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If you’re launching a new product or simply looking to revitalize an existing one, focusing on the foundation of your core lead generation activities is a good place to start. When doing this, it’s helpful to think of B2B lead generation as a process just like manufacturing, finance, product development or any other within the organization.Creating this process is like building a B2B lead generation machine. If you give it sufficient resources and manage it correctly, you can affordably produce quality, consistent lead results.

But just like any other process, you need to have a clear understanding of what you want to produce before you begin. This starts with understanding what a lead is and at what point it makes the conversion from lead to sales opportunity. It is not enough to make a broad statement such as “an accurate profile of an individual and/or company that has a specific need for the product or solution we provide”. Your definition of a lead needs to constantly be re-evaluated to match the needs of your sales force and their willingness/ability to help follow-up on opportunities.

Once you know what you want to build, you can focus on understanding the inner workings of the B2B lead generation process. Much like a machine, your marketing processes consists of many parts that are designed to work in concert to achieve a particular goal. Substituting one part for another can produce significantly different results. For example, advertising, direct mail, trade shows, email marketing and telemarketing are all part of the B2B lead generation machine, but each produces its own, unique level of understanding of a potential sales opportunity. Individually, they may not be able to achieve success, but working together, they can produce exceptional results.

Similarly, all machines need raw materials to work. For the B2B lead generation machine, the most basic raw materials are data, time and money. Knowing how much of each requires understanding the quality of the data, how your machine is designed to use them, and the complexity of the final product.

The final consideration for building your B2B lead generation machine is determining how this machine will be managed and operated. If your process is well defined, raw materials are plentiful and the system has been tested through repetition, then you are well on your way to producing sufficient leads to support your business. If any of these elements still need to be validated or are in short supply, having experts in place to help you through the process is critical. And even if you are fortunate enough to have a highly efficient, lead generation machine, having someone to monitor and optimize the components and inputs as markets change is essential.

ResponsePoint can help you develop and manage your B2B lead generation process and the components that go into it. This includes helping optimize existing marketing programs by streamlining inputs and improving the use of raw materials.