February 19th, 2014

I was talking with a coaching client in Pennsylvania about her lead generation yesterday and it inspired me to share with you what I think are the 3 biggest lead generation pitfalls.  I hope you find them provocative and useful to see in one simple list.

The Three Biggest Lead Generation Pitfalls

Pitfall One:  You don’t systematically track your lead generation efforts.  As a result you have no way of determining based on hard data not raw intuition or anecdotal observations, which of your lead generation tactics are producing and which aren’t.   This means you overspend on poor performers and let your winners underperform for lack of resources.

One way to see an immediate lift to your lead generation of 10-20% without spending ANY extra money is to drop your bottom 30% of performers and immediately reinvest that money and staff focus on scaling up your top 20% lead generation winners.

Of course this presupposes that you track your lead generation activities and can SEE each tactics relative performance.  Hence, this is the first place to start.

Pitfall Two:  You don’t have a system to organize and manage your leads.  As a result you don’t consistently follow up with leads in a timely way and many of your sales opportunities slip between the cracks.  Plus, if you have a sales team, you often have lead conflicts as leads end up on two or more sales people’s plates.

Whether you track your leads in a spreadsheet, or in a CRM like salesforce, or zoho, or otherwise, it is critical that you have ONE central shared place that all leads go.  Further, you need to make sure every lead is clearly marked with a) the next follow up step required (e.g. a call, an email, a visit, etc.) and b) the date for that follow up.  This way you can quickly sort your leads by date and keep your follow up clear and effective.

If you have this in place, the next upgrade is to score your leads (even with something as simple as “bucket A, B, C” so that you follow up with your top leads first!

Pitfall Three:  Your marketing is too reliant on you, and as such you “start /stop” it as other demands in the business pull you away.  As a result, your business suffers “feast or famine” periods in the business.

Today you’re too busy keeping up with the business you have so you stop your marketing to focus on fulfillment.  When you get through this backlog of orders you start to panic because your sales pipeline is empty so you scramble to restart your marketing efforts.

Not only is this incredibly inefficient because you never get to build marketing momentum, but it causes your cash flow to be harder to predict, which in turn makes it scarier for you to hire staff to run your marketing because you don’t have stable cash flow.

Too many business owners get caught in this cycle of starting and stopping their marketing in an inefficient and haphazard manner as their attention jumps back and forth between urgent fires inside their businesses.

Good luck taking your insights and applying them to improve your lead generation system.