"According to an old expression, even a man lost in the woods knows where he wants to go," writes Dan McDade at MarketingProfs. That adage can apply to the lead gen jungle as well. Say there's a disconnect that is undermining the success of your marketing and sales teams, and it's up to you to solve the problem. McDade highlights a few key lead management challenges—and their solutions. His advice might help you find your way out of your particular woods. Consider the following:

Measuring success on a cost-per-lead basis kills your company. Leads cost what they cost—and can have excellent ROI, even at $750 or $1,500 apiece in complex sales. When you arbitrarily cap your cost per lead, fewer people have to do more work with fewer resources. "Is it possible to create high-quality leads to support a field sales force selling a $100k+ solution for $350 per lead?" asks McDade. "Frankly, no."

Appointment setting isn't what you think it is. "Firms that practice appointment setting are really scheduling 'appearances' and creating the illusion that those appearances are with qualified prospects," he notes. Salespeople treat these appointments like any other lead—and when you're marketing a solution that requires the input of corporate hierarchies, it's an unnecessarily expensive first step.

Low-level blueprinting hints at a broken lead gen program. A sales rep is showing her lack of faith in the quality of the marketing team's leads when she says, "Just get me the names of the executives at target companies, and I will get in to see them. I just need some names." Worse, she's wrong in her assumption—cold calling a list of executives isn't an efficient route to closed sales.

The Po!nt: You know where you want your lead gen program to go. Use these tips to get there.

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