February 21st, 2013
Before you take the reigns and start executing your own financial lead generation campaign, you must first realize one thing: the importance of proper assistance. Why? Because everybody needs a little help every now and then, especially financial services firms that seek to increase their sales.
December 21st, 2012
Whether it is sales leads or accounting, nobody really likes it when something goes missing. In lead generation, a few missing details makes everything riskier for sales. In accounting, missing records can arouse suspicion. On that note however, paranoia and obsession are far from the best reactions.
October 10th, 2012
Normally, many businesses big and small will take as many sales leads they can get their hands on. But instead of looking at how many leads, do you care to check how many hands? When you are so willing to receive as many leads that you can take, have you ever double-checked the fine print of that question?
Business Leads Can Be Excessive
It is very understandable that you want to open your accounting service to as many business clients as possible but never ignore that last word: possible. If you have so many quality, accounting leads but do not have the possibility of pursuing them all, then you you would have wasted a substantial amount of the money you invested in marketing and lead generation.
At Inc.com, Langley Steinert writes about his own experience about handling more than what you can take. He also recommends a more reasonable alternative:
“Both at my former company TripAdvisor as well as my current company Car Gurus, we have a saying: follow the 80/20 rule, technically known as the Pareto principle. The Pareto principle tells us that 20 percent of the inputs account for 80 percent of the results. You have to cut through the noise, figure out what tasks represent the 20 percent with the greatest leverage and focus on those tasks. Find those projects that make a big impact and ignore EVERYTHING else.”
You can apply the Pareto principle to your own business in several ways:
- Controlling the amount of leads – First off, you can apply it by limiting yourself only to leads that you can immediately serve. This controls the amount you spend on marketing as well as maintaining the sales for each successful appointment. A goal is only too high or too low for your marketers if they deem their results too much beyond the capacities of your salespeople and your services.
Related Content: Sales Leads – The Dangers Of Data Overload
- Focusing on the tasks that matter – Some might protest and say that some business processes are still critical despite having a lower priority. You have explained this extensively when demonstrating the need for accounting services. You have seen this reasoning also deployed by marketers and lead generators. How can you focus on the tasks that produce the 80% when that description still covers a wide range of processes that you cannot do? Answer: you outsource it. Focus on what really drives the quality of your business while leaving it up to a provider to worry about your accounting sales leads.
- Expect customers and prospects to adopt this principle – By ‘expect’, it does not mean presume. Rather, both your marketers and salespeople engage with the understanding that your market only cares about the bottom-line. Asides from money, life in the business world costs people plenty of time. Do not waste that time and get straight to the point. Cut down on information that is not relevant to a prospect’s problems and focus only on a proposal or a solution that works best.
Related Content: Be Up Front In Lead Generation Just As You Are Up Front With Financial Planning
Never look for an excuse to do everything when you just simply cannot. Despite how many entrepreneurs and gurus call people to stay optimistic, this is where a bit of healthy realism should play in. Do not take too many leads beyond what you can handle. And if you cannot let go of a particular process (e.g. telemarketing services) then at least outsource to save up on your focus!
August 1st, 2012
In case you’re still not familiar with the term, upskilling is commonly defined in business as the practice of training one’s in-house workforce to have additional skills. For accounting, this can be an advantage during times when job requirements do not match the skills of the general population. Another advantage could be expanding the range of specializations of your accounting services by increasing the skills of your current employees. On the other hand, doing so should also be complimented by adding variety to the way you generate accounting leads.
For example, if you’ve only been using telemarketing so far then you can either try and upskill if it’s in-house or outsource to a company that is already in the midst of upskilling their call center agents. And yes, they’re out there. Besides, the costs of training could be high and it could still take time just for your own accounting personnel to learn the new skills. You wouldn’t want the cost of your services to skyrocket as a result because your raised up the costs of your own accounting leads.
Now with regards to upskilling itself, here are a few things that marketing can teach you:
- Make sure the basics are covered – Be careful about just upskilling anybody. Start first with those whose current skill set can match the new ones you’d like to add. It’s only common sense that if you’re going to add variety to the accounting skills of your work force, that work force needs to know accounting basics.
- Pick skills that give you an edge – Be aware of current events as well as the current state of your target market. Use market research to help you predict new demands for a certain type of accounting service. After that, you’ll now know which kind of skills you’ll need to invest in.
- Keep an eye on costs – Naturally, you have to make sure that upskilling doesn’t eat too much out of your finances that they’ll raise costs. A rise in cost might not work to your advantage if a lower one was supposed to be your main selling point.
Another thing you need to keep in mind is that you don’t necessarily have to market these new skills. Despite how you’ve predicted a rise in demand for certain accounting services, not all businesses have any real need for them. Don’t present them with too many options that aren’t relevant to their more immediate needs.
Now with that said, it’s now time to see how you (or an outsourced provider) can upskill your current telemarketing service. It can arguably be a lot simpler compared to upskilling your accountants because it’s just about integrating additional forms of marketing:
- Email marketing – Some telemarketing firms are already integrating the use of email so that it can offer support to telemarketing efforts. For example, emails can be used to request permission to call instead of calling directly first.
- Social media – The telemarketing industry has also begun to use social media to a certain degree. The online engagement can be considered as a form of qualification before taking it into the next phase of actually talking with the prospect on the phone.
- Websites – Managing websites and optimizing their content can attract more calls but it takes additional IT-marketing skills to completely succeed.
As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life so upskilling to increase the variety of both your services and B2B lead generation can be a good idea. Outsource though if you want to play it safe.
April 19th, 2012
It’s undeniable that B2B leads (such as those for accounting) are hard to come by compared to the large haul brought in by consumer-targeted marketing. Then again, it’s because you don’t really need a large haul as much as you need to catch something really big.
Speaking of which however, in what ways can accounting firms like yours attract the needed attention and interest of possible business clients? Advertising comes with its unique set of different techniques and mediums but does B2b lead generation have its own?
There are several but there are two that are most commonly used: online marketing and telemarketing.
Online marketing is somewhat more similar to its B2C counterpart only that the websites, emails, and SEO efforts are specified towards people in a particular position (for accounting, it would be executives and managers in charge of handling company finances).
Telemarketing on the other hand is significantly different. B2B telemarketers are not so much pushy salespeople as they are information gatherers and dispensers. They call you to ask questions or make small announcements that they think might be relevant to the decision maker.
Both methods however are met with popular obstacles. For online marketing, spam filters can serve as one and for telemarketing, you have DNC registers (especially in countries like America, Canada, and Australia). So exactly how do accounting groups overcome these obstacles when they’re looking for something like Canada sales leads?
A simple solution is to merely have one bypass one for the other. Online marketing helps attract attention without intruding on anyone’s phone and gives interested decision makers the call they need without dealing with a spam filter. This just one solution in fact but so long as you have the will there will more ways.