re you inundated with articles telling you to nurture your qualified leads? Perhaps you’ve grown weary of all the advice you’ve been hearing about how to get your prospects moving faster along the sales funnel?
Strategies about how to attract and grow your leads often vary depending on who you’re talking to. Sometimes it involves complicated steps, mind-reading powers, a certain amount of creativity, as well as really good timing.
Whatever type of marketer you are, this much is clear: Acquiring leads is hard, but losing them is easy.
If you need reminding about what NOT to do when it comes to lead nurturing, here’s a list for you to consider.
1. Ignore Your Leaky Sales Funnel
Allowing your leads to fall through the cracks due to a faulty process is not just a waste of time, but a serious waste of money.
Having a leaky sales funnel is a lot like having a Harley with a leaky gas tank. You might look great and imposing on the outside, but you won’t get far no matter how many times you keep filling it up with gas.
Start with the basics: address inefficiencies in your sales funnel that might be causing prospects to duck out of the buying cycle. After putting your resources into attracting those leads, you don’t want to waste the opportunity by letting them slip away.
2. Consistently be… Inconsistent
Set up a new blog post telling your readers they’ll be getting a weekly newsletter. And then, make sure you don’t keep up with what you promised.
Post a daily update on your Facebook account for two weeks and then stop without explanation. Don’t explain why you’ve been away, or what else to expect from you.
Do this consistently for months at a time, and watch your leads dwindle to a trickle until you’re left with practically nothing. Your prospects expect a degree of regularity from your brand so not living up to that is a surefire way to get on their bad side.
3. Drag Your Feet When Responding to Client Questions
Why respond in a timely manner when you can ignore the question until it goes away, right? The acceptable window of time for responses has become faster—thanks to social media, but in general, you should make sure to respond as soon as possible. Leave it for too long and you’re bound to lose that particular lead.
Inside Sales conducted a lead management study revealing that the odds of qualifying a lead in 5 minutes versus 10 minutes decreased 4 times. There’s no denying the fact that time is of the essence, so don’t let it go to waste.
4. Always Go for the Hard Sell
There are times when following up with clients is called for, especially when you’ve established a relationship to the point where they’re very close to converting. But, in the initial stages, it’s best not to go for the hard sell.
If you continue to pester your leads without first trying to figure out what they really need, there’s a high chance that they’ll get annoyed and potentially move on to a less aggressive competitor.
5. Send the Same Generic Email to Everyone on Your List
If you’re still sending the same email to every single one of your leads, now’s the time to change. There are so many targeting tools you can use to create powerful, personalized emails that are far more likely to resonate with your leads based on their demographics, preferences, and personal profiles.
Email marketing remains the lead generation channel with the highest ROI, so make sure that you maximize your use of this tool and properly segment your emails for enhanced accuracy.
6. Make Assumptions, and Don’t Ask Questions
It’s easier to launch your campaign blindly without having to ask questions, but this is a fatal mistake. You need to proactively find out what your target audience really wants. Let them open up to you about their pain points and preferences.
Aside from discovering feedback that you can use to inform your campaign, the very act of reaching out to clients is an opportunity for you to build trust, make a connection, and create a foundation to form a solid partnership that’s bound to last a long time—increasing the lifetime value of the lead.
7. Disregard Customer Personas
Taking the time to create solid personas enables you to view your leads as actual people, not just numbers in your lead acquisition efforts. It gives you a better grasp of how to handle your campaign and what types of content and material they are most likely to respond favorably to.
Ignoring your personas is similar to giving a presentation without knowing who your audience. Make sure you know who you’re talking to because if you try talking to everyone, you’ll end up shouting in an empty room.
8. Publish Sub-par Content
If you don’t make an effort to create content marketing material that will either entertain or educate your prospects, then you’re on your way to losing them—one lousy blog post at a time.
You need to share materials that your target audience will find valuable. This includes content that will help them make informed decisions as to why they should continue doing business with you.
9. Be Unresponsive on Social Media
Most businesses nowadays integrate their social media management system with their CRM platform. It allows marketers to monitor the conversations about their brands. But, you must optimize this system by acting in a timely manner whenever you get a mention.
Your audience on social media will tend to be more active and demanding when it comes to interacting with brands. Not to mention pretty much everything you do on social media is publicly visible. This makes your social media platforms a great tool for audience engagement as well as disengagement.
10. Believing that If You Build It, They Will Come
The first part of any lead generation plan is producing the marketing material. Having said that, unless your material has innate shareability, you’re going to need to help put it in front of the right people.
11. Throw Your Darts in the Dark
It’s hard to work in the dark, and trying 10 different strategies at the same time won’t help you see any more clearly. Trying out one lead generation tactic at a time and figuring out if it works is the wiser tactic. Make sure to give the results time to work themselves out before dumping strategies that don’t seem to help you reach your objectives.
When you have a clear picture of what is and isn’t working, you can implement the strategies that work, and stop wasting time on those that don’t.
12. Forget About Your Start-to-Finish Process
The best lead generation programs are “always-on”, consistent, and systematic. A good process is completely mapped – from the top of the funnel to the closing stage – with associated metrics, processes, people, and technology to support it. Successful lead generation processes don’t function like “campaigns” as we know them. Instead, they work like supply chains that consistently perform, producing qualified leads, which leads to consistent sales.
Effective distribution is critical to the success of any marketing strategy so no matter how good your content is, make sure that you’re utilizing the right channels to deliver it to your audience. People are being overwhelmed with competing content, so if you aren’t making your message easy to discover, it will simply go unnoticed.
There you have it, a solid guide on what NOT to do. Tack this on your workstation or put it in a prominent place if you need reminding. There are thousands of conflicting strategies out there and sometimes, simply knowing what NOT to do is an easier way to keep yourself on track.
Making too many costly mistakes with lead generation? Try leaving it to the experts!