Too often lead generation programs lack discipline.   This lack of discipline jettisons leads too early or too late into the sales field.  Sloppy LeadGen efforts waste rep time and place your sales performance at risk.

 

Discipline in your LeadGen program will provide sales ready leads that increase the velocity of your overall pipeline.

 

Lack of Discipline

Lack of discipline means that low quality leads bombard your sales force and waste time.  This happens because there is not a formal lead management process and sufficient training to execute.

 

Too often the process is subjective and corrupted.  The corruption comes from advancing a lead to sales at a point in time that is in conflict with the reality of the buying process stage.  This results in a complete disconnect with the prospect. Leads advanced too quickly to the sales force produce an awkward transition when the prospect is interested, but isn’t ready to discuss anything with a sales rep.  This early acceleration is caused to an over-reaction to a high level of interest exhibited by the prospect.  The absence of a buying Persona complicates your ability to align with the buying process because you don’t have a clear tool to direct alignment.  Without a strong process built upon the foundation of a buying persona, it is a slopperly slope to a subjective view where a prospect becomes a sales-ready lead based on flawed rules of lead routing.

 

Below is an example showing how a lead can be jettisoned beyond the ideal stage of the buying process.

 

LeadGen Lead Generation Stages corrupted

 

Disciplined Approach to LeadGen

Disciplined lead generation requires a formal Lead Management Process.   Inquiries are initially driven through demand generation activities such as email, webinars and promotional campaigns.  The inquiries are then developed into quality leads through the implementation of lead management best practices.

 

Rapport is built with prospects early in the buying process. This rapport translates to advancing the prospect through the buying process and into the hands of a ready sales representative. The net result is that sales rep time spent in cold calling is redirected to highly productive selling activities.

 

The Lead Generation Stages graphic below shows a linear visual of a lead generation program.  A detailed lead management process is followed by Lead Development Representatives to build rapport and offer resources to the prospect.  You can see that the process of progressing leads has similarities to a formal sales process.  A key observation should be made to the sequenced progression that is aligned with the buying process.   On the left side of the visual are the sources of demand generation that drives inquiries into the top of the funnel.  Inquiries enter the lead management process which includes planned steps to advance the prospect through the buying process. 

 

Lead Generation Stages

 

Each stage includes an ‘Exit Criteria’ that is necessary prior to advancement to the next stage.  The criteria to advance must be straight-forward and based on something the prospect has done or said.  Exit Criteria should never be subjective.  For example, ‘The prospect is ready to meet with sales’ represents a subjective view, vs. ‘The prospect has accepted an appointment with sales’ that is entirely objective and reliable.  Speculating about the state of mind a prospect may have leads to unreliable advancement of leads.  Therefore Exit Criteria must include objective, clear cut measures such as this example:

 

  • Awareness – Prospect submits sufficient minimum information in a form submission
  • Consideration – Prospect profile fits company Ideal Customer Profile and demonstrates a minimum level of activity on the website
  • Engagement – Prospect shows 2 of 4 BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timing)
  • Intent – Prospect accepts an appointment with a sales rep
  • Opportunity – Sales rep meets with the prospect and adds them to sales process

 

The benefit to a disciplined approach is that prospective leads are properly diagnosed before being sent to the sales field.  Reliability increases resulting in highly efficient new business development.

 

Your Path to Disciplined LeadGen

Lead Generation activities are proven to produce quality leads. Sales forces properly supported receive leads that swell their sales funnels. Reps find out quickly that these new leads are radically different than leads from the past. Properly developed quality leads are worthy of time investment by the rep.  Invest in disciplined LeadGen by developing a formal Lead Management Process. 

 

To learn more review the OnDemand webinar Lead Generation – The Roadmap to Success.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vince Koehler

Brings deep marketing expertise to help clients make brands successful and drive strong marketing return on investment.

Prior to SBI, Vince served as the VP of Marketing for Integer and led e-commerce Agency of Record account teams at VML, a full service digital marketing agency. During his tenure, VML became a market leader, growing from 72 to more than 700 employees. Prior to VML, Vince was the President of Propeller Interactive, a digital marketing agency with clients such as Koch & Sprint.

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