There is much to be considered in the process of lead generation for any business, whether it is B2C (Business to Customer) or B2B (Business to Business). Leads do not always come easily and any marketing or sales department can shy away from this process due to the many myths that have come over the years about lead generation. Several such myths can be battled by implementing simple procedures and a little effort.
Here are 16 common lead generation myths, debunked.
- Social media is not a valuable source for lead generation.
Businesses often want to separate themselves from social media because it is said to be just that, “social.” The belief is, there is no reason to see social communication as a valuable place to gain business leads. However, one thing to consider about social media is that hundreds of thousands of members participate in social media sites regularly, and by their own choice. That is a massive viewer base to tap into and any information your dealership posts on social media can likely be seen by a large number of them, catching their eye positively; a potential click in the making, a lead on the rise.
- Your website doesn’t affect lead generation.
The value of a website is absolutely important. As a dealership, all of your potential leads can, and will, include the entire rainbow of folks who visit your site. The user experience is vital to your website’s lead generation performance. Ease of use, aesthetics, and functionality all play a major role in how your website produces leads and customers. Additionally, the many benefits your website provides like the ability to analyze visitor behavior and purchase patters is invaluable. Your dealerships website is, without a doubt, a critical component of any dealership’s lead generation strategy.
- It’s all about lead quantity rather than lead quality. More leads equal more revenue.
Here is one myth that has been overwhelmingly misleading for far too long. So many different businesses, and their workflows and procedures, focus on bringing in more leads rather than bringing in quality leads. There is much more importance to the value of leads, especially when considering the sales funnel. Make sure the effort placed into lead generation draws in quality leads, increasing the odds of them converting into customers.
- Cold-calling is no longer effective at generating leads.
During recent years, the focus on marketing and lead generation has been on the inbound methodology. Along with this newer strategy came the myth that cold-calling and other traditional methods are out of date and will not generate any leads at all. Many folks appreciate hearing from a real person who can answer complex questions rather than try to communicate with a robot. There is no reason to completely push the traditional methods out the door if it fits your business needs and if it has worked for your company in the past.
- The only leads to be contacted are those who requested sales or support communication.
This is definitely a myth, as there is no reason to fear connection and relationship building with potential leads who have visited your website. While they may not yet have requested information specifically, there is no reason to completely block out a potential lead. It is important, though, to always segment them properly into the categories whom you are contacting or putting off until the next stage of your lead generation workflow.
- New leads are the most valuable, and existing customers require no attention.
This myth is borderline absurd. It has been proven that the cost for a company to acquire a new lead is much higher than to keep an existing customer. The reason for this is simply because your customers have already committed to a purchase, they know the product and are likely to return provided they had a positive experience. While it’s important to put effort into generating new leads, it literally pays to thank and stay in touch with your customers after they have purchased from your dealership.
- It’s all about cost per lead.
If you have been led to believe that spending a higher rate per lead will bring the best results, there is more to be evaluated in your lead generation method. There are a great number of methods that can be implemented by any company, without over-spending per lead. While it may require a little more work beginning with a smaller conversion percentage, your leads will grow with time if the process grows with the business. Take some time and analyze the method, without spending more than is necessary.
- Buyer persona must be defined solidly before lead generation process begins.
There is a great deal of value in understanding your buyer personas when determining where to request leads and what sort of marketing content to develop. It is important, though, to remember that as the company grows the buyer personas may change or additional personas will develop. Things are always changing in the boat industry, and this is one thing that must be continuously modified to align with the new products or services that will be offered as the industry evolves.
- Proceed with any lead, because they are all good.
Here we return to the issue of lead segmentation, where analysis and evaluation are essential to determining the importance of quality leads. We all like to gain a high number of leads, but some of those who entered their contact information onto a landing page or other don’t necessarily have a true interest in your business. While they are a lead because of the metric they have filled in, they may have only filled out the bare minimum to receive an offer. Others may have entered more detailed information with questions and showing some real interest. Leads should be responded to based on their level of interest, rather than the exact same way no matter the strength of the lead.
- All lead generation must be handled in house.
In large part, due to the political and business news that has developed throughout our country, the term “outsourced” seems to be one of an extremely negative nature. However, it simply means utilizing the services of a company that might be better suited for the task rather than handled in house. Off-site lead generation may greatly benefit a dealership if they would rather focus their efforts on other aspects of the business.
- There is no need for a process to score and qualify a lead.
Here is another myth about lead qualification. While so many initial leads start at the massive top of the sales funnel, leading down to a very small percent that turn into completed sales, in order to complete the effective lead generation workflow there is much to be said for qualifying leads as they come through. This way there are not as many insignificant leads that fly right out the window, and a higher percentage of the overall leads coming in from the beginning are converted to customers.
- Lead nurturing is not necessary in the qualification process.
A key factor in lead nurturing is that every lead has to be managed with care and support through the buyer’s journey, throughout every stage they take, from research to awareness and determination of their purchase. While leads have the ability to research products and services in detail online, the relationship and trust built with your company requires a more personal touch. That is lead nurturing and will put you ahead of the competitor in a heartbeat. It may not be something that requires a great amount of time, but it does require at least some inclusion into your lead generation workflow.
- Ads must be run for the lead generation process to grow.
While they do put your dealership in front of many eyes, ads are not the only way to do so. There are other methods that are just as effective, from email to website and more. Since ads tend to be of the highest expense, there is always an ability to make use of your already-created website, social media campaign, email or others, in order to help get your name out there to other potential leads.
- Direct mail marketing is out-of-date and ineffective if services are being sold.
While the age of technology has resulted in companies largely switching to digital marketing outlets, direct mail advertising is still very much an effective marketing tool. Direct mail agencies provide printing and mailing all in one, as well as list of potential leads found within a city or region where your key demographics reside. This could be a simple outreach to a large list of potential leads and can provide decent results. Additionally, a tangible piece of information could be a nice touch if a potential customer wants something to refer back to.
- Only the marketing team is involved in lead generation. Nothing is handled by sales.
This myth is invalid due to the fact that marketing and sales teams need to work together to ensure that lead generation is executed to its full capacity. While the marketing team gets things started, there is always the need for the sales team to work with current customers and others who have requested support or communication. While marketing may develop content, it may fall on the sales team to send it out to the proper list of contacts. These two teams are very much aligned in lead generation and communication.
- The best leads are determined by the source from which they come.
There is no need to assume that the most expensive or well-known sources provide the highest quality leads. Every lead is unique in their interests and intentions, regardless of the source. One lead from one source may be very promising, while another lead from the same source may not be very interested at all. This can happen in all of your dealerships marketing sources so it is best to use your own workflow to sort out the strong leads from the weaker ones.
The lesson here is that there is no reason to make any assumptions one way or another about lead generation. Study the industry and learn what has worked or not worked for your own dealership and others. Rely on the actual data, not the myths or even trends. It takes effort to bring a potential lead through the entire process in becoming a customer, and there are many different methods and procedures to get that job done.
Sources: www.brighttalk.com/webcast/1166/150707/5-common-lead-generation-myths-busted, www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2013/03/28/the-five-myths-of-lead-generation.aspx, instapage.com/blog/lead-generation-myths, www.marketingprofs.com/4/doerr7.asp, www.business2community.com/b2b-marketing/7-common-myths-lead-generation-need-demystified-0979039#ECFi1fJ4jvy7kdFg.97, blog.hubspot.com/marketing/lead-quality#sm.0001ojg88ntzze0rsow2e3si02045, www.manobyte.com/8-common-myths-about-lead-generation