4 Common B2B Lead Generation Mistakes

4 Common B2B Lead Generation Mistakes

B2B lead generation involves fostering interest in your company, brand, product, or service in order to generate a sales inquiry. The prospect submits their contact information via call, email, chat, or form submission, becoming a lead, one that can be nurtured with content and communications until they are sales-ready.

B2B lead generation is an essential link between marketing and sales. Marketing initiatives create the first contact with a prospective customer and provide the means for the prospect to submit their contact information, making them a lead. Then, marketing nurtures the lead until they are ready to speak to sales – so that when a salesperson makes contact, the lead is close to making a purchase decision.

When it comes to generating B2B leads, some tactics work better than others, and some that must be avoided at all costs because they are ineffective, outdated, and off-putting to B2B buyers. Here are common B2B lead generation mistakes to avoid in 2021.

Mistake #1: Ignoring social media

A recent study found that in just six hours of social media marketing, 66% of marketers generate valuable leads. Social media is a great place to refine and reinforce brand messaging and connect with an existing audience or reach a new one. It is also an excellent way to demonstrate expertise, attract qualified leads, broaden reach, and educate prospects.

84% of C- and VP-level executives use social media when making a purchasing decision.

By ignoring social media, companies may miss out on a tremendous opportunity to reach and engage with the target audience.

Solution: Embrace Social Media

First, identify which channels are most appropriate for brand messaging and reach an audience of B2B decision-makers. In general, B2B companies will fare well on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Create and optimize online profiles, and write and post interesting, valuable, and clickable content.  Here are a few more tips.

  • Aim to post a few times a day for demand generation
  • Present calls-to-action in your updates and on web pages that receive social media traffic, like articles, eBooks, and white papers. (A call-to-action, or CTA, is an instruction to perform a task, such as filling out a form or entering an email address in exchange for an eBook.)

Mistake #2: Operating without a strategy or budget

Attempting to generate B2B leads without a defined digital strategy, content strategy, and budget is not likely to work. Running campaigns without a cohesive strategy will spread a company’s budget – and marketer’s attention – too thin to be of value for lead generation.

Solution: Plan Ahead

Instead, take the time to establish a well-defined strategy according to core objectives and B2B lead generation goals for your company. Then, allocate resources to social media, content marketing, SEO, and inbound marketing – both the budget required to garner valuable insights, and the people needed to monitor campaigns and make adjustments to optimize performance.

Mistake #3: Being Too Rigid

The best B2B lead generation strategies walk a fine line between structure and flexibility. Marketing professionals that cling too tightly to strategy as written risk wasting their budget on ineffective tactics.

Solution: Adapt and optimize

A marketing plan should be a framework for resource planning, but one that can be adapted to opportunities identified along the way. To do this, track campaigns while they are active and evaluate at regular, frequent checkpoints. This takes resources, so build this time into budget planning and strategy.

Read more: Key Stages and Stats for the B2B Customer Journey

Mistake #4: Misalignment Between Sales and Marketing

A lack of alignment between sales and marketing means that neither group gets the results they want. If marketing generates leads that are not qualified by sales standards, they won’t get credit for their work. And if leads aren’t decision-ready, it will be extremely difficult to make a sale.

Solution: Prioritize Communication

One case study found that improving alignment between sales and marketing increased revenue at one company by 34%. Companies that align well also have better growth, customer retention, and sales win rates. To align sales and marketing, be certain there is open communication regarding:

  •     Lead qualification attributes
  •     Lead handoff processes
  •     Giving and implementing feedback

Avoiding common missteps in B2B lead generation and being proactive in creating strategies to optimize lead generation can help a company become more successful in generating more leads, increasing sales, and improving revenues. Create a plan that includes the channels and campaigns to address, and includes resources necessary for monitoring and optimizing campaigns, and communicating for alignment between sales and marketing.

Sources

Hubspot, Level Up Your Social Media Lead Generation Game with These 35 Tools and Stats, 2020.

Superoffice, How Sales and Marketing Alignment Increased New Revenue by 34%, 2021.

IDG, 5 Statistics That Will Change Your View of the B2B Buyer’s Journey, 2016.



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Ironpaper is a B2B marketing agency and lead generation agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.