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2013 January | B2B Lead Generation,Inside Sales,Appointment Setting,Telemarketing and Outsourcing | The Global Associates
From the monthly archives: January 2013

Small Business Lead GenerationGetting the right answers is often just a matter of asking the right questions. And there are just three most important ones when it comes to small business lead generation.

  • Do customers understand the solution? Many times, customers don’t even realize how the product or service being offered can transform their business. The most common thought that comes to the mind is that the service provider is try to sell them something they don’t need, and it’s an uphill climb trying to convince them otherwise
  • Can they afford the solution being offered? Impressing clients or customers with the quality and utility of the brand offering is only half the battle won, simple because one also needs to make sure that they can pay for the same. This is one of the most common lead generation mistakes with disappointment towards the end of the sales pitch!
  • What can you do? There are times when it’s a level playing field, with both parties stating their points. Giving valuable suggestions that can help improve the business is a great way to book a place in the good books of the client

Once the answers of these three questions are in place, an organization can analyze the situation and decide the future course of action.

 

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Small Business Lead GenerationOne of the most tempting propositions in the domain of small business lead generation is that of criticizing the competitor’s offering, if the prospect is using them. This trend can be seen across all kinds of industries, and seems to be quite the easy way to go about things. However, what sales and marketing teams often ignore in this context is the fact that while one is seemingly proving how the product or service being offered is better than the one the customer is currently using, one is also treading on thin ice side by side, since the customer’s intelligence is being questioned.

So, while one might think that it’s a very smart idea to generate sales prospects and convert them into customers, it’s not always the easiest of tasks to accomplish when every word can lead to the lead being closed forever (pun intended!). So, instead of just being targeted at inspiring the prospect to discontinue their association with their present service provider, it’s a much better idea to deliver constructive criticism, i.e., suggesting things that can be done to help the business, and then gradually drawing attention towards the brand offering.

More in the next post…

 

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Small Business Lead GenerationPre-qualification can arguably be referred to as the most under-rated procedures in small business lead generation, in spite of the fact that it’s an essential and extremely rewarding step in the process. During the course of getting in touch with new clients, one can ask qualifying questions that can not only set up the base for lead scoring, but also help in managing leads better. Since one obviously wants to generate the highest quality leads, it’s necessary to know whether the lead in question fits the bill or not. Because if it does not, then there’s no point even going further than the first call.

Often, marketing teams don’t want to make the extra effort during their small business lead generation, since they are constantly in a very aggressive mode, trying to expand operations by showing results. However, sales and marketing must get along towards the common goal of getting leads of better quality and closing them. Agreed, these departments have different roles, but if marketing does not attract good quality leads, there’s very little sales can do to achieve targets, which impacts the entire organization. For this purpose, telemarketing is generally the best way forward, as it involves a human angle.

 

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Small Business Lead GenerationScoring leads and segmenting data are among the most widely accepted industry norms. And for a good reason, since they ensure the efforts of the sales and marketing team are well rewarded. However, they require significant time and effort, which is often a deterring factor. Lead volume is another concern that stops firms from lead scoring, while segmentation can be done as many times without any apprehension! However, small business lead generation is greatly impacted by these factors. The reason is that quality always supersedes quantity, and the time, effort and resources being spent on pursuing inappropriate leads are most certainly a waste.

So, lead scoring, and then chucking out poorly performing leads should be the order of the day, because the sooner it is done, the better it is for the ROI. Agreed, small enterprises and startup firms may not be able to afford the luxury of omitting leads with little potential permanently, but at least these can be put on the backburner for a while, so that the genuinely high quality leads can be focused on, resulting in better conversion rates and consequently, more revenue and better growth!

 

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Often, startups find it hard to get the desired kind of leads mostly because they are up against the behemoths of the industry. However, they are following the same small business lead generation techniques that are being used by their contemporaries, whereas what is needed is the extra effort to convince prospects that the organization is interested in their business. For this, it’s imperative that the firm utilize a technique known as activity targeting.

Small Business Lead GenerationThis entails keeping all the activities associated with a product in mind while planning the small business lead generation strategy. For instance, if the organization sells watches, then it’s not necessary that the activity be recent, for a person who loved watches a couple of years ago would, in all likelihood, still love watches. So, one can always connect with them and promote the brand’s product range, i.e., watches. Another example could be deducing whether or not a person would be interested in the product or service offered based on the knowledge of a particular liking or interest. For instance, if someone loves to go to the movies, they would most probably need a taxi service. So, such ancillary services can also be promoted to get the job done!

 

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B2B Lead GenerationThis is the last straw in the series of 13 common mistakes, and like all the rest, is a very common phenomenon. The top brass at organizations are a very perturbed lot, and showcase this peculiar characteristic more often than one would expect. Even the slightest debacle gets them all stiff-necked and ready to drop the bombs on each other in boardrooms. There are more discussions on what went wrong than how to rectify things, and that is where time, energy and resources are wasted. And all the B2B lead generation efforts go down the drain!

Over-thinking is a major problem, particularly in larger organizations. What with all the protocols and reporting. Simplifying things is the key to getting more out of B2B lead generation. True, it’s important to understand what went wrong, but there’s no need to get stuck up on the fallacies. It’s more essential to resolve the matter at hand first.

And with that, we are at the end of one of our longest-running series on lead generation. All the pointers mentioned herewith are not specific to any particular industry or market, and work universally for any firm. We hope you utilize this information and drive greater success year on year.

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Organizations, or to be more specific, marketing teams across the world have a habit of clinging on to the winning formula long after it has lost its utility. And this is when high expectations hit rock bottom with the ground realities. Just because a plan or strategy has worked in the past does not guarantee its effectiveness in the present times. However, we do not suggest that you start afresh from the drawing board, but the way to ensure that past experiences serve as stepping stones for future successes is to constantly evolve and innovate in terms of the strategy and tactics used to achieve the desired result via B2B lead generation.

For instance, over the years, many new channels of getting the message across to the TG have come up, social media being the most recent. So, if the brand was doing B2B lead generation via email marketing or tele-calling, they now have another medium to leverage for getting more business.  Further, there may be more opportunities to benefit from conventional channels like trade shows, conferences, etc. depending on the kind of domain the firm is operating in. Summing it up , it’s all about constantly being active in terms of implementation and trying new things.

 

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Let’s face it, there are going to be quite a few cases when the sales are going to be impacted almost immediately if one suddenly steps on the gas and does B2B lead generation and undertakes marketing initiatives all at once. However, such tactics are not long-lasting in any manner. One might experience a spike for a couple of months, and then witness a downfall. The reason why this happens is because the concept of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is truer in the present context than ever. Customers, regardless of whether it’s the B2B or B2C domain, need to be constantly reminded of the existence, for the lack of a better word, of a service provider.

If this is not done, then competition can easily gnaw into the share of any firm. The only difference may be that if it’s a pretty big player, then many small players can walk away with their share of the pie. And if it’s a small to medium scale company, the risk of losing out to competing firms is even greater, since one has many organizations that are on the same or higher level. Hence, B2B lead generation needs to be a sustained activity.

 

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