Lead Management Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make
As Lionel Richie once sang, “Hello… Is it leads you’re looking for?”
Okay, so maybe we slightly misheard the lyrics, but the reality is that every business needs leads, and there are many business owners who don’t fully understand that there are two components to lead management. Both require your attention.
Did you know that many businesses are unknowingly sabotaging their own lead generation efforts by making common mistakes that end up costing them both time and money?
With nearly 20 years of experience in digital marketing, we’ve seen all kinds of holes in the lead generation process. So, let’s dive right in.
What Is Lead Management?
Lead management focuses on tracking, managing, and nurturing leads throughout their buyer’s journey – giving you the best shot at converting visitors into customers. It helps narrow down who exactly is a high-value prospect and enables you to take the right strategy to convert that lead into an actual acquisition. Creating conversations is a key component of any lead management strategy.
When it comes to lead management, it really boils down to forming a relationship between your potential customers and your business. It’s about connecting with them in just the right way, at just the right time. It’s no simple task – it’s often considered an art form that involves a variety of digital marketing tactics.
Lead management is really about finding potential customers and then making sure that you offer them the best possible value, and in return, you’ll get the best return from them.
There are two essential components of any lead management system. First, there is the lead generation aspect. We call this the external lead management piece. This is all about how you capture attention and bring visitors to your literal or digital front door. In terms of digital marketing, lead generation tools can include, search engine optimization (SEO), Google Adwords campaigns, social media marketing, email marketing, and blogging to name a few. These tools help bring more eyes to your business, and it’s definitely a numbers game. The more people that see your business, the more likely you are to get calls and customers.
The other component of your lead management system is the internal aspect. This is all about what happens when an external lead comes in. Believe it or not, many business owners have a haphazard system (or absolutely NO system) in place at all. The risk here is that money comes in the door and no one bothers to pick it up. We can tell you stories as you’ll see below.
What Happens If You Don’t Have a Lead Management System In Place?
Simply put, when you don’t have a lead management system in place, you’re losing money- and you wouldn’t even know it.
Not only that, but you have a much more limited idea of how or if your marketing even works. Look, we get it. There are plenty of business owners out there who only look at the bottom line and that’s it. Setting up a lead management system can feel like doing algebra homework, but it’s actually much more simple than that. Plus, you can often delegate a lot of it.
Without actively tracking leads, it can be difficult to identify and capitalize on potential sales opportunities. Additionally, without an effective system in place, it may not be possible to accurately measure the success of your marketing (to measure your return on investment) or pinpoint holes in your boat where improvements are needed.
As a result, you could potentially be wasting time and money on leads that may never convert or lose them altogether. Additionally, if your lead management system is inefficient or inadequate, it can create customer dissatisfaction as well as confusion among your staff.
18 Lead Generation Mistakes That Businesses Make
What we’re going to address here are the mistakes business owners tend to make to their external lead management process.
Not having a clear understanding of your target audience
This is basic blocking and tackling, but you’d be amazed at how many times we ask, “Who is your target market?” and the business owner stares at us like a cow at a passing train.
It just makes sense that if you don’t know your audience, you’re probably doing things in your marketing that completely miss the mark. Doing your homework helps you tailor every piece of content and all your messaging to the right people which will naturally help you get a better response. This helps you avoid taking a shotgun to sniper school.
Relying on word of mouth
We can’t tell you how many business owners we’ve encountered who proudly boast that they don’t have a website and get all of their business by referrals or word of mouth. While this can be a testament to the great work they may do, it’s also an open admission that they’re leaving money on the table.
These days, it’s clear that people turn to search engines for all their answers. If you don’t have a professional online presence, you can surely bet that your competitors certainly do. In that case, who do you think gets the business? Plus, if you put it in terms of numbers, with “word of mouth” marketing, how many people can 1 person tell how great you are? Maybe 7 or 8? Compare that with how many people are looking online for exactly what you do. Case closed.
These days, we call “word of mouth” marketing, “social media marketing”.
Having poor or inconsistent messaging
It’s important that you have the correct messaging in place across your digital marketing platforms. If your messaging is poor, it won’t land well with your audience and you’ll lose their interest quickly.
People search online with the attention of a goldfish, so that’s about all the time you have to capture your audience’s attention. Make the most of it with benefit-driven content. Answer their question, “What can you do for me?”
Not using the right marketing elements
Not all digital marketing elements are for every business. Most people don’t hop on Pinterest to find an accountant and most people aren’t looking for wedding ideas on LinkedIn. Investing in SEO for your T-shirt business is throwing money out on the highway. All of these are good examples of mismatched digital marketing.
While all marketing is a gambling trip to Vegas, there are definitely ways to improve your odds. You always want to invest in marketing elements that have the highest chance of paying for themselves. To do this, you have to invest in marketing that exposes your business to the highest number of potential customers.
Not using the right keywords (for SEO or Google Adwords)
One of the most important elements to consider with lead generation is using the right keywords. Without having targeted and relevant keywords, businesses significantly reduce their potential customer outreach.
Whereas without targeted keywords, you may attract people who aren’t interested in what your business can offer, identifying and utilizing relevant keywords can help you reach customers who already have an interest in your product or service.
Investing time and effort into researching the correct keywords to use can give any business a significant edge over its competition. With your keyword strategy, make sure that you align this to your audience research strategy. Match the right keywords with the right audience.
With Google Adwords, you also want to have a list of negative keywords. This is a list of terms and phrases you don’t want your ads to show up for. This seems counterintuitive, but if you think about it, there are things that people search for that you don’t want to have your ad displayed for people to click on. This would cost you for the click and provide absolutely zero return.
Not utilizing all available channels for lead generation
When it comes to marketing, diversification is critical. Don’t just rely on one component for all your leads.
It’s no secret that businesses need to drive a steady flow of leads in order to stay competitive. One major mistake businesses make is not utilizing all of the available channels for lead generation.
From creating valuable content to leveraging paid advertising and optimizing every stage of the sales funnel, there are plenty of options available to get your name out there and bring in potential customers. Doing so responsibly and strategically will ensure your success now, but can also help you succeed in the long run. So don’t make one of the most common lead generation mistakes – start connecting with people through multiple sources today.
Think carefully about all social channels such as Facebook/Meta, Instagram, TikTok etc. This is especially true when it comes to Facebook marketing, as the platform is very powerful in lead generation. The same applies to Google ads and your Google Business Profile/Google My Business listings.
Focusing on the wrong KPIs
Calculating your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is an integral part of any successful lead generation strategy, so it’s really important that you’re focusing on the right ones. Unfortunately, when businesses make mistakes with lead generation, failing to focus on the correct KPIs is often one of the issues.
This can result in a lot of wasted energy and resources as companies frequently place their emphasis on vanity metrics such as website clicks and page visits rather than more useful indicators like cost per lead or conversion rates. To get ahead in the lead generation game, be sure you’re assessing KPIs which will give you deeper insights into what’s working – and what isn’t – when it comes to generating leads.
Let’s face it, the most important metric is how much money are you making. That’s the most important one.
Only trying to close the prospect once
When it comes to lead generation, only trying to close the prospect once is one of the most common and biggest mistakes that businesses make. Instead, you should plan out your approach in advance and create multiple opportunities for the prospect to say yes.
If you’re limited on time, sending engaging content through emails might be a great way to keep them interested in what you have to offer – and build a positive relationship with them. You should also consider exploring other channels such as online ads or text messages for better communication. Don’t rush the process, take time to understand your audience’s wants and needs before making a pitch. Also, don’t wait too long, as they may simply move off to your competitor.
Lacking in credibility
Establishing credibility and trust with prospects is key to effectively connecting, so make sure you start out on the right foot. Potential customers need the assurance that your business knows what it’s doing. This is where awards, recognition, years in business, associations you belong to, etc. can help. Along with reviews, this provides potential customers evidence of your expertise by creating content designed to demonstrate just how knowledgeable you are.
Customer reviews are an important component of credibility, so make sure that you have a strategy in place to drive positive online reviews for your business. Focus on getting them on your Google Business Profile first and foremost since this is where your customers go to read about you first. Facebook, Yext, and the others are more cosmetic while having them on your Google Business Profile can actually help with conversion.
Not delivering the promised value
Many businesses make the mistake of not delivering the value they promised during their lead generation effort. To make sure that every customer is receiving the value they expect, focus on delivering high-quality content throughout their entire journey.
This will ensure each and every experience ends with happy customers coming back for more.
Mistakes Companies Make With Their Internal Lead Management Process
Over the years, we’ve worked with quite a few companies that didn’t have an internal lead management system in place and it results in a forehead-slapping situation. Some examples include:
- A plumber who never answered his phone or returned phone calls (his voicemail was often full)
- A law firm that had an intern responsible for managing all inbound leads.
- A roofer who thought all his contact form emails were spam
- An HVAC company that never checked their email (missing inbound leads)
- An IT firm that procrastinated on contacting leads when they came in.
It’s important to understand that your inbound leads are gold and need to be treated as such. Without them, your business would dry up and blow away, so it amazes us how some companies don’t treat them as valuable. Obviously, that’s the first step toward effective lead management.
Here are some other mistakes and what to do about them:
Not having a specific internal process
Something else to carefully consider is your internal processes. You’ll need to have the following in place if you want to successfully generate and manage leads.
· Have a CRM or system in place to track all of your inbound leads
· It’s important you appoint a designated person to respond to all leads fast. Think of all leads as having a 1-hour expiration date. After an hour, your chances of closing drop significantly.
· Put a system in place that drives accountability for whoever handles the leads that can be observed, measured, and tracked
· We’ve mentioned it before but we’ll mention it again – make sure you respond quickly to all leads!
Answer your phone!
You can imagine how frustrating it is to work with businesses to generate inbound leads only to have them ignored once they come in. Honestly, that’s probably happened more times than we know.
We had a plumber that specialized in water heater repair, and we were bringing in leads through SEO. He kept complaining that he wasn’t getting anything from our work despite the fact that we were seeing contact forms. One of our team members had a busted water heater and called him. That was a decade ago and the plumber still hasn’t returned the call.
It’s essential to have a customer-friendly phone system. Generally speaking, people hate phone trees but will tolerate them if they have to. The best solution is to have a live person to help direct the call or handle the situation.
Failing to create clear systems
From delegating tasks to tracking progress, having clear systems in place from the get-go is essential for lead generation. But unfortunately, many businesses fall into the trap of not sufficiently planning out their workflows. Without a properly designed and organized system that everyone on the team understands and can follow, the entire process can come to a grinding halt.
Not only is this time-consuming and potentially costly to fix, but it can also cause major delays in effectively closing deals – making your lead generation initiatives less successful than they could be. When planning out systems for lead generation, always start with clearly defined requirements and objectives so everyone is on the same page while meeting expectations efficiently.
Not having an effective lead capture strategy
Similar to the point above on systems, the foundation of any successful lead generation strategy is an effective lead capture system. Unfortunately, many businesses are not able to take full advantage of their leads because they fail to put a system in place to track and nurture them.
Having the right processes and tools in place makes it easier for marketers and salespeople to convert prospects into customers, something that can make all the difference when it comes to closing deals. But without a robust lead capture strategy, these efforts may be wasted as leads slip through the cracks. As a result, businesses fail to take full advantage of available opportunities and lose out on potential revenue. Don’t let this be you—start planning for success by setting up a well-thought-out lead capture system.
Failing to track and analyze leads
Tracking and analyzing is a crucial step of lead generation that too many businesses overlook. By not having a clear overview of where your leads are coming from, or who they are, you risk decisions being made without the right data-driven insights.
This can lead to wasted resources as well as future marketing campaigns missing the mark on their target audience. Plus, having an accurate overview of how your leads are performing allows you to make quick changes when needed and get the most out of your lead generation strategy. Don’t become just another statistic by failing to track and analyze your leads – take control and start making sure each lead brings the maximum return.
Lead generation is a major factor for any successful business, and it’s definitely not one of those things you want to get wrong. It can be tricky if you don’t know what pitfalls to look out for – so make sure your team has thoughtful tactics like providing valuable content and creating an urgency in handling all inbound leads.
If there’s ever anything the staff at Make It Loud can help with, simply call us at 678.325.4007 today.
Cliff Tillery, MBA is the Chief Operating Officer at Make It Loud which is a digital marketing firm located outside of Atlanta Georgia. He is also the Director of SEO. More than 14 years ago, he started search engine optimization at this agency and has taught digital marketing skills to business owners at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center and other groups.