Every business needs new leads to fuel its growth pipeline. Long term survival is only possible when organisations manage a decent flow of prospects that can be nurtured and warmed over time. At Blue Donkey we place particular emphases on the need to generate a relationship rather than using clever closing techniques to get sales leads. In fact, if you’re running a well-rounded telemarketing campaign, lead generation will be just one element or measure of success. This starts with how you select your data, and how much care goes into maintaining it moving forward. Marketers talk about data, as a resource, a type of fuel that has to be burned through in order to find warmth. That notion is problematic, to say the least, especially in lead generation terms. No one wants to be a lead or a prospect. It’s far more enriching for all involved if as marketers, the database was a list of people, with names, who could become the future face of our business.
Good marketing is all about creating a brand and getting the values of that brand out there in the minds of your potential buying universe. Who you are, what you do, and why you’re special in other words. Making calls that chime with your broader brand messaging is really important for that reason, especially if you’re hoping to grow long term value with your telemarketing calls. When your lead generation campaigns are all about closing leads and not much else, the leads you get won’t be a great fit, and even if they do convert to sale, they’ll have a lower value than they might otherwise have had. People spend more and stay longer when they feel the business they buy from is a good one. Furthermore, clients who buy with a simple price motivation are likely to jump to the next lowest bidder when a cheaper alternative comes along.
Building the right relationships
Most of us in B2B markets won’t have an unlimited buying universe. At best, you can sell to pretty much anyone in a business, at worst, you’ll have a handful of target organisations you’ll need to build strong networks of potential buyers within, carefully and meticulously. Even for organisations that think they can sell to anyone, the reality is that, usually, a careful selection of target industries, or buyers, will deliver a more enduring return on marketing investment than others. After all, why spend the same time and energy converting buyers that spend a little, and move easily, as you would clients who spend more and commit to your business for longer. These targeting decisions may seem obvious but in reality, when you look at a company’s lead generation data, it can seem very much like the database has evolved without vital decisions about strategy or targeting actually being considered. It just happened.
Every time you connect with a potential buyer on the phone, you share a dialog that you hope will lead to a meaningful relationship, and ultimately a lead generation campaign that delivers long term sales to the business. Sometimes it happens quickly where you chance upon the right person at the right time. Sometimes the process can take months or even years. Person after person you’re building the promise of tomorrow’s success with call after call, discussion after discussion. Your database notes need to be artfully illustrative of each unique buyer discussion and the value created by this process of iterative calling. Where the value isn’t clear, the effort is wasted. Because when you come round to that record again, in weeks or months to come, the magic of the discussion is lost and you end up with a vacuous bank of records that need calling again. When your lead generation routines include the systematic annotating of calls, they will reflect the depth and magic of your discussions, and set the right tempo for the next time you connect with that buyer.