Generating a steady pipeline of leads is the key to growing one’s business.
Many people choose to tackle their own lead generation with varying results. We are going to walk through the most common lead generation mistakes people make when generating leads in-house (and how to overcome them). By the end of this article, you will have a clearer understanding of what lead generation is and how you can go about reviving your own DIY lead generation efforts.
How to Self Generate Sales Leads
Top Lead Generation Tactics:
- Leveraging chatbots
- Creating gated content
- Sending out a value-packed newsletter
- Hosting an event – webinar, networking events, etc.
- Paying to promote your business on social media through paid advertising
- Retargeting prospects who have engaged with your brand in the past
- Creating a referral program
- Offering discounts or free trials
It might sound simple in theory, however, generating quality prospects that will turn into warm leads can be quite difficult (and time-consuming). According to a report from Hubspot, 61% of marketers consider generating traffic and leads to be their biggest challenge…
And while it may be more difficult, it’s no less important. Marketers are still focusing heavily on lead generation, with 53% of them spending half or more of their entire budget on lead generation efforts (Source: BrightTALK).
From the cost of prospect lists to the time required to follow up with potential buyers, lead generation is a big investment. Many companies try to cut costs by generating leads in-house but the time and resources needed add up quickly. Marketing and lead generation are skill sets in and of themselves. Without experience in this space, you’ll be starting from square one and faced with a large learning curve, trial and error, and fruitless testing. You’ll burn through time, energy, and prospects without a return. So rather than reinventing the wheel or transitioning your title to ‘CMO’, you might want to consider outsourcing.
Sales Mistakes and How to Avoid Them:
It can be very easy for marketers and salespeople to get stuck in their ways, especially if those efforts have paid off in the past. However, in sales and marketing you must always be looking for ways to be better. So let’s take a look at some of the most common sales mistakes and how you can avoid them.
- You don’t follow up.
Recent research by the Harvard Business Review found that 56% of prospects complain about poor follow-ups. Even if you’re successful at outreach, if you don’t follow up with every single lead, then you’re leaving money on the table. Especially considering the fact that only 2% of sales occur after the first meeting (MarketingDonut). It’s important to remember when reaching back out to leads, you must ensure your touchpoints are meaningful and of value, because this will help you to build trust and keep you “top of mind”. Ask yourself, how do you nurture your leads so that they learn to trust you and view you as a “thought leader” organization?
- You’re investing in the wrong lead generation activities.
Not every B2B marketing strategy is going to work for every business. It’s important to test different platforms and channels, as well as research what mediums your audience specifically is most likely to engage with. Remember to focus your lead generation efforts and dollars on tactics that are going to produce strong ROI. At the end of the day, our goal is to create demand and generate leads — so ensure your marketing material drives traffic to the relevant pages on your website (Source: Lead Forensics).
- You don’t know how to write content that converts.
Prospects need to know the immediate value your product or service offers. This can be achieved through catering your content to the most common pain points people in their industry or role experience. Once you have captured their attention, you can then provide them with proven solutions to their specific pain point. Humanize your approach as much as possible.
- You don’t understand deliverability.
To get in touch with your prospects, you must first ensure that your outreach efforts are reaching their inboxes. There are endless factors that can affect your email deliverability and if you’re not constantly monitoring your senders’ reputation, then you’re at risk of prospects missing out on your emails entirely. This can be achieved by utilizing tools such as GlockApps, which serve as an email deliverability testing expert and can give you a breakdown of your inbox vs. spam folder placement, as well as tips on how to improve your email content to avoid landing in the spam folder.
- You’re reaching out to the wrong people.
If your audience isn’t segmented by buyer personas, you’ll be forced to utilize vague messaging offering little value. While a wide-net approach can sometimes be effective, it opens the door to anyone, potentially filling your pipeline with unqualified leads. Segmenting by buyer persona helps generate quality leads, rather than “spray marketing” to a general audience of uninterested prospects. Ask yourself who is in need of the service you’re selling and why? Then create campaigns that cater to that audiences’ pain points and provide relevant solutions.
- You’re not nurturing your leads.
Nurturing your leads can be done through an automated email follow-up sequence created to help move your prospects through the sales funnel and keep them engaged with your company. The emails in a lead nurturing campaign involve a series of emails sent out strategically over the course of several weeks that include relevant and valuable content geared towards getting the lead to convert.
Nurturing leads with content relevant to their position in the buying journey yields a 72% higher conversion rate and a 23% shorter sales cycle. Not to mention, the companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales leads at 33% lower cost per lead (Source: Marketo). The numbers don’t lie. Adopting an engaging lead nurturing process is pertinent to helping move leads along your pipeline and eventually convert them into sales.
B2B Lead Generation Tips:
Lead generation isn’t easy. But if you apply these simple lead generation tips, then you will be ahead of the curve and well on your way to growing your customer base.
- Design clean and concise emails.
Keep it simple and to the point with one clear call-to-action. Avoid using all caps or non-traditional fonts within your emails. In our experience, emails with a brief 1-2 sentence introduction, a list format of what is included/why you’re reaching out to them, and then a short closing paragraph perform best.
- Capture your audience’s attention with subject lines.
Given the fact that a staggering 69% of email recipients report emails as spam after only reading the subject line, it’s becoming increasingly more important to stand out in the inbox any way you can. Check out this quick video of B2B subject line best practices.
- Utilize gated content.
Providing your prospects with gated content that is relevant to their pain points will help you capture their contact information in a non-invasive way, while also giving them something of value in return. It’s also a great way to decipher what type of content they are interested in so you can continue nurturing them through your sales funnel in a productive way.
- Leverage social media.
Social media is free, meaning it can be used as free marketing for your business. And given the sheer amount of time each of us spends on social media, it’s a no brainer.
- Use email automation.
Automating your emails allows you to “set and forget” your email marketing strategies so you have more time to dedicate to other aspects of the business. This also enables you to automatically personalize your emails and/or subject lines at scale, which will inevitably improve your open rates.
There’s a lot to unpack when attempting to build out your own lead generation strategy, which is why we put together an eBook that walks through the total cost breakdown of each tool and resource required to get a successful lead generation campaign off the ground. While DIY lead generation is possible, it is worth noting that outsourced leads have 43% better results compared to in-house leads (Source: Fearless Competitor). So if you’re ready to set your sales prospecting efforts on autopilot, then it might be time to consider outsourcing your lead generation. That’s where we come in. Sapper Consulting can help you to build a reliable pipeline of B2B leads with qualified prospects, resulting in ROI.
Ready to learn more? Book a demo with us today.