Troubles getting your clients realize you even exist? Even when they do know you exist, are you able to engage them? These are the problems that many companies have. In this digital age, it is cheaper than ever to get your message in front of thousands of prospects. However, the problem is that everyone is doing it, and this is creating a lot of noise in the marketplace. In order to be heard, it’s not about who yells the loudest, it’s the one who has the most distinct point of view that challenges your audiences’ assumptions who is heard.
Growing up, I was a member of a local youth organization for rural kids called 4-H. The motto of this group was “Learn to do by doing.” The whole premise was that you would actually learn how to do things not from theory but from actual experience. When I read what a lot of these so called “lead generation experts” are passing off as advice, I wonder if they have they actually done the work they are suggesting their readers do.
If you talk to most lead generation companies, you would get the sense that what they are selling to you is a mere commodity that you can simply put in your requirements and they will send you a list that is perfect for your needs. The problem with this easy solution is that truly sales qualified leads are NOT so abundantly available that you can run out to your local Lead-Mart and pick up as many as you need.
Do you have an all-star lead generation strategy? Do you even know? For many companies, lead generation is a key initiative for the sales and marketing teams, but they often don’t put enough thought into their strategy. Ready-Fire-Aim is the strategy that most companies employ. The following are some best practices that every company should address before launching their lead generation initiatives.
According to a 2011 study by MarketingSherpa, 74% of B2B marketers stated that their biggest challenge was generating high quality leads. The next biggest challenge was “generating a high volume of leads.” This just highlights the fact that most B2B marketers have the wrong priorities. Instead of focusing on generating poor quality leads that are a waste of your salespeoples’ time, they need to focus on helping salespeople sell.
I often find that most struggling sales people are resistant to dump a non-qualified prospect because they are afraid they are going to miss a sale or not make quota that month. As a result, their pipeline gets blogged with time wasters and prospects that are not going to buy anytime soon.
If you are like most B2B companies, your website is all about selling your product or service. However, if your website alone could really sell your product or service, then why do you need sales people? Far too often, when I watch companies design their website they think it will do all the work for them. In reality, that is not the case. A website is a great sales support tool but it will not complete the sale in most B2B complex environments.
Ever wonder how “intelligent” your sales staff is? Are they really worth the money that you are paying them? In the past, sales people were able to maintain tight control over their lead-management processes. However, more and more customers in the B2B market space have come to rely on peer reviews and online research to learn about products, executives, and companies before they buy. Social intelligence is becoming a crucial skill that all your sales staff needs to have in order to gain an edge over your competition.
Kim Kardashian was married to “some guy,” Kris Humphries, for a whopping 72 days after their lavish August 2011 wedding. The two spent millions on their walk down the aisle and probably made bigger news when the reality star filed for divorce in October. She then released a heartfelt note on her blog telling fans she shouldn't have rushed into marriage. The same is true for many companies when sales (Kim) and Marketing (Kris) work together to gain alignment. Sales is the big celebrity and, far too often, most people think of Marketing as an afterthought. When this happens and they rush into the goal of aligning, just like Kim and Kris tried, it fails.
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