Lead generation is at the heart of most marketing teams’ goals, and it’s a challenge for nearly everyone. Here are the top three lead gen challenges that I see and suggestions on how to solve them.
Challenge #1: Lack of Leads
A lack of sufficient leads is by far the most common complaint with regard to lead generation.
Luckily, lead generation strategies today are exponentially more powerful than their pre-technology predecessors. Today you can find a variety of technology designed to help drive leads for companies, including marketing automation, website optimization, ABM software, etc.
Start with your website and make sure it’s optimized for lead generation. Add multiple calls-to-action throughout your website that are targeted to your audience and that offer valuable information. Create conversion points for all of your target personas and for all funnel stages. Develop content like e-books, webinars, checklists and infographics to create additional opportunities for engagement and conversion.
Add a lead gen arm to your traditional marketing activities, too. Use text messaging software or build a targeted landing page for your next trade show. Share your latest speaking engagement on your social media and email your database about it. The possibilities are endless.
Challenge #2: Not Enough Qualified Leads
This is the next level of lead generation. What good are leads if they’re not qualified?
In order to generate higher-quality leads, you need to narrow your focus and your targeting. Examine the channels where you’re investing your marketing spend. Are they providing ROI? What are the results?
Find out first what is the major disqualifier, and then hone in on fixing it. It’s not enough to know that leads are “disqualified.” Is it an issue of budget? Did they think you offered different services than you actually do? Are they outside of your geographic service area?
By narrowing in on specifics, you can start to optimize your marketing and sales processes to improve. If you find that your leads are generally manager-level, when your sales team needs to be talking to someone in the C-suite, then it means you should reexamine your target personas, messaging and content. Try creating content specifically tailored to the job title or level you’re looking to attract. The CMO’s Guide to Marketing Digitally, for example.
Use forms and form fields to help qualify your leads. Try using drop-down fields with choices rather than open-text fields so that you can start to segment your contact database.
Challenge #3: Not Enough Closed Leads
This is a bottom-of-the-funnel issue, and its solution almost always lies in the sales process.
Take a hard look at your sales process and evaluate the buyer’s journey. Once a lead comes into your company, what happens? How quickly is the lead contacted? By whom? By email? Phone call? What do they say?
Map out your entire sales process and begin looking for ways to create efficiencies. Chances are you’ll find the most obvious culprits almost instantly. If 90% of your leads are advancing all the way to getting proposals, but only 10% of those are closing, it’s probably a good idea to take a hard look at your proposal and everything about the way it’s delivered.
If you don’t know why you’re losing deals, just ASK. You’d be surprised how forthcoming lost opportunities can be. And the data is priceless. Update your CRM to note the reasons you’re not closing deals, and the answer to how to fix it will present itself.