How to beat the 5 most common lead generation challenges
Think about the last time you were a lead. For me, it was during my recent new car purchase. The process began, interestingly enough, when my older son needed a car. When I made the decision to turn my car into a hand-me-down to the younger generation, I became “aware” that I needed a new car. So I started shopping.
First, I had to begin with some research because a lot had changed in the years that had passed since my last car purchase. Gas, hybrid or electric? Compact, midsize, sedan or SUV? (Never a minivan.) Once I determined the fuel type and body style, it was time to research manufacturers and models. There were a lot of questions I needed to answer before I would be ready to buy. I’ve never enjoyed the in-person car-buying experience, but luckily for me this time I was able to do the entire process online.
This is a fairly typical process, to some extent, for nearly every purchase decision we make. If we stop to consider, it’s easy to see how not every prospective customer is ready to buy right away. Most modern shoppers will actively avoid talking to a salesperson until they’re ready to buy. While they’re getting ready they use a variety of resources – from word of mouth to search engines and more – to evaluate their pending purchase.
Demand Generation vs Lead Generation
Demand generation is one of those rare marketing terms that means exactly what it says. Demand generation is the process of creating a demand for or interest in your business products or services. This generally includes marketing activities designed to generate awareness, build interest, and cultivate brand engagements with your prospects and customers.
The best demand generation strategies are built on solid research and data and rely on key program analytics to identify which aspects are successful, and which could use some improvement.
What is a Lead Generation?
OK, flashback to the beginning of this article. Do you remember the story of car shopping and the revelation that your business success depends on your ability to reach consumers who are interested but not yet “buy ready”? A person who may not be ready to buy, but has expressed tentative interest in a product or service is what is commonly referred to as a lead. Popular lead generation strategies include content marketing, PPC, SEO, social media marketing, and other activities designed to attract the attention of prospective customers.
Modern lead generation often involves creating a process for connecting with leads by creating interest and capturing some form of contact information from the interested parties, aka prospective customers. The contact information gathered from prospects is then utilized to deliver targeted sales and marketing messaging.
Lead generation is often the first step that’s required to begin developing a sales pipeline for a product or service, especially for sales that have a longer or more complex sales funnel or involve a high value item. Lead generation is an important process for all businesses, but it can also be challenging.
How to Overcome 5 Common Lead Generation Challenges
How does the old saying go? If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. So, of course, lead generation ain’t easy. In fact, creating a successful, scalable lead generation program can actually be quite challenging. I’d be willing to bet that just about anyone over the age of 12 can generate you leads, but not everyone can generate business leads that eventually convert into customers. The good news is, even if your business is struggling with lead generation, all it takes is a strong, effective strategy to turn your ship around.
To help increase your chances for success, we’re happy to point out a few of the most common lead generation challenges that businesses face and the best practices to combat them. Overcoming each of these challenges is essential to scaling your growth.
- Too. Many. Referrals.
Unfortunately, many businesses get stuck relying too heavily on one channel, whether it’s referrals, online advertising, or a different lead gen channel. While it’s pretty common for most businesses to have one higher performing channel, it’s important to have a well-rounded strategy that includes a mix of channels.
Let us share one more note of warning regarding lead gen referrals, while referrals can (and, depending on your business, should) be a great source of leads, relying too heavily on them can limit your overall reach (the number of prospects who see your marketing messages) and your ability to scale and generate enough new leads to meet your growth goals. Instead of relying on one, diversify your lead generation strategy by using multiple channels, such as PPC, social media, and content marketing.
- No Lead Generation Strategy
To be successful, you need to have consistent, reliable and scalable processes in place for generating leads via multiple channels and converting them into customers. In addition to a lead gen plan that includes a mix of tactics, you should include a plan for tracking your key results, and a plan to continually optimize to generate the most leads possible.
- No/Low Return on Investment (ROI)
It’s important to track your ROI and make sure you’re generating enough quality leads to justify the cost. There are a number of ways to track ROI, and the best approach will vary depending on your business. However, a unified dashboard that highlights your return on ad spend (ROAS) performance is critical.
- Maintaining Lead Quality and Quantity
A final challenge many businesses face is maintaining lead quality and quantity. It’s not enough to simply generate leads – you also need to make sure those leads are high quality and likely to convert into customers. Additionally, you need to generate a consistent stream of leads to keep your sales pipeline full. To do this, you need to have a solid lead generation strategy in place that includes a detailed plan to continually optimize your tactics for the best results.
- Lead Nurturing
Getting the leads is the just first step, next you’ll need to also plan for lead nurturing. Once your business has acquired a lead, there needs to be a clear follow up plan in place. The best lead nurturing plans have been proven to consistently draw the prospects through the lead funnel, from awareness to consideration to purchase. You should have a multi-touch, multi-channel nurturing program that keeps your leads interested in your product or service during the peak purchasing period. Nurturing leads can be time-consuming, but it’s a critical phase of the customer acquisition process.
PPC for Lead Generation
There are numerous studies, statistics, and real-life examples that prove PPC can be a powerful tool for lead generation. PPC can be used to drive targeted traffic to landing pages that are designed to quickly convert those visitors into leads. With PPC your business can generate a steady and scalable stream of leads that you can then put into your nurture pipeline to follow up with and close.
PPC can be an especially effective lead generation tactic for products or services with trial periods, complicated approval or denial processes, or long sales cycles. That’s because you can use PPC to target prospects who have already shown interest in your product or service and guide them through the purchase decision with meticulous ad copy and well-crafted landing pages.
PPC Lead Calls to Action (CTAs)
These common lead generation CTAs can be incorporated directly into your PPC ads and landing pages to drive leads for your business.
The “sign up” CTA, one of the most common lead generation CTAs, can be used in a number of different ways, but the most popular use is to get email list subscribers.
Get More Information
The “get more information” CTA can be used to drive qualified traffic to a landing page or site where visitors can find more information about your product or service.
Download Your Free eBook
If you have a lot of information to offer, you can also create a guide or eBook for your prospects to download.
Get A Quote
Finally, another effective CTA for generating leads is to offer a free quote. You can use a form to segment your customer data and create customized quotes.
For businesses with complex products or services, PPC ads can help you generate leads and even continue to nurture them during long sales cycles. By getting your brand in front of potential customers and providing them with a way to learn more about your product or service, you can keep your business top of mind even when they’re not ready to buy right away.
Do You Need PPC Lead Generation?
In today’s fast-paced world, lead generation continues to grow in importance and relation to overall business health. If you’re finding it hard to find new customers in a competitive market, you are not alone. PPC lead generation might be the key to reaching more potential customers who may be interested in your products or services.
Generating leads can help you to find new customers and keep your existing customers engaged and interested in what you have to offer. One strategy that may work? Combine demand generation and lead generation together in your marketing arsenal, and you may experience hypergrowth. Contact TNT Growth for a free strategy session where we can show you how both demand generation and lead generation can work to achieve your business goals.