Leads, Leads, Leads

Whenever I’m talking to entrepreneurs, especially seed stage entrepreneurs, the number one challenge is customer acquisition. Drilling in, more specifically, every entrepreneur wants more leads (who wouldn’t?). In fact, Jason Lemkin argues that lead velocity rate is the most important metric in SaaS. Since leads are so important, it follows that entrepreneurs need to build internal lead generation capabilities.

Here are a few thoughts on lead generation:

  • Use a marketing automation system as the core of the lead generation efforts
  • Pick a sales development cloud to execute outbound campaigns
  • Run the standard B2B marketing playbook (SEO, SEM, email campaigns, webinars, ebooks, etc.)
  • Ensure the marketing team has a quantitive mindset (think analytics and data — Google Analytics is your friend)
  • Establish a definition of marketing qualified lead and sales qualified lead
  • Require clear objectives and key results from the team
  • Build a repeatable process and constantly iterate

Lead generation is significantly harder than it looks. Entrepreneurs need to build a customer acquisition machine post product/market fit, and lead generation is one of the top priorities.

What else? What are some more thoughts on leads being so critical in building a successful startup?

4 thoughts on “Leads, Leads, Leads

  1. Great thoughts! We’ve doubled down in this area recently and adding value upfront via Engineering as Marketing (tools, resources, etc) has been returning positive results. A tool we built last month has gotten us in front of over 22,000 people we otherwise won’t have reached. Launching simple, value-adding resources is also allowing us to refine how be launch products be build in the future.

  2. Interesting stuff, thanks for sharing David. I’ve just started a Marketing Consultancy in Colchester, UK with limited client/customer acquisition budget so my time/money goes on networking and referrals mostly. which service would you recommend to use first to get my company message out there to acquire new customers?

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