Be More Productive in Your B2B Lead Generation Efforts5 Ways to Stop Fretting and Be More Productive in Your B2B Lead Generation Efforts

Most of us have no patience for time-wasters. These could be individuals, organizations or just situations we find ourselves in. I am not a very patient person unless I am completely engaged by the person or situation that is taking up my time. Sometimes I am blunt and will tell people to stop wasting my time; other times I will just tune out in my head and so the other party is then wasting their time. What I don’t do often enough is to tell myself, “Stop wasting my time”. It’s true, we ourselves are usually the biggest barrier or obstacle that comes between us and our greatest achievements. Frequently, what we try our best to avoid doing is actually what we should be doing more of.

In business, in our professional lives and on the personal front as well, there are ways to accomplish more on any given day. We get so caught up in the mundane, nitty-gritty details of the tasks on hand that the big picture eludes us. The thing is, time won’t wait for you, so why should you wait for time?

There is never enough time to get all you want done, but there is always enough you can do in the time you do have.

B2B Lead Generation—How to Be More Productive AND Stress-Free

Wanting to get more done can have a negative effect—high stress—and for many of us, this is what happens. Ultimately, the stress starts to hamper productivity instead of improving it. I have found good inspiration from leaders and my own experiences, so I’m happy to share my top 5 tips on how to be more productive in your B2B lead generation efforts.

1. Become outcome-focused yet process-driven. This may seem like a bit of a contradiction, but let me explain. The process is important, as I’ve said before; and you need to ensure a proven, time-tested process is in place. You also need to review your B2B lead generation process from time to time and make necessary adjustments and refinements, i.e. process improvement. The end of the road however, or the outcome of everything you are doing and aiming for must always be your point of focus. Take for example, a simple exercise like your drip-marketing campaign. You need an efficient process to craft and deliver each piece within your campaign. Unless you have a targeted and segmented list with customized messages for each audience, the campaign effectiveness is not likely to be very high. How you measure the effectiveness is based on the overall outcomes you want to see. So start with the outcome in mind and then revisit your lead generation process to see if it is capable of delivering that outcome.

2. Facilitate transparency and easy access to information. We live in the information age—the age of transparency. Social media makes transparency fairly easy to achieve. We base every decision we make on information that we can find or is provided to us. Is it always easy to get the right information, at the right time, in the right format? Not so. Companies like Cisco realize the importance of making anytime access to information and applications easy for its huge and globally dispersed workforce. As a technology leader, Cisco affirms they have three essentials in place in order to be a more productive company:

  • a secure network to make information easily accessible
  • a collaborative communications solution that allows real-time information exchange and sharing using the Internet
  • a wireless network that makes employees place-independent—they can get work done from wherever they may be on company premises

3. Eat the ugliest frog. I find this approach very useful. Brian Tracy, author of “Eat That Frog” says, “…you cannot eat every tadpole and frog in the pond, but you can eat the biggest and ugliest one, and that will be enough, at least for the time being.” It’s a common mistake we make—trying to get everything done, hoping to please everyone, striving to meet every deadline—it doesn’t quite work out like that though. Don’t neglect defining your goals, setting objectives and focusing on KPIs. It helps to tackle the most challenging task that can also deliver the best outcome and you can then start focusing on other tasks. Not to say that other tasks may be less important, but if they are less challenging, you can still get them done without the stress of still having that one, big, ugly frog waiting to be eaten. Here is an interesting list from Inc.com—10 leaders and the surprising ways they stay productive. I don’t agree with #1 on the list, but to each his own I guess!

4. Hear that “so what?” question all the time. Productivity really is a relative term. You may consider it an improvement in productivity if you have accomplished all 10 tasks on your must-do list. If someone—somebody important—is still asking the question, “so what?”, then you can’t be so sure that you have been truly productive. In business, we need to constantly hear our customer’s voice in our head, asking “so what?” That is the only way to make sure that what we are doing is relevant, will make a difference, will have a positive outcome, will present a solution and resolve a challenge. In a nutshell, if what you do only matters to you, it doesn’t matter at all! Be careful when you announce to the world that you have 5000 fans on Facebook. Your customers are going to ask, “so what?” Watch out when you brag about 750 outbound customer service calls made in a day. Customers are going to still ask, “so what?”

5. Step aside, and ask someone you trust to step in. It’s like cooking. A good chef knows what the outcome of a dish should be, but a great chef depends on another individual to judge the outcome. If you watch any cooking shows by celebrity chefs, which ones do you enjoy the most? The ones where the chef is the only one talking, cooking and tasting? Or the ones where there is a show host (who is not a chef) or there are other lay people that are the audience or tasters for the chef’s creation?

The point I’m trying to make is—when one is too closely involved with a task, it is difficult to evaluate the outcome. It is even more difficult to identify the scope and opportunities for improvement. That is why it helps to get a third-party perspective on important issues. That, in fact, has been the very premise of focus groups in traditional marketing methodology. Someone who is at least a few steps removed from your process and the challenge you are struggling with may be able to view it from a completely new, fresh perspective. You may or may not resolve the challenge right away with that perspective, but it will allow you to think outside the box and find an approach that works better than the one you used previously. And it doesn’t always have to be an outside expert—it could be someone else on your team, perhaps a colleague from another department. As a C-Suite executive, you need to be extra-watchful about the HIPPO syndrome—i.e., the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion. And if you happen to be that hippo, for sure you need to get a second opinion on important decisions.

Here is another list I found on 15 ways to be more productive. What are some ways that help you be more productive in your B2B lead generation process? Do you have any useful tips to add? Please leave me a comment.

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