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In Review: Lead Generation for the Complex Sale

Posted on June 28, 2006 by Kat.

By Maria Schwieder

Everybody knows that it costs more to get a new client than to retain an existing one.  But, everybody also knows that significant growth is predicated on the continual feeding of new leads into the pipeline. When it comes to successful business development, it is necessary to develop a calculated and customized methodology for finding new clients. 

In Lead Generation for the Complex Sale, entrepreneur, blogger and public speaker Brian J. Carroll discusses every aspect of business leads: How to find leads of caliber, cultivate relationships, convert leads into business and maintain relationships.

Each segment of lead generation is presented broadly as a necessary step in the process, and further dissected into strategies, questions and possible outcomes for approaching various methodologies.

Carroll defines a lead as “a potential customer that wants to learn more about what you have to sell and that has acknowledged it has a business problem that you could help solve.”  But not all potential customers are significant leads. 

Carroll adds that this potential customer must also demonstrate “elements from the ideal customer profile” to have the “beginnings of a meaningful lead.”  Successful lead cultivation is calculated to focus the ideal customer profile “on companies with the greatest likelihood of becoming profitable customers.”  For example, you can “rank your customers by most profitable, best revenue, easiest to do business with.”  While establishing the ideal client profile is the crux of proceeding with a sales relationship, the lead must also be “sales-ready” to qualify as a worthwhile pursuit. 

The quandary with lead selling can be the temptation to develop available leads just because they are available, not because they are suitable. The result is failed attempts and discouraging follow-ups.  Pursuing only qualified and ready leads will result in more successful conversions and efficient use of time and energy.  It also builds a foundation of trust that elevates the salesperson’s confidence.

Sales vs. Marketing: In Competition or Cahoots? 

Carroll identifies the similar, yet different, functions these roles contribute in generating and pursuing a sales lead. For optimal results, the two must work together. Agreeing upon a “universal lead definition” naturally leads to enhanced “communication, teamwork, and shared vision,” which fortifies the process.  Negative scenarios with perfunctory quota goals can arise when sales and marketing do not establish a common ground for appropriate lead pursuit.

Carroll presents outlets and methodology for tracking, analyzing and maintaining leads.  The business model in Lead Generation for the Complex Sale advocates business plan modernization and constant innovation.  This is an evergreen approach as technology, expectations and practice trends change. 

He addresses sales barriers triggered by common mistakes in the lead generation process, such as viewing lead generation as a series of isolated campaigns instead of an ongoing effort. 

He also provides effective ways to:

  • Use multi-modal contact tools such as email, telephone, direct mailings, referrals, podcasts and blogs
  • Avoid damaging misuses like the proliferation of spam or messages lacking meaningful relevance
  • Utilize human capital resources and outsource possibilities such as public relations, public speaking, events and marketing
  • Explore opportunities in technology with ROI tracking programs, CRM databases and other online outlets 

Detailed chapters discuss ways the multi-modal plan succeeds in heightening “the response rate potential because it more effectively impacts contacts and their sphere of influence.”  For example, public relations can brand your company’s image in a deliberate method to a target audience.  Carroll suggests PR imaging as a way to dodge the deluge of contradictory messages your customers receive daily, and streamline and affirm the message you are sending them.  To determine which tools are appropriate, “measure the tactics or programs in terms of return on investment.” 

Managing new lead generation methods is equally as critical.  A thorough and successful system will incorporate continuous iterations of ROI measurement and reporting to track what is working and why.  Nurturing the leads you generate and convert is the only way to transform them into existing clients — the most cost effective sale!

This book will be most helpful for a reader with a keen interest in business strategy.  The chapter topics are universally applicable to all industries, and the lead generation methods are suited to all types of business practices.  The content flows logically, escalating from fundamentals to tactics and development.  Mind maps provide useful visuals for the concepts presented.  Carroll offers considerable focus on online methods, which will be most beneficial in broadening strategies for readers that favor traditional lead generation methods that predate online technology.

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June 28, 2006 in audio publication, blog publish, Blogging Tools, bulk email marketing, Business editorial, company newsletter, company newsletter sample, corporate magazine | Permalink


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Thanks for the post Kat. I just started a lead generation business and this information is so helpful.

Posted by: PPC Lead Generation | Aug 1, 2008 3:36:44 AM

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Posted by: Outsourced Lead Generation | Jan 23, 2010 1:03:44 AM

Great article. In every business for it to be effective. We need to take the lead. Do all the advertisement, and the outcome is 3x on what we're expecting!

Posted by: Lead Generation | Jul 14, 2010 5:06:29 AM

As what I've read in terms of sales after the succesful lead starts of first at more or less 7%. Then by continued social media advertisement, it will raise higher and higher.

Posted by: make money from home | Aug 4, 2010 11:12:08 AM

I use multi modal tools for my business advertisement. It worked for me. Well different business have their ways or has different ways on making their business work more. Diff. type of business, different marketing strateies.

Posted by: legitimate paid surveys | Aug 23, 2010 4:00:40 PM

All business's best assets are customers, because without customers there is no business. When it comes to successful business development, it is necessary to develop a calculated and customized methodology for finding new clients.

Posted by: geomarketing | Dec 3, 2010 6:14:20 AM

I didn't know much about lead generation before reading your blog. Thanks for sharing.

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