How to Generate Sales Leads Without Cold Calling in B2B? 4 Alternatives

September 18, 2023

ViB Editorial Team


Topics we'll cover

You’re on another fun and exciting episode of: Time to Cold Call and Generate Sales Leads!  

It’s a dreary Monday morning, and you find yourself trapped in a seemingly never-ending cycle of making these cold calls. Call after call followed by disappointment. One voice after another expressing how unimpressed they are with the unexpected interruption

You can’t help but think: How can I get sales leads without cold calling?! Your call count is at 37. Your success rate is at zero. You push your chair back, bury your face in your hands, and think to yourself: there has got to be a better way! 

photo of woman frustrated and holding a phone as if to be wondering how to generate sales leads without cold calling

The good news is there’s absolutely a better way to generate B2B sales leads without cold calling.

The better news is, being the astute B2B marketer that you are, all these ways won’t be too unfamiliar: I’m talking about using appointment setters, intent data, webinars and syndicated content — and some easy ways you can get started with each tactic.

Is cold calling an effective prospecting method?

There was a time when cold calling was the bread and butter for generating sales leads. But in today’s tech savvy landscape, is cold calling worth it?   

Digital interactions dominate today, making the traditional approach of cold calling feels increasingly pushy, and quite frankly sometimes rude. With a 2% success rate, the numbers speak for themselves

I’m not saying to completely ditch your cold calling strategy, but more of consider what it could feel like to have your busy day interrupted by an unexpected call. Not to mention eight. Yep. In B2B tech marketing, it takes an average of 8 calls to get a live tech prospect on the phone. 

The constant barrage of unsolicited calls, and data non-compliance concerns, have made people less receptive to cold calls. For a pretty time-consuming strategy, cold calling still makes it challenging to capture your B2B tech prospects

The ‘cold’ touch also makes it more of a top of funnel lead generation strategy. Prospects might not know your brand and need some time to be worked into qualified leads (aka lead nurturing).

Generating sales leads means capturing prospects who are more ready to buy — such as those with a clearer awareness of their challenges, options, and even budget or timeline.

Is it really possible to generate qualified b2b sales leads, from the get-go? I got you covered.

4 alternatives to cold calling to generate qualified leads

In this blog, I’ll unpack a host of innovative alternatives to cold calling that generate sales leads, eliminate the hassle, and resonate more succinctly with today’s modern audience. 

By adopting these tactics, you can generate qualified sales leads, and nurture them just like cold calling, but without the side of time-suckage. Sounds like a win-win situation, right? 

So, how to generate sales leads without cold calling? 

Let’s get into it.

1 - Schedule meetings easily with pay per appointment lead generation

Picture this: Your team focuses on showcasing your offerings and closing deals, while experts handle prospecting and nurturing. That’s precisely what B2B appointment setting services are about.

Instead of dedicating internal resources or relying on traditional cold calling methods, you can skip the whole process. Simply outsource this critical prospecting stage to appointment setting agencies or outsourced Sales Development Representatives (SDRs)

This way, you receive only the end result — scheduled appointments with prospects who are genuinely interested in a conversation or demo.

Chew on this: 90% of B2B marketers find appointment setting effective in generating leads. In fact, it’s the third most effective channel, following crowd favorites like SEO and virtual events. Yet, only 21% of marketers are prioritizing it in their strategies.

Graph of Effectiveness of marketing channels - B2B Marketing Trends Report ViB

Plus, unlike cold calling, several appointment setting services do offer a pay per appointment model, helping you plan your sales play and meet your quotas with so much more predictability.

Appointment setting isn’t a widely known strategy — so if you need more help navigating this tactic, this guide should come in handy: 5 Strategies to Improve Your Pipeline Performance with B2B Appointment Setting. There, we talk about how to best evaluate and collaborate with vendors too.

ViB’s unique pay per appointment setting solution

If you’re looking for pay per lead appointment setting services, here’s where ViB’s unique approach shines. 

Unlike traditional appointment setting services that may involve pushy cold calls as well, ViB Appointments take a different path. 

Using a platform with millions of high tech decision makers, we engage with potential buyers who willingly seek to connect with you.

Here’s how ViB Appointments works:

  1. Decision makers join our community to discover emerging technologies.
  2. We introduce your solution on our community portal to target members.
  3. members voluntarily opt in to meet you if they’re interested in your solution — so there’s no need for intrusive pitches or uncomfortable cold calls.

The result? 

Sales leads that convert into opportunities — usually at a 50% conversion rate!

So, as you explore pay-per-appointment lead generation, consider the benefits of a no cold calling approach, to really get genuine interest and meaningful connections.

For more specs, watch this on-demand walkthrough of ViB Appointments’ approach and three success stories from demand generation leaders from Google, Automation Anywhere, and Ermetic.

Hear how 3 B2B marketers leaders from Google, Automation Anywhere and Ermetic are leveraging ViB Appointments to drive sales results, through this bite-sized video walkthrough.

2 - Find pre qualified business opportunity leads and their intent data

How do you know what your prospects are looking for? Are they ready for a demo? What problems resonate with them? How much budget do they have for a solution like yours?

Understanding your prospects’ intent is key to guiding them through the sales funnel effectively. To do that, marketers use intent data.

B2B intent data provides insights into a prospect’s likelihood to make a purchase decision. This information helps you tailor your content and messaging to align with their specific needs and preferences.

There are plenty of B2B intent data providers to choose from, which we break down in our guide too. 

Go for zero-party and first-party data sources

Now, this isn’t just about data; it’s about generating high-quality sales leads. 

My top tip: work with providers who tap into zero-party and first-party data channels to make sure your insights are as accurate and relevant as possible — especially if you’re looking to generate leads that are sales-ready. These channels involve direct interactions with your consumers

Third or second-party data channels, in contrast, involve various sources, usually aggregated across the public web. When providers notice online behavior such as multiple visits to cybersecurity-related blogs and forums by employees within a specific company, they can identify this as an intent signal. 

The main caveat is these indirect third-party signals usually represent top-of-funnel interest and require a bit of nurturing before you get close to the sale.

With zero and first-party data, you can reveal more “hidden” insights such as their explicit interest, the decision-makers involved, competitors being evaluated, budget concerns, and their readiness for the next steps.

Graph of intent data points collected as part of ViB Deal Intent's unique zero-party data collection approach

So are there providers that offer zero party intent data for lead generation?

Introducing Deal Intent: a deal intent data solution that captures leads who are actively looking for solutions in your market, and delivers zero-party sourced deal intelligence.

Especially if you’re a startup trying to break into a market, or need to generate sales leads pronto, Deal Intent is your best bet to skip the prospecting and even part of the nurturing phases, since the leads come with a verified need and budget for a solution.

Need more info about this unique intent data solution? Catch an on-demand solution walkthrough to get your questions answered.

Discover everything you need to know about ViB Deal Intent, including how it works, the challenges it solves, and its success stories so far, through our comprehensive video walkthrough.

3 - Use pay-per-download content syndication to generate engaged leads

Can you drive conversions upfront with content? Absolutely. 

Content syndication marketing allows you to amplify the impact of your valuable content, and convert new viewers into leads — by tapping into a third-party database, usually through a vendor. 

Broadly, content syndication works by sharing your well-crafted blogs, visuals, and other content pieces with reputable third-party websites, industry publications, and online platforms. These B2B content syndication platforms then feature your content on their channels, exposing it to their established audience base.

To generate sales leads specifically, I’m talking about syndicating high-value and gated content, especially guides, whitepapers, market research reports, and webinars.

Psst, I’ve broken down all the paid vs. free content syndication options, in detail, and also discussed which works best for tech companies.

The main benefits of content syndication are that you can reach audiences you might not have been able to access on your own. 

And like with webinars, your content functions as an engagement tool. Content is a fantastic resource to build your brand, share thought leadership, introduce your offerings and value, and ultimately nurture your audience into sales leads.

Thumbnail of ViB Guide - The ultimate quickstart guide to B2B tech brand storytelling
Get simple tips on how to resonate with your tech audience with a unique brand story, and infuse it in every marketing campaign you launch.

How to successfully collaborate with a content syndication platform or vendor

Working with a vendor can feel a little daunting — I know. To make the most of your content syndication marketing strategy, here are some helpful tips

  • Opt for a pay per download model: Instead of syndicating your content on platforms that deliver impressions and clicks, there’s a better way: Go for a pay per lead, aka pay per download model in this context. This way, you can generate more engaged leads and their contact info. 
  • Choose reputable partners: Collaborate with trusted and relevant websites and publications to get more qualified and relevant sales leads in turn. Choose the best B2B content syndication service providers by clearly evaluating their industry, targeting, and approach.
  • Offer value before the pitch: When generating new leads with your content, remember to adapt your asset to suit a brand new audience. Empathize with their pain points, offer helpful frameworks and tips, and then introduce how you can help as a solution provider.
  • Monitor performance: Testing multiple vendors? Keep track of how your content performs on different syndication platforms. Measure leads generated from each source and how well the leads convert through the sales journey. This data will help you identify the most effective partnerships and refine your content syndication strategy.
  • Build long-term partnerships: Cultivate strong relationships with your syndication partners. That’s how we like to do things at ViB too. Long-term collaborations can lead to more visibility and continuous exposure to new audiences.
What is ViB Syndication datasheet - B2B demand generation services

Think through Syndication with our
one-page datasheet

4 - Scale a webinar marketing strategy with an attendee guarantee

Most of us have probably used virtual events in our lead generation campaigns. That’s great. Now, it’s time to ramp that up.

Webinar marketing involves hosting virtual events, or even on-demand videos, to drive new sign-ups and attract new prospects, or to engage existing leads. 

Because webinars give you time to engage with your audience as they view your presentation and content, this strategy helps you yield impressive qualified leads at the same time.

Webinars by merging the advantages of two realms: live engagement and online accessibility. Participants can actively engage via Q&A segments, polls, and chat functions, ensuring a lively and interactive experience. Geographic limitations are non-existent; with digital event platforms, you can reach global audiences with ease.

How to nail a webinar marketing strategy

Here is a quick hit list to make sure your webinar marketing strategy succeeds in completing its main objective: 

  • Define clear objectives: Whether it’s educating your audience, showcasing your tech solutions, or generating leads: make sure you are delivering value to your audience.
  • Choose the right topic: Select a topic that is relevant, timely, and aligns with your target audience’s interests and pain points. 
  • Plan engaging content: Create dynamic content to hold attendees’ attention throughout the webinar, generate great ROI, and avoid webinar fatigue. Keep your agenda time-efficient too, with around 45 minutes being the sweet spot.
  • Actively promote your webinar: Webinar promotion is what determines your results! Spread the word about your webinar through various channels, such as social media, email campaigns, and your website.
  • Send reminders: Send timely reminders to registered attendees with the webinar details and any preparatory materials. This will ensure they don’t miss the event and come prepared.
  • Repurpose: After the event, you can repurpose the recorded session as on-demand content, creating a lasting resource that continues to attract leads long after the live event. 

Webinar promotion tips

Don’t forget, the best webinar in the world means nothing if no one attends. From nailing timing and messaging to how to increase webinar attendance, to reviewing successes and areas for improvement, here is everything you need to know for how professionals conduct successful webinars. 

You might be thinking, “Woah, that’s a lot,” particularly if you’re new to webinars. Whether it’s your first time or you’ve hosted countless sessions, there’s an appeal to letting someone else handle the heavy lifting. 

If the idea of managing another webinar feels daunting, consider ViB Webinars, a turnkey virtual event management solution for the B2B tech industry. With minimal legwork required by you, ViB manages all the prep work. And, ViB gets you in front of a millions-strong community so you’ll be sure to generate guaranteed leads.

ViB’s demand generation process: How does it work?

If you skimmed this article looking for the secret to guaranteeing high quality sales leads, I’ll let you fully in on it.

ViB is a demand generation agency that has created a dynamic network of professionals eager to stay updated on industry innovations. 

And not just a couple hundred, or a couple thousand. But over 10,000,000 tech decision makers. They form the ViB Community, which we’ve been growing and nurturing for over a decade.

Through the ViB Community portal, members receive recommended content, event notifications, and interact with emerging solution providers. These engaged users willingly provide their contact information, LinkedIn profiles, job titles, company details, and have expressed an interest in various products and/or services. 

Opting for a demand generation agency like ViB grants you access to warm leads, and prospects already showing interest in connecting with businesses like yours. This warm start gives you an edge, as these leads are more likely to be receptive and convert into real sales opportunities. On the contrary, starting with cold leads can be more time-consuming and challenging, requiring considerable nurturing.

Your all-in-one solution to B2B demand generation

ViB is a powerful and inexpensive B2B marketing and sales intelligent platform that meets all your demand generation and intent data marketing needs. 

Whether you’re looking for new ways to generate sales leads without cold calling, or even to create brand awareness, and drive thought leadership, we have a solution for you. 

Here’s a breakdown of how you can turbocharge your marketing and sales with us:


Generate targeted tech leads for your message, offer, or event


Generate pipeline by meeting prospects who match your ideal customer profile


Generate new content downloads with leads who may never find you organically

Deal Intent

Generate leads with active projects, and explicit intent data from the source


Generate a fully planned live or simulated live webinar with a lead guarantee


Generate custom research on your buyers to create data-backed content 

ViB’s B2B demand generation solutions

1. Email marketing services:

ViB Emails offer a powerful top-of-funnel tactic to drive awareness and generate leads. By leveraging your existing email content and call-to-action (CTA), ViB will resend it to members of their community that align with your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).

This strategic approach ensures an instant boost in awareness and a significant increase in CTA engagements. On average, clients experience around 30 CTA engagements per email, making it an effective way to capture the attention of potential leads.

2. Appointment setting services:

ViB Appointments is a great way to generate mid-funnel leads for your sales team. We share your message with professionals in their opted-in community. Those members can then apply to meet with you if your solution aligns with their needs.

This unique approach delivers high-quality appointments that convert to opportunities at an average of 30-60%.

The coolest feature? Our pay per appointment lead generation pricing allows you to control how much you spend. 

3. Content syndication:

ViB Syndication presents a powerful top-of-funnel strategy to drive downloads of your high-value content. ViB proactively promotes your preferred content to their community, aligning with your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).

As a result, typical clients experience a minimum of 200 quality leads and an immediate amplification of their content, reaching a broader and more engaged audience. This tactic ensures increased visibility and generates valuable leads eager to explore your offerings.

4. Webinar planning and promotion:

ViB Webinars offer a seamless webinar experience tailored to your needs, complete with a choice of registrant or attendee guarantee. All you need to do is provide us with your topic and speakers, and we’ll handle everything from planning to promotion to hosting to tracking to ensuring a successful event.

At the end of the webinar, you can expect a guaranteed number of leads, making it an excellent top-of-funnel tactic to raise awareness about your solutions with minimal effort on your part. 

5. Custom market research:

ViB Research offers a remarkable opportunity to obtain analyst-level insights to create a wealth of high-value content.

Through a collaborative process, ViB will co-design a research survey tailored to your needs and target audience. The survey will then be promoted to the relevant members of the ViB Community, ensuring you receive valuable feedback from a minimum of 200-300 respondents.

From the gathered data, typical clients generate over a dozen pieces of compelling, data-backed content.

6. Deal intent data:

ViB Deal Intent is an exceptional mid to bottom-of-funnel tactic for generating leads that have been thoroughly verified as actively evaluating solutions within your market segment(s).

With ViB’s unique approach, you’ll receive sales-ready leads who have willingly shared intelligence on their decision-making process and timelines. Moreover, these prospects have given explicit permission for you to contact them, providing you with an opportunity to engage in a warm conversation.

screenshot of trial pricing and options for vib's flagship b2b demand generation solutions

Want to experience our unique approach to B2B demand generation with a low to no cost trial?

The world of demand generation agencies isn’t one-size-fits-all. So, finding a flexible, tailor-made solution is key. 

Not sure if we’re the right fit? Play it safe with our no-risk test drives.👆

Generate your best sales leads without cold calling today

B2B sales lead generation has evolved, and it’s time to embrace new, innovative methods that deliver better results with less effort than traditional cold calling.

Remember, modern-day industries thrive on innovation, and by adopting these strategies, you position yourself as a forward-thinking marketer or salesperson who knows how to adapt to the changing times. Your competitors may still be stuck in the cold calling rut, but you have the knowledge and tools to rise above the noise.

As you embark on this journey, keep ViB in your sights — a powerful resource filled with potential clients eager to explore the solutions you have to offer. By leveraging this treasure trove of qualified leads, you can elevate your sales game to new heights, add millions to your pipeline, and never again, drown in unanswered calls.

Need more info to get started with B2B lead generation?

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