November 14th, 2012
Lead generation is no easy task and neither is being a telemarketing company that specializes in doing it. For any start-up company that wants to be successful in generating leads through B2B telemarketing, well, it’s going to be a long road ahead.
Being a successful lead generation telemarketing company is not purely about generating leads for your clients, although that is what being such a business is about. So just what does it take to become a successful lead generation company? We will answer that question in this post so keep on reading!
For any company, not just one that generates leads, success is sought after. However, it isn’t always easy to achieve especially when you have the wrong things in mind. As such, here are some essential ideas on how to succeed in this field of industry. (more…)
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 29th, 2012
A challenge you will always face in telemarketing (and in fact, any form of marketing in general) is being careful with what you pitch. In financial planning services, one the biggest mistakes you can make is marketing bad advice.
If you need a reminder of how important it is to refrain from such bad telemarketing practices, you need only read this brief slideshow from Time Moneyland. The slideshow is a top ten list of financial advice that people shouldn’t follow. Here are just two excerpts from notable slides that can have clear applications when marketing B2B financial planning.
“Use a Debt-Settlement Company”
“Debt-settlement firms make an appealing pitch: Contract with us and we’ll chop your debts for you. Just funnel monthly payments to them instead of your creditors and they’ll battle the banks on your behalf, they promise.”
As you can see in the rest of the slide, this is a mistake and you need to avoid making similar lies. Honesty is the best policy and you do not want to attract your financial leads with false promises. Business owners (especially more experienced ones) are not likely to buy them anyways. And again, this doesn’t just apply to your telemarketing message. Check the rest of your marketing materials (website, direct mail letters, email templates etc.) and re-evaluate the message that you’re sending. Is it just as outlandish as the one mentioned in the slide? If it is, time to change it.
“Take Investment Advice from Friends”
“‘Any ‘investment’ a friend or family member recommends that could possibly earn the money back is likely way too risky to get involved in — and possibly not legal,’ says Cristy Cash, director of counseling at the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Oklahoma.”
Chances are, you may have already given the same advice to your clients! However, don’t think this just applies to financial planning. Turning this the other way around, you shouldn’t be too eager to encourage your own clients to pitch for you. The message can either get easily distorted or the word might just spread to more well-informed market influencers who will easily point out flaws that you’re still in the midst of eliminating. While it should be a call to keep improving, you should be wary about the negative impact such information will have on your market.
In either case, make sure your telemarketers don’t send the wrong message. You need to attract and convince prospects but it should never be at the expense of integrity. The loss of that integrity could only result in the following consequences:
- Loss of Trust – Losing trust among your B2B customers has got to be one of the most painful experiences for any business. It’s what’s been driving their loyalty towards your services and confidence in your advice. Nothing is worth losing that.
- Ill Reputation – Having a bad reputation in the market will divert its entire attention away from your business. And given the popularity of social media and the wealth of information on the internet, the effects of bad reputation can spread faster than you think (even in B2B).
- Decline in Sales – With fewer market interest, there are fewer leads. With fewer leads, there are fewer sales. It’s not that complicated to understand why and how it could only get worse.
No good business would desire any of the three outcomes. Consider what message is being sent via marketing and be careful with what you pitch!
July 5th, 2012
No doubt that the recent Supreme Court decision on the controversial health care reform is sparking a lot of buzz within the insurance community. A particular topic of heated debate is how it now mandates businesses to provide insurance for all it’s employees. This quote from CNNMoney adds a few more details:
“The ruling also means that companies with 50 or more full-time employees must start providing health insurance for all workers by 2014 or face stiff penalties.”
At first glance, it would at least give you a more detailed picture of what kind of businesses to target if you’re a company that provides B2B insurance. In other words, this could mean an easier time generating B2B leads. Be careful though, not all businesses are thrilled with these recent turn of events.
Regardless, they have to comply. The problem with that sort of attitude is that it could lead to careless decision making. You see, whether it’s an entire business organization or just an individual, rushing somebody never ends well. Once you have the government itself doing that rushing, it can only get worse.
Forcing companies to start sifting through providers might only mean that they’ll just pick the first one they see and be done with it. They won’t try and learn all the details (which is a seriously dangerous thing to do, given the complexity of insurance).
No matter what, it is critical to let your prospect companies know what it is that they’ll be spending their money on. You never know if some of the details might or might not be within the best interests in their business. Before you object, that’s better than having them sign a deal with you only to have the complaints coming in because they didn’t know whether you could cover this or that.
Business leads aren’t just about giving you information about a prospect and what it can tell you to help you get your sale. It’s about sharing information with the prospect as well. That includes information about how your business works, what kind of insurance you provide, what your coverage is, your conditions etc, etc.
Furthermore, maybe the reason why these businesses aren’t so eager to meet with you is because you’re not being accommodating enough. Maybe there are things that you can do to help better your control over the information you provide without necessarily overwhelming your prospect. Simply put, don’t opt for the easy way out. You’ll be no different from the companies who don’t learn well enough about their insurance providers because they just didn’t want the government breathing down on their necks.
To summarize, you shouldn’t always count on government mandates to get prospects moving in your direction. It might do more harm than good. For all you know, it might even direct them to your competitors first before you! Again, it leads to reckless decision making and a short-sighted ‘let’s get this over with’ attitude. It’s bad enough that these people are being forced so you should be as accommodating and not look like you’re just jumping at these ‘opportunities’ pointed your way courtesy of the federal government.