Every game requires strategy…and managing leads is no different.
It is not enough for a company to want to increase leads. To be successful, a brand’s leaders must develop a comprehensive plan to win more sales. In other words, businesses need a lead management strategy that kicks arse!
At its most basic level, lead management is a game with winners and losers. Many companies simply play the game in order to grow their bottom line. When another player wins all of their customers, they don’t understand why. They didn’t invest enough time or thought into planning an unbeatable lead management strategy, so they were left in the dust by brands with a better idea of the game. If more time and energy is invested into a solid plan, a brand’s chances for success can be increased, while reducing its risk of failure.
Winners don’t just offer a product or service: They create brands that add value to the lives of their customers. They cultivate their specialties until their competitors’ brands naturally seem inferior. Implementing a “capabilities-driven strategy” that gets to the core of what the company does best, leads to brand awareness, measurable performance, increased leads and more closed sales.
In the book The Essential Advantage: How to Win with a Capabilities-Driven Strategy, Paul Leinwand and Cesare R. Mainardi argue that many leaders need to rethink the way they develop marketing strategy. Their philosophy for winning the game requires identifying the company’s differentiating capabilities, and building a strategy around those. They believe that losing companies, on the other hand, chase opportunities outside their core areas of expertise and capabilities at their peril. According to the authors, most memorable, successful and effective Fortune 500 companies share three clearly defined characteristics:
- Way to Play: They don’t just roll the dice or rely on chance. They make deliberate choices about how to add value in the market. Then they plot their course to delivering it in the most efficient and effective manner.
- Capabilities System: They evaluate their strengths and build a set of three to six capabilities that work well together as a system and allow them to deliver on their promises. For example, real customer insight, agile design teams and rapid manufacturing capacity means feedback can be received, alterations can be made and better products can be delivered to the market more quickly than if one of those capabilities were not in place.
- Product and Service Portfolio: They choose products and services that not only are well suited to their target customers, but compliment the company’s distinctive aptitude and resources. They avoid adding products, services or markets that require the development of new or unrelated lead management capabilities.
Though it may seem like a good idea to try to be everything to everyone, it can lead very quickly to a company being spread too thin. Leaders must guide their team to choose a defined area of expertise and stay loyal to it. It’s not easy and there are always temptations to try and jump on someone else’s bandwagon for a quick buck. But focus, and a clearly defined brand identity and capabilities can help you play to win.
If you’re ready to take a closer look at the importance of lead management in a successful B2B marketing strategy, visit our lead management software page to learn about Marketo’s solutions.