By leads I'm talking about people or companies I haven't contacted or worked with. Once they are qualified then they become opportunities. This seems to be a common distinction made in the sales industry. The terminology seems better suited to sales and marketing but for the sake of speed I'm going to use them here.
Many sales organisations also split the tasks of generating leads and developing them into opportunities. My lead generation activities included:
- Attending conferences and fairs.
- Researching top companies via lists from sites like glassdoor and the guardian top graduate employers lists.
- Through my network trying to identify potential companies.
From these lists of companies the qualification step is quite different from an outbound sales team approach. In a sales team the lead generation hand over happens after the lead generation team has made contact and qualified that the potential customer is in the market to buy. The opportunity team then focuses on 'closing' the deal.
In the job hunting context this looked like researching the companies and identifying whether they are hiring for a good work match. To stretch the metaphor further the HR, talent team or recruiters are the 'gate keepers'. Initial calls would be with HR for example and once it seemed there was a potential there and the discussion was involving the leadership team of the company they were converted to opportunities.
In keeping with the predictable revenue approach I tried to keep track of how many companies I found were in market. For me it was around 20%. This helped me figure out how many companies I needed to research to feed my opportunity funnel.
Using my CRM tool I set up a opportunity funnel with stages for:
- Introduction Email.
- Initial Call.
- Send CV.
- On Site Interview(s).
- Proposal Meeting.
- Offer Review.
This was really helpful as I could prioritise based on likelihood of getting an offer and how far along the process I was. Being able to track the attrition also gave me an idea how many company lead generation / qualifications I needed to do in order to 'fill' my week. The goal being to have 5 - 10 on site interviews per week.