Tuesday, July 24, 2012

You Can't Be Too Paranoid About Pre-Qualified Sales Leads

Sometimes when a sales team lays out their specifications for pre-qualified sales leads, some lead generators might think them a bit too paranoid. There might think that there are too many specifications. The channels they demand to be utilized could be beyond available resources (imagine requesting the use of direct mail while you've only barely mastered email marketing). Well, speaking of paranoid, Sarah Lucy of PandoDaily said something similar about Facebook's CEO:

This is in part the genius of Facebook: It has never become too complacent. Mark Zuckerberg is a classic wartime CEO, even though it may appear he’s long since won this war. He is clearly intensely paranoid, perhaps the most paranoid CEO we’ve seen since the legendary Andy Grove. He might as well have a $60 gillion valuation. He operates the company as if it could crumble at any moment. And that’s why, to date, no social network has come close to toppling it.”

The rest of the opinion article just goes on to say how Zuckerberg's alleged paranoia is what keeps the company standing. However, perhaps there's a point to the man's constant 'overreaction.' This same point can also be applied to marketing (and hence, lead generation). Below you will find two areas where this so-called paranoia is necessary for pre-qualified sales leads.

  • Competitors – Like Zuckerberg, it pays to be a little paranoid about what your competitors would do. They're everywhere! And when it comes to B2B marketing, you never know if a potential lead will be approached by them. This is why you need to keep nurturing your leads until they're ready to take the next step (like if they're ready to set an appointment or take a sales call). You also never know when competitors might overtake you so keep an eye on what they may be doing. As it says in the title of Lucy's article: copy-cat tendencies are a sign of strength.
  • Prospects – You can't be too paranoid about prospects either! However, you should know by now that 'paranoid' here simply means you can never know enough about them. Learn about their preferred channel for communication. Identify their needs and use that knowledge to bring them further along the sales process. Knowledge is power after all. The more information you have on your B2B leads, the higher the chances you'll have at a successful sale. You can never bee too sure about a prospect.

Still, perhaps 'paranoid' may not really be the best word to use when describing the above behavior. Perhaps a better one would be: vigilance. It's all about keeping an eye on all things and being prepared to time your reactions.

When it comes to competitors, you need to acknowledge their constant presence. Be open to the possibility that they might overtake you. Be open to using what they're using in the event that they do.

For prospects, be vigilant about their qualification. Don't just send the leads to sales right away. Learn as much about them, their business, and their needs as possible so you'll have the best chances to succeed in the sales attempt. If this qualifies your business as paranoid, then so be it!


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