Generating leads is hard. Generating quality leads is harder still. But nearly every marketer out there struggles to generate enough quality leads to satisfy their sales teams. So, relax and take comfort in knowing you're not the only one.
Besides, you are already ahead of the pack by trying to figure out why.
When new clients come to us and explain they are struggling to generate leads, we get them to take us through what they are currently doing.
These are the 9 most common reasons we see for underperforming lead generation (in no particular order):
1. You haven’t defined your target audience.
2. You don’t have a content strategy.
3. You’re not giving enough time to see results before changing tactics.
4. You’re not leveraging user-generated content.
5. Your only lead capture is on the contact page.
6. You’re not using social media to your advantage.
7. Your website has major flaws.
8. You’re not using chatbots.
9. Not investing in the right tools & support.
As a first step, you need to check you’re getting the basics right. But advanced lead generation doesn't have to be costly if you focus on thinking smarter, not harder.
1. You Haven’t Defined Your Target Audience (Buyer Persona).
To capture leads, you first have to capture the attention of the right audience. And that means creating Buyer Personas.
Different types of content appeal to different people. You will never be successful if there is a mismatch between the content your working hard to produce and the content your potential leads want to consume.
Without detailed personas in place, you can’t create content that resonates - the less you know about their pain points, the less you can do to relieve them.
Content for the sake of content is not a strategy. It won’t drive traffic to your site or turn visitors into leads. Yes, you might be producing a steady stream of content, but if it’s not part of an overarching strategy, you will see limited returns.
Buyers look for different content at different times. Someone at the beginning of the sales process will want something very different to someone nearing the end.
If you’re going heavy with the decision content (I.e. a sales pitch), you’re likely scaring off visitors who are only just starting to figure out their problem.
You need content to link the different stages of a lead’s lifecycle: Awareness, Consideration, Decision.
3. You’re Not Giving Enough Time To See Results Before Changing Tactics.
Client: “We’ve tried everything and nothing has worked!”
UXD: “Oh! How long ago did you start?”
Client: “5 months.”
UXD: “And you’ve tried everything?”
We understand it’s hard to explain to your boss why something hasn’t delivered leads yet. People will always want quick wins, but that mentality can do more damage than good when it comes to improving your lead generation.
How long should you give before changing tactics? It depends on:
What strategy you're focusing on:
For example, SEO and Content Marketing will be slower burns than PPC, but they eventually bring in more traffic and they never turn off. With ads, once you stop paying, you stop playing.
The size of your current audience:
If you have an established audience you will see results quicker, but for everyone else - and especially newer businesses - it’s going to be a tough journey. You have to be willing to commit to a strategy long enough to gather data and make an informed decision based on real results rather than a gut feeling.
If you're trying a new strategy, your results might take longer than you hope. Every marketing channel has a learning curve - with PPC, you can spend thousands bidding on the wrong keywords, with content marketing you can spend months writing the wrong content.
Unfortunately, the clock doesn’t start until you start doing the right things.
If you aren’t skilled or don’t use an agency to bridge the skill gap, results will take longer. Likewise, if you jump from one strategy to the next, you will never give yourself the traction you need to make an impact.
4. You’re Not Leveraging User-generated Content.
It shouldn’t surprise you to hear people have become sceptical of marketing. We are all conditioned to seek out evidence to reassure us that what we are getting into is worth our time.
And now technology has made it so this evidence is only a few clicks away - in the form of reviews, case studies, and visuals of people using your products/service - and you best believe people are seeking it out.
If you don’t take advantage of user-generated content to ease people’s doubts, it's likely that you're driving away a ton of opportunities.
5. Your Only Lead Capture Is The Contact Page Form.
This one makes us sigh. Businesses seem to think having a contact page will fill their lead pot. It won’t.
This is going to be the key thing when it comes to lead generation. Without going too deep into the Inbound Marketing methodology, you need to provide people with a way to enter their details - whether that’s via forms, popups or CTAs to landing pages.
If you don’t, you are letting potential leads slip away!
6. You’re Not Using Social Media To Your Advantage
To pick up leads on social channels, you need to keep up a consistent stream of quality content. Posting on the fly will only cause you to spin your wheels.
It’s also crucial to focus part of your social media marketing strategy on getting your followers off of social media and onto an asset you have full control over. And that means promoting your gated lead magnets.
7. Your Website Has Major Flaws
This one could easily be an entire blog by itself where we delve into layout, content and your overall user experience. For now, we’ll keep to the 2 key reasons leads are slipping away because of your website.
Non-mobile optimised website:
Between 50-60% of all search queries globally now come from mobile devices. If you don’t provide a great user experience when visitors explore your site away from their PC’s or laptops, you are losing a massive chunk of your leads.
Slow page load speed:
People have become spoilt. We expect sites to load in a matter of seconds. If not, what do you think your leads will do? Yep, you guessed it, they’re clicking back and onto a competitor.
Use a website speed analyser to see how fast or slow your site loads. It’ll be clear if you need to take action. Google Page Insights is a personal favourite.
8. Not Using Conversation Bots
The modern consumer is becoming more and more demanding. This means providing your customers with an immediate response is a key competitive advantage for any business - small or large. Chatbots solve this, as they operate without human oversight 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
9. Not Investing In The Right Tools & Support
Your budget will largely impact the results you are likely to see, but that doesn’t mean you have to let go of the purse strings completely. A bit of slack for the right tools and support can help tremendously with your lead generation efforts.
Tools we recommend:
Lead Forensics - Find out who is visiting your site (and not form filling) via their IP address.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator - It lets you target the right buyers with personalised outreach.
If you are serious about lead generation AND nurturing those leads successfully into customers,
HubSpot is more appropriate.