Ever heard of the “spider web effect?” It’s pretty real, and it explains a lot of lead generation program failures. Let’s walk through it.
Founders of companies obviously work their own networks first, which makes perfectly logical sense — but eventually, they tap out these personal spider webs and neglect to move beyond them.
Instead, they delve into the everyday operations and forget to keep bringing new prospects in the door. This makes no sense because if you stand to reap the most from the success of a business (or if you are paying yourself a high salary), then you need to focus on driving business. That means focusing on deal-building and prospects. You should have an understanding of the day-to-day execution, of course, but that should not be your focus.
What normally happens around this time psychologically is:
- The founder or someone high up feels more comfortable dealing with daily operations, so they focus on that.
- Someone comes to them and is concerned about the quality or status of the pipeline.
- The founder shoots back “Organized lead gen? We’re not there yet!” and goes back to working the day-to-day.
This is common among services businesses large enough to allow their owners to prosper just enough. It’s a little bit less common in SaaS and software, but you still see it there. A good rule of thumb: if the organization is less about scaling and more about rewarding the top tiers, you’ll see less of a focus on true lead gen.
Bottom line to understand here: without successful lead/demand generation, you do not have a successful company. You may for a short period of time but eventually that will erode. A broken clock is right twice a day, right? Indeed. Well, some businesses hit numbers for five years — but without a pipeline, don’t count on Years 6-10.
Of course, most companies say they want to get bigger, but they’re not necessarily following a wise map, either. Far too many bring in salespeople to make cold calls. That’s not a lead-generation tactic; it’s a cold-calling one. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s always a tough way to scale. Here’s why.
So, what’s the best strategy?
Hire amazing salespeople and supplement what they naturally do with a content-driven and value-based inbound and outbound lead-generation process.
In this way, if they’re not initially amazing — because yes, that’s hard to hire for and those guys are needles in haystacks — they can be made amazing with the processes and content around them.
In essence: focus on lead generation. Care about it. It matters tremendously.