what is b2b lead generation

What is B2B Lead Generation?

B2B Lead Generation & How High-Quality Leads are Critical to Your Business

Have you checked your email spam folder lately?

Chances are – probably not. The spam folder tends to act like a Black Hole, sucking everything into a place where not even light can escape, let alone a sales message.

As a B2B businesses, you’ve probably dabbled in email marketing, and are likely painfully aware of the amount of content you send out that languishes in those forgotten spam folders.

It’s this frustrating scenario that is the reason we’re here to talk about inbound B2B lead generation. What is B2B lead generation? It’s a solution that can save your business from being ignored in the inbox or relegated to the spam folder.

In a nutshell, B2B lead generation is a means for you to entice potential new leads to contact you, often by responding to some sort of call-to-action, rather than you reach out with potentially irritating and easily overlooked cold messaging.

Why do B2B Marketers Need to Generate Leads?

When a visitor initiates a relationship with you by going out of their way to take the time to show organic interest in your business, the transformation from stranger to paying customer is much smoother and more natural.

B2B lead generation strategies always come after you’ve already attracted an audience and are ready to convert them from potential leads to qualified leads for your sales team.

What are Potential Leads?

Generally speaking, a potential lead is any person or organization that indicates their interest in your product or service in some way, shape, or form.

Typically, these potential leads hear from a business only after opening the lines of communication themselves – often by submitting personal information for an offer, trial, or subscription – instead of receiving a random sales email from a business that bought their contact information.

Let’s use an example from B2C to clarify things:

Let’s say you take an online survey to learn more about home maintenance. After a day or two, you receive an email from the home renovation company that created the survey about how they can help with your home maintenance. Now imagine you never filled out a survey, and were instead called out of the blue with no prior knowledge that you had any interest in home maintenance.

The random phone call is intrusive, the follow up is potentially helpful. Receiving the follow up call is what it’s like to be a potential lead. But not all leads are created equal.

What are Qualified Leads?

Qualified leads are essentially potential customers and can be broken down into four basic subsets.

Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)

Marketing qualified leads are at the top of the sales funnel, meaning they have engaged with your marketing, but aren’t ready to receive a sales call. This might be someone who fills out a landing page form for a deal or offer.

Sales Qualified Leads (SQL)

Sales qualified leads are your contacts who have expressly indicated their interest in becoming a paying client or customer. An example of this might be someone who goes through the process of filling out a form so they can ask a question about your product or service.

Product Qualified Leads (PQL)

These qualified leads are those who have actually used your product or service – usually through a free or limited trial – and are now indicating their desire to become a paying customer. This might be a contact who has been enjoying a free version of your service, but is asking about features that are only available in the paid version of the product.

Service Qualified Leads

Service qualified leads are similar to PQLs, except it is a service the target audience is interested in.

Are you looking for a guide to see you through the B2B lead gen weeds? Book your free consultation with Asset Digital Communications founder, Mary-Jane Owen!