The Lead Gen Mistakes Marketers Are Making

6 minute read

Upland Admin

When it comes to lead generation, you may be unknowingly sabotaging our sales pipeline with these seven common lead generation mistakes.

Pressed for time, better tools, and a focus on keeping up with the competition, organizations often fall back on a“checklist” of B2B tactics to keep skin in the game. However, lead conversions suffer when tactics aren’t anchored into a bigger, long-term and purpose-driven marketing strategy.

Without accurate and diligent lead generation reporting, marketers often don’t realize their pipeline is in trouble. Then suddenly, the leads dry up, and you realize that while traffic numbers are good, you’re not attracting the right audience. It’s time to buckle down and get real about the lead generation mistakes you may be making.

Getting Real About Lead Generation

Let’s get started with a little clarification.

Lead generation is the use of content (blog post, eBook, quiz or assessment, etc.) and other marketing programs to collect names and contact information for future follow-up. Once leads are collected, it’s marketing’s responsibility to engage and nurture those leads until they are qualified and ready to talk with sales.

Unfortunately, there is often a gray area when it comes to leads. Who should follow up, when? Who manages the overall lead qualification process?

Here is a list of common mistakes and tips on how to fix them.

1. Lack of a Clear, Consistent Process to Qualify Leads

Once a lead is in hand, it’s important to qualify it using some basic information, such as:

  • Were they curious about a specific feature or product on the website?
  • Did a potential buyer hear about the business through an industry colleague and wants more information?
  • Is the lead generated from a specific, timely sales promotion?

However, not all brands have a clear, specific system for qualifying leads.

In fact, 61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to sales; however, only 27% of those leads will be qualified.

Which brings us to the next “whoopsie”…

2. Unclear Lead Tracking Qualification Terms

Having a set of clear, relevant keyword terms to clearly qualify leads is essential. Choose the top 5-10 terms that make sense for a product or service, and start using them. Keep the details in a central repository accessible to everyone; a key tool for team communication and staying on top of leads.

Always create specific, consistent tags for leads related to promotional events or special sales offers to help track social media success rates.

Studies also show that companies using marketing content platforms saw a 45% increase in the volume of sales accepted leads (SALs) via centralized and documented alignment with content personas and content that aligned to the stages of the buyer’s journey.

Remember: a simple, logical database keeps the marketing team sane and provides a framework for more effective, long-term lead nurturing.

3. Using Inconsistent Metrics to Qualify a Lead

The key to effective lead building is for the whole organization to be clear on how to qualify a lead. Is the company going by web metrics only? Are salespeople manually categorizing leads as they come in? Is there a clear, consistent process in place?

As of right now, organizations are all over the map with what they track and the value specific metrics play:

  • 54% of B2B marketers measure sales lead quality
  • 48% of B2B marketers measure sales lead quantity
  • 39% of B2B marketers measure direct sales

Ditch silo-type thinking and build on a “one-mind” focus so everyone knows the true value of a sales lead and why.

4. Not Targeting the Right People

According to Jason Falls, Author of No Bullshit Social Media, people are “not targeting in granular enough ways to attract qualified leads.”

It’s essential to market to the decision makers in a company. Get super clear on potential buyers by creating and working with buyer personas. Then make tweaks based on the results. Taking this simple, repeatable approach to customer connection helps generate leads of value, rather than “spray marketing” to a general audience.

5. Disconnect Between the Type of Content Used to Snag a Lead Versus Nurturing a Lead

In B2B marketing, leads are often nurtured for a long time before a purchase takes place. This makes collecting clear data about a sales lead’s specific interests absolutely critical. To nurture a lead takes targeted content related to why a lead came to you in the first place, not boiler-plate marketing materials.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, only 47% of B2B marketers use content marketing to nurture and manage leads.

This means less than half of B2B organization are creating content that can turn a lead into a sale in a targeted way. More importantly, the buyer’s journey is missing key pieces of conversion content based on clear knowledge of core customer needs. Content plays a critical role in moving buyers toward a closed deal and increasing customer retention; it should be tracked, reported on, and measured against in the context of these goals.

Less than half of B2B organizations are creating content that can turn a lead into a sale

To move past this marketing lead generation mistake, build content that educates customers and nurtures attention based on the original or continued level of interest.

RELATED: 6 Fundamentals of B2B Demand Generation Marketing

6. Starting With Tactics Instead of Strategy

Marketers often invest in software and tools that don’t align with their needs, forcing mismatched tools together, hoping for the best. It’s important to start with a strategy first, then create specific marketing tactics to match it, including the right tools to deliver content to customers.

Truth: There is no single tactic or tool that will push B2B marketing operations over the edge. What’s more important is the overarching strategy that connects these tactics, tools, and software. The most successful marketers are those who document their strategy and align tactics and tools to it, rather than aligning their strategy to the tools and tactics they invest in.

7. Failure to Optimize Lead Generation Pages for Mobile

Mobile is a large (and growing) traffic generator. Create lead generation pages that are customer-friendly, no matter what device clients use to find you!

What will you do differently now you are clear on the common marketing lead generation mistakes?

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