What is the importance of generating leads in B2B? Ask any B2B marketers, one of the toughest challenge they face every day is ‘B2B lead generation’. Working as a marketer, I’ve experienced different reasons behind this lead generation failure. Today I’m going to talk about the five most common ones.
Scenario 1, June 30, 2008: It was a rainy evening. Mr. Jhon was enjoying the scenario outside his office. He gave a final check in the “Monthly Sales Report” before leaving. With a smile of success, he left the office and called his driver to get the car out from the parking arena.
Scenario 2, April 30, 2018: It was bright sunshine noon. Mr. Jhon was looking at the reports submitted by his territory managers. There was no sign of improvement for the last 2 years and so on. Maintaining the office without a significant return on investment is becoming impossible to handle with his resources. Mr. Jhon left the office without having lunch. Took a rickshaw, started for meeting with one of his friends who was supposed to give him a lead. Unfortunately, he couldn’t contact him for the last 30 days. Mr. Jhon was afraid of losing another chance.
Meanwhile, excessive heat increased his blood pressure.
A famous saying- “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. There were 5 uncertain mistakes that happened to Mr. Jhon out of his consciousness, resulting in a miserable failure for generating sales in his automobile business. Figuring out there because the same thing might happen to your business too. So here are the 5 reasons Mr. Jhon’s lead generation attempt failed.
5. A bad salesman can ruin a good Lead
“Starting from the early 2000s, private universities were in thrive. Lots of big names like East-West University, North South University got the spotlight. So, one of Mr. Jon’s managers gave an idea to pull out an internship program for University going students. Mr. Jhon conducted an internship program, consisted of 10 students from 5 universities which includes big names like Dhaka University, North-South and so on.
In the year 2017, the company launched the program. It was a 6 months long program and Mr. Jhon invested nearly 5 lacs for this program but in return what he got wasn’t significant at all. But what was the real waste, is LEAD. The supervisor of the interns gave them some genuine lead. As a student, the interns were always in a hurry because of classes and stuff and never could allot a notable amount of time to nurture the leads. Mr. Jhon didn’t care a lot about money but he missed a number of leads because of it.”
There is always room for a salesman to divert a client into a potential one even if it’s the weakest of the sources. But it just takes a few steps for letting go of the whole thing wrong. A good lead can be spoiled because of not being aware of the changing customer demands and equivalently with the market trends.
No matter how better you are giving than your competitors, you just can’t make the slightest of the mistakes that can harm your potentiality of the business. A bad salesman might be defined in various ways but there are 5 specific features that demonstrate a bad salesperson-
- Fear of rejection
- Being Clueless to questions
- Not listening to people
- Unable to ask the right question
- Keeping product ahead of people
These characteristics of a salesperson can drive a good lead into a failed one. A sales person’s task is to make people aware and provide them service ensuring the quality. But when a salesman successfully contains all these stated features, he fails to gain trust at the very beginning. Thus, he keeps working with ZERO results, putting effort into an unmindful approach and remains busy with destroying leads.
4. Not adopting digital platforms
“Mr. Jhon was more in action than to get adopted in the digital platform. During the year 2013 to 2018 social media flourished massively. Which has been leaving the impact to date. “The Social Media Storm” became a real market changer as soon as the telecom companies came up with some persuasive internet packages. “Content Marketing” left an immense influence in the market.
Unfortunately, Mr. Jhon missed the flow. He really didn’t care a lot about this changing trend. He kept hiring more people to increase sales but this traditional approach didn’t follow the way he wanted and it impacted the “Market Share”. The decreasing market share in each year and not developing a separate digital team caused him to stay behind from competitors.”
With the changing marketing scenario, the media of communication has changed a lot too. Leaflet, handbills, cards are replaced by social media platforms. If you need to engage with the customers promptly you cannot but follow their updates on a regular basis. There are 5 social media platforms where you have to remain notified, to be concerned about customers’ voice.
People’s attitudes are getting changed since they thrive on social media platforms. Not only for getting engaged with the clients, but also for generating leads, social media is considered a vital weapon.
Digital platforms are meant to faster the business. So, ensure that you’re updating the profiles and accounts in a regular business. Apple is bringing its new model of iPhone and you cover the making of it after the drop of the provocative hype will not pave the way you want. Therefore, assuring being active and apprised in digital platforms fall under your responsibility.
3. Not hiring the right person for lead generation
“After the resignation of “Senior Sales Manager”; Mr. Jon was looking for someone who is experienced in marketing. Mr. Jon pointed “Experience” over skills. So, when the HR department published the circular, emphasized more on experience rather than anything else. Whose core responsibility will be to look after the existing clients and generating leads from the available opportunities.
After all the evaluation, the company ended up selecting a person, who has 6 years of experience in a multinational FMCG company. Worked as a ‘brand manager’ for a long period of time.
But meanwhile, they misfocused that their business is related to automobile service, not FMCG products. So, the valuable experience that the person holds will come to no contribution to the business. This kind of irrelevant judgment caused heavily for Mr. Jon’s business.
As they required a sales manager, a lot of experienced marketers’ portfolios came to their database. But they shouldn’t just judge based on their portfolio if they can’t show proven growth in the department where they require.”
Hiring the wrong employees ended up providing- financial loss, productivity loss and breaking team chemistry. Investing upon the employee will result in damage not only for your company’s growth but also will be a loss to the employee’s career too. And simultaneously, the productivity will get lessened exponentially if the employee can’t get suited to the proposed job responsibilities. Sales are about figures. When the productivity level keeps decreasing the figures never going to show any growth or improvement in the employee’s checklist. Lastly, an organization runs well when it has a proper bond among employees and cohesive connection among the departments. Hiring the wrong employee deficits employees’ morale to the job and losing confidence about the organization, causing a huge loss in the end.
2. Not investing enough in LeadGen process
“Mr. Jhon’s automobile business has two distinctive functions. One of them is Tech and another one is Sales. Being a CSE graduate, Mr. Jhon was a little bit biased to the Tech department. He believed, “only the best is good enough”. He didn’t put a huge emphasis on Sales and till the early 2000s, it really didn’t bother him much. But from the beginning of the 21st century, it started to leave an impact consistently. With the enlarging social media promotions and technological advancement, the ‘Lead Generation’ process also went through diversified changes.
The motto of ‘Go-Sale-Win’ methodology started to keep losing with days. Mr. Jhon never really could divide the process separately and set a different strategy for multiple clients. As a result, his distinctive sales-driven scheme for all clients started proving wrong. It really neither got much focus nor enough funds to carry on the process; specifically, on the middle stage. So, Mr. Jhon missed valuable leads and affected heavily for not having a conventional structure based-proper funded lead generation process.”
Generating leads is like a cycle. You can’t put to the one element of the cycle and not into others. To keep the chain moving you have to emphasize equally in each element of it and invest as much necessary. During this process, you have to take risks of investing. But prior to that, you have to draw a cycle of the program how it will be scheduled and planned to invest.
If you really want to dig out profit from your business, you should ensure the background scenarios are staging perfectly. Likewise, this ‘LeadGen’ process. This is actually the backbone of business by which it will stand. Lead generation funnel is built upon several components. You have to maintain the bridge between these.
You might find a lot of leads at the very beginning. If you don’t follow the ‘LeadGen’ process, you won’t be able to justify the level of differences and you will intend to invest equally. You might overlook which are actually “Sales Qualified Leads” and which aren’t. So, if you miss any step of the process you have to suffer in the end.
Business isn’t all about innovation now. Marketing and sales cover a major portion of it. You can’t really discriminate between “Tech” and “Marketing” if you keep your business running. Once business could be run only based on tech or innovation but now the competitors are massive in numbers and the market is becoming more intensified. As a reflection of the market, marketing and sales are as important as service. From a thousand-dollar innovation you can make millions of dollar profit if you assign proper concern and monetary funds to this department.
1. Not following up
“Mr. Jhon’s automobile business was on the very high even at the beginning of the 2000s. The company was never short of clients. But this success wasn’t the same with the changing market scenario. But another feature of Mr. Jhon which was pointed out in a later period as a reason for decreasing sales, he could not really ensure to follow up with his clients and employees.
Continuous success never let Mr. Jhon felt to hurry to search for clients. He was enjoying gathering leads and bringing out profit by serving them. But he didn’t recognize the feedback or follow up how vital it could be. Mr. Jhon never could draw a proper process of gathering leads since he had an overflow of clients since the beginning, but not following up on the leads he had and did business which affected negatively for losing the trust gradually from people. Mr. Jhon’s company was renowned for its innovative service but never could really be stayed in the hearts of people, where he failed.”
The most vital thing that is often missed out by the organization’s management is following up on the clients on a regular basis. Business is much more about maintaining the connections and leads with the customers and clients. You have convinced to let the customers take your service or at least you’ve got the lead for a successful business opportunity. The very next task of yours is to ensure that that lead/client never gets out of your hand. Following up regularly isn’t something outside the business, it’s dropped under the umbrella of the business procedure.
There are multiple channels you can cover up both your tasks and maintaining relationships. To keep the process ongoing, you have to exploit the mediums properly. This will always keep you updated with whatever is happening related to your business’s goals and activities.
Use Hubspot for following up with leads
This software will guide you to manage the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) related activities routinely. With this, you can make a list of your clients and fix your schedule accordingly when you need to follow up with them regarding your purpose. This software helps you to arrange your tasks in a prolific manner which will let you set the priority of your remaining tasks chronologically.
Use Trello for maintaining track of your leads
Trello is another efficient media that will help you to be updated about the inside managerial things of the company. While conducting a lead generation process, employees might face a number of difficulties and challenges. Trello helps to get informed about the problem and providing a solution in the fastest possible way. If someone is facing a problem while conducting a meeting with the client and won’t get the answer promptly, the lead is surely going to be missed. Trello is an efficient solution to such a situation.
There must be a linkup between sales and marketing. To precise, sales are the ultimate driving force of a business. Hereby, it is a must to follow up on the sales consistently for moving on to the different departments of the organization. The growth of business entirely depends upon how much it is selling. Also, it gives an idea of how much the customers are adopting the service or product. With constructive feedback, the company can identify where it’s lacking and strengths are. Thus, following up results and feedback enables a company to thrive and run smoothly.
Generating leads is like a culture. Previous approaches will not work for too long. With the coming challenges and obstacles, the methodology of work has become more diversified. Companies like Kodak and Nokia faced a huge downfall since it couldn’t get adopted with the changing trends. Bringing changes for a better service should not be ignored. Keeping the business in structure companies are keep digging out new approaches and methods. As a result, the simplest of mistakes can even ruin the business. So, it has become mandatory to follow the process of generating leads tactfully. Companies have to make sure the most appropriate decision is taken in each of the segments.