lead generation

In order to survive all businesses must have an effective lead generation process in place. Whether in B2B or B2C across all sectors, a system should be in place to bring in high quality enquiries that have the potential to convert.

In B2B companies it is not uncommon for a lot of time to be spent setting up ineffective, often overly complex, lead generation processes. These are often never reviewed and subsequently, problems in the sales funnel develop or prospect drop off points go unnoticed.

Luckily, these issues, once identified are usually easy to resolve. Here are the top problems we see in B2B lead generation and how to fix them.

1. Sending Users to a Generic Web Page

Imagine spending hours carefully crafting a perfectly worded ad or organising and running a well-thought-out campaign only to direct potential leads to a homepage that has little to no relevance to the users who clicked in the first place.

Homepages can be daunting for visitors new to your business; most homepages offer an array of navigational choices, covering all services and content – most of which will be unhelpful and irrelevant for those engaging off the back of a very specific ad or touchpoint. According to MECLABS 44% of clicks generated by B2B companies direct users to the homepage rather than landing pages. This increases your bounce rate and could cost you that lead, forever.

The solution? Specific landing pages. If you are running ads or campaigns it is worth taking the time for lead generation to create specific landing pages with tailored sales messaging and the right calls to action. For example, you may have an ad promoting small business loans with the call to action being ‘Find Out More’.

The page they land on should have the information about the small business loans your company offers (to match your call to action), as well as either a tailored contact form or phone number to speak to someone. This way the lead is being nurtured through this journey from discovery to enquiry, without getting lost in other business noise along the way.

2. Not Having Effective Calls to Action

It is not enough to assume that your potential customers will seek out a way to contact you, the web gives access to hundreds of companies ready to compete for the same lead, so ensuring they don’t need to dance around the web to find out to get in touch is vital to converting prospects.

Calls to Action (CTAs) should be at the top of your list when creating any type of content, but as many as 70% of small business b2b websites lack a call to action. From blog posts, to paid advertising, to newsletters and even at the end of phone calls. It is vital that these users know what action they need to take next, whether that be filling out a contact form, downloading an eBook or picking up the phone.

Leaving prospective leads scratching their head wondering what the next step of their journey is, is only going to cause frustration and push them further into the arms of a competitor.

How can you remedy this? It is easy, make sure every piece of content created by your sales and marketing team has a call to action, not everything needs force a macro conversion, even micro ones assist consumers on their way through the sales funnel, the most important thing is that each point of contact with your business has an action and next step attached.

3. Failing to Follow Up

Sales reps can sometimes be so focused in bringing in new leads into the pipeline that they forget about the prospects that are already progressing through the funnel. This can cause them to miss signals that these qualified leads and opportunities are ready to convert or mean that they give up too soon with reaching out to those who have been quiet for a little while.

Connecting to potential consumers can take several attempts in the business world, unlike B2C consumers, businesses all have their own deadlines, their own objectives and leads to generate, which can cause them to become distracted at a moment’s notice.

Some sales reps simply fail to follow up on useful and specific content that is sent out to a lead, not jumping on the opportunity to speak to the stakeholders in the organisation about how your business is right for their needs.

To resolve this, you need to train your sales reps to stay on top of every lead in the pipeline. Contact active leads regularly ensuring that the line of communication stays open and your business stays at the forefront of their mind. There is also software that can be integrated into CRM systems like Salesforce, allowing sales teams to identify when a lead has moved down the funnel and is shifting from consideration to action.

4.  Not Checking the Effectiveness of Content

Businesses that rely on content being sent at certain stages in the sales funnel often make the mistake of not making sure that the content being shared is actually effective.

Once a piece of content is introduced into the nurturing process, sales reps often forget to check how well it is doing and, by not doing so, they could be sending out a piece of content that no prospective consumer wants to engage with, causing leads to drop out, rather than move to the next step.

The simple tweaking of existing content or creation of more focused content can give dramatic improvements to customer conversion rates and actively progress them further down the funnel

The easiest way to do this is to use sales enablement software by companies such as Data Dwell, this can be integrated into your pipeline process and helps sales reps identify the weakest performing content, allowing them to change it out for something that may be more successful at converting those potential leads.

Also, content should be monitored regularly, what works one month may not the next, so it is important to stay on top of it.

5. Using Generic Messaging

It can be tempting to just use the same messaging to target everyone, no matter the product, service or sector. One version of copy and one landing page for each product or service does sound simpler, and it will appeal to everyone, right?

Wrong. Being too generic with your content and advertising severely dilutes your messages. If each piece of marketing material doesn’t speak to a specific audience, you are guaranteed to miss addressing their pain points or offer relevant, tailored solutions to remedy them, simply because you are trying to cover everything for everyone.

Instead, sales should work together with marketing to build out the personas of your target audiences. These should then be used to create content that is personalised to each persona type, use content as a means of specifically targeting the leads your business wants, rather than just anyone that will come across it.

These are just some of the common problems faced by B2B businesses when trying to generate leads, addressing even just one of these will improve the process and generate better results.

Adam Little is the Chief Marketing Officer at Data Dwell, providers of digital asset management and sales enablement software. Sales enablement software makes your business’ content work harder for marketers and sales teams, the software boasts being Salesforce’s only 100% native Sales Enablement App.

Lead generation stock photo by one photo/Shutterstock