The folks from CSO Insights and 3FORWARD did a webinar by this title recently. The key lesson was that, for 2012 planning, what you do today is critical. The investments you make today pay dividends next year.

Here are some of their conclusions:

  • Sales quotas keep going up and up – faster than ever. (For instance, over 9 out of 10 companies raised quotas in 2011.)
  • We cannot count on an improving economy to save us (or to provide jobs for salespeople or sales leaders who are dismissed because they failed to make quota.)
  • Product advantages are no longer adequate. (Face facts, you’ve just been commoditized.)

Their key point is that decisions you make today in your business will impact how well you’re able to make quota in 2012.

CSO Insights advised business leaders to ask three key questions:

  1. Is our revenue target valid?
    (What are quotas based on – Last year plus X or analysis of the market? Is quota made up or based on realistic numbers?)
  2. Do we know who our best prospects are?
    (The more focused we are, the more success we become. Segmentation is critical.)
  3. Is our lead management optimized?
    (Buyer personas, Content marketing, SEO, lead nurturing, lead scoring, metrics, sales enablement.)

The keys I believe you need to focus on for the balance of the year include:

  • Tightly targeting your market
  • Formalizing your lead generation progression
  • Fixing the responsibility for lead generation (in marketing, not sales)
  • Automating lead generation with marketing automation software like Eloqua, Marketo, Silverpop or Act-On Software.
  • Using both outbound and inbound approaches. (Not only share content and do organic search, but call target companies and invite them to visit your content too.)

Focusing on those few imperatives as the year wins down is one of the most important things business leaders can do today.

Find New Customers can help. Services like our Lead Generation Assessment Service as well as Lead Generation and Scoring Service are exactly what companies need today.

What do you think? We love comments and those who share.

Author: Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is the President of the B2B lead generation consultancy Find New Customers. Find New Customers helps companies dramatically improve revenue results by transforming the way they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers by calling (516) 495-9350 or sending an email to sales at