Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Why Does Networking Not Work With Lead Generation?

All right, when it comes to lead generation, part of the things that you have to do deals with creating business networks. The logic here is that, since you have connected with them, you can then go ahead and turn them into viable B2B leads. Unfortunately, that is not the way things usually go. In cases like these, it seems easy for you to look for ways to make it work. But really, while you may like to consider which of the myriad of networking solutions that are being offered, it is those that little problems in networking that you better know about. Avoid them, or address them, and you will be able to get better business results.
1.    These is not about the calling cards – a lot of marketers, whenever they go to networking events, or attend online forums, are there just to collect the calling cards of everyone who attended. That is a bad marketing move. The aim of such opportunities is to know more about people, not know more people. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time.
2.    Stop networking – more in the sense that you are there in that gathering because you want to answer a need of the other party, you want to connect with them, you are keen to learn more about their business, etc. This is not about your getting data for your telemarketing team to use later in their appointment setting campaign. This is about you wanting to learn more about them.
3.    Choose your events – here is the deal, not all business events are worth your time. If you want to create the right business network, make sure that you attend events that bring out your best. You want to meet fun and interesting people (not just to be customers, but real contacts), so you should save your efforts and attend occasions that fit well with you.
4.    Connect with a few – as the old saying goes, quality is better than quantity. Considering the amount of time, money, and effort that you have to spend in connecting to each contact you make, it does make sense that you connect with only those that can help you reach your goals. Besides, even if you have established a connection with only one person, you might get lucky and get connected with the rest of your new contact’s network.
5.    Follow up right – for a networking event to be truly effective in generating sales leads for your business, remember to follow-up with your new contacts a few days after the initial meeting. As a rule, if by two weeks, no discussion on business is made, then the window of opportunity closes.

Really, networking can be a really good tool for lead generation. The only problem here, so far, is how to make them work properly. As you can see, it is hard to do business with contacts that does not pan out, and the points raised above could be the real culprits. Try avoiding these pitfalls in networking. That will do your business good.

Monday, December 16, 2013

How To Make LinkedIn Help Your Lead Generation Efforts

One must say that LinkedIn, the social network that has connected so many professionals and business around the globe, can be powerful tool in helping your lead generation campaign become asuccess. Just imagine the millions of people that are registered. Tapping into that large base for B2B leads can be a really good way to improve your business. The question here is how you make that happen. You cannot just sign-up there, announce your business, and then arrange for your telemarketing team to give prospects a call. It is just not how it works. Which leads us to the following tips, it might help you.
1.    Be clear on purpose – LinkedIn is there to serve the particular needs of its user base. In your case, you need to understand why you are there in the first place, why you are interacting with the people there. Only then will you be able to come up with a good way to promote to them.
2.    Fix your profile – just like when you always go into a meeting with a shirt and tie, you should also make it a point that your LinkedIn profile is presentable. This will be a great factor on whether your business will get the respect of your prospects or not.
3.    Choose the right groups – for social media to work in your marketing campaign, you need to make sure that the connections you make are worth your time, and will contribute in improving your business profitability.
4.    Use your networks properly – this is especially true where referrals are concerned. As a marketer, you need to properly employ all the business assets that you have in order to maximize your profitability. The challenge here is how you use these assets so that you can continue building a relationship with your own networks.
5.    Deepen your connections – think of it as the sweetener that your appointment setting crew will need to produce results. Keep in mind that your business needs a lot of data to market properly. By talking and interacting with your connected prospects, you can have an easier time with them.
6.    Personalize, as always – really, personalization is everything, and business prospects usually get a kick out of receiving a gift, a letter, or even an invitation that is directly addressed to them. Do anything that stinks of being canned (no matter how faint) then your audience will walk away.
7.    Interact a lot – since you are creating a network for your lead generation and marketing efforts, make sure that you are interacting with them most of the time. In this way, you can put them at ease and make doing business with them easier.

There are other strategies that you can employ in making LinkedIn another effective marketing and networking tool for your business. Think of it as another investment for your lead generation campaign. If you have a social network of professionals like you, then would that not be a brilliant idea to invite them into your business. They might turn out to be excellent customers for you.

Monday, December 9, 2013

7 Unique Roles of B2B Telemarketing you won’t find anywhere else

Telemarketing now resides within the shadows cast by the enormous internet marketing evolution that’s eating up the business world today. About two decades ago it was at the pinnacle of all marketing heights, and now it only exists as a seasoned veteran – but very much alive.
There are things that traditional marketers value and these are things that only a traditional method like telemarketing can bring about.

Therefore it creates a distinctive impact in the industry, one that preserves the very reason why telemarketing is still being used by a majority of B2B companies.

Here are the roles that it plays in the B2B framework, and why you should value them as well:

1.    Telemarketing can tap a non-Internet-based demographic. Believe it or not, there is still a significant fragment of people that are not web-savvy, even in the B2B world. These are your conventional business people, living off simple needs and traditions. And just because they’re not online doesn’t mean they don't deserve your business.

2.    Telemarketing can strengthen brand awareness. What marketers really need nowadays is to reinforce a brand name without merely repeating. Telemarketing gives the opportunity to instill a brand within the target market’s awareness by being informative and personal at the same time.

3.    Telemarketing can extract immediate and timely feedback. Telemarketing promotes immediacy and interactivity, which other channels do not possess.

4.    Telemarketing calls can strengthen a relationship with existing customers while maintaining selling opportunities. Recurringcustomers make a company stable, and it’s important to keep the ties strong.Telemarketing can make them feel they are continually valued.

5.    Telemarketing is still perfect for business-to-business interactions. Business-to-business calls are part of the commercial landscape and do not carry the stigma that calling on households can. Aside from email, telemarketing calls are the main communication lines for businesses.

6.    Telemarketing can establish a good talent pool for future sales representatives. Telemarketing is a great way to try out people who have an aptitude in sales as a career track and see if they’ve got what it takes to succeed with the big guys.

7.    Telemarketingprovides sales evaluation data. The vertical volume of telemarketing calls provides a number of evaluation metrics, such as number of calls made, successful contacts per call, and lead closing rates. This is important in drafting future plans and making adjustments in a campaign’s approach.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Handle B2B Software Telemarketing Rejections In Six Ways

Rejections from your sales leads prospects can be a big blow to your B2B telemarketing efforts, but you have to admit that this is the reality that many software companies have to face every day. Yes, the market is expanding, but that is no assurance that you, as the software services provider, will be able to get a lot of B2B leads. That is because there are a lot of you in the same business as well. Competition is good, but only if you have something that your prospects need. Aside from that, you also need to make sure that you deliver excellent serviceall the time. Yes, there will be rejections, it cannot be helped. It is how you handle that makes all the difference. The question here is this: how will you do it?
1.    Consider things rationally – when you get a ‘no’ from potential sales leads, do not feel bad. Always remember that this is a rejection of your business, not you. Come to think of it, they may not be even rejecting you totally. There is the possibility that they would want to know more about your business. Figure out what their ‘no’ really mean, and you may be able to nail it.
2.    Identify their dislikes – for business prospects that rejected you after presenting everything, you should seek a more specific reason why they are saying ‘no’. There are cases where a prospect rejected an offer only because of one small part of the package. If you can do away with it, then you might be able to save the sale. Just be sharp about it.
3.    Figure out the ‘no’ – some B2b appointment setting specialists make the mistake of accepting the rejection immediately, not realizing that the underlying reason may just be a trivial matter. You should always keep in mind that, behind every ‘no’ that you get, there is the possibility of ‘yes’ that you have yet to uncover. Be specific, be inquisitive. That business deal could be yours.
4.    Keep going with the tough ones – in any B2B lead generation campaign, there will always be business prospects that possess a pretty strong personality, the type of people whom you will have a very hard time to convince. But if you keep going, if you keep pursuing them, then you might be able to convince them that you mean business.
5.    Collect the rejected ones – they might prove to be useful for your future sales campaigns. Software and IT needs change over time, and if you can offer them something good, then you might be able to make a sale happen.
6.    Fix you closing – the closing is the most important part of your B2B telemarketing process. If you cannot make it impressive or memorable enough, then you reduce your chances of make a sale or a deal to happen. You better polish up your act at this point.

Getting rejected in your B2B telemarketing campaign can be handled, you just need to know how.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Five Myths Of B2B Lead Generation Campaigns

When promoting your business, you probably have tried out a variety of marketing tactics and strategies that you think will bring you the B2B leads that you need. Lucky for you if you succeed, but it would be a different story if it did not pan out. In any case, your aim here is to  ensure the overall success of your B2b lead generation campaign. And if you think that you know everything there is to proper marketing and appointment setting, well, you might want to think again. There is that high likelihood that you are basing your marketing efforts on myths. Honestly, that is the last thing you would want to experience in your business. So, what are these myths that you should know about?

First, some marketers believe that the customers care about your business. Renowned advertising executive and blogger Bob Hoffman has long disproven that. Customers do not care about you at all, they care about themselves. That is why they are your customers in the first place. If you think that all those sales leads nurturing that you are doing will get you the sale, you should reconsider that thinking. Chances are, you have lost the deal.

Second, you use the same message in different mediums. That is one mistake that you should never make. Yes, your message may be clear and concise, but how sure are you that it would be relayed right with different mediums? In the same manner that you do not use transfer a B2B telemarketing script to television, you should also craft your message according to the medium that you will be using. You have to be careful in that regard.

Third, you send the same message to all business prospects. This is one of the biggest no-no’s in the marketing field. Any sensible marketer will tell you that each prospect is different, and that requires a different manner to communicate with them. Some like it informal, while there are those who wish for a more formal approach. Others enjoy the conversation, while some might prefer going straight to the point. The trick here is in PERSONALIZATION. That will get you better results.

Fourth, you sound just too smart in your promotions. Yes, you want to say your entire piece to your sales leads prospects, but you would want to put your efforts on a leash if you notice that your prospect is losing interest in you. Match your wording and approach according to the person you are talking with. In this way, you not only personalize your marketing (which satisfies point number three), you also make your prospects think more on how you can help them (which point number one has mentioned).

Lastly, you think that B2B lead generation is easy. To be honest, it never was. Success can only be had through hard work and constancy of your efforts. This is the secret to generating customers for your business.

If you can correct your way of thinking, especially with regards to the above myths, then your B2B lead generation efforts will not go to waste.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Building Relationships To Help In B2B Lead Generation

Marketing and B2B lead generation evolve over time, and this observation could not have been truer than today. In the past, we look for B2B leads for the sake of making a sale. Yes, that is true at that time, since we have something good to offer and the market is large. But these days, things are being done quite differently. It is no longer just about making a sale happen. This is now about establishing a Relationship with your sales leads prospects. You see, in today’s highly competitive B2B market, the customers you successfully gather today will affect your continued survival tomorrow.

Still, reality shows us just how poorly employed building-relationship is in business. Let us put it this way: have you ever seen a billboard ad, a business brochure, or a B2B telemarketing that you can really relate to? That you feel like the company is actually interested in your life and that they really have something you need? If the answer is mostly no, then you will understand why these same companies may not really have good revenue streams. Sure, the market still follows the motions, still buying, but the moment a better-priced or better-quality competitor steps in, then these customers will move away.

Establishing a relationship with your business prospects is not really that hard. You see, it is all about knowing what really sticks into the mind of your audience. Aside from that, it also pays to know what B2B appointment setting medium will truly get the attention of your people. But you need to know which one will work well with your intended audience. I mean, you have to identify which medium are your B2B leads prospects are most involved in. It does not make sense to invest in a marketing strategy that would not be able to reach your prospects effectively. This requires you to study your market well, maybe conduct some phone surveys to understand what the prospects exactly have in mind.

Researching more about your prospects is also an important part of your marketing campaign. You need to know more about your business prospects. Information about your business prospects is the first important step in the B2B lead generation process. Inquire more about your customers. Talk to them in person, interact with them more, ask them about their problems, learn their main issues, and use the information you obtain to come up with viable solutions for them. What you need to remember is to talk to your prospects as naturally as you can. You have to put your prospects at ease, which will give you better opportunities to convert your prospects into an actual sale or a deal.

In any case, if you do not feel like up to this kind of task, then you can also opt for the alternative:outsource to a professional B2B lead generation company. This would also be perfect for businesses that do not have their own marketing team. As a business investment, this is worth it.

Monday, November 4, 2013

5 Indications of an Ineffective B2B Email Newsletter

Given the success of email marketing in B2B lead generation and its consistent presence in most businesses’ marketing campaigns, it’s hard to imagine that email newsletters would fail. But it does happen, and the problem is that marketers tend to be in denial of the fact that it’s not working and that they need to do something about it.
Marketers need to identify the signs that tell whether or not an email campaign is successful. Although these indications are pretty obvious, they’re the ones that marketers need to take a look at so they can make the necessary adjustments. These indications are as follows:
  1. Low subscription rate; high unsubscribe rate. If your list of subscribers got stuck at 20 and no longer growing, then you obviously have a problem. Also, if people seem to unsubscribe constantly, that’s another problem. To address this, go back to the mechanism that allows them to subscribe – is it a tick box on your landing page? Is it a full-pledged form? You may want to rethink your subscription offers, too. Check whether the frequency and/or content are making them happy.
  2. Awful open rates. Your subscribers may not be quitting on you, but if they’re not opening the stuff you send them, it’s pretty much the same thing. It could be your subject line. It could be the timing. Or it could be a previous content piece they so disliked that they've decided not to read anything from you, and they’re just too kind to unsubscribe.
  3. Unpromising click-though rates. The industry standard is currently at 4.3%. Is your CTR reaching that target? If no, but intermittently, then you might still be in the game. If no with consistency, then you might as well refocus your energy on something else.
  4. Calls-to-action are in oblivion. CTAs measure the very purpose of lead generation. If they are being ignored (or worse, if they are becoming invisible), then you need to check what’s going on. Is it the presentation style of the CTA? Is it being too pushy? Does it make the process too complicated for prospects?
  5. Spam rates are unusually high. Being marked as a spammer is the ultimate symptom – it means your would-be readers are just too unengaged and will only generate more spam complaints in the future. If your spam rates are going through the roof, it may be best to pull the plug on email marketing (for a while), rethink the strategy and redeem yourself next time.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Possible reasons why your Lead Generation numbers are not going up

There will always be times when your marketing efforts don’t produce the numbers you've expected. And in those times, it might be hard to shift focus away from failure and instead look at the reasons why it happened. Emotions can get in the way, and that prevents us from seeing things logically. B2B lead generation is one those fields where an element of “chance” is always a part of the game. Sometimes, campaigns fail because of things that are beyond your control, and there’s really nothing you could do about it.
What you can do, though, is to evaluate certainaspects of your efforts and see if they “contribute” to the occurrence of failure.

Below is a checklist that you might want to try for yourself:

Your content may not be generating enough traffic. It might be because of lack of quality or poor search optimization, but whatever it is, it’s the very first thing you need to check. To be able to generate leads, you need a large bulk of traffic, and without that, you can’t expect numbers to go up.

Your calls-to-action are in the wrong places. CTAs are like the pearly gates that lead to conversion heaven. They must be scattered everywhere within the prospect’s decision-making phase, and it should clearly define what’s in it for them. If they couldn't see your CTAs, you wouldn't see them either.

Your social media use may be misguided. A lot of marketers are disillusioned about the number of likes or followers they generate on social media. What you really should be looking at is lead potential, and your social media posts should go hand-in-hand with your other efforts, not as an independent campaign.

Your landing page forms are either too long or too short. Studies show that the optimal number of form fields that lead to conversion is from 5 to 10. If yours doesn't fall within that average, then perhaps you need a re-evaluation.

Your leads are not of high-quality. Again, the battle of quantity versus quality. While campaigns may survive by getting tons of mediocre leads, the ultimate success can only be determined by high-quality leads – meaning, those that rake in large sums of revenue and are more likely to stick.

Your promos are outdated, unoriginal or boring. Prospects may lose interest in offers that keep getting recycled over and over. This lessens the likelihood of sharing and loyalty, thus also affecting conversion rates. Come up with something fresh, although risky, to see if it can put back life into your dying efforts.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The 7 Deadly Sins of B2B Lead Generation

There are only two kinds of things that can bring any business endeavor to its demise: unfortunate circumstances and human errors. Obviously, the former is something that’s out of anyone’s control. It could be anything from a paralyzing economic recession to physical disasters like fires or earthquakes. The latter, however, are the flaws and lapses that key people have in making decisions and performing actions. These things are controllable.

When a business engages in B2B lead generation, it embarks on an elaborate campaign to seek and attract potential clients. The task requires careful planning, patience and cooperation between and among marketers and other functions of the business. The things that could destroy that effort the ones that are controllablemust not be tolerated. As marketers, it is important to understand why these things can be roadblocks to success. 

These are 7 of the worst things that could happen to your campaign:

1. Lack of strategy  Even the simplest marketing activities require a strategy. It’s the framework that guides marketers to their goals and puts and everything in order for them. Without it, management of time, budget and other resources would be topsy-turvy.

2. Lack of commitment Lead generation is not the sole obligation of marketing, and that’s true. However, if a marketing team engages in lead generation only to perform it half-heartedly, then goals would be difficult to achieve.

3.  Lack of quality content If lead generation is a restaurant business, then content is the menu list. It’s what draws people into engagement. If the type of content is not compelling enough to spark interest, lead generation would be stagnated into a dead campaign.

4. Lack of collaboration with sales Marketing should not work independently from sales, especially in walking prospects through the entire sales process. Both departments should have a shared vision as to how a prospect’s experience would be enhanced.

5.  Lack of nurturing The responsibility of marketers do not end when prospects are turned into leads. There must be a thorough follow-up system to maximize the potential of doing business and establishing a long-term relationship.

6.   Lack of fun B2B doesn’t have to be a boring enterprise. Even within an industry composed of professionals and executives, the element of fun and camaraderie could still be encouraged. No one wants their business to come out as a square to the public eye.

7. Lack of risk-taking – Eventually, the things that the B2B industry practices now would become obsolete in the future. That may still be a long time from now, but for a business that doesn’t have the guts to take risks even today, tomorrow would be a quandary.