Thursday, September 6, 2012
B2B appointment setters are seldom considered a necessary expense in improving business operations; however, hiring professional b2b appointment setters will be of great help to your sales and marketing departments. With plenty of fraudulent service providers on the web, it’s understandable why a lot of business owners would rather have their marketing people do everything instead of outsourcing this operation to a third party. But not all BPO companies are the same, and a quick research on Google would immediately give you a list of reliable b2b appointment setters. The difficult part is looking for a good appointment setting company that has experience with your particular industry.
When you rely only on your lead generation experts to set all the business appointments for your sales representatives, you will inevitably be sacrificing the quality of your lead generation marketing campaigns. Why? Because creating an effective campaign requires analysis, research, and a lot of A/B testing. All these tasks need a lot of attention and concentration by themselves, but if your marketing people also need to do all the cold calling and haggling with the gatekeepers, then something is definitely bound to give.
When doing appointment setting, no other method of communication is better than telemarketing. If you have a team of adequately trained b2b telemarketers, then you can have your own appointment setters. However, if you don’t have any, then don’t just pull an on-the-job trainee to do this for you. It’s a common mistake of businesses to drop every undesirable task they have on their trainees, and this never leads to anything good. You have to remember that when you are dealing with either your b2b sales leads or clients, you have to put your best people forward. This means you have to not only have capable telemarketers handling your appointment setting campaigns, you need to have experienced professional appointment setters setting up schedules with all your qualified business sales leads.
Your sales people can also be your appointment setters, although they shouldn’t ideally be. Why is this? Think about the most important tip when dealing with gatekeepers: do not sell to them. Most sales persons can’t help but go into sales mode when dealing with a particularly stubborn gatekeeper. This, of course, would compel the gatekeeper to further reject any attempts at getting an appointment. While you may have really good sales representatives who are well capable of dealing efficiently with gatekeepers, which would you rather have: let them heckle gatekeepers all day or let them use their superb negotiating skills on the decision makers and close the sale?
You can appoint random members of your sales and marketing teams to do your appointments setting campaign and it won’t necessarily ruin your business. But if you do so, you will miss out on a lot of potential opportunities had you allowed your employees to do what they were trained to do; that is, let your sales people close sales and your lead generation exports to come up with effective lead generation strategies.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Among the most celebrated business personalities of this generation is Warren Buffett. Aside from being stingy with his funds, Buffett is known to be an efficient goal setter. Whenever he sets a goal, he makes all the necessary efforts to achieve them.
Among the most celebrated business personalities of this generation is Warren Buffett. His numerous successful investments are envied by many. And yet, there is more to this man than simply knowing where to invest his money. With all the companies and various businesses he owns, it's a wonder how he can remain on top of things and not lose focus of the direction he wants these businesses to go. What is the secret of Warren Buffett and his amazing success? Aside from being stingy with his funds, Buffett is known to be an efficient goal setter. Whenever he sets a goal, he makes all the necessary efforts to achieve them.
The following pointers from Warren Buffett can be used by business owners and entrepreneurs to improve not only their business model, but also their lead generation and b2b appointment setting campaigns. Here are a few important business tips from Warren Buffett as explained by Scott of liveyourlegend.net.
Prioritize what needs to be done right now.
If you are boggled about how you will be able to accomplish all the tasks piling up on your desk, then it's the right time to set your priorities straight. The truth is, most of these tasks you've taken upon yourself to accomplish are not that important at all. Or they should not be your priorities considering your position. For example, you might be buried knee-deep in reports about whether you should consider social media marketing or not, when in fact, you should be focusing on making sure that your products and services live up to the promise you give your clients. Identify the tasks that you really need to finish first and don't let your attention wander onto less important tasks.
Focus on the most important things.
There is a reason why outsourcing companies are flourishing: because they help other companies become successful as well. The greatest benefit of good outsourced service providers is that they help company owners focus better on the core tasks of their business. They can leave the back office tasks to not only a capable worker, but a professionally skilled employee whose management they don't have to worry about. Like these companies, when you are able to focus on the core processes of your business, you will be able to improve the results of your work which eventually translates to being able to provide better products and services. This helps you conduct much more effective appointment setting campaigns with each of your b2b sales leads. Follow Warren's example and take the steps to help you focus better on the important aspects of your business. List these down, and outsource the rest. Next, stick to making this list a reality no matter what the cost. This way, you will have lesser internal distractions and you will be able to concentrate better on what needs to be accomplished right away.
Make your priorities as clear as possible.
Identifying and clearly stating what you want to achieve will help you to actually turn them into reality. When listing down your goals, instead of writing that you "want to generate as much qualified leads as possible", write instead that you want to find "highly qualified business sales leads in the x industry whose companies have xxx to xxx number of employees, and whose annual income is from $xxx to $xxx." Being specific right now helps you to remain focused over time, even if there are hundreds of distractions vying for your attention.
The next time you’re caught in a slump and don’t know how to move forward, remember to prioritize, focus on the important tasks, and make your priorities as clear as possible. Follow these simple tips and you will surely be able to improve your business in no time.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Should you pay more attention to your existing customers instead of getting new clients through your lead generation campaign? Or should you focus all your efforts on keeping your sales leads flowing through your sales funnel? Most b2b marketers today taut the importance of keeping your existing clients happy, but are they correct? The answer is: yes and no.
Companies who focus too much on doing a good lead generation campaign can miss out on additional business opportunities when they treat each customer as a single transaction sale. Finding new customers just to keep revenues rolling in as actually far more expensive than simply up selling to your current clients.
These days, company efforts alone are never enough to get them the business sales leads they need to keep their business healthy. A successful company needs the help of outside forces to help them with their marketing campaigns. What are the best outside forces to ask for help? Your existing clients, of course! Nothing beats the marketing prowess of genuinely satisfied customers willing to give referrals. When your existing clients are exceptionally pleased with your service, they are eager to share their happy stories with their peers. Of course, as business people, these peers are usually company executives and managers who could very well be your potential business to business sales leads as well. If your existing clients have already put in the good word for you, closing the deal will be a lot more easier for your sales representatives.
Being too focused on pleasing your existing customers can lead your company to unpleasant situations in the future. Clients often request and expect too much for giving you their money. Giving in to these requests from time to time does help strengthen your business relationship, but indulge their requests too much and you can end up being abused by even your best client. You have to clearly set boundaries and make your clients understand that they don't dictate your product pricing, the type of services you offer, and the direction of your company.
No matter how effective the referrals of your clients are, you must never stop your lead generation campaigns to keep gaining new b2b sales leads. Focusing too much on your existing clients can be limiting to your business. Furthermore, you could be getting new b2b sales leads whose value is much more than that of your current clients.
Giving both your existing clients and your b2b lead generation campaigns equal attention is the best way to get most out of both. But because doing both at the same time can be too complicated, it's always a good idea to outsource some of your operational processes to a professional BPO company. These firms can help you by doing expert business lead generation campaigns that will surely result in plenty of quality business sales leads for your company. When you have someone else keeping a sharp eye on your b2b lead generation campaigns, you can rest assured of fresh new business leads coming into your business while you make sure that all your existing clients are happy and satisfied.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
A lot of b2b marketers accept the fact that cold calling is an extremely effective tool for lead generation and appointment setting; and with the strict rules in place to regulate the practice, b2b marketers and business owners should be more amenable to cold calling their potential b2b sales leads to better qualify them and have a more successful b2b lead generation campaign. Cold calling has a lot of benefits, here are a few:
- Direct contact with potential business sales leads. You can learn so much more from your b2b sales leads. Attitude, patience, and preferences are just a few of the characteristics one can glean from a few minutes of call. Aside from this, you can also learn a lot about their business if you only know which questions to ask to get them to start on talking.
- Fastest way to build rapport. Your business sales leads usually need only a few seconds of hearing your voice to decide whether they like you or not. If you fail to appeal to them within that small window of chance, you would be dealing with an even colder prospect. If you make them like you, however, you can get a business appointment with them faster.
- Great method to use for follow-up. After sending out an email or newsletter, you can use a cold call to contact your b2b sales leads and ask whether they read your email. This is a good opportunity for you to clarify any questions they have about your email or your business; and perhaps to ask if they would agree to an appointment setting with your company.
Despite the obvious benefits of cold calling, why is it still not implemented by all businesses as a major part of their lead generation campaigns? It’s not that they believe it’s an evil marketing method, which is entirely untrue (if done properly of course). The answer, actually, is quite simple. Most business owners and even some b2b marketers are afraid to pick up the phone. It may seem unbelievable to you, but lengthy discussions about how to get over the fear of cold calling can be found on forums and discussion channels.
There are even “how-to” posts about it on YouTube, blogs, and various articles.
What exactly is so fearful about cold calling? Just like anyone, they are all afraid of the prospect of being rejected. Think about it: if you have a business list of 1000 plus contacts and the first couple of cold calls you did were greeted with rejection and a firm “no”, wouldn’t you dread continuing on with that list of strangers?
This isn’t the only factor of cold calling that people are afraid of. While others cite rejection as the major factor, others see cold calling as an intrusion on their b2b sales leads’ time and hesitate to make the call even before they pick up the phone.
If you want to have a great b2b telemarketing campaign for your company yet you also fear cold calling, you can outsource this process to a professional b2b telemarketing company. This way you wouldn’t have to do something you’re afraid of doing but still be able to acquire the benefits it provides.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
|Quality Customer Service|
I’ve recently read Jeff Haden’s article about how company growth effectively kills quality customer service. When you look at the largest companies in the business world, chances are you would only be able to name a handful of international companies who maintain quality customer service; and these are even conscious company efforts to be recognized for the customer service they give their clients. But, can’t quality customer service simply follow---out of their sheer desire to provide exceptional products and services?
Apparently it is possible, even in this time and age. In the above mentioned interview, Haden had an email conversation with Road ID co-founder Edward Wimmer. The topic of the conversation?
Now, a little clarification on why Haden chose Road ID as his counterpart for this conversation; on one forum for bike hobbyists, a member complained about how Road ID didn’t match up to the quality promised to him, such as the tag inscription on one quickly becoming unreadable and the clasp of another not functioning properly. Of course, complaints from customers and clients are commonplace. But the amazing fact is that, for the next couple of pages, other Road ID customers defended both the company and their product. And these are not even paid evangelists, they are simply loyal customers. When Wimmer was asked how they were able to achieve such devoted customers, he simply replied: “I wish I could tell you we have a secret sauce, but it really isn't hard. It's easy. We do have systems, but they are based on common sense and how we would want to be treated.” So what exactly are they doing right that everyone else seems to be doing so wrong?
Learn to take a loss - All your interactions with your customers need not necessarily benefit your company directly. If you want to please your customers, you have to learn to accept losses, even if means replacing a product for an unhappy customer for free when your policy clearly states that they should buy a new one because of their situation. It will not only please your customer, but that customer might also become a brand evangelist because of the pleasant experience they had with your company. It’s all a matter of using your better judgement.
Do what you can to keep your customers - Because it’s been said, time and again, that keeping existing customers is way more cheaper than looking for new customers all the time. While Road ID is actively expanding its market, it doesn’t mean that they neglect all their past customers.
Humanize your brand - When people have problems, they want to talk to other people to make sure that their problems are resolved right away and properly. Wimmer uses his personal email to respond to customer purchases, and it’s his voice that customers hear when they call the company, not some generated automatic voice.
Always be prepared - Make it so that your customers call your company because they want to, not because they have to. But when they do have to contact you, be willing and ready to respond to their problems.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
When was the last time you completely believed what a marketer told you on mass media platforms like the television, radio, newspaper, or even an email? And if you did believe, did you not spend time researching on the internet for reviews or asking your acquaintances for their opinions before you made any decision to purchase?
Mass media is a relic of the industrial era when companies used largely generic advertising strategies that they hoped would reach their target customers. They had no means of driving their marketing methods to specifically reach their intended targets, so they spread their nets over as wide a market as they could.
Finding qualified sales leads using mass media marketing nowadays is an almost futile effort. Not only is the method of measuring the reach of your marketing strategies extremely difficult and complicated, but the cost of marketing to thousands of people in various places just to reach a handful of potential leads is extremely expensive. Furthermore, those potential leads are not even all verified quality sales leads. So, of the 100 potential leads you get from mass marketing to 100,000 people, you'd be lucky to get 5 qualified sales leads. And because you need more than 5 qualified leads to make your business profitable, you have to spend millions of dollars just so you can market to a hundred thousand more people.
Mass media marketing is a very expensive and inefficient method of finding sales leads. It represents a time of random hard selling and a time when customers blindly followed what was popular among their peers.
This mass advertising is no longer applicable to this generation of clients and consumers who are more knowledgeable, inquisitive, doubtful, and outspoken. With a vast amount of resources at their disposal and easily within their reach, they are no longer susceptible to marketing pitches that are aimed at everyone and no one in particular. Unless you personalize your marketing pitch, your sales leads will not believe that you provide the best solution to their problem when they have hundreds---if not thousands---of other options. The quest for qualified sales leads is further complicated by the emerging desire to become as unique as possible and yet still remain a part of the norm. This has lead to lesser belief in companies marketing to everyone but a distinct distrust of businesses introducing radical new solutions, or rather, the need to verify first from trusted sources any new solution.
Though this poses a unique challenge to marketers, one thing is certain, mass media advertising is slowly losing ground in the business world. Thankfully, the arrival of this technological era has provided marketers with various means of reaching out to their specific target sales leads and enabled them to improve their business relationship on a more personal level. Though most marketing methods are largely met with skepticism, a well-targeted and thoroughly researched marketing plan can become an effective means of lead generation. Even existing (and almost archaic) marketing methods such as email marketing and telemarketing can be repurposed and made to deliver qualified sales and business leads.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Marketing, he brings to light a traditional marketing strategy that has been around for a long time but has greatly been overlooked. This marketing strategy not only increases the attention you get from your business leads, but also helps create a business relationship that will lead to long-term profitability. Read the article to learn more about permission marketing.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Nineteenth-century Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto invented the now-famous 80-20 marketing principle which states that “80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients”. Even if you check on your current list of clients, you will see that the few key clients you have let you earn as much as the rest of your clients put together.
It's a fact that finding new business leads and clients costs more (as much as 5-10 times more) than retaining your existing clients. This is the reason why a lot of marketers and marketing coaches tout the benefits of retaining your clients after the initial sale. While you can't possibly keep every single client you've sold to, you can identify a few key clients which could lead to long-term profitability. These customers and clients need not even be your biggest buyers, as long as they purchase a lot of your merchandise over a period of time, their value as a client greatly increases.
Retaining clients may not be an easy task, but doing so will not only ensure you of continuous profits, but also help you improve your company and business as a whole. To effectively keep your clients, you have to make sure that you always deliver on everything that you promise each of them, and the benefits from your products and services equal or exceed your prices. Otherwise they would end up with your competitors.
If you are doubtful about whether you can sell new or more products to your customers and clients, take note that you already have critical information about them. You know how much budget they have for a month or a year; you know who are the decision-makers in the corporation and how to contact them; you have information about their existing equipment and can easily figure out when they would need to purchase a new one; you might even have information about the direction of their company's future plans. You can use all these data about your clients and customers when you offer them a new product or service to get them to make a purchase. If you think you still need more information, you can always incentivize your approach and offer them something in return for the information that you need. Retaining clients also require that you continually add value to your business relationship, so new offerings are generally expected by your clients and customers. A company that doesn't have anything new to offer clients is a sure sign that it is not growing. Furthermore, your existing clients already trust your brand, so offering them a new product or service is all a matter of whether this new product or service is relevant to them.
However, there is a significant concern among marketers regarding this type of marketing principle. While the returns on client and customer retention is high, there is always the risk of losing such a valuable client. The more valuable a key client becomes, the higher the risk once that client is lost. There is also the issue of clients becoming unreasonably demanding over time, especially when they realize their own value to your company. This situation is easily avoidable, and if you build just the right relationship with each of your clients, you can safely expect a bright future for your company.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Here are three important similarities between human relationships and business:
Commitment - Before one opens a business, a certain level of commitment is required if one wishes to become even slightly profitable. A business cannot be successful unless the founder or business owner is committed on making his business a success. A committed business owner will be able to give his company enough..
Time - Just as how you need to be on time whenever you have a date with your loved one, you have to be on time for work everyday. You might not have a boss, but if you always arrive late for business appointments and scheduled meetings, then your business won't have much of a future to hope for. Another thing that requires timelines in business is responding to client queries. If you fail to respond in a timely manner to client questions, complaints and requests, you are essentially telling them to transfer to your competitors. Often times when your schedules collide, you have to prioritize one over the other and learn to take...
Risk - Perhaps the most important aspect where business and human relationships are similar is the issue of risks. In a relationship, if you don’t take the risk of falling in love, then you will never experience the extreme joys and sadness of the human emotion. If you fear taking risks, then your business will never get off the ground. Even if it seems profitable now, you will always stay on that plateau and never achieve anything else of significance.
But that is not the only time when you have to take risks in both business and relationships. For instance, your loved one frequently forgets your important dates, or the two of you often quarrel. Your relatives and friends may even get involved and convince you to end the affair once and for all to save your sanity. Though it seems unrealistic to carry on with your relationship, you still hang on with the hope that it’s just a phase that you have to get over. In business, this same blind commitment is observed when your startup appears to be a failure. It’s that time when, no matter how much you try to improve, your products still fail to generate leads, your credit line is negative, and your employees have begun jumping ship. Add to that the fact that your competitor is rolling out one sensational product after another. For all intents and purposes, the most logical action would be to abandon the cause and build another business altogether or even consider getting employed. But that isn't the actual truth regarding the reality of things. Business owners and entrepreneurs are known to slave for years over their startups, even when the future of the said venture seems nothing but bleak.
Let us take Henry Ford, for example. The founder of the automobile manufacturing company experienced numerous failures in his dream of producing a reliable, efficient, and relatively cheap automobile. By continually taking risks despite being broke, he was able to achieve his business dream through the Ford model T and build an enduring company.
To make a business venture successful, you have to treat it as an important relationship by giving your commitment, time and learning to take risks. It takes considerable effort to make anything work, and businesses are no different.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
When we hear the word sales pitch, one of the most important points to consider is how to make your pitch sell to prospects. Unfortunately, that is one point that companies still have a hard time in doing, especially if they are doing their lead generation campaign for the first time. Why does it seem to be hard to generate the sales leads that you need? There are plenty of reasons why. The most important to remember is that business leads are best generated through proper consideration of what the prospects want. More likely than not, this is the main reason why no sales leads are made. So how do you go about it? How can you make your sales pitch clinch the deal?
Just remember these three points:
- Do your research – time and time again, sales people are told to always research their business prospect first. Still, there are still those who are left hanging when they are asked questions by the prospects that they have no ready answer for. In the first place, you must need to know just what the prospect is looking for, what kind of solution they may need, and what your company can do to address that need. What is important here is that you cover everything when you are trying to generate B2B leads. And you can do that easily with good research work.
- Define your prospects’ segments – it is possible that what you are offering will work with a lot of market segments. Lucky for you if you only need to market in one segment, but if you have to go into several, then you will need to research each one well. Each segment may have a different trigger or reason to do business with you, so you should define your segments well. You can get better sales leads this way since you now know how to grab your prospect’s attention.
- Craft specific messages – this is where the two previous points merge. Once you know what your prospects want, and what trigger you can use to get their attention, you can then create the correct sales pitch. But the sales pitch itself should not be used in more than one prospect. Sure, this can save you more time, but if you really want to reach out to them, you will need to craft the message that is specifically tailored to them. They will appreciate that added thoughtfulness.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
The fun part, as the old saying goes, will now lie in choosing the lead generation firm. After all, this is a challenge that many entrepreneurs have to face. Selecting the right lead generation firm can be a very daunting task, especially if this is their first time to do so. B2B lead generation services a very handy tool in producing the qualified leads that you need. The reason why a lot of small and medium sized firms these days are outsourcing this job is because of the inherent limitations of their operations. Many of these companies do not have enough budgets to build up their own lead generation team. With the value and usefulness of B2B leads decreasing as they age, there is a greater demand for experts who can professionally handle qualified sales leads. This could perhaps explain the rising number of lead generation firms. After all, they are the best when it comes to delivering qualified leads for their clients.
Aside from the usual lead generation services, version of this that has attracted considerable attention from other firms is appointment setting services. The use of B2B appointment setting services has proven to be very useful in providing the needed B2B leads. What makes this unique from the usual is due to its ability to address the needs of companies that do not have their own marketing teams. With the help of modern lead generation services, it is now possible for firms to improve their chances of making good sales. Professional telemarketers can effectively find new business opportunities and then qualify them to see if they meet their client’s requirements. If these do, then they will proceed to set up a meeting between the prospect and the client. It is that easy. And since telemarketing has improved itself over the years, you are less likely to suffer from a negative backlash from people with bad experiences from it.
The key, of course, still remains with you. It is you who will decide who to work with. And it is you who will have to make the choice. If it is the right one, then things will go very well for you.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Demand generation is not broken up into campaigns, but does include strategies and systematic planning. It essentially comprises the whole sales process, even the part where the sales are actually converted into profits. As the name suggests, it focuses on creating demand---the propensity of the sales or business lead to purchase your products or services. While lead generation can be achieved through sheer dumb luck (a low budget video unexpectedly gaining virality status), demand generation requires a systematic, progressive and continuous process to create a steady demand for your product or service. There is no end to demand generation, as long as your business exists, you will need to create and foster a demand for your products and services to remain profitable. If you fail to create a demand for your merchandise in the first few years of your business, then there is little chance that you will ever achieve ROI.
Demand generation includes everything from lead generation to lead management. The entire sales process is not simply about finding leads, setting appointments with them and then converting them into profit. It should have a more long term goal of creating a steady flow of leads. Demand generation improves the (1)find--->(2)attract--->(3)meet--->(4)convert process and integrates the lead management segment into the mix. In fact, demand generation places a significant emphasis on lead management. Lead generation without lead management is merely a single transaction and leaves out a lot of potential business opportunities unexplored. With lead management, businesses are not only able to capture more leads but also identify which leads are already sales ready so that sales people can convert them right away. Content marketing is also a large part of demand generation. Without quality, knowledgeable and valuable content, sales leads and business leads will not see your products and services as useful for their own business.
The processes under lead management are found in the later part of the demand generation process. After the sales and business leads have been found, they need to be qualified. The lead scoring system plays an important part in this stage. Once the sales or business leads have been scored, they are finally sent to a salesperson to be closed. Demand generation is a complete and holistic integration of all these processes. In the previous illustration, if some leads are not able to immediately reach the last segment (convert), they undergo lead management where they are eventually returned to the attract--->meet--->convert segment. Similarly, leads who are successfully converted undergo the same process. This is what makes established businesses even more profitable. There are various software available to facilitate demand generation, but the in general, demand generation undergoes the same process.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Dan Schawbel’s Sharktank Roundtable interview series provides great tips for entrepreneurs and businessmen from the eight hosts of the hit show. From that latest and last interview, here are 3 helpful tips to find investors according to Mark Cuban, a serial entrepreneur and a “Shark” in ABC’s popular show. Starting entrepreneurship early in his life, Cuban’s first venture was Broadcast.com which he eventually sold to Yahoo. His other businesses include: HDNet, 2929 Entertainment, IceRocket, ownership of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, and a slew of other investments.
"Do everything you can to not have to seek outside money. Most companies don’t need more money, they need more brains."
Asking other people for seed capital doesn't just mean that they will provide initial funding for your business that you will have to pay for in the future, they will also require other collaterals such a certain percentage of stocks, a position in the board of directors, or some other executive position. Before scouring the Silicon Valley for angel investors and venture capitalists to fund your business, try to fund your business by yourself first. This way, if the venture doesn't turn out to be as profitable as you initially perceived or your target business leads didn't see it as valuable enough to purchase, then you can stop the operations anytime without needing to worry about paying back any money you owe from someone else. Afterwards, you can easily start again with another idea that may bring in more business leads.
"If you do need money, know exactly how much you need, what you are going to do with it and how it will get you to profitability."
If you really need outside financing, then you have to prepare a complete report of where you will be spending the seed capital that your investor will lend you. No one would lend you anything if you don't have any clear plans on where to spend them and how you will get the money back. Your report should include: how much you plan to spend on product R&D, your projected expenses for lead generation campaigns and marketing, the distribution expenses, employee salaries and office rent. There might be other things you need to consider as well, such as if you need to outsource certain operations to a BPO company or a call center. The point is that you have to make it as complete and accurate as possible so that you won't run out of money prematurely or borrow much more than you can afford to repay.
"Be ready to work your ass off. Raising money is not a destination, it’s a starting point. The minute you take money, you no longer are your own boss. You work for the people giving you money. Be prepared to work harder than you did before. Raising money doesn’t make things easier; it creates more pressure for success."
Having an investor on board can be both a blessing and a burden. On one hand you can take more risks because you have someone backing your efforts, on the other, you have to choose the risks you take wisely because the same person backing you up is expecting a lot from you. You will have to work extra hard to make sure that you always have a steady flow of sales leads coming in.
There is little margin for error and failure when investors are involved so you have to think very carefully before you find one for your business.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
The problem with some businesses these days is that many of them are stuck on how to improve their visibility in the market. It may be true that they have the best products or services in the market, but if prospects do not see them, it is still useless. Telemarketers appear to be at a quandary at this. You can join plenty of events and other venues where you can advertise, but if you fail to consider one important factor in business, then you will fail.
It is all about building relationships. And it can have a lot of effect in telemarketing as well.
The reason why there are a lot of companies that succeed in their business is because they were able to make a connection with their prospects. This is not about making a sale or anything. It is all about understanding what the customers want. This is not about selling. This is all about letting prospects know that someone is really listening, and that there is someone who can address this need.
It can be a trick affair. And it will require trust and time to build up. But once it is there, it is there to stay. The aim is not to sell here anymore. The aim is to let people decide to buy. Clients don’t just come and go. If you can give them a superb service, and a good relationship, then they are sure to come back to you. It is worth the effort invested.
Monday, June 4, 2012
So you think that meeting people can already be considered networking? Think again. Well, if you want to squash your competitors, then it’s time to do more than just handing out calling cards and giving firm business-like handshakes.
When it comes to networking, are you better than your competition? Smart and savvy businessmen and job seekers know how to make the most of their networking skills to beat their competition.
1. Look for job leads that fast by using Google Alerts. Google Alerts is an effective channel in finding job leads. Given the proper keywords, you could stumble on news relevant to the industry numerous times daily which can assist you in terms of getting opportunities. All you have to do is play with various words and phrases and complement your job search with first hand announcements.
2. Look professional on your social networks. A photo of you holding your puppy may be cute, but that’s not professional. Take note that people that have eggs, avatars, baby photos, or pets as their profile pictures are only offering entertainment, not brand. Think of your resume picture—a latest and decent quality photo with a smile can evoke a positive statement.
3. Never give away leads by your passivity. Don’t just wait there. Instead, proactively upstage your competitors by doing small things which are easier to do for now. Follow up an interview, call the company to know the status of your job application or meet that business lead which you may eventually close to a sale.
4. See Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Facebook as just a single portfolio for your business. Define clearly who you are. Are you the same individual on your various social network profiles? Set a reliable message all throughout the different social media platforms. Leverage status updates, profile massages and taglines in order to communicate effectively what sales leads and potential employers would want to know.
5. Make the most of business coaches, mentors and advisors. Nobody does it all alone. Rather than figuring it all by your lonesome, you could get expert advice from individuals that can bring you alternatives or opportunities that you never thought about. Don’t passively sit there and wait for other people to deliver you the leads you need; learn how you can drive your job hunt efficiently by taking it into your own hands.
6. Network regularly to meet your prospect, much better in person. If you’re not, then chances are, your competitors already are, instead of you----that’s making real connections. They may have similar or less experience than you, but the difference lies in them talking to individuals that are passionate and willing to be of help to them.
7. Be a giver, not a taker. If you want to build connections, strive to give more than what you could even receive. And don’t even say that it’s not worth it. It is not even about lending, but remember that in networking, when you give, you also receive. One way to do this is to volunteer; maximize your skills to be useful to others. If you strategize well, not only you can get recognized for your efforts, but you’ll also feel more fulfilled.
Monday, May 28, 2012
The language of business has always been traditionally known as money, but these days, it's not just that. Rather, it has taken on a literal significance. While English has been known as the main medium of instruction, it has become a necessity to speak the language of other countries. What better industry will this have an effect than in information technology. IT leads are not just found locally, but also in countries and cultures that speaks a different tongue. It can have a huge impact in your IT lead generation and IT appointment setting campaigns.
Now, what are the things that you might miss that might give you translation problems?
1. You might overlook the cultural differences of countries sharing the same language.
2. Your website might not be capable of handling language translations, further adding a strain in working with your customers.
3. Measurements and units used in one country may not be understood in another country.
4. For the Chinese, it is assuming that they all use the same language. In fact, they have different dialects in each part of the country. This can be troublesome in telemarketing.
5. The Arabs, a potentially profitable market, may be missed because there are not that many programs that can translate into Arabic, including the right-to-left reading direction.
These are just some of the challenges faced by a lot of companies wishing to target foreign firms in their attempt to generate more IT leads. Given the level in which information technology has taken the world, going global might be the best.
Monday, May 21, 2012
Customer complaints will forever be part of our business processes. That is why it is even more important for us to efficiently take care of it. You can say that it is one of the most important aspects of your business. After all, given the way people are connected to each other now, you will want to avoid bad publicity because you were unable to handle a customer’s concern. That can have an impact on your B2B leads generation. Who will want to have an appointment setting with you if they hear negative news about your business? That is why you have to offer a good customer service program. Your sales leads need it.
A bit lost? Then you can follow these eight points to guide your process. These are just a few things that you can add to your business culture. Simple enough, but with a great impact:
1. Begin with yourself – if you want to offer good customer service, you have to believe in it first. Your employees will follow whatever example you set, especially when you deal with customers.
2. Create a code of conduct to be followed – create a list of ideals to follow, and post them on your office walls or during training. This will guide for your employees when they do their work.
3. Treat your employees as customers – in this way, your employees will realize that they are an important part of the firm, and they will exert more effort to keep your business working.
4. Think of the long run – one reason why some firms have bad customer service. Thinking more about selling often translates into tactics that alienate or frustrate customers.
5. Build trust – this you can work with your telemarketing team, as this takes time to build. You need to be honest, reliable, and confident so that customers will feel confident in working with you.
6. Listen carefully – one reason why customers get frustrated is because no one seems to understand them. Take time to listen to what they have to say, and after that you can answer.
7. Go with the little things – providing a little extra for your customers can go a long way for your business leads. It builds goodwill, as well as the impression that you are the right partner.
8. Help them find another business – if you cannot provide them what they are looking for, recommend them another firm that can. It is good PR, and that customer will certainly return.
9. Provide relevant information – your firm must be able to answer what customers ask. If you do not know or is unfamiliar with your offer, then why offer them in the first place, right?
Customer service is not just about providing customers with the answer to their questions, it must also be able to create a relationship with them. These days, it can be hard to find new business, so it makes perfect sense for you to try keeping the current ones. A wise investment, as some pundits will say.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Nothing sours a great working relationship like knowing that that business relationship was based on a big fat lie. No business in any industry appreciates a liar because honesty is an essential part of any business venture. Why do you think it’s so hard for SMEs to get appointments with Fortune 500 decision makers? When millions of dollars in profits and the livelihood of hundreds of people are on the line, company executives and directors have to make sure that that critical decision will be for the benefit of all parties involved, and that critical decision won’t happen if honesty is not part of the equation.
Even white lies are not acceptable in the harsh environment known as the business world. Competition is a constant threat, and should your more aggressive competitors sniff out a deceitful statement, don't expect them to let you off the hook without a price.
This is best exemplified by Yahoo's recent dismissal of its (yet another) CEO, Scott Thompson. Thompson succeeded former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, but after only a brief 5-month term in service, Thompson was ousted by Yahoo. The reason? It seems Thompson thought that adding a degree in computer science to his resume won’t be much of a problem, considering a large number of tech CEOs these days didn’t even finish college. However, admitting that you don’t have a college degree and claiming that you do have one (when in fact you don’t), are entirely two different things. Thompson blames the resume gaffe on Heidrick & Struggles, an executive-recruiting firm that got him his previous Paypal position. However, it should be noted that not once did Thompson try to correct the bogus information on his bio, which means he was willing to continue playing the part of a “computer science engineer” had Daniel Loeb (founder of Third Point LLC and Yahoo investor) not checked his bio.
Others might argue that, in the case of Mr. Thompson, it is better to retain a liar who is skilled in getting work done than an honest employee whose work is only mediocre. Well I say let the liars lead and let's see where your company will be in 3 years! Your business might become lucrative, but in all probability, that business will no longer be yours. Another great concern here is the nature of Yahoo’s business. As an internet corporation, Yahoo handles large amounts of confidential client information. If the directors of Yahoo didn’t fire Thompson, how are they to expect users to continue entrusting their information with a company whose leader is less than trustworthy?
Honesty is the greatest requirement for integrity, and a leader's integrity is one that he should protect with the utmost care. Think about it, if a supposed leader needs to lie just to get the position he wants, it only means that he is not worthy to be in that position in the first place. Honesty is a moral and social obligation that should never be disregarded by business leaders, no matter what size of company they work in.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Silicon valley can very well be considered the mecca of startups, and most companies aspire to migrate their businesses or establish a branch there. This decision, however, will bring them straight into a world of high competition for capital, talent and above all, quality sales leads.
Business to business companies should try to consider other locations that would offer them highly profitable business opportunities. One such strategic location is the Republic of Singapore.
B2b companies will have great opportunities awaiting them in the tiger country. The country has recently been distinguished as the leading Asian country in terms of economic competitiveness according to a study commissioned by Citigroup.
Setting up your business in Singapore is relatively easy, what with government funded subsidy grants and quick business registration processes. Business sales leads generation can be easily accomplished by hiring a lead generation service provider from BPO hubs Philippines or India.
Singapore’s proximity to other developing asian countries makes it a valuable and strategic business location, particularly the mobile industry which is gaining a strong foothold in Singapore and neighboring countries Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
While most startups prefer to establish their business in the silicon valley, for Bubble Motion CEO Tom Clayton, Singapore was the ideal choice for his thriving startup. The country’s business industry is world-class. However, the most appealing aspect about Singapore was its proximity to Bubble Motion’s market - Indonesia, India and China. Bubble Motion is a Twitter-like mobile app that allows voice messages to be sent out to one’s followers. His decision has given his startup the chance to connect with the largest mobile service providers available in Asia, including: Airtel, Reliance, Vodafone, KDDI and Telkomsel and required only five months of marketing to get the Indian market to embrace his product.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
The Golden Arches, a partly bitten apple, the dynamic ribbon design, the Nike swoosh. All of these brands have achieved worldwide distinction and easy recognition with the help of amazingly simple yet memorable brand logos. Proper brand marketing gives a brand distinction, one that makes it easily recognizable to potential sales leads once its logo, catchphrase, jingle or even token colors are presented. Every company aims to have their brand recognized, to the point where they no longer have to spend so much on lead generation marketing because the sales leads themselves come to them.
|Generating Quality Sales Leads|
Due to the popularity of globally recognized brands, it can be difficult for local brands to find quality sales leads no matter what lead generation techniques their company employs.
The Malaysian government is eager to help local brands earn recognition amidst hundreds of internationally popular brands and help local business industries. Through the Putra Brand Awards, local brands are exposed to about 6,000 consumers nationwide. Participating brands avail of free marketing, and aside from nationwide recognition, they are also able to generate sales leads.
One might argue that achieving brand recognition can be relatively easy these days with the help of various social media. Once a new brand has achieved virality status, the sales leads come flooding in and further lead generation marketing seems irrelevant. However, this type of popularity is often short-lived; once the hype has died down, the gush of sales leads becomes a trickle.
The challenge then is not only how well a brand marketing campaign can attract new and qualified sales leads, but also how reliable that branding is to sustain the company and continue to generate sales leads.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Why do you think Singapore so popular with entrepreneurs? It is possible that lead generation services have created a lot of business opportunities in the country. How good the image that Singapore projects to the international market depends on the B2B leads that you get. Remember, qualified leads can act as a mirror, providing interesting market details for a company like yours can use to analyze your markets. Of course, this means that you will need a medium that can ensure that only the best business information is made available. And this is where telemarketing services comes in. You will be amazed at the level of effectiveness that telemarketers can bring to a business. As a marketing tool, you will be amazed at what professional telemarketing services can provide you.
This may very well be the answer that you will need. Telemarketing services can be a great way to put your business on the way to success.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
David Mills wrote an interesting article in the business section of BBC News. According to him, “…businesses will experience significant change in their industry sectors in the future, due to the impacts of technology.” And this can apply to small and medium sized companies as well. Traditionally, small companies are unable to compete with bigger competitors because of the limits in infrastructure, tools, as well as technology needed to do business. In the past, these can carry a very hefty price tag. But that has changed over the recent years.
With the advent of cloud computing technology and infrastructure, a new range of products and services have become available for many small and medium sized firms – and at a lower price. This allows greater support for businesses that, in the past, would have had a lot of logistical problems in their operations. Thanks to cloud computing technologies, companies are now enjoying greater data processing power, higher bandwidth, as well as data storage. Not only that, but the advent of social media marketing, video communication, and other business tools are becoming more common. It is good to note here, as Mills had, that these have been around for several years already, only catching the eye of entrepreneurs recently.
But what do these developments have to do in IT lead generation services? Heaps, simply put.
To start with, this implies the evolution of IT leads. What techniques we may have found canon over the years may no longer work in today’s business. While telemarketing would still remain as the top medium for IT leads, it must also be augmented by other business tools like social media and video presentations to maximize lead generation results. These very important business tools are now more available for a lot of small and medium sized firms.
That is not all. Even the way work is organized has also changed. Before, you have to invest heavily in equipment, employees, and other technologies. But along with the changes today comes the evolution in the workplace. Smaller companies, especially start up ones, can lease the job to outside specialists who can do it at a fraction of the in house cost. This levels-up the playing field for businesses, allowing everyone a fair chance to expand their markets and improve their profitability. What matters here is your firms capacity to collect, analyze, and utilize market data. That makes all the difference for entrepreneurs.
There is still a lot of space for improvements. As for these changes, it would be interesting to know what these are in the future.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Among the many countries are emerging as economic powerhouses in the world, there is no doubt that Australia is among the names that is being talked about. And really, this does not come as a surprise. After all, this is one of the countries that have been able to weather the world financial crisis. It has even emerged stronger than before. This makes this very attractive for many investors. Of course, there is the challenge of knowing who to do business with. There are so many companies to choose form. But that is a concern that can be easily solved. All you need to do is to invest in good B2B leads. You will be amazed with the way qualified leads can introduce you to new business opportunities, as well as provide you with a glimpse of what your company will want. You will need lead generation services to get these B2B leads.
What makes lead generation services so popular is the results that they bring. This is important when you are generating good B2B leads. After all, this is one business tool that has been able to deliver for their clients useful market data. You can benefit from this, too. Your marketing team can then use the these qualified leads contain to pursue new business opportunities. While it may be enticing to start your campaign to generate qualified leads on your own, there is something that you must remember. B2B leads can be difficult and costly to generate on your own. If you are a large company, then it would not be that much of a trouble. It is the smaller firms that needs the professional help of lead generation firms. There are plenty of firms that you can work with. The key here is for you to work one that uses good telemarketing services. In this type of business, you will need telemarketers to do the job for you.
It may be true that some people have misgivings over the use of telemarketing, owing to its shady past, but there is a reason for this. Think about it. What other lead generation tool has been able to reach out to the most number of prospects in the most effective and cost-efficient manner? It has to be telemarketing. This is the only marketing tool that can transcend physical boundaries and produce results in the fastest way. And besides, telemarketers have evolved in the way they do business. They are no longer the company that creates problems for customers and giving their clients a bad name. Also, telemarketers are the best for this kind of job. They can talk to your prospects, encourage them to do business with you, and engage them, keeping the prospects interested in what you have to offer. This is a good investment.
Of course, only you can decide whether lead generation services will work well for you. There may be risks involved in leaving the job to an outsider, but the rewards will more than make up for it.
Sunday, April 1, 2012
The job becomes doubly hard since you are doing the job using the only the phone. Many of the visual cues that you could have sent to your prospects will never be seen. This means that only your voice can make or break the telemarketing campaign. So it pays if you can make yourself sound confident enough.
Confidence is an internal quality that translates into an external cue. If you can make yourself feel good, if you can boost your self-esteem, then it can translate into better performance. Better performance would then translate into better results for the telemarketing firm you are working for. And if your company is doing well, then this means you get to keep your job longer.
Given the current status of employment, which is clear all over the world, being confident is a simple, yet effective, investment in your future. And it is not just you and your company who will benefit from this. Your prospects will be assured that at least they are talking to someone who actually knows what they are talking about.
Next time, look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that everything is going to be great. And do not forget the smile. It helps.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
•Divide your customer list depending on buying behavior so that you identify who you can send to the same way you would do lead qualification. Separate that list into two: those who have not bought in the last year and beyond, and those who have not bought in the last 6-12 months. This is done so that you can target these sets with a relatively dissimilar message to make them return.
•Refresh their memory in your subject line. Old clients were already familiar with you, unlike new sales leads. That’s why you have to make your subject line more unique and inform them that you want them back again. Make your subject lines catchy like “(First Name), where have you been?”
•Entice them with a genuine special offer. In order to win them back, make sure that you have an attractive offer in store for them. Begin by letting them know how grateful you are for whatever they bought from you, being specific in what and when they bought from you. Remind them of that good experience they had with your firm and convince them to communicate all over again.
Having loyal customers mean that they are happy and contented with your company. It is important to keep old customers interested.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Sunday, March 18, 2012
A Brief History
Before there was social media, netizens in the 1970s and 1980s spent most of their time on social networks like dating sites and online forums. Six Degrees, Livejournal, and Friendster were the earliest form of social medias.
The dot-com bubble of 1995 - 2002 was a critical event that allowed the internet to become a viable marketing tool. It began with search marketing, prompting brands to create websites to establish an online presence. As Google, Yahoo and MSN’s search engines evolved, companies turned to SEO strategies to remain at the top of search results.
When web 2.0 sites - blogs in particular - increased in popularity, marketers began to recognize the potential of content marketing. Inbound marketing, where more value is added for the customer and business is earned, starts replacing age-old “buy, beg or bug” outbound marketing strategies.
In 2003 - 2004, the arrival social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and My Space initiates the shift of internet users from multiplayer online games into social networking sites. Eventually, businesses picked up on the positive effects of a social media site presence on e-commerce and started creating their own profiles on the popular networking sites.
In the years that followed, customer’s favorable attitude towards social media marketing slowly changed business marketing preference from the more aggressively-proactive outbound marketing to the more reactive inbound marketing.
Nowadays, over 90% of marketing executives utilize social media as part of their marketing strategies, and successful businesses utilize social media marketing for branding, lead generation, customer retention, research and e-commerce. Not only does social media manage to significantly reduce marketing expenses and the time needed to market products and services, it also increased the effectiveness of marketing and overall customer satisfaction. 83% of customers who post complaints on a brand’s social site like Twitter and get a reply state that they are satisfied. This helped companies retain more of their customers, resulting to increased existing customer transactions.
Capitalizing on free Internet
There are over 2 billion people online at any given time. Around 23% of the total time spent on the internet is spent on browsing or interacting within social media sites. At least 53% of individuals who are active on social media sites such as Facebook are following a brand. With the help of global internet, more and more customers (if not all) are expecting their brands to have an online presence.
This year’s tablets, iPads, and Android-operated phones will only make internet browsing all the more accessible for consumers, and social media marketing will allow companies to reach out to more target markets. As long as the internet exists, social media will remain an important part of marketing strategies.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
The premise of inbound marketing is to attract prospects to come to you of their own free will by rousing their interest in your product, service or brand through helpful information. It is a two-way communication that makes use of various media available on the internet with the goal of educating or entertaining your target market and providing them with the information that they want.
As a marketing tactic, inbound strategies rely much on the internet, which isn’t at all an inconvenience in this day and age where everyone’s instinct whenever they want to know something about anything is to “google” it. The same holds true for consumers. When a consumer wants to purchase something, the initial instinct is to look for reviews and comments about it on the web.
Inbound marketing makes use of websites, SEO, inbound telemarketing and an active social media presence. An informative and engaging content marketing strategy which includes blogs, podcasts, white papers, vlogs, ebooks, and attractive infographics is created to entice your target market to come to you.
For this marketing tactic, you have to make sure that your online presence interprets your brand as reliable and informative. And if you really want to keep attracting more leads, you have to keep it entertaining as well. As long as they know that you can provide them with what they need, your target market will keep coming back to you, and if they wish to purchase, your brand will be on the top of their list because they know they can trust you.
This marketing strategy can be considered as mainly “traditional.” Outbound marketing normally makes use of paid advertisements, TV commercials, huge billboards, outbound telemarketing through cold calling, email marketing, direct mail and trade shows.
Although considerably more expensive compared to inbound marketing, outbound strategies are more effective in generating lead volume, providing a greater quantity of leads for filling the top of the pipeline. Also, by utilizing behavioral analytics on target markets, this marketing tactic can actively seek out and appeal to specific audiences. It is also able to reach a wider audience within a short span of time, as in the case of billboards and TV commercials.
Outbound tactics are mostly used in B2B marketing. Unlike B2C companies, B2B companies don’t have the luxury of leads who actively seek out their products and services as most of their leads already have them. It is the goal of outbound marketing to show these leads that there are better products and services than the ones they are currently using.
Inbound marketing is able to provide quality leads for a cheaper price, but quality without quantity can never sustain a business, and it is outbound marketing who is able to provide the required numbers. In the end, the best marketing strategy is to combine the best of both in developing your own marketing plan to generate as much qualified leads for your business.
Monday, March 12, 2012
Sales and marketing are both necessary processes which allow all business ventures to succeed. However, they are used together so frequently that their individual meanings tend to get muddled together. Both terms so interdependent on each other that defining one term often requires comparing it to the other.
For small and medium enterprises, these two processes tend to be performed by the same individual or the same group of personnel, which is why they are often confused as one process. The boundaries between the two terms (or business departments) often overlap, but this actually makes them both more effective. It should be mentioned that a marketing plan without a complementing sales process would render the entire plan useless, while a sales process without any marketing plan would hardly produce satisfactory results, if any at all.
Of the two terms, marketing has a broader definition. Marketing is how you present your products and services to your prospects and is done so that the sales process can proceed much faster and eventually end in a closed sale. The marketing process includes market research, design, packaging, pricing, print advertising, direct mail, TV and radio advertisements, online marketing, pay per click, banner advertising, email marketing, organic search (the use of SEO to rank high on search engine results), use of social media platforms, etc. Telemarketing is a form of marketing, but is also used to close sales. The former is usually outbound telemarketing, while the latter is mostly inbound telemarketing.
In all essentiality, marketing is everything you do to place your products and services on the market. A sale can never happen without some form of marketing preceding it, and it is sufficient to say that a large number of qualified sales leads from a lead generation campaign is the product of highly effective marketing strategies.
The sales process, on the other hand, is a personal interaction with your sales leads or prospects where you convince them that your products and services is the answer to their problems or that their life will be much easier when they avail of your business offerings. The sales process or sales cycle is usually broken down into several steps intended to eventually lead to a closed sale. The steps on the sales cycle varies from one marketer to another, but usually includes the following steps more or less: initial contact, pre-approach (includes planning the sale), approach, need assessment, presentation, meeting objections, gaining commitment, and follow-up.
An effective amalgam of sales and marketing is important to be able to pull off a successful lead generation campaign. After the sales leads have been qualified, the team responsible for appointment setting comes in to initiate the actual selling process. Especially for business to business companies, the sales process will be difficult to complete unless business appointments are made to initiate contact with the prospects. Most entrepreneurs run their business without a clear knowledge of how these two processes interact. However, knowing how to differentiate sales and marketing will help your business in developing effective strategies to maximize profitable results.