5 biggest lead generation mistakes: and how to avoid them


Generating leads… a tough but essential part of B2B life. Even if you’ve got plenty of ideas for how reach new customers, it can be easy to make mistakes which ultimately cost time and money. 

Here are the top 5 lead generation mistakes we’ve seen – and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Not knowing your customers

Trying to generate leads without knowing your customers is like throwing darts in the dark – you can’t expect to score if you don’t know where you’re aiming.  

Understanding your ideal customers (and what they want) helps you to communicate and engage with them better. Without knowing who they are, you’re going to waste valuable time and resources trying to generate leads from people who have no interest in what you’re selling. 

Not only that, but going after the wrong people can make you seem spammy and annoying – a disaster for your brand reputation and credibility. 

How to avoid it

Take the time upfront to identify your target audience, tailoring your messaging and outreach to speak directly to their needs and interests. 

Creating and working from buyer personas will help you build more meaningful connections with potential customers and increase your chances of success. So, before you start trying to generate leads, make sure you know exactly who you’re targeting… and why.

Image credit: The Marketing Millennials

Mistake #2: A dusty database

Imagine spending hours crafting the perfect personalized message, only to realize that the role you’re targeting no longer exists. Frustrating, right?  

If you’re keeping your contacts list in a database that never gets updated (or even worse, a static spreadsheet) then all your hard work is destined to collect dust at the bottom of a “zombie” inbox. 

How to avoid it

Data should live and breathe as your customers do. Regularly reviewing and refreshing your customer details will save you so much time and effort in the long run. Plus, your messaging will be bang on point – giving you the best chance of closing a deal. 

You can do this yourself by manually searching websites, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms. Or you can make the smart choice and use a sales engagement platform as your dynamic database 💁‍♀️. 

Mistake #3: Only using one channel

You never know where your perfect customers are hiding, which is why relying on one channel for your lead generation is a big mistake. 

People are different; those who aren’t active social media users may instead discover you through a blog post. Or those who don’t check their emails might be avid podcast listeners. So don’t put all your eggs in one basket by using one channel. 

How to avoid it

In the digital age, there are more marketing channels than ever. And within each of these channels is the potential to reach new and different audiences. By using multiple channels for lead generation, you can expand your reach and connect with potential customers where they’re most active. 

This can include social media, email, phone, events, networking, or any others that you feel your target audience will use. Using a “multi-channel” approach also allows you to test and optimize different channels to see which ones are generating the most leads for your business. 

Mistake #4: Not keeping up with compliance

It’s simple: compliance keeps your business ethical and legal. It may not be the most compelling thing to learn about, but if you’re processing any form of personal data, you need to get your head around the different legislations. 

Things like the GDPR in Europe and CAN-SPAM the in the United States all have clear guidelines for how businesses can collect, use, and store people’s personal information.

Non-compliance risks huge fines and damage to your reputation, so your lead generation activities need to be legit!

How to avoid it

Make compliance part of your sales and digital marketing strategy. You’ll see rewards in the shape of more receptive leads and overall peace of mind. 

And if you’ve done your homework by targeting people who are relevant to what you’re selling (like Outbase users), you’ll have done half the work already. 

Mistake #5: Store-bought leads

Lead generation is tough, which is why it can be tempting to buy a list of contacts to work from. But doing this can set you up for a fall. 

Those companies you buy data from? They’ve sold that same list to a bunch of other businesses. And haven’t bothered to check if the people on that list are a good fit for you (which you need to be able to prove in order to stay compliant).

And if that wasn’t enough, the people on those lists have been contacted countless times already, and their details go stale really quickly. So you might end up forking out more cash every few months as people switch jobs or join new companies.

How to avoid it

Do the work, and don’t be tempted by shortcuts. A curated list of contacts that you’ve made yourself will be far more valuable than a bought spreadsheet, and you’ll find better quality leads this way.

You can manually search through company websites, LinkedIn, and other social media sites. Or, you can make the smart choice and use a sales engagement platform like Outbase. Outbase keeps giving you access to a constantly-updating database of prospects, along with all the tools you need to start reaching out to them.

You can read more in our Knowledge hub: How to find your ideal customers

Lead generation made simple with Outbase

Outbase’s B2B sales engagement platform is designed to help you find new customers quickly and easily. With access to our extensive database of businesses and advanced filtering options, you can zero in on your ideal audience and send personalized emails to engage with them. Outbase runs in the background while you focus on growing your business.
So why waste time on spreadsheets and outdated contact lists when you can have a tool that gets you more conversations with potential customers who are happy to hear from you? Try Outbase for free today – your first campaign could be live in just five minutes!

Written by:
Colette Hagan-Young Content Writer