The costs of financial services sales leads can be more than the number written on a proposal, a contract, or on a financial report. Unless you evaluate them fairly and in ever aspect possible, you cannot confidently say the price was or (was not) worth paying.
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.
People think that with new, faster, and more automated means of communications, B2B companies like those dealing in finance find themselves with expanded horizons. However, an excess dependence on new technology really does have its negative consequences (cliché they may be). First off though, it’s only fair to cite a few reasons why people prefer contacting and communicating with potential finance leads en masse.
- It cuts the costs of labor.
- Covers a wider range.
- With a wider range, there’s a higher response rate.
- It’s also a forced alternative when older methods have suffered recent restrictions across the world.
These all sound like good reasons but just how long can the stay good? You’ve cut the cost of labor by just having fewer people receive your clients but your clients now have to wait in a virtual line just to get in touch with a real person. You’ve got a wider range but does that really help when you’re just going to stuff them in a long line? How do you know if those responding are truly genuine? Does it really just take a simple, generic email response to make sure? Finally, no matter how many controversial issues you’ve read about (from the rise of anti-marketing groups in the U.S. to laws restricting telemarketing in Australia, Canada, India and increasingly more places), what makes you think email isn’t without its own stigmas?
Before you realize it, the only thing email blasting got your company is the label of corporate spammer. It’s not very flattering title to have on the internet (especially when internet marketing is all the rage).
That is the result of too much dependence on what’s new and not being open-minded enough to try something else (even if that something else turns out be to allegedly obsolete like telemarketing). Furthermore, perhaps the one reason why people find the use of these new tactics more and more frustrating is that there’s really no conversation going on.
Remember, you’re a B2B business and you need lead generation to not just provide you with opportunities but also information to succeed with those opportunities. Financial management is not something you can discuss over a mere exchange of emails or chat. There’s just so much that you need to cover (from investment and upcoming projects to all the way down to maintenance and payroll). Yes, it’s true that email has its advantages at times but that doesn’t eliminate the fact that you need a real person behind them, not a set of links to your company website.
Speaking of which, not everyone can afford to lose time on just generating leads. If you’re one of those people then email is definitely not recommended because it’s too slow for qualification. Here’s, what you need to do: try attracting prospects with email first but once you get a response, start doing everything to direct them towards calling your firm, and eventually get them an appointment so that you’ll have an entire meeting to have everything covered. Don’t just dump emails on everyone and force them to browse your site. Be active and learn when to start a real conversation!
With internet marketing, even B2B insurance companies can benefit from increased online exposure. Corporate packages are a strictly required staple for any company, big or small. A demand for the service is already a given. Putting up a webpage can come both to your convenience and to the convenience of your prospects who use the internet as a fast means to locate solutions. You can also invest in a bit of email marketing and seemingly replace old direct-response methods like telemarketing.
However, if you think that things will be completely smooth sailing from here on, think again. You’d be surprised at how many obstacles have risen along with the birth of the online frontier. This may sound pessimistic but no matter how new an approach seems to be, it’s not without its own flaws and its own obstacles. On the other hand, that’s doesn’t mean you should discard new methods either. You just have to make sure they don’t make you idle and closed off from different ideas.
Still, what are these supposed obstacles faced by those marketing online? Ironically, these obstacles have strong parallels with that of the previous ones (email marketing in particular). Whereas professional telemarketers used to deal with gatekeepers and voice mail, email marketers find similar situations risking the blockage of spam filters. There’s also the threat of unfeeling programs tracking their activities and labeling them as such. And even if you do manage to engage a prospect, what’s stopping their messages from getting swamped out of the dozen other inquiries you’ll be getting? It’s not surprising to find that people find SMS still slower than a live conversation (be it over the phone or face-to-face).
Exposure on the internet also exposes you to hackers just as much prospects. If they hit your website, your lead generation might suffer from the lack of activity (however brief). You should be prepared to have a back up plan that doesn’t rely on the internet too much.
There’s never room for idleness when it comes to getting B2B leads. Do take note that your prospects aren’t just regular people who need insurance for themselves. It’s for every person of their entire department. Planning for even a small business organization takes time. They need to be contacted, qualified, and then set with an appointment. If your appointment setter is exclusively internet-based, you’ll run into the problems cited above because there’s no other way to inform your prospect (or yourself for that matter).
Cost shouldn’t even be an issue. The issue is not allowing new methods be an excuse to lose vigilance. You don’t even have to invest in two separate methods for it. There are telemarketing companies out there who also know how to use email marketing to their advantage (and vice-versa). If you want to get the whole package without breaking the company piggy bank or just want to focus on you main tasks, then just outsource them. Goodness knows you might not regret that you did (especially if you don’t have a lot of experience knowing how to combine the two methods effectively). Again, don’t let new methods be a cause of idleness!