Most B2B marketing programs have one ultimate goal: generate a steady pipeline of high-quality leads. These leads can translate directly into sales, validating the marketing effort and giving life blood to the business. However, even with the best of efforts, poor leads remain a persistent nuisance. The repercussions can be significant, ranging from an irritated and overwhelmed sales team to measurably wasted resources. 

Let’s delve into the top five reasons why B2B advertisers find themselves grappling with poor leads, shed light on the complexities involved in lead generation and discuss tips on how to improve lead quality from your advertising programs.

1. Inaccurate Targeting

The first and most obvious culprit behind poor lead quality in B2B advertising is inaccurate targeting. Without a precise understanding of the target audience, advertisers risk reaching individuals or businesses that have little to no interest in their products or services — resulting in leads that are unqualified and unlikely to convert into valuable customers. Inaccurate targeting may stem from a variety of factors, including insufficient data, flawed audience segmentation, or a lack of clarity regarding buyer personas. 

To address this issue, advertisers must invest time and resources in refining their targeting strategies, leveraging data analytics, market research, and customer insights to precisely pinpoint their ideal audience and where they exist online and off. This will also eliminate the risk of serving ads to a very broad audience that undoubtedly results in spam clicks and conversions from bots, click farms, and competitors.

2. Irrelevant Messaging

Even when targeting the right audience, B2B advertisers may struggle with poor leads due to irrelevant messaging. In a competitive landscape inundated with advertisements, capturing the attention of prospects requires more than just reaching the right people — it demands compelling and tailored messages that resonate with their specific needs and pain points. Custom PPC landing pages that create a strong synergy between targeting and the content are almost always a must, because they ensure your message is reinforced at every stage of the advertising journey and help improve lead quality. 

Failing to customize content to address the unique challenges and interests of potential buyers can lead to disengagement and a lack of meaningful interaction. To combat this issue, advertisers must prioritize personalization and content relevance, crafting messages that speak directly to the concerns and aspirations of their target audience.

3. Weak Value Proposition

A weak or unclear value proposition can also contribute to low quality leads in B2B advertising. Without  a clear, compelling reason for prospects to engage with a company or its offerings, leads may perceive little incentive to move forward in the sales process — creating a pool of leads characterized by low motivation and limited potential for conversion. 

To overcome this challenge, advertisers must articulate a strong value proposition that highlights the unique benefits and advantages of their products or services. By clearly communicating the value they offer to customers, advertisers can attract leads who are genuinely interested in what they have to offer and motivated to move forward.

4. Lack of Trust and Credibility

Trust is paramount in B2B relationships, yet it can be difficult to establish through advertising alone. In an era of skepticism and information overload, prospects are increasingly wary of engaging with unfamiliar brands or companies that lack credibility. B2B advertisers may encounter poor leads when they fail to build trust or establish their authority within their respective industries. This can manifest in leads who are hesitant to provide accurate information or hesitant to move forward in the sales process due to doubts about the advertiser’s legitimacy. 

To address this challenge, advertisers must prioritize building trust and credibility through various channels, such as thought leadership content, client testimonials, and industry certifications. By demonstrating expertise and reliability, advertisers can instill confidence in their prospects and foster stronger relationships.

5. Misalignment Between Sales and Marketing

Finally, a misalignment between sales and marketing efforts can significantly contribute to the generation of poor leads in B2B advertising. When marketing strategies are not aligned with the goals and priorities of the sales team, leads may be inadequately qualified or poorly nurtured, resulting in missed opportunities and wasted resources. Discrepancies in lead scoring criteria or handoff processes can further exacerbate the issue, leading to confusion and inefficiencies. 

To mitigate this challenge, advertisers must foster closer collaboration between their sales and marketing teams, ensuring that both sides are aligned in their approach to lead generation and conversion. By establishing clear communication channels and shared objectives, advertisers can streamline the lead management process and improve the overall quality of leads generated.

The Impact of Poor Leads

The ramifications of acquiring too many poor leads in B2B advertising can be profound. Not only does it waste resources, but it can also erode trust in the effectiveness of an advertising program. These poor leads can strain relationships with sales teams and damage the reputation of the programming, hampering buy-in on future marketing initiatives. By understanding the root causes of poor leads and implementing strategies to address them, B2B marketers can enhance their lead generation effectiveness, improve lead quality, and ultimately drive better business outcomes.

Bottom line: navigating the complexities of B2B advertising requires a nuanced understanding of the factors that contribute to poor lead quality. By addressing issues such as inaccurate targeting, irrelevant messaging, weak value propositions, lack of trust and credibility, and misalignment between sales and marketing, advertisers can enhance both the quality of the leads they’re generating and enable sales to see greater success in converting leads into valuable customers. Through strategic planning, data-driven insights, and a commitment to continuous improvement, B2B advertisers can overcome the challenges of poor leads and unlock new opportunities for growth and profitability.

About the Author

Patrick Brady is the Director of Paid Media at Firebrand. With over 15 years of experience he helps lead digital clients through the ever changing world of online advertising. Prior to Firebrand, he led PPC efforts for multiple Fortune 500 companies across the B2B and B2C space.