In accounting, it is often advised to categorize your spending. In fact, even marketers will say that the cost of your lead generation campaign should be further divided in terms of medium (e.g. the cost of social media should be separated from the cost of telemarketing). On the other hand, what if your marketing process is outsourced? Is it something that you should group with your own marketing costs or does it deserve its own category?
Being honest about your limitations is important in appointment setting. Because, during the first few minutes of the meeting, the last thing you want to give a prospect is disappointment. More specifically, it is disappointment from being unable to receive the clear, accounting prediction they have been hoping for.
While your salespeople will say that accounting leads demand a quality of their own, that quality comes at a cost. But more than that, this cost shouldn’t go beyond more than the money your salespeople actually make. Ask yourself, just what good is it to spend so much just to attract attention when that attention earns you so little in the end?
Appointment Setting Strategies Should Contribute Instead of Cost
Make no mistake, getting the attention of a market is an established need. It does not matter whether you are a B2C or B2B firm. It does not matter whether your lead generation is done in-house or is outsourced elsewhere.
Doing it right does still come at a cost. But again, that cost shouldn’t undermine your business by using so much money that you scarcely had more than what you had prior to spending.
This is not even just exclusive to finances. The costs can also undermine your capacity to grow, your capacity to serve, and even your capacity to keep marketing!
- Capacity to grow – Your marketers should go beyond what their own results show. They should be able to see how their efforts, despite their supposed success, translate into a more tangible success via growth of a business. Will the prospects they attract become long-time customers? Will the money earned from a close deal cover the cost and at the same time, give you enough improve your accounting services?
Related Content: How Appointment Setting Should Consider ALL Marketing Results
- Capacity to serve – After all the money you poured in, does it leave you with enough to even maintain the quality of your services? Growing is one thing but daily operations and paying your employees are a more pressing needs because they are also your present ones. You can put the brakes on upgrading till you have found ways to save up enough. But if you cannot even maintain the current costs of running your business, you need to re-evaluate how much your B2B accounting leads are guzzling.
- Capacity to keep marketing – Marketing costs can also consume marketing itself! At this point, you are looking at the worst case scenario. If the costs of, for example, a single click on your web banner ad eats up half of your online marketing budget, it is time to stop. That is the best thing you can do before the next click bites out the budget you have set aside to pay your resident tax advisers. If you cannot even see a way to keep the costs of marketing from eating itself up, then you need to seriously review cost-efficient ways for generating your leads.
Never forget that, at most, a quality lead generator only does half of what you need to keep your business running. Yes you need the attention of your market but that is for the purpose of gaining more opportunities and more customers. Those opportunities are lost if your campaigns do not leave you enough to spend to make it happen. The costs of B2B appointment setting should not cost you your sales!
If you’re outsourcing to get your accounting leads, then it’s only natural that you apply the same BPO standards to them as your own clients do to you. There’s no doubt that the processes can be different but as far as outsourcing goes, you and your outsourced lead generator will have a lot in common.
Now there are many ways to generate accounting leads. From a simple, singular approach to a complex, integrated, multi-channel approach. But for simplicity’s sake, try first comparing yourself to a telemarketing company. You’ll find that you both still share the following basic requirements:
- Database Technology – The first is the obvious. Both accounting and lead generation depend on information. Therefore, the standards of what makes quality information hardly differs between you two. It should be constantly thorough, detailed, and also well-maintained. Information must never grow stale. For accounting, it’s to make sure that financial reports are accurate. For telemarketers, it’s to make sure that their CRM database informs the clients of a lead’s status in the sales process. Don’t forget about security either. Both accounting information and customer information can be considered very sensitive and many people wouldn’t want hackers to get a hold of either.
- Dedicated Work Force – Aside from information, you have the people who are charged with using and managing it. With regards to the latter, diligence and productivity are critical. Diligence means that your employees are capable of being consistent in their duties (whether it’s in calculating and tabulating accounts or cold calling a list of prospects). Following that is productivity. It’s what distinguishes diligent tasks from pointlessly repetitive ones. Both telemarketers and accountants shouldn’t be just grinding away at their job. That grind should be able to produce good results.
- Cost-Efficiency – You can’t just forget about lower costs now. If it’s one of your primary selling points as an accounting service, then it should also be a selling point for your outsourced lead generator. Otherwise, what’s the point if outsourcing isn’t going to be any more expensive than doing the process in-house? It’s not only redundant but it also compromises the cost-efficiency of your own business.
- Industry Expertise – Telemarketers and accountants take pride in their industry expertise. That means your bark should be as good as your bite (or better). Make sure your outsourced telemarketers are familiar with accounting services and have prior experience in promoting them to other industries. (More specifically, industries that you’re currently targeting.) This will not be much different from when these same prospects soon demand your own bookkeeping expertise in relation to their line of work.
So far, there’s barely a mention of how different your services are from telemarketers. It would be the same had you compared yourself to other forms of lead generation, even multi-channeled ones. It doesn’t matter whether it’s onshore or offshore lead generation either.
Perhaps that’s a good thing. Since you both are familiar to the common standards expected of all BPO firms, you will know what to expect of them when it’s your turn to to do the outsourcing. They must have a secure database, a dedicated, work force, cost-efficiency, and top-of-the-line expertise. Outsource your lead generator, the same way your customers would outsource to you.
No matter how slow it would seem, small businesses will eventually grow. In fact, isn’t growth one of the primary measures with which everyone measures success? It is evident in the way more word gets out about what the business provides. It’s evident in the way a good business is making more money each year. And from each year, the more determined businesses strive to make that growth monthly, and some even further into daily!
You can also see it in the way they use the money they’ve gained to expand. Some move to bigger offices or improve the way they manufacture products or serve customers. Others seek to develop the products and services themselves and introduce more innovations to the world.
In either case, both strongly have to do with what lies at the heart of their business. However, a business cannot rely on just its core. A lower priority for a certain process does not automatically mean that a need for it is nonexistent.
Such is the case with processes like accounting. When companies are in the midst of growth, it sometimes gets harder to manage accounts, organize financial data, and produce relevant information from it at any given time. It’s no coincidence then that it’s at this stage that growing companies consider outsourcing. Therefore, this makes them a good target for your lead generation campaign.
But first, here is a more detailed list to help you identify these growing businesses as possible B2B sales leads:
- Focus on core functions – Obviously, a company that is growing seeks to only focus on what helps it grow and helps define its role in the industry and the rest of the business world. On the other hand, these same companies might not consider accounting close enough to those core processes so their chances of outsourcing can be quite high.
- Expansions of core functions – This includes research and development for better products and services. It also includes also the improvement of product delivery and customer service. But again, this gives them a lower budget for non-core functions like accounting. It’s a good idea to offer your services as a cost-efficient solution.
- Lack of knowledge – This can be the most critical so far. While they lack the capacity to invest, they can still spend some effort evaluating themselves. Save them this trouble and offer your own insight to show just how fast you can deliver.
- In the midst of struggle – Of course, another obvious sign is that they’re growing a little too fast for the capacity of their current accounting services. Spot these companies right away so at the very least, they’re aware that your firm exists and will consider you as an option.
Growing businesses can’t really be blamed for focusing on their core. Often times, it’s the reason for that growth in the first place. Losing sight of what defines their business can have consequences which could damage that growth. Offering your services when they’re at that stage can help maintain that focus by giving expert insight and offering your services as an option.