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Think More And Do Less: Questioning The Status Quo

By Brian Carroll

Are you too busy to think? Many of us feel that way at times. As simple as it seems, finding time to think effectively is vital to developing a solid sales, marketing and lead generation strategy.

Without question, our mindsets ultimately influence our strategic choices.

Which is why I think Michael Webb's post on the subject of thinking differently and banishing waste from sales and marketing is very compelling.

Michael explains that one of the most valuable questions he asks sales and marketing teams is, "What kinds of things clearly add no value to your sales and marketing operations?" Webb has found that people react strongly to this question. He often hears the same feedback over and over. Such as:

• Time spent on administration, reporting, and menial tasks (leaving little time for customers)

• Trade shows and events that generate boxes of "leads" not worth calling on

• Marketing literature that no one reads

• Wasting time with the wrong prospects

I see these same things too. So, instead of spending time looking at ways we can to create more of the same activity, why not think about how you can focus on what your internal and external customers really care about?

This involves asking provocative questions about the lead generation status quo such as:

• Will creating more activity for sales people really drive more revenue?

• Do I really want to know what my sales team is doing (or not doing) with our leads?

• Where is our sales team getting stuck in advancing our leads?

Also, I think you'll find this post on by Ed Batista on Strategic Quitting relevant. He highlights some thoughts from Seth Godin's book The Dip and he ties in some ideas from Peter Drucker.

Ed shares these questions, "Where can I deliver excellence? Where should I expect excellence in return? And how can I focus my time and energy to make this as likely as possible? This allows me to do some strategic quitting--or even better, not to start misguided efforts in the first place--and substantially increase the return on my personal investments."

Some of your lead generation tactics drive may generate more inquiry activity than others but that doesn't mean they are more valuable.

For example, I've talked with marketers who have analyzed their lead generation results and found tactics that generated the most activity often proved less effective at driving actual ROI, while others that didn't produce as much activity did. These types of insights and ROI measurements can only be gleaned over the long term but if your status quo is to continue driving more campaign activity; then you may never know the difference.

At some point, if we are willing to stop and examine our decisions and the status quo, we will likely catch ourselves starting more low value activities and quit before we pursue them in the first place. Now, that's time well spent!


About the Author:
Brian Carroll is the CEO of InTouch Inc. InTouch is a 50-person company focused on delivering effective lead generation solutions for "the complex sale." Brian authors the very interesting B2B Lead Generation Blog which focuses on B2B lead generation, sales leads, and marketing for the complex sale.

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