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7 Common Lead-Generation Pitfalls

Sales and marketing teams work hard to generate leads, so knowing some of the major lead-generation pitfalls will help prevent those leads from falling through the cracks or turning into dust.

Not understanding your audience

Knowing your audience is one of the most important initial steps to a solid lead-generation program. You need to understand in detail who your buyer is and his buyer journey. Without this in-depth understanding, you are setting yourself up for failure. How can you speak directly to someone you barely know?

The key to lead-generation success is sending relevant messages to your audience and creating a relationship. Take the time to understand who they are and what makes them tick.

Not paying attention to the buying stage

Your leads go through a buying journey. Respect that process and present your leads with the right offers at the right time. A lead who is just researching what your solution is all about isn't ready to be sold, so don't put her in that situation. Match your offers to what she is seeking. Marketers who don't do this will likely see leads going dark. By understanding where a lead is on his journey, you can provide helpful information that moves the lead through the sales cycle over time.

Serving up only promotional content

Instead of building a solid foundation of educational thought leadership, some companies fill their funnel with promotional papers and demos. These types of assets won't resonate with buyers until they are ready to buy. Don't be afraid to push out content that focuses on relationship-building. The soft, relationship sell of educational content will reel your lead in over time. Plus, you can quickly become a leader in your space, which helps your trust and credibility.

Not aligning sales and marketing

In many companies, sales and marketing exist in separate silos. This is a very hard habit to break. Sales thinks marketing is all about "arts and crafts," and marketing thinks sales doesn't understand what they do on a day-to-day basis and the value they bring. As a result, leads fall through the cracks. Good sales and marketing alignment accomplishes many objectives — most importantly, closing more leads to grow your business.

Failing to nurture leads after acquisition

Most of your leads are not ready to buy when you get their names, especially if you are rocking out your lead generation with a lot of top-of-the-funnel campaigns. You have to build relationships with your leads over time through lead nurturing. That way, you can stay top of mind so that when your lead is ready to buy, she will consider your company first.

Not testing your campaigns

You can test almost everything in your lead-generation plan. Test campaigns, copy, subject lines, times of day, design, and so on. As a marketer you should ABT (Always Be Testing), because that is the only way you can know what works and what doesn't work. Testing also helps you learn more about your target buyer and his behaviors and actions.

Being boring

Finally, don't be boring! Whether you're a B2B start-up company or a large enterprise, you're still selling to people. People like to be entertained. People like to be educated. People want to be spoken to as though they are humans and not drones. No matter what industry you are in, all of your lead-generation campaigns can use some spicing up. If you are interesting and creative, you will be heard through all of that noise out there.

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