Great reasons to outsource inquiry/response handling
Today’s lead management service companies assist business-to-business marketers by handling routine tasks and much more. If you and your staff are overloaded trying to keep in touch with interested prospects, you may end up missing revenue sources and slowing growth.
Overloaded, or just want to get more efficient?
For starters, you may want to look into outsourcing for their typical functions such as
- literature fulfillment,
- lead distribution,
- response handling,
- tracking, and
Beyond that, did you realize response handling services have become quite sophisticated and can help you
- qualify prospects,
- get leads into the pipeline sooner,
- show prospects your company is timely and efficient, and
- provide the data you need to show marketing ROI?
Some examples that can help your group get ahead of the game
- Publish different fax numbers or e-mail addresses in your ads. Route the responses to the inquiry handling service. It’s fast and easy for both the prospect and your company.
- Set up phone response 24 hours a day or during U.S. coast-to-coast business hours. It serves the prospects, plus they also can provide immediate qualification of inquirers and first level technical support.
- Have the service handle website information forms and “chat” requests. Do periodic check-ins as a prospect to see what the experience is like.
- Most services can forward sales leads as email attachments that integrate with your salespeople’s existing contact management software or corporate CRM or sales automation systems.
- Advanced sales lead distribution methods let you get leads to your salespeople, reps, dealers or distributors by email, fax and directly on the Web.
- Outbound telemarketers can generate sales leads, qualify prospects, perform “Did you buy?” studies, build relationships with longer-term prospects and invite them to seminars. Some can even sell your products or services, when appropriate.
- Sophisticated reporting capabilities let you measure lead follow-up, can link inquiries to sales and determine return on investment. Reporting can be prepared as statistical analysis or graphs and charts. Reports can be given to you as printed documents, as e-mail file attachments you can view using common programs like Excel(r), or they can be viewed, downloaded or printed on demand on the Web.
- Does your marketing database need cleanup? These services can develop and manage your sales and marketing databases, clean them up and append data from postal and public databases, enhance them through feedback from salespeople and marketing response handling and direct mail and telemarketing efforts, and let you keep in touch with and convert more prospects to customers.
- Ongoing broadcast e-mail, broadcast fax and e-mail programs can be implemented to keep in touch and build a sales-winning relationship with your prospects and existing customers.
Where do you find service companies to assist you with marketing response handling and sales lead management?
- Ask your peers at other companies.
- Ask the folks at your advertising agency.
- Check the display and classified ads in industry publications like B2B, Direct, DM News, Sales & Marketing Management, Target Marketing and Exhibitor or the directories they publish.
- Do searches on the Internet using key words like “response handling,” “inquiry handling,” “sales lead management,” “response management” or “literature fulfillment.”
- Check with marketing associations like the Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org).