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

There, we do have your attention now, don’t we! More than tips to improve the process, it’s important to know how one can avoid the most common mistakes in B2B lead generation. So let’s get started, shall we?

It’s common knowledge that every organization tries to project itself as an enterprise that is different from competition. However, in attempting to show this, firms actually make themselves part of the same category, so to speak. Instead of talking about how one is different from the other, it’s better to talk about how the product or service being offered would help customers do thing s differently. To be honest, the prospect is never interested in knowing how one service provider or vendor is different from others. All they are concerned about is how can they get more value for money. Hence, working towards that objective would help get better results.

Also, B2B lead generation campaigns are often limited to achieving the desired target, i.e., selling the product or service, and that is the end of story. However, it’s a known fact that getting more revenue out of existing customers is easier than searching for new leads. Hence, one needs to stay in contact.

More on this in the next post…

 

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Coming to the final point, Time. When one makes contact with a prospect, it’s important to know when they are planning to make a buy. This could be anywhere close to 2 weeks to 6 months to even 1 year. True, one might not always have so much time at hand; after all, there are targets to meet! However, nothing can be achieved out of pursuing a prospect that does not have a need at that time. The best that can be done is to park the lead for future purposes. And just as mentioned in the previous posts, keeping in contact is of utmost importance.

So that’s it! These are the aspects one needs to know while doing effective sales lead generation using BANT, the universally accepted means of converting prospects into hot leads. That said, it’s also necessary to know whether or not a lead is worth pursuing, so to speak. Time is of essence in the B2B world, and one can only do so much if they are running in the wrong direction. And while these principles include both sales and marketing which are essentially different aspects of business, but in today’s world where a holistic approach works best, both these departments need to work together to achieve the objective.

 

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Continuing from the previous post…

The reason why it’s so important to get in touch with someone who has the power to make decisions (or is in contact with the decision making authorities) is because results would only come if one impresses the right people. There’s no point talking to someone who can’t really do much to help one’s cause (make a purchase or award a contract), or worse, someone who is not even from the relevant field. Hence, one must ensure at the beginning that the point of contact within the organization can serve the purpose or not.

‘Need’ is the next point, and refers to getting in touch with a firm when it needs a particular product or service. This might not always be the easiest things to do, considering that gauging the interest level of the prospect is quite a task. Nonetheless, it’s very important to strike when the iron is hot, so to speak, since there’s no point otherwise. In many contexts, ‘need’ is related to ‘budget’, since not only does the prospect need to actually have a requirement, it should also have the capacity to pay up, in colloquial terms.

 

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As mentioned in the previous post, it’s important that the company one is talking to regarding the product must have the capacity to purchase, i.e., the budget. However, just because the company does not have the capacity to spend at the moment of discussion does not mean that it can’t serve the purpose of being a lead for the future. The fact of the matter is that over the shortest period of time, the company’s revenue could multiply, or there could be a change in policies, or some other prevailing circumstance that suddenly swings the case back in favor of the firm selling the product or service. A very important aspect of sales lead generation is to always keep one’s eyes and ears open for recent developments and never write off a prospect.

Coming to the next point – authority. One can’t just rest on the laurels of the fact that a prospect with the required budget is on their list. It’s also important to understand that the person who is being contacted in the prospect firm should himself/herself have the authority to make a decision, or at least be in direct contact with the decision making authorities.

 

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Of late, the concept of BANT has found many takers in the corporate world, for the simple reason that it is one of the most effective means of qualifying new prospects gathered via numerous sales lead generation channels. This acronym stands for Budget, Authority, Need and Time. Even though this is a very traditional concept, its relevance is still pretty accurate for nearly all kinds of leads. And even though it does not help in measuring the interest levels of the prospect with regards to making a purchase, it does help in gauging his/her capacity to make a purchase.

The first point is Budget. Before doing any kind of business transition talks with a prospect, it’s important to know whether or not they have the capacity to pay for the product or service being offered. Quite obviously, a startup enterprise would not be able to afford comprehensive, full-fledged services, unless they are backed by a massively wealthy VC. Which is why special packages are crafted for different needs. However, sometimes even these packages are on the more expensive side for firms. So, it’s necessary to know that the company one is talking to has the budget to actually make the purchase.

More in the next post…

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As it gains momentum, the concept of lead scoring would be seen as an iterative process. So, as feedback is received from the market (via the sales team), the marketing team would spend more time making modifications to their lead scoring criteria and taking into account aspects they had previously ignored or left unmeasured. As this happens more often, lead scoring would soon gain the reputation of being an important tool to measure demand and control the capacity of leads being sent to the sales, resulting in a higher conversion rate and better optimization of resources.

Another benefit of lead scoring with regards to small business lead generation would be to initiate better conversations between marketing and sales teams. Since the lead scoring done be the former would translate into better success for the latter, the teams would interact with each other in a better manner. Sales, on their part, would share on-field experiences with the marketing teams, leading to even greater success. These discussions would lead to better collaboration and the setting up of pre-defined parameters for measuring success. Further, common terminologies will emerge, and the former pattern of working in isolation or with minimal cooperation with each other would slowly fade away.

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Resuming from where we left off…

Lead scoring is certainly going to have an impact on the way marketers treat the conventional processes, with regards to experimentation becoming more frequent. That social networks have had a significant impact on small business lead generation is hardly news, and business to business communication is increasingly becoming people to people communication. As this phenomenon continues to grow, there’s a certainty that lead scoring would be used to monitor individual behavior relation in relation to the company’s behavior. Needless to say, a single lead scoring method would not be sufficient to get the job done. The result? Marketers will come up with innovative means of lead scoring to deduce the individual’s as well as organization’s score. The earlier approach of setting a system in place and then letting it be is now obsolete.

With lead scoring playing such an important role in small business lead generation, social media will also come into the picture with regards to playing a more active role. As mentioned above, prospects are extremely active on social networks, and marketers would certainly look towards leveraging this phenomenon to their advantage by tracking and evaluating responses of their TG on similar social forums.

 

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For many, the very concept of lead scoring is a very new idea, but nevertheless, it’s a goldmine of opportunities when it comes to small business lead generation, since it allows businesses to be more productive and proactive in their approach, which helps them scale the ladder faster. Organizations can be more productive and see what the latest trends in the market are, understand how they can adapt to them, and lastly, achieve better results. However, this methodology is not about predicting which prospect will be more interested in buying the product or service on offer. it’s more about improving the efficiency of the team and the process.

Over a period of time, as scoring in small business lead generation becomes more commonplace, marketing teams would be expected to evolve in terms of their role. So, organizations would be able to identify the necessity of hiring more analysts and thinkers than conventional marketers, which would certainly go a long way in reaching the targets faster. Also, the available data would be analyzed in a much better manner, which would mean that the sales team would be able to close deals in a better manner, much to the delight of one and all!

 

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