There are more businesses operating in America today than at any time in the past, making competition sharper and the stakes higher than ever. Sales and marketing is a challenge for many businesses today. Finding prospects is rated as the second highest ranking challenge for both sales people and sales managers. With more consumers than ever also, this shouldn’t be the case. However, it is.

If you want sales, you need “leads”. A lead is a business or person who has been qualified as a prospect and expressed interest in your product or service. However, lead generation is difficult and expensive, and can be a lot of work for very little gain. Finding a lead can be easy enough, but when you add the key word ‘qualified’, that’s when it becomes a challenge. Many of the businesses or prospective customers your sales team approaches will be happy to listen to their pitch, maybe even sit through a presentation. But most will not be ready to place an order with you or have any further discussions.

Furthermore, lead generation is also expensive. It takes investing money upfront, before you see results in 6 to 9 months. And if you’re doing it wrong, you’ve just thrown your money away. There is probably no feeling worse than spending the time, money and energy creating a marketing plan only to put it out there and find out that you’re not getting the response you want, or more precisely, you’re not creating new leads. It’s hard to continue to make the effort when you don’t see the results. But why is that? What can you change to get those qualified leads?

Keep Your Expectations Reasonable

It takes time to build a consistent and sustainable lead generation process, and one of the most common mistakes is to have unreasonable expectations right from the outset. If you examine most sales funnels, they tend to be flat, as in, the company hasn’t done anything to capture the market’s attention. Yours might be the same. The fact is, that it takes time and patience to impact the results you want, and there are no shortcuts. Simply put, your prospects don’t know who you are yet. The lack of awareness is a big barrier to getting traction with your lead generation process.

Make Sure Your Messaging Resonates

Who are you selling to? Who is your ideal client? If you’ve got as far as setting up lead generation, then you probably already know all of that. You know that you have to get inside your customers’ heads to see what they want, then sell it to them. But what if you do all of that, and still get no traction? Go back to the drawing board. Review your message and how you’re putting it out there. Sometimes, it can be as simple as focusing on what your customers want to buy, rather than what you’re selling.

Tailor Your Offerings

You can sell the same product in different ways, and different formats will work with different client bases. If you don’t know what works yet, try out some different formats and figure out what works with whom. This way you are constantly in alignment with your prospects

Make The Content About The Customer

Ask yourself why a prospect would come back to your marketing content over your competitions? If you’re not seeing the prospects you thought you would, then perhaps your content, while good, is more about you selling your product, rather than what the customer’s needs are. And that’s an important distinction to make. Your marketing content needs to be able to teach a prospect something, not just sell to them.

Read more relevant blog post:Using Statistics for Customer Engagement