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Grow Your Business Sales & Marketing

Sales Lead Generation Tops B2B List of Challenges

Many B2Bs may be shooting themselves in the foot, research shows . / Credit: Lead generation image via Shutterstock

Lead generation continues to be one of the most critical and challenging problems for business-to-business companies. According to a survey of more than 2,000 B2B companies by trade publication BtoB Magazine, 60 percent of respondents said that generating more leads will be their biggest problem in 2013.

Building brand awareness and accurately measuring performance were also important challenges to nearly 40 percent of B2B marketers, the survey found.

But many of these B2Bs may be shooting themselves in the foot — one-third of B2B marketers do not actually track where the leads come from. They are falling down on the job in terms of evaluating where and how they find their best leads, the survey found..

When it comes to measuring leads, the greatest percentage (42 percent) of B2Bs evaluated results across all major marketing channels, including email, offline events and mobile marketing. Of all channels, email marketing was the most effective B2B marketing technique, according to surveys conducted by Ascend2 and Research Underwriters, marketing research organizations.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and content marketing tied for second place, with content marketing coming at third place. Almost no B2B marketers say mobile marketing is effective, the survey found.

The big hurdle for B2Bs was in utilizing social media marketing such as Facebook Pages and Twitter for lead generation purposes. Nearly half of respondents said this was one of the most difficult strategies to execute. Content came in second, yet further evidence of the stock that B2Bs put in this tactic — but the challenge they face is putting out enough quality material.

The primary objective of lead generation among B2Bs was improving the quality of leads (58 percent), followed by converting more leads to customers (55 percent). Fewer than half (42 percent) cared most about getting more leads, showing that for B2Bs, targeting the right people and companies is more important than getting as many prospect names as possible.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.Follow us @BNDarticlesFacebook or Google +.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and held a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.