Cold calling is among the “tried and true” tactics for a reason. It’s been tested for many years, and consistently brought in leads. However, relying solely on it is a mistake.

Why? Because not all of your clients will be found at the end of a phone. Some of them won’t even pick up. We lead lives that only keep getting busier, and having “5 minutes” for a pitch from a salesperson isn’t as common anymore.

Additionally, generating leads without cold calling has another advantage. You aren’t being too upfront, which is important. If a person has no notion of your business, their chance of converting into a prospect isn’t as great through cold calls.

Even calling current customers to upsell services has become more difficult, with fewer and fewer people staying on the phone when banks or mobile carriers have new offers (just as an example). 

This becomes even more complicated for B2B relationships, as the number of people you should contact drops significantly from the start.

So, what’s the solution for your business? How do you build a list of B2B prospects?

Let’s delve into some alternatives.

Here Are The Best Strategies To Generate Sales Leads Without Cold Calling In 2021

There’s a good chance you’re looking for alternatives because cold calls just aren’t cutting it for your business. Rest easy knowing that it doesn’t automatically mean it’s your sales team’s fault.

While it’s best to have them trained in what techniques work in the present day, cold calls themselves have lost the efficiency they had years ago. 

In short, keeping your sales team just on cold calling is a waste of resources nowadays. Most importantly, time. Time in which your team and you yourself could focus on other methods that would help scale your business to the level you want to reach. 

Here are 10 strategies you must use. If you aren’t sure how to implement them yourself correctly, just book a consultation with us. We’re sales and marketing experts, having already generated over $100,000,000 in B2B sales for our clients.

1. Take Advantage of Cold Email

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How to Write Cold Emails for Sales

Sales 6:57: min

You might find it strange that we’re jumping from cold calls straight to cold emails. True, the goal is the same: reach your audience directly. But, the way in which you do it is very different.

Through cold email, you open a communication channel that doesn’t interfere with the schedule of a potential lead. You respect their time by placing the choice of seeing what you have to say in their hands completely.

Additionally, cold email saves you tons of time. If you go the cold call route, there’s no automation possible. You need to have sales experts on the phone constantly, dialing people again and again. 

However, with cold email, you set it up right, and then it does the work for you.

By choosing a quality provider for your automation needs, like Mailrush.io, you get instant access to features that make your life a whole lot easier:

  • Email list validation
  • Automated follow-ups
  • Templates
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator integration
  • Protection for your IP reputation
  • And more!

We recommend checking it out.

Of course, you might be thinking that this all sounds great, but how do you build actual potential leads lists? Great question! Gone are the days when you’d have to manually scour the internet for email addresses.

It’s all about keeping it automated, and keeping it efficient. Just use Uplead for all of your B2B prospecting needs. You find the proper leads for your industry, with accurate contact information. 

All emails are verified so you’re not wasting your time, and then you can export them from Uplead to another tool (like Mailrush). 

2. Have a Content Marketing Strategy

In 2018, the Content Marketing Institute reported that 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing as a powerful tool. Why? Because it just works if you do it the right way (you found this article after all, didn’t you?). 

Content marketing is an amazing inbound lead generation tool, because it brings potential leads to your platform without requiring your direct involvement. 

Let’s say you’re an SaaS provider, regardless of what it is exactly. When a potential lead is doing their research about what the best SaaS option is for their business, they’ll use Google.

By using relevant informational keywords for your blog posts and optimizing their structure for proper SERP ranking, you’ll end up in the top results for that search query. The more time goes by, the better your results, as organic ranking is a time-dependent strategy.

You can also distribute your content on social media platforms, build backlinks for it, get it featured on popular platforms, etc. All the quality traffic generated this way will directly improve your URL rating, netting you even better positions in SERP, so more users to your site.

Create content that your target group will search for and want to engage with, and then use lead magnets or promotions within it to convert strangers to prospects.

3. Implement Search Engine Optimization

SEO goes hand in hand with the strategy above, but it goes much further as well. By applying the best on-page and off-page optimization strategies to your domain, you significantly increase your domain’s authority for the algorithms of search engines.

Remember what we said about content marketing? Giving your audience the results and pages they’re searching for? It’s really the same concept.

You use keywords, meta titles & descriptions, optimize images and loading speeds, create proper URL structures, etc, to raise the likelihood of users finding your website and requesting your services.

You can also create “citations” (online listings) for your business on especially important platforms like Google Maps, Apple Maps, YellowPages, Yelp, Hotfrog, Chamber of Commerce, and so on. 

When crawlers (algorithmic “spiders” that go around the internet to form a “web” of sites) keep finding your information presented in the same manner on a number of websites with a high domain rating, they’ll see you as worthy of ranking too.

organic search traffic by referring domain graph

These are just a few ideas, as SEO is as broad as it is deep. We recommend having a rounded and well thought-out SEO strategy, so that you’ll eventually be driving quality traffic to your conversion focused pages.

4. Create Word-of-Mouth

WOM and referrals are among the best sources of revenue. 

No matter the quality of your marketing or outreach, people still prefer believing friends or trusted experts from the respective fields about what services or products they should buy. It’s no different for B2B relationships.

One of the greatest ways to generate leads without cold calling is creating an incentive for your existing user base to spread the word about your brand.

This could mean creating special offers that tie in with your product or service. Think along the lines of “get 2 referrals to sign up for a free trial, earn 1 month free”. Or, get X more of the product when X referrals order their first shipment. 

Another way of increasing the chances of people naturally recommending your business is through PR. By building a trustworthy image and engaging with your clients consistently, you show that you’re a quality-first enterprise, and that customer support is among your priorities.

This makes your services more desirable, as no one wants to damage their own reputation by recommending a potentially flawed product or service.

5. Go to Events and Conferences

Attending big events related to your industry is a must-have activity on your calendar. You don’t need to have your own stand or be a speaker. Just go and seek out potential clients, because decision drivers go to these events specifically to create more connections and grow their business.

Make sure to brush up your negotiation and conversation skills though, as you’re going to do a lot of talking (which is a great thing). Even if you get a lead interested in your service via phone or email, there’s a high probability they’ll request a meeting or at least a video call.

If you want to become a known vendor and expand your list of B2B clients, this is just something you have to get used to doing. Personal touch is the thing to master when you’re doing sales.

You might not even have to do cross-country travelling either. Smaller business groups or organizations sometimes host local events. Besides, many events are hosted online nowadays, so it’s easier than ever to attend big conferences.

6. Use LinkedIn

Similar to cold email, LinkedIn lead generation is all about building targeted and planned outreach and inbound lead generation. Unlike cold calling, it’s easier to do for your sales team, and also requires less effort.

Once you have a templated pitch, you can send that to tens or hundreds of companies and decision-makers, but only after you personalize it! 

Add notes and references to particular products and services of your potential lead, about their design elements or a corporate culture policy. Make your potential leads see that you’re invested in helping their company in particular, not that you’re bulk sending the same message to everyone.

Similarly, spend time on optimizing your own profiles (both that of the company, and those of your sales agents and leadership team). When leads look at your outreach message and do their research, you want them to see a planned and professional profile. Invest in your branding elements (design, copy, profile SEO, etc). 

This way, you can also generate an inbound flux of prospects, as they might find you via searching for relevant terms, just like you can find them with the LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

We also advise putting together a Lead Gen Ads campaign, which is doable by using LinkedIn’s features.

lead generation social media statistics graph

7. Nurture Subscribed Leads

So you have a list of subscribed leads, but what now? That will depend on the lifecycle stage of the lead, as we’ve explained in our ultimate lead generation guide. However, there’s a general rule you can go by.

Namely, don’t push sales out of the bat for new leads. It’s not going to work, because you have to build up trust first, especially with B2B relationships. 

If you have an audience willing to receive informational content (hence they subscribed), then give them informational content. Make sure you’re sending them valuable data and details that they’ve shown interest in.

This means statistics, best practices, advantages of using software like yours, industry trends, etc. Stories are also an essential part of nurturing, since we’re hardwired as people to react better when information is presented in an easily understandable and interesting format.

If you want to show off your results with a case study, create a story out of it. Send that to your subscribers. Present the problem, and how you stepped in to provide the solution. Show graphically how the profitability of the business or its operational efficiency increased.

Then, and only then, do you send content that’s designed to convert. You send it to leads that are already familiar with who you are. 

8. Run Google Ads

We’re sure you know of PPC already, but we want to reinforce that it’s a great idea. As long as there are valuable keywords available, it doesn’t matter if what you’re selling is more niched or widely searched for.

Of course, ads are highly dependent on your budget, but it’s not the only factor. You need financial resources to make them display, but they won’t do you any good if they aren’t optimized. 

Copy, extensions, CTAs, ad types, ad groups, keyword match types, campaign focus, etc. There are many aspects which must be carefully considered. But, if you do it well, your brand’s going to get in front of hundreds or thousands of potential clients.

After the ads are set up correctly, you need dedicated landing pages.

These are the pages your ad will send people too. Here is where you need a strong UX, a convincing copy, and a design that weaves it all together. That’s what drives conversions.

We’ll Increase Your Profit Margin

If you think it isn’t easy to generate leads without cold calling, you’re right! Whatever strategy you choose, you need to invest time and effort into it.

At X27 Marketing, we’ve been doing it for years, and getting our clients meetings with Fortune 500 companies.

If you’re ready to begin the change too, book a consultation today. We’ll get your company off the ground, or make it reach new heights.