When your b2b lead generation pipeline become empty, life literally comes to a halt. And in that state, thousands of confusing questions begin to pop into your mind.
And while you are cracking your head to find the best answers, it becomes even harder to understand why this happened in the first place.
Maybe your own pipeline is not yet 100% empty.
So you may not have experienced what it feels like. Currently, your marketing strategies could be bringing in some low volume quality traffic. And from there, you generate some leads and revenue.
However, you understand the fact that without a constant inflow of growing leads into your pipeline, becoming empty remains inevitable.
And when that happens, making progress towards your revenue goal becomes even harder. Thus, without looking further, you’ll already know that your current lead generation efforts are not working as much as you desire right now.
According to a study published by David Kirkpatrick of Marketing Dive, 77% of business owners surveyed said that lead quality improvement is their #1 challenge.
Another 55% also identified low quality leads as their biggest barrier to success.
What Is B2B Lead Generation Pipeline?
This can be referred to as series of marketing assets and activities aimed at reaching qualified prospects and engaging them for product or service sales. Especially in B2B online marketing contexts, you need to generate leads first before sales.
Derek Edmond wrote inside search engine land that balancing lead quality and quantity poses a great challenge to many marketers and business owners. Besides these issues of quality and quantity, below are the core reasons why your b2b lead generation pipeline could become flat out empty tomorrow.
You’ll also find a solution to each identified problem.
#1: Low Traffic Volume
Without explanation, you already know what this one is all about. Whether you are the person generating it or not, without sufficient volume of website traffic you may not be able to generate as much leads as you want now.
Here I’m referring specially to online marketing space.
Understandably, a higher volume of targeted website traffic will provide more lead generation opportunities.
But what if your target prospects are not visiting at all?
By low traffic volume, I mean something less than 1000 targeted website visitors per month. Among b2b service based businesses, many people still abandon their websites just after creation.
Except having the website address on marketing materials, they get no measurable business value from it.
And beside the purpose of providing information, what strategies do you have to convert prospects into actual customers? Yes, I know you have a generic lead magnet that says ‘join our newsletter’.
Why would I join, what is in it for me?
Probably you’ve owned a business website for a while. And because no single lead had been generated from it since then, you assume the potential isn’t there.
I also know you have other lead generation strategies that may be working in your business.
But the fact is that if your pipeline is already empty and you don’t generate sufficient volume of targeted traffic today, it will remain that way tomorrow.
Your website’s potential for quality lead generation will be largely untapped.
Action Tip: Plan and execute strategies for growing targeted traffic to your website daily, weekly or monthly.
Below are some specific things you can do.
- Create Linkable Content
- Add prominent social sharing buttons
- Start doing guest blog posts
- Post to active facebook groups
- Create and publish Youtube videos
- Comment on popular blogs
#2: Low Quality Leads
On the extreme, low quality leads are just as good as no leads at all. Regardless of the sources from where you get the leads, quality often matters more than quantity.
And if you have been focusing on volume, volume and volume only; think again.
‘My excitement quickly subsided after the first few rigid responses. After 185 calls, I took a moment to analyze the lead sources more closely’.
That was Adam Hurley’s realization at one point in his sales job.
‘Not only was I wasting my time, but the repeated failure began to get inside my head. The leads came from a webinar.
And the title was ‘The Future of Social Media’. On the surface, this title seemed relevant for selling social media management software.
Looking at the topic, just about anyone, including my mother could sign up for such webinar.’
Point is; the topic is too broad. It doesn’t speak to any pain point or need the target customer is facing. And therefore, even thought the quantity is impressive, the low quality makes for zero conversion.
Just as noted above, the ROI you get from your b2b lead generation pipeline is to a large extent dependent on the sources.
Practically, the sources will determine the audience you are targeting.
In addition to that, the other important variable is the actual message you are passing out. What value propositions are contained in your message?
What specific pain points, fears, hopes and aspirations are you addressing?
So if your pipeline stays empty for some time longer than you are comfortable with, then you need to rethink your sources, audience and the message.
Action Tip: Try a different source of new leads. Redefine your audience or buyer persona. And create precise pain point or solution based messages. Below are some pointers to the required actions.
- Invest in growing search engine traffic, both organic and paid. Attracting prospects exactly the time they are searching for your products or service will increase lead quality
- Use Facebook and LinkedIn ads to leverage deep, laser targeting.
- Integrate click to call buttons and use mobile device targeted ads. Getting people (leads) to pick up the phone and call often converts better than filling web forms
#3: No Retargeting Strategy
Whether you are aware of it or not, the advancement of technology helps to accelerate growth and profitability in many business spectrum.
However, it is the active integration of the best tools and execution that bring results, not mere possession of knowledge.
For a whole lot of people, getting traffic to their website is not the problem. The problem is converting a good percentage of their website visitors into actual customers.
To some extent, the problem gets painfully worse when you get zero leads from the resources invested in growing your website traffic.
A very big part of the problem is not having a retargeting strategy in place.
Based on the concept of customer journey, it is very obvious that everyone of your website visitor won’t convert into a lead or customer on their first visit.
Retargeting technologies help to bring back and convert a certain percentage of these lost prospects.
According to Retargeter, only 2% of website visitors convert on their first visit.
I don’t know your bounce or conversion rate but the question is, what are you doing currently to get value from that 98% traffic you spent money and time to generate?
Regardless of your traffic source, retargeting strategy holds great potential for growing conversion rate and revenue.
Here is a retargeting case study of 7,245% ROI from a single campaign.
Now this is how retargeting works. Some prospects visit your website. Let’s assume 100 visitors a day.
And then only 2 converted into leads or customers. Retargeting makes it possible to reach out to those lost visitors (98), show them some ads via Facebook, Google adwords (RLSA) or adsense partner sites.
Eventually, some of those lost prospects will start coming back, especially when they see something similar to what they viewed on your site and from the same brand.
Fact is that without retargeting, you’ll continue losing qualified customers to smart competitors in your niche.
And the beautiful thing is; you can target people who viewed specific pages on your website.
If I viewed women shoes, you can show me more brands of women shoes, hand bags, discounts, emphasize free shipping, shipping duration and other trust building factors that affect conversion rate.
Action Tip: Use Goolge analytics to identify the most trafficked pages on your website.
If you have dedicated lead generation landing pages or blog posts, pin point them out as well. Then start a retargeting campaign.
These are the basics on how to go about it.
- Leverage Facebook retargeting to bring back lost visitors
- Use Google adwords retargeted list for search ads (RLSA). When people visit your site and leave to continue their search in Google, this one shows up.
- Use Google’s display network advertisements to make your ads show up when people visit adense partner sites after leaving your website.
Even if your b2b lead generation pipeline is not 100% empty right now, this is likely to happen if you exhaust the leads at hand without improving current processes.
As we have observed above, growing your traffic volume may not be the ultimate solution.
At other times, the quality of leads generated could be the key metric that needs improvement right now.
And based on this issue of quality, I am tempted to ask, what processes do you have in place to test the quality of leads generated from each of your current sources?
Without proper conversion funnel tracking, A/B testing and analytics, half of your lead generation efforts could be wasting unnoticed.
And if this should continue, it will have severely negative implications for your bottom line ROI.
Vividly, you now know very well that you are leaving money on the table if you have no retargeting strategy in place. All these things could be contributing to an inevitable empty b2b lead generation pipeline.
Finally like I used to say, having good knowledge is half the battle. Execution is everything.
While everybody, including your competitors can spare some time to acquire free knowledge, very few will take it further to explore the possibilities that exist within their potential.
Ask questions or share your lead generation challenges and experiences below.
You can as well join our Facebook group – The Search Tribe to discuss, discover and leverage working strategies to attract only the people in need of your products/services – Now.