Saturday, December 1, 2007

Lead Generation and Sales Readiness

One of the key roles of Marketing is to generate well qualified leads at the lowest possible cost. I’m sure that this will not come as a surprise. It’s an age-old problem and a continuous area of friction between the Sales and Marketing organizations. A complex problem that requires utmost attention! Indeed, as a company with momentum, you are now face with the formidable challenge to scale up your sales force. It requires good hiring, good training and grooming. By now, you must be wondering what sales productivity and sales enablement have to do with lead generation. The answer is that both are very closely linked. A lead that cannot be processed by the sales force is no lead at all! Marketing must stop throwing the leads over the wall and recognize that the job doesn’t stop once the prospect has been identified. On the contrary, it is when the fun really begins. So, as you build your lead generation machine you must take into consideration the organic nature of the process. Don’t hide behind your CRM system and make an effort to educate yourself about the state of the sales force and the pipeline:

1. Build the appropriate pipeline based on historical close ratio and sales force readiness (i.e. Is knowledge in the field appropriate? Is account management seniority appropriate? …).
2. Nurture your existing customers to ensure that they will be references.
3. Revisit your assumptions constantly and remember that change is the only constant. Don’t build your organization assuming a steady-state environment.
4. Listen actively to your customers. This means don’t outsource “customer management”. Focus on doing repeat business with existing customers. It requires a very different strategy that going after “white space”.

1 comment:

Damian Lee said...

Thank you for sharing the post, Lead Generation and Sales Readiness... It is pretty informative...
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