5 Little Known Ways to Generate New B2B Sales Leads

By Megan Webb-Morgan,
business.com writer
Mar 01, 2013
Image Credit: NanoStockk / Getty Images

Every business is looking for a way to generate more sales leads, especially in our increasingly over-populated online world.

A recent study from Optify  reported that organic search from Google is the number one driver of traffic to B2B websites. However, its monthly conversion rate of 1.45% is far below the 1.6% average across all traffic sources.

While email, referrals, and paid search all lead the pack in terms of conversion rates, there are a number of additional ways that businesses can generate new sales leads that are currently under-utilized.

1. Lead Generation

The best way to generate new leads is through exact targeting. When you know the customer you're looking for you can determine how to best reach them. Working with a lead generation business puts you in front of purchasers who are looking for exactly what you have to offer.  Not sure where to start?

  • Resource Nation: If you're confident in your product or service, this is the option for you. Competing with other vendors for purchasers allows you to stand out in a way that only you can in a pay-per-lead format.
  • Business.com: As the #1 online destination for vendors across the B2B space, you can get competitive, and high-quality leads who are ready to purchase.

2. LinkedIn

Generating leads through your company's LinkedIn profile requires a multi-step approach: creating an attractive profile, inviting leads through your online presence, and researching those leads so as to better guarantee a successful conversion.

  • Populate your LinkedIn profile with company information and engaging content. Fill out your products and services tab, connect your Twitter and blog to your profile, invite your employees to participate, and make regular posts about your business and industry.
  • Attract leads by taking part in LinkedIn groups. Generate and participate in discussions. Answer questions. And, when you encounter possible leads, invite them to contact you via InMail.
  • In the process of qualifying a lead, research them on LinkedIn before calling. Showing that you know what their business is about and what it needs from you can help forge a stronger connection.

3. Twitter

It's not only for 140 character shares, but gaining leads as well. Optify's study found that Facebook was the main driver of visits to company web pages, at 54%, followed by Twitter at 32%. However, Facebook's conversion rate of 0.74% was exceeded by Twitter's 2.17% rate -- a difference of 193%.

  • Twitter's rate was 6% greater than referral traffic, 10% greater than paid search, and 50% greater than organic search.

This data indicates that while social media still contributes just a small portion of total lead generation, it has the potential to be an extremely important source of qualified leads in the future.

Related: Advanced Twitter Search to Build Your B2B Brand

Begin building your Twitter presence now in order to take advantage of this little-used yet high-quality means of generating new leads.

4. Partner Up

Just as an artist may team up with a framing service in order to increase sales for both, your company can partner with other businesses in order to generate cross-referrals. Look for firms that sell products or services that complement -- but don't compete with -- your own, and who target the same customers. Such a collaboration to share and exchange customers can generate two-way sales referrals that benefit both businesses.

  • Utilize shared outreach efforts, co-branding, and advertising in order to get the most out of your alliance.

5. Make Better Use of Your Current Leads

Forbes reported that only 27% of incoming leads ever get contacted. It takes companies an average of 46 hours and 56 minutes to call those leads back. As a result, more than 73% of a company's leads go unqualified.

Reclaiming some of those leads can be easier and more effective than generating new ones. The key to retaining leads is to call them back as soon as possible.

  • The odds of successfully contacting a lead within 5 minutes is 100 times higher than waiting 30 minutes. And after 5 hours, the odds of making contact drop by 3,000 times.
  • The odds of successfully qualifying a lead is 21 times higher at 5 minutes than at 30 minutes.

Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter can help your business generate new sales leads. You can also create a treasure trove of "new" leads by decreasing the number of incoming leads that you fail to contact. By implementing a system wherein your sales reps can respond to leads within minutes -- not hours or days -- you can recoup a large percentage of your missed leads.


Megan is a writer with 3 years of writing, editing, blogging, and social media experience. She's been an author on sites such as AllBusiness, Business2Community and Virtual-Strategy. Topics of interest include: business technology, employee engagement and small business best practices. She has a Master's degree in history from SUNY Brockport and received her B.A. degree at SUNY Geneso. Megan is an East Coast original who recently moved to the San Diego area. On the weekends, she enjoys spending time with her husband.
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