This data from Marketing sherpa confirms what most B2B Marketers know to be an essential truth; generating leads as well as converting qualified leads into paying customers are the top priorities and challenges for B2B marketers. These days these twin challenges are rapidly shifting online as buyers make a bee-line for their search engine of choice to start their buying journey. This is why your website is integral to your B2B marketing strategy; it's how your buyers find and familiarise themselves with you.
Your website is an integral part of your online lead generation engine - but it's difficult to get that engine running smoothly.
Here are 8 errors we see B2B Marketers regularly making indicating they're not in the best shape to generate leads through their website:
#1 No high-value content for your target audience on landing pages
You can't force people to be interested in your product or service, especially when they're just browsing the interwebs for answers to questions they have about a topic of interest. Sure, your product or service might solve their problem, but it's of the utmost importance that your top-of-funnel content is not product-centric. At all. While you do need product-centric content, there's a time and a place - and that place is much further down the funnel.
So when we say 'high value', we mean that it's of high value to your buyers - not you!
Make it something they love so much they want to print it out and distribute it. Something they'll go through armed with a pen and a highlighter. Something so good that they want to study it, dissect it and share it.
This is how you will gain their trust, warm them up to your brand and earn the right to have that product-centric conversation should the opportunity arise.
#2 Not knowing when your site visitors convert into leads
Less than real-time anything just doesn't cut it these days, so you need some sort of technology in place to alert you when a new lead has come through. Because timing is everything.
Not only is it useful to see patterns in the consumption of your content, but you want to assess how ready they are to buy.
Especially if the answer is "so ready that they're asking to speak to a sales person now" - you want to make sure that your sales person gets that notification to contact them while they're hot. And hopefully, you're the first to call.
#3 Refusing to test the quality of your landing pages
Sometimes, landing pages just don't convert the way you expect them to. But if you don't test anything, you have no benchmark to gauge how well they are performing.
This is why it's important to use conversion rates and A/B testing to see which elements of your landing page are working for you.
If you have lots of visits but no conversions, the offer may not be compelling enough. Or it's the copy. Or the layout. Or maybe it's the form? You get the picture. If you don't test, then you don't know.
#4 Not opting your leads into automated lead nurturing campaigns
Keyword: Automated. Use marketing automation to opt people into targeted campaigns, based on how they behaved on your site.
In theory you could make this a manual process, but there's just too much room for human error. Plus, you and your people have better things to do. Things that make better use of your problem-solving brain.
Why stress when you can outsource that to technology?
#5 Refusing to segment your leads database into different campaigns
This is where your beautifully-crafted buyer personas come into play.
Think about what differentiates them from one another. If they have different concerns or challenges, then you should split them up into different campaigns and approach them with targeted messaging.
If you don't have time or money to research your buyer's problems and challenges, talk to your sales people to figure out what message will best resonate with each persona, and tweak your campaign strategy accordingly.
#6 Not capturing lead data in forms
Ok, this is a no-brainer. What is the point of having a form in the first place if you're not going to capture the data that's going into it?
Your form is the most crucial element of your landing page, and is key to the previous point. If you know what to ask of your leads, then you'll know how to segment them.
If you're not asking for enough information, you can't segment. If you ask for too much information, they'll drop off. Strike that delicate balance.
#7 Not scoring leads based on their quality and likelihood to close
Lead scoring is a good way of saving time for both sales and marketing teams.
Marketing and sales must agree on what qualifies a sales-ready lead, then you can set up a way of scoring leads so that only those that reach a certain score can be deemed 'sales-ready'.
Scoring should be based on two elements; the demographic information they give you and their behaviour on your site. Again, marketing automation is essential to do this effectively, at least without inducing a migraine!
#8 Failing to communicate lead data to your sales team
By 'lead data' we mean more than what they put in your form. We mean what they viewed on your site, in what order they viewed it, when they first filled out a form, any other forms they filled out, etc.
Why? So your sales team have a better idea of who they're talking to. So they can personalise their approach. So they know what their prospect is interested in and can make the conversation relevant to them. This is incredibly valuable for sales people.
The key drawback is you can't track their behaviour without marketing automation. We use Hubspot but there are plenty of other SaaS solutions you can look at.
Assess your B2B marketing plan on a regular basis
Though B2B online marketing is tough, there are definitely specific ways to significantly increase your chances of converting site visitors into leads. But you won't know how well you're doing until you review your B2B marketing plan. We recommend doing this every quarter, so that if something isn't working, you can quickly switch your tactics to something that does.
If you're interested in assessing the other elements of your B2B marketing efforts, why not take our free B2B marketing health check: