Most B2B salespeople jump through hoops to generate leads not because generating leads is actually hard, but because they believe it’s hard and subsequently overcomplicate the process. Instead of using straightforward B2B sales techniques with a track record of success, they follow traditional methods that, while widely used, do nothing but make things worse.
AKA, they shoot themselves in the foot!
To help you close more deals in less time and with less pushback, I’m sharing 7 B2B sales techniques for generating qualified leads that have a proven track record of success.
No more shooting yourself in the foot just after kicking off your sales process. Use these 7 techniques to start generating and closing ideal customers NOW!
How to Identify Qualified Leads Who Will Actually Buy From You
First things first: How do you identify qualified leads in the first place?
A qualified lead is a lead who fits both your ideal customer profile (ICP) and ideal buyer persona (IBP). These are the B2B companies most likely to purchase your product or service at the end of your sales cycle.
You can find qualified leads through prospecting platforms by inputting the details of your ICP and IBP.
Create an Ideal Customer Profile and Ideal Buyer Persona
First off, an ideal customer profile outlines your target B2B companies. These are the companies who are most likely to work with you because they have a particular pain point that your product/service solves, and they are ready, willing, and able to purchase your deliverable.
When outlining your target companies, you should get as specific as possible. Go beyond just company demographics to outline other factors like the company’s culture and values. Ask yourself if your target B2B companies were people, what they would be like!
Second, outline the decision-makers at your target companies. The idea is to create a caricature of these top decision-makers who have the final authority when it comes to making purchasing decisions.
When you have a clear picture of the decision-makers and what they’re like, you know how to appeal to them specifically during sales lead generation.
You should already have an ICP and IBP outlined in your B2B sales strategy framework.
Use a Prospecting Platform and CRM
You can find your ideal customers with the help of a prospecting platform. After inputting the specs of your ICP and IBP, the prospecting platform will return a list of leads who fit your outlines.
Moreover, it’ll find the qualified leads for you!
Collect the phone number, email address, and social media profiles of each lead. Then, put them into your CRM software.
Be sure to keep your list of leads organized from the start. Far too often, salespeople get caught up with a messy CRM because they don’t get and stay organized right off the bat.
Disorder is a silly thing to let throw you off! Instead, stay organized from the start to stay on top of your sales lead generation game.
7 B2B Sales Techniques to Generate Qualified Leads for Your Pipeline
These 7 techniques will help you generate more qualified leads in less time and with less resistance.
The key to success is to keep things simple! No overcomplicating, otherwise they will lose their potency.
1. Cold Call Before Cold Emailing
You’re ready to kick off your B2B sales process with lead gen… so pick up the phone!
No, don’t pull up your email or LinkedIn account. Pick up the phone!
To generate more leads in less time, cold calling is the first path you need to take. Unlike emailing and social media messaging, getting the prospect on the phone allows you to confront them in real-time. This way, it’s harder for them to ignore you.
How many times have you tried to contact a friend over text without any success for days? After getting radio silence for several more days, you finally decide to confront them with a phone call. Almost immediately, your friend answers the call!
It’s difficult for people to ignore you when you’re confronting them in real-time, whether they’re a friend or potential B2B customer. That said, in order to generate more leads in less time (and with less ghosting), opt for cold calling first instead of cold emailing.
Just Get Them to the Next Step
Does picking up the phone to make a cold call feel as daunting as walking over a cliff?
If so, you’re not alone. Almost 50% of sales reps say that they’re afraid of cold B2B selling.
One major reason why they’re so afraid of calling is that they approach calls believing that they need to seal the deal then and there. Moreover, they feel like they only have one shot to close on the customer.
Feeling like you need to close the deal immediately is what mounts that daunting walking-over-a-cliff feeling. However, the truth is that the entire purpose of the initial cold call is to get prospects into the formal qualification meeting, not seal the deal!
Instead of approaching cold calls as if you only have one shot to seal the deal, approach them reminding yourself that all you need to do is get the prospect into the first formal sales meeting. That way, the pressure of making cold calls will start to fade away.
Connect With Decision-Makers Right Away
During cold outreach, who are you making your calls to?
If you’re contacting anybody but the decision-makers at your target B2B companies, you’re setting yourself up for trouble.
When you target people who don’t have the authority to make purchasing decisions, those people have to circle back to their superiors before moving forward with you. This ends up elongating the selling process and reducing the odds that you get the target company into a qualification meeting.
Before making your cold calls, be sure to know exactly who the decision-makers are at your target companies. Then, go straight to them to get the best results.
2. Send a 1-Minute Cold Email Video
You’re going absolutely ham on cold calls but still aren’t getting the responses you want. What’s a sales professional to do?
Here’s the thing many of us tend to forget: Your prospects are busy people living hectic lives, just like you. When they sit down at their desk in the morning, the first thing they think about probably isn’t, “I can’t wait to answer cold calls today!”, rather, they’re being consumed with their own problems.
That said, if an ideal prospect doesn’t answer your first few calls, KEEP CALLING! Make a follow-up call every day until they respond to you.
Additionally, supplement your follow-up calls with what I like to call the 1-minute cold email video tactic.
To use this tactic, record a 1-minute video of yourself on your cell phone telling the prospect how you’re looking forward to hearing back from them soon. Then, drop your hook line to spark their curiosity and motivate them to return your call immediately.
This simple 1-minute video can make all the difference in your results. It just goes to show that generating qualified leads isn’t a matter of working harder, but smarter.
Prospects Have a Hard Time Ignoring Your Face
It’s difficult for prospects to ignore your voice over a traditional sales call. That said, just imagine how much more difficult it is for them to ignore your face over a video message.
Put yourself out on the line with a video call so that prospects have no choice but to respond to you.
If you feel as if you’re being overbearing, just remember that the prospect will tell you to shut up and go away if that’s what they’re really feeling. But until that happens, keep making your calls, following up, and sending 1-minute videos of yourself.
3. Use Your Personal Social Media Account
Most B2B sales teams overcomplicate the HECK out of inbound selling. They believe they need to invest tons of money into far-flung marketing campaigns and think totally outside of the box to generate any inbound leads.
However, the truth is that B2B salespeople can generate more inbound leads by de-complicating their marketing efforts and opting for the simple route.
By the simple route, I mean that individual salespeople can use their own LinkedIn accounts to generate inbound leads.
For example, share what I like to call an informal case study or customer success story on your LinkedIn page. What you need to do is share a piece of your current customer’s content on your own profile, particularly a piece of content in which the customer shares the success that their business is experiencing. Then after sharing the customer’s content, caption how happy you are to see them thriving and thankful to have helped improve their business.
This way, potential customers who you’ve linked-up with will:
- See how you care about your customer’s success
- Realize that you are the sales professional who they need to solve their own pain points
- Feel as if they want to experience the same amount of success as your customers
Moreover, use your own customer’s social media content as inbound sales leverage!
Create Social Proof
Sharing an informal case study on your social media profiles is a great way to leverage social proof.
Social proof is a sales psychology tactic in which potential customers validate your expertise through seeing other people thrive with your products or services.
In the case of the informal case study, the potential customer has real evidence that you’re able to help customers solve their problems so that their businesses can thrive. It’s a way of saying “Look how great our company is” without saying it out loud.
Using social proof is what gives potential B2B buyers that sense of FOMO–they see other people thriving, and they want in on it too!
4. Ask for Referrals From Current Customers
Believe it or not, potential leads are probably sitting right under your nose as we speak, but you’re not doing anything about it.
By that, I mean that you’ve got great relationships with your existing customers yet you’re not asking them for referrals for new customers.
Getting leads through referrals is probably the most foolproof method to generate new leads. Not only is it simple to ask for a referral, but leads who are referred to you are usually the most qualified ones.
To generate referrals, set up 10-minute phone calls with your current customers to discuss their buying experience. During those calls, ask customers what you could have done to make their buying process better. Questions like, “Is there something we could have done to make your buying experience better?” or “What would you have liked for us to know earlier on in the process?”, will make the customer feel like you genuinely care about their experiences.
The idea is to uplift the customer by making the phone call about THEM!
Then at the end of the call, ask the customer if they know of anybody else who would benefit from this buying experience. AKA, ask for a referral.
Because you took the time to make your customers feel appreciated and understood, they’ll gladly reciprocate the generosity with a referral.
5. Craft an Effective Hook
If some random person called you in the middle of the workday and said, “Hey, give me 10 minutes of your time right now so that I can show you something”, do you honestly think that you’d drop everything and give this person your time right away?
If you’re like most people, you’d be reluctant to speak to them at all.
Because there’s nothing in it for you. Not only do you not know this random person on the phone, but they asked you for your time so that they could show you something. Moreover, they are trying to use you for their own benefit.
What about that makes you think that you’d want to talk to them?
Unfortunately, many salespeople approach lead generation with a similar, “It’s all about me and what I want” attitude. Rather than making outreach about their customers, they make it about themselves and what they want. As a result, prospects are reluctant to speak with them.
From now on, make generating leads about your potential customers and their success. Think about their needs and how you can capture their attention by focusing on what they want.
To do so, start by crafting an effective hook line.
Put Yourself in Your Customer’s Shoes
A hook is a line that you say at the start of each cold call and email to capture a prospective customer’s attention and make them want to continue the conversation with you.
The way to capture the prospect’s attention is by offering them something valuable.
For example, offering the prospect insights on their competitors will make them believe that they can benefit from speaking with you. On the initial call or in your email, tell the prospect that you’ll share your insights with them if they set up a formal initial sales meeting.
Just like how a fish will not bite your fishing line without bait on the end, your prospects will not give you the time of day unless you give them a valuable hook to bite on.
Bottom line: There is no such thing as something for nothing! Put yourself in your prospects' shoes and ask yourself what they might find valuable. Then, offer them that value to get them into the formal qualification meeting.
6. Think of Yourself as a Journalist
Most salespeople approach lead generation as if they know it all. They think that they know their prospects inside and out and have all the answers to each of their problems.
Because they walk into lead gen like they know it all, prospects perceive them as a know-it-all (shocker)! And who wants to form a business relationship with a know-it-all?
Instead of approaching lead gen as if you know it all, approach it as if you know NOTHING. Imagine that you’re a journalist walking in with a clean slate to get unbiased reporting of a situation. Or, imagine that you’re a doctor on a mission to help solve a long-running medical mystery.
This way, you’ll approach prospects genuinely curious to understand their challenges. Rather than talking, you’ll start asking more questions! As a result, prospects will perceive you as somebody with a vested interest in understanding them and their needs.
Now, not approaching sales like a know-it-all DOES NOT mean that you’re not the expert on the situation. Instead, it just means that you’re a professional whose primary interest is helping prospects in the best way possible.
Think of it like this: When you see a surgeon, they ask you questions and run tests before offering a diagnosis and proposing solutions. It’s not the fact that they can provide you with a diagnosis that makes them an expert. Rather, it’s that they took the time to get to understand you before proposing a tailored solution just for you!
The next time you pick up your phone to make a sales call, imagine that you’re a journalist on a mission to understand prospects on a deeper level.
7. Use ‘Hey, what kind of beer do you like?’ Language
Have you ever picked up a cold call and the sales rep on the other end sounded as if they were reading directly from a script? They probably were reading from a script, and it probably didn’t help them get any closer to a closed deal.
If you’re like most salespeople, you’re probably doing the exact same thing when making calls.
There’s nothing wrong with a script; I suggest you write one, but what is wrong is reading off of that script as if you’re a robot. All this does is take the mood of the call from 100 to 0 in a second.
Instead of portraying yourself like an automated robot with no expression or emotion in your voice, make calls as if you’re making light conversation while sitting at a bar.
Imagine that you’re sitting at the bar one night when somebody you don’t know sits next to you. They lean in, introduce themselves, and say, “So what kind of beer are you drinking?”
THAT’S how you want to be talking! It should be a lighthearted voice expressing genuine curiosity over the conversation.
By doing so, you’ll naturally engage with the prospect on the other end of the line and they’ll be less inclined to hang up. It’s like I always say: How you say things matters just as much if not more than what you say.
Final Thoughts on Sales Techniques to Generate Qualified Leads
When it comes to generating sales leads, keep it simple with my 7 highly-effective B2B sales techniques.
As I said before, most sales teams jump through hoops to generate qualified leads not because generating leads is hard, but because they think it’s hard and resultantly make the process more complicated than it needs to be.
No more shooting yourself in the foot. Identify your ideal customers, generate leads, and convert them into prospects with ease!
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