Thursday, July 26, 2012

3 Shifts That Can Affect ERP Lead Generation

Erp lead generation
Like any marketing effort, ERP lead generation depends on the interest of target businesses and their decision makers. It's what attracts their attention and grows to eventually drive their final decision. That's why many lead generation experts are encouraging marketers to nurture that interest in order to maximize the sales opportunity.

However, there are many things than can affect such interest and therefore, affect the success of your ERP lead generation campaign. These shifts in interest can be affected by the following factors: online regions, trends, and geographical regions.

  • Online Regions – It can be argued that the Internet is an entire world of its own. However, like any other world, it has its regions. These regions can be represented by websites or the presence of businesses on online networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and even YouTube. These businesses can be on these sites for various reasons besides marketing. On the other hand, should the site itself weaken in some way, the presence of these businesses might shift. In such cases, it might be best to move along with them.
  • Trends – Naturally, trends can also affect the interests of your prospects. It's one of the reasons why many business IT companies drive innovation in order to remain competitive. While it's more likely that your R&D department has a more significant role in coping with this change, your marketing efforts can still do their part by being their eyes and ears on what's currently trending on the market. And once you've developed products that can compete, they should also have the same marketing support.
  • Geographical Regions – Different countries have different economies. Different economies have different markets. If you're targeting based on region, it's important to be aware of any changes (regardless if it's driven even by political or cultural factors). For example, a change in the economy might make it less desirable to target one country for a certain software product. Even before that happens, you should be ready to predict which country or region to target next.

The factors are different but the answer to them is more or less the same. If there is a change in interests, your lead generation should be ready to change along with it. Changing your strategy accordingly to these three factors helps mitigate the negative effects when interest in your products is no longer as strong. This keeps your flow of software leads constant. (It's almost paradoxical when you think about it, in fact.)

You should also be prepared even before these changes happen. Keep yourself informed with news and never underestimate the ability of non-business events to affect your market's behavior. For example, even if you have an online presence in every popular social network, there is still a question of which one you should be more active in. Your page on one site might be buzzing with engagement and activity but the page on the other is completely desolate save for your own updates. It's the same with geographical regions. Even if you have an established global presence, you should measure the amount of focus you pour into a particular region. Dividing it equally, when one area is clearly more promising than the other, will only waste both resources and opportunities. Interests will always change so you will need to change along with them.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Be Aware of Global Changes When Searching For Cloud Computing Leads

The prime selling points often raised by cloud based software vendors are cost-efficiency and lesser hassle. However, these advantages are for the buyers. What about the vendors themselves? Why would they offer this service? Will they just simply bank in on the lower costs and the ease of use?

That may be so but don't forget, there's also the global advantage. When you start offering B2B software on the cloud, your market expands to all business owners located across the planet! However, a market of that size demands a marketing effort with an equally wide coverage. That includes software lead generation.

Why? Well a good way to illustrate this is by looking at the SCM software industry. The bigger supply chains have a tendency to go beyond the capacity of national boundaries. Offshore manufacturing is commonplace even among medium-sized businesses. However, sudden changes in the global economy might, in turn, result in radical changes to international supply chain networks. The factors behind these changes include:

  • Economy of offshored countries – Both offshoring and cloud based software share the same selling point of lower costs. On the other hand, circumstances related to the economy of the outsourced country might affect those costs.
  • Relocation – Changes in costs would encourage changes in location. Businesses might decide to outsource a company that manufactures better and at a lower costs. They might even try reshoring (taking manufacturing back to local companies) if outside options no longer look viable.
  • Political factors – While highly controversial, it's impossible to deny that the hand of politics and government intervention can also provoke significant changes in international supply chains. Tariffs, trade regulations, currency, and even local labor laws additionally add or subtract to the costs of offshore outsourcing.

Now if you're actively trying to generate SCM leads, you obviously have to keep an eye on factors like those listed above. All of these changes will affect the location of places where the concentration of manufacturing business is high. You can't just set up your software, open up a web portal, and then go back into a cave until a client inquiry draws you back out again. Think of it like fishing on a boat that's far out at sea. You need to keep an eye on what's stirring up the water and affecting the behavior of the fish. It could be the arrival of a predator, a change in the weather, or simply a shortage of a natural food supply. As a result, you must change course.

Although in this case, the only way you'll find the best course to take is to know how these changes have shifted the concentration of manufacturing. This applies both to in-house lead generation campaigns and lead generation firms that you can outsource yourself. Being active in your search for B2B leads is a good start but that shouldn't be a reason to underestimate the implications of having a global market. Be aware of big changes happening all around the world because they could end up stirring up a storm for you in your cloud.
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