When I read Maximizing Lead Generation: The Complete Guide for B2B Marketers, I knew I had to share it with you.
In my opinion, it's the missing link for companies who know they need to do something differently, but don't know where to start. If that applies to you, it's definitely worth reading.
I hope you enjoy my interview today with author Ruth Stevens. She consults on customer acquisition and retention, and teaches at Columbia Business School
JILL: Ruth, what was the impetus for writing this book?
RUTH: I thought B-to-B marketers could use an end-to-end, soup-to-nuts guide on how to generate a steady stream of qualified leads to support their sales forces and distributors. I haven’t seen a book like that on the market before.
And, truth be told, the editors in the QUE division at Pearson were looking for someone to write on this subject, so I didn’t have to go pitch the idea—it was already a done deal. Lucky me.
JILL: I don't think it's lucky. I think you had the right idea at the right time.
RUTH: Thanks! I appreciate that.
JILL: So if someone was going to take a quick look at it, where would they get the most bang for the buck?
RUTH: One thing I’ve learned in my life as a business marketer is that there are often key points of leverage out there, where, if you apply a small amount of effort, the payoff can be huge. So in my book, I focus on several of these. To whet your appetite, here are a couple:
- Lead nurturing (which I discuss thoroughly in Chapter 9), where you can apply a fairly simple follow-up process and quadruple the productivity of your marketing investment.
- Offer development (see pp. 110-118), where you can triple response rates by creating a compelling reason for buyers to raise their hands, at various stages of their buying process.
JILL: Tell us a little-known secret of lead generation success.
RUTH: Here’s the crazy thing. Lead gen is less about marketing breakthroughs and silver bullets. It’s more about process. The company with the best process wins.
JILL: I agree with you. That's why I liked your book so well. It covers the entire process so people can make sure that they pull it all together.
What are some of the thorny problems that face marketers when they are ready to generate leads?
RUTH: The biggest problem is politics. Like when a product manager says, “Hey, just tell them how fabulous our product is, and they’ll want it!” when you know you need an incentive to motivate response in your campaign.
Or when a sales person takes a lead generated by marketing and changes the source code in the SFA system to deny marketing the credit. We all need to keep our eye on the prize.
JILL: What about the future? What are some of the trends you’re seeing in the lead generation world?
RUTH: Some wonderful new developments, like marketing automation, and mobile marketing, and maybe—just maybe—a new opportunity for sales and marketing to jointly target mutual goals. Won’t that be great!
JILL: It sure will. And thanks for joining me today, Ruth. And everyone else -- take a look at Maximizing Lead Generation. It'll answer many of your questions and give you the guidance you need.