The aim of each marketing department is or should be to generate as many leads as possible and do so according to the needs of the sales department. Yes, the marketing department must understand exactly what the sales department needs. Otherwise, even the largest number of mistaken leads will not improve its effectiveness. And that is the crux of the matter here.
In many of our articles, you can find information about how much a lead costs, what are the methods of generating it, and what should be measured. Despite this, companies are constantly turning to us with the need for support in generating good quality leads.
So what are the main problems that may arise when generating B2B leads?
1. Measuring lead conversion rate: SQL, Opportunity, and Deal.
Many companies focus on generating as many leads as possible. However, unfortunately, this is not about the quantity. One often forgets that every lead has to follow a specific path in order to become a proper customer. This is what we call the sales process. Unfortunately, many leads do not convert to customers. You lose leads at every stage of the sales funnel. Therefore, it is important to properly measure leads at each stage and analyze the conversion rate.
We should measure, among others:
- Conversion of Lead to SQL – Sales Qualified Lead
- Conversion of Lead to Opportunity
- Conversion of Lead to Deal
For example, let’s imagine we have 2 sources of leads.
- Inbound Lead– generated from Google Adwords.
- Outbound Lead – generated from Cold Email.
If an Inbound Lead has a Lead to Deal conversion rate of 5% it means that out of 100 leads you will get 5 customers. Inbound Leads are quite cheap and can be generated with mass activities. It would seem to be the ideal model.
However, Outbound Leads have better conversion rates: up to 20%. This means that you only need 25 leads to get 5 customers.
Companies that do not analyze this kind of data will not be able to manage their sales funnel properly.
2. Measuring and testing different sources of leads
Since we already have different Inbound and Outbound lead sources, it is important to note that different sources have different effects for each organisation. What works well for a company that sells online language courses may well be useless for an IT company. You should be aware that each lead source requires a different approach and produces different results.
Inbound Leads—most often used in large-scale products and services. By reaching a large number of recipients you can count on a considerable range of your activities. However, Inbound activities are never 100% accurate. You do not have full influence on who is the recipient of your communication and whether it fits the profile of your ideal customer?
Outbound Leads—most often used in expensive products and services and highly specialized and niche markets. Such leads take a lot more effort to be generated, which affects their price, but also their quality.
Just test it out. You can find many methods of lead generation activities on our blog.
3. Creation of a precisely profiled target group.
Are you sure you know who your client is? Many companies build their databases by limiting themselves to quite general criteria: industry, decision-maker. Others go to extremes, they analyse wealth, gender, age, which, as far as the B2B industry is concerned, is of little importance.
When analysing the customer profile, we should pay attention to:
– Common ground with the customer—what do you have in common with them?
– What business processes do the client implement that interest us?
– What problems does the customer have with these processes?
– What does he feel, think, see in relation to the problems that arise?
– Who makes the purchasing decision and who is the user (who suffers from the problem)?
When building a process of communication with your target group, it is important to analyze the aforementioned issues, as it is precisely the well-tuned communication and presentation of benefits that generates leads with a high conversion rate.
In order to define your target group well, it is of course best to look at the profiles of your current customers and analyse their common features, and then use this knowledge together with your marketing and Pre-Sales department.
4. Lead generation in the sales team
Many companies continue to require the sales team to generate lessons for themselves. These are quite outdated methods and have long been proven to be inefficient. A salesman, whose role is to build a relationship with a customer, will always face the problem of whether he should focus on building sales potential or on opportunities that are already generated and close the sales.
This results in a situation where one of these tasks is always simply neglected. Either you have new leads and no time to close the sales, or the other way round.
That is why companies introduce Pre-Sales teams in their structures. Pre-Sales professional is a person who is responsible for obtaining leads using the Outbound method. These include Cold Email, Cold Call, or Social Selling that attract a potential customer to the company. The division into Pre-Sales and Sales allows you to better plan the work of each department, measure effectiveness, and scale the team. In the context of customer acquisition, this division of tasks allows the Pre-Sales team to focus on generating leads and the Sales team on closing sales.
5. Lack of communication between the marketing and sales department
The problem mentioned in the title is unfortunately very common. If we asked half of the companies in the country and their sales departments what they think of the marketing team, many salespeople would certainly comment on the poor quality and type of leads the marketing team delivers. What is missing here, however, is a simple understanding that the marketing department needs customer knowledge in order to successfully generate B2B leads. Since marketing does not work with the customers directly, this knowledge should be obtained from the salespeople themselves. However, they are often reluctant to do so.
On the other hand, if you asked the marketing department what they think about the sales team, we would find out that according to them it is the sales department that cannot sell. This is a very sad feedback, yet it is often based on wrong assumptions. The marketing department forgets that the mere fact that they generate leads does not guarantee that lead meets the requirements for the profile of an ideal customer as defined by the sales department based on their experience.
The cooperation of these two departments is therefore very important. They must understand that they both aim at the same goal, but use different tools to achieve it.
Do not make those mistakes. Ensure that leads are measured and handled properly in CRM. Make sure that there is good communication between the departments and get to know who your customer is.