Basic questions to ask about your marketing spend regarding how to improve lead generation:

  1. How much will it really cost?
  2. Is the objective clear: Are we looking to gain awareness, interest, or response?
  3. What are the expected results?
  4. On what basis are those results expected? Best and worst cases.
  5. Would you approve the campaign if you knew in advance that the results would come in worst case?
  6. What were the results of previous similar campaigns?
  7. If a campaign has never been tried before has it been tested?
  8. How critical is it to do this campaign now?
  9. What process is going to be used to qualify, distribute and measure follow-up response?
  10. When and how will you assess the results of the campaign?

After answering these questions here are 10 things that you must do to ensure that your company thrives.

  1. Provide strong direction regarding integrated market, media and offer, and then reinforce it with strong sponsorship of appropriate activities and campaigns. As basic as it sounds, we work with companies ever day that do not follow through with this.
  2. Get strategically involved in the marketing and sales planning processes. You will be surprised at how many things are being done backwards.
  3. Make sure that each and every customer touch meets strict standards that support the directions that you have provided.
  4. Stick to you guns. Once you’ve made a plan, don’t change it based on a subtle market change, or limited market research. Stay the course unless there is a valid reason to change.
  5. Hold marketing accountable for quality and value; make the sales force responsible for quality feedback and results.
  6. Insist on weekly reports. Few companies have so many prospects that the entire management team could not review every one of them. (Their environment, what they are doing and who they are talking to). In just a couple of hours per week. It is that important.
  7. The sales force is driven by three C’s: Control, Credit, and Compensation. Ironically great prospect development programs are initially perceived by sales to threaten these three C’s. That is why you hear the following feedback, “No telemarketer can talk to the decision makers that I have to reach”; “I was already in that account and I already talked to that decision maker”, “The leads are really not worth what you are paying for them, just get me some names and I will engage the prospects.” These are not destructive, conscious objections. They are a natural reaction to the historical state of affairs and, as such, need to be addressed transparently and aggressively. Eventually great salespeople can become great users of quality prospect development.
  8. Insist on training. Start with the basics. insist on self-education and participation in local and national events. This is a high-payoff activity.
  9. Do not set unrealistic expectations regarding time frames and deliverables. Everything takes longer than you think. Quick solutions may make you happy for the moment, but you will eventually pay the price. Don’t shoot the messenger who is trying to do the right thing and not the expedient thing.
  10. Check your ego at the door. If something clearly isn’t working, cut your losses, make the changes and move on.