Posts

5 Common Mishaps (and remedies) in B2B Lead Generation

 

Our conscious actions are sometimes dictated by our unconscious motives, and there are moments when we get caught up in our goals too much that we fail to notice even the most obvious of mistakes. This is normal, especially in a complex field such as B2B lead generation. No marketing campaign is 100% flawless, and the only weapon against imperfection is preparation – in this case, identifying mistakes that you should see coming your way.

These mistakes often sound like good ideas in the beginning until you realize that the damage is done. It’s hard to fight an urge when your instinct tells you you’re doing the right thing, but as a marketer you must stay objective and focus on what’s ultimately good for the campaign. Here are 5 hard-to-avoid traps that marketers usually fall into:

    1.  Wasting efforts on unrelated marketing activities. Every so often we bump into random opportunities for marketing. There are rare chances when they do deserve a look, but most of the time, using valuable resources on activities that are not an integral part of your marketing plan is a bad idea. If it improve other aspects of your strategy or assist in achieving your long-term goals, you might as well dedicate your energy on more important things.
    2. Putting more emphasis on the marketing message than the audience. Yes, you may have come up with an excellent campaign idea, but your whole world should not revolve around it. Don’t get too obsessed with your message; instead, focus on how you would convey that message to your customers.  It’s for them to absorb, and not for your own egoistic pleasure.

 

    1. Romanticizing the market minority. Listening to and learning from feedback improves your delivery of service. But as a marketer, you should learn how to filter this feedback based on relevance and validity. A vocal minority’s opinions may not represent the sentiments of your entire target market, and it may give you a wrong impression on what they truly want.

 

    1. Giving too many choices. If a customer is faced with so many options, it becomes difficult for him to decide that he may end up not choosing one instead. Not only that, people tend to become less satisfied of their choices if they had to reject a lot of other options before they could take a pick.

 

  1. Loving the status quo. The old saying, “Don’t fix something if it’s not broken” doesn’t apply in B2B lead generation. Buyer behavior is constantly changing, technology is rapidly evolving, and opportunities are always arising. If your marketing plan is not riding the waves, you may end up being washed back onto the sand.

The Four Kinds Of Lead Generation Managers You Could Be

 

When it comes to B2B lead generation, it is always important to consider the kind of business manager that you can become. This can make all the difference in helping your team to generate more B2B leads. You see, the kind of marketing team you have is greatly influenced by the kind of manager you are. Your team will not be able to function well if you, as their manager, approach the task of finding and nurturing sales leads in an entirely different way than they expect.

Now, there are many kinds of business managers that you can become effective in, but knowing the four most basic kinds can help you identify your strengths better. And here they are below:

    1. The Director – this type of manager is someone who prefers to take control, someone who typically goes direct to the point, steps into the spotlight, and leads the team from there. This person naturally moves to a position of power, one who a little bit formal with his subordinates. But do not mistake him for someone who is stuffy and stickler to the numbers and b2b appointment setting processes. He knows how to set goals, and he always makes sure that these can be accomplished.

 

    1. The Planner – unlike the Director, this type of manager is pretty much introverted and is less comfortable stepping into the spotlight. The Planner is someone who is more concerned about the journey in reaching marketing goals, rather than discussing about the goal itself. They would plot out their steps, analyzing each part. They would also, normally, go and directly consult with the people concerned regarding the plans. And since these people are very meticulous in their planning, they tend to despise surprises and have little tolerance for less than stellar marketing or appointment setting performance.

 

    1. The Analyst – this is the kind of manager who really never steps out in the spotlight. When it comes to identifying trends and unlocking potential sources of new sales leads, the Analyst will be among the first to arrive. Such managers prefer interacting with their subordinates on smaller scales, avoiding the need for big confrontations in the first place. Before they make a decision, they want to make sure that all the data is in their hands for analysis. Typically, this is good for making plans, but the downside of this is that it takes a long time to get a decision done.

 

  1. The Mover – basically, they are the soul and life of the office landscape. This is the type of manager who understands the need to get everyone on board for new management or marketing policies, like a new telemarketing process and the like. They want to excite every member of the team, and are often so focused on this task that they tend to forget about planning for reaching the goals itself.

Now that you are aware of the four types of manager that you can be, which of these do you think will fit you well? Remember, this will influence how your B2B lead generation team will respond to the market.

Three Big Brand Lessons In Lead Generation

Your company, no matter how small or simple it is, can learn a thing or two from big companies in the field of lead generation. Yes, they may have the budget and the people responsible in building their brand, but they are also champions on the little details that make them more successful in generating qualified B2B leads.

These are so basic, so simple, that even a small enterprise can take it as their own and use it to improve their overall appointment setting efforts. It is all about effective marketing, and these big firms have a few lessons to share. It is up to you if you will take these pointers:

One, hire a journalist, or get the services of one. They are pretty useful for publishing content for your audience. These people may not be as business-inclined as you might want, but they are precisely the ones that you want in the end: they are focused on the audience. Hiring a marketing journalist will help you reach more people with the greatest effect.

Remember, your audience has the option of not reading your lead generation content, so it pays to produce content that will attract attention and sustain interest better. And that is something that is best obtained from professional journalist. It would be a smart business investment that pays well in the future.

Second, create a story. But not just any story. It has to be a big story, one that resonates in the hearts and minds of your intended audience. What do you think is the reason why Apple, Google, Nike, Levi’s, etc. are so successful in marketing campaigns, in generating their own sales leads? It is because they created stories that not only talks about what their products and services can do, but talks about what their products and services can do for their audience. No matter what medium you use, be it social media or telemarketing, you need to tell a story that compels your customers to associate themselves with what you sell.

Lastly, participate more in the community. There are companies, and there are responsible companies. For your firm to make a positive impact in the market, connecting to your community through a more active role in their activities is a must. For example, Vans’ participation and sponsorship of skating events not only helps these occasions happen, but also works to promote their brand of shoes. It helps that Vans are designing shoes that actually reflect the skating culture (not to mention a few designs that fit the ‘cool’ youth market). While you may not be able to follow what Vans did in that scale, you can always try doing other activities that matter a lot in your community. That would give you a lot of brownie points in your PR efforts.

Keep in mind that, in some point in time, these big brands started out small. It is how they leveraged on their individual strengths that made all the difference in getting sales leads.

Manage Your Outsourced Lead Generation Team Better In 10 Ways

For those of you still in the denial stage, or constantly out against perceived threats to your business, outsourcing will always be here to stay. While you may have valid reasons why you would want to keep your B2B lead generation operations in-house, there are also the same (if not more) reasons for you to let others find, nurture, and convert B2B leads into profitable sales.

It is all about proper management of your outsourced marketing team. You need to know how to properly manage them, lest you end up not doing your job at all. You can employ these following tips for your trade:

    1. Communicate constantly – obviously, your B2B appointment setting team would be located in a different location, so you have to make sure that you are constantly connected with the to be updated with the latest news.

 

    1. Read between the lines – even if you get daily reports, you have to analyze the content well so that you can understand what exactly is going on in your business, and if there is any problem that you ought to know.

 

    1. What does ‘yes’ really mean – this can be tricky when dealing with foreign sales leads agencies, since their meaning of ‘yes’ may be different from the one you have in mind.

 

    1. Learn motivation skills – let us face it, appointment setting campaigns are not exactly rosy jobs and the stress level can be very high. Use motivational skills to push your team further.

 

    1. Join in special occasions – it could be a wedding or a birthday, but showing your support in these events is a sign that you care for them. It is also a good way to build a better relationship with them.

 

    1. Leave gifts – it does not have to be that big or expensive, even little tokens of appreciation can be an excellent show of appreciation for their efforts. It can even be a perk that works well with them.

 

    1. Understand the business hierarchy – different cultures have different understandings of hierarchy. In some places, focus is placed on skills, while others put more value to seniority.

 

    1. Realize the value of time – this is also an important consideration. You can see this in telemarketing campaigns, where the amount of B2B leads that you generate can be influenced by the time you call your prospects.

 

    1. Your branding power – yes, you may be an international brand, but the locality you wish to enter does not know you yet. Promote your business briskly in order to attract more service providers.

 

  1. Plan ahead – there is no such thing as a perfect plan. In the event something goes wrong, you have to have another plan in place. One cannot be too careful in the kinds of businesses he wishes to do.

You see, outsourced B2B lead generation services is not that bad. As a business investment, you just have to work with the right firms. That is the secret to your success.

Tips And Tricks To Motivate Your Lead Generation Team

 

How does one motivate an employee? For any manager or business owner, this is a very important concern. When it comes to productivity, motivation can mean a lot.

This is the drive, the push, which compels people to bring out their best. In terms of certain operation segments, like in lead generation, this could be the decisive factor to ensuring a company’s continued productivity. Without it, your business would lack some serious gas in terms of generating more B2B leads. But how does one find the motivation to keep going? What are the things that you should be doing in order to better perform in at work?

    1. Have a sense of purpose – it is important that you know what you should be doing and what it means for the company as a whole. Sure, you may be in the rank and file, or maybe your part in the appointment setting process is small, but there is a reason why you are there. Accepting that you have a purpose can help give you a sense of perspective for the company.

 

    1. Have a sense of responsibility – most people would mistake it for taking credit for success and accepting blame for failures. Not at all. Here, being responsible means taking an active role in doing the next step in the marketing process. Too often, potentially profitable sales leads are lost because a marketer was waiting too long for the rest of the team to get moving.

 

    1. Have a sense of immediacy – in marketing, perfection is the exception, not the norm. For you to successfully capture your market, you need to make it into the market fast. There is no other alternative for that. Why is it there are dry-runs and concept displays being done by businesses? It is because they want to introduce the product or service first, to establish a lead.

 

    1. Have a sense of good health – a lot of workaholics would say they do not have time for this, but having a healthy diet is crucial in the long-term productivity of your body. Remember, your health will determine your fitness at work. If you are sick all the time, then your work performance will suffer and bring you and your company down.

 

  1. Have a sense of proper companions – the thing about having colleagues and people working with you is to foster a sense of collaboration and creativity. Without such external sources of inspiration, or if all the people with you are just wasting your telemarketing time and effort, then you will not be getting any good results soon.

That is how it is. It also helps if you can find a mentor who can show you the ropes in marketing, but if you have a good start with the five mentioned above, then you would have less problems in your lead generation campaign. You just need to put some fuel in the drive of your people, and they will take care of the rest for you.

Proper Listening Skills: Secrets for Lead Generation

 

How to make your lead generation campaign successful depends on a lot of things. You have to have a good product that will get the attention of your business prospects, a marketing campaign that maximizes audience impact, as well as a few other tricks that will help you bring in the sales leads that you need. Of course, while it is true that the above three factors, there is also another factor that can affect your success in generating B2B leads, and it so happens to be the most basic, the most important, of all: your listening skills.

Really, with good listening skills, you can be effective in your appointment setting efforts. Unfortunately, that is precisely the skill that a lot of marketers these days tend to forget. With their desire to get their sales volume up, they take on an overly aggressive and pushy stance in increasing their sales volume. Not only does this actually push prospects away from you, it is also counter-intuitive to what proper marketing is all about.

To be effective, you need to listen properly. But how will you do that?

  1. Be focused – you need to concentrate on your work. Getting distracted or letting your mind wander will not do well, especially if you are having a discussion with appointment setting prospects.
  2. Get clues for emotions – this is especially when you are talking to prospects on the phone. Since you do not see them personally, you have to listen carefully to how the talk, as well as the tone of their voice.
  3. Ask proper questions – you cannot just go fill in blanks on your own, since this will only create misunderstandings. You have to ask right in order to understand right what your prospects really need.
  4. Do not interrupt – this is especially true when using telemarketing as your communication medium. You need to keep the flow of information going.
  5. Never assume – assumptions are never good during a business, since there is a great likelihood that whatever you are thinking that the prospect needs is wrong.
  6. Keep a pen and paper close by – in case your office is a paperless one, have a notepad application running, instead. Write down all the key details said, in order to remove the need for repeats.
  7. Review all the details – you need to check that all the data you collected is right, and that you understood what exactly the prospects’ issues are.
  8. Ask for a repeat – during those moments that you fail to get the details at first, it does not hurt to politely ask your B2B prospects to repeat their point. Just make sure you do not do that all the time, since that would make you look incompetent.
  9. Do not stereotype – this is the one common error of marketers. When they stereotype, they end up closing their minds during the conversation. This, in turn, affects their ability to comprehend what the talk was all about.

See? These are not that hard to follow, and are guaranteed to help make your lead generation campaign more effective.

Mid Year Report 2013: Current Trends in B2B Lead Generation

The numbers are in.

The B2B Marketing Technology Community on LinkedIn conducted this year’s lead generation survey to better understand how new challenges are affecting today’s B2B marketers. It’s an annual event awaited by the entire LinkedIn circle that boasts the most comprehensive analysis of B2B behavior.

It s purpose is also to identify new trends and best practices so the word can be spread throughout the community. They have surveyed more than 800 respondents and here, the highlights of the survey results were picked out for further emphasis.

Here’s what they’ve found out:

  • The number one challenge for B2B marketers: Generating high-quality leads. Some would expect to hear that the biggest challenge would be gaining the public attention, or cold-calling constraints, or even the basics such as penetrating a strict business industry. But no, companies apparently have no trouble generating leads as much as they want to – but the question is, do those leads meet the quality standards they require?
  • The most effective lead generation strategies are: Email and SEO. This one is not so much of a surprise. Although social media is devouring most of public attention especially this year, the traditional Search Engine Optimization and the ever faithful Email are still the backbone of lead generation success. Who says old school is out?
  • The greatest barrier to lead generation success: Lack of resources. Considering that the respondents are mostly from the mid-sized business industries, the lack of resources would always come up as the ultimate obstacle. Being understaffed and under-budgeted can definitely alter the way a business would attack its market, not to mention time constraints and building pressure for the third and fourth quarters of 2013.
  • The most outsourced marketing operation: Web graphic design. The online competition has never been tight – the attractiveness of a company’s website can now be tantamount to its credibility and online fragrance. Companies now invest in making sure their website is up to current standards, hiring experts in aesthetic appeal and likeability.
  • The most allocated marketing operation: Events. Despite the action in cyberspace, the bulk of the marketing budget still goes to outside-the-office events because of obvious reasons. Mid-sized to large companies host an average of 2-3 events a year, and a lot of spending goes into making sure they generate enough buzz and lure potential prospects. This strategy wouldn’t have continued up to this day if it didn’t show positive ROI.

Reference: B2b Lead Generation Report 2013

Etiquette Matters In IT Businesses, Make No Mistake

 

Observing proper business etiquette is important, that is a fact. Unfortunately, this is one detail that a lot of marketers tend to overlook. While we may have the technical skill or know-how in generating qualified sales leads, not knowing or forgetting about basic business etiquette can ruin our lead generation campaign. With our world being more globalized, we should be more aware of the different nuances in our words and actions that could be misunderstood by our prospective B2B leads. These may be slight, but these can mean a big deal to the other party. So, what are these cases where etiquette is important?

  • First of all, there is punctuality. There is no such thing as being fashionably late, especially in business. Either you are on time, or you are late. Period. People put great importance in their time, and they are put off by those they perceive as time-wasters. If you want their business, make sure you are punctual.
  • Another aspect in etiquette has a lot to do with business cards. Remember, a business card is an extension of yourself. You should put it out with respect and receive the business card of others with the same treatment. Do not put it away casually. That speaks a lot to your appointment setting prospects.
  • Planning well is also another practice that you should never take lightly, especially if telemarketing is involved. You would want to know more about your prospects, so that come business talk time, you will not be caught unaware with a question, or be stumped with a problem that you did not expect to appear.
  • Next is engaging in small talk. Normally, we go straight to the point, but that is not necessarily the case with lead generation. We want to nurture a relationship first, so we make it a point to talk with them, inquire about their daily lives, as well as other topics that can build rapport with them.
  • Another is food preferences and taboos. In Middle Eastern countries, pork is generally shunned because of religious rules. You need to be sure that in the event of a business lunch, you do not offend anyone with what you eat. These taboos can vary country-to-country, so you had better do some research first.
  • Even a simple handshake can create different meanings.In western countries, the way one grasps the hand, the duration, the pressure, even the gender of the one offering the hand first, can have a lot of meaning. Other countries, especially in the Far East, simply see this as a polite greeting, if ever done.

There are a lot of other etiquette rules that you have to remember when dealing with business prospects. Still, these vary according to the places that you go. What is important is that you are aware of these, make the necessary adjustments, and accommodate your actions to fit what is demanded. In this way, you can protect your lead generation campaign better. There is nothing for you to lose if you just do it.

Five Simple Strategies To Attract More Customers and Clients

 

Here is the deal: we all know that appointment setting is no easy task. The problem here is that this is precisely the task that we have to do right. After all, a business could only continue if they make a profit. And a business could only make a profit if they could consistently bring in more sales leads. Yes, this could be a real pain for many of us, but if we could pull it off, then all the better. We need to use every strategy, every tool, that we need to do in order to get the job done. If you want to get more B2B leads, then be ready to use these simple, yet very effective lead generation strategies.

  1. Referrals – believe me, when you ask your satisfied customers for referrals, more often than not they will happily comply. They know that you can do a great job, so they will see no reason why they would not recommend your business to those that they know.
  2. List cleaning – one of the main culprits of lost sales could be traced to messy, duplicate, or outdated calling lists. You want to maximize your marketing efforts, so you need to make sure that the list of prospects you have are the most accurate available, without duplicates, and possess the necessary information. You can get such a list from a reputable business database provider. Just make sure that you choose the right company, since there are a lot of frauds floating around the market, unfortunately.
  3. Brief messaging – not in the sense that you send really short messages, but more along the lines of content that goes straight to the point. No flowery speech or unnecessary embellishments. A lot of people are busy, so if you want to get their attention (and their business), you need to be brief in your work. Choose your words right and use effective calls-to-action to compel them.
  4. Follow-through properly – a lot of marketers these days are surprisingly lax when it comes to following through their initial sales conversation. Actually, this is the most important point, where you confirm whether the business prospect will still do business with you or not. Train your telemarketing team to properly follow-up their calls and regularly touch base with B2B leads that they are nurturing. This will ensure that you are still in the right track with them.
  5. Listen properly – active listening really is an important part of a marketing campaign. A good marketer would only talk twenty percent of the time, letting the prospect speak for the rest of it. After all, only by hearing what problems do they face will you be able to figure out what solution you can provide them.

There are other marketing strategies that you can employ for your lead generation campaign. You can add more in the list as you go along, but these five would be good for starters. You just have to make sure that you follow them well, and that you really deliver what you promise.

Building Trust As You Market Your Business: An Essential Guide

Building Trust As You Market Your Business: An Essential Guide

 

Trust is important. No matter where you are, who you are, or what you do, you need to trust if you want to get far. It is the same thing with businesses. You cannot have a productive lead generation campaign if you cannot earn the trust of your prospects, right? That is the most important characteristic of any business relationship. You need to develop trust and confidence in your B2B leads prospects before you can go to the next stage of the marketing process. Building trust is difficult, true, especially if you are still new. But as long as you take the following tips to heart, then you will be on the right track.

  1. Be knowledgeable – if you want to wreak your chances of you getting the confidence of your prospects, then come to the meeting unprepared. Nothing can be more disheartening than meeting someone who could not properly explain the connection between hiring them and better performance in your company. That would be a blow to your appointment setting campaign.
  2. Be flexible sure, you may want to close the deal now, but if the sales leads prospects are not yet ready, then give them some time to decide. The days of really aggressive selling are long gone, and are now replaced with the more reliable lead nurturing process. So take your time. Your business prospects will appreciate that.
  3. Be anticipatory – when talking to business prospects for the first time, they will usually ask for your qualifications. Be ready to show the proof, like successful deals, happy clients, and the like. It also helps if you can train your telemarketing team to handle such questions with ease, without putting any pressure on the other party to just stay quiet. You are asking for their business, right?
  4. Be focused – sure, you might want to criticize your competition, but what good will that do to you in front of a prospect? At most, you will only show just how much of a jerk you are, and nobody wants to see that. Rather, focus on what you can do for the customer, and provide them proof that you guarantees are genuine and can be done.
  5. Be honest – let us face it, when it comes to impressing your prospects, we tend to exaggerate what we could do for them. Now imaging that expectation getting shattered because you failed to deliver. Simple tell them what you can do and cannot do, period. Such honesty could actually earn you brownie points for a future deal.

These are just some of the things that you can do to develop trust with your prospects. The rest is up to you. You should also be ready to work hard for this and spend time building it. After all, this cannot be built overnight. Anyway, as long as keep up your good work and be consistent in what you say in your lead generation campaigns, you and your business operation would be good to go.

Putting The Human Back In Lead Generation

 

Reaching marketing goals has never been as important as it is today. With the way markets are shrinking and the number of people willing to spend more getting fewer and fewer, you really need to dial up your lead generation efforts. Your ability to generate more qualified sales leads is pretty much the only thing that matters now to you and your business. So it would be natural that you would use various means to supplement it, like sending emails, telemarketing, social media, search engine optimization, etc. Still, while the need really is high, that should not detract you from one of the most important aspect of marketing: being human.

After all, marketing and appointment setting is a social activity, one that requires you to interact with different kinds of people. Sure, you may be looking for B2B leads (requiring you to focus on businesses), but that does not mean that you will no longer have to deal with people anymore. In fact, this gives you more and more reason to put the human back to your transactions. Sounding ‘canned’, scripted, or plain unemotional will not get you the sympathy of anyone, let alone your business prospects. So add a little levity in your talks. Be creative; find ways to engage them more. Produce valuable and relevant content, meet them in person, and talk to them more. This will help improve your lead generation campaign.

Human interactions will always be a part of your marketing efforts. If you want to be better in generating sales leads, then you should keep this in mind.

Simplicity Is Beauty For Lead Generation

 

It is said that a true test for a chef is to make a simple dish taste exquisite. That is also the same principle in marketing as well. How can you simplify the lead generation process without sacrificing quality and productivity, indeed, actually end up improving, of generating sales leads? Turning a complicated concept into a simple, impactful, and meaningful message is nothing less than a complex exercise. How you do that would be the true test of your ability as a marketing and appointment setting specialist.

So, how do you make that happen?

First of all, you need all the data that you can get. Be it figures, graphs, reports, etc. all of these can serve as information source. Once you have everything you need, now is the time for you to take them apart, piece by piece, looking for that common detail that they all share, that one detail that pretty much summarizes what your company’s product, purpose, and market is all about. Sure, this can be real work, and you might not be able to manage it, so you might want to leave the analysis to a business database agency.

Next is the crafting of the message. Remember, your message must tell a story, one that appeals to the emotions. Emotions are what influence a customer to buy from you or not. Next is the communication medium to use. It must be one that can have the maximum impact on your audience at the shortest time. Direct marketing tools like email and telemarketing might be good places to start. No matter what you use, if it can help bring you a lot of B2B leads, then stick to it.

Lastly, always be human. Marketing lead generation is a social activity. You are dealing with real people with their own idiosyncrasies and preferences. You have to adjust your marketing efforts to meet the unique needs of your audience.

Pages

Nothing Found

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria