“Break the Ice” with B2B Lead Generation Programs that Work

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Break the Ice” with B2B Lead Generation Programs that WorkHow would you react if you told someone, “I have this week’s winning lottery ticket and I want to give it to you”, and the individual responds by saying, “No thank you, I already bought 5 tickets”? I would definitely be stumped!

Stumped I was last week when I was talking to Ben who is a senior executive at a client organization. I was sharing with Ben the unique advantages of the 360° view provided by a transformational B2B lead generation program. He made no effort to hide the fact that he was impressed and even excited about it. BUT, when I asked him if he was interested to try it, he said no. The reason he gave me was that they already had a lead generation software in which they have invested a significant amount of money and time, hence, change was not possible. I would call it a lame excuse for saying no but I recognize the reality that the same ‘excuse’ is given by many B2B organizations. And that excuse for not wanting to change for the better is simply, legacy issues. We need an ice-breaker for companies to get past these hurdles.

There is a tendency for executives to make decisions that aren’t in the best interest of the organization due to these legacy issues. It’s the narrow-minded attitude of “it’s how we’ve always done things”. The driver of this attitude may also have its roots in political reasons; i.e. the executive wants to maintain a good relationship with the company and will not make any move that may jeopardise that relationship. The risk of facilitating change is perceived as a far greater risk because it may put the executive’s job in danger.

I strongly suspect that Ben was weighing these very same risks during our discussion. Was he also scared that he may lose control to a new process? Or did he feel anxious that his role may become less relevant with a solution that delivers more and costs less? Would this new system and process bring in a whole new level of efficiency and results tracking to make him dispensable? In my opinion, it was all of these thoughts wreaking havoc in Ben’s mind. That is why he was not willing to make a change even after being convinced that I offered him a better, more efficient and less expensive solution for both, B2B lead generation and channel partner marketing.

The above anecdote is indicative of the B2B industry’s “state of the union”. Most of us in this industry have spent years trying to CONTROL – control our teams, control the tactics, control the process, control social media, control content marketing, and so on. We want to control how prospects react to our marketing. We want to control how buyers behave so we can shorten the sales cycle, make them buy more, keep them loyal; we keep at it to somehow get in control.  But at the end of the day, these control issues are the biggest impediment of success.

I’ve said before that it’s time to declare our independence as B2B marketers and take control of our B2B lead generation. So let me clarify that I am not contradicting what I said earlier. All I’m saying is that it’s a new day and we can’t keep doing things the way we used to.

It’s time to become the water in your glass, not the ice cube. Let me explain this analogy. Think about what an ice cube does. It used to be fluid water until it was put in a box, frozen and taken out again in an attempt to change the temperature of a liquid. When it gets tossed into a glass of water, the liquid gets cold but the ice cube slowly melts, loses its shape and is no longer effective. Now, the scene would be quite different if you ever coloured water. You put in the colour and soon it swirls and dances with the water. Eventually, even if you don’t stir the water, it changes colour. It becomes red, green, blue, etc. It’s almost impossible to change the water back to transparency after all of the colour has been integrated.

In the world of B2B lead generation, we now have a better mousetrap—a PROVEN track record of success that meets every criteria. And yet, in our effort to control and be the ice cube, Ben and his counterparts in the industry will deny their teams and their organizations real success.

Let the meltdown begin. Break the ice. Shed the shackles. Be prepared to take responsibility for change and you’ll see how easily you find yourself steering your organization towards greater success.

Are you the ice cube in your B2B company’s lead generation efforts? Would you like to become the driver, the motivator and the leader for change? Let’s discuss how you can bring about a transformation and get past your company’s legacy issues. Feel free to leave me a comment. You can also email or call me, Louis Foong, at (905) 709-3827.    

Image credits: Shutterstock

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.

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