Want higher ROI ? Generate opportunities, not leads

Lead generation is key to the growth and survival of B2B Companies. This is why companies spend billions of precious dollars and resources on finding leads . They buy, capture, generate and do everything possible to keep their sales funnels’ filled with leads.

What is lead generation? Does this activity justify the amount of money and time spent on it? Is it leads that these companies are looking for? Wikipedia defines lead generation as a marketing term that refers to the creation or generation of prospective consumer interest or inquiry into a business’ products or services.

Marketing Automation solutions further simplify this definition to widen their leads base. It counts every enterprise visitor to their client website as a lead. Companies then spend time and resources to qualify and nurture these leads, which may or may not convert into a sale.

B2B companies should concentrate more on generating opportunities than leads

Companies fail to realise, it is not lead generation that is key to business growth but opportunity generation. Yes! — The opportunity to sell.

Opportunity generation is generation of sale opportunities for a business’ products or services.

It is finding opportunities to sell, which is critical to a company’s growth and not leads. A company can have thousands of leads in its sales pipeline. Those that will make a difference to the company’s balance sheet — are ones which present the company with an opportunity to sell its offerings.

B2B companies should concentrate on generating opportunities. Only, leads which offer an opportunity to sell are worth their time and investments.

Why should companies focus on opportunity generation and not lead generation? -

Optimization of Resources

Knowing who you want as your customer will help you remain focused. In staying away from wasting your resources on leads and prospects who may never convert. The lesser resources spent on useless leads, the more you will have to invest in generating opportunities.

Reality check

Opportunities are those prospects who have shown real interest in your product. An intent to buy the kind of solution you offer, from you or from one of your competitors. Since they are looking for a solution like yours the chances of them converting into a sale is much higher. When compared to a regular lead who is yet to decide on what he wants. If only real opportunities enter your sales funnel, the percentage of opportunities converting will be higher. These are prospects who have expressed their intent, concentrating your efforts on them holds more promise. Such strict screening will ensure that you are always in touch with reality. Knowing exactly where you stand when it comes to counting your eggs before they hatch (projecting your sales figures).

Better alignment between Sales and Marketing

Your sales team is very focused on creating sales opportunities. When your marketing is also tuned to do the same — there will be no reason for the disconnect between the two departments. One will attract your core group of ideal customers and the other will help them buy your product and services.

Shorter Sales Cycles

Today B2B companies go through a prolonged sales cycle. Many of the leads they nurture — are either undecided or have not expressed their real interest in the company’s product. They visit the website, do the research and then go cold. Companies spend several man-hours pursuing such leads, in a desperate bid to get a positive response. Since in the initial phase the lead had shown some interest, they find it difficult to even trash such a lead. The result — the process of selling to a customer starts much before the customer even thinks of a buy, making the entire process lengthy.

Higher Return on Investment

Generating opportunities requires many focused efforts. The conversion ratio for opportunities is higher than that of leads. Hence, the return on investments for a company generating sale opportunities is higher than those generating leads. The money and resources spent on converting an opportunity into a sale is lesser than that of converting a lead. Often a lengthy and futile exercise.

The process of opportunity generation starts the moment you decide on your target customers.

Marketing activities should focus on creating brand awareness. Running focused campaigns for the target customer segment. Addressing the challenges in their industry for which you offer a solution. The more focused and customised the messaging, the higher the chances of getting people with real intent to buy.

A lead is worth its find — only if translates into a sale opportunity.…