Yesterday we had a guest speaker slot at The Sales Institute event ‘Using technology to drive lead generation‘ over in The Davenport Hotel, Dublin. The venue was packed with Sales Directors and Senior Marketers all there to learn and network. Everyone was so friendly and we were very surprised to see such a great turnout. You don’t get that many people turning up for a breakfast event in the U.K.

On the surface, it might sound like a strange topic for us to present as we’re not a digital software agency, but it’s not really. Anthony Bagshaw, Gecko CEO was up first and set the context for the morning. He talked about the power of a multi channel approach to lead generation and the role technology plays to make marketing relevant and personal. We already know this, it’s common sense marketing.

A big insight came from the fact only 20% of people respond to your communications. Why waste time and money on the 80%? Anthony called this ‘losing the long tail’ and it’s surprising how many companies don’t do this.

So how do you know what 20% to focus on? Well that’s all in the data. This is where technology comes into its own. New online channels, tracking software and platforms gives us access to a phenomenal amount of data and insight. So when you dig deep into your data, you find that 20%.

The word ‘relevance’ was a theme throughout the morning. Customers today expect companies to communicate with them in a personalised way whether its on or offline. Those companies that don’t will suffer.

Following on from the theme of relevance, Christian Kennear, Managing Director for Hubspot EMEA talked about the sales process and how it needs to change. We need to be buyer centric not sales focused. What this means is that a sales process should focus on the way people buy not how companies are set up to sell. This was quite thought provoking as everyone knows exactly how they don’t want to be sold to yet they don’t sell that way.

After a networking break we heard from Christophe Patrin, Sales Manager UK & Ireland for SAP and Daniel Desmon, Director Inside Sales EMEA & APAC for Marin Software. Daniel gave an unbiased review of the technologies available to drive quality lead generation. His company uses 18 pieces of software to generate leads and they’re incredibly successful at it!

He talked a lot about social selling and highlighted the power of LinkedIn navigator and Colabo. Both are worth checking out. And of course, he confirmed the importance of creating tailored content to relevant people, it’s the best way to generate inbound leads.

Overall it was a fantastic morning in Dublin and we met some great people. Thanks to The Sales Institute for hosting such a great event.