When your HR lead generation strategy starts targeting really large businesses, your agents tend to get lost in the maze of corporate hierarchy and company politics. It gets worse though if the so-called ‘conflict’ is entirely staged to keep marketers out. It is like trying to walk through Wonderland. Either way, you end up going mad just getting out.
In appointment setting, one will occasionally contend with the bad rep that salespeople have self-inflicted on themselves. And as an example, look to the hostility that some healthcare professionals exhibit towards IT vendors. As always, it illustrates the wide communication gap between IT experts and the rest of the world.
With the use of cloud computing showing no sign of a slowdown, another new type of service is gaining popularity as more companies (and even government agencies) are shifting to the cloud. And as with every new kind of support service, it can lead to a new market of sales leads for current cloud-based service providers.
Known as a Cloud Management Broker, Forbes contributor Kevin L. Jackson paraphrases the definition of the National Institute of Standards:
“According to the National Institute of Standards, a Cloud-Management Broker(CMB) ‘provides a cloud-user a unified and enhanced management interface to multiple cloud-providers.’ The institute also identifies the essential features of a CMB as a unified interface, federated cloud-subscriber credentials for multiple cloud-providers, and federated access to multiple cloud-provider programming interfaces.”
Jackson also cites the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services where you’ll find one of the reasons why this could be a new source of sales leads for those already marketing cloud-based enterprise solutions:
“There is a growing demand for cloud brokers as intermediaries between end users (such as CMS business owners) and CSPs. From Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with multiple vendors, to compliance and security, a broker handles many cloud related issues for a customer. This approach also enables business owners to switch cloud vendors without worrying about many of the operational details.”
While many cloud-computing marketers and evangelists say that the cost-efficiency of the cloud lies in transferring the costs of maintenance and technical responsibility, there are still a fair number of complications that buyers are concerned about. There’s also of course the usual hassle of managing across multiple providers for particular functions. The interface provided by a cloud management broker should prove useful and hence, the demand.
There are two ways you can locate new cloud computing leads whether you’re a sole provider of this new service or if you’re offering it as support to your own cloud-based solutions:
- Current Subscribers – Survey your current subscribers and check if they are struggling with handling multiple cloud-based providers, you can use telemarketing or email to contact them and use their need to attract their interest. You can also announce these on your websites and social media profiles.
- Other Cloud Computing Users – You can mention this new service when targeting prospects who you’ve determined to have cloud management problems. Have your marketers identify usual signs like frustrations with security and compliance issues.
The increasing use of cloud has been both a blessing but that same time, new hassles arise from managing multiple providers and dealing with the complexities of cloud security and compliance. A CMB can help them tie and untangle the knots between buyers and vendors. Your market however still lies in the buyers so it’s only appropriate that you use proper B2B lead generation techniques to identify their needs and qualify them. Use appointment setting to give sales the opportunity to clearly lay out your management solution and interface. The purpose of this new kind of business is to help improve the easiness of shifting into the cloud and managing it. It wouldn’t make sense if it ends up accomplishing the opposite.
Customers on the consumer level either shudder or snicker at the idea of telemarketing in customer support. At best, it’s often the subject of comedy when people imagine bleary-eyed call center agents answering the dumbest questions. At worst, people fear the hours that they spend hearing that mind-grinding tone before an actual human being cares to respond to their simple inquiry. (This doesn’t even include the prospect of hearing a strange accent on the other end.)
Up on the B2B level however, these same people have no idea about the lengths that many firms are called to in order to make customer support easier for their clients. Telemarketing is in fact one of the means to that end. The rate of response done on channels like email, ticket systems, and even direct mail is a little too slow and troublesome for most decision makers. Ease of use is critical, especially when you’re offering solutions and products that are supposed to streamline complex business processes.
Business intelligence software is one good example. Your targets are busy CEOs along with other busy business professionals who seek to take all information regarding their business and compact it into an easily understandable format. The goal of many BI software developers is often calculating that data and presenting it in a visually comprehensible presentation. This in turn, gives those at the helm a clearer understanding of where their businesses are going and what direction they should take.
Throughout this process, there is always emphasis on easy use. The reasons though can go beyond that of the product itself (you can even consider it a reflection of the process). They don’t want just a product that makes data easier to understand. They also want a product that’s easy to fix once they call you if they start having problems with it. Among the reasons why ease-of-use is universally important, you have:
- Less Time-Consuming – The time spent on an activity is relative to its difficulty. And most often, spending more of that time increases the difficulty. Many chief officers have other things to attend to and manage. Customer support that takes too long to respond is no better than a BI software product that takes too long to deliver.
- Comprehensible – The software’s goal is to present data in a way that is both accurate but at the same time understandable for the decision makers. This gives them the insight they need to steer the business as well as take up less time doing so. The same goes with the telemarketing support behind customer service. The goal should be for both parties to quickly understand and resolve the caller’s problem.
- Secure – Business information is sensitive and therefore, it needs to be secure. Otherwise, your customer is going to be worrying a lot. Systems that take in reports and construct presentations from such information must have the means to prevent breaches. Customer support also plays an unlikely role in that security by adhering to strict policies regarding the caller’s privacy and identity.
Whether you like it or not, your B2B customers will extend the conveniences of your BI software product to that of its customer support. Telemarketing isn’t only suitable for generating sales leads. It’s also the most obvious way to improve the response rate of your customer support department. It gives your important B2B customers another channel of communication that is fast and flexible enough for their standards.
They don’t want just a product that makes data easier to understand. They also want a product that’s easy to fix once they call you if they start having problems with it. Among the reasons why ease-of-use is universally important, you have.
– The software’s goal is to present data in a way that is both accurate but at the same time understandable for the decision makers. This gives them the insight they need to steer the business as well as take up less time doing so. The same goes with the telemarketing support behind customer service. The goal should be for both parties to quickly understand and resolve the caller’s problem.
Forbes just announced that famous coffee-chain Starbucks has just made a hefty investment in mobile payment service company Square. Asides from the prediction that mobile will eventually bring to question the very purpose of paper and coin currency, you can also see it as another sign that mobile is becoming another market that’s growing with potential B2B software leads. Just look at the figures being mentioned:
“Mobile payments service provider, Square, got a $25 million investment from Starbucks (SBUX) — valuing the start-up at $3.25 billion— that could mark the beginning of the end of cash. Meanwhile, this deal could boost Starbucks’ profits and puts Square’s competitors on notice.”
But like every other B2B software market, generating qualified software leads can sometimes be troublesome. In the case of relatively new markets like mobile payment, targets might be hard to define. If the report is any indication on the other hand, a few possible business groups could be:
As pointed out by the article, small businesses make good targets for this type of mobile business technology:
“That’s because it launched by selling to the 66% of 27 million small U.S. businesses that don’t accept credit or debit cards to avoid expensive payment processing fees, an annoying application process and required credit checks.”
Small businesses however can be very elusive for different types of marketing approaches. Typical B2B tools like telemarketing and email could backfire but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a call center ready to take in customer support calls. What small businesses lack in size and budget, they can make up for in numbers. Don’t let poor customer service generate bad referrals and a lack of desirability among them.
You can also target mainstream retailers who generally take credit cards. The lower costs isn’t a benefit that’s limited to simply small businesses. If you can find a way to impress and assure larger companies, that gives you another potential market to target. Even better, it gives you more wiggle room for telemarketing attempts if they’re done right. Get the name of the proper decision maker and do some prior research to confirm their interest in mobile payment. If they agree to an appointment, make sure that their information is recorded accurately on your database so your sales representative won’t have trouble preparing.
If Square aimed for Starbucks, why shouldn’t you try aiming for similar chains? Just like retailers, it’s simply a matter of knowing your targets individually as much as you know them as an entire market. Keep in mind though that it’s also important to know about how these chains approach their own customers. Will offering mobile payments improve their own marketing strategy? Will it improve customer relations? Different companies have varying approaches to their customer so you need to show how a mobile payment service fits into that approach.
To summarize, a new market can still require the same old marketing techniques. Know the desires and needs of your targets, familiarize with them individually as much as a whole group, and try to relate your product to their business needs prior to appointment setting.
In Australia, costs are becoming increasingly less of a reason to outsource and opportunities like global expansion are taking its place. What does this mean? Well one thing it doesn’t mean is that cost is no longer a factor. It still is but just not a primary one.
And despite its loss in significance as a primary one, it’s still something you need to consider in your decision making. Especially, if you’re an ERP software supplier and need to be careful about taking away too many funds from your main specialization of software development and manufacturing.
Now when outsourcing another company for ERP leads, you need to be careful about contrasting cost instead of trying to see how it relates to other aspects of the company. Instead of just looking at the results and contrasting it with how much you paid, try to see how it ended up that way.
This kind of consideration should eventually guide you to narrowing your search for the right group. For instance, if you want lead generation in Australia but want to market globally, you need to consider how the costs of your candidates correlates with the quality of their services as well as their practices. Is it worth it? Are you outsourcing a reputable group? What exactly are the reasons for why this or that group does things more cheaply than the other one? Is it due to legitimate or unethical business practices?
These are just some of the questions you will ask if you start considering how cost will relate to other things about a group.
B2B lead generation requires maintenance. More specifically, it requires the maintenance of its database and other important information-gathering tools. Data miners, contact lists, as well as information on qualified leads all serve to maintain the quality of every single lead.
Now as an SCM software supplier, you may already have an idea how difficult it is to keep something like that in check. These days information is more accessible but it’s also more perishable. All the data you’ve managed to gather can suddenly change in as little as two years or even less than one.
Your product, like so many other products for company management, exists for the sole purpose that these changes don’t compromise anything. Unfortunately, it’s also likely that all your resources are spent on just that. Hence, you’ll see why outsourcing leads is a good way to cut the maintenance costs of having your own database to generate software leads.
Also, take note that just buying a list isn’t the same as having your own database. You can buy all the mailing or telemarketing lists in the whole world but if you don’t know what it takes to keep track of any changes in address or number, you don’t have a database. You just have a pile of lists that’s losing its overall value fast in the face of a turbulent age of information.
This doesn’t even need to mention how a database can save you from a lot of trouble. Companies who are telemarketing in Australia, for example, would only succeed if their information is up to date with the country’s notorious DNC register. Don’t risk the danger of calling someone’s home instead of their office just because you can’t afford information yourself. Just outsource for it if you want to cut those costs!
Countries like US, Australia, and Canada shouldn’t be blamed for hitting harder and harder on telemarketers these days. So many scammers have come to use it as a ruse for their illicit activities. While you’ll get plenty of professionals telling you that there is a whole world of difference between an authentic telemarketing service and a poser, it might take a bit of skepticism to actually disprove the skeptics.
These claims aren’t always enough, not even if you were a BI software supplier in desperate need of B2B leads. Telemarketing may be the only way you’ll hear a high-ranking executive on the other end but it always helps to be completely sure that you’re outsourcing a reputable service.
One thing you need to evaluate is their contact database. When telemarketing in Australia, telemarketing businesses of any kind are expected to cross out any number that’s on the country’s DNC register. These include private home numbers, mobile phone numbers, and emergency numbers used to contact local hospitals. When outsourcing, make sure that the company representing you can give you the utmost assurance that their contact database is free of such numbers. It highlights their compliance with the laws of the land and at the same time, you can even benefit from having only business numbers to call.
The value of any lead generation firm lies the quality of the data it gives you. A proper inspection of where and how it obtains such information is only due. Take great care in evaluating the database of your outsourced service.
It’s quite surprising that even in this day and age, telemarketing still sees plenty of use because of the demands of B2B industries like those supplying medical softwares. Unlike the consumer-targeting tactics of advertising, getting B2B leads requires precise information and the gradual nurturing of a business connection.
Still, that doesn’t mean the rise of telemarketing regularization doesn’t pose as an obstacle. And in countries like Australia, telemarketing for medical software comes with a lot of risks. Hospitals can send really heavy charges your way if you end up dialing their emergency numbers and tried to market software through there. Then again, there’s also a good reason to restrict unwarranted calls when emergencies (as well as people’s privacy) take higher priority.
This is why even firms telemarketing in Australia have found ways to use the internet to their advantage. Medical software is still a much valued technology and there plenty of places on the net to discuss it as well as find prospective buyers. Make no mistake, it’s still important to conduct the qualification process via phone. Things like budget, size of establishment, as well budget need to be discussed through a flexible channel and some times email just doesn’t cut it.
That doesn’t mean they can’t look up the right number on the web or use email to set up time for interested prospects to expect a call. Setting things up on the internet beforehand easily makes calls allowed as they eliminate the premise of telemarketers giving unexpected calls.
As the world continues to move forward into the information age, even old methods need not be rendered obsolete by integrating new internet sources for information. Try integrating it yourself some time (or outsource those who do) for your telemarketing troubles.
Software that streamlines accounting is a tricky thing to define when you’re in the business of supplying it. Not only do you have to define whether its B2B or B2C, you also have to make sure your methods are appropriate. In the event that your company has gone global, you might also have to consider the proper timing with regards to any target countries.
Then again, this is the internet age. Surely such things have come to matter less? In fact, you might even say that the internet could be your only means of contacting a prospect in places like Australia. Telemarketing in Australia, be it from in our outside the country, has become strictly regulated. The internet however has not.
Still, is this enough reason to outright reject all offline methods from now on?
Have you ever considered the possibility that not all your prospects have an online presence you can access to? Simply put, do all of them have a Facebook page, a website, or even just an email address that they rarely open? Why stop only at those who do? Rejecting those who don’t still means you’re discarding so many sales opportunities.
If you really want to maximize the amount of leads you can get, then you need to stop rejecting the only methods that could reach them. Telemarketing may be restricted these days but as far as B2B software is concerned, outsourced telemarketing is still an option for you. Businesses aren’t even granted the same anti-telemarketing protection as most regular citizens.