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?