9 Lead Generation Challenges and How to Solve Them


In the article- First Step to Generate Leads: Key Perspectives You Can’t Miss -we have set the context within which any digital marketing efforts play out. We have also identified three different segments of sellers based on the effort they can afford vis-a-vis the LTV they stand to gain in their respective business models. We have also drawn three different kinds of sales organisations that are required to address these three very different needs. In this, we will discuss about how to solve commonly faced lead generation challenges.

The three segments of sellers and successively three different kinds of sales organisations were: 

    1. No-touch lead generation for B2C

       

    2. Low-touch inside sales for SMB

       

    3. High-touch enterprise lead generation for large enterprises. 

Here are the top nine lead generation challenges across these three categories.

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Every company should realise, no matter what is their end product or service, they are in a media business.

Top 9 Lead Generation Challenges

No-touch Lead Generation (B2C)

        1. Poor content on website, landing page, blog, vlog

        2. High bounce rate

        3. Improper targeting

        4. Low or no virality in content

Low-touch Inside Sales Lead Generation (SMB)

        1. Calls going unanswered

        2. No show for demo

        3. Unable to reach a decision-maker

High-touch Enterprise Lead Generation (Enterprise)

      1. Unable to reach a decision-maker

      2. Inability to establish credibility as a thought leader

No-Touch Lead Generation (B2C): Poor Content On Website, Landing Page, Blog, Vlog

Every company should realise, no matter what is their end product or service, they are in a media business. By that, I mean having a great product will not be enough for the incumbent to win in a given market. A good product is a ‘given’ in today’s marketplace. What is equally important is how, where and from whom your end-users discover you and your product. 

With penetration of broadband and now 5G networks, expectations of customers are way beyond just a good product. Even the buying experience is part of the deal. Therefore, content rules the game. Your digital assets such as your website, campaign landing pages, product landing pages, content on social media, YouTube etc have become too ‘expensive’ to be ignored. Let’s discuss a few common mistakes vis-a-vis the best practices around such components of a lead machine.

      • Website content should be communicating the value proposition clearly and succinctly without triggering a doubt in the minds of a reader. Omit all the superfluous words. Cover the problem your product is solving, and for whom. Then answer this question why you? Take some time to differentiate from the other players in the market and justify your claim by using social proofs such as verifiable testimonials (consider G2.com) of satisfied customers.
      • Landing Pages should be optimised for intent. The content and design on the landing page should be commensurate with those in your website as well as other social media. Your brand identity and voice should serve as a guide. The form is the key element in a landing page. Have great design and text that appeal to prospects to share information. You may consider 3rd party SaaS products such as leadformly.com, unbounce.com etc. if you struggle with aesthetic design.
      • On Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Q&A forums such as Quora, Yahoo answers you should be prompt in response. Your messages on these platforms create engagement with your audience. Use these opportunities to consolidate your brand story, voice, themes and values. Use marketing automation platforms (HubSpot, Hootsuite, etc) to manage all social handles from a single source of truth. Moreover, social media management serves as a lever for managing the online reputation of your brand (ORM). Consider tools such as Google Alerts, Social Mention, Trakur etc.
      • Vlogs / Podcasts / Blogs serve many purposes for a brand. It can drive engagement, help build a community, establish the brand as a thought leader besides being a point of talk in the town hence bringing in a share of the attention of your target users. In other words, these are lead generating machines that ask very little in return. Only ask is the regular posting of relevant and valuable content without sounding salesy. Offer people genuine value and they offer you word-of-mouth.

No-Touch Lead Generation (B2C): High Bounce Rate

If you are spending a lot of marketing dollars on getting traffic on your landing page but the bounce rate is way too high, think about what you are promising on your marketing hooks (e.g., social media bytes, paid marketing copy etc) and what the landing page has to offer. Your content communication on all the platforms has to be in sync. 

There could be other reasons for low conversion on a landing page, some of those are technical some are related to design and communication. You may want to take help from other SaaS platforms who have solved specific problems in the value chain. For example, if you can’t design a great lead form it makes sense to get it done from places such as leadformly.com who focus only on building great forms that increase conversion.

No-Touch Lead Generation (B2C): Improper Targeting

Today, digital marketing tools allow us to target for the niches without spending too much. This was not the case earlier. Today you may reach a super idiosyncratic audience (meaning, say, a group of people with rare taste) easily without incurring a lot of cost, making your niche product a viable one. This was unthinkable ten years back. The market only had hits and misses. Today we have hits and niches. The point of sharing all these is that no market is too small today if you can target them well. You have to unmistakably pin down where in the long tail of the market your offerings exist.

Another common mistake committed in digital funnel building tactics is to become greedy in attracting a lot of people. If you use too broad keywords in your targeting filters which eventually end up in putting a lot of irrelevant ‘leads’ in the funnel eventually increase the cost per acquisition often to unsustainable levels. Therefore, adopt a mindset of experimentations and iterate through your selection of keywords to arrive at those few razor-sharp keywords that ensure winning paid customers.

No-Touch Lead Generation (B2C): Low Or No Virality In Content

One unmistakable feature of some of the most successful brands in this segment is the ability to develop viral content consistently. The logic is fairly simple. Since the LTV does not allow for a lot of spend on customer acquisition, there has to be some other lever for growth. Viral content serves that role exceedingly well. 

However, there is a catch, virality is often unpredictable or at least so is common knowledge. Having said that if your content research is thorough you should be able to find a fuzzy zone of content that is likely to go viral if executed well and in time. Things go viral for many reasons but let me offer the top two: they tickle your funny bone for no good reason, or they offer outstanding value at unthinkable price or no price. Therefore, you may want to keep some effort in that direction so that your content strategy increases your odds of hitting a jackpot once in a while.

Low-Touch Inside Sales Lead Generation (SMB): Calls Going Unanswered

You got a lead from your online campaign. The prospect has shared his email and phone number. However, she doesn’t respond to further nudges like a phone call, SMS, email etc. You seem to have caught a ‘dead-fish’, or is it? 

There may be many reasons why a person is not taking or returning a call. Your number may be listed as spam on true caller, she may be busy, she might not notice that you called or she might not be simply interested in your product but only the information she gathered by sharing her email and phone number.

The solution may lie in automation. You might want to put her on decently spaced (not 5 calls in a day, maybe 1 call in alternate days for three times before you disqualify the lead) automated voice calls with an option to connect to a real human. You might send her a nice short and crisp email with some additional value (like a newsletter, an eBook, some lucky draw, etc) and hope she comes back. Many won’t but those who would are likely to be more qualified leads.

Low-Touch Inside Sales Lead Generation (SMB): No Show For Demo

If your product requires a demo before sale then you know how maddening scheduling and calendar management can become for your sales reps. 

Firstly, delegate the scheduling task to the lead by using platforms such as Calendly with pre-decided slots for each of your sales reps. This will save an enormous amount of time for the sales reps so that they can focus on the ones who are investing their times on the demo.

Don’t forget to send automated reminders for the upcoming demo. Take these opportunities (reminder notifications) to pep the prospect up by giving more content that invokes curiosity in attending your product demo. 

If somebody has not shown up for a demo even after you have applied all the previously mentioned tactics, you may put them on an automated email list for follow up for a reasonable duration and forget about her till she returns. In all these communications, show empathy, personalise your message and offer genuine value. Again, content is king here. It is not what you reach out to people with but how you reach out ensures response.

Low-Touch Inside Sales Lead Generation (SMB): Unable To Reach A Decision-Maker

It might so happen to an inside sales team that the prospect took a demo, showed interest in following up the deal but then takes forever to close. These are signals that she might not be the decision maker in the organisation. She might have forwarded the proposal to her manager or the business owner, in case of an SMB and then nothing happens. How do you avoid such traps?

If you find yourself in such a situation, then pause and go back to your SQL questionnaire (Sales Qualified Lead). If you are wondering what such a questionnaire is, time to buckle up and make one. When a sales rep gets a marketing qualified lead (MQL), the first thing she does is run the lead through a series of qualification which validates that they have a need that can be served by your product, you know who is the decision maker and who is the influencer/user in the organisation, and most importantly you are including the decision maker in your demo.

If you don’t follow this process it is extremely likely that the sales will take a very long time to close, if at all. So, be alert in the early phase of lead qualification to save time and energy later.

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If you are wondering what a questionnaire is, time to buckle up and make one.

High-Touch Enterprise Lead Generation (Enterprise): Unable To Reach A Decision-Maker

Most things mentioned in 2.c above applied here. Additionally, in case of a large enterprise, the approval hierarchy might be even longer and you might have to give the same demo to multiple people. 

To save time you might deploy an asynchronous sales tactic, especially these days where everything is remote it is not necessary that all the decision makers are in the same room at the same time. In that, the sales rep shares some documentation and preferably a recorded video demo with the prospects. They can review/watch it in their own time (therefore asynchronously), note their questions and you may take their questions or objections on a separate call. 

This structure along with a meticulously planned content is much more likely to yield you results.

High-Touch Enterprise Lead Generation (Enterprise): Inability To Establish Credibility As A Thought Leader

To an enterprise client coming out as a thought leader in your own product niche plays a significant role in sales closure. The ticket size is high, the reliability on your product is also high hence the impact of a failure or things going wrong is significant for the enterprise. For these reasons enterprise buyers always look for established service providers with proven history of performance. The way they assess these are through peer reviews, validations by other larger enterprises (social proof) and the seller’s position in the market in terms of thought leadership within the product niche.

In such high-ticket sales, it is even more important to include in communications detailed case studies with previous clients, white papers, any IP, patents etc related to the product niche well documented.

In Summary

In these two articles we have explored the context of digital marketing with a focus on lead generation, we have articulated the top channels for digital outreach, we have logically segmented the market as per three dominant sales organisational structures, and finally we have discussed top nine challenges in lead generation across the three sales organisational structures and explored few logical solutions for same.

Avijit Dutta
Avijit Dutta
Avijit is a seasoned industry expert and a sharp strategist. Alumnus of Jadavpur University and IIM Bangalore he writes on innovation and entrepreneurship.

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