Lead generation can be a very complex aspect of both marketing and sales within a business. Within your current lead generation strategy, there could be certain parts that are limiting your results. In this article, we have looked at some of these limiting factors and included some ways to avoid them.
Choosing the Wrong Method
The results from your lead generation campaign will rely heavily on your chosen marketing method. When using the right method, you can create an effective and sustainable process for generating new business opportunities and can accelerate your business’ rate of growth. If you are using the wrong method, you may as well be pouring your lead generation budget down the toilet. Before beginning a lead generation campaign, you need to establish which method will work best for you and your team, which will be most effective at reaching your prospects, and which will most efficiently achieve your goals and objectives. When deciding on your method, your primary focus should be on your prospective customers.
Who are they?
What do they do?
What are their daily habits?
What are their preferred methods of communication?
Essentially, you need to create a buyer persona. This buyer persona should include information, such as that included above, and should help you to establish which method fits best with your prospective customers.
Say that you offer business accounting and finance solutions, your buyer persona could look similar to the following:
From the buyer persona, it may be safe to assume that they will be too busy to take an unscheduled call.
From this information, you could choose to go with email marketing as they may be more receptive and able to respond to your emails, or you can choose to go with telemarketing and tailor your approach to make your interactions convenient for the prospect.
Additionally, this information tells you that content marketing might not be the best method to implement, as if they are constantly busy, they won’t be spending a great deal of time consuming content.
Although your prospects should be one of, if not your primary concern when deciding on your marketing method, you need to make sure that your chosen strategy is viable for your business.
If you decide that you are going to run a telemarketing campaign, but you don’t have the time, expertise, or workforce to run the campaign, you are unlikely to see the results you were hoping for. In this case, you could reconsider your chosen method, or you could look into other options such as outsourcing.
Whatever approach you choose to take, never take on more than you can handle because you could not only end up wasting your lead generation investment, but you could also unintentionally damage your professional reputation.
Using the Wrong Strategy
Even if you have identified the most effective method to use for your lead generation campaign, you still need to make sure that your strategy for this method is suitable as well. Implementing the wrong strategy can have disastrous effects on the results of your campaign, so it’s important to conduct thorough research into various strategies to identify which will be the most effective.
Just as with identifying your lead generation method, you will need to focus on your customer. This time, rather than focusing on who they are and what they do, you will need to focus on their behaviour and habits in relation to your chosen marketing method.
Say you have chosen email marketing; you will need to consider how the customer typically uses email, what content will resonate with them, and how you can tailor your campaign based on their regular habits and behaviour. When considering this, you could ask yourself the following questions:
What information will be of the most value to the customer?
Which type of design will be most appropriate for my audience?
Will my subject line spark interest, or disengagement?
What call-to-action is both relevant to the customer, and my objectives?
With this information, you can begin to construct the main body of the email based on what your customers will value the most. Additionally, you should also consider the specifics of your campaign:
What type of device will they be likely to read the email on?
How can I optimise the email for this device?
What date and time will they be more likely to open my email?
What country are they in?
Will I have to schedule the email to suit their time zone?
Are there any keywords related to my business that could trigger spam filters?
After answering these questions, you can begin to optimise the specifics of your email marketing campaign, in order to maximise deliverability and email open rate.
Without taking the time to consider what is relevant to your customers, what they would like to see, and the specific delivery details of your campaign, your emails will likely remain unopened, deleted or stuck in spam filters.
The same goes for all marketing campaigns, if you’re not putting the customer first, you’ll likely fall at the first hurdle, and lose your marketing investment while doing so.
Lacklustre Website Design
When attempting to generate leads, no matter what method you use, there should be one place that you are directing your prospects to – your website.
Your website should be where your prospects go to find out more information about your business, what it is that you do, why you do it, and how you could benefit their business.
As well as including a range of relevant content pieces such as articles, case studies, video testimonials etc., there is one particular aspect of your website that can make or break your lead generation results – the design.
With a website, the user experience is everything. If your website design is unappealing or the layout makes it a chore to use, then your audience won’t use it – it’s that simple. Having an old-fashioned, poorly designed and slow website will result in an increase in your website’s bounce rate.
Your website’s bounce rate is one of the key metrics that you need to focus on when using your website as part of your lead generation process. Bounce rate is the percentage of sessions in which your users made no interaction with any aspect of the landing page and instead left your site.
According to Forbes, 38% of users will leave a website if the layout is unattractive, if the images fail to load, and if the website’s load times are lengthy. That's a lot of potential business opportunities to miss out on, especially for design reasons.
Regularly re-evaluating your design and re-arranging parts of your site to keep the design fresh is key in keeping bounce rate to a minimum, and maintaining your website as a key aspect of your lead generation strategy.
Taking an Aggressive Approach
There are still many marketers and salespeople out there that believe the aggressive, or ‘hard sell’ approach is key when generating leads. Although the aggressive approach might have been effective in the past, customer behaviour has changed, and people are now looking for more valuable interactions with a business rather than being rushed through the sales process. You have likely been the target of the hard sell approach before, whether it has been over the phone, via email marketing, or receiving a sales message 30 seconds after connecting with someone on LinkedIn.
More than likely you have been frustrated at being on the receiving end of someone pushing you to make a decision and it has probably affected your perception of their business. This won’t be any different for your prospects.
Your brand image and reputation can greatly affect your lead generation efforts. With a positive brand image and well-established reputation, you can maintain a steady lead generation strategy. With a poor brand image and questionable reputation however, you are shooting yourself in the foot so-to-speak.
So instead of taking a gung-ho approach to your lead generation, focus on delivering an exceptional service that they will remember.
Your attitude and attentiveness to your prospects will be long remembered after your offerings have been forgotten; so whether you are making your first direct interaction with your prospects, or following up with older leads, it’s important to provide as much value where you can, and promote a positive brand image that will last.
Not Qualifying Your Leads
Qualifying your leads is essential for ensuring that your campaign results have been worth the investment of time, money and resources. If you aren’t qualifying your leads, you could end up using all of your company resources on smaller opportunities that will provide little value to your business and could slow your rate of growth. Setting qualification criteria that your leads will have to meet such as the size of a prospect, the location of said prospect and what it is they are looking for, will help you to separate the high-quality leads from those that just aren’t the right fit. If your campaign results consist of leads that are of a higher quality, you are going to see a significant increase in your ROI and a potential increase rate of growth as a result.
Another point to mention is that as well as establishing whether an opportunity is worth pursuing, qualifying your leads will help to determine whether you will be able to handle certain opportunities and prevent you from biting off more than you can chew.
When you are a small or medium-sized business, and a huge opportunity falls into your lap it is tempting to run with it believing that it could help your business massively but you need to pause and assess whether it is viable for you to take on.
The dangers of taking on more than you can handle are that you can end up falling short on your promises to the customer, and provide a lower quality product or service. This, of course can result in damage to your professional reputation which can lead to the loss of further opportunities of this size later down the road.
Unfortunately, sometimes businesses must face the pain of having to turn down a business opportunity in order to maintain their level of service, uphold company values and maintain their integrity.
To Wrap Up
To effectively generate leads you need to take the time to conduct thorough research into who your target audience is, how to reach them and what they want to see, and then use this information to build your strategy. Your website can be one of your most effective tools for generating interest with your prospects and as such, you should regularly review the design to keep your website fresh and keep bounce rate to a minimum. To generate quality leads and nurture them, you need to take a more value-focused approach rather than the hard-sell approach. This can help to build a strong brand image and a good reputation within your market. Qualifying your leads can help to improve their quality and maximise your campaign ROI. Additionally, qualifying your leads can help you identify which leads are viable for you to pursue, and which leads are currently out of your league.