Wednesday, May 23, 2012
The controversial thing about Facebook has always been with regards the to relationship between information and privacy. Then again, such controversies have been around since the big internet boom itself. Some however might argue that Facebook has taken it to new heights.
So how does this relate to lead generation? Well for one thing, the recent buzz surrounding Facebook's IPO has cast plenty of skeptical light on its value as an online advertiser. This is bad news considering the increasingly common knowledge that the social networking site earns 85% of its revenue from advertising.
This in turn may have a strong impact in the world of social media marketing, including those who have begun testing out the waters for B2B leads. At this point, it's important to note that Facebook is not the whole of social media. You still have other sites such as LinkedIn and Google+ (with the latter even becoming a subject of criticism purely on the grounds that it's ripping off Facebook).
However, if one were to see this from a B2B perspective, Facebook may not be the best place to start.
First off, one of the few ways to generate leads via social media is by using the social aspects to connect with prospects, establish trust, and then slowly build a relationship. This might sound like the ideal approach for B2B but oddly enough, Facebook has demonstrated how this might work also for B2C companies. Company pages are slowly becoming outlets for promos and announcements while at the same time attracting only those who are genuinely interested in a brand.
This though has never eliminated the fact that the environment of Facebook has always been too close to the personal life. This is where the subject of privacy and information starts to move in. No matter what the position of your target decision maker, are you really braced to connect with this person and see what's on their timeline? Chances are, you're more likely to see a father of two or funny pictures of cats than the big CEO you'd wan talk to about Business Intelligence Software.
Honestly, not only is that information private, it's not even useful for companies targeting professions and other business owners. If anything business owners are more likely on Facebook to promote something themselves than have something promoted to them. Even outsourced telemarketing has a higher value in terms of quality information for B2B. You don't need to know that which is personal but personal is what Facebook has a lot of regardless of how many professionals try to use it for business.
This is not a call to reject social media but simply a cautious advisory when it comes to picking the right social networking sites to promote your business. Perhaps it would be best to review some of the basics like, who is your target market? What needs do you expect them to have? Where are you likely to find them (both online and offline)? If you'd even just think about this the next time you're thinking of social media, it should help you the best place to be at for generating leads.
Monday, May 21, 2012
Please know that when you're implementing HR software, your client is not just the HR manager or the other higher ups of their company. It's also those who are under them. Your software, your system, is for the employees as much as it is for the employers.
As a such, when you're trying to get the interest of a company for your software lead generation, it won't be just the employers who'll need time to think about it. You may not need to speak with the whole employee population but they certainly play a factor in a potential client's decision.
Think of it this way. You've decided to get yourself some contact information and have it qualified (perhaps you even made the additional request to set appointments with them). At that point, you can either outsource telemarketing services to give your prospects a call or try it out themselves. But guess what? Neither choice matters when it comes to the other end.
Be it outsourced or done in-house, your efforts should take into consideration that the decision maker on the other end isn't the only person who needs to know about your offer. The rest of the employees who will be directly affected by the implementation should also chime in. Something is going to happen that will change the way they're getting paid, the way they'll be bringing new people in, and the way they'll even measure the time they spent working. Obviously, they need to know what that thing is and if it will really do them any good.
Again, this does not need to be done by talking to them as well but you do need to give the decision maker some time to discuss it with them. Hence, they won't be the only ones who'd want to think about it. Give them the time to do so because if you don't have their approval, the implementation process is going get really rough. They won't be familiar with your system, they might even hate it because of that, and in the worst case, the decision maker you contacted is starting to regret ever agreeing to the whole thing.
The same goes for any of the lead generation companies who outsource to represent you. If they're as good as they say they are, they would know what it means to give a prospect some time. Business leads aren't as quickly generated as consumer interest. Therefore, don't feel anxious when things aren't going fast enough. For all you know, you could already be at maximum speed, running right alongside competitors.
If information gathering is what makes for quality software sales leads, then obviously that information goes beyond the decision maker and into the needs of the company which in turn includes who it employs. And since this is specifically about HR software, you have all the more reason to consider their input because it will affect them more than anyone else. Ironically, the quickest way to do that is by giving their superior the time to relay what you're offering and see what the entire community has to say.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Getting leads for BI software demands high-quality information as well as very tactful business communication methods. What else can you expect when the people whose interest you'd want are those up at the very top? Still, the costs of database management, telecommunications technology, and hiring experienced professionals can be too much and if not too much, it would at least make it harder to expand and develop your business closer along the lines of its specialization.
Hence, you'll see why outsourcing is experiencing a rise in popularity. But then again, is that popularity enough for you to make decisions? Speaking of decisions, it's also important for you to choose quickly because you're not the only group that has considered outsourcing.
Now just because you decide to outsource due to all that support doesn't mean outsourcing itself doesn't leave you with some questions of its own. Mainly, these question are:
- Who will you outsource to?
- Where are they located?
So, why these two in particular? #1 is easy to understand but to expand upon it, it also asks you about what kind of lead generation firm do you want to do business with? Do you think that firm will do a good job representing you to such high-end clients?
The second question however, is trickier. No doubt you have already selected a handful of candidates from either searching the internet or looking them up elsewhere. Either way, one other thing that is just as important as who they are is where they are mainly located.
As stated before, if cost is not a primary reason, it still plays other significant roles when it comes to the decision of outsourcing. On the subject of location, that cost is directly related to the currency of the land. A company that's located right within your city (or at least your country) may have a higher compared to others but it is easier to monitor and such a location has a proximity that puts you at ease. On the other hand, if you're outsourcing a company beyond your shores, the costs can be lower if the other country's +currency makes it so.
Although, that's as far as location will ever play as a factor. The thing you really need to measure starting at that point is going back to that company's identity. What is the quality of their telemarketing services? Is there software appointment setting in accordance to your schedule? Does the cost translate into a fair wage for the workers?
You can see this has only led to more questions but the good thing is once you've answered them, you will now be able to identify the best group to contact the executives of your target company and represent your business. The image you present might play a big role on their impression of you.
Location has its importance but that's mostly where currency is concerned. Hopefully, this has eliminated some biases from your mind and you can start being more decisive with your outsourcing.
Sunday, May 6, 2012
America is just one of the many countries around the world who have acknowledged the dangers of using outdated medical technology. Its implementation of the HITECH Act should however be another cause to rejoice because it was done with the hope of easing the financial burdens of implementation.
Now medical technology isn't just a field that seeks to improve for financial reasons. It's a field that must improve for the sake of maintained quality.
It's like in the case of the thermometer. For more than a century, mankind had used mercury thermometers in healthcare and have even gone so far as to represent all medical thermometers in media and fiction. However, in recent years it has been phased out due to the very toxic nature of mercury itself. Electronic thermometers are seeing more use in the field and eventually, they'll become the new face of the device.
That is but a small example of how medical technology can change during this high-speed, technological era. On the other hand, there are many situations were practitioners, small clinics, and even whole institutions have persisted with the use of old tools. While this may be admirable at first glance, it's actually a sign of deterioration in the long run. However, there are many reasons as to why they haven't shifted. Some may lack the budget. Others may not simply be aware of new technology. There are others still who may not be aware of new regulations and need to act immediately or risk the charge of serious violations.
What you need is a good way to generate information about such institutions. This may surprise you but this information can easily be found in B2B sales leads. Now of course you might think that medical software is a lot less of an industry and more of a field. In other words, you're probably thinking that the information might be too business-oriented. Well, the truth is information is information, regardless of what connotations you may have.
If you've ever visited the website of any lead generation company, you'll see a lot of them boasting a very thorough qualification process. These people don't just stick to just contact information. They know what the information stands for, who is on the other end, and have personnel with the skills to get the answers that you need. On that note, it's also a reason why telemarketing in particular is still a commonly used tool for the process.
Contrary to what the title implies, an institution doesn't have to be shady in order to persist with bad medical technology. It can simply be unaware and uninformed for a number of reasons. Those reasons however are up to you to find out. If you have to find it out by outsourcing for medical leads, why don't you? The mercury thermometer may not be the only invention that will be phased out in the coming years. You need to act now before more institutions and professionals end up persisting with worn out tools.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
They may have lost their edge in targeting consumers but telemarketers are still quite prominent when it comes to the calls that decision makers and business executives receive. Now is that a bad thing? On the contrary, it's part of everyday life in the corporate world.
Regardless of what you may have heard, companies need to make connections with each other. Telemarketing is just one way they do it. The kind of communication that goes on here can be starkly different from conversations with a regular consumer.
One way to see this is in the challenges of B2B companies like those developing ERP software. Not only is ERP software highly specialize, the costs of implementing it is something only an entire corporation can afford. Clearly, it's not something you'd market the same way you would a toaster or a new brand of breakfast cereal.
If you're an ERP software company, a noteworthy obstacle is figuring out who to contact if you want to propose a software solution for them. This is where the difference between B2C marketing and B2B lead generation really hits hard. It takes a lot to know just one individual company well enough to see if they'd like to do business with you. There are likely as many strategies out there as there are methods and tools. These same tools alone already take a lot to invest in. After that, you have recruitment and training which leads to even more budgeting.
However, it's not just the cost of the effort that you need to worry about. Again, there are likely as many possible strategies out there as there are methods and tools. However, if this is your first time to generate leads as well, your lack of experience is not something money can make up for.
Now there's a chance that you might be aware of how outsourcing helps you bypass those costs. While they do save you the trouble, there's another opportunity for you when you do. Although, you can only avail of it if you specifically pick companies who are transparent with their process.
For example, if you're using telemarketing for ERP leads, then you need to outsource a telemarketer that can give you records of their marketing calls. That way, both of your organizations are working closely together and you can see just what it is they say and do in order to determine the right person in charge. Speaking of which, it can even be argued that hearing a live conversation can make for faster learning because it has a flow thats more fluid yet straight to the point.
You'll be taking dangerous risks if you try contacting and qualifying these companies on your own without prior experience of how to navigate through them. The costs mentioned above are only the starting fee compared to the price you'll end up paying for mistakes. Such mistakes can range from contacting the wrong person, getting caught up in internal politicking, or even just dialing the wrong number. The best you can do is at least take some time to learn what it takes to find out who's in charge.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
You may have heard it before or perhaps got a hint of it from the phrase “experience is the best teacher”. Regardless, there's plenty truth in it as far as getting your own experience goes. That same truth also applies to the art of getting B2B leads.
Now we all know how hard it can be to get leads for something that is specialized only for the benefit of business enterprise (e.g. SCM software). The executives, decision makers, and other important business leaders do not take up most of the population so getting their interest is not going to be a cheap effort.
Still, what's an even bigger determining factor is how well you're used to contacting them and how far you've learned by yourself. This is just something money can't buy. You can't buy the time or the events that transpired which taught you valuable lessons in your encounters.
You can buy the best technology you can get your hands on. You can hire, train, and recruit as many people as you want. You can even invest in whatever lessons or books on the subject. However, if you have never actually tried to apply what you've learned or even just seen it in action, you'd have just wasted your money.
For instance, in SCM software, some people try to use inbound means of drawing leads to them. This could be in the form of websites, fliers, emails etc. If the hired personnel have only just stuck to the examples and scenarios they've just rehearsed but never encountered, it risks a lack of inflexibility. The software appointment setting may not be as successful as you expected when your people (and perhaps even you) are still newbies. Your communication could sound too robotic and unconvincing.
Have you also even considered that the approaches (even to just one method) are the end-all? Have you ever wondered that somewhere out there, someone more experienced than you has also learned to incorporate other strategies? See this is the problem when you have too much confidence in just knowledge.
However, don't despair. Just because you don't have the money to risk getting that experience on your own, doesn't mean you can't ask help from those who have.
In fact, that's exactly what outsourcing really is. You're not buying experience but you are buying experienced people. Telemarketing services are one good example of this. When creating your own in-house telemarketing team, plenty people end up pulling their hair out because their agents always just seem to do it wrong. Experienced telemarketers on the other hand, have already survived that stage and now have their knowledge powerfully backed by their long years in the industry. The know how to do the homework needed to qualify and interest a prospect. They're used to rejection and calling the next number. Plenty of them have also grown to start incorporating other forms of communication besides the telephone. (Because of that last one, some people have gone so far as to call their offices contact centers and no longer just call centers.)
And if you think about it, you might even get to see the experts in action from working together with them. Why not call one today and start getting your own experience?