People look to me as an expert at demand generation because I wrote a book and speak about it. But it seems the more I learn, the less I think I know.
I probably am more acutely aware of this because I work for MECLABS, an organization that is laser-focused on learning and teaching others – including many global organizations – about how to continuously improve marketing.
Consequently, I’m constantly learning and constantly discovering how much more I have to learn. Read on for three important lessons instilled in me this year.
Lesson 1: Reflect and use what you already know
I have to confess: I began the year feeling behind. I’m charged with helping MECLABS attain Research Partnerships. This is more complex than a standard lead generation – we’re not trying to sell. Instead, we’re trying to identify organizations that can fit our specific research model. We end up turning away prospects far more than we accept.
Frankly, back in January, I wanted to have more momentum in this process, but I felt like I had far too much to accomplish and far too little time to accomplish it. So, in that situation, who has time to review case studies and reports?
Who has time to strategize?
Reflecting on it 12 months later, I realize that smart, effective people do, because that’s when they discover the solutions to help them accomplish their goals.
Lesson 2: Practice what you preach
I finally allowed myself the time to examine our organization’s vast knowledge of online testing to determine how this knowledge could be applied to conversations over the phone.
You see, much of our process for accepting Research Partner applications transpires via the phone channel. In this process, our first goal is to make sure our prospects are delighted that we contacted them; our second is to identify a potential Research Partner.
Of course, the steps to test online cannot be simply layered over the phone conversations. The human touch is different than the virtual one.
However, we successfully applied the patented Conversion Heuristic, created by MarketingExperiments, a division of MECLABS, that has typically been used as a systematic framework to analyze a conversion process.
Learn more about our experience with that here: “Lead Generation: How using science increased teleprospecting sales handoffs 304%.”
Through these efforts, we are now doing significantly more teleprospecting in less time. Here’s just one example: We wanted to learn how to structure a voicemail to attract the highest rate of callbacks.
We discovered that immediately mentioning a free Benchmark Report, as opposed to waiting until the next sentence, increased callbacks by 182% – that’s nearly double! Consider the increased productivity: those are 182% fewer people our analysts have to call back.
If I had practiced what MECLABS preached earlier in the year, I could have been up to speed much more quickly in achieving my goals.
Lesson 3: Simplicity is the true sign of mastery
As I continually learn new methods to improve my own lead generation, I understand the process better. In fact, a few years ago, I wrote this e-book: Eight Critical Success Factors for Lead Generation. If I wrote this book today, I would boil it down to just three:
- Engaging the right people in the right companies
- With the right message
- And nurturing that conversation until the right time
A true measure of expertise, I realize, is the ability to make the seemingly complex so simple that anyone can understand it.
Einstein was right when he proclaimed that if you can’t explain something simply, you don’t know it well enough. Once again, I now realize how much I didn’t know a year ago, how much I know today, and how much more – really, so much more – I still need to learn.
What lead gen and life lessons did you learn in 2013? I’d love to hear about them. Let me know in the comments below.