There is an issue in B2B marketing that has to be resolved. And that issue has to do with both lead prospecting and lead generation.
Often, people confuse the one for the other since both deal with “leads.” On the contrary, these two processes function differently from each other. To make things clearer, we need to understand that lead generation and lead prospecting as having distinct roles when it comes to B2B leads.
So, how then can we really differentiate one from the other? The first thing we’ll have to do is to give each their proper definitions and identify points of divergence.
Lead generation vs lead prospecting: Square off!
In the red corner, we have lead generation. From SalesPractice.com, we understand that lead generators have the responsibility of scouting for leads that can be converted into sales-ready prospects. With respect to that, lead generation basically belongs to marketing’s turf since it oversees the production of relevant communications aimed at people professing a high inclination to purchase a product.
Additionally, author Kendra Lee in an article for TheVARGuy.com says that lead generation prioritizes maximizing the influence of your message in the long-term, which works if you want to make sure your existing leads will eventually end up buying a certain product from you.
Find out more on: What is Lead Generation?
We now turn over to the blue corner where lead prospecting is chilling like a boss. SalesPractice.com says that prospectors have sales-inclined responsibilities since they are tasked with inflating the sales pipeline with more qualified leads.
In the same token, Lee describes lead prospecting as an aggressive way to fill up your marketing database with targeted prospects regardless they are exposed to existing messages or are already aware about your value offers. In other words, lead prospecting can be construed as a quantity-based approach which runs counter to lead generation’s emphasis on securing long-term relationships.
So, what now?
Belonging to different worlds doesn’t mean you can’t have the best of both. It all depends, in fact, on your current priorities and the goals you want to set for yourself. Aiming for higher quality engagements?
Let your lead generators do the magic. Want to splash your lead management with more sales-ready leads? Opt to have a lead prospecting campaign. Either way, these different approaches are best handled by a marketing firm with a good sense if knowing what works and what doesn’t.