Without a constant stream of fresh leads, you’re going to struggle to hit your sales targets this year. So how can you attract enough new enquiries to your business to ensure your sales teams have enough opportunities to follow up?
Well, you can start by avoiding these 12 deadly lead generation mistakes…
#1: Only using ONE strategy
Yes, it might work BUT you want to explore a wide range of options. Agreed you may find one that works better, is more cost-effective, accelerates movement of prospects along your pipeline etc. BUT, even if your blog is FANTASTIC at attracting new prospects, it’s always worth experimenting with additional pillars such as PPC, Facebook advertising, SEO etc.
#2: Relying solely on inbound marketing
They say content is king and inbound strategies such as content marketing definitely have big advantages. But, if you’re always waiting for leads to come to you, you’ll miss out on a heap of opportunities. The best lead generation strategies always include a complimentary mix of inbound and outbound techniques.
#3: Failing to capture leads from your website – and then nurture them
In B2B it can be hard to sell at the first visit. Therefore you need to have a robust way to capture leads and then follow up. Let’s face it, very few people will be willing to book a face-to-face meeting after receiving a cold email BUT they may be more interested if they’ve consumed some of your content and have the confidence upfront that you can help. And that’s where the right lead magnet can help. BUT it has to be a good and it must appeal to your buyer persona and directly relate to the main issues your target customers are struggling with. And once you’ve captured those all important contact details – you then need to follow up, stay in touch and nurture those leads whilst building relationships.
#4: Confusing genuine leads with enquiries
It’s well worth differentiating between a lead and an enquiry. A lead is far more likely to convert than a simple enquiry because you’ve identified the lead has the budget, a real need and is looking for a solution within a given time frame – they’re not simply expressing an interest in what you have to offer.
#5: Wasting time on non-qualified leads
It’s expensive chasing people up. So take the time upfront to qualify people so your sales teams don’t end up getting frustrated talking to individuals who are not decision makers or who are not genuinely looking for a solution to the problem your business solves.
#6: Not embracing automation
Using autoresponders and other automated follow-up processes can be a highly cost-effective way to stay in touch and nudge prospects further along the sales pipeline without the need for expensive one-to-one contact.
#7: No process
If you want to convert prospects into customers in a timely, cost-effective way, you need to have a well-defined sales process that’s designed to proactively push people further towards a close. This is where your sales playbook becomes invaluable as it provides quick and easy access to strategies and tools that work. Once you get a lead, the job of your sales process is to nurture the lead and follow-up the prospect in a timely manner – otherwise your leads will stagnate and you risk losing them to your hungry competitors.
#8: Poor visibility of your pipeline
If you don’t now what leads you’ve got and where they currently sit in your pipeline, you’re going to struggle. And that’s how an intelligent CRM tool such as Pipeliner can help you.
#9: Wasting time and money on strategies that don’t work
Just because it’s a good idea, it doesn’t mean it’s worth pursuing. The ultimate test of any lead generation strategy is the results it produces. And that means you have to test, test and test again. Keep the stuff that works and bin the stuff that doesn’t.
#10: Always looking for the cheapest option
There’s ALWAYS a cost in lead generation. Even social media, which is free, incurs a cost because there’s a time element to get it right and attract the leads you’re looking for. And whilst you will want to be cost-effective, it’s a mistake to always look for the cheapest option in lead generation. It’s often worth paying a little more to allow you to more closely target your leads and attract better quality ones.
#11: Producing poor quality lead generation collateral
With the pressure to produce content you could be tempted to rush something out. DON’T. If it’s not up to your usual standards, you’ll only undermine your reputation.
#12: Rubbish planning
Lead generation is the lifeblood of any business. If your marketing efforts fail to attract any prospects, your sales teams will struggle to make their sales targets. Therefore, don’t leave the lead generation to chance. Instead, embed into your sales pipeline and sales playbook a number of strategies designed to keep a constant flow of new prospects entering your pipeline.
So come on, own up! Which of these 12 mistakes is your business committing? Just let us know in the comments below. And if you have any proven solutions to these common lead generation problems, please share those in the comments too.