4 signs your lead generation efforts are not helping you sell more


Lead GenerationIT solution providers spend approximately $25 billion per year worldwide on lead generation programs; $10 billion in the U.S. alone according to analyst firm IDC.  Vendors who invest in outbound lead generation programs alone, like cold calling, are relying on programs that interrupt the day of most buyers.  Buyers have become very good at deflecting, ignoring, and deleting interruptions from their daily work routine.   In return, these traditional lead gen programs cost a ton of money and waste a lot time in executing them. Try to avoid these lead generation blunders.

1. You’re website is a one way street

You just talked with a prospect or had an email communication for the first time. It’s likely that the first thing that person will do is visit your website to begin forming an opinion of your company. Visitors are likely to ask themselves who you are, what you do, how you are different, and how can they help solve problems? The two-way street website will provide good content, resources, encourage feedback,  social channels, and methods for your prospects to interact. Each point of interaction and/or call-to-action, you are generating leads for the top end of your sales funnel.  Not every lead will be in a buy cycle at the moment, but if they are interacting with your content and find you interesting, your company will be a familiar face when they do decide to buy.  A website that is a one-way street is one that has a lot of copy, but little incentive to interact or resources to engage. Avoid one-way street websites if you want to generate leads.

2. The new sales person you hired is not booking enough meetings

You wanted a hunter, you got a hunter, but they still aren’t booking enough meetings to move the sales dial. Even the best salespeople who are driven by break-thru-cement-walls attitudes are destined to fail if their directive is to simply “dial for dollars”.  It’s not uncommon for us to see B2B sellers getting dial-to-connection ratios of 100 attempts to get 1 or 2 connections. Do the math. How many connections do you need to make to book a meeting? In the B2B world it’s common to see sales people making 10 connections and booking 1 meeting. This means your salesperson would need to make anywhere from 1250 to 2500 dials a week to book 5 meetings a week. This is an impossible target for your sales person to hit, nor is it yielding the intended results from your new hire.

3. Your lead sources are full of bad contacts

The same concept as Garbage-In, Garbage-Out applies to sales teams who pump bad data into the sales process from questionable lead lists and sources.  Prospecting bad contacts results in fewer connections, less meetings, and less sales.  These lists usually cost at least a few thousand dollars and are less than 60% accurate from my experience.  This means prospecting time is wasted 40% of the time on these lists.   According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average job tenure of Americans in 2010 was 4.4 years so this data is often outdated and aggregated over time through 3rd party data sellers.

4. You spent money on a marketing tool or CRM, but it’s not being utilized fully

Most SMB B2B companies purchase Hosted CRM licenses for sales people to use, such as Salesforce and SugarCRM.  Both of these tools have extensive data, reporting, opportunity analysis, campaign management, social integrations, and more to support sales and marketing in nearly every step of the selling process.   Depending on the company and license type, most users cost around $100/mo (though Sugar is much more affordable).  From our experience, many organizations are paying these hefty fees for Hosted CRM only to use them as a data repository for contact and account information.  You’re missing out on pushing leads through the sales funnel if you are not taking advantage of the built-in CRM modules that support the sales process from start to finish.

At the end of the day, sales and marketing teams are the lifeblood of any B2B company looking to grow revenue. Instead of failing victim to lead gen no-no’s, start attracting your audience and drawing them in with interesting and relevant content. Complementing their efforts thru a solid lead generation program is the first step to filling the funnel and more promising sales forecasts.