With a lot of power comes a lot of challenges. As powerful as having a lead generation strategy is, it doesn’t come easy. The concept of lead generation itself may be simple, but that doesn’t mean it can be done without a well-thought-out strategy in place.
There are a lot of B2B lead generation challenges that growing companies face. However, with the right approach, they can be overcome for a maximized business growth strategy.
Some of the most common B2B marketing challenges companies encounter include:
Have you ever wondered what to do with leads after they’ve been qualified? A non-streamlined lead management process doesn’t help anyone involved in your company’s business growth strategy. For lead management to function and be successful, you need many key players and departments to work together well. One process may work for one employee or department, but it may not work for another, so you should have a sales and marketing strategy that works for everyone involved in the lead management process.
How To Overcome This
To avoid confusion, you must have a streamlined lead management process in place. This includes implementing specific steps and assigning roles to each sales team member to make sure everyone knows their part in the lead management process. Here’s how many B2B companies organize their sales development efforts:
- Prospecting: Sales operations teams build lists of prospects that their company would potentially like to do business with.
- Lead qualification: Sales development representatives (SDRs) cold call or email decision-makers to gather contact information and verify their sales qualifiers.
- Lead nurturing: SDRs and email marketing specialists routinely pitch and send sales emails to qualified prospects until they’re ready to take the next step in the sales cycle.
- Setting sales meetings: SDRs set sales meetings between account executives and potential customers to elaborate on how their business could benefit from their company’s products or services.
- Attend sales appointments: Account executives present sales opportunities with a personalized pitch deck that helps them picture themselves as customers.
- Close business: Account executives follow up with potential customers after the sales meeting and encourage them to sign a contract with their B2B business.
With all the prospects in the sales pipeline, it can be difficult for lead generation teams to keep up with what leads to contact at what time. Unfortunately, many leads get lost in the mix, and you miss the mark on high-converting business opportunities. However, your sales teams can take measures to ensure they effectively follow up with leads ready to take their next step in the buyer’s journey.
How To Overcome This
If your sales and marketing teams are struggling to follow up with the right leads for your business, it’s essential that you implement technology that can help you keep up with what leads to contact at the right time. This can be done through the CRM platform you use to keep up with everyday business functions. With the right extensions, your marketing and sales teams can set a date to follow up with qualified prospects when they say they’re toward the end of their buying cycle. Additionally, when a sales team member selects a date to reach out to the prospect, the CRM can mark them as a high-scoring lead, pushing them to the top of the priority list of contacts to call and secure the sales meeting.
Generating better leads for your sales pipeline starts with having accurate data from your prospecting efforts. Many B2B businesses struggle with prospecting because they don’t have a proven effective way to find and connect with potential decision-makers. Without a strategic prospecting strategy, you risk negatively affecting your sales process from the get-go. Sales teams can follow various prospecting lead generation techniques to reach the right potential buyers in their target audience.
How To Overcome This
While many sales teams rely on referrals or purchasing prospecting lists, this isn’t sustainable for long-term results. If you buy prospecting lists, your sales reps must follow up with these contacts to see that they have the correct information on file. They can do this by calling the prospective business and asking for the specific individual they have listed. If the gatekeeper (person answering the phone) says they’re no longer the best point of contact, your SDRs must ask them for the new person involved in making purchasing decisions regarding your company’s product or service.
Unfortunately, many gatekeepers don’t patch calls through unless the SDR has a specific name of the person they’re calling. If this happens, your sales reps should thank them for their time and conduct their own research after the call. They can do this by looking on the company website or searching the prospect’s company LinkedIn profile and looking at the list of individuals who work at the company. If a specific contact listed matches the name of the most common decision-maker for your industry, they’re more likely to be the individual you’re looking for.
Sales prospecting platforms like ZoomInfo and D&B Hoovers are also great resources to use because sales reps can find the most up-to-date information about potential decision-makers, including their name, job title, email address, and more. Once the SDR discovers this contact, they can directly ask for this individual next time they call the prospective business.
You may have an extensive list of prospects in your sales pipeline, but are any of them converting into qualified leads? If few prospects are converting into leads, it may be time to rethink your sales and marketing efforts approach. They may not feel connected with your business, so what can your lead generation experts do to engage your target audience? Well, there are a few ways you can approach this through outbound and inbound lead generation.
How To Overcome This
If you’re practicing outbound lead generation, you may struggle to engage with qualified sales prospects. While they may meet your qualifiers, they’re not interested in taking the next step in their buyer’s journey. To further engage prospects, your sales reps must put them in a position that makes them the focal point of the conversation. They can do this by asking open-ended questions, such as:
- What are you looking for in a B2B product or service provider?
- How could your current provider improve their products or services?
- If you did, why would you consider making a switch in provider?
Asking these questions gets the prospect thinking about their current situation, helping SDRs identify potential pain points. When a prospect opens up about their pain points, the SDR can share case studies about customers who were once in similar scenarios, encouraging them to picture themselves in your client’s shoes.
If too many outbound prospects are rejecting to learn more about what your business has to offer, it may be worth investing your time and budget into an inbound marketing strategy. Inbound marketing includes digital strategies such as social media marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), and search engine optimization (SEO). Through these digital marketing strategies, your B2B marketers can write social copy, website pages, blog posts, or landing pages that align with what potential buyers in your target market are searching for online.
To generate inbound leads, you must provide readers with content that leaves them wanting more. If they see the value your company has to offer, they can submit their contact information to schedule a demo or receive more sales and marketing materials from your company. Once they enter their information, they’re converted from users into inbound leads. These inbound leads are marketing qualified because they’ve shown interest in what your company offers, but it’s up to your sales reps to reach out to them and confirm their sales qualifiers to ensure they meet your criteria.
Paid ads on search engines and social media platforms can be costly, especially if you’re not targeting the right keywords for your target audience. If you’re spending a lot of your marketing budget on paid advertising services but you’re not getting the ROI you want, it may be worth reevaluating what keywords you’re targeting and what the context of your landing page looks like.
How To Overcome This
If you’re concerned about the keywords you’re choosing for paid ad search, look into the intent of the keywords on your company’s preferred keyword research tool (such as SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz, etc.). Not every keyword intent is the same, so it’s important to consider what potential buyers in your target market are looking for. You can also use Google Keyword Planner for your paid search efforts, which is built to help you strategically plan your ad campaigns, allowing you to get the most out of your paid ad budget.
For example, the keyword “commercial roofing services” has commercial intent because most users searching for this keyword are looking to buy. However, the keyword “different types of commercial roofing services” has more of an informational intent because a user is most likely interested in learning what a commercial roofing service provider does. If you want to convert more users into inbound leads, you’d like to target keywords with a commercial intent because this shows they’re ready to take the next step in their buyer’s journey.
While selecting the best keyword for your paid ads is important, so is the copy and content shown on the landing page you direct them to. If the targeted keyword doesn’t match with the intent of the landing page you have it linked to, you increase the risk of users bouncing off your ad, which can increase the cost-per-click because it doesn’t align with the needs of your audience. As you invest in paid search ads, it’s important to ensure that the target keyword, copy, design, and intent align so you can reach the right buyers who are actively looking for solutions to their pain points.
Not sure how to approach potential buyers in your target market? This is a common challenge that growing businesses have with lead generation, and this is because they haven’t taken the time to learn about their audience and different buyer personas within their target market.
While there may ultimately be an overarching target audience of your business, there’s more than likely not a single buyer persona they all fit into. Understanding the buyer personas of your target market is essential for lead generation because it ensures that each prospect being chased is approached the right way and not guiding them further away from your business.
How To Overcome This
There are many ways to reach potential buyers in your target market, including:
- Cold and warm calling
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- SEO and SEM
While many companies like to choose one lead generation technique over another, they often work best when done together. Implementing various lead generation tactics empowers your business to reach all the different buyer personas within your target market. One prospect may respond better to a phone call, but another may respond better if you send content marketing materials to their email address. However, it’s also important to consider the industry you serve. For instance, many businesses in commercial industries like roofing, HVAC, and cleaning are often more likely to respond better to phone calls than emails. When it comes to businesses in the tech industry like MSP and software, those decision-makers are more likely to respond to an email than answer a phone call.
If you’re unsure how to approach potential buyers in your target market, look at the sales and marketing campaigns you’ve done in the past and explore where you’ve had the most success. If most decision-makers in your sales pipeline respond best to email marketing efforts, then that approach should be one of your core ways of generating new business opportunities. However, if you tend to see more success with making phone calls, this should be your go-to lead generation technique. While you may focus on one more than another, implementing a core strategy with other practices throughout the sales cycle can help you get the most ROI from your business growth efforts.
As you consider the different lead generation tactics you can use for your business growth efforts, it’s also important to think about the region you serve. If you serve smaller markets, they’re probably more likely to pick up the phone and have a two-way conversation. However, larger markets like New York City, Los Angeles, and San Fransisco are more likely to respond to emails than a call from a sales rep.
One of the most common B2B lead generation challenges companies face is high employee and client turnover. If companies spend too much time and money focusing on growing their book of business, they often forget about keeping their hardworking employees and loyal customers happy for the long term. Luckily, there are alternative solutions companies can take to continuously generate revenue and retain employees and customers satisfied with their business.
How To Overcome This
With all the added stresses of running a business, keeping your employees and clientele happy shouldn’t be one of them. Many companies outsource their lead generation efforts to third-party sales and marketing firms who are well-equipped to engage your target market and set high-converting sales meetings. This gives account executives a better opportunity to retain high-earning clients and keep employees satisfied with their work for your business.
Testing Different Lead Qualification Processes
If you’re not seeing the impact of your current lead qualification process, it may be worth making adjustments. For example, let’s say you want to test generating more business from a specific industry, so you have all your SDRs pitching that sector. However, you don’t see a lot of interest from them. While you may want to expand into these different markets, it’s not getting the ROI you want, so it may be worth expanding your reach to more industries not to sell yourself or your sales team short.
Additionally, one lead qualification strategy that works for one business may not be as effective as another. If your SDRs are presenting account executives with low-quality appointments, it may be worth trying out a new lead qualification strategy for SDRs to use in their sales process. This could allow your account executives to get better, more high-converting sales meetings.
B2B lead generation is a powerful approach to generating new revenue opportunities; however, it often comes with many challenges. A few of the most common B2B lead generation challenges include:
- Having a Confusing Lead Management Process
- Missing Opportunities With High-Converting Leads
- Lacking Accurate Data for Prospecting
- Not Getting Leads for Your Sales Pipeline
- Spending Your Whole Budget on Costly Ads
- Uncertainty on How To Approach Your Market
- High Employee and Client Turnover
At Abstrakt Marketing Group, we work with growing businesses across the country to help them maximize business growth. Through a wide range of sales development and marketing services, we help clients build their sales pipelines and create a consistent sales process that effectively guides leads to the end of the sales cycle.
If you need help overcoming these common B2B lead generation challenges, contact the sales and marketing experts at Abstrakt!