Many companies have a big lead gen problem. Despite all the thought leadership we’ve dedicated to lead gen over the last 3-5 years, many of these companies aren’t any closer to solving it. Could we get it done in 400 or so words? We’re going to try.
Defining the problem
B2B companies often aim for about 75% of their sales costs to be put back into generating new business. The reality, though, is often that about 10-15% max of annual revenue comes from new customers. Why spend so much there, ineffectively?
Why does this happen?
There are many reasons. One of the biggest on the sales side is that many successful salespeople fall immediately into KAM, or key account management, mode (also called farming). That means they know their key accounts, they know how to up-sell them, and they know how to move them along. In short, they’re comfortable with what’s already existing in front of them. They don’t necessarily know (anymore) how to prospect or innovate. They can’t drive for leads. The “thought leadership” we referenced above is another problem; most of it is drivel. When it’s not drivel, it might be outdated. If you read a lead gen article from 2015 and try to apply those techniques right now, you’re way more than two years behind — because the tech stack advances so fast, so too do lead gen tools.
How to solve this problem
Take 1 of your successful sales guys. Just 1. He obviously knows how to sell and how to close.
Outsource your lead gen to an agency that uses a modern outbound lead gen approach.
Stop saying that you already do lead gen in-house.
Now the agency can find sales-qualified leads (SQL) and have one point of contact internally.
You can even rotate who the agency contact is every quarter or year if you want, to feed one sales principal all the new leads.
The salesperson just needs to keep closing and managing the accounts. He still stays in his comfort zone and does exactly what he knows best: selling and closing! The actual lead gen runs through him.
In other words: outsource what you don’t do well and look for ways to keep business simple instead of making it overly complex.
Thoughts on lead generation and how to improve the process?