Earlier this year we read that a business-to-business marketing agency took issue with campaigns that only focused on delivering ‘leads’. The agency, which is undoubtedly bursting with creativity, claimed that focusing too tightly on ‘leads’ could curtail the imagination used for communications.
We won’t argue with that view. But our reason for not placing too much emphasis on ‘leads’ is quite different. We would argue that a ‘lead’ isn’t always that important – because the term which has been devalued to a large extent can mean many different things to many people.
As we have noted before, there is a vast difference between someone who has just downloaded a white paper compared to a genuine prospect who is ready and waiting for your salesperson to call. Depending on your definition, however, both types of contact might be considered ‘leads’.
The problem is they are not the same thing from a salesperson’s point of view. And an inordinate focus on ‘leads’ as a key performance indicator has naturally encouraged some marketing teams to downgrade the definition of a lead, since that potentially allows them to claim greater levels of success for their marketing tactics.
The result is that sales teams could end up being swamped with vaguely qualified suspect lists and decide it’s simply not worth bothering with such tactic-generated leads anymore. Under this scenario, sales, marketing, and the organisation all lose out. Even the ‘leads’ suffer since those that are genuine opportunities might well become lost in the overwhelming amount of poorly qualified data that the unfortunate sales team must trawl through.
Unsurprisingly, at Europa we think there is a better way. We don’t generate ‘leads’, we uncover and nurture genuine qualified sales opportunities.
So instead of ‘leads’ that could range from those who might have shown a modicum of interest to those who are ready and waiting to purchase, we aim to deliver opportunities that have been painstakingly nurtured over weeks or even months. When handing over to the in-house sales team, we prepare these opportunities to the optimum point, be that a demo or in-depth technical discussion, so they will have the best possible chance of securing the sale.
Such relationships frequently result in high-value client wins, but of course, they are not something you can drum up on a shoestring budget over a couple of days. It takes time, expertise, determination, and—as the original article correctly identified—imagination to get it right.
If you want to find out more about how we do it, contact us now.