B2B Sales Lead Generation: Top 10 Challenges & Tips to Conquer Them

B2B Sales Lead Generation: Top 10 Challenges & Tips to Conquer Them

Every B2B company’s primary objective is to generate high-quality leads. It’s the key to expanding your business, growing your client base, boosting revenue, and fortifying your sales pipeline. In short, it’s an absolute must for serious business growth. Unfortunately, a considerable number of businesses face substantial hurdles in producing high-quality leads.

To put it in perspective, according to a report by Ruler Analytics, 37.1% of marketers cite the production of high-quality leads as their most significant challenge. Meanwhile, Pipedrive’s State of Sales survey reveals that 51% of sales professionals encounter difficulties in generating leads. Neglecting to address this issue can potentially spell disaster for a business. In this article, we’ll explore these common B2B sales lead generation obstacles and provide effective solutions to ensure your business not only survives but thrives.

Table of Contents

Top 10 Challenges in B2B Sales Lead Generation

1. Turning MQLs into SQLs

Turning Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) into Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) isn’t a walk in the park, and here’s why: First, not all MQLs are looking to buy, and figuring out which ones are truly interested can be a real head-scratcher. And then, you’ve got to gently nurture those leads and keep them engaged – no easy feat. Another curveball is getting your marketing and sales teams on the same page. They’ve got to work together smoothly, or you risk mishandling potential customers. With competitors in the mix and customers changing their minds frequently, it’s all the more challenging.

The Solution:

Effective communication between your sales and marketing teams plays a crucial role in the journey from MQL to SQL. When both teams align, resources are optimized, and this alignment can pave the way for increased sales. Collaboration is key; when team members work together on phone calls, voicemails, direct marketing campaigns, and outreach, everything falls into place.

2. Relying on Referrals

While referrals and word-of-mouth marketing are indeed effective, they do come with their own set of limitations. Relying solely on these strategies can somewhat put a lid on your business and growth potential. A past client can only recommend you to so many people within your industry. But if you leverage product marketing strategies effectively, you can reach a broader audience, potentially hundreds or thousands of prospects. 

The Solution:

It’s about finding the right balance. Don’t toss referrals out the window, but don’t put all your eggs in that basket either. To broaden your horizons and reel in more leads, consider mixing in other lead generation tactics like email marketing, telemarketing, and content marketing.

In the B2B world, attending industry conferences and offering free product samples can help you gain warm leads. You’d be amazed at how many procurement bigwigs are on the hunt for such opportunities.

In a competitive arena, you’ve got to use every reasonable means to set yourself apart and gain an edge. Who knows, adding another quality lead source to your referrals might just be the boost your business needs.

3. Not Getting Enough Engagement

Let’s picture this: You take our advice and start adding more B2B lead generation strategies alongside your referral approach. But here’s the snag – your prospects seem to be giving you the cold shoulder. Your emails, blogs, podcasts, and the like just aren’t getting the attention you hoped for. It feels like your campaign is going down the drain.

Is it your fault? Is the market overcrowded? Well, it’s not a straightforward “yes” to any of these questions.

The Solution:

Before you kick off any B2B sales lead generation campaign, do your homework. Dive into market research. By analyzing your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and understanding your target audience’s persona, you can pinpoint the most effective platforms and the type of content that will genuinely resonate with them. You can always consider partnering with a B2B lead generation services provider to enhance your campaign’s reach and results.

4. Difficulty Nurturing New Leads

When you get it right, the chances of your prospects overlooking your campaign will significantly decrease, and your engagement rate will take a solid leap upward.

When it comes to lead nurturing, a common challenge is the loss of newly generated leads. You’re running a successful lead generation campaign, but many of those fresh leads seem to slip through the cracks.

Now, the question arises: How can you effectively nurture these leads and keep them from falling off the radar?

The Solution:

The answer lies in maintaining consistent engagement with your new leads. To ensure they don’t fade away, it’s crucial to fine-tune your B2B lead nurturing strategies. Start by establishing regular interaction. Whether it’s through weekly updates, frequent blog posts, or daily accountability calls, tailor your approach to your audience’s preferences. The goal is to keep them engaged without overwhelming them. Furthermore, consider offering highly personalized content that resonates with each lead individually. While this approach may require extra effort, it can significantly improve lead retention.

5. Not Having Accurate Data

One of the critical challenges in lead generation is the absence of a reliable and up-to-date marketing database. Without such a database, your lead generation efforts can be severely hampered. Accurate data is crucial not only for the success of your lead generation but also for maximizing the value and profitability of your efforts.

The challenge extends to ensuring that your sales team has access to the right information. This not only aids in generating internal discussions among different team members but also enhances productivity. When leads transition from MQL to SQL, each team member can contribute new client suggestions or insights to refine messaging. This creates a valuable information loop and fosters a stronger sense of teamwork.

The Solution:

To resolve the challenge of inaccurate data in lead generation, consider centralizing and maintaining an up-to-date marketing database, employing data validation tools, and utilizing data analytics for insights. Encourage a culture of information sharing between the marketing and the sales team to refine messaging and better understand lead needs. Provide the necessary training and tools to ensure your team maximizes the database’s potential.

By addressing data accuracy, you can enhance B2B sales lead generation outcomes, drive profitability, and foster a more collaborative work environment. Furthermore, to enhance your data quality, consider leveraging data enrichment services that can keep your database up-to-date and comprehensive.

6. Attracting Poor-Quality Leads

Achieving optimal lead generation demands a balance between quantity and quality. While some opt for cost-effective but lower-quality strategies, it’s crucial to distinguish between poor-quality leads, such as those with prolonged decision-making timelines, budget constraints, or no immediate product needs. To maximize conversion potential, focusing on efficient and optimized strategies is key.

The Solution:

The answer lies in prospect qualification and redefining your ideal customer persona (ICP). Similar to how companies implement quality control for their products, having standards for your future clients is essential for business success. To ensure prospect quality, begin by redefining your ICP to incorporate your standards. This adjustment will naturally qualify your prospects based on your content and strategies. In lead generation, prioritize lead quality, as it lays the foundation for increasing quantity in the long run.

7. Lack of Measurable Metrics

As management guru Peter Drucker wisely said, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” This principle applies to B2B sales lead generation too. Without the ability to measure the success and costs of your lead generation campaigns, managing them effectively becomes a daunting task. It begs the question: How do you know if the campaign is working? If it is, how can you be certain there’s no room for improvement? And, most importantly, how do you ensure you’re getting the best possible returns on your campaign resources? Not having answers to these questions leaves you in the dark.

The Solution:

To guarantee the success of your campaign and the ability to react promptly if things go off track, it’s imperative to prioritize accurate data collection. But what should you measure? Everything that’s measurable, such as website visitors, email sign-ups, or the number of leads generated per advertising dollar spent. The more data, the better.

However, it’s crucial not to collect data for data’s sake; you must also analyze it and take action when necessary. If your data indicates that email marketing isn’t generating leads, it’s time to examine your email copy and identify what’s amiss. In essence, collecting data is vital, but it’s the analysis and informed action that truly drive campaign success

8. Budget Misallocation in Rising Ad Costs

With the increasing use of the internet, businesses are spending heavily on advertising, driving up ad costs due to heightened demand. Small businesses with limited advertising budgets may face a significant challenge, especially if pay-per-click (PPC) ads don’t deliver substantial visitor traffic. However, there are strategies to make the most of this situation.

The Solution:

To combat the surge in ad prices, it’s vital to concentrate on highly specific keywords with lower competition. Understanding how ad pricing works is essential, particularly as Google’s ad space is limited. When competing for broad and general keywords, you might end up having to bid higher due to fierce competition. However, you can circumvent this by focusing on specific or long-tail keywords aligned with your user persona and ideal customer profile (ICP). This strategy reduces demand and significantly lowers costs. By creating specific, high-quality ads, you can both reduce the price of your service or product ads and attract high-quality prospects. Prioritizing specific keywords and leveraging user persona and ICP allows for effective management of ad pricing.

9. Optimizing Sales Team Performance and Training

Achieving company sales goals relies on providing salespeople or outbound call center agents with qualified leads, accurate data, and the necessary tools. However, the question arises: Did you initially hire the right individuals, and are you offering them the guidance and feedback needed for success? One reason salespeople sometimes fall short of goals is the assumption that prior sales experience automatically fills knowledge gaps about a specific product. However, sales experience in one area may not seamlessly transfer to another.

The Solution:

To enhance sales performance, it’s essential to establish and regularly review a shared set of expectations. A successful lead generation campaign should provide scripts, training in handling client concerns, and effective questioning techniques. Ongoing coaching should involve call monitoring, error identification, and corrective measures. Consistent benchmarking of findings can create clear expectations and maintain everyone’s alignment. The integration of AI-powered sales Quality Assurance (QA) solutions can automate and streamline the feedback and improvement process.

10. Getting Your Lead Generation Campaign Off the Ground

Starting a lead generation campaign from scratch can indeed be overwhelming, especially for newcomers. The sheer number of choices, platforms, and decisions can leave you feeling stuck before you even begin. While you might think that pushing through is your only option, there’s a more manageable way to approach it.

The Solution:

Take it one step at a time. Don’t throw in the towel. Focus on the task at hand, and don’t let the big picture overwhelm you. So, what’s the first step in this journey? It’s all about getting to know your prospects inside out. Create an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and a detailed client persona. Dive deep into understanding every little detail about your potential customers.

Once you’ve got a crystal-clear picture of your prospects, the rest starts to fall into place. You’ll know where to find them, what they’re looking for, and the challenges they’re facing. This will guide you to a successful lead generation campaign.


Lead generation may seem challenging, but remember, there’s a solution to every problem. The key lies in adopting a systematic approach, taking things one step at a time, maintaining your focus on the current task, and having a clear understanding of your goal. By adhering to this strategy, you’ll be well on your way to launching a successful lead generation campaign.

Breaking it down step by step allows you to tackle the complexities of lead generation with less stress. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the multitude of decisions and options, concentrate on each task individually. Start by gaining a deep understanding of your objectives and target audience. Create an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and a detailed client persona, delving into every detail about your potential customers.

Once you’ve laid this foundation, the path forward becomes more manageable. You’ll know where and how to find your prospects, what solutions they’re seeking, and the challenges they’re facing. If you’re looking to supercharge your lead generation efforts, we can help. Write to us at [email protected] and our experts with reach out to at the earliest.


Picture of Paul van de Kamp

Paul van de Kamp

Paul leads the Business Development function for B2B Demand Generation and Data Solutions practice at Datamatics Business Solutions Ltd. Paul has spent over two fruitful decades selling and growing business in the Data, MarTech, SaaS, and programmatic platforms. An avid traveler, Paul likes to spend his leisure time with his family and pet, trying out some adventure sports Ski and Sailing.

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