It’s not a lead, it’s a relationship (there’s a big difference)


building-strong-relationships-with-clients-is-important-and-calls-for-th_977_415805_0_14014027_500Sales has had this right all along. They may start with leads, but over time they are focused on turning those “contacts” into trusted relationships.

Historically, marketers have been focused primarily on generating leads. In a world where marketing automation and marketing-driven lead management didn’t exist, marketing’s job was largely done once the contact or lead was established and passed along to sales.

Unfortunately, many marketers still have that mentality. But as the opportunity for marketing to manage longer-term, early-stage customer relationships accelerates, so does marketing’s role in treating and managing prospects not as leads, but as budding relationships.

Your spreadsheet isn’t always going to help with this. Your monthly dashboards and board slides that focus on numbers alone might actually diminish your focus on the “human” side of pipeline development.

Because between the spreadsheet cells live the differentiating opportunities where leading companies treat prospects like people. We remember what they did before, take into account and personalize future interactions, and generally separate ourselves not just as sellers but relationship-builders.

If marketing stopped talking about leads, and started focusing on relationships, how would that change their execution? How might it affect the importance they place on managing and nurturing existing leads vs. constantly generating new clicks and entry points?

Something to think about.