Aug 26

3 reasons why B2B online lead generation fails so often (and how to make it succeed)


Been on both sides. Seen success and failure on both sides. The fundemantal reason why B2B lead generation online fails is the lack of understanding of the space.

Too many leads, too quick

Have you ever been flooded with leads, so many that even processing and scorecarding them took days. As a result, your fresh crisp leads went a little stale. By the time your team got halfway through those leads most people moved one way or another along the funnel. You missed the rfx or more crucially your chance to influence the rfi.

Why did this happen? You told your contractor / marketing agency to give you a 100 / 500 / 1000 leads in a batch. So they did. As and when they got them. Then each of your team had 200 to go through, that took them some time as they have a pipeline to manage. So some of your leads may be months old. Do they ever recall you name, product, logo or how they got into you lead gen list? Nah..

Instead of agreeing to process smaller batches, you wanted a number to impress the boss: “we just got in 500 leads”. After all you can’t say to him we only have 25 this week. That would be awful. He’d think you are wasting his time and money. Until it turns out that you can only close one deal of the 500. In which case he knows you are.

Next time, get the marketer from the agency to give you the leads at most weekly. Make sure your team makes the initial contact asap. And let’s see if the conversion rate improves. If your boss asks about leads, tell him you’d rather talk about deals.

Have you got an example to share when you could convert an old lead? Leave a comment.

Failure to experiment

I know this is not rocket science. It is more like applied psychology. Much harder than rocket science because it is not an exact science. You cannot make definitive predictions about the result of the experiment based on the given premises. (If in doubt just any pay per click marketer if their identical campaings perform identically in say EMEA, Asia Pacific, LatAm and the US. Or if they can tell you in advance which market will respond best.)

Very often your corporate lingo and failing to break away from it will be your undoing. What you call your product is not what your market calls it. Two examples:
#1 Vendor calls it voice analytics, market reverts back to voice analysis. One you target the right keyword, campaing takes off.
#2 I used to work for a company that sold mobile email VAS solutions. But our customers just called me the pushmail guy, in APAC and Africa as well.

Experiment with your marketing. Try thing you had not tried before. Challenge people to break away from your marketing cliches and c-suite influence.

You got any classic examples of vendor-buyer name mismatches? Hit that comment box with it now!

Trying the hardsell too hard

How many times did you go to amazon or ebay to buy and how many times did you go there just to do research or just to see if and what you could. Just because someone qualified as a lead for you does not mean they qualified the same by their own criteria. Chances are that their online activities are a part of a much earlier consideration phase.

Get your team to go in with questions. Get them to explore the pains of that person. Dont even think of them as leads. Think of them as resources whose expertise could help you understand your customers’ problems much deeper.

What was the longest nurturing process your team had to nurse?
And the shortest?

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