More than ever, lead generation is top of mind for marketers. If we talk to 10 marketers, 7 of them will say that more effective lead generation is their biggest initiative. We believe it’s because marketers are tied to revenue more than ever before and there’s more pressure on them to deliver quality leads. Additionally, the B2B marketing landscape is increasingly competitive and marketers are constantly searching for the magic bullet that will allow their messaging and campaigns to rise above the noise. With that said, too many organizations are making crucial mistakes that are killing their lead generation plans before they really get started. Here are Four Lead Generation Mistakes to Avoid:
- Thinking You Have Enough Leads– in our opinion there’s no such thing, and in reality, most of your ‘leads’ aren’t really leads at all. They may be website visitors, folks that download a piece of content or attend an event, but have they been truly qualified beyond that? Most of the time when companies take the time to dig through all of those ‘leads’, they find out that a small percentage of them are truly qualified. Thinking you have enough leads and putting a halt on lead generation for any extended period of time results in low audience engagement and an empty pipeline.
- ‘Testing Out’ Lead Generation– like marketing in general, lead generation needs to be an ongoing engine for it to be successful. If you’re new to lead generation, it’s not something you try out for 3-4 months and if it doesn’t work you scrap it and say “we gave it a shot.” In today’s B2B environment, an effective lead generation plan is essential for companies to efficiently grow and scale their business. You don’t simply ‘test it out.’ You go full throttle.
- Being a One Trick Pony– there are so many lead generation products, tools and services at a marketing team’s disposal it can be easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to picking the right mix. What you absolutely CANNOT do is pick one and that’s all you do. It can’t be all outbound and it can’t be all inbound. You need to implement a multi-pronged approach that enables you to hit your target audience a number of different ways. Outbound calling and emailing to setup appointments, while having a team to qualify inbound leads. Different forms of content – such as webinars, ebooks, whitepapers, videos and blogs – that educate, engage and drive leads into the funnel. Have a social strategy that provides valuable content and helps to establish your company as a thought leader in the space. There are a number of ways to skin the lead generation cat, so take advantage of a multi-pronged approach.
- Randomly Buying and Renting Lists– many times, lead generation programs simply don’t stand a chance because the lists they’re targeting are complete and total crap. This is due to the fact that many companies just bought and rented lists from list brokers without doing any call and email verifying on their own. Additionally, many marketing teams do a poor job of consistently updating their lists. If you start with a list of 10,000 contacts at the beginning of the year, there’s a very good chance that 20% of that list is going to be invalid by the end of the year. If you don’t have the bandwidth in-house, make sure you work with a partner that can ensure your list will consistently be augmented and scrubbed. Otherwise, you’re going to be marketing to ghosts and your lead generation goals aren’t going to be met.
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Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @ firstname.lastname@example.org