When marketing to foreign shores, language barriers are to be expected. Even in countries that claim their business owners and other professionals are competent in speaking major languages such as English, the reality can say otherwise. For ERP software companies, that can be be a problem if they depend too much on online lead generation.
Internet-dependent methods such as e-mail marketing and website creation can be meaningless if your foreign clients can’t read the language very well. Of course, a company with enough resources can simply create different pages for different languages. However, that still may not be enough. There is always a chance (no matter how small) that a foreign client would prefer a more direct means of communicating concerns that automated website information just does not answer.
Then there’s the classic obstacle of e-mail marketing versus the spam filters. If your target decision maker or C-level executive has difficulty reading in English, what do you think is going to keep him or her from ignoring the mail you send? How then are you going to inform them of updates and keep them attracted to anything you might offer in the future?
Fortunately, telemarketing groups can allow you that kind of direct communication. With a properly trained group of inbound agents, you can assure yourself the communication skills necessary for clients that would prefer speaking in their native tongue.
Take not however that it’s best to outsource to a telemarketer with international advantages. For example, if you’re marketing to places mostly in Southeast Asia, you might want to find a group that has a call center in Singapore. The location not only means they’ll have more info on potential prospects in the area but may also be skilled in the people’s languages. Therefore, you’d best start searching for one and not keep those foreign inquiries waiting.
E-mail technology has really streamlined the task of spreading messages. Gone were the days were you had to write duplicate copies of the same letter by hand. Now all you need is one and a very long list of contacts. With just a click of a button, you can send that one message to all those on that list.
Unfortunately, that is also how digital versions of junk mail get spread round. Spam. Chain letters. All of these come off as ultimately annoying and adds difficulty to cleaning out one’s inbox. Luckily most email service providers come with a free spam filter to take care of them.
This however can be bad news for software companies that still contact their leads via e-mail. It’s even worst for B2B-dependent businesses like ERP software who need to inform important business executives about what they can offer. In turn, ERP leads who need such software might end up missing good opportunities because they’ve automatically activated their spam filter to save their important business messages from getting drowned in junk mail.
This is why business software suppliers turn to telemarketing for leads. You see unlike e-mail, you can’t put a strong filter on telephone calls. It’s true that’s what the gatekeeper of a corporation is for. However, with the right B2B telemarketer, you can easily get past them and get all the information you can in order to market your software to their business. If you’re an international software supplier, even more so. For example, you might need a call center in Singapore in order to gain access to the business decision makers in that area. Resorting to e-mail for them might be an even greater lost cause since they’d rather talk to you directly. If you outsource to a suitable telemarketer now, you’ll have easier time arranging a promising appointment.
With computers standing as one of the driving forces of advancing human technology, it’s not surprising that software companies make heavy use of the internet. Everything from putting their products up for download to sending e-mail newsletters by the thousands are marketing methods common amongst all software suppliers.
However, pure dependence on such methods isn’t always beneficial. Sometimes they can be too automated when the task at hand requires a more natural form of communication. Sometimes too many people use them in that your clients are not even aware that your company is on the world wide web because your site has been drowned by the sea of competitors.
Make no mistake, online lead generation has its benefits. However, coupling that with offline methods can really accelerate the online ones. This is why most companies include their website and e-mail addresses on their list of contact information. There really is no need to put one over the other when using them both can increase business exposure better than if one were to just stick to one style.
Some offline methods can even boast more precision online ones. Take telemarketing for example. If you’re going to make your digital tools (and your company) accessible to the whole world, it always pays to have someone prod your prospects into checking out your site or attending your webinars. They can even save you the trouble of scouting out the local market atmosphere and can instantly give you the heads up on potential clients. If you were an ERP software supplier for instance, an international telemarketing group could have a call center in Singapore and help you set appointments with Singaporean corporations.
There’s really no excuse to fall into the false dichotomy of offline versus online. Rather, you should learn to unite both and make the best of both worlds.
ERP software companies are not strangers when it comes to marketing their stuff on the internet. As a result, they inadvertently find themselves marketing beyond the borders of their home country. This can pose some serious problems when you’re hoping to gain some foreign leads this way.
One obvious issue is language. If you were marketing to people to a place known for not having just one but numerous local languages (let’s use Singapore as an example), you might be hard pressed to make a website re-written in each one. If you’re only starting out, that might put a good strain on your budget. The same goes for e-mails. You can’t just get one big list of B2B leads and then send away. You’ll have to split it among groups and gather information on which one is likely to speak which language before even sending one for each language. (That’s not even considering how you’ll be praying that the e-mail won’t hit smack dab right into the spam filter.)
What about media advertising? Well, you won’t escape it there either. Have you ever noticed that a lot of other industries who market their products worldwide have to pay for a different, country-oriented ad for just a single product?
Lucky for you, you can save yourself the trouble of having to create something for all those languages by outsourcing a competent international telemarketer. It is imperative that you outsource if you’re still just a small company because the language training and investment in strategic locations around the world would be way beyond your financial capacities. If you’re seriously in need of a cost-efficient way to market your B2B product in such a multi-lingual country then find a telemarketer with a call center in Singapore to break the language barriers.
In the world of ERP software, B2B lead generation is critical. However, it’s always the prospect of cold-calling that freezes people in their tracks just when they’re about to consider telemarketing as an option. You can’t blame them actually. These days it’s common to hear ordinary people say that the last thing they’d want to hear when they answer a phone is someone trying to sell them something. If even the average citizen would consider these calls as a waste of time, how much more the ever so busy C-level executive?
You might as well say not to use cold-calling at all but what good is that when telemarketing could be the only way you’re ever going to get in contact with the business leads an ERP software needs to sell?
Well first off, you might have to realize that cold-calling isn’t the end-all of telemarketing. It’s only a part of it in need of a serious reformation.
The key lies in the script-development phase. When you outsource to a telemarketer, you need to make sure they will allow you to work closely in determining how their agents are going to speak with your intended business targets. Anything that remotely sounds like an advertisement should immediately hit the waste paper basket. Since you’re a software company that can deliver their products purely online, chances are you’ll need an international telemarketer. Keep in mind such firms have bases in different countries (such as a call center in Singapore) so you might even want to consider the chance of someone speaking a different language or with a heavy accent.
What you actually need is to find a way to diminish the unexpected nature of a call and have your agent show that you heard something was wrong in the company with which your software can fix. This can lower their guard long enough to put your foot in the door because that same problem could make it hard to say no. With that said, best review with them now and you can revolutionize the cold-calling process.