Where to Find B2B Sales Leads

The need for fresh sales leads gives a recurring headache to B2B companies and the competition for prospects is only going to get fiercer. The key to success is to constantly supplement your existing lead generation efforts with new sources. A well-crafted lead plan will allow you to get the bulk of your leads from old reliable programs while you set aside 5-10 percent of the budget to test new sources. Over the next three weeks I’ll give you a couple of dozen lead generation sources to consider. Let’s start with direct marketing methods.

Email Marketing – Email works well, assuming you have a qualified list of opt-in subscribers. This can either be a house list or lists that you rent or purchase from an external source.

Direct Mail – We don’t do a lot of direct mail for our Fusion Marketing Partners clients because it is slow and fairly expensive. However, there are instances where you don’t have email addresses — only physical addresses. In this case, definitely give direct mail a try.

Telemarketing – Phone numbers are hard to come by for the B2B audience, but telephone lead generation can be effective, particularly if you combine it with email, direct mail or event marketing.  There are outsource providers who are effective at lead generation, either on an hourly or results basis (e.g. pay-per-lead or pay-per-appointment).

Referral – This is an often-overlooked lead source. There are many ways to get referral leads but the most important principle is that you have to ask. You can ask your customers, partners and prospects.

Partner Marketing – Partner marketing can be a very good, cost-effective source of leads. The subject is important enough that we have devoted a separate chapter to partner marketing in this book.

List Swaps – There are usually complementary companies in your space that need new sources of leads as much as you do. You can work a deal with these companies to swap a certain number of prospect names and contact information. Even better is to have each company send a promotion to its own list on behalf of the other company.

Newsletter – Associations and trade groups often publish a monthly newsletter, offering a “piggyback” opportunity that you can access either by buying an ad in the newsletter or sending a separate email to the newsletter subscription list.

Print and Broadcast Media – This category includes print advertising, radio advertising and television advertising. Although they are effective at building awareness, these media are often expensive when it comes to B2B lead generation.  Be very careful not to spend too much of your budget on print or broadcast media until you have proven and repeatable results.

I’ll cover more lead sources in the next couple of posts.

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Christopher Ryan

Christopher Ryan has 25 years of marketing, technology, and senior management experience. As both a marketing executive and services provider, Chris has created and executed numerous programs that build market awareness, drive lead generation and increase revenue.
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8 comments

  • Jeremy Gilbert July 26, 2011   Reply →

    As a business owner, you should not wait for the market to get better in order to get qualified lead. Instead, the key to a business’ success even at times there would be that economic downfall is to always take the first leap of faith. Here are some steps in order to assure your business that you get the right amount of B2B sales leads.

  • Geoff Vincent August 3, 2011   Reply →

    I would add that SOME online business directories as a general source of suspects is a good option. I would suggest trying directories that have good filtering tools so one can narrow the list and test the quality of the company and contact information.

  • Top,

    I’am going to use this, great usefull list.

    Tricycle
    Amsterdam

  • EDDM December 13, 2011   Reply →

    These are all excellent sources for generating B2B leads. While we love direct mail, we’ve also been having luck with list swaps, association marketing, and online lead generation (think white papers). LinkedIn can also work wonders!

  • Cathy Bishop March 30, 2012   Reply →

    Thanks for these tips on how and where to look for more b2b sales leads. Amongst these, telemarketing personally, is the most effective and efficient of all especially if you outsource it to another agency.

  • jelly andrews December 14, 2012   Reply →

    Great list! These are very useful. Thanks for sharing.

  • Tom Blue - Lead411 September 9, 2014   Reply →

    Chris: We do the same thing as you. We focus on multi-touch campaigns so we are visible all over the place. Here is a great report we recently saw on MarketingProfs – marketingprofs.com/chirp/2013/12161/b2b-lead-generation-trends-for-2014-whats-hot-and-whats-not

  • eWorld Trade February 2, 2017   Reply →

    B2B industry is growing rapidly. In this post I have learned some tremendous tricks to generate B2B leads. I guess this article is very important for sales perspective.

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