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  • Writer's pictureMatt Aird

The three types of leads your business needs

In the book Impossible to Inevitable Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin do a great job of outlining what it takes to scale a recurring revenue business from 0 to millions of dollars per year. At Sales Science we decided to deliver you the best takeaways from that book in a series of blog posts. This is the first in a series and centres on the three kinds of leads your business will need if it’s going to grow consistently and predictably.

The fuel you need to grow your business are leads. Without new potential customers to engage with, growth is difficult if not impossible as your existing customers leave. Now there’s a number of ways that businesses can generate leads but they can all be classified into one of three buckets. Seeds, Nets or Spears.


Satisfied customers who tell other customers via word of mouth;

  • Seeds are generated using word-of-mouth or relationship marketing.

  • Seed-style leads are low cost but low control (it can be hard to multiply the number you generate)

  • Consistent Seed generation relies on reporting around customer satisfaction

Steps to getting seeds

  • Customer Satisfaction is 500% more important than sales. It should be considered your primary means of growth

  • Hire a Customer Success Manager, then another every $ 2 million in your company’s annual revenue. Hire in advance

  • Make Customer Satisfaction the KPI of your Success Manager

  • Visit customers in person

  • Use good metrics to understand who’s happy and who isn’t without them necessarily having to tell you


Leads generated through content and inbound marketing;

  • Nets are wide cast acts to gain attention, they are indirect and reliant on customers noticing and coming to you

  • Quantity>Quality. Less than 3% will convert into sales

  • Many forms of nets have an initial cost outlay however once established can continue generating revenue - e.g. educational videos, blog posts, interviews etc

  • Provides metrics about what clients want - you can see what converts and what doesn’t

  • Establishes trust - a business that engages in marketing appears more legitimate than those that don’t


Leads generated from active outbound prospecting and targeted marketing.

  • Offers predictable growth

  • Necessary when attracting larger companies.

  • Difficult when convincing prospects to replace an existing solution as opposed to adopting something new and innovative

Steps to good outbound:

  • Large contracts

  • Easily to communicate value proposition

  • High level of differentiation compared to the competition/alternatives

By developing lead generation strategies in each of these three buckets you’ll see more consistent deal flow and remove the risk associated with reliance on a single channel.

If you’re looking for some help implementing a spears lead generation programme let us know and we can arrange a time to chat.

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