Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Can Your B2B Sales Afford Your Lead Generator?

Many of those working to generate sales leads get so caught up with impressing their superiors about the benefits and advantages of their campaigns. They end up forgetting that it doesn't even matter sometimes! Some CEOs don't care too much about the complications or why one method works better than the other.

Sometimes, they just want one thing: results.

No matter how many statistics you cite or how many experts you consult, you're just wasting your breath if it just doesn't show in the final results. Therefore, whenever you encounter someone whose sole focus is on the results, why don't you try seeing things from their perspective?

Now just what is it in the results that they're so concerned with? Well in a nutshell, it's all about how much it costs to generate leads versus how much is being made off of them. You don't need to lecture them about how leads represent sales opportunities. They probably know that already. What they want to know is if the sales being made can afford the entire process and then some. In order to answer that question, you should figure out where these costs are coming from:

  • Time – As the saying goes, time is money. Unless you can find a way to reduce the costs being spent over time, maybe you should check to see if there's anything in terms of time management that's raising the price of lead generation.
  • Tools – What exactly is your approach? Do you stick to just one method you know best (e.g. telemarketing) or do you go the multi-channel route? Are any of these asking more money? What kind of equipment do you use? Here's a surprise: It doesn't really matter how cheap or expensive it is. If it's cheap but the poor quality is killing your efforts, then that's where you've been flushing down your company's cash. Likewise, it's the same thing if the tools are expensive but aren't used to the fullest.
  • Personnel – How much do you invest in training the people who are actively responsible for making the calls, sending the emails, or maintaining your online properties? Did you hire the right professionals? Were they taught the right skills? Did you yourself teach them the wrong set of techniques or strategies?

Oddly enough, this can apply whether you were investing in an in-house lead generator or outsourcing lead generation services. You can judge either party using the same criteria above. And surprise, surprise, so can your superiors. Like them, you should be focused on how the results are reflected in the effort. The only difference is that it's your job to go further down into the details and discover the leaks.

You can really learn a lesson from their seemingly narrow-minded perspective. It's about realizing when and where the details matter. They don't matter if the result is your lead generator costing more than what sales can make. They matter when you're trying to find the problems and discover ways to make the lead generation process more affordable.

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