Effective lead generation is a major factor that will determine your startup’s success. This means you need to put extra care in planning it. Also, you have to not only employ multiple lead generation strategies but also make sure that those plans don’t have any serious mistakes. Because if they do, you might be running your business’s chances of success not only because you don’t get leads but also because some of those mistakes might be ruining your brand’s reputation.
The most common and often overlooked B2B lead generation mistakes are:
1. You are wasting time and energy on the wrong leads
For any lead generation strategy to be successful it must be based on a precisely-defined ideal customer profile. Otherwise, you will be attracting leads that you won’t be able to covert. To put it simply, you will be wasting time, money, and effort on something utterly useless.
Therefore, the first thing you need to do is to decide what the ideal customer is for your B2B startup. Only after this can you start working on a lead generation strategy that will attract these particular people.
2. You are buying the wrong kind of info
Buying “ready-made” lists of leads can be extremely tempting, especially for startups that are only starting and have zero opportunity to generate a good pool of leads on their own. Of course, organic leads are better, but let’s be honest, gaining those takes time and money, so it’s not an option for many young businesses.
“Buying” your leads can be an acceptable strategy, but only if you do it the right way. For example, while purchasing email lists is a plan doomed to fail, working with a database of recently funded startups is completely different. An email list is sure to have many “dead” contacts and mass-sending the same email to a few hundred potential customers is near-useless today as people, especially business owners, are looking for personalization.
However, if you get contacts of legitimate businesses, a smart B2B company will be able to use this data to great advantage. Using information about every startup that can be interested in partnering, you will be able to identify the most promising opportunities. You will also be able to create personalized messages that will increase your chances of not only gaining a lead but converting it as well.
Therefore, if you choose to buy data to speed up your lead generation strategy, be sure to buy the right kind of data. You also need to prepare to invest a lot of time in developing personalized propositions. But the results you can achieve are worth it.
3. You don’t target leads at every stage of their journey
The simplest model of a buyer’s journey goes like this:
There are also other models used to define the path a customer takes to making a purchase, like the Hunt’s Customer Awareness Ladder. What are the stages that your website visitors go through on their route to becoming customers?
Define those clearly and then answer the most important question:
Do you provide suitable lead-generating content at every stage of that journey?
Note that not everyone will come to you at the first stage. Some people will look into your offer when they are comparing options before making the final decision and some when they research possible solutions for their problem. At each of these stages they will have different needs and if you don’t provide them the content that meets those needs (and subtly encourages them to choose your company), you are making a mistake.
This, in particular, is a huge mistake that will cost you the most valuable leads as many of these people will come to you ready to make a deal. Your job is to keep them interested in making that deal with you and not one of your competitors.