Lead Generation describes the process by which an organization develops interested buyers for their product or service for the purpose of converting those interested audiences into sales. Because B2B sales typically require elaboration by a sales rep to arrive at a sale, lead generation for B2B organizations often focuses on information collection. But not all lead generation strategies are effective at collecting contact information from the appropriate audiences. These three pervasive lead generation myths afflict lead generation strategies that fail to produce revenue outcomes.
#1 Content Marketing
B2B companies that want to drive traffic to their site to capture contact information often employ paid advertising. Supporting existing content with paid advertising develops sales pipelines as leads provide their contact information to access the content. But as revealed through this report from Vexpower to continue driving the same pipeline growth over time, content requires more and more paid support to reach new audiences that have not provided contact information. B2B sales companies fall into a cycle of increasing paid support to achieve the same return. Inevitably some will abandon content-driven lead generation strategies as expenses exceed returns.
By developing a content marketing strategy, B2B sales companies can break the cycle of increasing paid support for existing content to arrive at the same results. Committing a fraction of that paid support spend towards creating new content builds out a B2B company’s domain network. Building out the domain network of a B2B website adds SEO value where paid promotion cannot. Creating new content also presents more opportunities for external references. External references to content in a B2B company’s domain network adds SEO value, establishing the site as an authority in that subject. Covering a number of topics also allows B2B companies to target and rank for high-value keywords.
Increasing search engine rankings for high-value keywords positions B2B companies at the top of search engine results pages. When a potential lead makes a search for a solution relating to a B2B company’s product or service, that company appears at the top of the search results. Traffic arrives at the website organically instead of through paid advertising. Lead generation conducted through an informed content marketing strategy allows for flexibility in marketing budget allocation. B2B companies have the option to invest heavily to grow sales pipelines quickly or invest conservatively to grow more slowly. Ultimately those costs are fixed as opposed to constantly increasing.
#2 Lead Nurturing
B2B products or services typically require elaboration from a sales rep to close a deal but letting leads that have been revealed through marketing go cold hurts conversion rates. Leads that move directly from identification to outreach might experience a delay between the period they express interest and when they are actually contacted. On the other hand, leads that move directly from identification to outreach might not be ready to convert yet. Unfortunately leads that fail to convert are considered lost when lead nurturing could produce a conversion.
As described by Marketo, “half of leads in any given system are not yet ready to buy, and MarketingSherpa reports that almost 80% of new leads never wind up making a purchase at all.” These leads need to be moved down a sales funnel incrementally with lead nurturing and should not be abandoned if they do not convert with initial outreach.
Marketing automation has emerged as a simple solution for lead nurturing. B2B companies leveraging a marketing automation platform benefit from technology that delivers messaging to leads at salient points in their buyer journey. Instead of moving leads directly from discovery to outreach, and abandoning leads that do not convert, marketing automation familiarizes leads with your product or service, increasing the likelihood of a conversion. Marketing automation also addresses leads that fail to convert in initial outreach efforts to encourage a future conversion. By nurturing leads, B2B companies are able to drive higher conversion rates and extract more value from marketing efforts.
#3 Quantity not Quality
B2B sales leaders that emphasize the quantity of leads generated versus the quality of leads generated expose themselves to Lead Generation Fatigue Syndrome. Lead Generation Fatigue Syndrome is characterized by three defining symptoms, Team Burnout, Time and Effort Misallocation, and Budget Misallocation.
Team burnout occurs when sales personnel are flooded with more leads than they could possibly contact. Sales teams are left subjectively differentiating quality leads from low-quality leads. Failing to produce conversions from pools of low-quality leads results in sales team burnout as sales personnel experience repetitive rejection. Emphasizing the quantity of leads vs the quality of leads also demands disproportionate time and effort allocation. Developing a pool of poorly qualified leads contributes to time and effort misallocation. Sales personnel squander time and effort contacting poor leads to convert them while marketing teams waste time developing campaigns and targeting audiences that cannot generate a return on investment. Inevitably team burnout and misallocation of time and effort result in budget misallocation.
Marketing budgets are spent with the intention of developing a return on investment. When budgets are spent developing poor quality leads, a return on investment becomes impossible as conversion rates suffer. Emphasizing the quality of leads developed rather than quantity ensures that marketing budgets are spent developing leads with high conversion potential.
The Future of Lead Generation
B2B sales companies that employ technological solutions for lead generation are well suited for the future of AI-powered revenue growth. Using a lead generation platform, B2B companies take advantage of AI with the capacity to identify opportunities engaging with content, automate marketing messaging to those opportunities, and assess the value of those opportunities. Aptivio’s lead generation capabilities excel at accomplishing these functions for sales and marketing alignment, resulting in higher lead conversion rates and revenue growth. Explore the results we have driven for our clients here, and schedule a demo with one of our product experts here. We look forward to helping your team circumnavigate these lead generation myths.