Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A scientist's thoughts on lead generation

I've really enjoyed Mark Walker's last two articles on sales and marketing working together.  To be honest, I thought sales reps just wandered through labs passing out candy and, marketers bought ads and put ipod drawings in booths at conferences.  As a focused bench scientist, I had never considered that side of the life science industry.  Oh to be naive!

Please consider this is an open letter from a scientist to your company.  Ask me anything you want about me for lead generation information gathering. Let's work together.

Im hoping this article will generate some dialogue between your world and mine. There are thousands of struggling scientists that need you to give us the best products for our research.

What do you want to know about a scientist?

I'm guessing the most important question is.....

"Do I have money to spend?"

Yes, I have an AHA grant that gives me $60K a year to spend on reagents and services.

Lets take it one step further though.  As a long time researcher (17 years), what is my influence with other scientists?  Consider the following...

1. In my immediate lab there are 12 scientists that ask me for help on experiments.  Three of them have grants of their own.  One is a career Research Scientist with "lots" of money (he just bought a new mass spectrometer and HPLC).

2. My PI (principle investigator) is a seasoned vet with multiple grants and is constantly invited to speak at meetings.  He knows 100s of other PIs. However, I can definitively say he does not have time to talk to you about your products.

3. In my "area" there are two others labs totaling 3 PIs, 4 Research Scientists, 17 postdocs, 16 graduate students (weird), and 12 technicians.  We are all friendly and regularly talk to one another about experiments.

4. I use and regularly interact with 3 large on-campus services that buy a ton of products (IHC, Microscopy, and Animal Facilities).

In my mind, that influence is a lot more important than my grant money. A scientist like myself can push your products to 100s of others.  You just have to learn how to identify me.

Hint - Dont ask me if I have money to spend!

In my next article, I will write about some ways to train yourself or your sales staff to get this information from scientists and find Key Influencers = leads.

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