What Does Lead Generation Mean to a CEO…?

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Well in theory a lot.  We say in theory because CEOs definitely want more lead generation…they want more leads generated assuming that means of course, more deals closed and more revenue.

What CEOs really want to see is if they pour more money into lead generation, then they want revenue to increase by X% as well.

And that’s where the misunderstanding comes into play. Well maybe not misunderstanding but that’s where the water gets muddy.

The relationship or direct correlation between putting more money into lead generation and the increase in revenue is what’s lacking in most companies. That’s because there are many steps, definitions, processes, and people between spending money to drive leads and revenue attainment.

This is where marketing, sales and CEOs should focus their time.  It’s the understanding and optimizing of this process that will dramatically help and/or hurt an organization’s ability to grow.   So what specifically are we talking about? Why can’t CEOs just focus on lead generation and expect greater revenue?

Here are some of the things to consider that make this process not as simple as one would expect:

  • What segments are the lead generation dollars focused on?
  • What’s the best approach to go after those leads?
  • What content has been developed that would be of interest to that target?
  • How are the leads captured?
  • What is the definition of a lead?
  • What happens when someone inquiries that doesn’t meet this definition?
  • How are the leads nurtured (are they at all)?
  • What does the lead get to sales?
  • What information if giving to sales to follow up with?
  • Within what time frame does a sales person follow up with that lead, if at all?
  • What happens if sales can’t get in touch with that lead?

And the list of questions goes on. Suffice it to say if a CEO is truly focused on lead generation, then they should be focused on understanding how the money spent in lead generation is increasing revenue or not. And if it’s not, then there’s definite work that needs to be done by both marketing and sales.

It’s no longer satisfactory for marketing and/or sales to claim that they can’t get visibility into lead generation dollars and its translation to revenue. The tools and techniques are now available to certainly make this happen.

One Response to “What Does Lead Generation Mean to a CEO…?”

  1. Peter Johnston August 31, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    I’d expect an apology from its creator, or an explanation.

    Buyers are researching after they’ve put the kids to bed, on the train, over lunch. They are building a portfolio of useful companies to help with their buying decision. They are asking the opinions of people they know and trust. They are weeding out the bad and inappropriate companies, products and services with a mental note not to go there again.

    So any marketer who is still working in campaigns is selling their company short. Leaving all the buyers when there is no campaign happening high and dry. And all the ones who were part way through confused. Swopping it from possibles lists to definitely nots. And, most important of all, leaving all the people who’ve recommended you with egg on their face. So they won’t do it again.

    Campaigns damage your brand. Your Word of Mouth. Your reputation.

    So, as CEO, I’d want to know why.