You may be in a position to outsource IT sales lead generation but that does not mean you do it 100% without the approval of others. You can even be the guy who needs no paper work done and still your decision to outsource should be (and will be) exposed to those who would like to have something to say. You do not want a lead generation process to bring in potential customers who your people are not used to working for!
Tag Archives: b2b lead generation
We often have customer services programs in place in order to keep our customers happy – we all feel real glad when we can call or chat with someone that has a possible solution to our problems with certain products and services. One question which you can ask as a marketer though, is if customer service can help with lead generation? Well, it doesn’t seem like it… or can it?
Whatever method you employ for lead generation, there is always the risk of angering someone. It is just a natural part of marketing. Whether it is having your ear shouted off over the phone or getting cussed out in an email response, these things can happen in any lead generation campaign.
However, you might develop a tendency to assume that having anger either on your end or that of your prospect’s means you have done something wrong. On the contrary that is not always the case. There are just too many reasons for why blow-ups occur during lead generation, be it telemarketing, email or any other medium. What you really need to do is understand where the anger is coming from and if it even is indicative of anything significant to your lead generation strategy.
There are times when you use lead generation to invite several business leaders at once to an event in which you hope to market to them all at once. A similar thing happens in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. When the pirates find their very way of life threatened by colonial tyranny, they summon the Brethren Court: an assembly of the world’s seven most notorious Pirate Lords to make their stand. You want a more similar case in lead generation? That is actually akin to calling leaders you would rather not but circumstances require you to work with them.
So you admit that telemarketing is far from dead and realize that the phone is still an effective tool for communicating with your prospects. However, you say your business already has (or at least can invest) in its own call center. Do you really still need to outsource a firm in the telemarketing industry? Actually, there’s still a lot more than what you might need for lead generation.
More specifically, you’ll need more of the same thing.
Now what does this mean? Well the good news is, you won’t have to worry about adding anything new. The bad news is your call center might be too small in terms of size to manage a lead generation campaign and at the same time, perform its other functions.
In case you’ve forgotten, companies who have call centers don’t automatically use them for generating sales leads. Half the time their actual purpose is customer support. Even today, businesses still leave their phone numbers alongside email addresses and websites because there are customers (both B2B and B2C) who also prefer the phone as a communication tool. Below is a short list of signs your call center might not be enough:
- Clashing calls – While your agents are busy making outbound marketing calls to prospects, they suddenly get interrupted by incoming customer support calls. This is the worst kind of multi-tasking. Agents should try and remain focused on just one function as much as possible.
- Keeping callers waiting – You do not want to keep callers waiting, especially in customer support. Often times this slow service has been the subject of ridicule both inside and outside the business world. Unfortunately, this can happen to your call center if its making too many calls and receiving more or less the same volume at the same time. Just like your agents, your network needs to reduce the strain that volume is placing. Likewise, you don’t want these inbound calls slowing down your telemarketers either. Speed is critical for any lead generation campaign.
- Time zones – These days, it’s no longer just large corporations who are going global. Medium-sized companies can already start targeting prospects abroad through online channels and advanced communication technology. The same goes for their customer base. Unfortunately, having customers in one region and prospects in another could very well have your agents up all day and night!
A call center with that much work to do does not sound like a healthy work environment (nor is it even ethical). That’s why companies who have their own call centers should still review what they constructed them for. If your business has only been using one for customer support, then you might need to check its capacity if it can bear the additional weight of a B2B lead generation campaign. If not, then perhaps it might be better for you to outsource your outbound telemarketers. It doesn’t even have to mean that you’re doing away with the resources you invested in your own. You can still retain your own call center for customer support, as you had originally intended. You just need to remember that investing in one doesn’t always mean it’s good enough for lead generation.
Some companies have trouble targeting small businesses for B2B lead generation (their size obviously being the cause). Although the finer details of how this trouble arises need to be considered because they’re still a market for many industries like accounting and tax consulting. The sooner you actually know what these obstacles are, the sooner you can find a way around them.
Now being a small business usually has some of the implications:
- Address – Some small businesses are actually home-based. Therefore, contact information on them coincides with their personal contact data. This comes with a lot of risks both for the business owner and any other company that would want to do business with them. For the owner, it makes it easier to publicize the location of their home without knowing. Anyone looking for the owner would have an easier time because their home address is also on business directories. For other businesses, contacting through traditional means like direct mail and telemarketing services could lead to unpleasant situations if those end up received by anyone else living with the owner.
- Budget – This shouldn’t surprise you. A small business naturally implies a smaller budget. That’s why large companies have to think twice about marketing high-end service packages or products to all their prospects. If even just one of them turned out to be a small business incapable of affording it, you will leave a very bad impression. (For one thing, it might make them feel like you accidentally placed them in the same audience as large business patrons with equally large expectations of their finances.) You will always have to consider budget anyways so don’t waste on a marketing effort when it misses such a basic detail.
- Decision Maker – Small businesses also tend to be a little understaffed. This is a good opportunity for anyone who wants some of their business processes outsourced to them. On the other hand, making that first contact with the decision maker can be tough when that decision maker ends up wearing a lot of hats. A decision maker who conducts several processes and has several positions under his or her belt isn’t unheard of (even in medium-sized businesses). Make sure you do a little background check on their company (you can even try looking them up on Facebook or LinkedIn). First determine who’s really in charge of what before contacting them with something more direct.
- Schedule – Another thing that makes a small business owner similar to a regular consumer is their schedule. No doubt even running a small business can keep someone very busy but that doesn’t mean they still don’t have plans outside of running it. The solution here is to simply be considerate and realize that they’re still people. They want time for themselves and it’s not really a good idea to compel them to change their schedule. Better yet, try to predict which particular days of the week that such people are more comfortable having a business meeting on. You can even suggest simpler forms of conferences like a set period of talking over the phone.
Small businesses shouldn’t be underestimated but they’re still small. They don’t have a large budget, work force, working environment, and neither does their schedule automatically resemble that of a business professional. And like all things of a small size, that makes them hard to target. Don’t feel helpless though and just give up. Analyze their unique traits and re-evaluate your approaches. Maybe all you needed was to adjust the size of your marketing to fit them.
Money can be no more than the objective of a business than eating is the objective of living. Without which, success would only be a daydreaming affair. The presence of it enables not only American businessmen to meet various expenditures and face stage of recession but also the rest of the entrepreneurs across the globe. With enough bucks, anyone can provide finance for expansion but with inefficient profit margin to cover expenses, all businesses will really be in trouble. Good news is that telemarketing companies are here today to help you lower expenses and increase profit. Read the rest of this entry »