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2012 September | B2B Lead Generation,Inside Sales,Appointment Setting,Telemarketing and Outsourcing | The Global Associates
From the monthly archives: September 2012

While indulging in B2B lead generation, prospects play the most vital role, quite obviously because they are the focal point of all the marketing and advertising initiatives. However, it’s important to understand that prospects don’t go searching for product or service providers whenever there is a product launch or upgrade. They also don’t suddenly become active when a certain number of leads are needed to complete targets. Their main concern is to fulfill their requirements, and that means they can be as unpredictable as the London weather. So, one always needs to be prepared, and more importantly, be visible at all times.

Hence, a major chunk of B2B lead generation initiatives is constituted by replacing sudden advertising spurts with sustained year-long campaigns, so that whenever prospects are ready to give their business to a worthy suitor, the brand is always visible as a likely prospect for the prospect! Practically speaking, this means that big, colorful ads in newspapers would have to be replaced by black and white commercials every fortnight, or taking a smaller booth at a trade show to spread the budget spends across different important events. There’s no telling where one can strike gold, but by showing up at many places, one considerably increases the prospects of finding a prospect!

 

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A rather generalized statement about B2B lead generation campaigns is that they need to be focused towards a particular demographic that has qualified all segmentation filters and is perfect for the business. The constituents of this demographic are people who are most likely to buy the product or service being offered, as they have the inclination and capacity to do so. However, there are many types of customers one is selling to, within that demographic, which is also referred to in common parlance as the committee. The size of this committee depends on many factors like how large is the purchase, how big the organization making the purchase is, etc.

It is a known fact that even commonplace purchases by small organizations require the approval of at least 2-3 people. So, when one is talking about a large order to a huge corporation, it’s understandable that nearly 8-10 people would be involved. Hence, the kind of media used and the offers presented must also be more than just a handful, so as to get the message across to everyone involved in the cycle.

More in the next post…

 

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B2B lead generation always incorporated a segment of direct response marketing in the overall mix, like direct mailers and fish bowls at trade shows. However, when it comes to internet marketing, measuring how many leads one has scored is a deciding factor in planning the course of action for the future. Needless to say, this was a big leap for marketers who were, till now, living in a hypothetical world, quoting numbers at the drop of a hat and defining strategies based on assumptions. Suddenly, terms like open rate, click-through rate, website traffic and ad clicks began to define the success of a campaign. And this is where the concept of statistics driving tactics was born.

B2B Lead Generation

B2B Lead Generation

Getting used to identifying the impact of each of these numbers did take marketers quite a long time, but the effort was well worth the wait. Since now, they could get a better picture of how their budgets can be utilized in a better manner. With competition increasing by the day and revenues not necessarily increasing proportionately, this was a big boon, and has contributed to the success of many of today’s most prominent firms.

More in the next post…

 

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B2B marketers were a lot slower in jumping on to the online marketing bandwagon compared to their B2C compatriots, and the reason was not because they thought it was a better idea, but rather because they knew there was no other choice if they wanted to survive. At the brink of the new millennium, every marketer had a single point agenda – to get more leads at a lower cost. This was one of the primary reasons why B2B lead generation via the internet was such a huge success.

Also, many B2B marketers evolved new ways of shifting their marketing focus online, which meant replacing print brochures with PDFs, postal newsletters with email newsletters and print advertisements with online ads. Within a period of just 2 years, internet marketing accounted for a double digit slot in the annual budgets for B2B firms. Also, the fact that many of these tactics worked even better than expected was an additional bonus. However, the current scenario calls for a combination of online and offline advertising, with prudent use of spends to drive maximum benefit – a fact made possible only by the cash crunch that happened around a decade ago, even though the solution still needs a few more years of research and trial-and-error.

 

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Many experts are of the opinion that the present time is one of the most dynamic stages of the B2B lead generation revolution, so to speak. Over the last decade, there have been remarkable changes in strategy, budgets, methodology and tactics used to achieve the business objectives. And even though the internet has certainly been responsible for most of these changes, it is not the only factor. The first observation in this regard is that field sales teams have more challenges to face. Even in small and medium sized organizations, professional in the domain have to focus only on the short term goals, i.e., closing the deals for the month or quarter. It really seems as if there is no time for prospect research or lead nurturing.

Also, in many markets, the sales consideration cycle has increased in its time duration, mostly because so many more people are now responsible for taking a call on what to purchase. There is now a time lag of weeks, months or even a year before a prospect can be qualified as a customer, which is the stage where the field stage professionals do their bit. In such a scenario, marketers around the world have begun to assign more resources for the purpose of closing deals faster.

 

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Continuing from the previous post…

B2B appointment setting calls for optimizing travel time to a large extent, since if one can’t understand the important of utilizing every moment, a lot of time would be wasted on trivial pursuits. So, to ensure that one reaches the objective faster, it’s best to ask the client to meet at a common place, or better yet, to come over to one’s office location, although the latter is more of a utopian scenario. Further, as suggested in the previous post, if one can avoid personal interactions altogether, or go for technology to take the step forward, it’s a much better and smarter strategy.

Next, too many professionals fall into the trap of not preparing for the appointment. Reading the necessary information, preparing presentations, and similar steps also need time. Hence, one has to leave room for the same if he/she is to succeed in achieving the desired objective. Experts also suggest that it’s best to leave time for a 15-20 minute session to prepare for the appointment. One can go through important information and other details that prove to be useful later. Also, after the meeting, one should leave time to analyze the results of the interaction. Such simple efforts pay off big time in the later stages!

 

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Continuing from the previous post…

During the course of B2B appointment setting, one must refrain from using some really high-tech software that nobody has heard of or is accustomed to using. Oftentimes, business executives, in a bid to show how up to date they are with the latest software, make the mistake of conversing over a platform the other person is not familiar with. The result? The latter spends most of the time trying to figure out how things work. There are regular deviations from the topic at hand, and the result is not nearly as satisfying as it should have been. So, it’s best to keep things simple.

B2B appointment setting, B2B appointment setting in india

B2B appointment setting, B2B appointment setting in india

Also, while B2B appointment setting is definitely a very lucrative proposition in interacting with clients, one has to figure out whether the appointment is actually needed or not. Having a face-to-face interaction just because one feels a more personal touch is needed would not serve its purpose. Reiterating the first point of this blog series, one needs to have an agenda in mind before fixing an appointment. For instance, there are many appointments that are set up just to hand over documents. If the document is short enough to be sent through post or emailed, and discussed over a phone call, there’s not a reason one should fix up an appointment for the same.

 

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