Making Lead Generation Make Sense


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Anybody who’s been selling for more than a couple of months understands lead generation programs aren’t what they’re supposed to be. All too often the leads coming out of them turn out to be somebody’s name and number, or maybe email address. And mostly a waste of the sales professionals time.

This is particularly true of trade shows and lead gathering services, either provided internally or externally by Marketing.

When marketing people want to cost justify themselves they quote numbers of leads to come out of their spending. High numbers make them look good of course, but they rarely do anything more than get in the way of productive sales activities.

Sales professionals know a sales lead is an introduction to somebody who’s active, in the process of buying. When they make the call, the contact is expecting it, understands the context and wants to hear what the representative has to say.

They know spending time leaving messages for a contact who doesn’t return the call is a pain in the rear. Not only do they have to go chasing. They have to report back on what happens. They’re called to account for failure – not turning into business the investment made by marketing.

Unfortunately they have no choice but to waste time, and then apologise for doing it. Because Marketing has a different idea of what makes a sales lead.

That’s the bottom line of lead generation programs.

There is a simple answer. Everybody involved in new business acquisition should understand the sales professionals language.

A name and contact details is simply that – a name.

A target is a name the company would like to do business with. The profile fits the value proposition.

A suspect is the name of a person in a company which fits the profile and there’s reason to think there’s a supplier selection in process.

A prospect is the name of a person, in a company which fits the profile, who’s in the process of selecting a supplier, and has asked to be contacted by a salesperson.

And prospects are sales leads. Everything else is a distraction.

Marketing organisations running lead generation programs need to collect names and let the sales professionals get on with the real job of transforming opportunities into revenue.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steven Reeves
Consultant, author, software entrepreneur, business development professional, aspiring saxophonist, busy publishing insight and ideas. Boomer turned Zoomer - thirty year sales professional with experience selling everything from debt collection to outsourcing and milking machines to mainframes. Blogger at Successful Sales Management. Head cook and bottle washer at Front Office Box.


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