The importance of lead generation
Remember those good old days when you and your sales team's concerns didn't reach far beyond having to spread the word about the great product or service your company has to offer in order to be inundated with buyers?
While you still have to be concerned about getting the word out, the pressure to hone and make that pitch heard amid the deafening noise of so many others trying equally hard to stand out has increased exponentially, courtesy of the very means by which you are reading this article: technology. Specifically: the Internet.
As many an exasperated general practitioner will be able to attest, the tool that has turned many of their patients into - at best - paranoid hypochondriacs prone to self-diagnosis - and at worst - lay doctors overnight, has also created an entirely new breed of experts: well-researched customers who find out exactly what they want without laying eyes on any of the carefully crafted marketing copy which a typical lead generation campaign usually consists of.
The Internet has placed so much information at our fingertips, but it has become both a blessing and a curse. It has enabled the average customer to become much more savvy and proactive about investigating various products and making comparisons between them before making any purchasing decisions. This is bad for marketers, because it means that those buyers aren't sitting around waiting for that mailer that they have worked so hard on and spent so much money on.
This means that lead generation - that term that means that you're stirring up enough consumer interest in a company's product or service - has become more crucial than ever before. Because you need to find a way to still reach out to those consumers - preferably before they strike out on their own down the virtual shopping aisle, even if they're just looking around.
The sooner the better
According to research conducted by independent technology and market research company Forrester, the sooner the better when it comes to when those buyers should be reached. Forrester reportedly found that buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through their buying experience before they contact the vendor, making it extremely difficult for the sales team to then still influence the buyer's decisions.
No wonder that 68% of companies report that they struggle with lead generation, and that only 17% of marketers devote more than 15 hours per week to that specific job, because when it comes down to it, doing it correctly is hard and not the most popular work.
Lead generation is an art. You either love cold calling or you don't; and you can either cold call or you can't. This is a skill that is hard to be taught, and the right person has to be employed for the purposes of lead generation. Most companies employ an amateur or use their receptionist, and hope they will produce miracles. This is a waste of money and will not produce the results the business is looking for.
So instead of leaving lead generation up to your own staff, why not outsource it to a capable consultancy instead who specialises in it? That way you can free up your team to focus on other aspects of your business instead, such as working those leads to make the sales.
About Louise Robinson
Louise Robinson is Sales Director at CG Consulting and Database360
At Vogue Communications Agency