Lead Generation vs Core Business
Successful businesses engage in two very different activities:
- Serving current customers, and
- Identifying new customers.
The problem is, when you’re focused on serving current customers, you’re doing less to identify new customers. And conversely, when you’re focused on identifying new customers, you’re doing less to serve current customers.
To increase their sales pipelines, many businesses could use help managing their efforts between lead generation (finding & qualifying potential customers) and core business (closing sales & delighting customers).
A chart of these efforts over time looks like an argyle pattern or a series of Xs. No matter how you describe it, tension exists between these activities.
These efforts are efficient.
Predictability breeds efficiency
Many businesses could use a healthy dose of predictability. If you spend a set amount of effort on lead generation, then you can devote the majority of your effort to your core business of closing sales and delighting customers.
By injecting predictability into the mix, you can turn that argyle pattern into horizontal stripes. Your sales pipeline is fed continuously. You have plenty of customers to delight—plus time to delight them—and you have a steady stream of potential customers to convert.
These efforts are efficient. But where and how do you inject this predictability.
Increasing your sales pipeline
Successful businesses feed their sales pipelines in three complementary ways:
- Word-of-Mouth: customer loyalty and referrals -> Many-to-Many
- Inbound Marketing: activities and collateral (this blog, for example) -> One-to-Many
- Outbound Prospecting: sales lead generation -> One-to-One
Excelling at your core business is what drives customer loyalty and referrals. Plus it provides the foundation for your marketing material. So doing these things really well helps feed your sales pipeline.
Word-of-mouth and inbound marketing are almost self-feeding compared to the effort required for outbound prospecting. For one-to-one sales lead generation to be fruitful, it requires substantial effort. There’s profile definition, there’s channel optimization, there’s message customization, there’s more. There are many moving parts to outbound prospecting.
One-to-one outreach can be hugely effective among your target market. But it can become an enormous burden to seek out those targets. This is where to inject predictability into your lead generation activities.
“What does Customer-Acquisition-as-a-Service have to do with anything?”
Customer-Acquisition-as-a-Service can make the volume and quality of your sales leads more predictable. It can feed your sales pipeline with targeted leads at a regular cadence.
Here’s an example: Every week, a caterer uses Customer-Acquisition-as-a-Service to fill its sales pipeline with 150 contacts of decision makers at targets interested in catering. With a predictable supply of targeted leads in the pipeline, the caterer can focus on doing its core business of closing sales and providing catering.
When you tune your pipeline to a regular cadence, you achieve efficiency.
You can increase your sales pipeline effectively by injecting predictability into your outbound prospecting efforts. Your business can focus on what you’re good (serving current customers), and you can let someone else focus on what they’re good at (identifying new customers).
We’ll explore more about these topics in future updates. Subscribe to our blog or follow us on Twitter andFacebook to ensure you’re up to date.