Is your revenue funnel drying up? Here’s what to do about it
B2B sales organizations often struggle to meet their numbers, and this is particularly problematic for smaller companies. While missed quotas can stem from a number of factors and inefficiencies throughout the sales process, one of the major issues is an overall lack of leads. Your sales team may not have enough leads or the contacts they do have aren’t qualified. Having the right kinds of leads can significantly improve sales effectiveness. It may be time to change your lead generation techniques to get better results. At the end of the day, your salespeople can’t meet their quotas unless they have high-quality leads.
Reasons why your Internet lead generation methods are failing
Lead generation can be flawed for a number of reasons and you need to get it right to avoid losing deals. Here are some of the biggest issues your team could be facing:
- Quantity: Depending on the size of your company, you may not have a separate marketing team, and it’s difficult for them to carve out enough time to prospect in their busy schedules. An integrated marketing platform can help them overcome this challenge.
- Quality: If you have a marketing team and these employees are the ones in charge of lead generation, they may not have a good idea of what the sales team needs to convert prospects. Lack of sales and marketing alignment causes many problems within B2B firms, according to an article for Accent Technologies’ Blog written by John Fakatselis. Marketers sometimes focus solely on the numbers, but the prospects they find aren’t a particularly good fit for your company’s products or services. This frustrates sales reps, who often don’t follow up with the contacts they received from marketing.
- Ignoring leads: Another major reason you’re losing leads halfway through the funnel is that your sales team isn’t conducting any nurturing campaigns. Citing data from Marketing Sherpa, Fakatselis said that 79 percent of leads never convert to customers, and the primary reason for this is a lack of lead nurturing. While a large portion of the buyer’s journey occurs behind the scenes and prospects may have nearly arrived at a decision before they reach out to a sales rep, they don’t want to be ignored. It won’t give them an incentive to buy from you unless your sales employees work to build the relationship earlier.
How to improve lead generation to drive sales
No matter the size of your company, you need to have an eligible pool of leads to work with at all times to increase revenue. Here are some tips to get a higher number of better quality leads:
- Encourage sales and marketing collaboration: Sales representatives need marketers to send them leads they can work with, and in order for this to happen, the two teams need to work together. If you have two separate teams, they need to collaborate and agree on a single shared definition of what makes a qualified lead. Once this is accomplished, you may be able to reduce your cost per lead because marketers will be attracting relevant prospects who are more likely to convert. Marketers can also produce better content, according to Fakatselis.
- Monitor lead behavior: Many buyers are wary of obvious pitches. Additionally, cold calling has lost much of its effectiveness. This puts your team in a challenging position because they need to build a personal relationship with prospects without coming on too strong. Sales reps need to take an example from content marketing and be more subtle in how they approach prospects. Prospects are more suspicious of overly promotional content, so you can consider implementing an integrated marketing platform. These tools help your sales team better track customer behaviors so they have a better indication of when prospects are ready to buy, Louis Foong wrote for LEADership.
- Really understand your target market: Chasing the wrong prospects won’t help you improve your sales numbers. An integrated marketing environment can provide clues into buyer behavior. Your sales team needs to understand customers’ pain points, needs, and business goals. This can help them both go after the right types of leads as well as craft more relevant pitches and presentations.
- Use an online marketing system: Lead generation is a huge task for any organization. Buyers’ processes are more complex than ever before, and sales teams need a way to connect with the most qualified prospects. A marketing platform helps your sales team assign an initial ranking to leads as they enter the revenue funnel. This can help reps determine whether contacts are worth a follow-up. If a lead isn’t a good match for your company, your team doesn’t need to expend the effort to build the relationship. These tools also have lead nurturing capabilities, which allow sales employees to help prospects move from one stage of the sales cycle to another.