I received an email last week from a LinkedIn connection promting his new super duper lead engine that connects salespeople with the most powerful buying influences in the world.
I'll be the first to agree that if you're buying a list, one that actually contains the contact information for CEO's, Presidents and other top officers can be much more helpful than a list that targets middle managers. But let's stop there.
First, a list with the names of CEO's and Presidents won't help anyone who sells products or services that top executives don't buy.
Second, and let's not fool ourselves on this, these are NOT LEADS!!! They never were and they never will be. Call them what they are. They are names on a list and if hand them to your salespeople and call them leads they'll stop calling after about 5 conversations - lousy leads. If you let them know that they are simply a tool to help them identify potential customers you'll be in much better shape. Just be sure that they know how to make calls like this. The "how" is the key. If they aren't great at this then it's clearly a waste of time.
(c) Copyright 2008 Dave Kurlan