From Leads to Deals: Driving Growth with B2B Demand Generation


 B2B, or “Business to Business,” is a strategy that streamlines the production process, especially compared to B2C or B2G setups. Unlike the latter two, all transactions in this type of business model occur between two distinct organizations/companies instead of individual customers.  Because of this infrastructure, B2B is the backbone of e-commerce supply chains worldwide and will be worth an estimated $9 billion in 2023. Businesses choose this strategy primarily to help lower their cost of production/operation. One of the most common examples of a B2B operation is business process outsourcing.  When companies want to cut down on their expenses, they may delegate their accounting and financing operations to a third-party form. Other times, they may outsource their marketing and sales to other companies. In turn, the third-party firms will help create customized databases, launch new products, conduct market research, and more. Infosys catering to big manufacturing, life science and retail segments is another significant example of B2B commerce. Generally, the company markets to other businesses by promoting programs and services that promise greater customer satisfaction. To achieve faster responses and smarter differentiation in the sales pipeline, the firm often leverages platforms like Infosys Commerce powered by special accelerators. Their clients, in turn, use these products to achieve improved time-to-market, inventory control, and responsiveness for their own companies.  

Overview of B2B Sales and Marketing

  The B2B marketing model is based primarily on appealing to other companies. Unlike B2C or Buyer to Customer sales, this model focuses on ample scale supply. B2B businesses cater to corporations, firms, and manufacturing businesses, not individual buyers.  Survey shows that this mode of sales has a smaller buyer pool as a result. However, the sales volume of B2B businesses is also remarkably higher compared to B2C companies. Individual consumers typically buy singular items/services, while companies buy in bulk. Thus a single sale for a B2B business may equate to 1000 purchases made on a B2C site.  But with fewer consumers to appeal to, these businesses must also be more targeted in their approaches. For this reason, marketing campaigns and sales strategies can either make or break a deal when selling products and services to other businesses. According to industry reports, opting for hybrid models may help B2B businesses stay afloat between low business periods. Outsourcing is another B2B strategy companies can try to cut down on expenses and generate more profits. Using a third-party service gives businesses access to a talent pool missing in their own setup. For example, delegating their marketing operations means hiring professionals to create impactful marketing solutions based on extensive market surveys.  

Understanding B2B Sales Process


Lead Generation

 In a typical B2B sales and marketing setup, the sales process begins with lead generation. During this process, the team has to process incoming leads. During the lead generation phase, the company must seek to secure potential customers interested in purchasing their products or services.  Businesses also generate leads through website optimization and supply/procurement exchanges. Sometimes, they also integrate more direct marketing strategies like cold calling, email campaigns, and multimedia adverts to gain customer inflow.  

The Icy Canada team talked to Timothy J Williams, Principal Consultant at Thinksia, about strategies to employ for your lead qualification process. Here is what he said:

Timothy J Williams - Featured
Timothy J Williams

“In my experience, striking the perfect balance between automation and personalized interactions in lead qualification requires a nuanced approach.

At Thinksia, we’ve harnessed a methodology that capitalizes on real-time analytics for insights, paired with a client-centric and collaborative approach.

For instance, we deploy automated systems to handle the initial phase of lead capture and scoring, leveraging data-driven insights to segment and prioritize prospects based on their online behaviors and engagement levels.

To ensure personalization, we employ a fractional CMO model, where strategies are customized to meet the unique needs of each lead. This blend of automation for efficiency and human touch for personalization has been key.

For example, for a B2B firm we partnered with, this approach resulted in a 35% increase in qualified leads moving through the sales funnel, as the tailored strategies fostered deeper engagements.

Adapting to evolving market conditions is pivotal. We continuously monitor performance metrics and market trends, allowing us to swiftly pivot strategies as needed.

When we noticed a shift in customer behavior for a SaaS client, because of an emerging technology trend, we quickly revised our lead qualification criteria to capture a broader, yet more targeted, audience segment.

This agility, rooted in precision monitoring and continuous improvement initiatives, ensured the client stayed ahead of the curve, capturing leads that were more likely to convert in the changing market landscape.”

Qualifying Leads

 By improving visibility, these methods help businesses optimize their leads. Once a lead is identified, the worker/system needs to qualify the potential customer. A company salesperson must analyze the lead to determine its success rate. In such cases, if the visitor’s interests and demands align with the company’s offering, the lead is more likely to generate positive results. Once the visitor is identified as a successful match, i.e., predicted to make a purchase, the salesperson must get in touch to close the sales deal. During this process, the employee can present a sample/demonstration of the product or service to the customer. The two parties then need to work closely to negotiate a mutually-agreeable price and finalize the deal. 

Finalizing Sales Deals/Customer Retention Services

 Relationships are crucial in this industry, so post-sales service should be an integral part of all B2B business deals. For example, organizations selling products/services can offer additional products or services to increase client satisfaction.  Staying in touch via calls or emails also helps customers feel valued. Reports show that bad service results in up to 96% of clients not returning for a second purchase. Thus, customer retention services should also extend to providing discounts and promotions to long-term clients. Sales strategies like these ensure that B2B businesses thrive in the competitive environment. Moreover, surveys show that a strong after-sales service will also improve brand image and encourage customer loyalty. 

Importance of Demand Generation in Business Growth

 Demand generation helps organizations create buzz about a product/service, generating leads. Services like these are geared toward driving potential customers to make purchases. Based on these reasons, demand generation is a vital component of the sales funnel. In fact, it is the initial step in converting potential prospects into customers. Additionally, by integrating these strategies and innovating their business models, companies ensure they stay relevant in the industry. The sales and marketing tactics used for demand generation often incorporate the latest trends and technologies, helping B2B businesses attract and retain customers. Word-of-mouth referrals are another important tool in demand generation. In fact, 65% of all accounts for new businesses come from existing customers. These leads are 4X more likely to convert than typical prospects. Moreover, a customer-referred client also has a 16% higher lifetime value. 

Purpose of White Paper (Exec Summary)

 Whitepapers make effective marketing tools by helping present logical facts and building arguments in favor of the company. In fact, content-based marketing reportedly attracts 3X more leads than conventional strategies. Over 70% of customers also state that they would rather learn about a company via blogs and articles than through ads.  Based on these statistics, Datamatica has created a format that will help businesses        establish thought leadership      expand email lists      reach new audiences      generate sales leads.  This whitepaper aims to provide this info about the company’s outsourcing solutions to organizations worldwide. Datamatics services are extensive, covering businesses like advertising, publishing, and more. As a business process management form, the work includes B2B data solutions, adopting customized databases for marketing and sales. However, the company’s primary focus remains innovation in demand generation in the sales process.  This white paper examines the importance of these solutions for B2B organizations. It highlights how crucial Datamatics is in sales and marketing stages like market research, product launches, and more. This paper explores how organizations benefit from effectively integrating Datamatics accounting/process management solutions into their sales pipeline, on-premises and in the cloud. This document also delineates the best practices for B2B demand-generation strategies and how analytical tools can be used to increase workflow based on thorough market analysis.  

Understanding B2B Demand Generation: Definition and Key Components

 Reports show that over 68% of B2B businesses struggle with generating leads. This rate comes despite them spending over 53% of their budget on these tasks. Demand generation as a market approach is geared at driving interest and awareness for the purpose of building leads. This process will generally involve multiple methods, all to generate buzz in the B2B marketplace. B2B demand generation requires marketing teams to optimize lead generation. These teams may use multiple media channels and tactics to help the sales team gather leads. Most demand-generation strategies also help accelerate business growth by delegating teams to numerous channels and marketplaces.  For example, in demand generation, the work is typically divided across departments and teams like social media, marketing, field marketing, and campaigns. These tactics maximize the company’s exposure by increasing visibility. In addition, these teams improve a business’s appeal by marketing them on platforms as diverse as social media, webinars, trade shows, and more.  

Key Components of Demand Generation


  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Integrating SEO strategies is an integral part of a B2B marketing strategy. Business to Business marketplaces generally sees fewer buyers than B2C platforms. Companies must therefore optimize their website visibility by improving their rankings on search engine results. A higher SERP rank encourages a higher rate of traffic inflow. To optimize their website content, businesses may have to innovate by introducing more secure servers, integrating mobile-optimized services, and building high PR backlinks. Over 60% of B2B businesses have reported significant gains from integrating SEO solutions.


  • Lead Nurturing: An integral part of the B2B service, lead nurturing is at the heart of any successful lead conversion. This marketing strategy is centered around building relationships with potential customers. Businesses may need to nurture connections be it via effective lead management or attractive incentives.


  • Content Marketing: One of the most common modes of demand generation, content marketing utilizes creating/distributing content to generate leads. Teams create tailored articles to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. For example, surveys show that a company posting an average of 15 blog posts in a month can generate at least 1600 new leads. This content can include blog posts, videos, ebooks, webinars, and other forms of digital media.


  • Email Marketing: As the name suggests, mail marketing uses the company’s email list to promote new services or products. This type of marketing engages customers and potential prospects using emails. Easy to integrate, it is used to generate and nurture leads by regularly connecting with email lists. Email marketing helps companies build long-term relationships and drive conversions. In fact, according to APSIS reports, 78% of businesses resort to this model to market their products and services.


Understanding B2B Demand Generation

 Differences between B2B and B2C Demand Generation: B2B (Business-to-Business)  The primary difference between B2B and B2C demand generation is the target audience. Business to Business demand generation targets potential buyers from other businesses, while Business to Consumer demand generation targets individual consumers.  B2B business models generally work best for large-scale resource procurement. For example, an automobile company may enter into a contractual relationship with an iron and steel manufacturer to create frames for their vehicles. These contracts aren’t made in typical buyer-based marketplaces. For B2B businesses, the demand generation strategies will thus center around events such as trade shows, webinars, and email campaigns. In contrast, B2C demand generation will involve social media campaigns, influencer marketing, and television commercials. The difference exists because the latter targets individual buyers rather than larger-scale businesses. 

Role of Marketing in Demand Generation

 Compared to B2C marketing, B2B tactics will be more complicated and require more careful strategization and analysis.  Marketing in demand generation for these models is focused more on outreach than lead retention. The sales and management teams will work to strengthen and establish existing accounts, while marketing teams operate with the intention of generating or increasing leads.  

Developing a B2B Demand Generation Strategy: Identifying Your Target Audience (ICPs).

 For B2B businesses, demand generation strategies start with identifying the target audience. Ideal Customer Profile, or ICP, is an integral part of this process. This profiling of leads offers companies a detailed description of the ideal customer, allowing them to use the data to create campaigns and marketing targeted at this specific audience.  An ICP includes demographic, firmographic, and psychographic information, helping companies make effective marketing strategies. Using this data, businesses curate the most detailed profile to help avoid unqualified leads. In addition, detailed descriptions based on this information allow companies to avoid leads with low chances of conversion and instead focus on creating specific campaigns for highly profitable accounts.  Typically, the demographic information in an ICP includes age, gender, location, and income level. Meanwhile, the firmographic information in these customer profiles consists of valuable niche data like industry, company size, and revenue. By leveraging this data, marketing, and sales teams can avoid noise and low-potential leads.  

Creating Buyer Personas

 Though similar, buyer personas aren’t the same as ICPs. An Ideal Customer Profile(s) outlines the best types of companies for a particular business to deal with, while buyer personas analyze people, not firms or companies. These profiles generally include essential information like pain points, buyer objectives, and more.  A buyer persona will be more relevant to B2C businesses but can be applied to B2B models as well. Companies can use these profiles to appeal to representatives by offering personalized services.  

Developing a Lead Nurturing Plan

 Compared to B2C buying patterns, B2B sales cycles typically take longer. For this reason, lead nurturing will be more integral when appealing directly to businesses. For example, flashy marketing and attractive incentives may have brought a prospect to a company’s website. However, it is a compelling lead retention strategy that will convert this account into a buyer customer. Every such tactic aims to create a lasting connection with potential customers and guide them through the sales funnel. Identifying the sales funnel stages is the first step in developing a successful lead nurturing plan. This information will inform the company salesperson about which location the prospects are in their buying journey. Identifying a potential lead’s position in the sales funnel helps create custom campaigns and incentives to drive the deal forward. Using this data, the sales and marketing teams will collaborate on content, campaigns, and offers tailored to each stage. For example, some whitepapers educate potential customers about the product or service in the early stages of the funnel. On the other hand, introducing incentives can also encourage potential customers to close the deal during the latter stages of the sales pipeline. 

Lead Generation Channels.


Inbound Marketing

 Inbound marketing as a form of marketing focuses on creating and sharing content to attract and retain existing customers. Strategies for this will include blogging, SEO, social media, and email marketing. 

Event Marketing

 The primary objective of event marketing is to create and host events to entertain and engage potential customers. This form of marketing will generate leads, build relationships, and increase sales by hosting benefits and events. Event marketing can include trade shows, pop-ups, conferences, seminars, workshops, and more. Be it a virtual or physical event, these are effective ways to build relationships with customers and create brand awareness. A popular form of marketing, 73% of companies use event marketing to generate leads.  

 For brands/businesses looking to reach large audiences quickly, paid advertising is the easiest fix. In this type of marketing, companies pay the hosts/owners for ad space. Paid advertising  includes pay-per-impression (PPI), pay-per-click (PPC) ads, display ads, social media ads, and more. Generally, the price for ad spaces will be finalized via negotiation between the marketers and the space owners.  

Social Media Marketing

 Social media marketing, as a form of digital marketing, leverages content on social media platforms to generate leads. Marketing teams curate and share information on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more to reach potential customers and prospects. Social media marketing allows businesses to create an image that represents their brand by posting videos, pictures, and more that support this. For most organizations, even spending 6 hours daily on these platforms has a 66% chance of generating qualified leads. 

Account Based Marketing

 ABM, or account-based marketing, as a marketing tactic, allows businesses to target specific groups and accounts in the B2B marketplace. Using this strategy, companies can concentrate their resources and campaigns to engage each account separately.  ABM tactics target the specific needs and attributes of the client. Sometimes, businesses may even appeal to existing accounts to encourage cross or upselling. These strategies are typically represented by targeted emails, personalized content, and more. Unlike other marketing models, account-based marketing is a more effective way to reach high-value accounts and build relationships with key decision-makers. 

Lead Qualification and Scoring: Understanding Lead Qualification Criteria

 Lead qualification uses a set of standards used to determine the quality of a lead. For a successful conversion, a salesperson will have specific criteria to evaluate the data gains. In fact, over 85% of B2B businesses agree that lead generation is the most important part of marketing. Without the above-mentioned standards, marketers may lose valuable time following up on noise and weak leads. A lead qualification criterion thus helps B2B businesses identify the most promising leads and prioritize them for follow-up. Of course, these standards can vary depending on the business and the industry. However, the B2B business model typically includes factors like the lead’s budget, timeline, authority, need, and fit. Lead scoring, as a system, ranks leads based on their potential value to the business. It prioritizes leads for follow-up and determines which leads are most likely to convert. Lead scoring typically involves assigning points to leads based on their demographic and behavioral characteristics, such as job title, company size, website activity, and other criteria. The higher the score, the more likely the lead is to convert. 

Developing a Lead Scoring Model

 Studies show that businesses with effective lead qualifying criteria and scoring models can achieve at least 70% in their lead generation ROI. A successful lead scoring model includes a system to rank leads based on their potential value to the business. For example, for a car manufacturer, a tire company is a more valuable asset than, say, an upholstery business.  When ranking leads, a lead scoring model will thus assign points to criteria such as job title, company size, website activity, and more. This final score for each prospect is determined based on the relative importance of each criterion. In addition, a lead scoring model will factor in the likeliness of a successful conversion when assigning these points.  

Qualifying Leads with Marketing Automation

 Integrating automation to identify and prioritize leads increases the accuracy of the lead quantifying process. Tools like AI or ML categorize prospects based on their potential value to the business. Using such programs, this system automatically reads and ranks traffic and leads based on pre-assigned data and criteria.   With marketing automation, businesses can set up automated workflows allowing them to send notifications to leads with high scores. By asking them to fill out a form, the company salesperson can qualify and determine leads, improving conversion,  

Driving Sales and Revenue Growth: Aligning Sales and Marketing   Teams

 For a strategy to work, the sales and marketing teams will work in close alignment. When delegating tasks, companies are, therefore, clear about the responsibilities assigned. They also ensure that the groups are well-versed in the marketing strategy and have set goals. For example, sales teams will generally responsible for generating leads, closing deals, and managing customer relationships. Similarly, marketing teams create and execute campaigns, manage customer data, and analyze customer behavior.  

Closing Deals with Effective Sales Techniques

 A salesperson requires a specific set of skills when closing a B2B deal. This step will be among the most fraught in the whole sales pipeline. As the culmination of the entire lead generation process, the deal closing requires a careful hand.  The company representative will be able to put forward the company’s demands before the prospect. However, they will also be open to negotiation and consider any suggestion the client makes. Sometimes, the use of persuasive language will also be used where necessary. To build trust with the lead, the salesperson will have learned about their needs and requirements. Being aware of the prospect’s interests helps them come up with the most attractive deals. This involves asking questions and listening to the customer’s needs and wants.  

Measuring the Success of Your Demand Generation Efforts

 Analyzing demand generation efforts lets businesses understand what is working and what is not. In addition, reading metrics like overall lead generation, customer conversion, and retention rates help companies measure the success of marketing strategies. 

Key Points

       B2B businesses cater to corporations, firms, and manufacturing companies, not individual buyers.      Demand generation is creating buzz about a product/service to generate leads.      An ICP should include demographic, firmographic, and psychographic information to help companies males the most effective marketing strategies.      A B2B whitepaper is a long-form document used as a business marketing and sales tool. 

 1. Increased Use of Automation: Be it ML, or AI, automation will continue to play an increasingly important role in B2B demand generation. Since these tools help streamline processes, they can be integrated to reduce costs and improve system efficiency. Reports show that automation can increase qualified leads by more than 451%. 2. Personalization: In the coming years, companies will need to tailor their messages to the specific needs of their target audience in order to be successful. They will require valuable insight into their clients’ buying patterns to customize their campaigns and strategies.  4. Social Media: Businesses will need to leverage social media to reach their target audience and build relationships. A strong online presence will give companies an identity that they can mine to market themselves better.  

Guest Author: Saket Kumar


Last Updated on by Saket Kumar


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