfectly adapted to the target audience: an effective strategy for this is to create different offers for different purchasing stages.

For example, there’s almost always a “Contact Us” button on a website. But not all prospects are ready to take this step, preferring to continue researching on their own.

A person at the top of the sales funnel is potentially more interested in an information document such as a guide or ebook, while a prospect ready to buy is more interested in a free trial or demo.

To test: you don’t have to choose right away – you can create offers for each stage of the sales cycle, and include a main CTA and a secondary CTA for these offers.

To exploit: segmentation then enables you to refine your offer where the majority of your traffic sees it. Give priority to the page that generates most of your SEO traffic. If most of your requests come from your LinkedIn profile, that’s where you need to work on your offer.

To scale up: we can take the example of SEMrush, one of the leading lead generation tools on the market. SEMrush offers a range of SEO tools: technical audit, keyword analysis, backlink analysis, competitive analysis, local SEO, etc.

To generate leads efficiently, they’ve built a funnel for each tool – and each tool corresponds to a specific buying intent. In our example, they offer a free technical audit with a to-do list for optimizing your site.

#2 Build a community presence


If we dig deeper into the idea of properly segmenting your targets, this also applies to your online presence. Build your presence in well-targeted communities with which you have real interactions.

The idea is not to join as many groups as possible just to post a link and cross your fingers (the “Spray and Pray” technique). Before you post anything, you need to have made a few friends, who will interact with your post, ask questions, check it out, and so on.

The aim is really to create human relationships, even if you’re doing it on a virtual network.

There are many online communities:

  • Forums: Slack communities (generally under thirty, middle-managers), Discord (younger, or more development-oriented in general), or “old-fashioned” forums like growthhacking.fr for example.
  • Facebook groups – Some are very active and relevant, but this is a little rarer. Overall, the average age is higher.
  • Reddit – Reddit is a business in its own right, and it’s a tough one.

To test: we start by testing a community. Choose just one, and answer at least one question a week. Continue to bring value for 2 or 3 months, and try to be present in every conversation where you can bring value.

The aim is to build credibility in your chosen fields. Be careful, it requires a lot of rigor and time, and you’d better like it.

To exploit: exploitation is when you use these communities to extract information about your prospects. You can join other communities relatively close by. Try to find members you know from other communities, and start engaging in more conversation.

Stay focused on your expertise, but don’t be afraid to ask off-camera questions to benefit from the expertise of others.

To scale up, while remaining relevant, there are social listening tools like Syften, which can monitor the use of certain keywords on all these communities (Slack, Reddit, Discord, …) and therefore see everything that’s being said about your product.

The advantage is that you can intervene at every stage of the buying cycle: respond immediately when someone mentions your product, and boost the articles or posts that talk about it.

But also hunt for leads by tracking the technical terms used by your customers to generate new leads. Syften offers an initial plan at $19.99 per month for monitoring 3 keywords, which you can test free of charge.

#3 Build an organic presence on Google


SEO isn’t (at all) a time-consuming, long-term affair, or any of the other nonsense that incompetent agencies trot out to justify their rates and unfair clauses.

SEO is all about relative legitimacy. If you’ve never published anything about emailing, and you’re hoping to position yourself on a generic keyword like emailing software, then you’re going to have to build up your legitimacy in emailing, and that takes time, it’s true.

But if you want to position yourself on a very specific intention, a keyword on which you are automatically legitimate if only because you talk about it, then it’s possible (and relatively easy) from day one.

To test: start, for example, with “Customize Gumroad confirmation email” or “Super.so newsletter software”.

#4 Buy yourself a direct presence on Google

google ads

Google’s great strength lies in transactional, “bottom-of-funnel” queries. With Google Adwords, you can position yourself from day one on highly transactional keywords, and record your first sales.

To test: for example, take a dedicated expression such as “Emailing software”. Whoever types in the keyword knows what to expect, knows what they’re looking for, and wants to buy a solution. If you are present at the time, you have a chance of winning the sale. It’s as simple as that.

With Google Ads, you can buy yourself a presence on this keyword from day one, provided you have a relevant offer and a budget.

We won’t go into detail here on how to manage a Google Adwords account. But the main idea is to continually monitor the account to adapt to the competition. It’s hard work, and you mustn’t think you can put campaigns on autopilot.

But we must never lose sight of “common sense”. If you sell emailing software, it’s almost impossible for “emailing software” not to be profitable.

#5 Buy yourself an indirect presence on Google


Since it’s difficult to position yourself on big keywords (like “emailing software”), many sites take care of this for you, selling you visibility and traffic from these keywords. Salesdorado is one of them, but so are platforms like Capterra and G2.

To test: Define a list of 10 keywords – really different, not phony variations with S or without S – that show a very strong intent to buy. Try to position yourself by buying ads on Google.

To exploit: Extend your keyword list, and deduct from Adwords costs the much less competitive keywords that work well to start treating them in SEO. You’ll occupy 2 out of 12 – 15 results per Google result page.

To scale: Contact all “neutral” sites positioned on these keywords to buy presence.

You’ll occupy 7 – 8 of 12 – 15 results per page. The next step is to be among the first every time.

For review platforms such as Capterra and G2, you’ll need to work on customer reviews, which we’ll talk about further down in this article.

#6 Leverage LinkedIn



Use your LinkedIn account to share content from your website. Above all, share only high-value-added content to create legitimacy and authority.

On LinkedIn, you can also target sub-sections of the user base according to their location (if a region is important to your business) or by posting in specific groups related to your industry.

To test – a few best practices to follow:

  • Post regularly – The algorithm overvalues the quantity of content. Mind you, people (humans, that is) read what’s printed on their feed. If you’re talking nonsense, it can be very damaging. The right balance in my opinion is between 2 and 4 posts per week. Beyond that, it’s too hard to make quality, and below that it’s too infrequent.
  • Really encourage your teams to build a personal brand and leverage it for your business. Including financial incentives.

#7 Get recommendations from your customers

value of referrals

A recommendation is an extremely effective source of conversion.

But don’t wait for the recommendations to happen on their own.

To test: ask your current customers directly if they would be willing to recommend you publicly. It allows you to post their testimonials on your website.

A few ideas for highlighting recommendations:

  • Present them as press releases
  • Create posts on social networks, in the form of images for example, to highlight praise
  • Build case studies around customer testimonials – as limited-access content for lead generation.
  • Display your best customer reviews on your website with a tool like reviewflowz
  • Provide your sales force with a bank of testimonials, so they can easily find relevant ones to send to their prospects.
  • Integrate them into your onboarding emails

To exploit: a recommendation is also a good way to be introduced to a new customer, for example by asking your current customer to send an email to the prospect you’re interested in, briefly introducing yourself.

Once you have their contact, you can send them regular content – case studies, press releases or an industry watch. So that they keep you in mind when they need you.

#8 Get recommended by influencers


The influencer market is growing steadily and can be a smart lead generation strategy for SMEs to reach new audiences.

If done right, it’s an inexpensive way to promote your business. Many influencers are willing to work on a performance-based model, where you only pay them according to the number of leads or sales generated.

In France, we’ve seen Folk use and abuse this method to build a presence in an already mature market (CRM). An example of a clearly sponsored post.


Beware though, as in B2C, these influencers flirt with the law, and actually display quite rarely when a post is sponsored. This Linkedin post, for example, talks about a campaign organized by Emma, a mattress company condemned by the commercial court for abusive commercial practices. On paper, you’d think it would be well executed. And to be honest, it’s probably very profitable. The credibility of these “influencers” has taken a real hit, if the comments on the post are anything to go by. It’s not great to be the next in line.

To test: identify influencers relevant to your business: find people active in your sector or niche and analyze their follower count and engagement rate to make sure they’re right for you.

Then work out a clear and convincing offer to persuade them to promote your brand to their followers: free products or services, commission on sales, etc.

A good strategy, for example, is to sponsor their newsletter rather than buying “ephemeral” Linkedin posts. A content creator’s newsletter is often of very high quality, and they have a very strong bond with their subscribers – so they perform very well.

#9 Produce less content

less is more

The main idea is to spend 80% of “content” time on distribution, and only 20% on production.

If we apply the 80/20 principle to content marketing, 80% of leads come from 20% of content. If you can identify the 20% most effective content, you’ll get 80% of the results for only 20% of the effort.

This is where low-frequency content marketing comes in.

To test: instead of creating content every day or every week, slow down. Devote at least 40 hours to each piece of content you produce, and make sure it’s exceptional.

If your dream customers are Salesforce consultants, create the ultimate guide to marketing for Salesforce consultants. Continuously improve this content so that it is 10 times better than the next best content on the subject.

#10 Leverage review platforms

As we saw above, customer review platforms are an excellent way of raising your company’s profile.

That means choosing the right platforms.

We recommend selecting 2 or 3 maximum: either platforms with which you have a key integration & that are a source of high LTV customers, or platforms that rank well on Google when your keywords and brand name are typed in.

Focus on the flow of reviews rather than on the spur of the moment: review platforms overestimate the frequency of reviews. In one month, sending 20 reviews today on Capterra will be about as useful as sending 2 reviews a week for the next 30 days.

So you need to be able to set up a steady stream of positive reviews if you’re looking for efficiency. If you’re just sending notices to your customer base every six months, stop doing it.

Segmentation is key: for every rating you get on G2, you can get 10 on Trustpilot. We recommend sending the most engaged customers to G2, and sending less engaged (but satisfied) customers to the other platforms. If you send the least committed to G2 or Capterra (or Salesforce Appexchange, etc.) , you won’t get any results.

#11 Build an ecosystem of partners

To attract higher-value customers, you need either a network of recommendations or word-of-mouth. Ideally, both. Since word-of-mouth is a little harder to establish, focus on building an ecosystem of partners.

To test – a few examples of partners to get in touch with:

  • Upstream services: If you’re a digital marketing agency, an upstream service could be a web design agency, a PR agency, a venture capital firm or a marketing training company. Make them prescribers.
  • Competitors: Even if it seems counter-intuitive, they can be an excellent source of leads. Firstly, because if your competitors’ offer doesn’t suit a customer, they can turn to you. And conversely, if you’re at full capacity, you can (intelligently) recommend your competitors to a customer. Identify complementary competitors who play the game, without necessarily formalizing it. It’s a long way from anti-trust laws in most cases, but still.
  • Niche partners: If you specialize in hotel consulting, look for organizations and associations that have good connections in the hotel industry, whether they be media, or companies that have a completely different business to your own.
  • Schools: Major groups like Accor are forging partnerships with schools to boost their appeal (particularly as employers). But it’s also a way of increasing your visibility with potential future customers. Speaking at schools or recruitment fairs can make a lot of sense in certain niches.

To make the most of: Avoid 2 p.m. brainstorming sessions, which give you lots of ideas that you never implement. To start with, I recommend an age-old but highly effective solution: email list sharing. Very quick to set up, all you have to do is ask a partner to send a promotional email to their email base, to promote an offer or service. In return, you send an email to your customer base promoting your partner’s service.

My advice

If you’re not sure which partner to turn to, we recommend that you talk to people you know in the market, or even to customers with whom you’ve been working well.

To scale up: you can also try sharing webinars. A bit like exchanging emails, you prepare a webinar with a partner and both of you commit (three, four, … it works too!) to share it massively with your customers & leads.

Creating webinars can be time-consuming, and you’ll need to find a topic & content that’s relevant to your respective audiences. It’s a lot more time-consuming, but it can work very well.

#12 Develop a free tool

free tools hubspot

If you’re in the SaaS business, offering tools or free trials can be one of the most effective lead generation techniques.

It attracts people who are likely to be interested in your solution. And offer them real value.

To test: the risk with this kind of strategy is to test on too small a scale. The myth of the indie-hacker who tinkered with something on a spreadsheet and got overtaken by an exploding Reddit post. It may have existed 10 years ago, but today’s web is much more advanced. No one wants to try something that’s complicated to understand or that doesn’t look like anything. To really test, you need to invest enough time to make a real mini-tool. Stay agile, MVP, all that, of course, and make as few assumptions as possible before you’ve had customer feedback – but don’t fall into the opposite error…

To exploit: Distribution is the sinews of war, even when it’s free. Try platforms such as Product Hunt, Reddit, Indie Hackers, etc. and try to find relays that will share your tool (bloggers, newsletters, “influencers”)…

It’s a strategy that can really pay off if you manage to build a free tool that has its own value proposition and can exist “on its own”. The noCRM sales script generator, for example, lets you create your own free call script to help you qualify your prospects over the phone.

Hubspot also offers an impressive list offree tools: no fewer than 14 tools are available to users. For example, Makemypersona, to define your personas, an email signature generator, and many others that allow a prospect to discover their world and therefore the Hubspot solution.

#13 B2B trade shows

Trade shows are still a great way to meet future customers. But this requires a bit of rigor to get the most out of these shows.

To test: a trade show is prepared in advance – don’t neglect the appearance of your stand at the show.

Responsiveness is the key to success. It’s estimated that a lead should be relaunched no more than 7 days after attending a B2B event. And don’t limit yourself to email reminders: social networks, whatsapp, cold calling… now’s the time to send your best footage.

Choose the right trade shows to generate leads: while it’s true that speaking at well-established marketing events is great for credibility, these conferences are often ineffective in attracting future customers.

Not only are there too many competitors trying to grab the prospect’s attention, but more importantly, most attendees assume you’ll be busy after your talk, and don’t come to talk to you. Whatever your performance indicators, you’re unlikely to generate any interesting leads from a large, well-known trade show.

On the other hand, at a small event attended by 50 to 100 people, you’re seen as more approachable. As a result, you’ll have more (and more in-depth) conversations, which will lead to more leads and future customers.

The holy grail is small, sector-specific events, often industry-specific.

#14 Install a Chatbot on your site

crisp rates

Nothing could be simpler than installing a chatbot to accompany visitors by offering them a conversational interface. It’s a highly effective tool that’s quick to develop and implement on your site.

To test: Install Crisp (free plan and 30-day premium trial), and route requests to your Slack. After 30 days, if you have some volume, pay to keep Slack, and otherwise stay on the free plan and manage conversations from your browser.

The chatbot from Brevo (ex Sendinblue) is also of fairly good quality, and fairly easy to set up. As a bonus, it will be automatically connected to your marketing automation or emailing software if you use Brevo.

#15 Use video

Videos have become a marketing must-have: they attract the public’s attention in a more dynamic and visual way.To test: you can try your hand at different formats.

  • Explainer videos – short and animated, ideal for explaining your product or service.
  • Customer testimonials – featuring satisfied customers sharing their experiences.
  • How-to videos – Step-by-step instructions on how to use a product or service, demonstrating its value.
  • Product demonstration – presentation of the features and benefits of a product or service
  • Brand presentation: tell your brand’s story, mission and values to establish an emotional bond with your customers.

A high-quality, visually appealing video has real added value for your target audience and is much more engaging.

To scale up: invest in tools to take your video quality to the next level. The advantage today is that it’s much easier to make very high-quality videos, especially with AI tools:

Something to keep in mind

Don’t forget your video’s main objective – to capture leads – by offering clear CTAs or contact forms in your videos.

Going further

About the author

Profile picture for Axel Lavergne

Axel is one of Salesdorado's co-founders. He's also the founder of reviewflowz.com, a review management tool for B2B SaaS companies