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Your promos are outdated, unoriginal or boring.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.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Leadership Traits That Inspire Loyalty In Your B2B Telemarketing Team

Loyaltythe one quality that many business owners and managers want to develop in their employees. This is also the quality that compels marketers to stick to their bosses through difficult times, convincing them to look for viable answer to many B2B telemarketing concerns. Well, you have to admit that generating qualified sales leads through this medium could be a pain. And not many people will stay working for you, what with all the pressure and challenges that they will have to face here. It is your job, as the leader, to inspire loyalty in your people. Mind you, doing that is no walk in the park, but if you know what to do exactly, then you will be on your way to a productive appointment setting campaign.

Let as look at the following, for starters:

1. Be honestnothing can be more inspiring than being honest with your people. I know, this may sound cliché, but you have to admit that leaders who can remove ambiguities and promote accuracy and openness in the office are the ones who are most likely to succeed in fostering respect and loyalty from their employees. So try to keep that in mind as well

2. Stick to the job descriptionwhen you hired someone, you hired them specifically for the job you have in mind. Making them do things that go beyond their job description not only results in poor results (if that employee lacks the proper skill for the new job) but also resentment from your employees. Think of what would happen if you put your researchers in a big-time telemarketing job. They would not like that.

3. Get realbasically, you remove the barriers that keep people from interacting and working together. You know you have something good if people collaborate and contribute towards a better lead generation process. I mean, you can only get that if all the inputs from other members of your company share their thoughts to the one making the marketing plans. Some might even get the courage to go straight to you and share their marketing ideas.

4. Show fairness and openness to everyonesimply put, you want to be transparent, whether it is about that needed to be done or the problems that your company is experiencing. You have to show them that you are someone who appreciates good work and is not reserved with the praise, or critical analysis and advice in case things go wrong.

5. Do not tell them, show themaction speaks louder than words, so to speak. That is how you teach employees how things are done in the office, and in the way you prefer. Sure, you can let them do things their way, but you have to make sure that everyone is heading to the direction you desire.

Having loyal employees is very important in your B2B telemarketing campaign. Try following these tips and you will be able to keep your employees working for you. This is a good investment.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Who Is Better At B2B Lead Generation? An Expert Or A Consultant?

You know that marketing is no easy job. Customer trends and tastes change all the time. And it is up to you to make sure that your B2B lead generation campaign becomes successful. Now, as a marketer, approaching potential sales leads requires that you know how to deal with them best. Basically, you have to assume one of the two common roles that appointment setters make: an expert or a consultant? But here is an interesting part, which of these two roles will fit you? Understanding whether you are an expert or a consultant can affect your marketing style. So, which is which?
1.    An expert will tell you what to do, while a consultant asks what you might do – Some business prospects do not like being told straight to their faces of what they should or should not do. Consultants, on the other hand, may not be able to get much, especially if the B2B leads prospects they are talking to are not exactly sure of what they should be doing in the first place.

2.    An expert starts a trend, a consultant follows it – honestly, there is nothing wrong about being a trend-setter. What makes it a problem is when it backfires on you, especially if the trend you want to create actually messed up your lead generation campaign. You might as well observe the trends and deal with what you see.

3.    Experts explain the facts, consultants learn facts – business prospects find it harder and harder to analyze the facts and get things straight, so most of them would love to have someone who could make things easier for them. Experts can do that. But consultants are pretty good as well. They just spend more time studying the market and getting the facts straight. Now that would take a lot of time, but it is worth it.

4.    Experts bring a lot of things in, consultants do not bring much – since experts are pretty much knowledgeable of how the market works, it is only natural that you would be telling them everything they should know about. In the case of consultants, they would want to know more about your business first before they can give a concrete answer. There are a lot of problems and issues that may not be seen by experts that consultants might be able to point out. But still, it may work the other way, depending on the business you have.

5.    Experts talk, consultants ask – knowledge is power, so to speak, and in a B2B telemarketing campaign, you need to know how your prospects prefer to be talked into business with. Do they want to hear what you have in mind, or do they prefer someone who listens to their concerns?

Think about it. This might affect your decision on what exactly is the kind of b2b lead generation specialist you are going to be. You can bet that your approach to sales leads prospects will be influenced by the way you deal with them.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

5 Questions every B2B Lead Generation Company must mull over

The luxury that a marketer may have if he’s in the Business-to-Consumer (B2C) industry is that he can just pour in the right ingredients into the mix and the product will practically cook itself. That is not to demean their efforts, which are for sure very intensive, but the fact that their audience is the general buying public makes it largely easier for them to perform marketing.
In Business-to-Business (B2B) lead generation, however, buyers’ interests are not easily gained by preppy, bourgeois-eque publicity. The B2B audience is more or less “experts” in the field they are in, and they generally have the tendency to rationalize their purchases by learning about the product or service.
That in turn makes it a little bit more complicated for B2B marketers to evaluate the well-being of their marketing campaigns. It’s more than just asking Are people buying our products ?” but it entails a lot more concerns to consider:
Does your target market know you?
Oblivion is marketing hell, and the first thing you should shoot for is recognition. If you’re a company that sells, say, technology products and software, the least that you could ask for is for your audience to know you exist, considering the tight competition in the IT industry. That should be your basic requirement; ask yourself, have people heard about my company?
Are you getting good traffic?
The biggest chunk of your B2B lead generation efforts will most likely come from inbound traffic, and if you’re getting none of that, then you should be worried, and you might as well just take down your site.
Do your visitors get converted?
It isn’t enough that people visit your blog almost every day to read your posts and see updates on events; they have to get converted to customers, or at least provide leads for future use. A lot of sites get an awful lot of traffic but end up not increasing sales anyway.
Are you attracting the right people?
Even when people do sign up for newsletters or contact your sales team, what are the realistic odds that they will convert? For all you know, you could be driving the wrong people (or perhaps the right people but for the wrong reasons). Make necessary adjustments to point your aim at the people who are actually going to make business.
Is your sales cycle functional?
Your sales cycle (in partnership with your sales team) is the machine that takes in the heap of fish, takes out the bones, processes the meat, adds the sauce, and puts the finished product inside shiny aluminum cans. If it’s not working, then your leads would just remain as they are – just plain leads. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

How To Prioritize B2B Lead Generation Tasks

As a business owner or manager, it is understandable if you want to generate the most number of IT sales leads for your company. The IT industry, while profitable, is also the most competitive. A lot of IT companies rise and fall every day, and only the strength of their products and the skills of their B2B lead generation team is what keeps the ones who survive afloat. And with all the things that you have to deal with, you cannot just cover everything in a single day. You need to learn how to prioritize. Otherwise, you would be stretching yourself so thin you have to chance to recharge or recheck your bearings. Now that would be more damaging to your IT business. So, how would you prioritize your tasks?

1.    List down your tasks – the main reason why you end up so overwhelmed with your work is because you do not know how many tasks you have to fulfill. Take stock of your work load. Only then will you know which one would be the most important in B2B leads generation.

2.    Identify the most draining tasks – to be honest, the one activity that would really drain you would be appointment setting. I mean, this is a process that requires constant monitoring and follow-up. You have to do that one right, before you deal with the rest.

3.    Forget about the perfect time – honestly, there will never be a perfect time to decide on things. You just have to deal with the challenges that get thrown your way. If you need to deal with your IT telemarketing campaign fast, then you really have to deal with it. Delays by waiting for the perfect time will not get you anything.

4.    Try not getting stuck on the big picture – sometimes, looking at the big picture makes you lose focus on the small details. And to tell you the truth, it is the small details that matter in your everyday operations. As a marketer, you should ensure that the small details are properly attended to. The big picture would take care of itself.

5.   Move on – there are so many tasks that you need to do in a single day that you just cannot afford to linger on one that you have just taken care of. If you think of each of these tasks as a sort of stages, one that will get you to your intended goals once the day ends.

6.    Rinse and repeat – basically, you do the cycle all over again the next day. The thing about marketing, and its accompanying tasks, is that the process never ends. You know that there will be more tasks coming up on your plate, and it is up to managers and entrepreneurs like you to put some system or process in place to help you go about your work, every day.

That is how you prioritize your tasks in B2B lead generation campaigns. Your IT business would be in a better spot with this.

Friday, October 11, 2013

What To Do With A “No” During B2B Lead Generation

We have to admit that facing rejections, directly or indirectly, can be troublesome for any B2B lead generation campaign. With the way the business world moves these days, knowing how to compel business prospects to buy from you can be a bit of a challenge. It takes a little convincing and persistence on your part to turn these prospective sales leads into actual business deals. And what if your prospects say no? You have to trust your creativity and resourcefulness in this regards. I know, this is not easy, but if you have a general idea on what to say, then you will know how to proceed on this. Take these as examples:
   1.   “Send us some information” – you should quickly comply when your prospect asks you that. Additionally, ask him about what attracted his attention the most. There might be something about your offer that caught his interest. Just do it in the most natural method.

     2.    “We have no ready funds for that” – either this is just an excuse or they really could not afford your offer’s price tag. When that happens, try changing tact. See if, price no longer a factor, they would still seal the deal with you. Maybe a little rearrangement of payment terms will do the trick.

     3.    “That is not my priority at the moment” – you may not be able to make a sale with them, but they can give you useful business data for use at a later date. Ask them about their current priorities. Sometimes, no B2B leads generated now can be turned into more B2B leads later.

     4.    “We already use (competitor’s product)” – now, this is the case where you really are least likely to make a sale, but at least you can ask them about their reasons for choosing your competitor. Who knows what you might learn during your conversation that can help you later on.

      5.    “It just costs too much” – do not feel too bad. Actually this is a sign that they are interested. The only reason they are not signing up yet is the price tag. It may just be simple too expensive or the features and benefits not enough to justify the price. You have to ask so that your telemarketing team can adapt.
      6. “Call me back in (period of time)” – do not worry, this might not be a ‘no’. In most cases, they just simply do not have the time at the moment to deal with you. Just clarify with them why they wish to postpone your meeting. This will give your B2B appointment setting team more time to prepare.

      7.   “Someone else makes the buying decision” – when you hear that, either the person you are talking to is the gate keeper or a lower-level executive who does not have the final say. Just earn their trust and cooperation, then. They might be able to help you connect faster to the real decision-makers.

It is not that bad, if you think about it. Just follow these tips to help turn the flow in your B2B lead generation campaign

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

No Tech Skills? That Is No Problem With Lead Generation

The thing about B2B lead generation , especially if you are targeting the IT industry, is that most marketers and entrepreneurs find it hard to actually interact with B2B leads prospects that are found there. It basically boils down to the lack of technical knowledge or skills that the other party knows about. Despite this kind of handicap, this should not be taken as a weakness for your B2B appointment setting campaigns. You see, there are ways for you to prepare, to get some working knowledge about the businesses you want to communicate with.

There are plenty of things that you can do, but the most important ones can be found below:

First of all, understand what really bothers the potential that you are in contact with. Sometimes, the problem that needed to be solved may not actually something technical at all. For example, if you are distribution and retail company wanting to sell the latest customized mobile applications being offered by another firm, then all they need from you is your sales and marketing knowledge. There is actually no need for you to know anything technical about your business prospect. You just have to offer them something they need (not to mention different) on the meeting table. That is your strongest draw.

Second, try talking to everyone, especially if you have a really good business idea in mind. If you just keep it to yourself, then you might miss out on a lot of opportunities. There are a lot of people who can give you feedback and advice about your ideas. Be it in how to properly perform a campaign on IT prospects, or in the things that the IT market needs at the moment, you will only know that if you ask. Besides, this could be very useful in opening up business networks that you can tap on at a later time.

Lastly, try thinkingoutside the box. Even if you are not that much of a technical person, it does not mean that you cannot contribute on a different aspect of your business. You might be the type of person that is pretty good at conceptualizing business or marketing ideas, or you might be someone who is good at getting skilled people on-board and helping you create some of the most popular business solutions that you can offer. Yes, you may not be able to write programs or code websites, but the other skills you have are equally important for the success of your B2B lead generation campaign as well.

By the way, while you might find these tips very useful, you might be inclined to follow the practice of some companies, and that is to outsource their sales operations to professional More likely than not, these people are more knowledgeable about the industries you wish to enter. As a business investment, you might want to consider this option. You have nothing to lose if you give this a try, just work with the right firms.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Problem-Solving Strategies In Effective Lead Generation

Customer complaints will always be part of your business campaign, and it is up to marketers like you to deal with them and keep them from getting out of hand. Otherwise, you might have some difficulties in your future B2B lead generation campaigns. This is one thing that you have to do right, since social media can be a real downer to your B2B leadscampaign if your prospects check and see that your customers are saying negative things about you. Now that would be a realwrecker for your marketers. This is an issue that you need to take care of. At least there are only three things you need to consider before you go out solving a customer’s problem.

First of all, you need to know just how big the return on your investments will be

You see, it is all right to solve a customer’s problem. Indeed, you have to solve it, how else will you be able stay in business, then? The problem here is that some customers are just so hard to please. Dealing with such people not only steals a lot of your time, it also keeps you from your appointment setting tasks at hand. In cases like these, it is best to just solve it to the best of your abilities – and leave it at that. It will not help you to fret over it too much. If it is broken, fix it right. If it is still broken, and fixing it will not get you anything good in return, then you might as well leave it.

Second, are your people properly informed of the customer’s problem? 

With multi-tasking being the norm in a lot of businesses, where a single employee might act both as telemarketing representative and secretary, then you need to make sure that they are aware of what your customers expect from them and how you will address that need. People need to know why they are being made to do things. Setting expectations about their work will help them work better and provide meaning in what they are doing. But you do have to inform them about it. This calls for all your skills in communication to get your message across them.

Lastly, you have to make sure that you are ready for the consequence.

This is especially true if you fail to solve the problem of your customers. If that failure is what prospective sales leads ask you about, then you should have a reply at the ready. Sometimes, explaining things can be a real pain, especially if that failure is a sour point in your business operations, but brushing it aside will not get you anywhere near your goals. Be ready to defend your business, andyour products, in case that happens. It is a necessary part of your overall marketing process.

Trouble with customers and B2B leads is normal. It is how you deal with that that makes all the difference in your lead generation campaign.