Good business leads are like gold. They’re difficult to find, a challenge to verify, and when real, are worth a fortune.

Any process or system that regularly generates good leads for B2B businesses yields an incredible return on the investment. However, mistakes made by your sales team cost you the opportunity to sell more than you already are.

Here are five essential lead generation tips for B2B businesses.

1. Plug Your Leaks

Too many business-to-business marketers spend too much time pouring money into “leaking” buckets in their effort to generate cash flow.

Instead of fixing the marketing funnel so that they lose fewer “drops” and lose out because of a poor position of the funnel, they try to pour more water or traffic into the system hoping to keep the pipeline full.

This raises the cost per acquired customer, and it hurts your staff’s productivity.

One of the culprits here are landing pages and forms that don’t do a good job of separating leads from non-leads. You may be able to triple qualified leads by improving the lead generation form.

Better search engine optimization of landing pages so that they show up in front of people at the right stage of the sales funnel is another way to capture more qualified leads.

2. Be on the Social Media Sections Your Customers Are On

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It isn’t enough to be on social media. Your organization needs to be on the social media platforms your ideal customers and current customers are on.

The next step is building up a presence where your customers will see you and engage with you. The best way to achieve this is to be the biggest supporter and participant in the large, active social media group your target customers are in.

This will have a far greater ROI than general social media outreach, since it requires relatively little time.

Members-only groups are ideal, since they’re less likely to be hit with spam. Just make sure your posts aren’t considered spam by the audience, either.

3. Evaluate Your Leads, then Pursue Those that Are Worth It

You may already have a database of current customers and leads. Having your staff call all of them is a waste of their time. And the emotionally draining effort of dealing with many rejections hurts their performance when they reach a strong prospect.

Fortunately, various tools allow you to optimize lead generation and qualification.

For example, some tools will assign leads a score based on interest and engagement in the brand so that your staff only reach out to those likely to convert to paying customers.

When they have time to contact many leads, they can still prioritize the most qualified targets.

4. Use Lead Databases

Lead databases can be useful to any B2B business, but you have to be careful.

When using leads from a database that was populated by someone else, verifying their quality becomes difficult. But if you’re just getting started and need a boost, databases like Salesfinder or Unomy can provide you with a source of much needed extra leads.

Social media sites like LinkedIn can also be seen as a database of sorts, and will provide you with an almost endless stream of professionals in different fields of expertise.

If you play your cards right, you are bound to find some who will be interested in working with you.

5. Consider New Forms of Content Marketing

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Content marketing ranges from white papers in industry publications to a blog on your company’s website. You may want to shake things up and engage in different forms of content marketing.

You could post articles that reference your brand as a solution to your ideal customers’ problems on a microsite. This raises brand awareness and leads traffic to your site.

A diverse array of references like this, assuming it isn’t on low trust article directories, will increase your site’s ranking with search engines.

You may have how-to videos on your site. But consider putting similar videos on major video sites with search engine optimization so they show up on those sites in casual searches.

Don’t just have an FAQ section on your website. Create question and answer blog posts that answer questions customers desperately want to know, and post them on other platforms so that they capture the attention of those you want to reach.

Note that you can post the links to that type of content on social media groups without seeming spammy. When people ask questions, engage in conversations. It shows others that you’re engaged, and the new answers add value to the post.

While business to business leads are difficult to acquire and ever-changing, they can be found if you use a method like those we’ve outlined. No method is going to be entirely without risk or generate immediate results, but you can’t afford not to do better.