For many lead generators, getting a prospect that is loved by the sales rep is already a noble pursuit. Compatibility between prospect and representative seem to be the decisive factor between a smooth, successful sales process and a department that’s viciously torn in two.
On the other hand, are the same lead generators really making a difference when they’re constantly called match like with like? Are different organizations completely defined by the common interests of just the salesperson in one and the single decision maker in the other?
What if they’re both just in the same comfort zone and aren’t really helping either organization as a whole?
Take IT for example. You target other IT managers and try to speak the same technical language because your sales rep insists that this is what impresses potential customers. But then ask yourself, are the CIO’s the only people worth thinking about as you’re qualifying IT leads?
What about their higher ups? What about other users who aren’t as versed as the resident ‘IT guy?’ Can your sales rep translate on the client’s behalf or do they dismiss them as just not being part of the equation?
The sad part is that the client is really the client’s organization, not the guy who only knows how to buy better tech without the communication chops to explain his decision to CEOs or regular employees. You think the politics of sales versus marketing was bad?
Getting IT guys to talk outside their circles isn’t just a problem for the people marketing companies full of them. It’s a problem for the same companies who focus on just like-minded decision makers while ignoring other parties at their own peril.
Keep these things in mind if you really think your lead generators aren’t bringing people out of their cliques:
- Follow the people trail – A good first step would be to go beyond the tech support folks and to the people they work with every day. Call other managers at the same level at least. Figure out how they use technology as compared to how the IT guys see it.
- Expand your knowledge and network – Take opportunities to connect with more than just industry thought leaders. Read an occasional article from HR veterans or even just talk a little business with a local shop clerk. Try to connect their daily work experience with yours.
- Learn a new language – Okay, maybe nothing like Spanish or Chinese but rather the language of the layman, the mechanic, or the housewife. You can’t get people to step out of their cliques and together on a common solution if you can’t communicate effectively to more than one side.
Sometimes targeted marketing can wind up a cover for sticking with one’s own. And in a business world where silos are breaking down and customer organizations (as a whole) are demanding clarity, it’s getting harder to keep everyone stuck inside their industry cliques.