Industry veterans will know that B2B marketing is about more than simple sales numbers. Likewise, lead generation is about more than winning as many leads as possible. A whole lot more in fact.
As an outsourced telemarketing agency, this presents some interesting challenges. Do you focus on closing leads – the client remit in other words (that’s what they are paying for), or do you focus on the needs of the people on the receiving end of your B2B marketing? If you don’t get leads in sufficient numbers, you get fired – ouch! But if you hammer a prospect database to extract as many telemarketing leads as fast as possible, people receiving calls will opt-out of further contact, so your buying universe shrinks and your brand suffers – double ouch!
So how do we generate leads while also taking in the absolute need to grow the brand positively in the mind of buyers? Read on to find out how our 22 years in B2B marketing can help you improve your own lead generation machine.
Build and they will come
When your message and product are right for the people your team is approaching, the leads will come through. Yes, you need to make cold calls to reach out to buyers. Yes, you need to have a well-trained team who can find the right decision makers, reach them, engage in a truly two way conversation, ask intelligent and sensitive questions, and start a meaningful relationship for both parties.
If you can make these routines regular, well enough and often enough, you will generate leads. Start with a well profiled database of potential buyers. This can be uncovered by examining the commonalities that your best clients share. In B2B marketing we call this targeting homogeneous needs.
Catch people doing good
Test small segments of your B2B marketing data so the messaging can be refined to suit different buyers and make sure your team is asking relevant and probing open questions. Look out for great performance or good effort and give thanks and praise generously. Empower your people to build and share a mosaic of responses, and make sure they are working systematically, so x number of calls every y hours for example. Their achievements and their learning should be celebrated, so the most productive and insightful messaging is cross fertilised among your whole team.
Measure, measure, measure
Transparent metrics, continuous plan-act-review cycles, and handpicked data means we’re learning across every cycle of activity. And this learning is fed into each new interaction, to keep growing the intellectual property that allows us to produce the most fertile B2B marketing opportunities and leads. Borrow these and other processes from the outsource mind-set. Have clarity on how many calls it takes to convert a buyer, and keep working to improve benchmarks without being pushy or prosaic. Good calls will capture the imagination of the right buyers, so place emphasis on call quality, not numbers.
At Blue Donkey we’ve found the ideal compromise between getting the quality of leads, with the best possible quantity. We help our people feel good about creating enduring telemarketing leads, whilst also keeping the bigger marketing picture in mind. It starts with cascading, building, and nurturing the right skills, and is maintained through continually improving the control systems designed to promote company objectives and values. People, and management systems, work together with the same broad objective of promoting client brand values to generate sales leads. Its quality and quantity working together.
There’s another big win here. Happy internal customers (staff to you and me) make happy external customers. This is a proven source of competitive advantage in B2B marketing where academics say the happy factor can deliver long term success. Called the resource-based view, it is a managerial framework used to determine the strategic resources a firm can exploit to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. It emerged in the 1980s after works published by Wernerfelt, Prahalad and Hamel on the source of sustained competitive advantage. Its supporters argue that organisations should look inside the company, at its people, to find and maximise its sources of competitive advantage, instead of looking at the competitive environment for it.
By wrapping our highly skilled teams in a bespoke cloak of training, coaching, and support, their calls feel as warm and toastie as the leads they secure for our client family. And it’s no surprise that we base our routines on the very best practice and a super fine ISO:9001 quality management system.
Working together, the training we provide, and the quality management systems we adopt mean Blue Donkey can reliably manage the tension between the need for leads, and the necessity for respectful, sustainable brand building, project after project.