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.