What Does a Dental Sales Lead Look Like? Does it Matter Where it Came From?
I spend a lot of my free time thinking about sales leads, especially in the healthcare market that includes the professional dental sector. Quite often, Iâ€™m thinking about demand generation â€“ where sales leads are going to come from and whether there are going to be enough of them to meet an organizationâ€™s business goals and objectives.
Lately, though, Iâ€™ve been thinking about the many prejudices and biases toward leads that exist out there in the B2B world, especially when Iâ€™m working with dental industry marketers.
I often hear heated debates over whether trade show leads are better than advertising leads, or whether leads from email flights are better than leads from a â€œsnail mailâ€ effort. From one side of the aisle, I hear that the only good lead is from a prospect who takes the effort to make a phone call. On the other side of the aisle, I hear that the only good lead comes from someone filling out a web form.
But I seldom hear the value of leads from a public relations effort being debated, which is a widely used marketing tactic in the dental space. Believe it or not, public relations-generated leads are quite often relegated to the trash bin.
Then thereâ€™s the one-and-out bias. Itâ€™s the â€œif youâ€™re not ready to buy the first time I contact you, Iâ€™ll never contact you againâ€ mentality.
I just donâ€™t get it! Where did all these prejudices and biases come from?
Best practices suggest that all leads are created equal. And all leads, no matter the source, need multiple â€œtouchesâ€ or nurturing to bring them closer to qualification, and that much closer to a sale.
Maybe we shouldnâ€™t be calling them leads to begin with. Maybe we should be calling them contacts. Think about the process:
Target Audience > Inquiry > Suspect > Prospect > Lead > Qualified Lead
Maybe we should be doing some serious thinking (me included) about the multiple â€œtouchesâ€ that are necessary to bring a raw contact to qualified lead status.