According to a marketing research, 85% of B2B marketers believe that lead generation is one of the primary challenges they face. For B2C companies as well, direct to consumer marketing gains more importance with the younger generation of buyers. In a world where almost no company ever walks door to door or sends brochures, lead generation has evolved with latest technology tools, helping businesses especially for finding the right audience and responding them quickly.
In this article, we will bring the top 4 technology solutions that can significantly improve your lead generation performance and save you time and resources.
1. SEO: Be the first option for your potential customers
Since the dawn of online marketing, one thing has never lost importance: Search Engine Optimization (SEO). According to a focus group study with marketers, 70% of them claimed that SEO was more effective than paid advertising for lead generation. If you are in a sector that the competition is high and rival products can offer very similar benefits, your time-strained potential customers are not likely to scroll down to check out more solutions but start talking to first couple of options they find after a quick online search.
As the most popular search engine, Google changes the way it indexes websites constantly. So even if you know the basics of SEO, you always need to track your performance, do experiments to stay up to date compared to other websites you are competing with. This requires constant monitoring of web analytics, number crunching to understand root cause of your SEO issues and tracking the general internet trends. This is where technology comes into play to help you monitor your SEO performance better. There are multiple options, some paid and some free, which you can track the performance of your websites and others.
- Google Analytics and Search Console: Google Analytics provides detailed metrics on how people engage with your website and how much they spend there. Google Search Console provides detailed metrics on what people search on the web to find you. Together, they are an essential resource for any website to measure their performance. Google Search Console is for free and Google Analytics is for free for many useful metrics and offers a premium service for more advanced measurement.
- Paid SEO tools: If you search for “seo tools” online, you will see a plethora of online solutions that claim they can increase your SEO performance. These tools track the entire web traffic in order to give you up to date results on which websites get traffic for the search results you want to appear first and they share tips for you to improve your websites. Some of them will offer free trials if you want to experiment with it and see how you can generate value for your business.
- In-house web analytics: For some of the features that you will get from the paid SEO tools, you can invest in building a technical solution in-house. You can leverage websites that give you the web traffic of any website you want for free in order to monitor your competitors and combine this data with your own website’s web traffic. You can also leverage web scraping tools to track the pulse in social media for detecting new trends in your business area and keep your content up to date, which is essential to stay on top of the search engine results. For more detail on specific technology tools you can use for in-house web analytics, check out or detailed post.
2. Web scraping: Expand your customer base with web data
Lead generation is not always catching the customer but also finding new ones. Web data is the most up to date and accessible source to find new customers both for B2B and B2C companies. For example, you can use LinkedIn scrapers to access and scrape public LinkedIn profiles. Here are two examples how you can leverage web scraping for generating new leads:
- Target a new audience for online marketing: Web scraping is used widely for influencer marketing by helping brands to discover new trends, social media users and hashtags that are trending. For a B2C company, finding new influencers on social media will bring a new audience to target for your paid advertisement or partner with those influencers for lead generation campaigns. Web scraping differs from how influencer marketing helps lead generation in general, because it brings an automated way to collect the most up to date trends and names that people speak about your product type on the internet and enables you to discover new audiences that you may have not reached out before.
- Reach out to local business on Google Maps: Especially for B2B companies that work with local businesses, it is important to keep track of new customers in certain geographies and finding contact information to reach out. You can do this by typing the services you are interested in on Google and see tens or maybe even hundreds of pinned locations to list and reach out. Web scraping will enable you to get a tidy list with businesses and all their information on web, allowing you to sort them based on their ratings or availability of contact information. For learning more about this specific use case and more about Google web scraping, check out our detailed post on the subject.
- Find new potential buyers on LinkedIn: LinkedIn has become an essential venue for B2B companies to find new customers and solutions. As a business professional yourself, you may not be very responsive to commercial messages you receive on LinkedIn. However, with 660 million members as of 2019, LinkedIn is still the ultimate marketplace for you to find new companies, people working there who may be in your network and a list of contacts who you may want to reach through different lead generation strategies. For these purposes, scraping LinkedIn data periodically can generate you a very up to date and targeted list of people and companies in focus. Today, it is possible to scrape data from LinkedIn, but keep in mind being wary about the regulations of the website or work with a professional service given that there have been legal battles between LinkedIn and companies trying to scrape LinkedIn data.
3. Chatbots: Respond to sales inquiries with no waiting time
You may have heard “five minutes rule” for responding to a client. It was an old but influential study by Harvard Business Review in 2011 which coined the term after their large study with U.S. companies showing that the majority of them responded to a customer in less than five minutes and a waiting of more than an hour would decrease the chance of a successful lead by seven times. Ever since, technology enabled us to respond faster with an effective tool, chatbots.
You probably had experience with a chatbot yourself. While your potential customer navigates your website, a chatbot can pop up and simply offer help with simple questions such as whether the visitor is interested in learning about the product or the price or other features in order to identify where the customer is in the funnel. It saves time for the potential customer to gather information that they need and your own sales team to focus on customers who passed the information collection phase and are actually interested in buying the product.
Will chatbots be able to convert all your visitors to customers, as if they are showing them the aisles in a small shop? Not likely. In fact, according to a 2020 survey on 900 B2B tech buyers in the U.S., 70% said that they were not likely to respond to a chatbot. What chatbot enables you is not to lose the customers who are very willing to receive information as soon as possible and not wasting your sales team’s time for most basic questions that a potential customer could easily collect from the website. Therefore, it is also important to make sure the design of your chatbot is not disturbing to visitors. If you want to learn more about how chatbot companies offer help for lead generation and compare different designs, check out our chatbot solutions list.
4. ROI Calculator: Measure the effectiveness of your strategy
Measuring the success of an initiative is important in all business initiatives. It may be challenging for lead generation because there are often multiple channels involved, both online and offline, and finding measurable input and output requires number crunching, such as time spent per lead by a sales representative or total conversion time of a customer.
An ROI calculator as simple as a spreadsheet can track the success of your lead generation initiatives and help you allocate your limited resources to more effective channels. Alternatively, you can check out these two free ROI calculators, one for Linkedin and one for general lead generation campaigns, for inspiration. If your lead generation efforts scale to a level that manual tracking is no longer practical, you can consider using an ROI tracking tool. If you leverage an existing service for CRM or analytics, they may have a tailored solution for lead generation ROI tracking which can offer a free trial. The unique contribution of an external tool here is the integration between the data that your lead generation efforts generate and the tracker rather than manually measuring how much each representative spent on customers or the cost of marketing campaigns per lead, these tools can track people assigned to customers, completion time of tasks, budget authorized for campaigns and bring it all together on a dashboard.
Whether an external ROI calculator brings value for your company depends on the scale of your lead generation efforts, but you can check out our list for lead generation software companies to see different companies’ capabilities and offerings.
For more on lead generation and web scraping:
To explore lead generation sources and web scraping use cases for different industries, read our articles:
- How to Scrape LinkedIn and 7 Best LinkedIn Scrapers in 2023
- Social Media Scraping: Tools, How-to & Case Studies
- Top 18 Web Scraping Applications & Use Cases
This article was drafted by former AIMultiple industry analyst Bengüsu Özcan.
Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.
Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.
Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.
He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
To stay up-to-date on B2B tech & accelerate your enterprise:Follow on
Next to Read
Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.