For most salespeople, lead generation is a mixture of good intentions and disorganized execution. In fact, the vast majority of salespeople make the same lead generation mistakes again and again. Overwhelmed by the idea of prospecting, many salespeople procrastinate lead generation altogether, putting it off as soon as they get busy.

If this sounds anything like your approach to prospecting, it’s time to shape up. A solid lead generation strategy can help you close more sales, attract more clients, and maximize your profits. So what are you waiting for?

Below are four deadly lead generation mistakes that salespeople make. Correct these mistakes to start turning your good intentions into profitable action. And while you’re at it, watch this video to learn about the most effective lead generation strategy out there:

1) Relying on just one approach. 

In a world where we have dozens of communication methods at our fingertips, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Phone calls, emails, social platforms, networking events -- sometimes it’s a relief to focus on just one, and forget the rest. But limiting yourself to just one communication approach is a sure way to kill your lead generation strategy. Instead of relying on just one method of generating leads, you should have at least three lead generation strategies going on at once.

For example, try calling high-level prospects, asking for referrals from your existing network, and inviting your best prospects and customers to semi-annual private events. By combining these three vastly different lead generation approaches, your strategy will yield better, more varied results to fill your pipeline with qualified leads.

2) Setting unrealistic lead generation goals.

Many salespeople set lofty goals for lead generation, only to ditch them when life gets too busy. If your goals are unrealistic, you’re likely to end up in the same boat. While everyone appreciates an ambitious salesperson, it’s better to be laser-focused on specific lead generation goals that you know you can accomplish even on your busiest days.

Instead of overwhelming yourself with a vague, lofty goal, commit to smaller actionable steps you can follow through on. For example, dedicate a specific -- and attainable -- amount of time each day to lead generation, or write small weekly goals in a visible place to keep you on track. Truly great salespeople understand that consistent focus on attainable goals is the key to executing good intentions.

3) Separating delivery from lead generation.

Salespeople often view sales as a separate job from the delivery of their product or service. When these two interconnected processes are thought of as separate, it can lead to a misalignment of priorities and a huge loss of opportunity. 

Instead of separating these tasks, remember that delivery is the perfect opportunity to strengthen your relationship with clients. During the delivery process, you can -- and should -- ask for referrals and introductions to new leads. The most successful salespeople see product delivery as the perfect opportunity to generate valuable leads. 

Ensuring delivery goes smoothly is also the best way to keep your relationship positive and productive. You can’t expect a client whose implementation didn’t match up at all with your promises to refer business to you in the future.

4) Being disorganized. 

Unfortunately, most salespeople are completely haphazard when it comes to prospecting. They bounce from emails to phone calls and back with no consistent process for connecting with their leads. Instead, take the time to establish an organized sales prospecting campaign to consistently reach out to your leads.

First, map out an intentional process for connecting with and getting in front of your prospects. The goal should be to touch each prospect at least seven to 15 times throughout your campaign. Utilize a strategic mix of letters, packages, phone calls, voicemails, emails, and drop-ins if applicable -- and write down an intentional schedule for each step of your plan.

To stay organized, try logging these steps in a CRM to easily track where you are in the process with each and every prospect.

By using multiple approaches, staying focused, capitalizing on delivery, and getting organized, a salesperson can enjoy a steady stream of leads -- and slowly but surely get on the prospect’s radar every time. Check out the video below for more tips on how to improve your lead generation strategy by avoiding common mistakes:

Which of these lead generation mistakes do you find yourself making? And which communication tools have proved most effective for you as a salesperson? Share your experiences in the comments below. For more cutting-edge sales advice, join the free 9-Day Sales Intensive online training course.

Email tool in HubSpot CRM

Originally published Aug 22, 2016 12:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017


Sales Prospecting