7 Most Common Mistakes in a B2B Lead Generation Process
Four words that give all of us anxiety: I made a mistake. Yikes! While it has happened to all of us, it doesn’t make it any easier when you realize you, or someone on your team, has made one. When it comes to marketing, mistakes aren’t always easily recognizable. Sure, if you have a typo in an ad you publish, that’s a pretty obvious mistake. But what about larger mistakes? These ones, ironically, can be harder to spot, but will have a larger impact on your bottom line.
For B2B businesses, lead generation is crucial. Your goal should always be to have a steady stream of qualified leads coming your way. For most of you, you already know that lead generation is important and are likely doing something to pull leads in. However, are you making some mistakes?
Unfortunately, lead generation is a difficult process no matter what industry you are in. In fact, 80% of marketers list their lead generation efforts as only slightly effective. It can definitely be hard to get things right, and the problem is, you might be making your life even more difficult if you are making some of these common mistakes. The good news is that these mistakes are common (meaning you aren’t alone) but the bad news is, they’re impacting your business.
Whether you are simply not pulling in enough leads, or if the ones you do pull in are consistently not a good match for your business, you may be guilty of these mistakes. Keep reading for 7 of the most common mistakes in a B2B lead generation process.
1. Lack of a landing page
Landing pages remain a crucial part of lead generation. Why? They offer concise information about a certain topic and encourage a certain action (like providing an email address). They are, when well-executed, designed to provide the right information, offer something valuable, and collect information. This is exactly what you need when it comes to lead generation. You might run a social media campaign that is focused on lead generation, but if clicking the ad takes a user to your general website, you’re more than likely going to lose them.
Instead, you should have a dedicated landing page that will help you draw in new leads. Include some engaging copy, a great CTA, a properly optimized form, and an enticing offer. In fact, we recently discussed the winning elements that all landing pages should have. Make sure you have everything on that list!
If you don’t have a landing page, create one. Then, keep reading for more common mistakes that include a few that may be present on your landing page.
2. Bad forms
Whether you need to create a landing page because you don’t have one, or if you are auditing an existing one, spend plenty of time analyzing the form section. A bad form can easily turn away a lead, even if they are a qualified lead that is perfect for your B2B business.
Forms are a classic way to capture a lead’s information, and there is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes tried and true techniques are what is best. However, it is pretty easy to get your forms wrong. There are two main ways you can get your forms wrong: One is their placement, and the other is their performance.
When it comes to placement, your form should be placed above the fold. This is important so that even if a user does not scroll on your landing page at all, they see the area that they need to fill out. This alone will increase the amount of form completions you receive.
Next, the form performance. First off, your forms absolutely need to be mobile friendly. More than likely a majority of your audience is accessing your landing page from a mobile device. Your entire landing page should be mobile friendly, but you want to pay particular attention to your form to make sure a user can easily complete it on a mobile device.
You also don’t want your form to be too long. Did you know that over 85% of users will leave a page if a form is too long? Don’t lose out on possible quality leads because your form is too long! Instead, stick to only what you need from them, not what you want. You can always collect additional information later.
The above form is a great example of a unique looking form that performs more like a quiz. Instead of filling out information or selecting something from a drop down menu or checklist, a user clicks the image that corresponds to what they want. Their answer influences what shows up next on the form, and at the bottom only basic contact information is collected before a user can submit. This makes the form far more interactive and almost a fun experience for the user.
We also recommend that you give your visitors options for how they wish to be contacted. This gives them control and is one simple way to make them happier right from the beginning of their relationship with you. Options to consider include email, phone, text message, or web push notification.
3. No segmentation
A really common problem that B2B businesses struggle with when it comes to lead generation is segmentation. Simply put, all of the leads that you generate for your business are not the same. For that reason, they should not be treated the same. By that we mean that your leads come to you at different phases of the buyer’s journey and also have different needs.
For example, say you run an online agency and offer a variety of web developing and marketing services. If a lead fills out a contact form of yours and indicates that they need help with content marketing, the above push notification would be a great campaign (and potential lead magnet) to send to them. However, if that lead had indicated that they need a new website, the campaign is far less effective.
Segmented campaigns will almost always be more effective than broad campaigns. While this means you’ll have to take more time to create unique campaigns for different types of visitors, it is well worth the time and effort in order to generate more quality leads.
4. Poor lead magnets
Lead magnets, like landing pages, work. It’s that simple. However, similar to your landing page or your form, you can easily get it wrong. A lead magnet should pull in your audience and interest them enough for them to offer up their information in exchange for it. Keep in mind, the average office worker receives over 120 emails a day. For that reason alone, they aren’t going to give out their email for just anything.
However, if you offer something that is truly valuable, it’s a different situation. A qualified lead will gladly give their information if in return they are getting something that will be truly useful to them and their business. If you have created a lead magnet but see that few leads are actually interested, you likely need to create or offer something different.
A webinar, like pictured above, is an awesome B2B lead magnet. Because it is a live training session, it is a clear unique offer that a visitor could not find anywhere else. Also, many webinars end with some type of special offer, which provides more of an incentive to join in. We discussed a few other lead magnet ideas recently if you want a few more suggestions.
5. Getting social media wrong
Everyone knows at this point that you need social media to be successful, but things are a lot more nuanced today than they used to be. Your B2B business does not need to be (and in fact, shouldn’t be) on every social platform out there. Not only does no one have time for that, even if you did, it will not pay off. Instead, focus your time on the platforms that will work best for your B2B business. Facebook and LinkedIn are two main platforms you should consider.
There are tons of differences when it comes to social media marketing for B2C and B2B brands. A lot of the information out there that you find will be for B2C. Make sure you hone in on B2B strategies. The above video from Shopify, for example, is a great lead generation video that worked incredibly well for them. To date, it has 8 million views!
LinkedIn is, for most B2B brands, a crucial platform. In fact, it is rated as the most effective social platform for B2B businesses. If you don’t have a presence here, you are making a serious mistake. Create a business profile here and make sure it is a main part of your lead generation strategy (as well as your overall digital marketing strategy). Follow this guide for some specific tips on how to nail your B2B LinkedIn marketing.
6. Not checking analytics or A/B testing
What a huge mistake! At the end of the day, the most important information you have as a marketer is your own. Checking in with your own analytics to see how your landing pages, forms, and social media efforts are performing is the best way to find areas for improvement.
In particular, you should also consider running some A/B tests in order to continually improve your lead generation efforts. While general statistics on landing pages can give you a good starting point, don’t lock yourself into anything without first testing. In general, shorter forms perform better. If you run an A/B test and see that a longer form converts better for you, stick with the longer form!
You can A/B test just about anything these days- including your landing pages, forms, social media campaigns, or web push notifications. Make sure you set up your tests correctly, testing one element at a time. Is this time consuming? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Small changes will help nudge you towards better results over time. A/B testing has become incredibly accessible these days, meaning you have no excuse to not give it a try in an effort to improve your B2B lead generation efforts.
7. Stopping at lead generation
Finally, likely the biggest mistake you can make in B2B lead generation is to stop at lead generation. Lead generation should never be the stopping point- instead it is just the beginning! Once you generate your leads, you need to then effectively nurture them towards conversion. Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter how many new leads you can pull in if none of them end up converting. Nurturing them is the best way to help improve your conversion rate.
Remember earlier when we mentioned segmenting your leads? That is a crucial part of lead nurturing as well. Leads need to be nurtured with the appropriate content based on their interests and their spot in your sales funnel. A lead at the bottom of your funnel shouldn’t be nurtured with awareness content. Similarly, a lead at the top of your funnel should not be nurtured with super sales-oriented content. They aren’t there yet!
Always keep the conversation going with your leads. The more you nurture them, the more likely they will convert. Be sure to check out these top lead nurturing tactics for some more inspiration.
So there you have it! These are the 7 most common mistakes in a B2B lead generation process. Were you keeping count as you read? How many are you guilty of? Whether it’s 1, or all 7, it’s okay! Once you recognize where you are lacking, you know where to focus your efforts to make your lead generation process better.
Whether you need to get smarter about social media, improve your segmentation, optimize your landing pages and forms, do a better job A/B testing, or simply start some lead nurturing, doing so will vastly improve your B2B lead generation, and therefore, your business in general.
Do you want to start using web push notifications as a way to engage and nurture your leads? Get started for free with Aimtell, or learn more about web push by reading our Beginner’s Guide.