How do you know what defines your qualified leads? If you're focusing only on the decision maker, you may want to think again. Here are a few reasons why:
- By expanding the number and type (job role) of contacts you nurture, you're expanding your core of influence and awareness within a company. Recommendation is a great way to get on the vendor consideration list. Decision makers are busy and it's often hard to get their attention on your own.
- Brian Carroll's case study at the Tech Target Online ROI Summit last week emphasized the results they were able to generate, given the expansion of contacts within a company to an average of 3. In fact, Brian has done a teleclass about quality lead generation for the complex sale that you can purchase ($29) and learn from immediately.
- Two CIOs I talked to at the conference also mentioned that they refer things to staff for evaluation and that their staff members have the ability to sway their opinions. So make sure you have content that's passable to the next level, as well.
- Barry Harrigan's Accelerating IT Sales blog has a post about a KnowledgeStorm paper that debunks the myths about standard B2B lead scoring practices. And some additional comments worthy of a read.
- Selling Power's Presentation Newsletter included an article, 12 Must Have Conversations, (free registration) based on Stephen Schiffman's book, Sales Presentation Techniques: "...try to get below the executive level as much as possible. You’ll find the information you get from the people in the “trenches” gives you a more accurate picture of what’s going on at an organization than you’ll get from the corner offices. Or as Schiffman puts it more bluntly: “People in the trenches know more and are more honest than their bosses.”
There's a lot more information out there about establishing a sphere of influence, but I'd recommend that you address more than the ultimate decision maker in your marketing efforts. You may be pleasantly surprised about how you're brought to the table.