Over the past few months I’ve noticed an increased number of blogs and articles written about how marketing leaders should be focused primarily (or exclusively) on lead generation. Sales executives usually make these arguments about lead generation focus when their pipelines are running low, but in my experience the focus is often short-lived. In my experience most sales leaders agree that marketing should only be focused on lead generation except…
…When we aren’t ranked in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant or Forrester’s Wave…then analyst relations is really critical.
…When the competition gets great coverage in an Information Week article that everyone is talking about…then Public Relations is also important.
…When we cannot differentiate ourselves from the competition in a big deal that we are about to lose…then the messaging and positioning is top priority
…When we need an ROI model to demonstrate business benefits to our clients…then new sales tools (and pricing) take on the greatest urgency
…When the CIO at a major prospect has never heard of us and wants to go with IBM…then brand awareness needs to be a bigger investment area
The reality is that all of the activities performed by marketing organizations impact lead generation and sales success – either directly or indirectly. Leads don’t just come from:
- Non-stop cold calling of C-level executives
- Webinars promoting the differentiated features of your products
- The gigantic booth space you secured at the big tradeshow
- The 10,000 pieces of direct mail you shipped out
Prospects gather 60% of the information they need to make a purchasing decision before they are even willing to speak with a vendor’s sales representatives. Therefore, it should not be surprising that some of your best opportunities might come from:
- An analyst recommends that a prospect seeking a vendor speak to you
- A customer reads one of your press releases online
- A prospect listening to one of your presentations at a trade show
- A consultant reads reads one of your blogs and recommends you to a client