350% Increase in MQLs for a Tech Co. See How Here
B2B Lead Generation2021-07-26T17:45:40+00:00
b2b lead generation

B2B Lead Generation

What is B2B lead generation? It is one of the 1st parts of the marketing funnel or sales activity. Its main focus is to collect a prospective buyer’s name, email, company info, job title & sometimes associate their intent to purchase your company’s product or service.

Types of B2B Leads

It’s not all about the quantity of leads you generate. There are many different types of B2B leads that will ultimately generate you different levels of revenue, faster or slower. The complexity of lead generation is vast as leads come into your funnel, they are distributed to your sales team or sometimes sent into automated marketing systems that “warm” them up some more before sales teams follow up. Layering in on top of that is the channel that the leads originate from affect both the buyer’s behavior as well as the overall quality. This is also assuming that your sales team will truly stay on top of every single viable lead that comes in.

In order to understand the differences in TYPE of leads that your B2B organization could encounter. There are, in general, 3 types:

  1. Leads
  2. Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)
  3. Sales Qualified Leads (SQL)

types of b2b leads

Leads are just someone that is either totally unaware or somewhat aware that they need your product or service. This could range from someone in a data list that is purchased via a data company or someone that has filled out a top of the funnel offer. Their intent to buy right then is normally very low.

Marketing Qualified Leads or MQLs are a part of the Awareness and Interest pieces of your traditional sales funnel. They are aware of an issue and are normally open to receiving a cold-ish call from a telemarketer or sales rep. These are great leads to nurture further by a marketing automation platform like a Hubspot, Salesforce or Marketo.

Sales Qualified Leads or (SQLs) are the next step an MQL takes after he or she makes their choice about a brand or solution that will ultimately solve their problem. At this point, normally all that needs to happen is for them to make a final buying decision.

Sources of B2B Leads

For most B2B marketers, it makes sense to have a multi-channel strategy to generating these leads. This involves creating messaging across multiple types of devices, platforms and touch points like Paid Media, SEO & other Programmatic tactics. Utilizing new data and technologies, marketers are also able to get better at targeting the right behavior so the timing or chances the lead is in the market is more likely. multi channel marketing for lead generation

Lead tools or lead magnets are one of the more common forms of getting an opt-in to start the marketing follow up process. They range from easy to hard to create. For example, a blog post with a good call to action may be easier to create compared to an in-depth whitepaper on a very technical product or service offering. Some samples of lead magnets can include but aren’t limited to:

  • eBooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Blog Posts with CTA
  • FAQs
  • Free Trials
  • Videos
  • Bonus Add Ons
  • Email Marketing
  • SEM
  • Live Chat (proactive)

Average Cost Per Lead by Type & Vertical

As a business owner or marketer, if you’re not aware of your CPL or cost per lead, you probably aren’t doing a great job at measuring the true ROI of your marketing investment.

How do you calculate cost per lead? You add up all of your marketing sped for a period of time and then take the # of leads you have acquired for that time period. Then, you divide your marketing spend by the total number of leads.

Total marketing spend / Total number of leads = CPL

Below is data from Hubspot from a couple years ago that broke down a survey of 350 companies. It’s broken down by CPL by industry, size of company and revenue. 

average cost per lead chart

As you can see the larger the business and more complex the sale, like IT, Healthcare or Financial services, you can expect it to cost you more. This correlates well with what the costs may be for a vendor like a B2B lead generation agency may charge, plus their fees on top of that.

Visitor Queue put together a different point of view by looking at averages for CPL by the marketing channel like SEO, Webinars, etc.

cost of leads by channel

Many lead generation agencies in the B2B space gather their leads by using 3rd party data in combination with paid media on Google or LinkedIn which both rank towards the top of the chart above.

Read more here on B2B Lead Gen costs.


The concept is somewhat the same mathematically. However, with B2B, you’re going to have to be more strategic, utilize data, write awesome content and most likely layer in a longer sales cycle to generate MQLs and SQLs. This is why CPLs for B2B type leads are going to generally run about 40% more than B2C leads in the same industry or marketing channel.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between an agency specializing in B2B vs just general lead generation? 

The biggest difference is direct experience working in niches like SaaS, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Tech and any other niche where your company is focused on selling to other businesses directly. We aren’t saying all generalized lead gen companies are bad, we just feel that a B2B focused agency understands the details and intricacies surrounding making the connection between your sales team and the buyer on the other end.

How do I select the right B2B channels for my lead generation?

You should choose the channels where your ideal buyers congregate, gather information, chat with each other etc. You should also invest in the B2B channels that are giving you the most marketing ROI.

How much does it cost to generate B2B leads? 

You can view a pricing post we created here.

Can chatbots be a good source of B2B lead generation?

Yes. read our post here on this topic.

What variables should I look at when considering the right B2B demand generation company? 

We suggest you take a look at customer reviews, case studies as well as get real feedback from past or current clients of theirs.

Are there any good softwares out there that generate leads for you?

Yes, there are many pieces of software and tools out there that scrape data from numerous sources to give you email addresses, names etc. However, you would still be cold calling or cold emailing this people and experience very low call to interest conversion rates.

ROI Calculator

We created a free lead generation calculator you can download right now, without having to give any of your information in return. Just click on the “Download for Free” button below.

You can also learn more on how to use it here

b2b sales lead calculator

Take Your Time Researching Your B2B Lead Generation Agency

As you narrow down your search, you’ll need to take into consideration several things such as:

  • Expertise in your B2B niche
  • Years of experience in B2B Marketing 
  • Cultural fit
  • A track record of success 
  • Reviews from other non biased sources

Spending an extra week or so researching these variables will help you find the right agency that will give you more of a long term success as well as be able to partner with you on a deeper level.