Top 4 B2B lead generation tools
Something interesting I’ve noticed about lead generation tools is how overlooked or soft-pedalled the differences are between B2B lead generation and B2C – that is, business-to-business and business-to-consumer. In today’s marketing era of moving past content-driven design and into the consumer- or user-driven, your target audience is more than strategy relevant: Your audience is your strategy.
If you leave this blog having been reminded of nothing else, remember one thing: B2B isn’t B2C, and vice versa. When B2B lead prospecting, your motivation should come from a product and service perspective; for B2C, your perspective is uniquely product and service consumer experience.
Still here? Good. Because in this post, I’m going to talk 4 (really great) lead generation tools for B2B solutions specifically.
Exit intent popups
A powerful conversion tool with an admittedly unfriendly name, exit intent popups specialise in both information collection and re-engagement, crucially, just before potential leads exit a page.
How this works is the popup triggering when the visitor’s cursor motions to close the current page – usually by scrolling back up to page-top or after an amount of idle time on page.
With little sign of diminished effect, the exit intent popup conversion rate for 2022 hovers around 10%, as confirmed this year by the folks at Omnisend. Exit intent popups for B2B lead generation however come best with an insider tip on how to use them – or you risk an adverse effect of losing (and annoying) leads.
Here’s your insider tip from Serviceform’s own experts:
- Implement exit intent popups on your product and service pages – or broader said, the more specific the page, the better.
This is because for the popup to work, it has to speak to the – now, pay attention here – actionable interest just shown by your visitor.
Interest you can act on means visitors themselves navigating to specific product or service pages. And this includes any landing pages from ads as well as your checkout funnel’s shopping cart page. What all these pages have in common is simple: visitor relevance.
An exit intent popup is a winning move if, for example, a visitor motions to close out a checkout page; then and there, offer them a one-time discount to complete the transaction before abandoning their purchase. Simple.
On the other hand, that same popup on your homepage or testimonial wall is best avoided because of the generality of these pages and their serving more for visitors to feel out your brand rather than buy from or commit to it.
The beauty of the exit intent popup is that it does a couple things for you. Two birds, one popup, is it?
The first use case is exit intent popups as a retargeting steroid. A returning visitor browses a product or service page but before they leave, a coolly-branded popup appears, offering a 10% discount for the offering. Or then a subscription to a related podcast series dedicated to the topic. Retargeting really works and is a proven lead generation technique.
The second use case is information collection. Chances are if a new or returning visitor is fixing to leave a page, they’re going to leave. But before they do, grab their email. How? Ask. And don’t be coy about it in your popup copy.
Ask them directly in plainspoken verbiage; in as few words as possible, also communicate your value proposition – be it newsletter insights, premarket product alerts, or promotional discounts.
A much-needed evolution from the traditional form (boring!), conversational forms (also called dynamic forms) have visitors filing out their information in the framework of a brief, automated chat. This reduces what was once a tedium to something relatively tolerable or, even, a bit fun if done right.
And that’s the power of the conversational or dynamic form: Get a visitor casually talking, turning them into a lead in the process. Stealthy, right?
In another big win, form templates are becoming more popular. These templates are becoming increasingly industry-specific with lead generation and information capture in mind. Now more accessible than ever, professionals of all spaces and without a technical background can get conversational forms up and running on their site without any after-funnel hand-holding.
Chatbots. A big player in B2B (as well as B2C) lead generation, indeed. Unlike conversational forms, chatbots come with some negative preconceptions or baggage. I want to dispel all of that for you.
Yesterday’s chatbots are no longer the norm: These bots were attention disruptors, known almost as much for page-obstructing as for being irrelevant to what’s displayed on the page. Yuck and good riddance.
Today’s chatbots are more organic in interaction (though not perfect) and have actually grown to include a couple different types – namely, AI chatbots and non-AI.
Speaking to recent growth, Tidio reports 20% of small businesses in 2022 already use the tool type, while up to a whopping 80% of medium to large-sized businesses have plans to implement chatbots. So if you’re not pushing chatbot solutions to your business customers or working to connect with those 80% of wanting businesses, the time to start is (literally) after reading the rest of this post.
Your target audience is not only missing out on valuable leads, but the ability to actually prequalify and improve the quality of those leads.
So what’s the best B2B chatbot? Well, it really depends on the size of business you’re recommending the chatbot to and then the goals of that business.
If you’re targeting large-scale companies with high traffic and broad needs – think customer support and product page navigation or searchability, I’d recommend AI chatbots. These bots are fast and can flexibly answer 1000s of queries. But even under the right conditions, AI chatbots shine more in the B2C space.
And a word of caution as with anything artificially intelligent: not all bot responses will be relevant or, to say, even intelligible to your visitors.
For lead generation purposes expressly, our experience in the field shows AI chatbots actually result in a lead count loss, not gain.
For this reason for large businesses with lead generation needs as well as any SMB target audiences (or small to medium-sized businesses), I recommend the opposite of AI chatbots in what are often called click, pre-built, or no-code chatbots.
Click chatbots maximise lead count and have been shown to boost lead generation by 30-40%, as experienced by Serviceform’s own lead generation experts.
The limitation however with this chatbot type is it’s only ever going to be as smart as you’ve built it to be, so don’t expect the range of queries that an AI chatbot can cover. This shortcoming is where an opportunity presents itself to push your live chat options – lead generation and customer support solutions make for a powerful pairing, after all.
Meeting scheduling apps
Meeting schedulers are pretty new, relatively speaking. These modern descendants of once a simple timepiece and pocket watch allow someone to book a time with you directly, meaning sharing your availability and leapfrogging the email back-and-forth.
The hottest thing in meeting scheduling apps right now is contactless networking and embedding. Embeddable scheduling apps mean they can live inside a pre-existing page element – so think integration.
For example, consider a mid-page conversational form guiding a discussion whose goal is to get a 15-minute chat with the page visitor. Your odds of conversion increase by going with an embeddable meeting scheduling app because of the reduced number of actions and steps (or clicks and pages) in having someone’s calendar right there on-page for booking.
For example, Serviceform’s Ourly lives directly on any page for easy, higher-conversion booking. Try for yourself:
For this week’s blog I’ve discussed 4 proven solutions to increase B2B lead generation. Emphasis has been given to the needs of business customers in reminder that more care should be placed on B2B versus B2C lead generation playbooks.
In reaching bigger B2B lead generation goals, I’ve recommended four tools specifically:
- Exit intent popups
- Conversational forms
- Chatbots, and
- Meeting scheduling apps
Ideally, each tool piggybacks on smaller wins in getting to that conversion goal – like popup retargeting, click chatbots over AI chatbots, and meeting scheduling apps that embed.
Hungry for more conversion tips? See our recent article on the 7 best meeting scheduling software!