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Last week I was trying to teach my granddaughter how to garden. In just half an hour, I realized that a child’s perception of gardening is a bit different from adults. It is mostly about watering and playing with mud. I asked her what she wanted to plant and she said “magic beanstalk.” Being a marketer my mind quickly drifted into thinking that her unreal approach to gardening is very much like our approach for lead generation. We often jump into campaigns without much research (or a targeted prospect list) and then wait for some magic to happen.

Email marketing is still one of the best tactics for b2b lead generation to reach your target audience. But it’s really not the best way to reach contacts who don’t want to listen to you. All those wrongly placed prospects in your database can cost your campaigns dearly. In fact, bad prospect lists won’t just impede your marketing campaigns, but can actually undermine your business.

So, if your sales team is unhappy with the leads you are generating and you are wondering what could be wrong with your prospect list, there could be a number of reasons from database quality to quantity. With the near obsession with large email lists, marketers are neglecting quality for quantity which can be very risky.

At Some Point You Scream, “What’s wrong with my prospect list?!”

1. Do Companies in Your Prospect List Fit Your Target Industries?

Sometimes it’s really not worthwhile going after industries that require too much time and resources in converting into leads. Market segmentation and selection is arguably the most significant part of business prospecting. None of your efforts matter if you are trying to sell your brilliant product/services to someone who is just not the right fit. The best way to figure this out would be to start analyzing your existing customers. Then try targeting companies in same the industry, size and geographic location.

2. Are You Wasting Time on the Phone with a Tire Kicker?

So, you got a lead, you are all pumped up and start the one-to-one conversation which goes nowhere. The prospect is either giving very vague answers or is just unable to provide one. This could mean:

  • Your product/service is not a fit for them.
  • The prospect’s job title is deceptive and you need to find the right person in the company.
  • They are in research phase. A little lead nurturing will help qualify them better.

3. Do your target companies have sufficient budget?

Something is not right when the companies you are targeting don’t have the budget. It’s time to stop and go back and check if you need to change your market segmentation and selection criteria. Other factors which you need to consider are year-end budget shortfall, economic slow down, political situation, etc.

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