5 lead generation mistakes you should avoid

This article is for you who work with lead generation in digital marketing. You know, demand generation is one of the main functions of marketing in the digital environment and it can be quite challenging.

Whether you’re working with paid traffic, SEO, social media, influencers, content marketing, or any other strategy, there are some common mistakes you should avoid. We’ve selected five of them that you shouldn’t commit when it comes to generating leads. Shall we go to them?

1 – Only work the bottom of the funnel

Yes, generating leads to directly sell your product or service is essential. The problem becomes when the focus is exclusively directed to this focus (bottom of the funnel).

Think of a packed football stadium, with 50,000 people. If you made a pitch for your product or service, do you know how many people would be willing to buy at that moment? Look:

  • Only 3% of people would be ready to buy the product
  • Only 7% of people would be willing to hear about it.
  • 90% of people would ignore you at least at this point.

This is what happens every day with many companies on the market. Most potential people don’t care about your product/service right now. Because of this, most companies focus on attacking the top 10% of the pyramid.

and, obviously, this is a correct decision.

the problem is: the competition there is fierce. Everyone has their eyes on these same people and will do everything to win over most of them. Do you want to get out of this bloody battle and increase your sales and profit? Pay close attention to this: Gold is in the middle part of the pyramid.

Just because people aren’t willing to buy from you now doesn’t mean they never will be. And most companies ignore this.

Start a relationship at the beginning of the journey (top of the marketing funnel), when, often, a prospect doesn’t even clearly know they have a problem. There the competition and the cost per lead is much lower.

Attack the middle of the pyramid to start and build a relationship. One day, that lead will be ready to hear what you have to say. And when he’s ready to buy, guess who will be the first option in his mind? Lead generation as a whole tends to benefit from this strategy and many companies still make the mistake of ignoring this path. Don’t do that.

2- Not using technology to generate leads, qualification and relationships

First of all, it must be said: technology is a means and not an end. However, its adoption can facilitate the relationship and qualification of leads.

And here I want to give a specific focus on marketing automation tools. Many companies do not have software that allows them to automate relationships with their prospects and customers. The natural problem with this is that the company is unable to scale qualification and relationships with new prospects.

Having tools that help in this process is essential for you to achieve better results in generating leads for your sales team. The generation of MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) and PQLs (Product Qualified Leads) requires tools that support this automation.

3 – Not taking into account the stage of the funnel the lead is in

We know that the stages of the marketing funnel are divided into:

  • Top
  • Quite
  • Bottom

You should treat a lead at the top of the funnel differently than a lead at the bottom of the funnel.

The objective, in the end, is always the same: to make the person progress one level further in the funnel. Let’s understand what you can do to attract people at each stage of the marketing funnel:

Top of the funnel: blog articles, social media posts and e-books with basic content about your area of ​​expertise;

Middle of the funnel: lead nurturing with email marketing, more in-depth e-books, webinars and case studies;

Bottom of the funnel: more commercial content, such as product comparisons, free demonstrations, expert evaluation, testimonials, etc.

The bottom line is this: You need to treat leads at different stages in different ways. It makes no sense to try to sell directly to a lead who has just met you (by downloading a top-of-the-funnel eBook, for example). The chance of a deal being completed is extremely low.

4- Misalignment between marketing and sales

This is a very common problem in many companies, that is, misaligned marketing and sales teams, which end up causing poor results.

If this is happening in your business, you need to act to define better internal processes. Some good practices include:

Have a well-defined SLA

Defining an SLA (Service Level Agreement) between departments is an essential first step to ensuring alignment between areas. This means that both departments must reach a common agreement on some relevant metrics, for example:

  • Marketing: Generate 1,000 leads/month and grow that number at 5% per month for the next 3 to 6 months.
  • Sales: Generate an opportunity generation rate of 30% in relation to total leads and a 40% closing rate on all opportunities generated.

By aligning very well what to expect from each team, the problem of misalignment and internal conflicts decreases.

Constant feedback between areas

The marketing and sales areas need to be in contact at all times to align expectations, goals and results.

Ideally, regular meetings should take place (the frequency varies from company to company) to checkpoints in relation to the goals and deliveries of both teams.

By ensuring that this process is running “fluidly”, this should bring many gains for the entire company and, certainly, also for lead generation.

Analysis of main metrics and indicators

Analyzing the data generated by the work of the marketing and sales departments and acting on course corrections and improvements is essential for alignment between the people of these teams and for pursuing previously established objectives.

However, the data doesn’t tell you much if it isn’t well interpreted, much less if you aren’t analyzing the right metrics. Let’s clarify the matter a little.

There are two types of indicators you should keep an eye on. One of them is widely publicized and smoothed while the other is rarely observed.

Lagging Indicators

Lagging indicators demonstrate the result that happened in the past. Examples:

  • number of leads generated in the month,
  • number of opportunities
  • Number of sales.

These are well-known and analyzed metrics. But, as we mentioned before, they only demonstrate your past result.

Leading Indicators

Leading indicators, on the other hand, are not widespread and reveal future results. Examples:

  • seller response time after the lead arrives,
  • Number of visits to the product page.

These numbers can directly influence the company’s results and can be consulted and corrected even before the end of the period being analyzed.

Is one indicator better than the other? Well, actually they are complementary. While one shows the results, the other can indicate the reason for these results. It’s not enough to just look at the bottom line numbers, like most companies. It is necessary to monitor the metrics that reveal the possible reasons why your results increase or decrease month by month.

Without this, you will only be monitoring numbers and will have difficulty influencing your results and testing concrete actions to improve them.

5 – Not defining your persona (your ideal customer)

I left this lead generation mistake for last, but it could easily be first on the list.

Who are you talking to? And here I am wanting to go much further than just age, gender, and social class. Do you really know your prospect? Do you know your pains? Do you know your needs and desires in depth? Yes, you need to define your buyer persona.

Ok, and how to build your persona? Firstly, it is important to say that the definition of your ideal client is not something that “comes out of your head”. Defining a persona requires careful research to ensure that the data is as faithful as possible and in accordance with reality.

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