Last August I wrote a blog for Top Sales World titled “Lead Generation Hogwash: The Top 7 Lies.”
I detailed 7 lies to be aware of to avoid a lead generation disaster (read the blog for the specifics):
- Any list will do.
- Voicemails are a waste of time.
- Outbound calling is interruption marketing.
- Write it and they will come.
- Automated systems accurately score (prioritize) leads.
- Give up after 1 – 2 calls. You are better off calling someone who actually wants to talk with you.
- More leads are better than fewer leads
I received a lot of positive feedback about the article and decided to ask our PointClear PowerViews Alumni (those who have been on the PowerViews show) for their input on the most dangerous lead gen lies out there.
Here’s what they had to say:
A form completion is a lead. Hogwash! A form completion is an expression of potential interest in what your copy describes that the person will get in exchange for their information. Period. The only intent a person has when completing the form is to gain access to what you’ve promised. Why marketers refuse to acknowledge this reality is beyond me, but it’s also a reason that salespeople continue to ignore the leads sent to them by marketing. And, it’s irritating to your prospects. Their fear that you’ll turn on the hard sale based on that form is one reason they lie. Dirty data doesn’t help and is costly to clean up. Wouldn’t it make more sense to respect the interaction?
Leads suck. If a great conversion rate is 30% of leads to sales qualified leads than 7 out of 10 failed to pass through. If a six-sigma consultant looked at that type of waste, they would freak out. The truth is, it’s okay. Actually I take that back, it’s not okay if you pass those 10 leads to quota-carrying sales reps. It is okay if you filter those leads via a combination of lead nurturing and sales development (or lead qualification) before you pass to your sales team.
Sales is all about value for the dollar. Value is important, but B2B buyers are often deeply invested at a personal level in the decisions they make. Jobs or even careers may be on the line, so make an effort to understand your buyers’ fears, ambitions and motivations so that you can sell a solution they can be comfortable with. Remember that they’re buying a relationship as much as a product. Are you someone they can relate to?
One touch is enough. Reading the “7 Lies” post reminded me of a conference presentation I saw years ago. The speaker asked an attendee to hammer a nail into a board with only one strike. Of course, the speaker easily pulled out the nail. He then asked the attendee to strike the nail 12 times. The nail stuck. His point: One contact, even two or three, is rarely enough for sales or marketing to connect with customers deeply enough that there’s real interest. Consistency is essential. And today, that consistency needs to reach across channels.
Social Media Marketing is an effective lean gen channel for B2C but not as much for B2B. Au contraire – B2B companies often struggle more than B2C to create a personal brand that prospects can connect with and trust. When B2B marketers use social channels like LinkedIn and Twitter to showcase thought leadership they create an opportunity to gain credibility with key decision makers and potentially take relationships with prospects and existing customers to another level. Social is a huge door opener and a great way to participate in conversations that would otherwise never exist.
Jim has lies, lies and more damn lies (he provided 28, I picked my favorite 5):
- Telemarketing doesn’t work, I get calls every night and I hate ‘em.
- Our products are so good we don’t need leads.
- We don’t ask qualifying questions on our web form, I hate them.
- Marketing is a variable expense. Cut it and we’ll never miss it.
- Those leads are a month old, they’ve already bought.
Reader, what say you? Do you agree/disagree with these lies? Any others you would add? I look forward to hearing and sharing your thoughts with our community.