By Robert Jurkowski, On Demand Advisors
Every company needs an effective lead generation program to create demand, sales leads, and ultimately revenue. The challenge for most executives is that their bets in this area are not paying off.
In this article we cover the eight most often cited reasons why the investment in lead generation is not working. Once you understand these reasons, you can set a new course for a lead generation program that does produce results.
Sometimes, only by understanding why your lead generation program is not working, can you begin to engineer what you need for a more effective and ROI driven lead generation program.
Often, you hear about the merits of inbound and outbound marketing campaigns. Inbound marketing campaigns can provide greater value to your company because prospects are searching for or reaching out for what you have to offer. Outbound marketing campaigns also can provide you with greater value because you can be targeted and focused on the best audiences for your solutions and services.
A business intelligence services company creates most of their leads from their inbound marketing program. When we searched for the success of this program, to our surprise the CEO said 80 percent of the leads they closed were not a good fit for their company. They did convert these leads into revenue but, if he had a choice, he would have chosen better leads that were a good fit and profitable.
Every B2B Sales organization states they are not getting enough sales leads that can be converted into sales to make their number. Unless this deficit is addressed through a comprehensive demand generation strategy from your company, the sales team will be responsible for the research and creation of their own sales leads.
This can lead to less than optimal behavior and outcomes from the sales team because they may not be adept at prospecting, research, or one-to-many messaging.
The best leads for any company are referrals because they understand what you do and know another customer that has already benefited from your services or solutions. If every lead could be a referral we could stop there.
The value of any lead is proportional to the level of knowledge and interest the prospect has in your company. If you or a partner could call your target audience you typically will have dismal results because they do not have prior experience or knowledge to draw upon. However, if you create compelling offers and content that you target audience’s needs and desires, they will come to you — exactly what you want!
The challenge with any lead generation program is whether the leads created convert to the next step.
An eCommerce software company engaged one of the major research analysts to co-present a webinar. The webinar had fantastic attendance but there were no conversions from the webinar for the software company; it turns out that their target audience only wanted the research paper we offered.
The next step may be a discovery call, an assessment, a free trial, or another meaningful step. Most companies do not offer a compelling call to action or next step. This is one area where choice and creativity can pay big dividends.
Most companies have plenty of content about their solutions and services, yet the audience does not appear engaged or interested in the available offers.
What may be missing is your content is from a seller’s perspective. What you may need is content and offers from a buyer’s perspective. What content or offers does you target audience want from you to be educated on your solutions and services? What assistance do they want from you when they are evaluating your solutions and services? What proof or validation do they want from you when they are ready to make a commitment or purchase?
When you assist with the buyer’s journey you enable their journey and eliminate friction that can interrupt or slow down their journey.
It is not unusual for a company to work with a number of different marketing services providers to orchestrate different demand generation campaigns such as a SEO/PPC firms for search-oriented campaigns, a telemarketing firm for appointment setting, or a marketing agency for content creation.
For B2B companies, 90 percent of your leads are not sales ready. That means you’ll need multiple touches and a consistent engagement plan to help convert visitors into prospects and prospects into buyers. Someone inside or outside your company needs to bring all of this campaign orchestration, messaging, and offers together so they make sense to your target audience.
When you hire a lead generation firm, do they know how to represent you and your company? If they do, they may be able to create compelling content offers and intelligently engage your target audiences. If they don’t understand truly what you do, they will probably create leads that also don’t understand what you do.
Think about the amount of time it takes to bring a new sales representative “up to speed” to understand how to present your solutions and services, as well as to intelligently engage decision makers. Who represents you and how competent they are to represent you are important ingredients about whether they can generate quality leads for you.
When you receive a volume of leads, the challenge is who is going to follow up on them. Leads are like produce at the grocery store: perfect when consumed immediately and spoiled in 3 to 4 days. When leads are given to a sales organization, the typical sales representative may not have the time to follow up on new leads because they are already preoccupied with several qualified sales opportunities. They may also not be available to get back to these leads on a timely basis because they are traveling or unavailable.
About The Author
Robert Jurkowski is the CEO and founder of On Demand Advisors, a revenue growth advisory firm that partners with CEOs and business leaders to help them create and implement their revenue growth plan that is capital efficient, leverages best practices and gets results.
To discuss how you can overcome any of these lead generation inhibitors or implement your lead generation best practices, you can reach Robert at email@example.com or call him at 1-800-208-5688. You also can request the Revenue Acceleration Map, free of charge, which represents these revenue growth best practices.