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Evolving From Tools to Hands

I recently learned about a company called LeadGenius that styles itself as an “end-to-end sales-acceleration solution.” What that means is that you tell LeadGenius about your market, and they take it from there: identifying leads from business databases, scoring them, sending promotional messages to them, right through to appointment setting – all duly reported to you in the CRM system of your choice. It’s obviously an appealing concept, and it may also suggest the next level for data publishers. Data publishers have built stronger and more profitable businesses by building tools around their data and injecting themselves into client workflow. But what’s next after that?

If LeadGenius represents where things are headed, the answer may be to not just fuel prospecting for our customers, but to do prospecting on their behalf. It’s not as wild a concept as it might sound. Indeed, many B2B media companies have pushed hard into a new business called “marketing services,” which can include just this.

Does it make sense? Well, talk to data publishers and you’ll quickly find that a key frustration is that they are providing much more sales intelligence to their customers than they know how to fully use. You’ll also hear endless horror stories about customers who squandered great leads or missed big opportunities. Perhaps sales prospecting (and we’re talking about developing live prospects with an expressed buying interest, not closing the sale) belongs with the organization that understands it best.

It is also worth considering the appeal of a service such as this in our app-driven world, where anything can be obtained with a few clicks. In a nod to this, LeadGenius offers its own API through which customer projects can be ordered and managed. Someone who offers to do the work tends to be more appealing than someone who wants to help you do the work yourself.

Of course, it’s speculative to discuss where things are heading based on the example of just one interesting company. But in our pay-per-click, cost-per-action world, is this really so difficult to imagine?