Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Appointment Setting Process And Its Ties To Productivity

You may have heard it before but this benefit of appointment setting is so important, it bears repeating. Your business will not last long if you ever have lesser and lesser work to do. And by work, it is not necessarily the stressful labor that many in the business world associate with the word.

As a matter of fact, stress will only result because your rate of productivity is highly unstable and worse, highly unsustainable.

Sales Leads – Another Form Of Business Fuel

Businesses require a lot of resources to keep running. They need money. They need time. They also need opportunities.

That last one is what your lead generation process is supposed to provide. Without opportunity, your production is wasted. And with wasted production, you end up wasting both money and time.

Granted, there are many attributes that need measuring in order to fully map-out how productive your leads are making you. The following lists some of the major ones so make sure to always keep them in check:

  • Lead quality – How informative are the leads? Do they have everything your salespeople need in order to deliver a successful appointment presentation? Never forget that a qualified lead is more than just a name and an email address. You want to save your salespeople the trouble of constantly asking the basics and getting straight to the bigger challenges that prospects might have.

  • Company resources – Money and time are not the only resources of your company has. Make sure that the leads you have generated are not done so at a rate that is too much beyond the capacity of your other business processes. This is not only a note for your marketers but also for your salespeople. Secondly, you should not also be expending so much on marketing itself (especially when it is not even the core of your business).

  • Cost evaluation – Make sure that you organize your costs properly. This is not just your accountant's responsibility. If you cannot check if your in-house lead generator is eating too much of your finances, you might as well outsource an appointment setting company to have a more definitive cost. And even then, make sure to remember that quality should still be maintained in order to further justify the decision.

When marketers (both within companies and in independent providers) clash with other parts of your business, that is a sign that your productivity is being compromised. The key to making it productive for you is to make sure that it does not demand more than it has to.

Once more, it is not just about generating leads nonstop or making sure that marketing does not eat up too many resources. It is about using that control to stabilize its place in your productivity. Your main objective should always be to generate sales leads that keep a stable amount of work flowing in!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Use Telemarketing To Help Forgetful Prospects

While poor memory can be quite unprofessional, some prospects cannot always help it. Therefore, you should try using direct tools like telemarketing to serve as reminders. It is not just simply limited to follow-ups or appointment reminders (though those count too). You should pay attention to the different ways a telemarketing can come in handy when a prospect makes forgetful mistakes.

Mistakes That Telemarketers Can Fix

  • Hastily filled contact forms - There are smaller and more subtle ways that a prospect's forgetfulness can compromise the sales process and it can happen at the very start of the sales process. In this case, it is your contact form. With many businesses (even telemarketers themselves) using websites to increase their exposure, there comes the increased use of online forms to obtain contact details from a prospect. On the other hand, some prospects can be so much in a rush that they only fill in the basic boxes while not giving so much as a greeting. As you are well ware, contact details are not the same as sales leads. Your lead generator will need more information to qualify (e.g. budget, business industry, appointment details). That is why a phone call makes for a quick follow-up. The best part is the conversation does not have to take too long. You are only reminding a prospect that they filled a form but have not said anything else. This gives you an opportunity to learn more about them, starting with how they would like to have an actual conversation in the future. 
Related Content: B2B Lead Generation Tips: Tip #7 – Combining Strategies 
  • Sudden lack of return calls – You know a prospect is interested. You could tell it from not just their voice but from the actual affirmation that they want to talk further. However, when a prospect fails to return a call, then it is clearly a sign that something must have taken up your slot in their memory. In that case, use your B2B telemarketing service to call back yourself and remind them. Also take note of what caused them to forget. It would be rather strange that they expressed so much interest only to stop calling for a while. Who knows? You might learn of a few more unexpected details that could be brought up during your actual appointment. 
Related Content: B2B Lead Generation – Traits That Need To Be Analyzed When Targeting Small Businesses
  • Forgotten appointment – When a prospect forgets to show up, it could be the worst case scenario for your telemarketers but it could also be the critical chance to keep it from happening again. The moment you hear about this complaint from salespeople, get your marketers to call that prospect as soon as possible. Find out if they really forgot and why. And since it has already happened, control the damage via rescheduling so that not everything will be a total waste. The advantage you have now is that you know a prospect is prone to forgetfulness so you can be sure to prioritize appointment reminders. 
Please remember though that prospects are only human. Avoid being rude and demanding when their forgetfulness has become a bit of a stumbling block to their qualification. They are still potential customers after all so you have to be considerate. There could be just as many valid reasons to forget as there are invalid ones. With that in mind, you yourself must not forget to only use professional, B2B telemarketers to remind them.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Too Obsolete For Sales Leads? You Might As Well Outsource To Find Out

Obsolete. That is a powerful word to use against a business, if not an entire industry. Once you see that label placed, businesses start kissing their sales leads good-bye. Who would want a service or a product that nobody seems to need any more?

Use Telemarketing To Be Sure

Well if you are really going to think that way, you should at least see for yourself just to be sure. More specifically, why not hear it straight out of prospects' mouths? Do you really want to bank the future of your business all because you stumbled upon statistics that lambasted your industry?

If you really think it is time to pack your bags, you might as well finish up with something simple like outsourcing telemarketers to hear your prospect's final say. At the most, you might learn that you are giving up too soon and at the very least, you can tell yourself for certain that you put up one last fight.

The best part is outsourcing comes with a lot of perks that makes this plan all the more easy for you:

  • It is cheap: You do not have to worry about spending too much money or time just overseeing the whole thing yourself. If this is going to be your final marketing run, it might as well be easy on your pocket. And the more experienced the telemarketer, the faster you can get it over and done with minus the risk of undermining the quality of results. 
Related Content: B2B Appointment Setting: Why Should You Outsource? [INFOGRAPHICS]
  • Real results: The results you get are of your own making and are not simply on the word and deed of a third party. And even if some people might accuse you of picking your sample, you at least know that this sample still sees a lot of value in your business. On the flip-side, you have also harder evidence on why your industry could be facing obsolescence. That knowledge comes with its own power: finding something else to try. 
  • Giving effort to the very end: Sentimental as it may sound, it is better to have one last attempt to get as many B2B sales leads as possible than just simply sit there and let them go by. No matter how terrible the results may be, you manage to at least make a few more sales before throwing in the towel. 
Besides, it is not truly the end is it? While being rendered obsolete can be a crippling experience, it always teaches the same but powerful lesson: never give up. Sure, you might think that nobody needs what you have anymore but are you sure that you are not limiting yourself? Maybe it could be time to develop new ideas or simply switch to a different market. Try to expand your range of application and just create different approaches to more unique prospects.

Related Content: Wide Lead Generation Can Run Into Very Unique Prospects

Ultimately, just because you have been considered obsolete somehow is no excuse to just get on your knees and die quietly. You may have your back to the wall but the rest of your body can still move. Outsource to lead generation companies to find out if the game is really over or you have only just begun!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lead Generation Services – When And When Not To Give Your Own List

Outsourcing lead generation can be convenient if you want to focus more on what matters to your business. However, you have to be careful when it comes to choosing between giving them your own list or letting them use their own information.

The Quality Of Business Leads Depends On Quality Of Information

Do not assume that this about whether one party has less reliable data. In fact, you should always consider the possibility of both. Do not take too much pride in your own database and nor have too much confidence in your provider. It all boils down to an objective evaluation of who has the most appropriate information for B2B leads. As a matter of fact, even if you are both reputable parties, that does not rule the need to use contact data that fits well with the overall marketing strategy.

For example, if you are manning an email campaign, then your email addresses must be accurate by corresponding to matching online properties such as website and social media profiles. If you are running a telemarketing campaign, then utilize the information that has the reliable phone numbers and business addresses.

Related Content: Understanding B2B Telemarketing

To further elaborate, the following lists a few more specific scenarios and which one should call you to use your information or that of your clients.
  • Your target market is unfamiliar to your provider – There are times when you will limit yourself to a provider that does not know the market you are targeting. This does not automatically mean companies that lack industry expertise. Different niche markets can still exist even under the same umbrella. This only means that this is one situation where you need to provide the information. Do not forget that they still have the resources and manpower to get in touch. You just need to tell them who to get in touch (and if it helps, explain to them why and learn to take responsibility for responses not within their control). 
  • You are unfamiliar with your target market – This is the reverse of the previous situation. Suppose you want to try something new and that being a new market. New markets are naturally unexplored territory but that is the advantage if you let a lead generation company use their own information. Think of it as the business marketing version of hiring a forest guide. The best part is they hold more responsibility because this is their information this time and you have more right to hold them accountable. On the other hand, make sure you listen to them as well. They could offer valuable insight on the needs you need to discover. 
Related Content: Wide Lead Generation Can Run Into Very Unique Prospects
  • Information of one party is less up to date – The tricky thing about situations like this is that it can apply to one, the other, or both. At this point, no amount of expertise will suffice for obsolete information. The good news is that overcoming it is not as difficult. All you need to do is assign the task of mining data to the one who can do it best. If you think you know your targets better but lack the marketing muscle, then you provide it. If your prospect gives their word that they will update their database, why not give them a chance? 
Unlike the decision to outsource, you cannot always be immediate when it comes to choosing your information or theirs. Choose wisely before generating B2B sales leads.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Why Telemarketing And Promos Don't Always Mix

People think that telemarketing is all about promotion. That may be so but that is a little different from saying that every telemarketer comes to you with a promo. The image of a telemarketer coming to you flinging pitches alongside promised discounts with call-to-action isn't always accurate.

A Lead Generator Gets More Expensive With Promos

Promos are, in fact, a sort of gamble. Fortunately, unlike gambling, you are not leaving everything up to chance. It just so happens that there remains risks when it comes to, for example, cutting the costs of your products and services. The costs of lead generation can shoot up to frightening levels if such a promo is not properly controlled. This type of strategy is not even all that complicated. You lower your prices for a particular time in the hopes you can make up for the reduced payments in terms of more customers.

Taking such risks all the time however does sound a bit counterproductive to any telemarketing group that prides itself already in terms of low costs. And if they do not get enough customers, they might struggle with a lower return in terms of sales.

Promos Only Help The First Step Of The Sales Process

As you can see, one main purpose for promos is to attract more customers even from B2B markets (like if you're a wholesaler for example). On the other hand, is a high number of potential clients the be-all, end-all of your marketing strategy? Telemarketers will tell you otherwise. It is only the first step of the process. The other steps they need to consider are:

  • Qualifying these prospects – One downside to promos is that they might attract those who are only after the freebies and discounts. They may not be considering other factors like if a service or product would even result in real customer satisfaction. The same applies even if you are using outsourced telemarketing for your own business and not just telemarketing itself.

  • Considering long-term business relationships – Many B2B industries do not just depend on the closed deals of salespeople. They depend on long-term business relationships because that is when actual money and actual services/products start to exchange. It is also where the real challenges start to rise up in terms of customer satisfaction and handling complaints.

B2B telemarketers are not always focused on pure numbers and dedicate their tools to attracting many customers at the cost of their own company (and yours, to an extent). They can focus on quality over quantity as well and that is why they do not always mix with any strategy that is just about attracting hordes of customers at a cost. You can promote and draw attention to your business without necessarily declaring big discounts and pushy calls for hasty decisions.

As a matter of fact, you can see that the entire B2B sales process does not always mesh well with promos even though telemarketers themselves fit right in. It just goes to show that you're better off focusing their skills on your B2B sales leads instead of mixing them up with promo tactics.