Do As I Say, Not As I Do

do_as_i_say_not_as_i_do_author_eliot_spitzer_tshirt-p235198874747213292zv2yh_400I received a phone call the other day from a very well known marketing automation company.  They were calling to see if I had availability over the next few days to sit through a demo of their software.  They were convinced that they could help me with my marketing objectives and help me reach my revenue goals.   Funny thing though…they never asked me what my marketing objectives or revenue goals were.  And I’m not sure why they called with the goal of trying to schedule me for a demo. All I did was download a third party report from their site.  I even filled out the webform honestly, indicating to them that I probably don’t fit their target.

I hung up thinking, “Hmmmm.  Here’s a company that talks about demand generation process, nurturing leads who are not yet ready to buy (they even have a guide to show you how), and even how to understand what the buyer needs.  Yet with me, they did none of these things.  What gives?

Unfortunately, many of the marketing services today are marketed and sold with this “do as I say, not as I do” approach.  And if we’re all honest, we’ve all been guilty to some degree or another of doing the same.  But for the marketer who is watching these “experts”, it creates confusion.  Should we listen to what is said, or should we watch what is done and imitate it?   Maybe the following information will help shed some light.

  • Only 27% of B2B leads are sales-ready when first generated. (Source: MarketingSherpa)

  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Source: Forrester Research)

  • 46% of marketers with mature lead management processes have sales teams that follow up on more than 75% of marketing-generated leads. (Source: Forrester Research)

  • On average, organizations that nurture their leads experience a 45% lift in lead generation ROI over those organizations that do not. (Source: MarketingSherpa)

For some reason, the company who called me is OK giving advice to it’s prospect and client base that they feel they don’t need to follow themselves.   Maybe they have gobs of money to spend, and excess bandwidth to jump on every “lead” that comes in the door, trying to coerce them into buying their stuff.  Perhaps for them, it’s just a numbers game.  

But for the rest of us who have limited resources, let’s be smart about what works and what doesn’t.  Jumping on a not-yet-ready-to-buy lead doesn’t work.  It alienates. What works is seeking to understand where the buyer is coming from, engaging them at their place of need, and providing content via a lead nurturing process that builds trust and eventually a long term customer.