April 1, 2020

Filling the sales pipeline

Filling the sales pipeline fuses creativity with science.

Lead generation in many small and medium size businesses can be fairly ad-hoc. Without the luxury of a dedicated marketing function, lead generation tends to inconsistent at best.

Filling your sales pipeline is all about attracting qualified prospects to your door. And if you handle that engagement wrong, you are in big trouble. Today, more than ever, your target market is deluged with information from a multitude of channels. Standing out from the crowd requires more than just telling your marke about your product.

The truth is, and this is going to hurt some of you, your target market is not interested in your product; only yuou are. There. I’ve said it. We’ll come back to that later, just let it sink in for now.

Lead generation to fill the pipeline is a quantitative process. If it’s not, then you need to make sure you get into shape fairly quickly.

What do we mean by quantitative?

Simply, you need to meaure the cost to acquire a lead. If you don’t know how much you are spending to get a qualified lead then how do you know if you are making a profit?

Back in the day, you could calculate the cost of lead generation by the number of stamps you put on a direct mail. If you posted out 1000 mailshots each having a 20p stamp then measured the response rate, you were well on the way to measuring acquisition costs.

Creative lead generation

Now just because this is a quantitive process, I am not suggesting for one minute that lead generation is not creative. It absolutely needs to be. In fact, creativity is at the core of awesome lead generation.

Standing out from the crowd requires that you think clearly about the right mix of messages and the offer that will capture attention enough for a person to engage with your business.

When it comes to geting the magic formula for your communications, start from the customer problem you are solving. Many businesses, particularly those that are engineering led, become product led and that pitches you up right alongside your competitors for a price battle. Just what you don’t want to happen.

The right messages, and I will touch on this in a later article, will revolve around a well crafted value propositon and your companies market position.

Think about the perona of your company and the reason you are in business. With that in mind you can begin to craft a message that sets you apart.

So bringing the creative art and science together you can establish a lead generation process for your business.