11 mistakes B2B companies make when chasing sales traction (and how to avoid them) in 2023
Effective lead generation is essential to the growth of any business but time and again companies make the same mistakes. They may lack direction and use a scattergun approach. Maybe they don’t understand strategic marketing for growth and take an ineffective tactical approach. And often they are hampered by a lack of capacity or expertise.
Whatever the reasons, the outcome is poor sales traction, wasted time and money, and utter frustration.
Here are 11 common mistakes B2B technology businesses make and some advice on how to avoid them:
1. Believing that the better product wins
You’ve invested a lot of time and money creating a brilliant product; maybe it’s the best one on the market. But the best product doesn’t necessarily translate into the most successful company. It’s the company that sells best that wins the biggest market share, so make sure you spend as much time perfecting your sales and marketing strategy as you do your product.
2. Build it and they will come
Even if you build a great website, it can’t generate sales simply by existing. You must promote it, drive potential customers to it and track visitors so that you can build up a picture of interested ‘strangers’. Then you can convert them to known contacts by trading valuable knowledge for their email addresses and reaching out to them with tailored, compelling content to nurture them through to sale.
3. Not knowing your ideal customer
You need to know who your Ideal Customer Persona is, what motivates them and how your products and services specifically meet their needs. If you haven’t identified their goals, challenges and pain points, you won’t be able to offer something that is relevant and of value to them. Look at your customer base and identify who the customers are that respond best to your product or service. Use them to build up the criteria for your Ideal Customer Persona.
Remember, when you speak to everyone, you speak to no-one.
4. Not being customer focused
Even companies that have taken the time to identify their ideal customer fall into the trap of pushing out content that is service led rather than customer led. Instead of addressing the customers’ goals and challenges, they talk about the features and benefits of their product. Bells and whistles won’t attract customers – solving a critical problem for them, and providing value, will.
5. Overspending on digital ads
Most businesses have a tight marketing budget. Don’t throw it away on advertising when you’re doing cold outreach. At this stage you’re reaching out to people who don’t know you and have no brand awareness of your company. Digital ad spend at this ‘awareness’ stage will deliver the lowest return on your investment.
Digital ad spend comes into its own when you are reaching out to prospects that have already visited your website and engaged with your content but have not yet converted. This is known as remarketing, a powerful technique to keep you connected with potential customers, remind them of your brand and drive them back to your website so you’ve a greater opportunity to convert them to customers.
6. Skipping the warm up
Picking up the phone to cold call prospects is the most ineffective use of a salesperson’s time. Without any awareness of your brand, the prospect is unlikely to be interested and quite possibly will be annoyed at the intrusion. You need to ensure your brand is known, liked and trusted, and that is best achieved by engaging your ideal customer with compelling content. In fact, on average, B2B buyers consume roughly 7 pieces of content before they’re ready to engage with your sales team.
7. Depending on social media
Social media should be part of a multi-channel approach to marketing rather than the main focus. Email marketing is 40 times more effective at generating sales than social media plus it extends your reach from 2–3% of your audience to 20–30%. Think of social media as the side-car to your email Harley Davidson.
8. Asking before you give
You need to give useful and thought-provoking content and advice that adds value for your prospect before you ask anything from them, such as a sales call or meeting. It’s about building trust. Some 75% of buyers in the B2B market said their chosen vendor’s digital content significantly influenced their buying decision. Make sure you’re known, liked and trusted before you lift the phone.
9. Being inconsistent
Taking a scattergun, on/off approach to lead generation that isn’t aligned to your wider marketing strategy is an expensive waste of time. An email now and then, or a social media post once a month won’t cut through the clutter and noise of the digital world. Your lead generation must be planned, systematic, populated with the right content and fully thought through before you start. You should commit to communicating weekly with your email list and across your supporting social channels. Remember that the chances of selling to a new prospect are less than 20%, whereas spending on nurturing your existing email list pushes the likelihood of securing a sale to over 60%.
10. Creating a website that isn’t sales-optimised
Your website should be focused on lead capture. If it’s simply a static brochure, it’s not paying its way. Ensure your web content is search engine optimised and look at the many ways your website can interact with visitors. For example, you can drive engagement with your visitors by using power tools such as web forms, pop-ups, chatbots, landing pages, automation and bespoke competitions.
11. Ignoring the power of marketing automation
Marketing automation enables companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing activities so they can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster. It has the potential to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time and generate leads at volume. This is essential for B2B technology companies that are focused on rapid scaling. And it frees up your team to concentrate on the next marketing campaign and on closing sales.
The right way to generate leads and the power of marketing!
If any of these mistakes sound familiar, don’t worry, you’re not alone in falling into these traps.
But if this is the wrong way to generate leads, what is the right way?
Download The ultimate guide for B2B companies to rapidly scale their customer base to learn how to systematically engage with a significant volume of high value leads, nurture them through automated marketing and generate a sustainable pipeline of potential customers for your business.
Why Grand Scale?
Grand Scale was founded by two exceptionally successful growth marketers, Roisin Garland and Leanne Jennings, whose track record includes international product launches, serious brand building, acquisitions, multi-million pound exits and high profile stock market flotations. They specialise in helping B2B tech companies to launch, scale and grow.
If you're ready to supercharge your sales and marketing, our straight-talking, results-focused approach could be exactly what you’re looking for!