Why are companies failing to hit their lead gen targets?

By John EganJanuary 13, 2015

Have you been scratching your head wondering why you aren’t achieving your lead generation goals? You’ve got company.

A survey by 360 Leads of more than 300 sales and marketing executives around the world found that among the 79 percent of companies carrying out lead generation programs in the previous 12 months, just 17 percent had reached their lead generation targets.

Not surprisingly, 58 percent of the executives said lead generation reigns as the biggest marketing challenge facing their companies. No doubt that concern will be shared and discussed at the upcoming LeadsCon Las Vegas 2015.

What are the stumbling blocks to hitting lead generation targets? In the survey, executives could cite more than one hurdle. At the top of the heap: an insufficient budget, a reason mentioned by 57 percent of those surveyed.

Ranking behind budgetary constraints were:

  • Internal issues affecting performance — 48 percent.
  • Poor or limited choices of marketing channels — 41 percent.
  • Problems with quality of data lists — 37 percent.
  • Poor qualification of sales opportunities — 33 percent.

The executives whose companies were the most successful at achieving lead generation targets rated outbound telemarketing as the most effective channel (45 percent), followed by 
email marketing (32 percent), digital marketing (31 percent) and 
social media (27 percent). The worst category: conferences, tradeshows and events (22 percent).

The top four channels for lead generation “allow a high degree of targeting — likely the reason they generate better success,” according to 360 Leads. “Their results can be easily and efficiently measured, and campaigns can be refined to boost performance.”

So, how do you ratchet up your lead generation efforts? Take a look at the industries that the 360 Leads survey showed were most successful at meeting their lead generation targets:

  • Finance and financial services — 42 percent.
  • Business and professional services — 23 percent.
  • Technology — 21 percent.

And which industries were the least successful? Manufacturing (8 percent) and health care and pharmaceuticals (13 percent).

No matter which industry you’re in, it pays to ensure your company has crafted a well-defined value proposition. In the survey, 73 percent of the companies reporting the best lead generation results “know their story and how to tell it,” according to 360 Leads.

“Articulating the difference a company can make for its customers is vital. Expressing it in a way that’s clear, simple and compelling is the challenge, and many companies don’t know how to do that well,” 360 Leads says. “If this is something a company is struggling with, it’s a problem that urgently needs to be solved.”

“In short,” 360 Leads adds, “a company can have the best performing lead generation program in the world, but if they can’t tell prospects why they matter, they won’t matter at all.”

Click here to register for LeadsCon Las Vegas 2015.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Hans Splinter

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