As marketers - especially in B2B - we strive to generate as many new leads for our companies as we can. New leads translate into new sales and that means an increase in company profit.
But like all things, the more you do it, the more routine it becomes. It's important to periodically review how much your lead generation methods are actually boosting your company's sales. The good news is that if you're experiencing any of the problems that I list below, I'm going to offer some possible solutions.
- Your message misleads customers.
You don't want to pull in prospective customers with a line about beating out the competition's prices - unless you're actually willing to do it! Make sure you don't oversell and then later fail to deliver.
Solution: Re-frame your message. This may involve tweaking your branding or the language used in your promotional materials. Consider what it is that sets your company apart and find a way to make that a central part of your marketing to prospective customers.
- You aren't converting leads into sales.
If your company's interactions with leads are consistently unsuccessful, then you probably aren't attracting the right companies or clients. And even if you are reaching the right companies, you may not be reaching the decision-makers. Make sure you focus your sales resources on following up with the people at the top.
Solution: Sit down and strategize with your sales and management teams. Those new customers are out there, but you just might not have found them yet. What tradeshows, publications, websites, social media tools and other methods can you use to reach them? Assign a team of people to do some research and then start moving forward.
- Email subscribers keep unsubscribing.
This is a pretty clear indication that the people you're chasing aren't that interested. This can be a waste of your time and money, as you don't want to keep spending your resources on leads that aren't going to convert. This may be happening for a couple of reasons: the lead isn't really interested or you may not be sending out the right kind of content to keep them interested.
Solution: One of the first things to do is take a look at your data. Have certain topics or kinds of information been more popular than others? Are people clicking on your embedded links? Forwarding your emails to others? There are a lot of useful tools that marketers everywhere should be using to track this kind of data. Decide what the problem is, solve it and don't worry about small amounts of attrition. If you keep your core audience engaged and are getting consistent returns, then you're doing a great job.
One last closing thought: if your lead generation is really lagging, a promotional campaign focused on your products or services can never hurt. Just make sure that you choose the right vehicle, reach the right audience - and that the lead has such a great experience that they become a new customer!