Whether you prefer to use the funnel or the waterfall as a way of depicting your business development process the fact is if nothing comes in at the top (leads), then nothing comes out at the bottom (customers). As I’m sure you know, effective lead generation is the cornerstone of industrial marketing success.
So if you are trying to squeeze more sales leads from your industrial marketing and finding it a struggle what should you do to get back on track? While there can be many reasons your lead generation is failing I would recommend your first look at these.
The first place I would advise you to investigate is your offer. Strange as it may seem the biggest offer-related mistake is not having an offer. For example, if you are mailing out a company brochure, or are placing a generic advertisement, your lead generation campaign will get little if any response. The key point is every lead generation offer must provide prospects with real value and resonate with them or it will be ignored.
Any of you who have read my blog would already know your offer must be based on helping your prospects improve their performance. This is the outcome of adopting education-based marketing as your main lead generation strategy. It’s also critically important your lead generation offer is the result of accurate marketplace knowledge based on your market research.
You can have the greatest offer in the world but if you are sending it out to the wrong audience you will be wasting your time. The first audience-related lead generation mistake I see is poor targeting. In other words “we sell to anyone who might just buy” is not a good way to select your target audience. When creating your lead generation campaign think of ideal customer profiles based on demographics or psychographics. If you are in a pinch analyze your past sales, cross-reference these sales to specific customer types, and direct your lead generation efforts towards these types of prospects.
Another lead generation mistake I often see is coming in too low. One of the results of the 2008 recession is higher-level executives are overseeing what used to be lower-level purchases. For this reason it can be very wise to focus some your lead generation efforts on VP level executives.
If you have done your research and are absolutely certain you have a strong offer being directed to the right audience but are not getting the results you want you may be using the wrong media. The simplest way to determine the effectiveness of media is to test various forms of media. For example, you may always have exclusively advertised in trade magazines in the past. Reallocate some of your lead generation budget to direct mail, Google AdWords, and outbound telemarketing and see what works best for you.
You might be very surprised.