Three Reasons Why Lead-Gen Programs Fail

Posted on Apr 8, 2015 by .

Lead generation…lead generation…lead generation. In terms of what’s on marketer’s minds, it’s numero uno. And if it’s not, it should be. In terms of a strategic lead generation program, there are basic components that have to work together seamlessly. If one of these components is broken, it can cause the whole campaign to fail. Let’s look at three main reasons why lead-gen programs fail:

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  1. Bad Data & No Direction: In 2014 NetProspex, a cloud-based B2B data management services provider, released its B2B Marketing Data Benchmark Report. The report highlighted that 84% of marketing databases are considered “barely functional.” The report showed that B2B marketers are losing ROI due to incomplete and/or inaccurate data. At the end of the day, if you’re dealing with bad data on the front end, you’re going to consume bad results on the backend. I know that sounds obvious, but marketers aren’t paying enough attention. And when I mean bad data, I don’t just mean inaccurate or incomplete. I also mean not dealing with the right industry or people whatsoever. Too many lead-gen campaigns start out unfocused. There’s not a clear vision of what industry you’re going to target, the types of companies within that industry, and the decision makers and influencers within those companies. How can your messaging and content possibly get a positive response, when it’s not going to the right people in the first place? It can’t
  2. “Change before you have to”: This is a quote from Jack Welch and it hits the nail on the head. Too many marketers are doing the same thing, year in/year out, and expecting a different result. They’re afraid of change. In order for a lead generation program to work, you need to step out of your comfort zone and truly invest in technologies and services you haven’t leveraged before. Or maybe you’ve invested in them, but didn’t give them enough time to succeed. An example of not giving them enough time is running one webcast and deeming webcasting technology as ‘not a fit’ for your lead-gen initiatives because you didn’t close business as a result. Or running a cold-calling campaign for 90-120 days and considering it a failure if no new business was immediately closed. It’s a process and takes time. What you plant now, you’ll harvest later. A truly effective lead-gen campaign is an engine that’s constantly running and can see the big picture. It’s also one that leverages a multi-pronged approach – cold calling, email, content marketing, webcasts/online events, social media, SEO, SEM, etc. – to get engaged with its target audience
  3. The Lead Generator: Let’s face it, sometimes it comes down to the person holding the purse strings. If cold calling is a big component of your campaign, perhaps the inside sales reps on your team (whether internal or outsourced) just aren’t that good. They have no phone presence, don’t know how to navigate accounts and find the people that matter, and they don’t know how to uncover pain with prospects and articulate how your solution has helped people like them achieve ROI, etc. etc. Or your marketing team could be putting out content that’s not engaging and doesn’t truly speak to where your prospects are in their buying journey. They don’t understand your target audience the way they need to, and have difficulty generating qualified, ‘sales ready’ leads as a result. Having great people that are onboard with your goals, and can execute, is the most important component of a successful lead-gen initiative. As Zig Ziglar said, “Outstanding people have one thing in common: An absolute sense of mission.” Find these people!

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Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of Elastic Solutions. Email him @