The first two CLG Study findings

Well… I did it.

Granted, I went a bit scorched-earth in the process.

In fact, you may have thought I decided to renounce my internet access and drop off the grid.

But the deed is done, and v0 of The Consulting Lead Gen Study is written, first-pass-edited, and out for early review.

time to celebrate

It was my one thing. My lead domino. And I was heading face-first into weeks of disappointingly slow progress as I faced the reality of the planning fallacy and Parkinson’s Law head-on.

So I cut all the non-essentials.

From one of my favorite and most oft-quoted books (Essentialism via Greg McKeown):

“The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular. It meant the very first or prior thing. It stayed singular for the next five hundred years. Only in the 1900s did we pluralize the term and start talking about priorities. Illogically, we reasoned that by changing the word we could bend reality. Somehow we would now be able to have multiple “first” things…

But when we try to do it all and have it all, we find ourselves making trade-offs at the margins that we would never take on as our intentional strategy…

This requires, not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately, and strategically eliminating the nonessentials, and not just getting rid of the obvious time wasters, but cutting out some really good opportunities as well.”

This was one of those.

But now, it’s done!

Well not done, done…

But now I can pop my head back up and return to the world.

So for your trouble, here’s a sneak peek at the first two of eight summarized findings from the study:

  • On the topic of lead generation, most principals are dissatisfied, uncertain, or at least set on making improvements. This is especially true when they retain the majority of the business development responsibilities within the firm.
  • The combined lead time from marketing kickoff to closed sale can often exceed 12 months. Most firms experience a sales cycle of greater than 3 months (52%), with a quarter of those greater than 6 months. Given that most of the client acquisition methods employed require a significant lead time to start generating opportunities, this combined process time is a likely contributor to the general sense of frustration experienced with lead generation.

And a few direct quotes on these points from study participants:

“I mean that’s actually one of the challenges I’m facing is my projects are longer and, you know, that can be a good thing because it’s steady, but then it’s a bad thing because it’s not like the process of meeting new leads and bringing them on board is steady. It’s very hit and miss.”

“Got to be an easier way than what we’re doing… not looking for phenomenal growth, just enough to keep all busy.”

“The challenge with word of mouth is I don’t know when the phone’s going to ring. So what I’m trying to do is figure out… is how to draw more people in… Because right now my funnel is very much hit or miss.”

“I don’t think I’m very good at lead generation! This is a big struggle for our firm.”

“Looking to move out of referrals to a traditional ‘lead generation’ model… We have a tough time breaking into new clients, but if we’re referred in, we add immediate value and typically help them with more than three projects.”

“Well, we’re too busy. Like can we dial back on our marketing? You can, but your pipeline will be dry in six to 12 months. Do you want that?”

Thanks for holding tight.

Much more to come.

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