Use B2B Marketing for Sales Lead Generation: It Really is Cost-Effective

What’s a more cost-effective way of making a business-to-business sale? Saving the one-to-one sales calls until the end.

Sales lead generationMost of the fastest-growing companies I know don’t rely solely on one-to-one sales contacts to grow their business. Why? Because it’s difficult to find effective salespeople, and often it takes too long for new salespeople to start showing a favorable return on the company’s investment.

Instead, the more successful companies leverage lower cost-per-contact, one-to-many marketing tactics to address the front end of the sales pipeline: prospecting and qualifying after sales lead generation. Then they focus their more costly one-to-one in-person sales contacts on the end of the pipeline: the heavy lifting of doing demos, crafting proposals and closing sales.

Doing the Math

How many prospects do you think your salespeople can visit during a given day? Unless their territory is limited to the immediate neighborhood, I’d say they’ll probably be able to schedule a maximum of four meetings a day. Add these numbers up and you’ll find that your average salesperson can complete 200 in-person sales visits a year at most (50 days multiplied by four visits). My experience says that the average B2B close rates are close to 20 percent to 30 percent, meaning average salespeople will only close between eight and 12 sales from their 200 in-person sales calls!

They would be 40 percent more productive at closing sales if they only had to make an average of three sales visits to close a qualified business lead that was generated for them by marketing.

Use B2B Marketing

So instead of adding more salespeople to knock on more doors, use marketing to cost-effectively contact your prospects and fill the sales pipeline with qualified leads via sales lead generation tactics. Doing so will result in more sales-ready opportunities that your salespeople can turn into new business, meaning greater sales revenue and profits for your company–and maybe a raise.

The full article with more detail and calculations is available at: Sales Lead Generation and Qualification: Use B2B Marketing

 

 

B2B Marketing Plan: Steps to Implementing a Program That Drives New Business

 

Follow these steps to tune up your B2B marketing program and drive new business.

In the following article I list:

  • Goals
  • Strategy
  • Tactics
  • Sales tools
  • Metrics
  • Resources and budget
  • Implementation

It’s a quick bullet-point summary–and it’s great to have as a roadmap as you develop your marketing program. Let me know what you think.

 

 

Persona-Based Marketing: Getting Started

Persona-based marketing goes beyond simple demographic data

Persona-based marketing describes who a prospect or customer is, by also answering questions about their behavior such as: what keeps this person awake at night? How does he spend his time? How does she like to be sold to?

This concept can help you, as a business-to-business marketer, by creating a vivid, tangible picture of your best prospects or customers, and then sculpting a marketing message that’s pertinent to their concerns, and move them to inquire and buy.

How to get started:

  1. Convene a group of employees who interact with your customers and prospects. Bring in lunch and a white board and ask them to help you build a persona for each of your target customers.
  2. Start by describing the customer’s role in their company: CEO, CIO, CFO, COO, sales manager, purchasing agent, user, and any other important influencers.
  3. Next describe the kind of company they work for. What industry is it in? How big is it? How up-to-date is it? Does it have a lot of competition?
  4. Then describe the person and their behavior: Give each persona a name, a title, an age, and describe how he or she looks. How does he dress? What kind of car does she drive? What does he do in his free time? What kind of educational background does she have?
  5. Flesh out as many attributes as you need to give a full, rounded picture of who this person is. Then, turn to your persona’s problems and goals.
  6. Think about what does this person’s daily calendar look like? What are his or her most pressing concerns? What product or service attributes would be most helpful in solving this person’s problems? Is he or she looking to roll up 20 databases into one, getting ready for an IPO, dealing with a new competitor who has just entered the market?
  7. Then, when formulating your marketing messages, think about what path this prospect or customer might pursue to solve this problem. Will he or she turn to white papers or articles in trade publications or Web sites? Would this customer or prospect seek input from a speaker at a networking group of their peers? Let the personas steer the route, which you can pave with information that can help your prospect and customers move forward in their consideration and buying process.

Read the full article at my website: Persona-based marketing: Powerful tools for connecting with prospects and customers

 

Business-to-Business Telemarketing: Wasting Your Money?

Are you dialing for dollars or wasting your money with telemarketing?

Why? Because this is what happens when somebody realizes that there are not enough sales leads in the pipeline to meet this quarter’s sales revenue goals:

Scenario A: Forced Labor

They grab a couple of unlucky administrative assistants, salespeople or interns, put them on they phone with old leads and pray. The unmotivated crew manages to fill their time “getting organized.”

Scenario B: Garbage In, Garbage Out

The marketer Googles for an outsourced business-to-business telemarketing company, and eager to start, sends and old call list or worse, a list of all area businesses. The telemarketing company hires some temps, changes an ex-client’s script, and tells the newly hired business-to-business telemarketing reps, “Start calling.”

Not surprisingly, both scenarios are recipes for disaster.

Of course, you’re experienced and have the skill and knowledge necessary to recognize when a prospect’s needs are a good fit for your services. But you’ve got more important things to do.

So if you’re serious about using B-to-B telemarketing to quickly generate qualified leads:

Hire your own top-notch telemarketers.

Look for people who like being on the phone, understand that rejection is part of the process, have lots of experience calling your types of customers and can knowledgeably discuss the situations and applications your services fit best. (Hint: Consider ex-salespeople who now have kids and want to work part-time and without traveling. Or go after retirees who have realized they’d like to work part-time.) Then give them well-targeted and up-to-date lists of prospects to call.

Hire a top-notch B2B telemarketing company.

Look for a company with a proven track record of calling into the same industries and the same titles as you will want them to be calling on your behalf. Thoroughly check references and insist that the BtoB telemarketing company assign experienced callers to your project. Then both you and the firm must invest time and effort in creating call guidelines (rather than a verbatim script) and training callers on the unique aspects of your business and your prospects. Finally, give the callers a well-targeted list of prospects to call, and have them start dialing.

The acid test for success in either case: How would you feel if you received that telemarketing call?

 

For the full version of this article, please visit:
Business-to-business telemarketing: Dialing for dollars or wasting your money?

Also: Make your telemarketing efforts take off. Find out more about my telemarketing lead generation consulting services.

 
Need help with B2B lead generation, marketing and sales?
For more information, please call Mac McIntosh at +1-401-294-7730, send him email at or visit www.sales-lead-experts.com