Generating new B2B sales leads can be challanging. Decision makers are often busy conducting their own work, so they often disregard promotional efforts made by other companies. Here are five of the top reasons why companies fail to acquire B2B leads.
Targeting the Wrong Audience
You won't be generating many (if any) new sales leads when targeting the wrong audience. If your target audience is plant managers at large automotive component mfg. companies, and you you are targeting small machine shops, for instance, it's doubtful that you'll have great results. Think about who is most likely to use your product and service and focus your lead generation efforts on them.
While traditional lead-generation methods like direct mail and cold calling are still effective, search engine optimization (SEO) is particularly effective for B2B. In fact, a HubSpot study ranks it as the single most effective channel for B2B lead generation, even more so than direct mail, trade shows, email marketing and telemarketing. By optimizing your business's website to rank higher in the search engines, you'll generate more traffic and ultimately acquire more sales leads.
Not Using Email
Granted, Hubspot found SEO to be the leading channel for B2B leads. However, email is still a highly effective means for generating, and more so, nurturing B2B leads. A separate study conducted by Chief Marketer cited email as being the most popular lead generation channel. A whopping 87% of respondents said email was their preferred marketing channel for B2B leads.
Lack of Automation
There's nothing wrong with manually reaching out to prospects and promoting your product or service, but there are certain tasks that can be automated to streamline your efforts and improve overall productivity. Manually posting new content on social media, for instance, is a painstaking and time-consuming process, especially when it's done several times per day. Thankfully, this is one of the many tasks that can be automated, allowing salespersons to focus their time and resources elsewhere, such as exploring new promotional channels.
Trying to Sell To Early
Rather than trying to sell your product or service during the first correspondence with a prospect, you should wait. In a complex B2B sales environment, your initial conversation should be geared towards learning about the prospect's business challenges and understanding if there is an opportunity for your product or service to fix help fix them. Doing so will allow you to build rapport with the prospect as well as giving you the insight you need to customized your presentation and solutions around their unique situation.