When you’re a global software company, your software is available everywhere (whether you use the SaaS model or you simply used more classical means of expansion). As such, your marketing efforts are likely to go everywhere as well.
These days such efforts are conducted online. Even if you were a B2B company (e.g. you supply SCM software), you still make use email, webpage, and social media marketing. Honestly, it is quite surprising to find a lot places on the web were your industry has taken a foothold.
Speaking of that though, B2B businesses in particular use a lead generation model. In other words, despite the wide coverage, engaging a potential client takes a considerably longer amount of time in order to qualify. In fact, that wide coverage could even mean that you’ll end up having too many inquiries to handle.
However, that hardly means you should stop. It only means you need to accommodate more. With that said, you can start by looking for a faster means of communication between yourself and the inquirer. Email, despite its capacity to reach hundreds and thousands of decision makers all over the world, becomes difficult once a positive response is made and the time comes for a conversation. At this point, it’d be a better idea to shift a live phone conversation. Don’t think this means you’ll be bombarding them with all the details through speech though. It actually means you just have to cover enough of the basics to make them set an appointment. If you’re worried about costs, then just outsource telemarketing services if the calculations start getting too heavy for you.
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!
Experience is one of the most important traits you must look for when outsourcing a telemarketing company. It will help you determine a lot of things. For instance, you’ll know how versed they are in making business calls. It gives you an estimate on the size of their contact database because the years are likely to guarantee a very large stockpile.
Finally, it will also tell you what kind of record they have with regards to controversial things like telemarketing laws.
Outsourcing telemarketing services has been a common practice amongst B2B businesses like those providing software for supply chain management. Despite the popular opposition and prevalent stereotypes, telemarketers are still in use when it comes to contacting people who are otherwise unreachable.
These people in question are the busy decision makers and executives who are the only ones with the authority, capacity, as well as the knowledge to see how streamlining something like SCM will greatly benefit their corporation. Unfortunately, at least according to anti-telemarketers, such efforts will now allegedly cease because of DNC registers and anti-telemarketing laws.
What they don’t know is that if you’re a supplier of SCM software, you wouldn’t even want the numbers on that list. What good is calling a private home number for you? You sell to business professionals in targeted positions, not random people in the suburbs.
That’s why you should only seek out the really experienced telemarketers because along with data and mastery of business calling methods, they’re also familiar with the laws and registers that spell out what they can and cannot do (especially those telemarketing in Australia, just one of the many country’s known for being strict with telemarketers).
One of the things that has always been tricky about supply chain management is the sheer complexity of the network. Its easy to tell just from the parts of a single product. The more complicated it is and more pieces it needs, the more likely you have dozens of companies providing even for just one raw component.
It should come to no surprise then that managing it requires the involvement of more than one decision maker in a single company. This in turn means you’ll have more than one person to contact if you’re looking gain leads for SCM software.
Granted you might say that one of the benefits of that software is its capacity to streamline management tasks and therefore, it’ll require a company less manpower to manage their supply chains. Regardless, you still have to first contact the ones who are currently in charge of it for you to make that appeal.
Just because you’ll be giving a company the opportunity to cut down on the personnel cost of their SCM, doesn’t excuse you from consulting extra people for your software appointment setting. In fact, it might just come off as scheming and rude. For all you know, the other person might just be as open because he or she would prefer to shift their focus on other tasks besides SCM.
Still, it is only proper to acknowledge the additional difficulty it poses. Having more than one person to call or email just to qualify a single lead does have the potential to add costs. In such cases, you might just want to try first with outsourcing your lead generation to companies experienced with maximizing their communication skills for a thorough qualification phase.
In SCM software (or any B2B industry for that matter) assuming the sale right from the start is a dangerous move. You could end up making a lot of mistakes from coming off as inconsiderate to information overload. The latter is actually more likely, given that software intended to monitor the complex network that is the supply chain can come with a variety of features.
These features can be both a self-made blessing and a curse. If you develop your product into the software wonder that you you say it is, then your clients are automatically inclined to buy it. However, trying to give them an entire run-through in one setting will consume too much time. Remember, whilst you may be be targeting customers instead of regular consumers, you still need to actually talk to a specific individual inside each prospect company. Namely, these are the important decision makers who are in charge of SCM and would find your software very convenient.
However, these aren’t the type to have a lot of time on their hands. To try and make a sale out of them on the spot would alert them that you’re going to be taking up that much time. Instead, why don’t you just give them what they need to know and how your product can be of value particularly to their company? Better yet, why not gather information beforehand so you can use it to your sales-making advantage?
Now one of the methods often suggested to dispense and gather information simultaneously is outsourced telemarketing. So instead of taking risks and trying to hawk your software to every prospect you find. Why not just have agents make a few calls just to be sure?
It’s often a common notion that the faster you sell, the more profitable you are. While that can be true in lot of cases, the few cases where it isn’t can result in very painful consequences for a business. SCM software companies are one example.
If you’re familiar with supply chains, you will know that there’s a lot more than one company involved. Developing the software that helps them locates suppliers and oversee the production requires a lot of study. However, an equal amount of study is also required for locating the companies who would most likely take interest in this software.
You see in B2B transactions, you can expect higher sums of money to be exchanged. Therefore, it’s likely that every single sale can mean great profits. Logically, to sell something like that at high speed would mean big bucks right?
Well that’s hard to say with the amount of study you need to do so that you won’t turn off your client. As much as business executives are more open to products like this, not even they can appreciate someone just shoving a product in their faces in an attempt to get them to buy.
If you really want something sped up, speed up the rate of qualifying your software leads. Money isn’t what you should focus on gathering at high speed. It’s information. Getting that information can then quicken your software appointment setting so that you can have an easier (and faster) time turning them into sales.
For starters, try using outsourced telemarketing as a means of contacting and screening your prospects. It’s not only cost-efficient but they can show you exactly why information gets speed priority.
SCM software manufacturers don’t just benefit the company that uses their product to monitor their supply chain. They’re also benefiting the other parties the chain is connected with (such as the suppliers as well as the consumers). A supply chain, after all, isn’t just the work of a single corporate entity. It’s a large, coordinated team effort with other businesses. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that when an SCM software provider finds a lead for its software, it finds a chance to support that team effort.
Big companies nowadays are all about using supply chains. The more complex the product which they intend to manufacture, the more companies they will incorporate into the network. And the more entities they take in, the more likely they will be on the look out for an SCM software provider to keep it in order. It can even be argued that SCM software can be a component in of itself and your role is just as significant as that of other suppliers. Finding them then is only a matter of diligent research and confidence in your own product.
On the other hand, if you’re uncertain of the openness of the companies around you or simply desiring to pool more of your resources in developing your software further, you can always ask others to research for you. Telemarketing firms are good candidates since generating B2B leads is what they do best. In the case of SCM software, firms experienced in ERP lead generation are specially recommended.
Either way, SCM providers should start their lead generations campaigns straight away. It’s not just one company you’re looking for. It’s a whole team of them.