As B2B marketers, we want to generate leads for the sales team. After all, delivering more leads increases the likelihood of winning more sales. Therefore, it’s a cause for concern when the numbers aren’t as high as we might like. And it can be disheartening when it appears that your carefully-crafted marketing campaigns are failing to make a discernible impact.
Often, however, there is a simple explanation for what’s going wrong. By diagnosing the problem, you can provide the right treatment and improve your lead generation process.
So, are you making any of these common B2B lead generation mistakes?
1. Your data is old and dirty
Databases decay by as much as 40 per cent every year and, often, the original sources of some of your contact records weren’t accurate in the first place. If it’s been a while since you’ve given your data some TLC, you should look to have it cleaned and, perhaps, freshened up with new data.
2. You haven’t optimised your database
Often our databases are added to somewhat haphazardly – an email address here, a phone number there. When looked at in its entirety, then, the database is full of holes. It would be worthwhile remedying that by adding in the missing data, which will allow you to maximise the effectiveness of your lead generation campaigns.
3. You haven’t segmented your data
Segmenting should be done both before you launch campaigns and after the results of campaigns have been analysed. Segmenting before you design campaigns allows you to tailor them to each target segment. And after you run a campaign you should further segment your data based on what you learn from the results.
4. Ignoring the buyer’s journey
Not every visitor to your site will be at the same stage in the buyer’s journey – for instance, a first-time visitor is unlikely to be ready to purchase straightaway. You need different content for each stage so that you help prospects whether they are researching how best to deal with their challenges or are ready to make a decision. You need a content strategy.
5. Failing to understand your ideal customer/ audience
Irrelevant offers won’t grab or hold the attention of your target audience. This point is related to the one above. Without truly understanding the needs and the motivations of your prospects, you risk creating content or offers that don’t resonate with them.
It’s important to do your research and not to make assumptions. For example, you might speak with your sales and customer service teams, who have insight from existing customers. You should also leverage your existing database to profile your customers, getting a deeper understanding of their characteristics.
6. Unconvincing CTAs
If your calls to action are hidden or hard to spot on the page or if they lack “pop” or action words, they just won’t work well. It sounds obvious but many marketers sacrifice effectiveness for design aesthetics, preferring their CTAs to “fit” with the look and feel of the site.
7. Too many CTAs
With too many CTAs you overload your visitors with noise – they don’t know where to look or are conflicted with too many choices.
8. Bad landing pages
If your landing pages make it difficult for your visitors, you set the hurdle too high and risk losing prospects before they convert. This is often done by creating tedious forms that ask for too much information too soon or by not making it clear what the visitor should do – e.g. providing too much information, not spelling out the benefits of filling out the form, or placing links or other CTAs on the page.
9. No value offered
You want something for nothing with your offers. If you are asking for people’s contact details, you need to be offering value in return. The amount of information you are asking for needs to be commensurate with the value of the offer. A subscription to your newsletter probably only merits a name and email address, whereas if you’re offering a detailed “how to” guide or technical white paper you can ask for more information.
10. There is a disconnect between CTAs and landing pages
Sometimes a CTA offers something different from its corresponding landing page – this “bait and switch” erodes trust and kills conversions. Prospects notice that disconnect and it risks annoying them. Make sure the promise your CTA makes is delivered by the landing page and its offer.
11. You’re too general
Your messaging and content is broad and top-level. You think you are appealing to the widest audience so as not to miss out on potential leads, but people are looking to solve specific problems they have, not general ones. You become really valuable when you dig deep.
12. You’re poorly positioned
You haven’t differentiated yourself from others. It’s hard to catch the eye of a prospect when you look the same as your competitors. Sometimes we worry about missing opportunities if we focus on a niche but trying to be all things to all people is unconvincing.
13. You try to be everywhere
Focus on where your customers are, not where the hype says you should be – for instance, don’t bother with Facebook if your audience isn’t there.
14. Your efforts are disconnected
Use multi-channel/ cross-channel marketing campaigns to deliver a consistent set of messages and offers – don’t confuse your prospects with disconnected, scattergun approaches.
15. You focus on features and benefits instead of on customer challenges, concerns and interests
You are being “marketer-centric” rather than “customer-centric” in your communications. Prospects are humans and, as such, care about their own challenges, not about the bells and whistles of your product.
16. You don’t convey credibility
Show, don’t tell. Don’t claim expertise; demonstrate it through your helpful, knowledgeable content. All of your competitors claim they have the best product or service too. The best way to convince a prospect that you are the real deal is to show them that you know your stuff rather than simply telling them.
17. You aren’t optimising your top site pages for lead generation
Traffic to most websites is focused on a handful of pages. This is where most visitors spend their time so take advantage of that by ensuring you have optimised conversion options for them. By not doing that you potentially miss low-hanging fruit.
As B2B marketers, we are focused on generating high-quality leads. If you’re finding that your efforts are not bearing fruit in the way that you might have expected, it may well simply be a case of needing to tweak something here and there. These mistakes are easy to make – but the good news is that they are also easy to remedy.