Information inspires action. If you want a live demonstration, look at a 3D printer. The technology and its applications are all relatively young. But despite that, the promises it’s been making range from cheap parts manufacturing to actual body parts.
Then again, this same analogy can still apply to its ancestor: The paper printer as well as all the way to the very first printing press during the Middle Ages.
Because for all they’re worth, a printer is just really a block of metal parts. It takes information to guide it. Likewise, your sales leads dictate the real actions of real salespeople regardless if the lead source was digital or in print.
You’ll never run out of people who question everything solely on the basis that it’s been found on the internet. This isn’t entirely their own fault. Online data can have as much misinformation as real information. Leads from your website may very well just be hollow inquiries.
Yet, there’s nothing intrinsic about physical documentation being just as misinformed. Forgeries can be made and only identified by skilled forensic investigators. (Not exactly much of a difference from confirming online data.) A person can pose to be someone else on the phone just as easily as they can in an email.
So as you can see, neither digital nor physical attributes of channels can really prevent false information from coming in. What’s important is to actually determine the validity regardless of the source. Is the prospect’s name really Mr. A? Is he really the IT manager of Ajax Inc? Does Ajax Inc actually exist?
Naturally, it can be hard eliminate a bad habit that’s born from your trusted experience with one channel over your mistrust of another. Here’s some steps to help you curb:
- First and foremost, find the source: This is simple enough. If you want to know who filled out the contact form or what your correspondent looked like, get as close to the source as possible. Can you do it with Google? Yes. Can you do it by conducting an office visit? Also yes. What matters is that you can verify the main source.
- Quality has little to do with channel – You’d be surprised how often tech companies like Salesforce can talk in the ways of marketing as much as tech. And guess what? Their views on lead quality have little to mention on the tools being used. It only goes to show that the value of a lead transcends its form.
- It only ever impacts costs – Value and costs are intertwined but not necessarily synonymous. You can get the same valuable lead for this much or you can get for much less, depending on the tools. That’s probably the real question worth asking when it comes to evaluating different channels and lead sources.
Even on that last note, you don’t question the validity of a lead based on a channel. You can figure that out without ever mentioning whether the lead physically or electronically came through.