Heads up - inbound lead generation may not be for you.
But here’s the caveat: inbound lead generation works tremendously well under the right circumstances.
Inbound lead generation brings in three times more leads on average than traditional methods. Several key factors influence inbound lead generation success. Without consideration of these factors, investing in inbound lead generation isn’t the best move.
In this article, we’ll review the top reasons why inbound lead generation may not be the best move for your business right now. We’ll also discuss the potential roadblocks causing this disconnection and alternative ways that you can make inbound lead generation work for your business.
5 Roadblocks That Prevent Inbound Lead Generation From Working
A large majority of marketers have ruled that outbound marketing is ineffective.
(At least compared to inbound marketing.)
Over 80% of marketers surveyed by HubSpot reported that inbound lead generation produced higher-quality, valuable leads than outbound lead generation. Inbound lead generation is your way to create a sustainable, buildable framework to attract high-quality leads to your business. The alternative is chasing leads with no guarantee if they are interested or ready to buy.
We could go over what it takes to execute a successful lead gen strategy, which is, of course, valuable. But we want to bring attention to what roadblocks may be in your way first. Let’s jump into it.
Inbound Lead Generation Requires A Strong Brand Narrative
The first reason why inbound lead generation might not work for your business centers around your brand narrative. Many companies fall into the trap of a “brochure” style website where their information is company-centric and doesn’t address the buyer’s journey.
At Lean Labs, we look at lead generation through the six levers of growth. First, you build brand awareness, then lead acquisition, lead activation, revenue generation; finally, keeping steady retention and earning incoming referrals. If you attract the wrong people during your brand awareness and lead acquisition, you’re in trouble.
For the rest of your inbound lead generation strategies to be successful, the right people must be coming to your website. Finding the right leads that are qualified, interested, and ready to buy requires a strong brand narrative. A strong brand narrative speaks to your buyer’s journey, their fears, wants, problems, and how your business is a unique, new solution.
How do I fix this? Creating a strong brand narrative requires introspection and a deep dive into the thoughts and perspectives of your ideal customers. Once you’ve answered essential questions on your website, it’s crucial to continue this process through your inbound content creation.
The Connection Between Content Marketing and Inbound Lead Generation
Content marketing generates a whopping three times as many leads compared to outbound marketing for less than half of the price. Content marketing is crucial to effectively communicating with your ideal customers and leading them to take action on your website. Influential blogs on your website can communicate to your existing website visitors and attract new traffic.
If you’re not already doing content marketing and publishing on your blog regularly, now is the time to start. At least 85% of consumers search online about a product or service before purchasing online. That means when your ideal customer googles their product questions, your competitors are there to answer. That’s similar to your competitor intersecting a new lead calling your business before you could get to the phone. Without a strategic content marketing plan that speaks to your buyer’s journey, your inbound lead generation is set up to fall flat.
How do I fix this? One of the best ways to be successful at inbound lead generation is to utilize a strategic content marketing plan. We recommend publishing one article weekly at a minimum that addresses your customers’ burning questions. The best way to make this happen without the use of developers and designers is to use marketer-friendly Content Management System (CMS) software and developing a strategic content marketing plan.
Lead Qualification Leads To Successful Inbound Lead Generation
Lead qualification and lead scoring are essential processes to your inbound lead generation. At a minimum, your company should have a system to qualify leads between qualified and unqualified. If you want to take it one step further we recommend lead scoring. Lead scoring is the process of assessing how valuable your leads are. For example, lead scoring can include unqualified leads, low-value leads, and high-value leads.
Ideally, you would have a combination of both lead qualification and lead scoring. If your company isn’t using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to qualify and score your leads automatically, unfortunately, you’re one step behind those using inbound lead generation.
How do I fix this? To make inbound lead generation work for your business, you need lead qualification and lead scoring. Your trained sales team can manually score and qualify leads, but we recommend using a CMS platform that captures all your necessary information and a reliable CRM platform to qualify and score your leads automatically.
The Timing and Urgency of Inbound Lead Generation
If you’re in an urgent rush to get an instant push of traffic to your site, inbound lead generation isn’t the best move. Inbound lead generation is a profitable way to get qualified leads to your business, but it’s not a magic solution.
Inbound lead generation has a snowball effect, where over time, you gain momentum, and your site takes off. Many businesses lose patience at the beginning of inbound lead generation (when the first couple of snowflakes start falling). We can’t really blame them either. It’s difficult to see the end-game and the big picture if you’ve never seen it done before or you’re not working with any professional help.
Inbound lead generation takes time and patience, so if you’re looking for an instant, quick win, this is not for you. At a minimum, inbound lead generation usually takes a couple of months to start gaining momentum and positively affect your search engine ranking.
How do I fix this? Inbound lead generation is all about the long game and consistency. The first step to building sustainable traffic and investing in the short and long term of your website growth is to simply just start. By starting an attainable content marketing plan on your website and guest blogs today, you’re able to get the snowball rolling.
Sales Team Management Affects Inbound Lead Generation
As your leads are getting closer to a conversion, your sales team management practices come into play. If your sales team isn’t prepared to handle incoming leads, your inbound lead generation might fall flat. When measuring your metrics of growth, this would look like high awareness, high acquisition, low activation, and low revenue.
You’re ready to begin inbound lead generation if your sales team is performing well enough for you to answer the following questions positively:
- How is my sales team handling leads now?
- What are our current conversion rates?
- Can my sales team handle and convert leads effectively once the leads start coming in?
- Do I have an effective CMS to collect lead information?
- Do I have an efficient CRM to handle these leads?
If your sales team passes all of those questions with flying colors, then inbound lead generation could be right for you in this stage of growth.
How do I fix this? Before beginning inbound lead generation, you must consider the skills and training of your sales team. Your sales managers should know how to convert online leads, and your salespeople should be ready and eager to convert incoming leads. Your CMS software should be getting all the information your sales team needs to be successful, and your CRM should be organizing it all for successful sales management.
Getting The Right Tools For Profitable Inbound Lead Generation
We want you to build a proven, repeatable process for inbound lead generation. One of the last roadblocks might be the software and tools you’re using.
A significant difference between successful and unsuccessful companies comes down to which strategies and tools you’re using. Our recommendation for reliable and powerful inbound lead generation software is HubSpot. Between HubSpot’s CRM and CMS tools, you’re able to create more sales opportunities successfully, manage qualified leads seamlessly, and create content to continue the cycle.
For more information about how HubSpot can work for your business, schedule a quick chat with a HubSpot specialist to explore your options.