Let's face it; if you don't have a robust B2B lead generation process, you won't attract potential prospects that have true conversion potential.
Complex B2B industries such as manufacturing, supply chain, distribution, and financial services know that lead generation is the key to profitability, yet 61% of companies list “generating traffic and leads” as their top marketing challenge. Maybe it’s because they end up designing overly complex lead-gen strategies or simply aren’t using the right tools.
To start improving your results, it’s important to first identify your top challenges so that you can further develop your lead generation strategies.
B2B Lead Generation Hurdles and How to Fix Them
Addressing the following 5 common lead-gen challenges can help you increase your conversions of high-quality leads and, more importantly, the number of paying customers.
1. Low-Quality Content Marketing
B2B marketers already know that content marketing is a great way to generate leads. A staggering 93% of them use content marketing to attract and engage potential clientele. However, many of them fail to realize that it's as much about quality as it is quantity. Sharing generic content that doesn’t address pain points, isn’t personalized for the reader, and doesn’t match their buyer’s journey stages will do little to engage potential leads.
How to fix it?
Begin by leveraging the power of data and SEO to identify what your leads are searching for. Then, tweak relevant existing content to focus on answering their questions. For instance, if most of your leads are still in the awareness stage and trying to understand how SaaS CRM software can improve workflows, include more targeted educational content rather than publishing another highly technical article that speaks to the consideration or decision phase. Or, create a simpler “Introduction to SaaS CRM Software” downloadable guide to help balance out your content.
Also, regularly monitor your engagement to identify your weakest performing content and either repurpose it, combine it with similar content, or get rid of it altogether. More is not always better.
2. Poorly Designed Landing Pages
In the hopes of beating the competition and boosting web traffic, some marketers pay more attention to their paid ads than they do to the landing pages they point to. Likewise, you may have drafted the perfect email campaign, but if a lead clicks on it and reaches a sub-par landing page, there’s little chance they’ll convert. Poorly written headlines and copy, noisy layout and design, and generic CTAs can have a negative effect on your conversion rates.
How to fix it?
Improve your landing page conversion rates with these incredibly simple techniques:
- Write a powerful and clear headline to hook in your readers
- Personalize the Call-to-Action CTA buttons
- Don’t direct ad clicks to your home page; instead, send them to a webpage containing a conversion opportunity that is relevant to the ad copy
- Use text sparingly on your landing pages and get to the point
- Include a thumbnail preview of the content piece
- Reduce the number of required fields in your conversion form
3. Poorly Designed CTAs
It’s hard enough getting prospects to your website, so why leave them hanging once they arrive there? Without clear, visible, and interactive calls-to-action, you’re missing out on major opportunities. If a prospect ends up on your website and your CTAs don’t stand out, visitors won’t know what to do next or where to go to find what they need.
How to fix it?
Help your prospects interact with your brand by not only making your CTAs visually attention-grabbing but by using direct, action-oriented wording with a clear conversion path. Experiment with the types of CTAs and their placement, and review the data to see what’s working best. Is it an above-the-fold CTA or a chatbot? Maybe you need more video CTAs or pop-ups. Get creative but, by all means, make your decisions based on the data.
Consider assigning a small Quality Control (QC) team that reviews every piece of digital content before it gets posted online, and brainstorm about the right CTAs and how they will point someone to that content. Go beyond your marketing team and get input from your sales team as well.
4. Lack of Follow Up
For some organizations, getting conversions isn’t the problem; it’s following up on sales qualified leads in a timely manner that becomes the issue. Allowing too much time to pass before answering a prospect’s inquiry could mean a missed opportunity. Even though complex B2B industries might have longer sales cycles than the average business, that doesn’t mean prospects don’t want answers quickly. When a salesperson does get in touch, failing to use data gathered from the prospect’s earlier interactions with your brand is another major misstep.
How to fix it?
Step one is to ensure that your sales and marketing teams are on the same page and supportive of each other’s efforts, including how and when follow-up should occur. The best way to achieve this is through a service level agreement (SLA). Organizations that have an SLA report that they have significantly higher win rates.
Invest in a sophisticated customer relationship management (CRM) system like HubSpot that helps reps identify leads and their movement throughout their buyer’s journey. Knowing which content a prospect viewed or downloaded can give a salesperson insights into their pain points and serve as a great conversation starter. Get your sales team using sales enablement tools like HubSpot’s Meetings feature to help remove friction in the sales flywheel, allowing them to book appointments easily.
5. Not Reviewing the Buyer’s Journey
If the last couple years have taught us anything, it’s that the world can change on a dime, disrupting supply chains, buying habits, and life as we know it. It’s easy to get too comfortable with “how it’s always been done” and overlook the fact that your website’s functionality isn’t as user-friendly as it should be, or that the process for how leads engage with your brand has shifted.
How to fix it?
When you got started using the inbound methodology for sales and marketing, you mapped out a buyer’s journey. As time went on and you gathered more data, some of the initial unknowns became known. Now, you’ve discovered that prospects behave differently than how you anticipated they would in those early days. Just as a manufacturer might take an agile and continuous improvement approach to their processes, so too must inbound marketers.
Perhaps some prospects drop off at the pricing stage, while others don’t even get beyond your home page or landing pages. Review your entire buyer’s journey and lead generation process periodically to remove friction. And take a growth-driven-design approach to improving your website to adapt and change as your audience’s behaviors change over time.
Whether your B2B lead generation cycle faces one or all five of these challenges (or more), addressing them with the help of the right tools and guiding inbound principles can help. Another way to get help is by consulting with a qualified inbound marketing agency to see whether they’re a fit for your company.
Keep up with the constantly changing needs of prospects by first clearly identifying your personas. Then, use this Buyer’s Journey Worksheet to understand and document their journey through the buying process.