The constant need for fresh b2b leads provides a chronic challenge for business to business firms. Not to mention that the competition for sales prospects even gets a lot fiercer and fiercer. If you want to be productive in terms of generating leads, you have to back up your present lead generation program with new sources.
A well-planned lead agenda would let you acquire the volume of your business leads from the old reliable methods whilst setting aside 10% of the corporate budget in order to test the new sources.
Here are some of the common direct marketing techniques:
- Telemarketing services. Though telephone numbers are getting difficult to come by for the market of b2b, still, lead generation through telemarketing is efficient and effective—more so if integrated with event marketing, direct mail and email. There are also outsourcing services firms who can provide reliable lead generation services.
- Referrals. This is an often neglected lead source. There are several methods on getting referral leads but you have to understand that when it comes to referrals, you have to ask them. Ask your colleagues, prospects and customers.
- Broadcast and print media. This involves radio, print and TV advertising. Even though they can be really efficient in creating awareness, these types of media are normally costly in terms of business to business lead generation. A word of advice though: just don’t invest the majority of your budget on broadcast or print media till you got the proven and recurring outcome.
- Social Media. the so-called subtle art medium of modern marketing, it takes advantage of the social media network to connect with prospects. Once it established, the marketer can nurture the prospects, turning them into qualified sales leads. While very effective in producing qualified B2B leads, it does have the drawback of being too slow for a businessman’s comfort.
Your business list of previous and present clients is by far your greatest resource of your new sales leads and prospects. It is only natural that sales prospecting for new customers can indeed be costly, not to mention a lengthy process. And if only you could find some alternatives in maximizing sales minus the hassles and expenses of advertising, cold calling, purchasing leads, will you be eager to put it into practice? Of course, why not, right?
Giving time and effort in order to keep in touch with previous clients would uplift your brand by way of new sales to the clients and then generating more referrals to qualified sales leads.
Experts signify that if you want to keep your brand or business name on your clients’ minds, you have to ‘touch’ your clients at least 14 times in a year. A ‘touch’ is any form of contact to your business leads and clients. It could be in a form of phone calls, emails, greeting cards, snail mail, postcards, personal meetings, or just about anything or any strategy how to get closer to your customers. You are ‘touching’ your prospects if you’re communicating with them.
So, what can be the best method to touch your previous customers? There’s no best way out there, instead, the most efficient communication techniques for your clients have many formats in communication.
Rather than sending out 14 greeting cards in a year, sending out 14 email messages, 14 snail mails or making 14 telephone calls may be better than nothing at all. Nevertheless, generating a campaign making use of a blend of these methodologies can be an efficient program. For example, setting up a marketing calendar to send over 5 emails, 3 snail mails, 2 telephone calls, 2 greeting cards, and a couple of postcards in a year lets you to communicate with your customer around once in each 3 and a half weeks in the course of the whole year.
Okay, granted you go with that method. What will you send them? What do you have to say at those 14 times in a year? The substance of your communication is equally valuable as what you sent over. This will prevent your pricey postcard or greeting card to be merely tossed to the garbage can. Meanwhile, if you send over communications which provide something interesting and valuable, it makes them pay more attention to you.
Prior to sending anything for your clients, the primary question asked by clients is, “Will this even add value to me?” Consider if your communication is “you-oriented” or will it add value to your customer? If your answer is that it won’t give value to your clients, then most likely, that communication of yours will simply go straight to the nearest trash bin.
What you need to send over doesn’t have to be that expensive or big; it can be simple but something valuable to your clients. You can do this by emailing them articles with topics which speaks about their interests, their acquisitions, etc. Make it all about them.
Your employees play an important part of your business. That is why you need to be able to get them on your side. Alienating them will not just be counter-productive, especially in the lead generation field, but it is also a very bad management practice. You do not want them to hate you since they can very well ruin your attempts at B2B leads telemarketing. But really, while you may profess that you are a good boss, how sure are you that you really are one? Who knows, you might be doing or saying things that may actually keep your people from doing their best in finding business leads. You’re probably not such a great boss if you identify with any of the following:
- You do not know what you are doing – you may have done this before, but it may be on a different business and on a different scale. In this case, you better do your home work well. Your people will appreciate it.
- You are a complete jerk – you may be the best in your type of business, but your behavior makes you look like a rock star with an over-inflated ego. That will not sit well with your people, who will feel less willing to stretch their necks out for you when the going gets tough.
- You do not do your job right – procrastinating, slowing down, or bringing irrelevant information to the meeting are just one of the things that can ruin employee expectations on you. Please, do better. Your sales leads are dependent on it.
What else do you think should you add?
There are times that the appointment setting process can get you frustrated when sales prospects are a no-show. Most sales and marketing experts know what to expect given a number of cancellations and no-shows. But then, if your prospects fail to appear more often than not, then it’s time to know the reasons behind it.
“I was not available because our boss called me for a meeting.” It can be possible that your business leads were not in their boss’ office, but he was actually anxiously preparing an important sales report which has to be submitted days ago. That brought him to a panic when his boss emailed him needing the report at 11 am. But your business appointment was set at 10:30 am.
How to handle this prospect? Just stay calm. Never presume that your prospect’s behavior is a sign that they’re not interested. But rather, give Mr. Prospect some space and consider rescheduling. He may still have that strong sense of panic—and strong interest in your product. Help your prospect save face; allow them to schedule the next business appointment.
No return calls, no apology. These silent no-shows are usually the easy ones to reschedule. The reason? You still haven’t heard the dreaded, “we’re not interested” words from the prospect.
How to handle this prospect? The only way to have this appointment rescheduled is simply by getting your prospect live on the telephone. When you reschedule these types of business appointments, sending emails or leaving messages won’t suffice. Just dial on the lead till you get him live and go on with your assumption that he is still keen to reschedule.
When you cut the response time when prospects make an inquiry about your business, the first thing that you might think is that you will be able to get more qualified B2B leads. Well, that is the normal reaction, since logic dictates that the less time you wait before replying, the more chances of getting sales leads. But what if it does not produce the desired results? No need to panic, since this can happen. After all, different industries have different results when it comes to changes in the response time. Is it bad? Not really. Maybe, if you can study more about it, then you can make a breakthrough. This might have an impact in the appointment setting field. You just need to remember three points:
- Understand what your customer needs – there are cases that rapidly replying to prospects will not make any impact in the number of business leads that you make. You need to understand how your market works and tailor your process along with it.
- Know what you are selling –that is one reason why some have difficulty in getting any sales leads. It is important that your telemarketing team knows what they are selling when prospects begin to ask questions.
- Test the waters –when you are using a new appointment setting process, it pays for you to test the system in a smaller target market. When you are sure it will work, then expand it.
Depending on your industry and the results of your test, you can alter your response time to bring in more b2b leads.
These days, one of the most important assets that you can ever take care of is your employees. After all, they are the ones who help your business prosper. Now, if you wish to make your appointment setting campaigns more effective, then you will need to get your employees to think in strategic terms. They must be able to plan ahead to generate more B2B leads. And you can help them become such people. All you have to do is to train them in the fine art of getting these sales leads. There are many ways for them to learn, bet the most important ones are:
- Let them ask questions – one way to encourage your employees to think critically is by encouraging them to ask questions. This will help them develop a more inquisitive mind, as well as a sharper eye for peculiar details when looking for business leads.
- Do not threaten them when you teach strategies – it is easy for us to send out veiled threats to your employees during training. Sure, that will get their attention, but it defeats the purpose of getting them to learn. Give them some space, and let them take things their way.
- Get them excited – excitement over a new business concept can win them over, and they will carry that over to their telemarketing work. This will help them get started better, as well as help you reach your goals.
Go on, give these a try. You will not be wrong in this.
When you feel like you are lost, or perhaps overwhelmed with your lead generation work, maybe it is time for you to take a step back and see for yourself if you are doing things right. If you feel that your way of getting B2B leads seems wrong or lacking, maybe you need a little guidance from business mentors. After all, these people have been around longer than you are, and they can provide you with useful insights in generating more business leads. But, as the person who seeks help, what should you expect from mentors?
- They ask the questions – good mentors will ask you a lot of questions, so be ready with your answers. And take note, they will not solve your problems. They will just show you that you already know how to solve your problem. All you need is to act on it.
- They show the path – the best mentors are those who show you where you should go. They will not lead the way, since this is all up to you. They will teach you how to be independent in planning strategies, like with your telemarketing campaign.
- They make you move – great mentors will compel you to take action. They will goad you to move on, to take control of your company’s future. They believe you can get more sales leads. All they have to do is to give you a little push.
Simply put, great mentors will serve as a pillar of support for you. You will need that kind of help in your lead generation campaign.
(The first of a three part series.)
It may be true that you have a very good product or service that you can sell to your prospects. You know that it will be very useful, and that companies will need them. The problem here is, you are not getting enough B2B sales leads from your telemarketing team. You might wonder why this is so. There are plenty of reasons why you are having a hard time getting sufficient business leads in your lead generation campaign.
- Telemarketers seem too self-centered – one of the main reasons why business prospects are turned off is because of your business representatives who only have an idea about what they need. Prospects want to talk to experts in their industries, not someone peddling their wares. They want solutions to problems, they do not want to answer questionnaires.
- Too much focus on products or services – what you offer will not set you apart. Instead, you should offer knowledge about your prospect’s business and how you can provide an excellent solution to meet the prospect’s needs. You need to be able to create a connection between your prospect’s business and what you have.
- Look at the little details – sometimes, you just have to be careful with the little details. If you are late or if you give a less than stellar presentation, your prospects will not became business leads for you. You have to be very good in organizing your marketing team so that your prospects will be impressed.
Customer service is, and will always be, the magic word for many businesses. And why not? This is the reason why firms can still stay in businesses. As long as they can keep their business prospects happy, then firms will be able to snag that business deal. Yes, even if you do not have them as customers yet, customer service still plays a big role. Think about lead generation services, where a firm is in need of better business deals in order to get better chances of making a profit. All you need is a good medium, like telemarketing, to reach customers better.
In terms of customer service, being able to address what your business prospects need during a call can be a great deal of help. Think about how to best get their attention, in the most courteous way possible. Naturally, you will want to know what their concerns are, and what solutions they have been using. From there, you can figure out how to offer a viable solution to them. Of course, this should not be presented in a rather rude or sales-talk like manner. Rather, you should cultivate more the image that you company is a source of business solutions. Such a service is something business prospects appreciate a lot more, making them more likely to become your clients in the future.
Yes, customer service is an important way to gain favor with your customers. But this is not just for them. In the increasingly interconnected business world of today, every little contact you have with other business firms will help.
Creativity can be said to be the soul of every business. Without creativity, businesses will not be able to deal with the changing times. And times are changing fast. You will need to deal with these changes as fast and creatively as you can. This is an observation common in appointment setting campaigns, where the goal is to generate as much B2B sales leads as you can. But this is where the interesting part comes in: how do you increase the rate of creativity of your people? The answer might surprise you, since that is a no. But if the answer is no, then what is the use of motivational tools being peddled in the market?
The answer lies in the concept of creativity itself. Creativity and productivity are not constants in people. Sometimes, you feel like you can change the world. There are also times that you feel like that you really are out. That is to be expected. People are not robots that you can just make several adjustments to increase productivity. In the area of appointment setting services, you need to observe your employee’s productivity and the times that he produces at the maximum. Once you get the flow and the trend, you can craft telemarketing schedules that can maximize his output. But if you feel lost in doing this, then just observe your people. You can pretty much tell when they are acting like powerhouses.
This can help make your lead generation campaign an easier job to do.