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Marketing-for-Leads Guide: Step 1 – Set Goals


The primary objective of a successful B2B marketing program is to bring in new business. Marketing programs include many elements, ranging from brand building to market research. But no single part of a business-to-business marketing program is more important than generating qualified sales leads. “Marketing for leads” drives sales. Done correctly, it will increase the bottom line and help your company achieve its growth goals. Marketing programs that are bottom-line oriented focus on generating, nurturing and qualifying sales leads.

In this series of blog posts, you will learn, step by step, how to create a successful business-to-business marketing-for-leads program. For an outline of all the steps please see my article “Steps to Implementing a Marketing Plan That Drives New Business.”

Step 1: Set goals at three levels

To succeed, your marketing-for-leads plan must reflect sales goals. Therefore, your first step is to gather information needed to determine your company’s goals for sales revenue in the coming year.

Sales revenue goals need to be stated at three levels

  • Minimum goal What sales revenue do you need to stay in business without layoffs? How much revenue is required to meet payroll and cover other costs of doing business? What will it take to keep your company’s doors open?
  • Target goal Where would senior management like your company’s sales revenue to be? If you are at a current run rate of $4 million, and they say they want to grow 25 percent, your new sales revenue goal is $5 million.
  • Stretch goal If your management wants to get really aggressive, what revenue goals would they like to achieve? Perhaps they would like to double—or even triple—your company’s business in the coming year.

There is a straightforward way to determine your company’s sales revenue goals. Interview the senior executives at your company, either serially or in a joint meeting. The executives to interview include the business and financial decision-makers (e.g., chief executive officer, chief operating officer, president, owner, partner, chief financial officer, controller, head of accounting) and the internal customers of your marketing programs (e.g., vice president of sales, director of channel sales, sales manager).

Remember, you are looking to determine your minimum, target and stretch goals. If the executives describe the goal in terms of company growth rather than in dollars, convert it into a dollar figure. If the executives say they want the company to be the “biggest” in the industry, look at the sales revenue of all your competitors and set your sales revenue goal above that of the industry leader.

It is not uncommon for executives to have different answers about goals. If the various executives you interview state different opinions about corporate goals, you will need to negotiate a consensus. This may be as easy as pointing out the discrepancy to them.

Download the complete Marketing-For-Leads Guide here

Need help with B2B lead generation, marketing and sales?
For more information, please call Mac McIntosh at +1-401-294-7730, send him email at or visit www.sales-lead-experts.com