What Does a Dental Sales Lead Look Like? Does it Matter Where it Came From?

Author: Mike (MAC) Caiafa
Mike (MAC) Caiafa

Mike (MAC) Caiafa

Mike (MAC) Caiafa, was the former VP of Marketing & Regulatory Affairs at Lanmark360. He thinks a lot about most things marketing-related-leads, lead qualification, market research, metrics, trade show marketing, demand generation, integrated and strategic planning, and lots more.
02.28.12 / 2:17 pm

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, I’m thinking about demand generation – where sales leads are going to come from and whether there are going to be enough of them to meet an organization’s business goals and objectives.

Lately, though, I’ve been thinking about the many prejudices and biases toward leads that exist out there in the B2B world, especially when I’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 “snail mail” 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 there’s the one-and-out bias. It’s the “if you’re not ready to buy the first time I contact you, I’ll never contact you again” mentality.

I just don’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 “touches” or nurturing to bring them closer to qualification, and that much closer to a sale.

Maybe we shouldn’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 “touches” that are necessary to bring a raw contact to qualified lead status.

Your thoughts?

 

Mike (MAC) Caiafa

Mike (MAC) Caiafa

Mike (MAC) Caiafa, was the former VP of Marketing & Regulatory Affairs at Lanmark360. He thinks a lot about most things marketing-related-leads, lead qualification, market research, metrics, trade show marketing, demand generation, integrated and strategic planning, and lots more.

3 responses to “What Does a Dental Sales Lead Look Like? Does it Matter Where it Came From?”

  1. Great post MAC! I think part of the controversy lies in the fact that so many marketing folk are looking for instant ROI…IROI?

    Perhaps this is driven by the bean counters, but many of today’s marketing and sales professionals have no interest in investing the time needed for lead nurturing, relationship building or consultative selling.

    They will also fail at engaging with prospects and customers on social media, which is also a long term proposition.

  2. Getting sales leads is vital to every business. Every business has to have customers; and prospective clients are what they identify as sales leads. Even the teenage girl who is eyeing some fashionable clothes in a magazine can be considered a sales lead. The typical sales leads, however, are those that have the potential to be customers whom sales people get in touch with in many ways, several times before they jump into conclusions in buying and procuring the company’s product or service. For many years now, sales people have had a hard time generating sales leads.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WordPress Anti-Spam by WP-SpamShield