Generating Leads

16 Jan


One of the business development problems that I see all too often is a failure by companies to create enough leads at the top of the sales funnel.

  • A business tends to worry first about their existing operations – servicing existing customers and fine-tuning their product or service. With leadership typically spending a majority of their time here, business development lags behind…
  • When some companies talk about “sales”, they think it means interactions with existing customers (which is customer service) – and the closest they actually get to sales is working on expanding their business within these accounts…
  • In sales meetings, a majority of the time is usually spent on the aforementioned customers and prospects in the middle or bottom of the sales funnel that are ripe for closing – versus efforts in finding new leads.

None of this is “wrong”… BUT WHERE IS THE LEAD GENERATION?

Large companies have the luxury of hiring people in sales and marketing at many different levels:

Level 1 – They have customer service and operations completely separate from the sales function.

Level 2 – Bigger businesses have outside salespeople, consultants and “closers” that are typically in front of the customers closing deals. They also have a marketing department supporting the efforts of these roles.

Level 3 – They have marketing employees that are constantly focused on generating new leads.

Level 4 – AND they probably have an inside sales team also generating new leads.

If you are an organization with 100+ employees, this probably describes you, but what about those of us in the 1-99 employee category? Who’s worried about lead generation in your business on a Monday morning? In small businesses, this isn’t easy. We are wearing a lot of hats and roles are often crossing over between the operations and sales teams.

I would strongly recommend that you separate the service and salespeople in your business. The salesperson shouldn’t ignore existing customers, but there needs to be a different daily contact for the customer.

With that accomplished, you then need to develop a balanced pipeline. The top, middle and bottom of your sales funnel requires a three-pronged effort of time and resources. Your marketing and sales teams are working together on a weekly, if not, daily basis – and management is leading an organization that has a consistent focus on lead generation, account penetration within existing accounts and closing new prospects.

In my next blog, I’ll discuss specific methods for making this happen. In the meantime, I want you to contemplate once again – Who is worried about lead generation within your business on Monday morning?

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