by: Jan Loyola
Sales lead generation is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most important part of a marketing team’s job. Indeed, any business that isn’t able to effectively generate leads is sure to fail. If you were to search the internet for an answer on how to get qualified sales leads, you would certainly be bombarded with hundreds of thousands of answers regarding email blasts, social media marketing, paid ads, telemarketing, and even direct mail. While learning how this or that marketing strategy can be used to improve your sales lead generation, there is a more pressing matter that needs to be clarified before you tackle the issue of quality or quantity leads.
What defines a lead?
While you can simply use the internet to know what a lead is, this does not necessarily equate to the leads needed by your company. Each business has a different definition of their own lead, and you would do well to find a definition for the leads that your business needs. Without first knowing how to distinguish a lead, your marketing people will only be forwarding a randomly generated contact lists to your sales people, who would then be forced to make leads out of otherwise uninterested prospects just to make sure that profits don’t suffer. This is, of course, frustrating for your sales people. Because the business list handed to them is not properly filtered, they would have to sort through all the business information, adding an unnecessary burden to their tasks. But the responsibility of identifying what qualifies as your company’s business lead falls not only on the shoulders of the marketing team. Rather, it is the joint responsibility of the sales and marketing team to come up with the necessary identifying qualifications or criteria upon which they would assess the quality of a prospect. Even an experienced lead generation company, who handles sales and business leads throughout their business operations, needs help from the sales and marketing team of their clients to be able to properly identify what qualifies as a lead for them. This is also a good reason why buying a generic business list is never a good idea. Your sales and marketing team should clearly outline what is and isn’t a lead for your business.
Quality or quantity?
Both are understandably important, but for a business to business company, finding quality b2b leads takes precedence over generating business leads in quantity. The reason? The conversion of b2b sales leads often takes quite some time, what with so many corporate executives affecting the decision of purchasing your product or not. In fact, the larger the corporation you do business with, the longer the conversion process gets. So as much as possible, your sales people should be selling to companies who already have a strong propensity of making a purchase. For B2C companies, the quality of generated sales leads is often compromised. However, since it is harder to build a long-term relationship with b2c sales leads, the goal is to sell as much merchandise as possible, so foregoing lead quality is acceptable. The importance of lead quality and quantity can be subjective and is mostly dependent on the nature of the business.