Why Lead Generation Remains a Challenge in a Mobile World Patience is the key to connecting with distracted consumers reluctant to receive yet another sales pitch.

By Brett Relander

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

According to a recent report released by 360 Leads, lead generation remains the most significant challenge facing companies today. The report indicated that while more than 78 percent of organizations have engaged in lead generation programs throughout last year, only about 17 percent of these companies are actually meeting their lead generation goals. The study was conducted among marketing executives hailing from six continents.

Marketing executives who have noticed that their lead generation efforts are, for the most part, ignored by their target demographics can certainly identify with such challenges. One of the most common reasons that many marketers fail to find traction with their lead generation efforts is that they neglect to court prospects properly. Far too often marketers attempt to lure prospects into providing their email address or other contact information too quickly. Consumers today are naturally wary. When developing a lead generation campaign, it should always be kept in mind that your prospect may be interested in the content you provide, but they are not quite ready to enter a long-term relationship.

Related: The New Rules of Lead Generation Resemble the Old Rules, Somewhat

The beauty of lead generation is that gives you access to a large number of contacts. At the same time, you need to patiently build relationships with these leads. Don't immediately jump into trying to sell your product or service, which too many consumers have frequently encountered. As a result, your target demographic can often spot a sales pitch from a distance. Due to the amount of sales overload to which they have been exposed, many consumers will pause to consider whether they want to run the risk of engaging with a sale rep to obtain the content that you are offering.

Along with moving too fast, you must also consider that many consumers are cautious about responding to lead generation efforts because they are just inundated with so many offers. Given the vast amount of marketing messages to which consumers are exposed today, it is little wonder that they feel overwhelmed. The sheer amount of marketing messages floating around today also means that most consumers lack the time necessary to process it all.

What can you do to engage your target base without scaring them away, while at the same time making certain that your voice is heard above the competition? While this is a challenge, there are steps you can take to make your lead generation efforts more effective.

First, add credibility to your presence in the industry. Do not be shy about touting recent awards. That will not only help you to stand out from the crowd, but also provide your offers with authenticity in the eyes of your prospects.

Additionally, make an effort to communicate properly with your prospects while taking time to nurture that relationship. Think about what your products and services can provide to your leads. What is the value for your customer? Use your marketing platforms to prove your worth to your prospects.

Related: 14 Steps to Generating Leads on Twitter

Finally, develop a well-rounded presence. Numerous companies are striving to capture your prospect's attention. Stand out from the crowd by showing what sets you apart from the others, whether that is your interest, hobbies or social commitments.

With so many companies competing on a global scale, lead generation remains a huge challenge. By taking the time to cultivate your prospects, and showing why you are different from all the other marketers clamoring for their attention, you can gain traction with your prospects.

Related: Why Content Is Still King When It Comes to Lead Generation

Brett Relander

Managing Director at X1 Sports Nutrition

Brett Relander is founder and managing director of X1 Sports Nutrition (http://X1Fuel.com). He has a degree in exercise science, is certified as a Master Fitness Specialist and in the biomechanics of resistance training, and is an advocate of all-natural nutrition and advanced performance training.

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