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Entrepreneurs / Marketing

10 Unexpected Lead Sources for B2B Marketers

Adding a live chat feature to your website increases sales tremendously.
10 Unexpected Lead Sources for B2B Marketers
Image credit: pixelfit | Getty Images
- Contributor
Search, Content and Social Marketer
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Sales are the lifeblood for any B2B business, and to acquire sales, you must first generate leads.

With a B2C model, it’s far easier to convert cold traffic into paying customers. With B2B, a sales cycle is longer, since 94 percent of B2B buyers conduct some sort of research before buying. For this reason, lead generation requires tactical skills and plenty of sales finesse. When you consider that acquiring high quality leads is the biggest challenge for 61 percent of B2B marketers, it’s no surprise that freelancers who specialize in lead generation are in constant demand.

Related: Want to Increase Your Traffic Conversion Rate in Just Minutes? Try These 3 Tools.

While much has been written about conventional methods for finding B2B leads, you can often improve your results by thinking outside of the box.

Here are 10 unexpected lead sources for B2B marketers.

1. Quora.

Quora is a community run question-and-answer site where you can share insights with other experts and enthusiasts within your niche. Whether you want to talk about bodybuilding, gardening or marketing, you’ll find plenty of people to debate with.

By answering people’s problems and delivering expert advice to those in your niche, you’ll gain credibility. After reading your valuable insights, people will click through to your Quora profile where you can promote a link to your site or landing page.

2. Quizzes.

I firmly believe that interactive content is the future of online marketing. It takes time to research your audience, figure out their pain points and then create a quiz which delivers value to them. However, a great quiz can yield great results.

If your quiz helps people overcome obstacles or gives them insights into their personality, you can receive much better engagement than you typically would with a standard blog post. Just remember to ask for an email address so you can deliver the answers.

Check out 16 Personalities for an awesome example of a free online quiz.

3. Email signatures.

If you’ve ever wished that more of your email correspondents would become paying customers, linking to your landing page in your email signature can be a great way to do this. With this tactic, you can promote your products or services in a way that doesn’t come across as pushy -- since you’re putting the link in front of them without specifically asking for them to click it.

The British Red Cross used this tactic to significantly improve donations.

Related: Not Getting Results With Your Facebook Ads? Here is Everything You Are Doing Wrong.

4. Retargeting

Oftentimes, people who are interested in your services may visit your site and leave without giving you their email address. In these cases, install a retargeting pixel on your site and hit them with a Facebook ad linking back to your lead magnet. In situations where a person has clicked on pricing information or has added your product to their cart, you can retarget them with an overt sales ad.

5. Free trials.

Who doesn’t love something for free? Once a person can tangibly see the benefits of your product or service, they’re far more likely to become paying customers. If someone gives you their email address to participate in a free trial, you can continue your lead nurturing through personalized email marketing.

6. Speaking events.

Many internet marketers choose their vocation because they’re natural introverts and shy away from social situations. However, speaking at industry events will help you to become an authority in your niche, and you can generate valuable leads just from socializing at the event. Neil Patel found this out firsthand.

7. Live chat.

Sixty-two percent of customers are more inclined to make a purchase if live customer support is available. If you don’t have this channel of communication available on your site, qualified leads might leave without giving you their contact details.

8. Content upgrades.

Many marketers create generic lead magnets in the form of ebooks and checklists. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach to acquiring contact information, you’ll receive better results by thinking specifically.

Revisit your blog posts that receive the highest amount of traffic, then offer downloadable content upgrades at the end of each post. By offering additional value on a subject that a person is already interested in, you’re far more likely to get their contact details.

Related: Ditch the Phone: Why Adding Live Chat to Your Site Just Makes Sense

9. Conduct interviews.

Consider doing an interview with an industry expert for your blog or podcast. If the interviewee is a renowned name, this will bring an influx of new traffic to your site. Try to pick someone whose audience would have an interest in your services. You may also wish to offer a transcript of the podcast as a downloadable content upgrade for lead generation purposes.

10. Cold calling.

While cold calling has been around for decades, this tactic isn’t as popular as it once was. In an era when people can easily be reached via email and social media, picking up the phone and risking getting rejected isn’t appealing anymore. Since most people want to avoid cold calling at all costs, you can gain an edge over your competitors by stepping up and doing it.

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