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How do you use industry experts in lead generation?

Short answer: you don’t necessarily use industry experts in conventional lead generation. You use them in a form of lead generation that’s more networking-driven.

Here’s what we mean: industry experts are predominantly good to use in a sales process for two reasons —

  1. They have industry knowledge and connections (“rolodex”).
  2. They have market information and have seen oftentimes hundreds of other demos.

True story: know a guy who’s been in SaaS markets since near the beginning of the first big run of SaaS. He’s estimated that he’s been invited to 12,000+ demos and pitch presentations simply because he got to scale with helping early-stage so quickly (and had some measure of success) that they all wanted him.

When someone has seen 12K+ demos, that’s a tremendous amount of market information, industry knowledge, and connections. That’s all good.

So what’s the bad?

Industry experts aren’t going to sell your product.

This is a mistake made by a lot of executives. They don’t want to wait for how long lead nurturing or conventional lead generation techniques might take, so they figure this logic:

“Let me get a big swinging dick in here who’s an industry expert, and eventually he’ll start selling my product!”

Remember the guy above with the 12K+ demos? I guarantee you he was invited to 4K+ simply because someone in the upper management ranks figured he could be a seller of the product eventually.

But oftentimes industry experts cannot be. There are a host of reasons why:

  • They want to maintain impartiality to continue getting paychecks on an advisory scale. Once they sell, they lose those other paychecks from the companies they didn’t sell for.
  • They are “thought leaders” or came up a specific way and would have no idea even how to sell.
  • They often have no sales skills. Sales is not just having relationships.
  • Protecting his reputation in his personal network is more important to him then closing you a deal. He doesn’t want to be part of an unsuccessful deal.

The way to work with an industry expert, then…

Use them for these elements:

  • Market knowledge (what pains do they have? Is there a product/market fit?)
  • Relationships (they are the Rolodex guys, so you step in after the number is dialed)
  • Context of potential rivals

Do NOT use them for these elements:

  • Actually selling

So if the industry expert with the connections ain’t gonna sell, how can you sell?

You develop lead generation best practices and build your pipeline that way. Effective B2B lead generation is how you begin the entire process of selling.

Then you follow the process of B2B sales essentials once you have the leads, and now you’re cooking with gas.

Or, conversely, you could ask us about our lead generation in Germany go-to-market packages.

Ted Bauer
About the author

I help companies to market their content in the most effective way.

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