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8 Effective IT Sales Lead Generation Strategies (+ Best Practices)

by | May 1, 2024

We all know that generating qualified leads is the lifeblood of any successful business, but as an MSP, you’re busy juggling complex client needs and service delivery while trying to stay ahead of the technology curve and the growing number of competitors. Wasting time on ineffective lead generation strategies simply isn’t an option in such a saturated market, but knowing how to generate qualified leads in such a dynamic industry is hardly plain sailing.

To help you, we’ve put together this expert guide on lead generation for IT companies that will equip you with eight data-driven lead generation tips to attract high-value prospects ready to convert. So, if you’re an MSP in need of effective, reliable and proven lead generation strategies, keep reading.

Lead Generation vs. Demand Generation

Firstly, it’s important to differentiate between lead generation and demand generation because they aren’t the same thing, and getting the two conflated could be costly in terms of campaign spend and overall success.

Lead generation focuses on attracting and nurturing individual prospects who have shown initial interest in your services. Think of it as the “inbound” side of the equation.

Demand generation is about creating market awareness and educating potential customers about the challenges you solve and the value you offer. This is the “outbound” strategy that fuels the inbound pipeline.

A successful MSP marketing strategy combines both lead generation and demand generation tactics. This two-pronged approach ensures a steady stream of qualified leads, primed to convert when they reach your sales team.

The Power of Digital Marketing Strategies for MSPs

Your website and online presence should be the cornerstones of your lead generation efforts. Regardless of which lead generation strategy you choose, you need to make sure your digital channels are in good shape, or else you run the risk of all your efforts falling flat.

B2B buyers do their homework — up to 90% research multiple websites (2-7 on average) before making a purchasing decision. Not just this; the B2B buyer journey is heavily content-driven. On average, B2B buyers consume 3-7 pieces of content before reaching out to a sales representative, with 11% actively exceeding seven pieces of content.¹

So, digital marketing needs to underpin every one of your lead generation strategies. Here’s how you can get started with it:

  • Website Optimization: Your website is your digital storefront and often the first place prospects will go to scope you out. This is where first impressions are made. Make sure that it is user-friendly, mobile-responsive and optimized for search engines (SEO). Include clear calls to action (CTAs) that capture leads and showcase your value proposition.
  • Content Marketing: You need to prove your worth to prospects by creating valuable content that educates potential clients on their IT pain points and how your services address them. You should consider publishing regular blog posts, white papers, case studies and webinars that showcase your expertise and build trust with your audience.
  • Social Media Marketing: Social media is an incredibly powerful tool that can be used for both lead generation and brand generation. Think about engaging with potential clients on platforms like LinkedIn, sharing informative content, participating in relevant industry discussions and building relationships with decision-makers in an organic way.
  • Email Marketing: Email remains a powerful lead nurturing tool. It’s essential that you focus on building an email list with opt-in forms, segment your audience and deliver targeted campaigns that offer valuable content and promote your services.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: Paid search ads can target high-intent users actively searching for keywords related to your services. They can be a quick way to boost revenue for short-term growth, as well as underpin your organic strategies. Platforms like Google Ads can help you reach prospects at the crucial decision-making stage, making it worth the investment and effort.

8 Lead Generation Tips for MSPs

Now you’re familiar with the basics of lead generation for a modern MSP, let’s look at eight actionable tactics that can help to generate qualified leads for your business:

Tip #1: Define Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

The foundation of any successful marketing strategy is a clear understanding of your ideal customer. Go beyond demographics – create a detailed ICP that outlines the specific needs, challenges and firmographics of your perfect client.

To do this, you can use existing industry data and conduct your own market research to build a comprehensive ICP. This data-driven approach ensures your lead generation efforts are laser-focused on attracting the right prospects. After all, the last thing you want is an influx of unqualified, unsuitable leads that clog up your funnel without ever moving through it, taking time away from nurturing prospects that could actually convert.

Tip #2: Develop a Strong Online Presence

As we’ve established, your website is like your 24/7 salesperson. The trick is to make it into a lead generation powerhouse. You can do this by:

  • Optimizing for Local Search: Make sure your Google Business Profile listing is complete and up to date. Target relevant local keywords to increase local visibility — even if your client base is nationwide.
  • Creating Compelling Content: Develop high-quality content that addresses your target audience’s IT concerns. Promote client testimonials and success stories to build trust.
  • Offering Valuable Resources: Provide free downloadable content like white papers, eBooks or webinars in exchange for contact information.

It’s important to note that organic digital growth takes time; it won’t happen overnight. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t see results straight away. It can take an average of three to six months to see results from basic search engine optimization efforts², making this an ongoing task, but one that can be invaluable for building sustainable brand awareness.

Tip #3: Use Social Media Marketing Strategically

As a B2B organization, you might think that social media selling only works for B2C sales, but this isn’t true. Social media is an integral part of life, including for business, and that’s reflected by 75% of B2B buyers saying they use social media to make buying decisions³. In addition to this, 61% of businesses that use social media selling report an average of 61% revenue growth⁴.

It’s clear that social media has a place in every modern MSP looking to grow, but only if you use it correctly. Don’t just post on social media for the sake of it. Develop a targeted strategy that reaches your ideal customers. You can do this by:

  • Identifying the Right Platforms: Focus on platforms where your target audience is active. For B2B marketing, LinkedIn is a powerful tool for connecting with decision-makers.
  • Engaging with Industry Influencers: Influencer selling isn’t just for B2C brands. You can partner with relevant IT influencers to amplify your reach and build credibility.
  • Running Social Media Ads: Social ads are a great way to bolster your paid search strategy and complement your organic strategies. Use targeted ads to reach a wider audience and generate leads directly from social media platforms.

Tip #4: Build Strategic Partnerships

Partnering with complementary businesses can be a powerful lead generation strategy, but one that is often overlooked by MSPs. By joining peer groups, you can identify non-competitive businesses that serve your ideal customer profile and help you expand your market reach. For example, The 20 helps MSPs propel their growth through strategic industry partnerships.

Even if you don’t join a group like The 20, you can start to build strong relationships – both with other businesses and clients – by undertaking tasks such as:

  • Developing Co-Marketing Campaigns: Collaborate with partners to create joint webinars, white papers or events that attract a broader audience and generate qualified leads for both parties.
  • Offering Referral Programs: Incentivize existing clients to refer new business by offering rewards or discounts.

Tip #5: Start Email Marketing

Email marketing remains a highly effective tool for lead generation and nurturing. The problem is knowing how to cut through the noise and get your recipients to actually read your emails.

Considering the average office worker receives an average of 121 emails per day⁵, only the very best emails get through the net and make an impact, but when they do, the rewards are lucrative. Email ranks as the second most effective qualified lead generation tool for B2B marketers — beaten only by in-person events and trade shows⁶.

So, how can you get a piece of the email marketing success pie? You can:

  • Segment Your Audience: Don’t send generic emails to your entire list. Segment your audience based on interests, pain points and engagement levels to deliver targeted messages that hit home.
  • Focus on Value, Not Just Sales: Don’t bombard prospects with sales pitches. Provide valuable content that educates them and positions you as a trusted advisor. This is where email intertwines with digital content and where writing white papers and blogs you can push is highly beneficial.
  • Create Compelling CTAs: Every email should have a clear call to action, whether it’s downloading a white paper, scheduling a consultation or requesting a free quote. Always provide directions so your prospects know what to do next.

Tip #6: Run Targeted Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads

PPC advertising allows you to reach high-intent users actively searching for keywords related to your services. It can be highly targeted, with platforms like Google Ads being able to target specific demographics, locations and even competitor keywords.

If you do run PPC ads, remember not to neglect mobile PPC campaigns. In fact, 90% of B2B buyers say they are likely to buy from a company that provides a positive mobile experience⁷. With this in mind, ensure your PPC campaigns are optimized for mobile users.

Tip #7: Attend Industry Events and Network

Industry events and conferences offer valuable opportunities to connect with potential clients and build relationships. As mentioned, they are the leading avenue for generating qualified leads. When thinking about attending events, make sure you:

  • Target Relevant Events: Focus on events that attract your ideal customer profile. Not all events will be lucrative for you, but they may cost you a lot to attend. Pick wisely.
  • Prepare Engaging Content: Don’t just hand out generic brochures at events. Develop targeted content, presentations or demos that showcase your expertise and help you stand out.
  • Follow Up After the Event: Don’t let those connections fizzle. Follow up with new contacts after the event to nurture relationships and convert leads.

Tip #8: Offer Valuable Content and Resources

As we’ve mentioned, content marketing is a cornerstone of successful lead generation. Create high-quality content that educates and informs your target audience about their IT challenges and how your services can address them.

  • Develop Compelling Content Formats: Go beyond blog posts. Explore formats like webinars, infographics, case studies and eBooks to cater to different learning styles among your target audience.
  • Gate Valuable Content: Offer in-depth white papers, eBooks or webinars in exchange for contact information. This allows you to capture leads and build an email list for further nurturing.
  • Promote Your Content Strategically: Don’t just create content and hope people find it. Promote your content across social media channels, your website and email marketing campaigns.


Generating qualified leads is an ongoing process. By implementing some of these tips and embracing a multi-channel marketing approach, you can attract high-value prospects and fuel your MSP’s sales pipeline.

Remember, consistency is key. The most effective lead generation strategies involve a combination of tactics that work together to build brand awareness, nurture leads and ultimately convert prospects into paying clients.

Leverage Marketopia’s Expertise

At Marketopia, we understand the unique challenges MSPs face. We offer a comprehensive suite of lead generation solutions and marketing IT services designed to help you attract, nurture and convert qualified leads. From website optimization and content marketing to social media management and email campaigns, our team of experts can help you develop and execute a data-driven marketing strategy that delivers results.

For more information on how our global team of lead generation agency IT sales and marketing experts can help you achieve your growth goals, get in touch. Alternatively, see how we’ve helped MSPs like you achieve and exceed their lead generation goals here.

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1. How can I measure the success of my lead generation efforts?

There are lots of metrics you can use to measure the success of your lead generation efforts. These include:

  • Number of leads generated
  • Cost per lead (CPL)
  • Lead quality score
  • Lead conversion rate
  • Sales cycle length

Tracking these metrics allows you to identify what’s working and what’s not and to continuously optimize your lead generation strategy for maximum ROI.

2. I don’t have the time or resources to manage a comprehensive lead generation strategy myself. What are my options?

Marketopia offers a wide range of scalable lead generation solutions to fit your specific needs and budget. We provide everything from self-service tools and à la carte lead generation services to full-service, custom marketing and sales packages. Get in touch to find out more.



  1. https://kurve.co.uk/blog/b2b-marketing-statistics#:~:text=90%25%20of%20B2B%20buyers%20research,over%207%20pieces%20of%20content.
  2. https://ahrefs.com/blog/how-long-does-seo-take/
  3. https://business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions/social-selling
  4. https://salesforlife.com/social-selling/
  5. https://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Email-Statistics-Report-2014-2018-Executive-Summary.pdf?data1=FroRev
  6. https://backlinko.com/email-marketing-stats#b2b-email-marketing-statistics
  7. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/consumer-trends/b2b-mobile-experience-statistics/

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