Last week we got word that the leads have been “soft” this year so far. Though we switched to a new CRM and are still working out some metrics “kinks”, I didn’t think that perception was accurate.
An old professor of mine for a public relations class said something that has stuck with me all these years. “Perception is reality.” I believe that whole-heartedly, but if my lead numbers were good, this perception needed to be changed through some education.
Leads were to be the topic of the next weekly sales call which was just in a couple days. After pulling numbers and reviewing things there were a couple territories that were down on their leads, but also several that were up. On average we were ahead of our 2022 numbers.
In terms of activities I operate within an integrative marketing framework with active elements of email marketing, online advertising, public relations, tradeshows (but less and less), webinars and content marketing. For activities we are doing more than last year, but still, it’s a perception issue.
I came to the meeting prepared and walked the team through the numbers and they understood. Perception was starting to change. Some of this I believe was a systems issue. In working with the new CRM there were new ways of viewing and filtering leads, as well as a new conversion process. Still a work in progress, but I could sense a shift.
And then I challenged the sales team in several ways.
- What are the biggest challenges customers faced?
- What unique solutions have the solved for their customers?
- Any case study opportunities?
- Who has a topic that they’d like to share during a webinar?
- Who’s interested in talking with me, interview-style, for a video?
Lots of things, but as Jerry McGuire famously said, “Help me, help you.”
Perception vs. Reality
I’m glad we sorted out that perception isn’t always reality, and that with a little bit of work, opinions can change. The sales team is now motivated to help with lead generation activities.
The moral of the story is that you should never take anything at face value. Do your research, get the facts and be ready to adjust perceptions accordingly.
That’s it – thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any questions or comments below. Also check out my post on B2B Demand Generation Strategies. Cheers!