Lock-Ins and Lead Generation – A Wise Decision?

Lock-Ins and Lead Generation – A Wise Decision?:from Business 2 Community 
On the basic level, lead generation starts with interest. And once you get that interest, you need to maintain it. In some cases however, this need to retain a customer’s interest can cause some vendors to resort to lock-in. For a rough definition, lock-ins are when a company creates products that exclusively work well together but not so much with everything else.

Can Software Leads Come Out Of Lock-Ins?

Lock-ins are not exclusive to any industry be they B2C or B2B. The phenomenon ranges from simple toys having their own exclusive, interchangeable parts to entire ERP systems that come with exorbitant switching costs. Either case, using lock-ins to maintain customer interest is not only risky but also questionable. People can accuse you of attracting ERP leads only to lure companies into an elaborate trap.Lead Generation, B2B Lead Generation, Sales Leads
On the other hand, there are strategies that, despite potentially leading to lock-ins, come with both marketing and sales benefits:
  • It gives you a unique brand identity.
  • It is a hard-hitting answer against competition.
  • It can turn you into an industry leader.
You still need to be careful though. Remember, these marketing strategies can come at the cost of your customers. Make sure to mitigate these costs or you will definitely give them the feeling of being trapped:
  • Customer freedom – More specifically, how much can they accomplish with your software? Are you willing to give advice for every unique process or function that they might request? Can you surely guarantee that they will have everything they need from you?
  • Manipulating costs – Do you rely purely on giving discounts and promos to maintain this loyalty? Do your marketers focus more on what how you are playing with the price tag or what your researchers and experts actually develop? Better yet, do any of these lower costs have ties to that development?
  • Maintaining quality – Speaking of which, no amount of marketing and B2B lead generation can substitute for the actual quality of your products. Can your products continue to deliver so much even as your competitors will be racing close behind? The slightest trip or loss of speed can send you crashing down and lose you your place (and to an extent, could take your customers down with you).
The importance of knowing these risks is not to really to discourage you from employing strategies that could really establish your brand identity. Rather, these should simply tell you the kind of you standards you are setting your company up for. Done right, it can springboard your business. Done wrong, your business will be selling things that come with many strings attached.
Your decision could also play its own role in establishing your brand identity. What if compatibility with other systems and hardware becomes your selling point? On the flip side, if you truly believe that you offer a very unique, revolutionary product, then that could be your calling. Either way, it all depends on how much you know your market. Always remember that when targeting ERP sales leads, any strategy should ultimately benefit your customer.

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