The 9 Best Lead Generation Strategies for Technology Companies [Trending Outbound and Inbound Tactics Included]
A plug-and-play B2B lead generation strategies is kind of like Sasquatch…
Some people claim to have seen it. Others say, “Look, I have a picture of it!” — yet the closest they can get to is a blurred-out mess that makes no sense. And the rest believes that it’s out there but have given up any hope of finding it.
The reality is:
A B2B lead generation strategy that works for every organization doesn’t exist. That’s why B2B lead generation plagues the minds of 85% of marketers who say that it is their number one goal. And for technology-based companies, the challenges of developing a high-converting lead generation strategy are even greater.
To help you land better opportunities with higher conversion rates, we’ve developed a guide that details 9 highly-effective B2B lead generation strategies.
Before we get to that, let us learn more about the B2B sales funnel for technology companies and understand its core components.
Understanding the B2B Lead Generation Sales Cycle
The B2B lead generation sales cycle is constant, no matter the company size, location, or industry. So for technology companies, the sales process involves the same funnel-like cycle as for businesses in other fields.
However, the strategies and applied techniques will often differ.
You have top of the funnel (TOFU), middle of the funnel (MOFU), and bottom of the funnel (BOFU) leads that you must cultivate and nurture through the buyer’s journey. Each stage will require different content and tactics to ensure a smooth lead qualification process and push prospects further down the funnel.
We’ll get into more details about that later. But for now, suffice it to say that your sales cycle should look something like this:
- TOFU (Top Of The Funnel)
- Make contact
- MOFU (Middle Of The Funnel)
- BOFU (Bottom Of The Funnel)
- Make an offer
- Handle objections
- Close the deal
B2B Lead Generation is Harder for Tech Companies, So What Should You Do?
It’s not just you who finds it difficult to make ends meet and land enough quality clients for your tech business. Even the top tech-based companies worldwide still struggle to capture the right B2B prospects to fill their pipelines.
You may now wonder — “why is it so difficult to get B2B clients as a tech company?”
The thing is…
We are in the middle of a technological revolution that’s causing the landscape to shift rapidly every few years. And with this fast-paced digital transformation comes a steep learning curve where adoption is key to growth.
Add to that the intense competition between tech companies and all the challenges your business must face throughout its’ growth phases.
So the right question to ask is:
How can your tech company succeed with B2B lead generation strategies despite all these crippling powers?
It’s all in how you present yourself! Here are three basic steps you must take to pave the path of least resistance and ultimately land more opportunities.
1. Be Clear in Your Communication
The jargon tech companies use these days to explain their features and benefits would be enough to make the great Nikola Tesla look upon us with bewilderment.
So here’s the #1 rule to keep in mind when marketing your offers:
People don’t care about features and benefits, and they’re always a step ahead looking for value beyond that. In other words, they want to know how your product or service can help their lives improve and in what ways.
While most of your prospects have an undergraduate degree or higher, they’re still human with a short attention span and lots of distractions. So if the value isn’t clear right from the start, the sensible thing for them to do is to hit the back button and look somewhere else.
So by that token:
Always use concise, plain language to describe your tech offers while keeping them relatable. Use everyday words and phrases to explain what your product does while keeping industry jargon to a minimum.
2. Offer Personalized Solutions
Now that you have crafted a clear message, it’s time to tell your brand story. And guess what, that story is never about you.
A compelling brand story is customer-focused right from the start. It takes into consideration client goals and challenges before proposing targeted solutions. It defines your company’s mission, values, and personality in a captivating way that gets everyone excited about working with you.
To craft a killer brand story, you need to build buyer personas, conduct surveys, and collect customer insights. These practices enable you to gain a deeper understanding of your target technology leads, which is key to fostering an emotional connection with them.
3. Educate With Free Content
Tech is an incredible field that has been positively affecting our everyday lives for many consecutive decades. But the truth that you must bear is that not everybody understands how it works — especially when the technology is new.
A vital assumption to keep in mind whenever dealing with an ideal client is that they know nothing about what you do, how you do it, or why. Add to that the individual differences between people in their skill set, knowledge base, and background.
It’s only right to assume that your leads will resist your solutions at first. And to overcome that resistance, it is your duty to educate them on every piece of the process from start to finish.
Some of your best clients might not even know they have a problem in the first place. So you shouldn’t just focus on building content for the bottom of the funnel.
Always provide informational content for every stage of the buyer’s journey including:
- Awareness – TOFU
- Consideration – MOFU
- Decision – BOFU
The Foundation for Outbound and Inbound B2B Lead Generation
Before you learn the most successful B2B lead generation strategies for technology companies, you need to set a solid foundation to build on.
Whenever you start to develop your strategy, keep these principles in mind:
1. Be Creative In Your Campaigns
You don’t have to start from scratch to come up with a recipe for success, but you do need to add some bold ingredients if you want to stand out.
Following trends like hosting webinars and creating ebooks can satisfy the palettes of some eager-to-learn prospects. However, most seasoned professionals will ignore you, much like they would a day-old donut in the breakroom.
It’s easy to get stuck in the boring rhythm of explainer videos and infographics discussing statistical possibilities of this or that. But, that is no way of standing out considering that most of your competitors are doing the same.
Our advice is this:
To edge out your competition, you want to analyze what others are doing then make those practices unique to your brand. For instance, you can embrace a more sophisticated approach to marketing that enhances emotions and captures interest. Or you can use humor to keep readers entertained and engaged with your content.
2. Meet Your Audience Where They Are
Yes, social media is prevalent in all of our lives. However, we pick and choose between platforms differently based on our interests, preferences, or depending on what others around us are doing.
Human beings are all alike — and your prospects are no exception.
Their preferences depend on their age, location, or even career choices. And they’re present on the most popular platforms in their industry because everyone they know is there.
That’s why you have to be mindful of where you implement your B2B lead generation strategies. Take the time to learn more about your audience and understand what influences their habits. Follow the influencers they like and click on the ads they see every day. You’ll be surprised by how much knowledge you gain about your ideal clients just by mimicking their behavior.
Another important thing:
Meeting your audience where they are is not just about the platform but the devices too. With 50% of B2B related searches being conducted on mobile, not having a responsive web design will negatively affect both the user experience and your organic SEO rankings.
3. Create Powerful Calls to Action (CTAs)
Many marketing professionals shy away from direct calls to action because they’re afraid of being too “sales”. Which to be fair is a reasonable concern when you value your potential customers.
There’s a clear distinction between forcing a sale and being direct in promoting your solutions.
You can boost your conversion rates overnight without sounding too desperate or annoying your qualified leads. And the way you do that is by first matching the sales phase to the buyer’s journey.
Let us speak in simpler terms:
Just like you wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first day, you shouldn’t expect a prospect in the awareness stage to jump headfirst into commitment. In both cases, the other person will want to block communications with you and look for someone else who’s willing to take things more slowly.
Invite your prospects to learn more about you by offering them valuable content, webinars, interactive tools, etc. Those that enjoy your company will gladly take you up on a second date.
4. Use an Omnichannel Approach
If you’ve been reading a lot about marketing and lead generation for tech companies, you may have heard that it takes at least seven touch points before you can finally engage a prospect.
To maximize the effectiveness of your outreach, you want to be consistent and careful in gaining trust — particularly in the fragile early stages of relationship building.
That’s when an omnichannel approach becomes vital.
Omnichannel lead generation refers to the use of multiple channels to create a unified experience for the customer. It combines outbound and inbound B2B lead generation tactics to make a cohesive outreach process that keeps ideal clients coming back for more.
For example, your tech company could promote your products using email campaigns, social platforms, paid ads, while you sell them on your official website or app.
Outbound B2B Lead Generation for Technology Companies: What Are The Best Strategies?
Outbound marketing is one of the fastest and most powerful ways for tech companies to generate B2B leads and scale at an accelerated pace.
We’ve been helping tech companies generate B2B leads for over 10 years through outbound strategies. Here are some of the top tactics we use to bring in qualified prospects:
1. Email Marketing
A lot of salespeople discount email marketing as an outdated marketing strategy. But what they often fail to consider is the fact that email still has an ROI of over 4200%. So while they’re tempted to take that for granted, we’re yet to come across a B2B lead generation strategy with higher returns and ROI.
When building an email marketing campaign, focus on the fundamental principles we discussed earlier.
You must also be creative, especially with your subject line and CTA. Personalize your messages as much as possible by making clever use of custom fields in your email drip campaign platforms.
The truth is that cold email marketing takes time to learn, and can often cause a lot of heartbreak when things aren’t going your way at the beginning.
But our promise is this:
Once you master it, cold email can easily become your winning ticket with an exponential payoff that will send your business through the roof.
Feel free to find inspiration in your inbox, using whatever catches your eye. But please, whatever you do, avoid the old “Did you get eaten by an alligator” bit at all costs.
2. LinkedIn Message Campaigns
According to a study by Hubspot, LinkedIn is 277% more effective than Facebook and Twitter. Yet, only a few have fully grasped the power of LinkedIn lead generation.
To run better LinkedIn message campaigns, we recommend that you first become an expert in Sales Navigator. You should also choose a SaaS platform that allows for conditional logic drip campaigns triggered by specific actions taken by the prospects.
You must do a lot of split testing and get used to trial and error. Prepare your coffee for some sleepless nights ahead where you try to figure out why no one wants to connect with you.
You want to deliver the right message to the right people at the right time, which is never easy. But hey! Nothing good ever is…
So, expect your response rates to be heart-wrenchingly low during your first few months — especially considering the 300 characters limit in connection request messages.
Want some expert advice?
Just you keep at it.
You will start to see small improvements, which will grow into mild success. Eventually, you’ll have your “Oh no! I have to hire more sales reps” moment, during which you’ll wonder why you didn’t start marketing on LinkedIn a long time ago.
3. Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
Do you have any specific companies in mind that would greatly benefit from your tech solutions if you could just get in the door?
Account-Based Marketing is a hyper-focused strategy in which you target the decision-makers of high-value accounts with marketing strategies tailored to the organization’s objectives and goals.
But it requires research… a lot of research.
Your more generic buyer personas are now real individuals with actual names, problems, and opinions. So treat each message with the same care you would if you were trying to reconnect with a long-lost friend.
ABM is not a quick and easy win, but you can expect revenue growth potential that far exceeds your short-term customer relationships.
4. Phone Calls
I know, right!? No salesperson wants to make cold calls or hear their incoherent grumbles as they curse their manager under their breath. But we live in a world where technology has led to the development of a sensory overload that’s interrupting our every attempt to communicate.
So yes, cold calling is a necessary evil.
But let’s look at the bright side!
Technology is a saving grace as advancements in marketing have made it possible to track opened emails, web clicks, and downloads.
So instead of wasting time dialing every number on the list, you can take an omnichannel approach and only call leads who have interacted with your brand so far. That will give you and your team an opening line into a conversation that’s more like a warm introduction and less like a hostage negotiation.
5. Outsourced Outbound Lead Generation
“I already have an in-house marketing team, so this strategy isn’t for me,” you may think.
But as you already know, lead generation for tech companies takes a significant amount of time and resources. On your own, it may take you months or even years to develop a strategy that works for your company.
B2B lead generation agencies shorten the sales cycles and help you accelerate your growth. In just a week or two of studying your tech solutions, an experienced outsourced sales team can develop a lead generation strategy that will quickly start to deliver qualified prospects to your calendar.
Your in-house team will then have more time to focus on building relationships with potential clients as well as cross-selling and upselling other products and services to your current customers.
Inbound B2B Lead Generation For Technology Companies
Inbound B2B lead generation is the process of creating “opt-in” opportunities for prospects, which allows them to receive regular communications, promotional content, or more information about your products or services. While this approach is less expensive upfront, it can take a great deal of time and experience to produce quality content that drives traffic.
Here are some of the strategies to help you to generate quality leads.
1. Publish Valuable Content
While SEO optimization is essential, it should never be your only focus when doing content marketing. Valuable content will keep visitors on your website for longer and can result in more social media shares and interactions.
Content marketing has evolved from blog-style posts to include ebooks, checklists, templates, guides, swipe files, and even surveys.
When your content is special, it will earn you the right to reciprocity — which generally takes the form of an email exchange. But outstanding content can take you a step beyond that by gaining you valuable insights your marketing team will be thankful for.
Whatever the case, you can find comfort in the fact that you no longer have to blog daily to stay relevant. Taking time to craft valuable, long-form content is the best way to gain inbound leads organically.
2. Host Live Webinar
Having doubts about webinars?
91% of marketers that focus on webinars report successful outcomes, according to HubSpot.
Here’s a little secret for you:
A successful webinar doesn’t have to teach anything, which is probably the part marketers struggle with the most. Instead, your webinar will aim to inspire prospects and discards the beliefs that are holding them back.
You’ll simply introduce new ideas in their lives and implicitly tie that to your products and services.
If you’re stuck on where to start, here’s a simple plan to get you moving:
Consider all the objections your sales team hears every day, then start combining that with case studies based on your clients’ success. Add some story telling, and before you know it, you’ll have a webinar ready with only a few final touches to launch.
3. Leverage Social Media
If you’ve already prepared a pack of self-serving social media posts, take a step back and let us explain one thing.
Social media marketing is much less about direct IT lead generation and more about building a following through thought leadership and community support.
So you must take time to get to know each platform before using it.
Your learning must go beyond how you should use different platforms to cover why each social platform exists and what it’s meant to serve. Analyze the trending content on various mediums and try to identify how it differs and why.
Once you have that knowledge in your arsenal, use your creativity to jump on the bandwagon and outshine your competition. Social platforms want to see you thrive and will serve you well if you serve up what your audience craves.
Backlinking walks hand in hand with quality content — as the latter is necessary for building quality links from high-authority websites. Together, they make the two most important SEO factors that Google considers when ranking websites.
Let’s face it:
By applying the inbound B2B marketing strategies above, you may get a few decent backlinks from websites with good domain strength. But that’s far from enough if you’re serious about dominating search engines and getting the organic traffic you deserve.
Our approach to not leave anything for luck, especially when it comes to one of the most critical SEO factors. Here are the tactics we use to build quality backlinks from highly trusted websites:
- Subscribe to alerts for sites (such as HARO) that connect industry experts with journalists from well-known media outlets such as The New York Times and ABC.
- Use SEO tools such as Moz to identify websites with broken links and contact their webmasters while offering them a replacement link.
- Develop skyscraper or pillar pages purely designed to rival those ranking for competitive keywords you want to rank for
What platform is best to generate leads?
“The best platform for generating leads is the one your ideal prospects use the most. For B2B, that means LinkedIn, email, and phones. Consider buyer persona demographics like age, gender, and profession when choosing the platforms to incorporate into your lead generation strategies.“
Vito Vishnepolsky, Founder and Director
Customers Also Ask
- How do I get tech sales leads with no experience?
Attracting quality sales leads in a fiercely competitive industry such as tech can be difficult if you lack experience. Hiring a sales team in-house can remove the burden of implementing lead gen strategies on your own; however, the costs can quickly erode your revenue. This is why many tech companies outsource tasks such as prospecting and appointment setting to a lead generation agency. Not only do these companies save an average of 65% in expenses but also ramp up 3x faster.
- What are the five types of basic sales leads?
As leads move through your funnel, they are given new identities based on how close they are to making a purchasing decision. The five most common lead types, in order, are cold leads, information-qualified leads (IQLs), marketing-qualified leads (MQLs), sales-qualified leads (SQLs), and sales-ready leads (SRLs).
- Which are the 4 steps of the lead generation process?
Lead generation is the first four steps in the sales cycle: prospecting, contacting, qualifying, and nurturing. After lead generation is complete, the potential client is considered an SRL, and the sales team takes the lead through the remaining sales cycle stages.
Resources You’ll Love
- Why Outsourcing Lead Generation Results in Higher ROI
- How to Find the Right Outsourced Sales Partner for Your SaaS Company
- Developing a Lead Nurturing Strategy that Builds Relationships and Increases Revenue
- Sales Lead Management; The Ins and Outs of Qualifying Leads and Closing More Deals
- Why Your Tech Sector Matters When Defining Your Sales Cycle
Wrapping It Up
You may still be wondering:
How do you know what to focus on first? Do I choose outbound or inbound B2B lead generation? What if I don’t have the resources to implement any of these strategies?
You’re not alone in this… Lots of tech companies are struggling with these challenges — so no worries!
We help tech companies like yours determine the best possible B2B lead generation strategies, identify ideal client profiles, and land better opportunities to close more deals.
Schedule a chat with Martal Group’s CEO, Vito, to learn more about how we can help.