Would you quickly drink a cup of freshly brewed coffee without sipping on it first?
What if I ask you, is your brand ready for sales and marketing launch? If your answer is not a sure YES, then let’s discuss about Lead Generation for now and parking lot on Appointment Setting.
Lead Generation is basically the generation of a prospect’s interest into a product or service of a business. Common purposes for running a lead generation campaign maybe for list building, contact acquisition or sales leads. Below are some tips that will help you determine the readiness of your product or service for market consumers before you push for client meetings:
Gauge Interest Level
You know who your target consumers are but would you know how many of them would be interested in your product or service? How many of them are on the buying stage or maybe just evaluating? How much would they spend for the purchase or do they have the budget? How soon would they switch or upgrade?
But why do we have to comply with such pre-requisite action? Can’t we just go ahead and directly sell or offer to consumers? Such question makes sense, as the main objective of each business is to do so.
Collect the Data
Who are your target consumers? What product or system are they currently using or engaged with? Where or which target location would you prioritize to cater to? When are your prospects planning to buy – today, next quarter or 6 months from now? These question sets maybe are a few basic start points when getting information from your target consumers whom you would consider as possible buyers.
You should acquire accurate statistical data as this should be a strong point of your comparison with the competitors’ brands. Get a full knowledge of their market scope, solution edge, and sales strategies as these are essential factors to consider before you do an official market launch.
Roll out a survey
Survey is asking people, one or maybe series of questions in order to gather information. You may use tools and procedures via different media like telemarketing (profiling), the web (social media) or face to face interview in conducting a survey. The conclusion of the survey process will determine the readiness of your product or service to go live in the market or take further profiling activities.
Regardless which industry you are engaged with, the competence and readiness of your brand will impact the business’ marketing and advertising effectiveness, sales cycle, and cash investment returns. This means that your brand’s features and benefits should cater the needs of your target consumers to guarantee customer satisfaction. What they see and hear about your business offering must translate into a worthwhile experience. Media advertising may stir your prospect’s interest, but the proven experience that is testified by your consumers through word of mouth would be the most effective promotional medium.
So before you set appointments to present your brand’s features and benefits with your prospects make sure that you have accurate data on hand about your target consumers.
Take a sip of lead generation before the big gulp of appointment setting. I bet you wouldn’t want burnt lips and tongue, would you?
Ensuring consistent gains in your B2B lead generation also means identifying certain scenarios that raise a red flag on your marketing efforts.
For Louis Foong, CEO of the ALTEA Group Incorporated, the main reasons for a failing lead generation strategy are as follows:
WEAK DEMAND GENERATION STRATEGY: If your demand generation strategy is on a shaky foundation, you have a host of problems on hand. Common issues include not following a regular list hygiene process, missing solid account mapping and lead scoring metrics, not being in touch with the dynamics of your market and not fully comprehending the issues your customers find most challenging. What can you do to ensure your strategy is well-defined and strategically aligned to deliver on your lead generation goals?
YOU HAVE NOT MAPPED THE B2B BUYING PROCESS: B2B procurement is not a simple process. Not only do you have to comprehend it generically, but you also need to map it for every B2B buyer you are targeting and working on to achieve a sale. Recognize that it is going to be a long and complex sales cycle with more than one ‘power buyer’ involved. In addition, the buying process within your client’s organization may be impacted by factors such as budget issues, growth patterns, debt situation, staffing and personal issues, economic factors, and more.
TOO MANY WALLS: Marketing is tossing ‘qualified’ leads over the wall to Sales. Sales is not picking up on those leads because they do not seem promising. Finance is breathing down the CMO’s neck questioning the purpose of all the lead generation activities and demanding ROI. The CEO is drinking from a fire hose with a desk that’s piled high with Big Data. All in all, everyone is functioning behind walls and in silos rather than in an environment where learning, resources and customer analytics flow freely between departments. This is a fairly typical scenario in large and medium-sized B2B companies. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
TOO MUCH CONTENT: Is there such a thing? Hard to believe since everyone is going nuts with social media and content marketing. The problem is, the buyer is experiencing too much noise. If your social media and content marketing activities are not grounded in buyer persona profiling, your time and resources are going to waste.
TOO MUCH RELIANCE ON EXTERNAL SOURCES: Marketing automation toys, fancy CRM software, trendy analytics tools and reports, paid social media channels, all of these are the flavour of the day. Unfortunately, a heavy reliance on these creates a situation where you now need ‘experts’ and ‘specialists’ to make sure you are getting results from your latest investments in B2B lead generation. You have to remember, though, that a specialist will pressure you to spend more time and money on activities within her or his field of specialization. That’s when the specialist can show your company some measurable results.
It’s a data-driven world out there and B2B enterprises need to drift with the times. In the face of unpredictable market forces, it is important now for these companies to harness new technologies that can provide wide-ranging benefits to their lead generation and appointment setting campaigns.
As a way to effectively reach out to multiple audience touch points, database integration is becoming an important strategic answer to business needs in vibrant economies like Singapore.
Despite negative outlooks this year, the country continues to receive international capital. In recent developments, Britain-based business intelligence firm B2B International has expanded its reach in the Lion City. The firm believes that South Asia continues to be an important opportunity base for similar companies to harness.
For now, B2B suppliers such like you need to use cost-efficient and time-saving ways in order to stay in profit and provide the necessary services to current and potential clients.
Economic uncertainties entail the need to become more conservative in terms of spending. In this sense, businesses need to make better and highly profitable strategies. Linking your CRM with your sales drives accuracy and proper revenue attribution. This provides you insights into how much you are spending and how much you are gaining back. Accordingly, this enables you to create more revenue-friendly strategies.
2. Lead generation proficiency
Quality is usually a pressing issue among B2B service providers due to the particular problem of setting up an effective lead prospecting and lead scoring database. Manpower proficiency has been the common culprit, but the problem usually demands investment in an efficient system that accurately gauges audience interests and undertakes interaction-based scoring.
3. Effective and timely deliveries
You cannot afford to send the wrong messages to the right person. It entails a waste of time and money. On the other hand, you can use marketing automation software to segment your audience and send them content in line with their needs, thus keeping in line with the need to prioritize audience interests.
4. Accurate reporting
Integrated CRM and sales are essential in providing you with up to date information about the implementation and progress of your campaigns. Letting you focus on the right metrics and KPIs, integrated software systems is advantageous in identifying the best actions to take for better profitability and survival of your business.
What image do we conjure of the goat? A meek, miserable animal that eats anything it steps on? Or, taking cues from the Chinese zodiac, a creature that represents mild-mannerisms, artistic boldness and charming personality?
As we celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Goat, we are just as eager to know what’s in store for those born associated with the zodiac animal. Feng Shui speculations point to good tidings in terms of love and health. For fortune, not everything is going to be peachy, even for executives of B2B companies.
Financial losses are going to mark the year unless business leaders are careful especially in managing their lead generation and appointment setting campaigns. On the other hand, people born with the zodiac sign can consider themselves lucky possessing the positive attributes of goats that make them a mainstay of Chinese lore.
According to universally-accepted notions of the zodiac sign, goats are naturally inquisitive. This explains the numerous instances of when goats wander off to unfamiliar places, consuming anything that catches their eye over a nagging curiosity of what certain things taste like. In the same way, people born in the Year of the Goat often exhibit a yearning to escape their comfort zones, whether to try out that new convenience store down the road or use a different approach in lead nurturing.
Romance your prospects
Goats are also thought to be wildly romantic. We don’t know if this has any biological bearing, but it somehow tells us that goats are adept at courtship. It could be that they can wield language in such a way that they assume an almost mystical charm, similar to the way that top-performing marketers promote the use of authentic and diverse content forms to lure potential clients.
Apply art to everything
Goats also tend to be artful, which makes us ask, “Have we ever seen a goat paint a masterpiece before?” But we digress. Goats have almost always stood as animal representations of fearlessness and craftsmanship, being referenced in numerous works of art as well. With B2B marketing not far from being an art form, using one’s creativity is nothing short of essential in driving interests to one’s products.
In a typical content marketing lifespan, you cannot avoid getting into a phase when you start wondering why your pieces of great content – those which are with quality and viral potential – are not stumbled upon by your target market.
It’s a frustrating time, especially when you’ve become really proud of your content outputs yet they don’t really help in generating leads for your team.
Apparently, there’s a whole lot of difference between creating good content and promoting it, and the latter is what ultimately decides the “searchability” of your posts. There are things you could do to effectively promote your content, as proposed by Sonia Simone, co-founder and Chief Content Officer of CopyBlogger Media.
#1: Build your network
Today, tomorrow, next week, and next year, you need to be building your network of web publishers.
Those are the bloggers, web journalists, social media power users, and others who have the audience you’re looking for.
2 tips for expanding your network and making connections with influential folks on the web:
You have to do something (like create some fantastic content) worth paying attention to. And you have to be the kind of person that others can stand to hang out with.
Incidentally, don’t try to only cultivate a network of “big” publishers. Those are nice, too, but you also want to expand your network of publishers whose audiences are close in size to yours.
Networking isn’t about sucking up to people you don’t like. It should be about cultivating relationships with publishers who are passionate about the same things you are. Spend your time on people you respect and like — it just works better all around.
#2: Make it shareable
As you’re building your network and creating that epic content, remember to make it easy to share.
Make a careful study of the content that gets lots of shares on your favorite sites. Try to model your content on that — not just superficial elements like a Buzzworthy-style headline, but in delivering an experience that the audience wants to share with others.
#3: Clones don’t win
You’ll never be able to really effectively promote stale, “me-too” content. Even if you make it useful and interesting. Even if it has good headlines.
Your content needs a unique voice. It needs a point of view. You have to stand for something. You need a thumbprint — something about you, your approach, and your content that no one else has.
No matter how crowded and cluttered your topic is, there’s always a way to differentiate. But you need to put the work in. It can take time, and thought, and a lot of words written. But there is always a way.
Read the full post at http://www.copyblogger.com/content-promotion/
When there’s too much going on, sometimes marketers tend to overlook important things during the course of a B2B lead generation campaign, causing them to struggle in making adjustments. Once the campaign has already kicked off, focus should be allotted on maintaining the marketing momentum, instead of controlling the damage caused by an oversight that could have been prevented in the first place.
That is why preparation is very crucial before the start of a campaign. When everything is laid out clearly and systematically, the operation would be smooth-sailing and achieving the desired results would be much easier.
Before embarking on a lead generation campaign, gather your team and go for a rundown of these pivotal questions:
Is your campaign anchored from an in-depth understanding of your target market?
Understanding the audience should be the heart of lead generation above everything else. Plans and activities are easily executed if they are based on how prospects behave when they do research, interact with sales people, choose their products/services, or make the deal/purchase.
Do you have an accurate and updated data pipeline?
The information in your sales pipeline is like your map as you go out into the wild jungle of the B2B industry. Not making sure it’s reliable only slows down the progress of the campaign.
Have you selected which key success indicators you will be measuring?
The sign of a successful campaign isn’t always based on actual ROI figures. You could also gauge your success by looking at certain points, i.e. click-throughs, shares, sign-ups or web traffic – whichever you decide to be an important factor for your team.
Are you satisfied with the content you will be offering to your audience?
If you have faith that your content pieces are engaging enough to elicit a desired response from its readers, then you’re ready to put it out there. You will only need to know how.
Do you have a holistic, integrated marketing strategy in place?
To carry out multiple, unrelated minor tasks within the campaign can be counter-productive; you need to have a system that puts all your efforts complementing each other to reach a common goal.
How would you nurture your leads?
Although every lead is more or less unique, you should still have a standard lead nurturing scheme to make sure all your prospects are well taken care of. The campaign should not stop at just merely generating leads; it should carry them through the end of the sales process.
As a company serving the Asian market, and probably even beyond that, it is your responsibility to know what will get potential B2B leads to come to you, to do business with you, to make your B2B lead generation campaign be more successful in the end. This may sound like a big challenge, but that is not the case at all. You see, this is all about knowing what strategy to use, what communication tools to employ, as well as good, old-fashioned, customer service. Yes, customer service. While you might think that this is an after-sales affair, this is not the case at all. If you want to convert more B2B leads into closed deals, then you have to do it right. And there are many ways to do that.
Customer service must be there right from the very start, from the moment you begin your B2B lead generation campaign, until even after your customers have left you. It is about being helpful and concerned about improving their lot.
Too many stuff are going on in the realm of B2B lead generation that at times marketers have got to stop for a while and look at the basics. Letting yourself get caught up with emerging and short-term activities could make you lose sight of what you’re really aiming for.
It’s not a sin to develop extraneous goals here and there, especially if they contribute to your overall mission, but working in a cluttered setup without a straight-arrowed path to an objective is unhealthy – both to you as a marketer and your campaign in general.
What you need is a guide; an outline of the essentials for you to achieve exactly what you need to achieve. In B2B lead generation, it’s all about raking in quality prospects that have the highest potential to buy. And here are the 4 things you really only need to do:
1. Get Attention
Before, all it took was to paint bright colors and add wonderful images and you’d have all the attention you could hope for. Today, people don’t easily bite at decorations. They thirst for something new and exciting, something that could make their brains actually work. Provocative headlines. Viral videos. Location-based penetrations. Elaborate infographics. Anything that satisfies their need for novelty and quality content.
2. Be direct
Lead generation content is not a suspense novel. You don’t put unexpected twists or obscure characters. You don’t bring your readers along to a confusing, mind-draining ride of garbage. Your message should be obvious and clear. Don’t spend too much time trying to creatively convey what your message is; instead, focus on how you could deliver it so they could grasp it with ease.
3. Back it up
Casual readers would willfully absorb your content without any form of objection as to its credibility or accuracy. But the ones that do question it – those are the ones who are truly interested. They are your prospects. Now if you don’t have any evidence to support the assertions on your content, how can you expect these prospects to trust a company that makes bogus claims.
4. Brew a conclusion
You know that feeling when you’re reading a very compelling piece of article that cites several strong points to prove a claim, going on and on and then suddenly at the end it starts playing safe by saying something completely impartial? Frustrating, right? When you’ve started giving your stand about a topic, stick to it. Make a conclusion. It doesn’t matter whether people would agree or not – what matters is that you’ve chosen a side. Being “safe” makes prospects think that you’ve just wasted their time, and will never consider making business with you.
If we look at how businesses operate here in the Southeast Asian region, especially those in the IT sector, you might say that B2B lead generation campaigns have not changed at all. Sure, the way we do it may have changed, but the need to generate more sales leads for your business remains the same. And while we are at it, we would be planning ahead with regards to our marketing campaigns, and ensuring that our work really gets us to our goals. Now, the funny part here is that we are often guided in our work by our beliefs. But what would happen if what we believe in are just myths? Would that not mess up the way we handle things? If that is the case, then we should eliminate these myths. Myths such as:
If you can get rid of these erroneous thoughts, then the better your B2B lead generation campaign will be.
A good business image is everything, let no one say otherwise. Think about the companies we know today, like Apple, Microsoft, Walmart, Ford, Pfizer, and even Gucci. When you hear their names, you recognize them immediately, right? That is the power of image. And that is a quality that bring in the sales leads. For a lead generation campaign to be successful, you need to create a powerful image in the minds of your business prospects. Now that is a challenge that a lot of marketers are trying to solve. It can make all the difference in their ability to generate qualified B2B leads in the market. So, where should you be starting?
First of all, you need to consider what your image in the market should be . Remember that your image must contain the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, opinions and visions customers and business prospects have about you. It must also represent the products and services that you or your company bring to the market. Take note that your company image is based on what your market thinks of you, not how you think of yourself. The most successful company images are those that have customers thinking exactly of what you wanted them to think of your business. This alignment of market expectations and company capabilities is what makes an appointment setting campaign easier to do.
Also, do not forget that creating a positive company image requires the use of various marketing mediums. Whether it is by email, print ads, telemarketing, or any other medium, you have to ensure consistency and accuracy of the message you convey. Effective image building is an important step before you start any significant lead generation campaign. For example, start with your company logo. Is it attractive enough to business prospects? Does it reflect on the nature of your business? How about your taglines? Do the words used best state what your company is all about? Look into your employees as well. Do they follow the spirit of your company? Do they attend to customers with a smile? These are just examples of what you can do to improve your company image.
Another point to consider would be the products and services that you offer your business. You can praise your offering all you want, but if they fail to deliver, you get a negative customer response that is worst than you handle. If you cannot do anything about your products, you might as well be honest about it. Even if it means losing a potential sale, if it can keep you from committing a major marketing blunder, then it is worth it. You have your brand’s image to protect in the long run. Your image, when properly nurtured, will be strong enough to get you your B2B leads.
By cultivating a positive image, you ensure that your business will prosper in the long run. Lead generation campaigns would be much more rewarding, as long as you have a positive image in your market.