Startups belong to the business category that craves for new leads most of all – but very often is lacking the expertise or experience to succeed (or succeed quickly). In our post, we have put together a list of frequently made lead generation mistakes that can slow down a lead gen process for B2B startups, and make it less effective, so beware.

1. Don’t use “one-size-fits-all” approach

No doubt, you already have an “ideal buyer persona” profile in place, but, in most cases, it is quite broad, and can be divided into a few narrower categories. It can be different company size, location, some industry-specific distinctions etc. It is quite logically that the needs and problems different customer categories are trying to solve with your product or service differ as well. So, it is only natural that when you’re tossing one huge net trying to catch each fish in the area, you’ll end up catching far less than expected.

In other words, instead of, say, trying to build a list of email subscribers using one gated content offer for everyone, create a few offers tailored for specific segments of your customers. It would be still more effective to connect the offer to the website/blog pages your visitors are viewing (for instance, show a pop up with the offer) – it would be also helpful with further lead segmentation.

2. Don’t try to sell more, find more people who want to buy

No doubt, you don’t like it when a shop assistant is doing their best to persuade you to buy an item that’s not a good fit/wrong size/too highly priced etc.

Your customers don’t like being sold too, as well as most people today. So, if your sales funnel isn’t working as you’d like it to, don’t hurry to hire more sales staff. Instead, focus on attracting the right audience, who will convert better because they are interested.

It might mean changing the marketing approach, but if you’re unsatisfied with the current lead gen situation in your business, it might become a turning point.

3. Don’t sell to everyone

When you’re a startup, you value each lead and work to drive them along the sales pipeline. However, quite often, your efforts can turn out to be vain – because the lead hasn’t been qualified.

Simply put, before sending a lead over to sales people (or starting to work on selling by yourself, if your team is very small), take a few minutes to check whether it’s worth it at all (or whether the lead should be nurtured prior to selling to them).

Check their website/company, industry, position (to find out whether they are the decision makers), the pages they have visited on your website (to define, whether they are “just looking” or ready to buy) etc. It is a fast and quite simple way to separate “wheat from the chuff” and use your resources wisely.

4. Don’t ignore social media (and don’t be limited to LinkedIn only)

You certainly know that B2B companies use social media to gain new leads. And even though Linkedin is a #1 B2B platform, do a careful research of your industry to discover what other social networks your potential customers are using. Be where they are, not where everyone else is. Select a couple of channels (or even one, depending on your resources) to focus on and with the right strategy, the results won’t be long to show up.

5. Don’t neglect A/B testing

No matter how confident you might be about the new landing page design or a promo email copy, no matter how irresistible your offer might seem, don’t rely solely on your judgement. Use A/B testing to see what works better and never stop optimizing. You may see a rise in subscription rate by simply changing the colour of a button, removing a required field from the subscription form or placing your CTA differently – but always remember to test one element at a time.

6. Don’t forget about retaining customers

In the race for new leads and more sales, companies often miss the great opportunities that emerge from building relationships with their existing customers.  Did you know that, according to a recent research, increasing customer retention rates by 5% can lead to receiving 25% to 95% more profit.

Moreover, loyal customers not only trust you and are more likely to buy your new products, but also can bring you new leads, if you ask for referrals, or via word-of-mouth.

Bottom line

For a startup with limited resources, it’s definitely not an easy task to handle all business aspects, so instead of being content with what you can do by yourself and omitting what you cannot, consider outsourcing some crucial tasks, lead generation being one of the most essential for your business to gain traction.

LeadWave specializes in providing tailored verified lists of leads according to your request/ideal customer profile, with all the info necessary to start working on turning leads into customers. Simply request a list to see whether it’s working for you, it’s totally free.

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