How to Generate More Qualified B2B Leads: Strategies, Tips and Tools

March 23, 2023
Contributor: Amita Jain

Implement these proven lead generation strategies to get quality leads and improve your sales pipeline.

A lot of marketers focus on driving more leads with little regard for lead quality. Due to this, many demand generation campaigns lack alignment with sales and cost valuable marketing budgets, wasting time and resources in pursuing leads that won’t convert. 

To ensure lead generation efforts result in high-quality contacts, growth marketers should ensure their strategies are well thought out from the start and implemented with precision.

Gartner research shows businesses that source over 40% of their leads from marketing experience higher conversion rates than others[1]. By driving engagement through digital content, marketers can capture the attention of buyers researching products or services, who would otherwise remain untapped.

In this article, we discuss five strategies—from selecting marketing channels to using effective CTAs—so that you balance quality with quantity and successfully generate high-quality B2B leads on a budget. 

What are qualified leads?

Qualified leads are carefully identified and filtered for key characteristics that make them ideal prospects with greater potential for sales. To generate qualified leads, B2B marketers put extra effort into understanding prospects’ needs, interests and buying patterns.

While every business has its method for determining qualified sales leads, three aspects are commonly considered:

  • Recent activity (such as email opens or free trial requests)
  • Engagement duration
  • Relevance to the company’s offering

Five strategies to improve B2B lead generation

By setting the right goals, understanding buyer personas and developing meaningful communication strategies, B2B marketing teams can reach out to prospects with highly relevant pitches. Here are five strategies to develop a B2B lead generation campaign to help you generate more qualified leads.

5 easy-to-implement strategies to generate qualified leads

1. Identify campaign objectives across four areas

Effective lead generation requires balancing multiple business objectives. Through strategic, customer, operational and spending-related goals, you can systematically monitor key performance indicators from four of the most relevant areas of demand creation and lead generation process.

Four categories of lead generation objectives

Tactics to shape your lead generation objectives:

  • Make sure you set goals that are SMART, i.e., specific (What you want to accomplish?), measurable (How will you know it’s accomplished?), attainable (Is it realistic?), relevant (Does it address your business or brand objective?) and timely (When will it be accomplished?).
  • Collect inputs from sales on average marketing leads they follow up on, as well as barriers that prevent them from doing so. This will improve your lead qualification and lead scoring criteria.

2. Build the enterprise persona before buyer profiles

Go beyond individual buyer personas and focus on the larger picture of the enterprise to gain a better understanding of whether a prospect organization is ideal, acceptable or a bad fit to be your B2B lead. 

Crafting an enterprise persona also gives powerful information to build relationships with the buying group[2] and influence their decisions.

Fill out six characteristics to develop an enterprise persona:

  • Firmographic: Include basic parameters related to the business’s location, industry and size, such as the geography, Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) or North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for industry and the number of employees in relevant departments.
  • Technographic: Include parameters on the types of (relevant) technologies a business uses.  
  • Psychographics: Include parameters about how an organization thinks and makes decisions about new purchases, such as the capacity for risk-taking (innovators, early adopters or laggards)[3] and the size of their buying groups.
  • Business situation: Include parameters on what an organization’s needs and desires are, such as concerns with scaling the business or limited in-house IT experience.
  • Business model: Include parameters on how an organization operates, say, pricing model, ecosystem model, etc.
  • Resources: Include budget-related parameters, such as price sensitivity and total cost of ownership[4].

Optimize your campaign conversion rates with intent data, including firmographics and buyer activity reports from the software review sites with the highest combined traffic online—Capterra, GetApp and Software Advice.

Pro tip to build an actionable customer persona:

Group your individual buyer personas into segments based on shared needs, expectations and behaviors (such as users looking to optimize costs or for easy access to customer information).

3. Articulate core communication objectives

Develop your campaign’s core message and decide on the topics to cover for content marketing. A clear communication strategy ensures all efforts are geared toward a unified objective. Also, it helps in the continual re-evaluation of progress by providing a benchmark.

Use Gartner’s commercial insights method[5] to arrive at your campaign’s core message. The commercial insights approach changes how buyers think by identifying their current beliefs, correcting any inaccuracies and promoting a better course of action through a product's unique benefits. 

Gartner’s commercial insights method to identify the core communication focus of your lead generation campaigns:

  1. Reiterate your campaign’s objective (consider lead generation strategy 1), such as increasing lead volume or improving brand awareness.
  2. Identify unmet customer needs your campaign will satisfy (consider lead generation strategy 2).
  3. Define the current thinking and behavior of the target audience to identify an unrecognized or underestimated problem. For example, companies are using tons of applications and data sources and think it will be costly to deploy data integration (DI) tools.
  4. Define desired thinking and behavior that you want from the target audience. For example, companies invest in DI tools and connect data sources to exploit the value of insights both in monetary gains and process improvement.
  5. Describe key communication objectives that make the shift in perceptions and behavior possible. For example, highlight how DI tools put companies in charge of user transactions; highlight the risks and lost opportunities of not using DI tools.
  6. Identify the list of content topics accordingly. For example, the average yearly cost of disparate data sources; how integrated data sources impact business revenue; businesses’ testimonials about their data integration problem, and the steps they took to solve it.
Pro tip:

Finalize your tentative topics by rating them on three parameters: alignment with communication objectives, ability to attract customers’ attention (level of market buzz the topic will generate) and ability to motivate customers to further explore related content on your website.

4. Create high-performing content deliverables 

High-performance content should be tailored to buyers’ information needs throughout the software buying journey and delivered through their preferred consumption channel. 

In the early stages (awareness), buyers are actively identifying and scoping their business needs and will sometimes form a buying group and establish budget requirements. Engage them with content in the forms of blogs, short-form videos and infographics to raise awareness around their business problems and your brand. 

In the middle stage (consideration and evaluation), buyers typically select their main purchase criteria and compare a short list of suppliers. To do this, they refer to customer testimonials, proposals from suppliers, online product ratings and meetings with sales reps. 

In the late stage (decision and purchase), buyers finalize their supplier selection, negotiate their pricing and terms and gather final information. Buyers often rely on expert advice and in-depth resources, such as training guides or influencer endorsements, for reassurance before finally committing to a supplier. 

Leverage a balanced mix of inbound marketing channels, such as social media, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) and outbound channels, such as email marketing and event marketing, to deliver content and increase reach with buyers. 

Quick tactics for content creation and channel selection:

  • Use lead magnet content, such as eBooks, checklists and webinars, that are offered in exchange for contact information. Not only do they bring in new leads, but they are useful for lead nurturing and developing relationships with existing customers at every stage of their journey.  
  • Optimize your content for search engines so potential customers can find you organically as they search for solutions to their problems.
  • Build a LinkedIn presence to generate inbound leads and network with potential B2B buyers. Join professional groups to trigger conversations around your brand or key communication objectives.
  • Get listed on review platforms such as software review sites to reach a larger B2B audience and build buyer trust. On Capterra, GetApp, and Software Advice you can also launch lead generation campaigns to reach in-market buyers.
  • Publish powerful case studies by finding happy customers from your reviews and testimonials and show off their success stories to demonstrate your product in action.
  • Use email marketing and personalization to nurture cold leads into warm prospects.
Pro tip:

On average, typically, 20 touches are needed with a client before a prospect becomes a potentially successful lead for the sales team[6]. A “touch” is any outreach to the prospective customer in the form of an email, newsletter, phone call, in-person visit or other sources. 

5. Ensure positive visitor experience with CTAs 

Brainstorm incentives (e.g., white paper, live webinar or a free trial) for calls-to-action (CTAs) that serve as the right value proposition for prospects to complete your lead-capture forms.

If your incentive is gated content or an interactive application that requires more effort on the buyer's part, make sure the forms are not too long or have multiple fields. It can dissuade prospects from submitting the form. Also, make sure the gated content is helpful for prospects and gives them valuable information about their business or industry or equips them to make smarter buying decisions.

Progressive profilling overview

Ignite your B2B lead generation efforts with a proven launch plan

To summarize, articulate your campaign objectives, audience personas, communication needs, content assets, CTAs, marketing channels and key success metrics clearly to develop a robust  lead generation campaign. Create an efficient workflow and timeline to allocate responsibilities that ensure accountability throughout the project.

As your campaign progresses, assess its effectiveness with continuous feedback from sales teams and other stakeholders, and course-correct as needed. 

Ready to start generating B2B leads? With over 9 million software buyers visiting our review sites every month, we can help you get in front of the right prospects and generate the high-quality leads you need to meet your goals. Learn more.


Amita Jain

Amita Jain covers B2B content creation and strategy to help businesses reach their marketing goals. She received her master’s degree from King’s College London, U.K. Exploring the world of art and reading fiction are some of her usual happy distractions outside of work. Connect with Amita on LinkedIn.


  1. How to Maximize B2B Lead Pipeline Productivity, Gartner
  2. The B2B Buying Journey, Gartner
  3. The Democratization of Technology Has Created a New B2B Chasm, Gartner Blog
  4. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), Gartner Glossary
  5. How to Create Commercial Insight, Smarter With Gartner
  6. Ignition Guide to Creating a Lead Generation Campaign, Gartner
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