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The Missing Link in Your Lead Generation Process [March Referral Selling Insights]

One quarter down, only three to go.

I’m pretty sure you don’t need me to remind you it’s the end of the quarter, but I’m doing it anyway. If you hope to meet quota by year-end, your most important task is quality lead generation, which requires a quality lead generation process. Of course, pipeline-building is a daily priority, year-round. Yet, it’s so easy to sit back and wait for leads from marketing or SDRs—or even worse, to spend hours sending connection requests on LinkedIn, thinking these are actually sales leads. Sorry to say it, but they’re not.

Just because someone agrees to connect on social media does not make that person a qualified sales lead. Qualified prospects are actually interested in your product or solution. They expect (and want) to hear from your sales team. Strangers on social media do not.

What’s the better way to get qualified sales leads?  By receiving referral introductions from people your prospects know and trust.

Without a quality lead generation process, your next quarter (and the quarter after that) will be dismal. Don’t allow yourself to get sucked into that dangerous, dark, downward spiral. Commit to referral selling.

Ready to learn more? Check out this month’s blog posts from No More Cold Calling:

Is Your Lead Generation Data Leading You Astray?

Which do you trust more—the lead generation data manufactured by sales technology tools and artificial intelligence, or your intuition, which is generated by years of experience and your emotional intelligence? There actually was a time before the internet, before social media, before apps, and before sales technology tools. Back then, we stored and accessed lead generation data in our heads. Sure, we reviewed sales reports, and we knew our quotas and our clients, but that was it. The way we learned about our prospects was to call the corporate communications department and request an annual report. (They mailed it.) That was our data. We also discussed deals with others in our company who had connections in our prospect companies. Usually, the president and CEO knew others in their positions and had forged strong relationships, because that’s how business was done. It still is, because people still do business with people, not with technology. (Read “Is Your Lead Generation Data Leading You Astray?”)

Is Technology Tanking Your Lead Generation System?

You’ve heard it: Television will kill radio. Video killed the radio star. And technology will eliminate the time-consuming, face-to-face aspect of communication. Um, no. Not in your personal life, and certainly not in your lead generation process. B2B selling is all about relationships. Digital technology certainly helps facilitate conversations, but when it comes to relationship-building, technology can also be a hindrance, a distraction, and a crutch. People have always been fascinated with—and even enthralled by—technology. But we’ve never been surrounded by so much of it. When I was a kid, the idea of someone becoming addicted to technology seemed like science fiction. But here we are—a planet of automatons walking through life with our noses perpetually pointed at our smartphones. That’s no way to live, and it’s certainly no way to approach B2B lead generation. (Read “Is Technology Tanking Your Lead Generation System?”)

I Wasn’t High When I Said Women in Sales Rock

I was called out on Twitter by someone challenging my post about why women excel at sales. This person implied that I was smoking some funny stuff or lived in a state where weed is legal. He was right about my state, but wrong about my state of mind. Women generally rock at sales, and that’s a proven fact. I thought about ignoring this arrogant barb, but instead chose to forward him some of the research. Not surprisingly, there was no response. Women in sales know how to build strong relationships. Our brains are hardwired differently than men’s. Our tendency is to nurture, connect, and collaborate. Those are major strengths in this profession. Yet, we must silence the voice that tells us the only way to reach the top of the leaderboard is to model men’s behaviors—whether that voice comes from others or our own self-conscious. In fact, salesmen routinely tell me (unsolicited) that the best salespeople they know are women. (Read “I Wasn’t High When I Said Women in Sales Rock.”

Does Sales Enablement Technology Work?

I love technology … when it works. When it doesn’t, it feels like the end of the world. OK, not exactly, but it does slow us down. In sales, time is money, and the more of that time is spent interacting with customers and prospects, the more money comes in. Plain and simple. Thus, sales enablement technology only works if it saves times on menial tasks and facilitates human conversations, and most of the time it does. But our total dependence on technology makes us susceptible to invasions of privacy and paralyzes our ability to do quality work. Simply put: Sometimes technology holds us hostage. It’s time to turn back the clock. We’re missing out on the human, person-to-person connection. We’re missing out on talking to prospects and clients, having conversations that drive business, cementing relationships that matter, and using the phone how it was originally meant to be used—actually talking to people. (Read “Does Sales Enablement Technology Work?”)

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