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Inside Sales Tips to Put your Revenue Goals on Track

What do the most successful companies have in common? It’s not so much that they are of one mind when it comes to acquiring B2B sales leads, but they all share the same goal: increased revenue.

Hence, they resort to boosting their sales process in order to come up with high opportunity appointments. There are tons of blog articles and other informational materials that purport to help them in that aspect. But confronted by a noxious volume of sales tips and strategies to consider, they just can’t find the right springboard for your campaign.

For that matter, we’ve handpicked a few important insights from the web that point to the right track in revenue growth.

Foster teamwork

If there’s one part of your sales arm that needs a good flexing, it’s your personnel. Their job is to engage potential clients who need all the pressure they can get to consider a purchase. Fostering a healthy working environment for your team allows them to collaborate on the best possible ways to get prospects to say that resounding yes. “While it’s good to foster a healthy sense of competition, be sure to promote a team mentality, by rewarding more than just the top performers, and by inspiring confidence in the entire team’s capabilities,” says Velocity CEO Nick Hedges.

 

Be competent

In this sense, Results Paid Marketing President Aaron Bouren conveys the importance of knowing your strengths as a salesperson. It is not in many cases that up-to-date lead management systems contribute to an improvement in revenue. It’s not necessarily the case because competency and expertise in making telemarketing calls define the actual conversion of a prospect into a paying customer. In spite of having the best in terms of marketing-sales infrastructure, the lack of conversational proficiency in your telemarketing can turn away rather than net opportunities. Want to improve your sales calls? Click here.

 

 

Strengthen your offers

Make no mistake. With hundreds of B2B suppliers sprouting like mushrooms in a desolate forest, competition can be tough even for a veteran company that has been through the toughest. Still, the hostile landscape shouldn’t be enough to demoralize you. You can always strengthen your brand. Your competitors are clawing for a large share of the industry. But know that the modern B2B buyer is wiser, a tougher nut that would take a compelling hit from a consistent multi-channel marketing campaign to crack.

 

If you want concrete sales results, look no further than a competent company you can outsource your lead generation and appointment setting functions to. Now that’s two cents’ worth of wisdom for you.

 

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3 Ways To Create Better Appointment Setting Conversations

 

In every appointment setting task that you have to involve yourself in, you also need to remember how to best keep a conversation going. As long as your business prospects talks, there is a chance for you to generate more sales leads or a closed deal. The only challenge here is how you actually pull that off. For the veterans, having a conversation would be a natural act. But for those new in the game, it helps to know a few pointers to do it right. For example:

  1. Create an advocacy – remember Guy Kawasaki’s principle of brand ambassadorship? You may not need to have your clients speak in your behalf, but if you can copy that energy they have in your telemarketing calls, then it would make your lead generation campaign much easier.
  2. Paraphrase what they say – after the prospect has said their piece, repeat (in your own words) what they meant. In this way, ambiguity is avoided, and you can see if you have truly understood what the problem is. You can come up with a better solution for them, for that matter.
  3. Talk about the gap – the reason why your prospect might not be willing to work with you is probably because of the gap between your solution and the severity of their perceived problem. Your job now is to explain to them why they should be working with you.

For the sake of generating good B2B leads, you should do your best to have a conversation with your prospects. Your lead generation campaign is dependent on it.

Why Sales Leads Prospects Doubt You

It can be pretty hard to do business, especially with business prospects that doubt your offer. But all that is just a normal day in the office. The way you deal with them is what makes all the difference. To be successful in generating sales leads out of these types of prospects, you need to understand why they doubt you in the first place. Only then will you be able to come up with a winning lead generation strategy. To start with, B2B leads prospects do not trust you because:

  1. You begin with a lie – a successful business relationship is anchored on trust. How will you be able to maintain that if you started the whole process with a lie? Sure, this might help you get more business leads in your appointment setting campaign, but it will not help you at all in the long run. In fact, it will lose you more leads.
  2. Your claims are unbelievable – with so many companies claiming that they are the best, or the cheapest, in the market, it is only natural that business prospects would be tired of hearing the same song over and over again. If you really want to get their attention, show hard facts. Even if your outlandish claims are true, no one will believe you until you show proof.
  3. Your opinions outweigh your facts – when all your prospects here are your own praises for your products, they would naturally be suspicious. To make it easier for them to believe your claims, make it a point to use testimonials from your clients, especially the big ones. Also, substantiate your claims by giving facts.
  4. You focused too much on closing – yes, you need to get that deal, but if your focus is just that, without regard to what your prospects need, then you achieve nothing at all.

Correct these bad habits and your sales lead generation campaign will be more credible.

 

Lead Generation Tip: Don’t Count on Numbers

As the US Presidential elections draw near, we see lots of poll numbers on who’s leading who and who’s gaining ground. In the end however, it’s the final vote that matters and despite the polls nobody knows exactly who’s going to win come November 6. In B2B lead generation and appointment setting, statistics do matter, but how much attention should marketers put into them?

Take for example companies engaged in online and social media marketing. Online marketers have a tendency to use raw statistics such as Facebook “Likes”, website visits, clicks, and page views as basis for the effectiveness of their sales lead generation campaigns. What I have noticed however with most online and social media campaigns is that, those numbers rarely translate to business appointments or sales, and therefore, mean nothing. Additionally, petty figures like these can cause distraction in a campaign.

My advice to B2B marketers using social media and online tools to generate sales leads: Do not use absurd metrics such as “likes”, clicks, and page views to measure your results. The only reliable indicator of success in lead generation is if you are actually generating sales qualified leads based on certain lead qualification standards set by your team. And this is true also for telemarketing and email marketing campaigns.

Forget numbers. Not everyone who “liked” your Facebook page, visited your blog, or clicked your banner is a qualified business lead. Focus on behaviors and actual interactions. After all, what people do when they visit your site or click your ad is what truly matters in the sales process.

Tips to Effectively Handle Negative Online Reviews about Your Lead Generation Campaign

Bad reviews affect all kinds of business, perhaps most common in telemarketing companies and other lead generation campaigns. In an increasingly mobile and social world, an unflattering online review can have tremendous impact on the way your customers and sales leads judge your brand. Studies show that approximately 75% of consumers trust online reviews, almost as much as they do recommendations from friends and members of their family. With that figure, one frustrated customer who goes to an online review site to vent their disappointment can easily disaffect business leads and blow your chances of winning new customers.

So how do you deal with negative online reviews and avoid losing potential clients?

1. Respond quickly.

A bad online review can go viral and spread around the web faster than a cold sore at a band camp. Offer an apology right away and don’t wait until the complaints pile up. When you respond right away and with a good explanation, you have a better chance of taking control of the situation before it takes its toll on your efforts to generate qualified sales leads.

2.  Be calm.

Here’s a fact: A lot of people don’t like telemarketing and some even find the word itself loathsome. If you’re engaged in cold calling or mass mailing to generate business leads, expect some negative comments from time to time. Take a chill pill. Some people just want to rant for a while and be heard. Do not hit the keyboard typing in caps and planting exclamation marks at the end of every sentence because it will only make matters worse.

3.  Provide explanations, not excuses.

Negative reviews are not always meant to destroy a business’ reputation. Sometimes, they are meant to provide constructive comments. Do not be defensive and never ever give lame excuses. Instead, acknowledge the comments and explain clearly how you will address the issues being raised.

 

Using Location-Based Marketing For B2B

While b2c marketers are ecstatic about how location-based marketing has greatly improved their sales lead generation, certain business to business or B2b marketers are left questioning themselves whether this type of marketing strategy can also be an effective option for finding b2b leads for their business. The answer? A resounding YES! Frankly, I believe there is no marketing strategy specifically made for only b2c or b2b marketers and customers. With the right preparations and implementation, all strategies can be adapted to deliver what marketers require of them, whether it is business sales leads or consumer leads. Another thing that makes location-based marketing optimal for b2b are the various apps made available to the market. Traditionally, to network with as much business people as you can during conventions and other events, you would have to do a lot of walking and talking. But doing so usually decreases the quality of relationships that you can build. Through these location-based apps, identifying the attendees of such occasions has become so much easier. All you would need to do is log-in, and you would be able to see all the attendees of the event.

Location based marketing can be a great lead generation method for b2b companies. Here’s how your marketing people can use location-based marketing to get those much needed yet highly elusive business sales leads:

  • Attend Trade shows.

What better venue to use location-based b2b marketing than on trade shows? These events, along with conventions and seminars, are ideal because they require business people to converge in one place.

  • Claim your online presence.

Even if you don’t require your business leads to visit your office to make a purchase, it is still advisable to verify that you own the establishment where they could check-in. Doing so will allow you to edit the contact details for that location so that whenever a business lead is nearby, they would be able to find your contact information right away.

  • Leave tips.

With Foursquare, your clients may leave tips for your establishment that can be viewed by others who have checked in. These tips are not only beneficial for b2c, but also for b2b. Anything that allows your clients or b2b leads to write about your company can be classified as reviews and may also be used as valuable content online.

  • Create partnerships.

As a b2b marketer, you’re obviously connected to a lot of businesses in various industries. Why not use these connections to expand your reach? Offer discount coupons for clients who purchase certain service or product packages from you that they can use at one of your other client’s businesses.

If you spend time on it, location-based b2b marketing will prove to be a highly efficient b2b lead generation tool. It’s all about finding ways to make a marketing strategy work for your business, not the other way around.

 

 

Why Fishing For Sales Leads Has Become More Difficult

These days, sales lead generation is no longer like fishing, putting bait at the end of a hook and then waiting for the fish to bite. No, the fishermen (i.e. sales people) no longer have fishing rods, they have baskets. All they do now is wait for the fish to jump out of the water and land in their baskets. That is, IF they jump out of the water.

The new generation of marketers, no matter how technologically acquainted they may be, still fall behind their digital native clients. While they are using social media to spread their presence online, their sales leads are using the internet to research the nitty-gritty facts about their  company that they are desperately trying to hide.

These generation C clients are united, informed, aggressive and highly discerning. They easily perceive even the slightest hint of marketing effort as a ploy to rid them of their hard-earned money, and are quick to guard themselves. Because these clients have all the means to get what they want, they are now the major factors that drive the direction of company marketing efforts. More coordinated consumer communities have even shown that they can “alter” the product of a company on a whim. This is best represented by the Mass Effect 3 controversy when hundreds of gamers showed their distaste for the trilogy’s ending by filing a complaint with the  Federal Trade Commission, harassing an employee of BioWare (Mass Effects’ developer), and sending cupcakes to the company’s main office as a mockery of the game’s ending. The company eventually responded by stating the release of a cinematic epilogue to expand the game’s ending by the summer of 2012.

Would this upheaval been possible had this occurred years before the internet became a household necessity? Certainly, social media and the internet played a huge part in this consumer “rebellion”. Had they not been connected through the world wide web, their sentiments would not have reached other disgruntled gamers and led to their controversial actions.

How can lead generation firms and marketers avoid a similar fate with their otherwise unsatisfied sales leads? Though social media is a tool used by their sales leads to express dissatisfaction, marketers and lead generating companies can use this same tool to appeal to their emotions. By seeking the approval of their peers and using social media as a “word-of-mouth” channel, companies can substantially lower the guard of their sales leads so that they are more receptive to efforts by lead generation firms. When their target leads see that their peers approve of a product or service, they will be more likely to jump on the same wagon. When that happens, sales people need to be ready to catch them with their baskets.

Top Three SEO Tactics To Avoid (Wait, Is SEO Still Relevant Anyway?)

Top Three SEO Tactics To Avoid (Wait, Is SEO Still Relevant Anyway?)

Search Engine optimization (SEO) was the buzzword of years long ago, like, 17 years ago. One might think that because it’s been around for so long everyone knows how to leverage it for their personal use and drive hordes of potential sales leads to their website. Although there have been a few successful stories, SEO is still a science of such fluid structure that even now marketers are having difficulty taming it.

When it first gained popularity, everyone who was anyone adopted it as an online marketing strategy. Then Google released the Panda update and everyone’s efforts went back to zero. Now that almighty Google is promoting value-rich content, has SEO become a thing of the distant past? With today’s digital marketing terrain, is SEO still optimal for promoting your website?

SEO is still very much relevant, although is has taken a considerable step backwards to make room for other digital marketing strategies such as social media, email and especially content marketing. Good SEO cannot exist without equally good content, as is highlighted by Google’s algorithm. Sales leads are driven towards your site by these relevant, well-researched, reliable and authentic content.

Whether you are still using these top 3 detrimental SEO tactics or plan to use them in the future – DON’T:

  1. Keyword Stuffing. The number one no-no for SEO and considered as spamming. Relevant content discusses topics using more than one word, so do yourself a favor and try to expand your own blogging vocabulary. Also, readers (i.e. sales leads) generally abandon a site the moment they read the same word used more than three times in a sentence.
  2. Reciprocal links and link farms. Almighty Google hates it. Period.
  3. Spreading articles through article marketing directories. These artificial link generating sites provide little benefit for your website. It’s much better to share your articles with topic-related websites that help promote your authority about your chosen keywords.

The moral of this story is that there is no holy grail for lead generation marketing. Each and every effective marketing strategy is the result of careful research and implementation where ROI is measured by carefully defined statistics. The main purpose of optimizing one’s website is  still sales leads generation, so whether your digital marketing makes use of this age-old marketing model, as long as it’s not broken and is doing its purpose, there is no need to abandon it just to join the current fad.

How to Launch a Lead Generation Campaign

by: Athena Catedral

Before launching any lead generation campaign, make sure all involved teams are on board and on the same page. The goals should be clearly defined and applicable to the different parties. The strategies should be in place to effectively be geared toward this similar goal.

To start off, the campaign flow should be outlined carefully. Where does the process start and how will it end? How will you define its success or failure?

Correlate the promotional material, collateral to be used with the goals

If the goal is to increase leads online, then the promotional material will be correlated to this goal. Most if not all efforts will then be concentrated online. You can start with search engine optimization (to enhance sign ups via the website), email campaigns, online linking campaigns and even search engine marketing if you’ve got enough money to play with.

Identify different response mechanisms

How do you want people to respond to your business lead generation campaigns? Will there be a hotline number or do you want to course all campaign responses through your website or maybe a particular email address? These should be outlined carefully so your teams will be well-prepared to entertain in-coming prospects and follow through on possible sales. Having more response channels will be to your advantage, although tracking may become a challenge. Liaise with the different departments involved in making it work – those that will receive the clients by phone, email and website should align with the same spiel, the same offer.

Define the marketing message in line with the goal

Position the goal of your messages in the collateral in such a way that it will not be drowned by other content. Make this the focus of the entire piece. This should be the same for all pieces and for all sales lead generation campaigns if you’re doing multiple campaigns at the same time. Also ensure that everyone involved knows the marketing message – dissemination is key.

Ensure that the user makes the most of your campaign

For the lead generation services campaign to be effective, the user has to enjoy the experience. The campaign should be targeted enough to be appreciated by the right market. The flow of the campaign from ad to landing experience to response acceptance should be smooth and directed towards the goal. This will give your campaign a viral effect. People who appreciate how you’ve marketed your product will talk about it and spread the word. This is priceless marketing. And if you can get a reliable lead generation services provider who will take care of leads for you, you will really reap the rewards.

Once these steps are properly outlined, the campaign should be able to push through without a hitch. These are macro perspectives of any sales lead generation campaign and not designed to sweat the small stuff. But once these are in place, the details will fit perfectly like pieces in a puzzle.

Generating Leads through Per Inquiry Advertising

by Patricia Tunstall

Lead generation services use per inquiry media advertising to gain nationwide exposure for your product or service. Are you operating on a business budget that can’t pay for the exorbitant fees charged for spots on television stations? Lead generation services can get repeated airtime for your product on those very stations.

For a comparatively low cost, lead generation services can handle all your media needs for per inquiry advertising. If your ads lack pizazz, or you lack money, check out the benefits of direct response advertising using the per inquiry approach.

Never heard of per inquiry advertising? Simply put, it is prepaid airtime for commercials that are guaranteed a certain number of inquiries, or leads, from viewers or listeners–or you get a pro-rated refund of the marketing company’s commission! Rather than buying airtime for those out-of-sight charges for spots on TV and radio, you can look into the affordable world of business lead generation services.

Here’s how it works. A marketing company gets you airtime for your commercial; the media guarantee you a specified number of calls from interested parties. You determine what qualifies as an “inquiry.” Perhaps you want these potential customers to leave their names, addresses, and phone numbers. The parties are referred to your website or business after they call a toll-free number.

Marketing companies that handle per inquiry offer all-around support functions with lead generation services. If you know your business, but not much about advertising, these companies can handle every aspect of your campaign and your association with the media. These are professionals with experience in the development and production of commercials and in the logistics of conducting successful advertising operations.

Their highly-organized call centers deal with the details of setting up your toll-free number and answering the inquiries–leads–that come in. Fulfillment houses can take care of packaging and shipping your product or promotional materials. No matter how small or large your monthly shipping volume, and regardless of whether you receive orders via the Internet or phone, these fulfillment houses handle it all.

Buying airtime and advertising spots in the media is an expensive, hit-or-miss proposition because you’re never sure if your ad will be a hit or a clunker. For one thing, you are paying the high production costs of the TV station or network for their program. If you already have a prepared commercial, or if you prefer to have the marketing company produce one, you are cutting costs dramatically.

With sales lead generation services, you only pay for the actual leads, or inquiries, that come into the call center as a result of your ad. This is the no-risk part of this approach to product promotions. With reduced production costs, and per inquiry-only payment, you aren’t gambling–you’re making a smart move! Sound promising.

B2B Lead Generation and Lead Qualification Services

Business to business lead generation and lead qualification services generate high quality sales leads by getting through the gatekeeper and identifying the decision maker of the company. Sales lead generation agents are skilled people who specialize in verifying authority and identifying the interest of the decision maker in the products and services they market. They are experienced professionals who make sensible conversation with the customers about the products and services like real employees of the company it represents. Lead generation agents focus on providing information to produce new sales opportunities to clients.

Lead generation services includes inviting people to an event, conducting market surveys, doing follow-up on customers and announcing upcoming sales or promotions.

Nowadays most companies realize the need for lead generation services. These companies take advantage of the cost effectiveness of lead generation. Businesses that use sales lead generation services separate cold calling and sales lead generation from the face to face selling and marketing. The company can now focus more on closing the deal while the groups of lead generation agents focus on screening potential customers. In this way, only qualified customers are scheduled for face to face meeting with the licensed representatives.

The advantage of sales lead generation is to allow both teams of skilled professionals to excel in their fields. Lead generation service providers capitalize in giving successful lead calls and the salespeople of the company can give more time to presentation, negotiation, and closure of the deal. This two way process increases the company’s revenue.