“We need to change the way the world does business”

Those words were said to me recently by the CEO of a Boston-area software firm who read How to Find New Customers, the highly regarded white paper.

What does he mean?  The way the world finds and acquires new customers is broken.  This is well documented in my recently feature article at SalesJournal, “The Train Wreck Almost Nobody Foresaw.”

In recent weeks I interviewed 5 top experts in Business to Business demand generation.  You can hear each of these executives by signing up for my free iTunes channel on demand generation:

  1. John Keenan, former VP of Oracle and current board member of several software firms, told me that the way techology firm, particularly software firm, run their business is entirely wrong.  They need to use a process for customer acquisiton, retention and expansion.  They need to arm salespeople and give them a reason for meeting.  No more leading with product.
  2. Jay Mitchell, Managing Partner of Motum, told me that companies need to re-craft their messaging and empower salespeople.
  3. Jim Burns, CEO of Avitage, said companies need to think like publishers and develop great content in bite-sized and personalized portions.
  4. Jep Castelein of LeadSloth and Arthur Germain of Communication Strategy Group shared 7 Reasons Why Marketing Automation Fails.
  5. Jim Dickie of CSO Insights shared the results of the 2009 Lead Optimization Study.  The data was brutal.  Customer and prospect data is atrocious.  Companies have not mapped marketing content.  Lead scoring is not being used.  It’s really ugly.

With that in mind, let’s explore 3 common mistakes that companies make:

  1. Over-reliance on Search Marketing
    Sure, getting to page one of Google is a nice thing to do.  It brings you lots of eyeballs.  Fine companies like Prime Visibility does a great job.  But getting eyeballs does NOT bring you lots of sales.  Attracting attention is only a part of the process.  Without a terrific website and great landing pages, you’re dead.
  2. Confusing Events with demand generation
    Events like webinars and seminars are nice to do and will deliver a handful of leads.  But they won’t deliver the results like remarkable content matched to buying processes and buyer personas.  Without a universal lead definition, clear targeting, compelling content and lead scoring, you simply will get a low return on investment.
  3. Assuming marketing automation will solve the problem
    Marketing automation is great.  It can be very helpful.  But too many companies assume that marketing automation will solve the problem of new customer acquistion.  It won’t.  Not without great content and a scientific approach.  Check out 7 Reasons Marketing Automation Fails podcast with LeadSloth and Communication Strategy Group.

What do you think?  I bet I’ve missed a lot of mistakes.  Please share your ideas and thoughts.

And if you can, please attend my SalesBuzz radio show Thursday, September 17th at 3:30pm in which I am the special guest discussing Lead Nurturing.

Jeff Ogden is President of Find New CustomersLead Generation Made Simple.”  He is considered an expert in B2B Demand Generation and Sales Techniques.  His goal is to transform the way companies do business.  Please visit Find New Customers for contact information.

2 thoughts on ““We need to change the way the world does business”

  1. I agree with everything you’ve said except the title. That’s because those of us in direct marketing have been following these rules for many years. That is putting the “offer” first (the “offer” being the free information and content that generates leads while educating prospects), continuing to put the largest budget percentage into directly measurable lead channels, and using automation tools as just that, tools to support the sales effort not take it over. All of this advice is not a “new” way to do business, but the “right” way to do business.

    Your thoughts are appropriate, however, because as your title implies, very few companies know or follow any of this. So it’s new to them.

  2. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Susan. You raise a valid point. This is not a new way to do business but rather the right way to do business. My title may have been a bit over the top.

    Also agree with your statement that “very few companies know or follow any of this.” Educating the world is our humble goal.


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