Ultimate 7-Step Guide to B2B Lead Generation and Appointment Setting!

What does it take to build a reliable B2B lead generation and appointment strategy? Keep reading as we share a 7-step guide to ensuring B2B lead generation success.


We, at Front Pipe, believe that modern-day companies often fail at developing sales funnels that empower their marketing and sales department. As a company obsessed with growth, we have centralized our client’s success across a community of brands to undergird the creation, implementation, and testing of growth campaigns. We do that by developing highly targeted buyer persona campaigns, creating campaigns that help drive potential clients to become paying B2B customers, and most importantly, aiding your sales team with tools to enhance productivity and efficiency.

In this post, we not only review our process flow, but also share the seven ultimate steps we use to facilitateB2B lead generation and appointment setting. So let’s cut to the chase and dive right in, shall we?

Overview of Process Flow

To extend our best services to B2B clients, we have devised a plan called the 90-day SDR framework which is essentially a proven methodology to attract potential clients and leads exclusively for B2B companies. After testing B2B sales and marketing strategies for over a decade, we have compiled our data to make it easier for B2B startups and established companies to create and redefine their lead generation campaigns respectively.

Through the SDR framework, we first determine what your sales and marketing team needs to flourish. Not just that, we help your company map out goals and objectives for the upcoming 90 days. Once the objectives are defined, we implement the SDR methodology within the existing company structure— ensuring your sales and marketing teams complete training in our methodologies and reporting systems and extend them internally within the organization.

What did we see wrong?

Let's start with the why. After working with both large and small tech companies across the globe, we concluded that almost all B2B companies find it challenging to build an effective marketing outreach program that fosters their sales team to contribute to positive revenue growth. So, what are these companies doing wrong? We have shortlisted three aspects of lead generation campaigns that, in our opinion, modern-day companies should prioritize.

Incompetent targeting

In terms of targeting, we have come a long way to even think about guesswork. The hit-and-trial methods are a waste of money, especially when you have highly reliable targeting strategies at your disposal. Not just that, you lose the opportunity to connect with potential customers while your competition takes advantage of your targeting incompetencies. It’s time you ditch spray-and-pray targeting and map out your ideal customer persona to convey ideal pain-point messaging.

Insufficient data sources

Where you are getting the marketing data from is as important as what you are doing with it. So, it’s better to consider the available data sources and use the information to generate better B2B targeting campaigns. More importantly, you cannot just rely on one datasource and expect it to get you the wins. An appropriate amalgamation of AI and machine learning-driven systems and tactics is precisely what you need to thrive in such a competitive environment.

Lack of automation

You cannot expect your marketing and sales team to achieve the accuracy and efficiency of a computer. B2B companies that fail to implement marketing automation often complain about low conversion rates. We believe that once the team has ideal targeting and datasets, it’s time to implement marketing automation to let AI and machine learning generate the desired conversion rates.

Indeed, the loopholes in B2B marketing campaigns are quite concerning. But, we didn’t just want to talk. Instead, we wanted to come up with solutions that help companies harness their maximum potential and generate results they never thought were possible.

Here are the steps we recommend everyB2B company implement to develop foolproof marketing strategies. Let’s discuss them in detail.

Step 1: Market Research

Drop everything and focus on a marketing research process that generally involves identifying issues, discussing alternatives, and setting research objectives. Since market research is not a one-time thing, we suggest you develop a research program that you can apply whenever there’s a major shift in the industry. You will have to choose a sample, i.e., a base population that will help develop inferences about the larger population. Once that is accomplished, it will be time to gather data and feed it into your analysis and interpretation systems. Upon analysis, you should have a description of your research process, the results, and conclusions coupled with recommended actions.

Step 2: Persona Research + Development

How well do you know your potential clients? An in-depth understanding of your ideal customer profile is indispensable in such cut-throat competition. Therefore, the next logical move into nailing your B2B lead generation strategy is to develop an ideal customer profile or map out the perfect customer type. Personas are essentially descriptive summaries or characterizations of your most valuable or key customer cohorts. Well-conducted customer research helps companies develop impeccable customer profiles that facilitate tailored propositions and engagement — foundations of an informed B2B lead generation strategy. Again, persona research isn’t a ‘set-it-and-forget-it ’thing. So, prepare a research program to make this step more efficient.

Let's use a real world example. An IT training company looking to connect with CTO's at businesses in the US, but the sales team is saying they can close 20%+ if the company has between $10-$100M in annual revenue, and have at least 25 software engineers on the team(s). Here's that exact filter set via ZoomInfo.

(one note here if you're using ZoomInfo -- always set your contact accuracy to 95%+ to get personally verified emails that have a less than 5% chance of bouncing)

Step 3: Intent Modeling

While most B2B companies boast about their abilities to generate or gather data, not all companies are competent enough to make sense of it. This is particularly true for intent data that your sales and marketing team can use to better predict client behavior. Once you collect intent data from different sources, sort it on the basis of buyer intent categories. This can be done by selecting terms and phrases that correspond to different stages(awareness, consideration, and purchase) of the buyer journey. You may also rank the leads into different tiers through advanced lead prioritization. In this, you can categorize the data into informational intent, commercial intent, and transaction intent.

Step 4: Content Strategy Development

You have successfully completed the groundwork related to the B2B lead generation strategy development. It’s time we use the information gathered to create a content plan. What should be your aim when building a content plan? Well, many B2B companies might prefer using content solely to promote their products and services. Others might prefer developing a client-centric content plan that focuses entirely on the needs and wants of potential clients. We suggest you implement a mix of both content planning strategies. Follow the 80/20 rule to include both client-centric and promotional content. However, make sure the content plan matches the target audience and related personas.

Step 5: Campaign Roadmap

Now’s the time to bring the lead generation and appointment campaign to life. By now, you should have a foolproof content plan based on steps 1-3. So, where should you start? Well, first figure out where you will be distributing content, both online and offline. Take this opportunity to create a list of major B2B online content distribution channels and fathom their outreach capacities. Then figure out which content will sync better on the channel and how often you should be posting. Ideally, you should be targeting channels that show the highest returns and ones that have your target audience.

Step 6: Digital Assets

So you have a content plan and know precisely where the content will go. Let’s move forward and start developing content or digital assets! This is basically the last step you’ll have to follow before launching the lead generation campaign. Your content creation team will have to start working to develop the articles, landing page content, gated content, email marketing content, infographic, and social media content. Make sure you have a buffer of content before you launch the lead generation campaign. Once all the digital components are ready, revise them to give your final approval. Get the revisions completed and you’ll be ready for the final launch.

Step 7: Ongoing Outreach through Automation

At Front Pipe, we make sure the steps mentioned above are followed and executed carefully with complete client inclusion. The last step is to launch the data-focused campaigns through marketing automation and wait for the first batch of results. Once the results are collected, we will analyze them and allow AI and machine learning to make the necessary amendments. We will make sure the lead generation campaigns are frequently analyzed and optimized to generate the best ROI. Campaign optimization is an ongoing task that focuses on developing better content, achieving better outreach, and generating more prospects and leads.

Final Thoughts

There you have it. We have shared the story of our journey toward realizing how modern B2B companies can excel at lead generation and appointment setting just by redefining their campaign basics and implementing our 90-day marketing framework. Regardless of where you are in your lead generation journey, we highly recommend you undergo a mindset shift and prioritize planning, goal refinement, and sustainable growth strategies. Once you have the ideal growth-centric foundation, it will become easier to implement modern-day B2B marketing strategies and tactics, and achieve the set standards.Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments. Also, don’t forget to check out other informative posts in the blog!

And we couldn't leave you without a past case study as well. :)

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