B2B lead generation industry trends in 2024

Best-performing solutions, like B2B lead generation outsourcing, have kept up from the previous years. But there are many debuts too. Unsurprisingly, 2023 has brought numerous pivots to the B2B, especially in tech.

Here are the trends to shape your lead generation next year:

  • Account-based marketing
  • Intent-based lead generation
  • De-fluffed messaging
  • Deep engagement with customers
  • New Google policies
  • B2B content that feels B2C
  • Generative AI settling in

Below, you will find actionable tips for each of these. You can also follow the latest trends for B2B lead generation in our dedicated Trends playlist on Belkins’ YouTube channel.

Trend 1. Account-based marketing

The decision to switch to account-based marketing (ABM) became a pivot for countless companies in 2023.

PPC and traditional marketing throw out your message to a broad group of viewers to get some interested clicks. ABM aligns marketers and sales departments to let you focus on handpicked accounts. Here’s how it happens.


Cue Marketing Qualified Accounts (MQAs)

In the B2B space, buying decisions are made by buying groups of up to 10 people.

So, when marketers send 1 person-based Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), sales reps are doomed to do a lot of extra digging at the start of the conversation, risking losing the lead’s interest.

MQAs offer a solution by providing your sales team with a complete picture of a sales-ready account, offering insights into group intent and intel on all involved decision-makers. This is the right information to prioritize and work on accounts effectively.

Hyper-focus your creativity

It would help if you had honed sales messaging, yes. But boring sales messaging? Never. In ABM, account insights let you devise a creative way to address each potential client. Creativity and relevance are your keys to success.

MQAs are great for this, as your marketers have detailed data on each member of the decision-making team and can craft highly personal pitches based on these insights.

For example, a contextual advertising company GumGum has made their prospect a superhero, with their product being a helpful sidekick. Find more examples of creative ABM campaigns here.

Close with a human touch

While technology is crucial, the human-to-human connection still matters — maybe even more than ever — in the digital landscape. In ABM, human interactions should be research-based, consultative, and value-driven.

Buyers want to be understood and engaged by experts, not just sold to. Make it a rule for your reps to establish meaningful connections with the people on the client’s side.

Ace it with intent data

Intent data is a gold mine for improving your ABM strategy and a big trend for the following year. We will focus more on it in the next chapter.

Trend 2. Intent-based lead generation

What is intent in lead generation? It is a combination of certain signs and behaviors that show a high probability of the company being in an active buying cycle and considering your product.

These signals might be:

  • Clicks on a social media advertisement
  • Multiple people from a company visiting your website
  • Regular and continued visits to your website
  • Increased times spent on your website
  • Newsletter subscribers behavior

By collecting the data on these behaviors and analyzing them, marketers can target each lead with the most relevant messaging at the right moment in the right place.

Identify target audiences

Pinpoint which accounts show interest in your product or solution and move them through the funnel for more precise targeting.

Personalize your pitch

Understanding the intent of a particular account enables you to customize your proposal based on the unique requirements or value they seek.

Optimize outreach spending

Intent data shows which account and buyer personas engage most, allowing you to allocate your budget in a smarter way for better ROI.

Collect insights

As your sales reps interact with the leads, they collect even more data about purchasing motivations. Use this information to increase conversions in your sales process.

Trend 3. De-fluffed messaging

The marketing fluff was doomed the second venture capitalists started counting their dollars in mid-2022. Throughout 2023, the “No BS, please” has been a unison requirement from the C-levels when it comes to positioning and pitches.

In 2024, no B2B decision-maker will fall for the word salad, however exquisite. Leave the “cutting-edge solution that streamlines processes and increases the bottom line” at the door.

Hone your proposition

These guidelines for email writing from Belkins’ copywriting team will apply to all kinds of lead gen materials next year:

  • Conversational
  • No corporate jargon
  • Natural
  • Not overly casual
  • Written more about prospects, not yourself

Watch more tips on writing effective emails in our video Copywriting’s Role in Successful Appointment Setting.

Purchasing officers get heaps of sales prospects every day. Give them meat: the actual value and results you can bring immediately. Be clear and specific about why they need you, what they get, and why you’re the right choice.

1. Mentioning a pain point or something relatable from the start is crucial. This should be as specific as possible to the title, industry, etc. This lights a fire under your prospect to explain their problems more and show their need for a solution.

2. Give a clear idea about what you do. Show, don’t tell. You might do this by showcasing solutions you have come up with, problems you have solved for a former client, examples of big improvements, etc.

3. Attitude and finesse are important because you don’t want to sound like you’re bragging or arrogant, but you want to come off as friendly, experienced, and helpful.

Jessica Kozloff, Content Editor at Belkins

Resonate with your audience

There will be noise in the inboxes in 2024, as inbound funnels will slow down, and organizations will put more pressure on outbound.

And here’s what will happen.

Trying to drive conversions from buyers who are not ready, businesses will see little to no conversion. In response, most of them will ramp volumes and either trash their domain reputation or annoy their buyers.

We encourage you to be more thoughtful and focus your outbound on starting conversations.

In terms of relationship-based outreach, I think that the best angle is based on something that your recipient has recently posted, commented on, liked, or published. For example:


I saw your recent article on systematizing your follow-up process. It was compelling, especially creating an open task for every open opportunity so you ensure that nothing slips through the cracks. I have found some challenges with our current process, and I would like to pick your brain if you have a spare 10-15 minutes. Would you mind lending me your ear and expertise to work through it?”

Outreach like this almost always gets me on the phone because I am willing to help people.

I even had one that said:

It started the conversation and eventually got me on a call with him.

Brian Hicks, VP of Sales at Belkins

Invest in crafting the message that will spark the beginning of a beautiful friendship instead of pushing a sale.

Motivate prospects to talk about their needs and wants

How can you do this? In short, talk about their needs and wants yourself.

A longer explanation is this: Try to uncover the true value of your product to the audience. See the 2 cases below to see what we mean.

The healthcare industry is saturated with software for doctors. Companies push them in emails by praising their “groundbreaking features.” Yet, show us a doctor who dreams of embracing new tech and training their team to adjust to the new interface, and we are buying you champagne.

On the other hand, we often see doctors complaining about another family dinner they missed due to an unexpected deadline for a licensing renewal (a big pain for doctors in the U.S.).

Now, let’s dive deeper. What do doctors aspire to achieve? Why did they dedicate 6 years to their education? To fill out paperwork? Or to help people?

So, we can make 3 key assumptions we’re going to wrap our messaging around:

1) Doctors dislike paperwork but are compelled to do it.

2) Doctors desire more time with their families and friends in the evenings.

3) The core value for doctors is their desire to help people.

Tatiana Voitseshchuk, Deputy Manager of Content at Belkins

Once you grasp this, you can craft a campaign around these points, motivating potential clients to notice and acknowledge their own needs and desires. You can also use examples and case studies. First, it shows your expertise. Secondly, storytelling helps to relate.

Another example: Our client offers virtual tutoring for UK schools. They ensure kids meet age-related academic expectations. Sounds great, right? 

However, the true value here goes beyond improving kids’ study habits, though that’s a sweet outcome. In the UK, schools are evaluated by OFSTED, which considers various factors, including attendance and the percentage of students meeting age-related expectations. When the OFSTED rating of a specific school declines, this school loses pupils and money. It’s so influential that even property values in the neighborhood decrease when the school’s rating goes down.

So, instead of just claiming that we can enhance pupils’ study skills, I suggested discussing ideas on how {{School Name}} uses the product to boost their OFSTED rating this year.

Tatiana Voitseshchuk, Deputy Manager of Content at Belkins

The key point is to delve deeper to uncover genuine wants and needs. Once you do that, people will respond.

Trend 4. Deep engagement with customers

In 2024, decisions will likely slow down and require more deliberation and justification. So it’s essential to deepen relationships with current clients and discover possibilities of upsell, referrals, and meaningful network growth for B2B sales lead generation.

Building a strong business case for a current client is the fastest way to their referral. Once they see that you are driving results for them, then they are comfortable recommending you to colleagues and partners to solve similar challenges.

Brian Hicks, VP of Sales at Belkins

Customer loyalty is a huge asset to companies during a recession. Here’s how you can take care of this asset:

Embrace collaborative growth

Collaborative growth is а step forward from the classical referral programs. It’s about leveraging your network and your community to build meaningful relationships with them as well as with potential clients. Via such collaboration, you can build pipelines and close deals.

It is not limited to just 1 company and its customers. Collaborative growth initiatives like the Marketing Benchmarks initiative include prospect and partner companies alike and create large networks of contacts. The gravity of these, in turn, starts pulling in potential customers from outside organizations, creating opportunities that were otherwise unavailable.

Keep your best reps close

If your company has to do layoffs this year, be careful with the sales reps. You do not want to throw the baby out with the bathwater; by “baby,” we mean your precious clients. Keep your best salespeople (and their Rolodexes).

Amp up your sales training

In the recession, your sales reps need to be proactive with the new clients while being extra serving and caring with the existing ones. They should listen to the customers’ needs and suggest out-of-the-box solutions where possible. For example: 

  • Shorter-term contracts
  • Leaner solution packages
  • Favorable payment terms
  • Staff training at no charge

Align your sales and marketing

Everyone on your team should align with a honed, lean, no-fluff market strategy. Help them by providing tools with your ultra-clear value proposition — the who, what, why, and how.

Ensure all your employees listen to customers’ wishes and turn them into business opportunities. Few things are as beneficial for building brand reputation as being helpful to customers during the hard times.

Trend 5. New Google policies

Alignment with the recent Google updates is crucial for companies who place their lead generation bets on SEO, referrals, and content marketing.

You need to be aware of the search engine’s recent policies for helpful content and reviews. Here’s what to do in 2024 to remain in favor of Google’s algorithms: 

Weed out the unhelpful content from your sites

If Google sees users quickly leaving your page and returning to their search, it thinks your content didn’t do the job. So, ensure your content is interesting enough and packed with expertise to hold people’s attention.

You may even consider removing the underperforming posts altogether — it’s better to have less content but more helpful content.

Keep a close eye on the quality of your reviews

Google rolled out its Reviews Update in April 2023, and it covers new demands for reviews spanning a wide range of topics, including products, services, and more.

Follow Google’s recommendations to craft top-notch reviews that get noticed across platforms:

  • Think like a reader. Consider what information would be most valuable to them.
  • Show your expertise. Demonstrate your knowledge of the subject matter.
  • Back it up. Use visuals, audio, or links to validate your review’s authenticity and share your experience.
  • Quantify your insights. Show how the item performs, giving readers the data.
  • Highlight what makes it unique. Explain what sets the product or service apart from its competitors.
  • Mention alternatives. Discuss other options and make recommendations for specific uses or situations.
  • Give pros and cons. Provide a well-rounded assessment.

Get good editors for your AI writers

There is no problem in using AI writers. Jasper, GPT, Bard, and every generative writing service in between can do a great job, churning out thousands of words at unseen speed.

But their repetitiveness is a problem. You can only get so many “ever-evolving landscapes” and “delving into” in your content before you sound like dozens of your competitors and get flagged by Google for plagiarism.

Good editors and prompt writers can add the brand’s distinctive personality to the content, avoid sounding generic, and make the most of AI’s productivity for your business.

Bad prompt

Good prompt

Write a short poem about a giraffe

Write a 50-word poem about a tall giraffe who struggles with anxiety but ultimately learns to deal with it with the help of his animal friends. Write it in simple language that would be easy to understand for children.

Trend 6. B2B content that feels B2C

This trend has been lurking around, but B2B communication was mostly bland and very business-focused until recently. We started seeing a shift with more millennial B2B decision-makers filling the corner offices.

Add emotion to your communication

Quite a few pioneers leveraged this approach in 2023. Semrush, in particular, featured lively portraits of happy marketers who get to do marketing their way.

Yes, B2B buyers are, in fact, young-ish people! And they are tired of seeing numbers and thinking of rationale all day. Address the human behind the fancy job title, be fun and relatable, show that you genuinely understand what they want, and get yourself an interested prospect.

Invest in business influencers 

People will likely buy the products tried and recommended by an industry expert or a well-known successful business owner.

Imagine GaryVee mentioning he loves your programmatic tool in his speech at the next big conference.

Did you like the feeling? Thought so.

Luckily, working with macro- and micro-influencers has been around for a while in B2C, and there’s not much difference when applying this approach to B2B. You can quickly get experienced influencer marketers on board and start implementing this strategy immediately.

Qualities you’d want to see in B2B influencers:

  • Audience relevance
  • Perceived trustworthiness by the audience
  • Profound subject matter knowledge
  • Alignment of values with your brand
  • Active presence on at least 1 platform
  • Content creation prowess

Double down on thought leadership content

Thought leadership is a key strategy for developing business growth during the recession.

Online events effectively generate an audience of qualified prospects and shorten the sales cycle. Combine this with influencer marketing and collaborate with other opinion leaders and influencers in your field, running webinars or master classes together.

We, for example, did this, featuring the marketing guru Neil Patel in the Belkins’ podcast:

And as you are making your thought leadership content, make sure it looks up to date and is created with the new platforms in mind.

Utilize trending formats and platforms

Did you know that TikTok now threatens Google as a search engine? A survey has shown that more than half of Gen Z women choose TikTok for search, preferring the video format and more relatable and personalized answers.

So, to win audiences today and tomorrow, one has to get on the new trifecta: YouTube Shorts, Meta Stories, and TikTok. We recommend hiring an established content-maker from these platforms and letting them direct your online presence.

Trend 7. Generative AI settling in

Generative AI is by far the most significant B2B marketing trend for 2024. You can use it anywhere. Don’t rush, though.

The essential factor to consider when exploring AI-based tech or tools is whether including a particular device or technology will improve existing processes.

Here’s how AI helps in outbound B2B Lead Generation: 

  • AI digs data, sifting through tons of info to spot potential leads. It checks out websites, social media profiles, and online stuff to find businesses that match what you’re looking for.
  • AI lead scoring rates leads based on how likely they are to turn into customers. This helps your sales crew know where to focus their energy.
  • AI can add a personal touch, crafting messaging and recommendations for each lead, making them more likely to be interested in you.

Here’s how AI helps in inbound lead generation:

  • Programmatic SEO helps brands cover multiple long-tailed keywords simultaneously, creating scale-templated pages.
  • AI can quickly generate ideas for blog articles, scrape data and proofread the content, saving time for writers to add their touch later.
  • AI assists in crafting various bottom-of-funnel content assets like e-books, videos, and guides.
  • AI generates numerous ad headlines for testing, helping you refine your ads for better results. The same goes for the CTA copy options. 
  • You can identify potential SEO and backlinks opportunities with AI and get SEO suggestions to improve website visibility and rankings.

But that’s what AI can do for you. Ask yourself what you can do for AI. How can you piggyback the new big thing on the internet? 

The answer is you can open your content for the AI to learn and become one of the sources that large language models (LLM) use to transform how the search engines look and work.

Here’s how to get long-term SEO advantages via generative AI: 

1. Build your authority to rank well in AI-driven searches. AI looks at what experts say, so it’s crucial to:

  • Get mentioned in the media
  • Get quality backlinks from reputable websites
  • Use platforms like Wikipedia to boost your credibility
  • Focus on a specific area of expertise

2. Be visible in the data sources that AI is learning from:

  • Public web
  • E-books
  • YouTube subtitles
  • GitHub
  • Wikipedia
  • Academic papers

Anytime you see chat GPT citing the sources from the list above, this is proof that investing in the content channels outside your blog is a promising strategy for the following years.


When the economy is slow, it brings some unique opportunities to B2B sellers. Yes, buyers tend to have shorter time frames, become less willing to take risks by working with new vendors, and focus more on their core, profitable business units.

But it pushes sellers to laser-focus on the most promising areas rather than spreading ourselves too thin. Which is excellent for long-term efficiency, if you think about it.

So let’s put the recession to good use and maybe even make a fortune while we’re at it.

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