B2B sales leads are too important for salespeople

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

Marketing  |  Business to Business

Every salesperson loves leads.

And in most B2B companies marketing people spend lots of effort providing them.

Sales funnel 1But too often, especially in B2B sales, there’s an artificial demarcation between the role of sales and that of marketing.

Consider the tradeshow: many companies spend thousands of marketing dollars to exhibit at important industry events. But after the show concludes, marketing simply ties a pretty ribbon around the business cards they received from prospects and tosses the leads over their shoulder to the sales manager.

B2B sales and marketing circa 2012

How can you deliver valuable information to people who express interest in your organization? How can you do it without annoying them?

Sales funnel 2How about warming up potential customers by giving them gifts of valuable content well before the salesperson bugs them by triying to sell something?