Cultivating Leads, Not Generating Them

Oct 22

Cultivating Leads, Not Generating Them

Lead Generation is too broad a term to be meaningful

I’m proud of the BarrelFish software we built and like telling people about it. The problem I kept running into was when telling people we made “lead generation” software I would get some blank stares, others responses such as “Oh, can you sell me a list of leads like Infousa?”, other people said, “Oh like Mailchimp?” or “Like Marketo?”.

Why did these people all have different reactions? Wikipedia defines lead generation as:

In marketing, lead generation is the generation of consumer interest or inquiry into products or services of a business. Leads can be created for purposes such as list building, e-newsletter list acquisition or for sales leads. The methods for generating leads typically fall under the umbrella of advertising, but may also include non-paid sources such as organic search engine results or referrals from existing customers.

Lead generation is the process of making contacts which may lead to a sale or other favourable outcome. The leads may come from various sources or activities, for example, digitally via the Internet, through personal referrals, through telephone calls either by the company or telemarketers, through advertisements, and events. A 2014 study found that 78% of respondents cited email as the most-used channel for generating leads, followed by event marketing and finally content marketing. Social media was found to play only a minor role in lead generation.Another 2014 study found that direct traffic, search engines, and web referrals were the three most popular online channels for lead generation, accounting for 93% of leads.

In this definition alone, I see these at least 10 different types of marketing (list building, list acquisition, advertising, search engine optimization, referrals, outbound calling, emails, event marketing, social media). Is there any wonder people get confused by the term lead generation?

At BarrelFish, we’ve stopped using the term lead generation because it’s not meaningful. As much as I’d like to build a software that manages all of those 10 types of marketing for you, I know that the more complexity we add, the less useful it will be for most people. So instead our software does one thing really well, cultivate leads.

BarrelFish is Lead Cultivation Software

The term that accurately describes what we do is Lead Cultivation. Like a farmer tending to crops, leads for companies with complex sales, need to be cultivated. They need to know who you are, what you do and why they should purchase your product or service. Lead cultivation requires education. Educating your audience about why your products. BarrelFish gets your message heard by the right audience at the right time. BarrelFish’s five step process Creates, Cultivates, and Converts leads for your sales team.

This is the first in a four part series on lead cultivation, in our next post, we will highlight how lead cultivation lets you build on each subsequent marketing tactic and learn from testing different messages.