Every day I hear how bad the economy is.  The news is filled with layoffs, store closings,rundown house and more and more bad news.  It’s all doom and gloom.

Or is it?  Life goes on.  Business gets done and I’m not known as the Fearless Competitor for nothing.   This is why the white paper, How to Find New Customers from Find New Customers plays such an important role.

Businesses today need to learn how to build trust with skeptical, jaded decision makers.

Nigel Edelshain’s (of Sales 2.0) great e-book entitled “Don’t Cold Call.  Social Call.” which has the very same idea — build trust and earn credibility by doing research first.  In a slumping economy, companies MUST master the art of building trust.

Charlene Begley, President of the Enterprise Services Division of GE said that legendary GE CEO Jack Welch once told her “Go talk to customers, Charlene.  They never lie to you.”  That’s good advice, Jack.

The classic problem between marketing and sales:

  • Marketing says Sales does not follow up on leads.  They drop the ball.
  • Sales says Marketing’s leads suck.   The ball is not worth carrying.

Problem is.. they are both right. Marketing gives sales lousy leads and sales declines to follow up.

The solution to this problem is an agreed definition of a lead and tracking of prospect behavior, so the right content is shared with the right person at the right time.

Let’s examine some critical insights from How to Find New Customers to see how it works.  We start with the single most important factor — the customer buying process – as outlined in this great white paper:

Customer buying process

This is the key principle of How to Find New Customers.   Marketers simply must develop a strong understanding of their target audience buys in order to be effective.

The real purpose of sales is not what you thought it was — it’s not selling refrigerators to Eskimos.  Rather it’s helping the customer solve their problems through buying and implementing your products and/or services.  Thus, the better you know how they buy, the more effective you can be.

Let me share an example of sharing the right information at the right time.

iPropect was declared to be a leader in search marketing by Forrester

Undoubtedly a prestigious award typically leads to well-deserved congratulations and flooding the sales team with copies to hand out to prospects.

But there is a critical question that needs an answer.  When should we use it?

If we go back to the Customer Buying Process, we see where it fits.

  • Does it fit in Untroubled/Unaware?
    If I don’t know I have a problem, why do I care your company won an award?
  • Does it fit in Have Problem?
    If I have a problem, I’m looking for a fix, not a company.
  • Does it fit in Need Solution?
    I’m looking for an answer, so I may be just beginning to consider products and companies.
  • Does it fit in Consideration?
    It certainly does.  Now I’m looking for the best product and company for my needs.

So that great news from Forrester for iProspect should be used only in the Consideration phase of the buying process.

In addition, if you really have a deep understanding and know where they go for information, your marketing can be vastly more effective – as you can use a rifle-shot approach with your marketing dollars (pounds, Euros, etc.)

Now let’s examine another key principle learned by readers of How to Find New Customers —  lead scoring.  But in order to optimally rate leads, we need to understand and measure on-line behavior.

Review this chart from How to Find New Customers.   Sit down with your sales organization and review it carefully.  What do they consider a lead?  Once we assign value, we need to track the behavior. This is where marketing automation products like Marketo, Act-On, and Eloqua come in. (Act-On is a client of Find New Customers.)

I also recommend you not only focus on search but on landing pages to optimize conversions.  A good company/product to consider is ion Interactive and their LiveBall platform.

Here’s some behaviors identified in the white paper, How to Find New Customers, you can use for lead scoring:


Finally, let’s look at a final key principal learned in How to Find New Customers — how to write great content. Inside the Mind of the B2B Buyer demonstrated that buyers today look for content at every stage of the buying process.

Content guidelines

We hope these insights from How to Find New Customers were helpful. What do you think? We love comments and those who share.