Building an effective lead generation program is kind of like baking a cake. There are certain ingredients that are absolutely necessary. You can tweak the recipe a little here and there adding your own special touches as long as you include the main components.
Over the next few months, I want to offer you a ‘recipe’ for building an effective lead gen program. It’s an eight-step checklist. Any one of the eight steps is as important as the others. Fold all eight ingredients into your plan, and you’ll be on your way to getting the kind of results you really want.
Your Demand Generation Mindset
The first item on the checklist is tackling your mindset. Instead of trying to sell someone, try helping someone buy. Take a more consultative approach. It is an approach to selling in which customer needs are used as the basis for the sales dialogue.
Lead generation should be a series of conversations, not campaigns. Make sure that relevance drives the on-going dialogue which could take place over a rather long period of time.
How you sell and market tells people how you will likely serve them
You have one chance to make a first impression. Your prospects are thinking how you’re selling me, is how you’re going to serve me. And, believe me, your prospects will read you pretty fast. If your focus is on winning the sale and not on how you can help, you are going to get tuned out.
- Do your homework and show your prospects that you understand their industry as well as their challenges and that you aren’t treating them as one and done.
- Provide detailed instructions or advice on which solution best meets their needs.
- Make sure the prospect receives value from the interaction.
You’ll become a trusted advisor rather than just the salesperson from the next trendy company. Prospects are going to turn to someone they trust when they need a solution. Having a past based on relevant, informative conversations will build trust and put you in a position to help them buy.
Once you’ve got your mindset right, you’ll need to get your sales and marketing departments on the same team. I’ll discuss tips to get them on track in the next installment.
In the meantime, tell me what challenges you have faced (or will face) when trying to change the mindset of your company. I look forward to hearing from you.
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The right mindset for lead generation — so important and so relevant. Using the right mindset to change from just being another marketer/ salesman to a trusted advisor surely requires more work but the outcome will be worth it. I couldn’t agree more.
Brian, I agree 100%
I often tell salespeople that they have to stop ‘selling’ and start ‘problem solving’.
We all have problems, it comes down to how they touch on the problem at hand and the impact.
It is a different mindset and allows them to become a trusted advisor over time instead of a salesperson.
btw – for access to free tools on the internet to help with Sales and Marketing check out… http://www.getmyfreetools.com
Not only practical advice — indispensable. A good discussion on an important topic. Kudos.
Brian, Couldn’t agree more. I find practical discussion regarding B2B lead generation helpful. Campaigns that utilize smart conversation instead of the “Hi, how are you today” approach are more apt to catch the ear of the person and to get to have that second and third chat. It’s not easy weaving a whole conversation from a piece of cloth.
Great Post, Brian! Sales and Marketing must be on the same page (not just on paper, but for real) in order to launch an effective lead generation campaign. I’m looking forward to the rest of the 8-Part-Series!
BTW, I just started a new Blog focusing on Tutorials for Lead Generation in the B2B space and would love your thoughts if you have a minute in the coming weeks. If you are too busy, I completely understand.
Great way to start the series! You and I have discussed this issue a lot. There’s a huge payoff for both leads and the marketers who interact with them with that shift in mindset to conversations.
I have to tell you that I was fascinated by Barrett’s comment/question and took it on in a post over at my blog today. Hope your readers find it helpful.
Here’s the link: http://budurl.com/zy6c
Looking forward to the next post in the series.
Great post. You and I have discussed this issue a lot. The difference it makes is huge for both leads and the marketers interacting with them.
I have to say that I was fascinated by the comment made by Barrett and took his question on over on my blog today. I hope your readers find it helpful.
Here’s the link: http://budurl.com/zy6c
Looking forward to the next post in your series.
Exactly, Brian. I call it story-telling and it is 100% focused on the buyer and his or her needs and motivations. You describe it very well.
This post is similar to several of mine over at http://www.FearlessCompetitor.com too.
It also matches the ideas in How to Find New Customers at http://www.findnewcustomers.net/getcustomers which is proving extremely popular.
Great idea. For our coming FY (July-June) we are trying to generate awareness of who we are and how we can help. Past has been more about product announcements as we released a number of products last year. Now the goal is to show how these products can be a solution.
We have a ton of content, it is just hard to determine how to use it in a systematic way. How do you design a coherent and consistent program with a plethora of content?
Brian, I couldn’t agree more, sales people need to start more conversations. Buyers are telling us they are sick of people trying to come in and sell to them in the first meeting.
I have read your book and have recommended it highly to a number of people, it’s a fantastic read for anyone involved in dealing with customers.
Keep up the good work.
You might be interested in this piece where we have started to talk about leads from a slightly different angle: http://acceleratesales.blogspot.com/2009/08/it-is-time-to-revolutionise-your.html
If you are ever over this side of the world (Ireland) let us know.
I think we will all be better off when we lose lead generation and start seeing people as opposed to leads.This is a great step in this direction.
Great idea for a blog series. I’ve been preaching the need for an integrated approach to lead generation for a while. There seem to be way too many people trying to promote a “silver bullet” (you just need to do one “magical” thing) approach rather than doing the hard work necessary to develop a more integrated approach. I look forward to your posts, and may “borrow” a few points for my blog if that’s OK. With attribution of course.
Integrated LeadGen Results
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