Marketing executives these days are under much pressure to justify their expenses. You have to demonstrably associate every euro invested with additional sales. What contribution does marketing make to corporate success today? 20, 30, or even 50 percent? For some IT manufacturers, it is already 50% and more. The ROI or RMOI (Return On Marketing Investment) is becoming more and more critical.
Especially in the B2B environment, the days of glossy advertisements in specialist magazines are over: Today, the marketing department focuses on lead generation. This sounds easier than it is: Generate high-quality leads without resorting to ineffective tactics that only get a low conversion rate.

According to Capterra, the B2B marketer faces the big problem of generating high-quality leads: Potential customers who have a legitimate interest in actually buying. Many marketers try to invest in cheap points or even just in contacts or email addresses, with which they then literally junk their CRM. This paralyzes your own CRM, and you have to grapple with bad data. Instead, B2B marketers should focus on technologies that are worth their money.

Below we present four lead generation tools that can provide marketers with a constant flow of high-quality leads.


Marketo has developed very well over the years and positioned itself as a sophisticated and powerful marketing automation tool for the high-end market. Marketo has very compelling email marketing features, including detailed website tracking and landing pages/forms.

Marketo offers perfect integration with Salesforce. A feature that I particularly appreciate about Marketo is its original forms, so-called SmartForms, which recognize existing contacts and (without you having to fill out a form again) automatically offer content for download.In any case, that you are searching for a modestsolution due to your tight budget, Marketo is not an option.

What comes after lead generation? The lead qualification.
Here you will find the optimal follow-up.

Quick overview (lead management bundle)

  • Lead scoring, segmentation, and maintenance
  • Landing pages and smart forms
  • Email functions
  • CRM integration
  • A / B tests
  • Social media tools

As is frequently the situation with such broad marketing automation tools, you should know correctly which features you need and coordinate them with your sales department because the cost depends on the features you use and the number of contacts you have.

Setting up such a system yourself and using all options right from the start requires a high level of expertise. You’d instead benefit from the experience of experts who have already set up such systems for many other customers and also have know-how in inbound content marketing.


Pardot is part of the Salesforce world and offers comprehensive integration with the CRM system. It has all of the features youhave expect from a marketing automation platform, but the learning curve and pricing is high.

Pardot takes time to get used to, and the user interface is not particularly intuitive. For those who are not technically savvy or for those who are new to marketing automation, it will take time to understand and use this tool. As with Marketo, it is best to use the experience of experts, then reduce the implementation phase significantly.

Quick overview

  1. 10,000 contacts
  2. Unlimited users
  3. Unlimited emails
  4. 50 lead nurturing campaigns
  5. 50 landing pages
  6. 50 forms
  7. 100 keywords for tracking
  8. Custom URL for landing pages
  9. CRM integration

Pardot is an excellent marketing automation tool for the upper-middle class and for large companies that use Salesforce in particular. If you don’t need a Salesforce integration, consider another platform that offers a better user experience at a lower price.


HubSpot is now a well-known player in the marketing automation market and the epitome of the inbound methodology. Nowadays, it is much more than a marketing automation tool. It offers an all-in-one marketing solution for companies, especially for the entire SME sector, from start-ups to top medium-sized companies. The marketer retains control over his content, his channels, and his marketing performance. A big plus point is the integration of HubSpot, which makes the platform an all-rounder.

Quick overview

  • Blogging
  • SEO
  • Social media
  • Website designer
  • Lead management
  • Landing pages
  • Calls-to-Action
  • Marketing automation
  • Lead scoring
  • Emails
  • Analytics
  • CRM synchronization

HubSpot is a closed system whose focus is very clearly on generating leads. It supports small marketing departments in many individual disciplines. A customer pays monthly license fees for a certain number of contacts. The entry-level version with 100 contacts is currently (as of July 2016) at 185.00 EUR per month. However, it is advisable to start right away with the Pro version, which includes marketing automation, lead scoring, smart call-to-action, and lead management.


American B2B sales professionals love LinkedIn Sales Navigator. It’s an excellent tool for self-identifying leads. In addition to the first recommendations, you can see who has viewed your profile, and the device enables professionals to save directly from the application in their own CRM.

Short overview

  1. 15 InMail ™ messages
  2. Who viewed your profile?
  3. Sales Insights
  4. Unrestricted profile search – including 3rd-degree contacts
  5. Advanced search with Lead Builder
  6. Recommend and save leads

LinkedIn offers a free trial (Professional Edition) for one month – after that, it costs € 47.99 / month; The Team Edition is also enjoyable.

Note: LinkedIn Sales Navigator is not suitable for directly sending email blasts to contacts. As a marketer, you should better support your salespeople with appropriate content that they can send to these leads on a personal basis. In this way, you offer your sales and lead to real added value.

For all Chrome users: Mention should be made of the LinkedIn HubSpot Connector as a Chrome plugin, enabling you to synchronize contacts and messages with one click in the HubSpot CRM – a handy tool in combination with HubSpot.


There are many ways to generate leads. The right tools turn a contact into a point and turn it into a real prospect. HubSpot, with its holistic approach as all-in-one marketing software, is a proper solution for entry-level and also for marketing departments of medium-sized companies to get more out of the marketing budget and to make a measurable contribution to the company’s success. Marketo and Pardot are also convincing marketing tools, but they are not that easy to master.