We just recently completed a survey on the state of Demand Generation in 2014 (be on the lookout for the executive brief summarizing the results in the next 30 days or so). The goal of the survey was to get feedback from B2B demand-gen practitioners – people whose main purpose is to drive qualified leads for their sales force to pursue – to determine what they’re doing now and what challenges they face when trying to accelerate revenue for their business. The overwhelming majority of these folks said their biggest challenge right now is that they’re not driving enough qualified, ‘sales ready’ leads. They have plenty of ‘marketing’ leads, but they have to kiss a lot of frogs before they find their prince. Considering lead generation is the biggest component of what they do every day, if they don’t find a way to rectify this they’ll be on the unemployment line soon.
I’ve been a sales and marketing professional my entire career (some say my entire life 🙂 ), and driving demand and qualified leads for my clients is all I’ve ever known. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do in business. I think there are three reasons why the overwhelming majority of today’s lead generators are ‘quality challenged’:
- They’re Not Taking a Multi-Pronged Approach – you can’t put all of your eggs into one lead-gen basket. Looking at the results of our survey, we were shocked to learn at how many practitioners were only using one or two tools to drive revenue – email marketing, SEO, content marketing, webcasts/events (live and virtual), social media, 3rd party lead-gen agencies. You have to be diverse and create an integrated strategy that gives you the opportunity to drive quality leads from a number of sources
- No ‘Measurability’ – if you’re not going to make an effort to measure where all of your quality leads are coming from, why put an emphasis on quality lead generation in the first place? I can’t tell you how many execs have told me over the last 12 months that they can’t pinpoint where most of their business comes from. That’s shocking to me. If you effectively measure where your business comes from, you can trim the fat. Focus on what’s worked, throw out what hasn’t, shorten your sales cycle and accelerate your revenues. It’s not rocket science
- The Marketplace is Filled with Bad Lead Generators – it’s the challenge every company is faced with…acquiring top talent. Whether it’s in finance, operations, HR, software development, sales or marketing, there are a lot of B and C players out there. To be an effective lead-generator, you don’t need to know every single detail about your product, but you need to know enough. More importantly, you need to know your customer, the common challenges in their marketplace, and how your business’ solutions can effectively solve those challenges. It’s Sales 101, but unfortunately a lot of pros out there flunk the course
If you’re compelled, please share your feedback below. Talk soon
Jason Stegent is the Founder & President of ElasticSolutions. Email him @ firstname.lastname@example.org