The past few years have seen an incredible change in B2B buyer behavior. Today the B2B buyer is digitally connected and has access to a world of information. So, the old time tricks used by sales people to charm the customer no longer are relevant. The sales and lead generation machinery have to work in a more targeted and focused manner today than ever before. While the world has become smaller owing to this digital connect, an increasing number of marketers indicate that generating high quality leads remains the topmost challenge that they need to scale. According to the statistics of the CMO Council, having realized the importance of marketing in an increasingly competitive world, organizations have been increasing their marketing budgets. So, with marketing spends increasing why are high quality leads still difficult to come by? What then, are the barriers to high-quality lead generation?
Incorrect Target Identification and Messaging
“To be useful, segments must be measurable, substantial, accessible, differentiable and accountable” – Philip Kotler
In order to make the demand generation process effective, marketers have to first identify their target audience. Unless you know who your target audience is going to be how can you deliver targeted messaging? For example, if you are selling a sales software then your target customer will be the Sales Head of a company since he/she will be the facing the problems that your software is going to address. In this case, getting in touch with the Sales head who will use the software is likely to yield better results than connecting with someone in HR or IT. It is only when you have a clear idea of the market you are targeting that you will be able to identify who you need to connect with to develop a strong lead.
Poor List Building
There is a huge prospect universe out there. How do you connect with them?
A number of companies do not invest enough time in the list building exercise. For them just buying a list from some obscure provider is a good enough exercise since, according to them, once you have a list and slick talkers at the end of the line you can easily generate leads from anywhere. Well, this approach is only going to yield one thing – a lot of wasted time. Curating lists is an art and a well-curated list can be a powerful weapon for a lead generation specialist. Relevant and high-quality lists will identify the industry you are targeting, use data to collate information regarding the job titles and then filter this acquired data to zero in on people who can be your decision makers. This exercise takes skill, patience and an understanding of industry dynamics.
Low Data Dependence
“Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed’. Dan Zarella
Do you want to accelerate your lead generation process? Then focus on the data. Despite the impact that data has made in almost every industry that it has touched, many marketers are still treating data in a step-brotherly manner! Using predictive analytics to look into trends, probabilities and patterns make marketing more efficient. Since B2B lead generation is more focused on business qualities instead of an individual’s qualities, data has to be leveraged to understand the industry, size of the business, employee strength, pain points etc. to make customer segmentation more defined and increase the effectiveness of the lead generation process to create a superior sales funnel.
Inefficient Content Syndication
For marketers, content is king – stand out or sink
But with over 2 million pieces of content being published every day, your content will need to stand out or be lost in the abyss. Gone are the days when an SEO expert would help you identify the keywords that would give you a high Google ranking. Today, cramming your content with keywords will only pull the effectiveness of your content down. Content syndication is an art and a science that needs a strategic approach and careful execution to ensure that it aids the lead generation process. Generating high-quality content in the form of blogs and whitepapers become critical contributors to the lead generation process. Along with this, hosting informative and compelling webinars also form an integral part of the content syndication process. But does it end there? To make content marketing effective, it is essential that the content is promoted through the right channels to the right people. Creating a high-quality webinar is of no use when you do not use email marketing or social media marketing to make sure it reaches your target audience. Creating high quality invites for webinars, customized registration sign-ups, powerful telemarketing follow-ups, and campaign tracking are all essential to leverage content marketing for lead generation.
Poor Appointment Setting Skills
No lead generation process is complete without proper appointment setting.
A Lead generation professional not only has to be a great communicator but also a superb listener. He/she should have the silks and the expertise to steer the conversation in the direction that they want, have to have great analytical skills to understand the clients expectations, be knowledgeable about their own industry as well as the potential clients and be persistent in their approach. In a number of cases, good leads fall through the cracks because of poor communication and lack of follow-ups. The entire appointment setting process has to be executed with ninja-like precision by using manual and automated tools to fix, cancel, and reschedule appointments with decision makers.
Finally, one of the greatest barriers to high-quality lead generation is taking a one-size-fits-all approach. Since different companies will have different needs, lead generation professionals need to ensure that they have relevant conversations to have real conversions. Being knowledgeable about who you are speaking and tailoring your conversation to suit that person’s requirement thus becomes a critical contributor to qualified B2B lead generation.
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