Investing on good web design = More business opportunities?

 

Investing on good web design = More business opportunitiesIf you’re the type of marketer that frequently hops from one business site to another just to stay in the competition, then you’ve probably noticed how these sites are evolving these days in terms of web design. Basically, this “evolution” has two major, extreme opposite categories: simplicity and radicalism.

The move for simplicity is driven by those who got tired of flashy, over-animated sites and preferred to employ a plain, straightforward design, with basic functions and fewer variations in color. It’s sort of a regression (or even rebellion) from advanced web designing – which, in turn, is the exact essence of radicalism: utilizing an assortment of multimedia, animations, vivid shades, edgy fonts and interactive buttons.

Whether you want your design to lean towards the far left (simplicity) or the far right (radicalism), it is important to know exactly why this choice even matters.

Neil Patil, a top entrepreneur and web influencer (www.quicksprout.com) said in an article titled How Saving On Design Could Cost You More In The Long Term that web designs are actually investments over time. He gave several evidences wherein his expenses on making his site design better actually paid off in terms of the increase in readers, better circulation of posts, offers of speaking engagements and job opportunities. He considers all these blessings as ROI for his site’s high-quality design.

Related:
How Saving On Design Could Cost You More In The Long Term

“When a designer gives you a bill, what do you see it as? An expense, right? When a designer gives me a bill, I see it as an investment.” Patil says. “For me, it is something that appreciates and helps your business grow.”

In hiring a good designer, these are the things you should be concerned about:

    • Skill – You may have your own standard when it comes to web design, but it’s always safe to ask other designers to see if someone fits the bill. Sites like dribbble.com can give you an idea about designers’ skill level and how others like their work.
    • Analytics – Your designer should understand how to read stats on Google Analytics or read survey results, otherwise he or she won’t know how to design for your customer.
    • Conversion rate optimization– As additional pre-requisite, designers should also be well-versed with conversion rate optimization. A handsome site that doesn’t convert is pointless.
    • Initiative and backbone You need to hire a designer that has the guts to say “no” if he thinks there’s a better way to optimize your site. He must be assertive in helping you achieve what’s best for your business.

Related:

The Importance of Good Web Design

  • Taste – Taste is different from skill. A lot of designers are software experts and know every detail by the book, but don’t have the “eye” for good taste. This separates the seasoned, more experienced designers from agitated fresh grads.

Chances are you might be a spammer – you just don’t know it yet

When your content gets tagged as spam, it could be a major source of headache. Marketers have to deal with maintaining an honorable reputation to avoid being blocked or ignored in emails, blog sites and forums, and this task requires effort. This effort should have been allotted to more important stuff, like enhancing content quality or engaging with prospects.

But it does happen, and sometimes without your knowledge. All the while you think you’ve been sending your message across, but in reality you’re just a nuisance in the eyes of the recipients. You need to significantly improve your chances of reaching customers and prospects by taking the proper measures.

So how do you keep yourself off from the most wanted spammers list?

Polish your track record. Riva Richmond of Entrepreneur.com gave some advice on keeping your emailing reputation clean. “In the same way a bad credit score can freeze you out of the lending market, a bad sender score for your domain name or IP addresses can keep your emails out of inboxes,” Riva says. ISPs use a number of tools to determine sender reputation. The number of user complaints, which are made by clicking a report spam button, is a decisive factor in reputation. “If more than one in a thousand email recipients complain, your messages will be blocked altogether,” she added.

Improve your content. Spam filters are very watchful of trigger words that are closely associated with general spam. Their alertness becomes higher if you’re a newbie at email marketing with no apparent experience or reputation. What you have to focus on is creating strong, non-spam sounding content. Avoid words like “free trial” or “promotions”. Draft emails as if you’re sending an email to a friend.

Use clean lists. “Avoid buying lists as they typically include spam traps, which are fake addresses used only to catch spam, and addresses of people who haven’t given permission to receive marketing messages,” says Dennis Dayman, chief security and privacy officer at Eloqua, a marketing software and services company. He encourages building a list or real customers instead, which, although time-consuming, can pay off big time.

Seek help. Marketing specialists use dependable emailing tools and services so ISPs can recognize your content as legitimate and trustworthy. Leaving the task to experts can help you manage your campaign smoothly and also boost your sender score within the industry. Firms usually offer services free for the first month so you could gauge the effectiveness and assess whether it’s worth teaming up.

The Five Ways You Waste Time In B2B Appointment Setting

The Five Ways You Waste Time In B2B Appointment Setting

As a manager, it is your job to ensure that everyone is doing well in their work, reaching their sales leads quotas and letting them get even better in their B2B appointment setting operations. And while you may be employing a bunch of new strategies and methods that will help them work better, you have to admit that there are some things that will never change. Among these would be the amount of work that you have to do in one day.

Since we are talking about work, you might find yourself doing things that will not help you at all. Indeed, these might actually cause you to waste precious time. It sure makes sense if you can avoid them, right? So, what are these time-wasters that you should be avoiding?

1. Working too much on the wrong work – you know that there are limits to what you can do in a single day, so we try to work on things that matter the most. The problem here is when we focus our efforts to much on the wrong part of your telemarketing campaign. That would certainly waste a lot of precious time and manpower in our work.

2. Putting off the easy ones – I tell you, the easy tasks that you put off for tomorrow will become the hardest ones on that day. A veteran marketer would take every chance he gets to finish all necessary stuff up on the day it appeared. Letting it linger for later handling would be poor time management, and will cause you to waste time later on.

3. You micromanage your employees – all right, you might want to properly manage and observe your employees, but you will not be going anywhere near your goals if all you do is breath down their necks. You have more important things to do, and your employees will need a little slack while they are working on getting more B2B leads coming in. If you really believe that your employees need guidance all the time, then you probably chose the wrong people for the job.

4. You focus too much on the details – in marketing, you should really look at the details, but focusing too much on them would cause you to miss the big picture. When that happens, well, you might start committing mistake number one or two. Try putting some perspective in your work. That would help.

5. The wheel keeps getting reinvented – if there is anything that you might want to learn about in terms of time wasters, it is that reinventing the sales process rarely gets you the right results. Truly, if you are sensible enough for the job, you will know that some selling styles are best left as is. You just have to know what these are and work on them.

Yes, these are sure-fire sources of wasted time. If you truly want to be productive in your B2B appointment setting campaigns, please try avoiding these common, but erroneous, business and marketing practices.

Easy Networking Tips For Your Appointment Setting Campaigns

Easy Networking Tips For Your Appointment Setting CampaignsIn any B2B lead generation campaign, attending public events and creating networks from the people you meet is a necessity. You know that getting B2B leads can be done in a variety of ways, and it makes sense that you use all avenues in getting them. That is why networking is a good place to start. You get to meet a lot of people, interact with them, learn what issues they face every day, generally giving you an idea on what you and your appointment setting team should do to turn these acquaintances into actual deals or closed sales.

You can be successful in this, if you know how to do it. So follow these tips, and you will be in the right path:

  1. Come in early – while some of you would be tempted to arrive a few minutes after the event, but that would be a bad move in marketing. You would want to come in early in order to observe the other attendees better, as well as identify groups or individuals that you can interact with.
  2.  Ask around – when you are in a social event, please try not to stay by the walls. Not only will this make you look like a sore spot, it would also hinder you from meeting people and getting information out of them. That, in turn, would reduce the number of prospects that your telemarketing team can contact once you get back.
  3.  Forget the sales pitch – if you want a sure fire way to dissuade prospects from doing business with you, you should try using a sales pitch on them. Really, if there is anything that a prospect or networking event attendee hates to hear, it has to be someone trying to sell them something. That never ended well for those who used it. Besides, the whole point of you attending such events is to meet new people.
  4.  Talk about your passions – you know, if you want your new conversation partners to warm up to you, then talking to them about your passions can be a good topic. Besides, if both of you like the same thing, then would it not be the perfect way to establish a connection that can be transferred to your B2B appointment setting campaign later on? You should give this a try and see it for yourself.
  5.  Smile – truly, the one networking asset that many marketers tend to forget. You see, no one really approaches someone who, while they may have something good to offer, when they see that same person with a dour expression.
  6.  Do not dominate the conversation – while you may have something much to say, it is never a good move to actually hijack the conversation. A good appointment setter would let the others talk more. It is all about the conversation, not the business.
  7.  Follow-up – after the meeting, and especially if the conversation yielded good results, it is always good to give them a call or follow-up with the conversation, on a different date or a different place. In that way, you are connected with them beyond the event.

Pretty easy tips, to be honest. Just follow these and your B2B lead generation campaign would be fine.

10 Ways Sales Benefits From Marketing Automation

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Sales runs on high-octane fuel that consists of intelligence and time. When you know who to call, when to call them, what to listen for and what to say, you close more deals.

Marketing automation generates such highly qualified leads that you can identify them as ready for sales engagement — right now. Marketing automation tools let marketers track and measure a prospect’s activity, identify when a lead meets known buyer-readiness conditions, and pass that lead to sales as soon as a hot prospect is ready to be contacted. This eliminates the need for cold calling and wasting time on leads that aren’t ready. Additionally, marketing automation makes it feasible to nurture prospects at scale, which speeds up the sales cycle by warming prospects into hot leads — and then qualified sales opportunities.

To help decide whether your sales team can benefit from marketing automation, here are 10 points to consider. These are key ways marketing automation serves as a sales enabler to help you identify, nurture, approach and close new sales.

1. Eliminate cold calling. With marketing automation, the team has tools to nurture leads until they’re ready for sales or to be dismissed. This process generates well-qualified leads that have displayed buying intent — meaning you spend your time in front of prospects who are ready to buy instead of cold calling.

2. Remove the blindfold. Know who you’re calling and what to say. Customer intelligence dashboards show you what each lead cares about, what content they’ve viewed, and what actions they’ve taken, so you can talk to them about their specific needs.

3. Know when to call. Along with high-scoring leads getting passed to you as they become sales-qualified, web site visitor tracking alerts you whenever a particular person or company visits your web site. You know when they’re thinking about your company and solutions. You can even set alerts to be notified when someone is browsing a particular page on your web site. For example, you can get an alert that a buyer you’re working with is studying a page with in-depth information about a product other than the one you’ve been discussing. That could lead to a whole new sales opportunity.

4. Shorten the sales cycle. Research shows nurtured leads close faster and generate larger deals. Your marketing team feeds prospects content and information they need, guiding them through the buying cycle. When a lead exhibits strong buying signals, it gets passed to sales. Marketing automation gives marketing teams the muscle they need to more effectively nurture leads, drawing them through the funnel more quickly and delivering more highly qualified leads to sales. According to CSO Insights, companies that excel at lead nurturing have 9% more sales reps making quota.

5. Make the most of email. Sales reps can use marketing automation systems to automatically personalize messages, send them at the optimal times for prospects and format them appropriately for a particular customer. Trigger emails can be customized to inbound actions so buyers receive personalized communications. CRM integration ensures that all email communications — automated or otherwise — are captured in your activity history for each lead.

6. Help marketing qualify leads in a way that is most helpful to the sales team. Marketing automation provides a framework for your potential customers’ progress as they traverse the buyer’s journey, and makes it easy for marketers to manage leads. You define characteristics, such as title or industry, and behaviors, such as attending a webinar, that indicate when a prospect will likely become a buyer. Buyers that meet your pre-defined conditions are assigned to lead groups, such as “Marketing Qualified,” “Sales Accepted,” or “Sales Qualified,” taking the guesswork out of a lead’s status. Leads advance through classifications automatically as they engage in progressive buying behaviors, until ready for sales engagement.

7. Use scoring to prioritize your time and attention. By assigning a score to lead behaviors and demographic characteristics, marketing automation tracks a lead’s progress through the lead funnel with pre-defined scores. For example, if you know that looking at your pricing page is a buying signal, you assign that action a high score. Scores accumulate. When a buyer-ready lead score threshold is passed, a notification to the correct sales rep is triggered, letting them respond to that hot lead quickly. Some systems generate Hot Prospect list notification automatically, helping sales reps focus on the best leads and reach them at the right time.

8. Maximize customer lifetime value through cross-selling and up-selling opportunities. Marketing automation reports and dashboards enable analysis of customer data, such as purchase history and company size, which helps identify targets for cross-selling and up-selling. Behavior history profiles indicate likely follow-up sale products based on each lead’s pre-purchase and post-purchase content interactions.

9. Benefit from marketing automation without leaving your CRM. Many marketing automation systems integrate with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, SugarCRM, and SalesLogix, and work with other systems as well. It’s particularly convenient when salespeople can view and access powerful lead insights and opportunities right in their own CRM dashboard, saving time and effort.

10. Align sales and marketing. According to an Aberdeen study, 91% of top-performing companies marketing had a strong understanding of sales goals, as opposed to 63% of laggards. Successful companies align marketing and sales goals and collaborate on activities like developing buyer personas. This leverages sales’ insider knowledge of customers and buying stages to create content, programs, and campaigns that are better targeted and more effective for closing sales.

This article was written by Chris Hardeman, Act-On’s VP of Sales, and appeared on DemandGenReport.com.

6 Best Practices for Marketing Automation

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Marketing automation has grown tremendously over the past five to ten years and is no longer only for large enterprise companies. As small and mid-size businesses implement marketing automation solutions, there are common issues they encounter. In my early experience with marketing automation, these are the lessons I’ve learned.

Integration with CRM and the sales process is key

Closely aligning marketing and sales is imperative to success with marketing automation. The marketing team must clearly understand the sales cycle and how prospects move through this cycle. To measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, it is essential to track leads through the sales funnel. Ensuring marketing automation platforms and CRMs are integrated and able to talk to each other by sharing data is essential.

Crawl before you walk

If you’re starting with lead nurturing campaigns, begin with discrete campaigns to get quick wins. Crawl before you walk by mastering tactical campaigns like event follow-up and webinar follow-up before jumping head first into more complicated nurturing campaigns. This allows the time to learn what resonates with your audience and iron out any issues that might arise.

Avoid auto-pilot mode

Marketing automation saves time and resources by automating functions, but one must be careful to avoid auto-pilot mode. I learned this valuable lesson recently when an IT company transition threw a wrench in my marketing automation processes. Automation can quickly become sales prevention when “contact us” forms are not properly routed. I now schedule check-ins to ensure all forms, campaigns, and lists are functioning correctly and have not been interrupted.

Develop campaigns that provide insights and build profiles

One purpose of lead nurturing is to build a profile of prospects who engage with your content over time. Profiles should qualify the prospect as it relates to the offering. Insight into content consumption can also be used to determine future content offerings. As a prospect moves through the lead nurturing campaign, put new content behind walls with additional questions to further build the profile and qualify the prospects. This information can then be added to the profile and the drive customization of the campaign.

Stellar content fuels campaigns

Content proves to be king once again. It takes large quantities of resources and content to fuel campaigns, but the trick is ensuring you have the right content. Content should be valuable and be something that people are willing to swap information for. Content that lives on web pages or is easily accessible doesn’t cut it. Content needs to be exclusive. Think along the lines of white papers, cheat sheets, case studies, and e-books.

Test, and then test again

Working at an integrated marketing agency specializing in search engine marketing, I’ve been beat over the head with the importance of constantly testing and optimizing performance. The same applies to lead nurturing with marketing automation. Opportunities for testing are endless: subject lines, links, content, time of day to send messages, days between messages, etc. Continual testing and optimization will increase the return on investment of your marketing automation investment.

As I continue my marketing automation journey, I look forward to discovering other strategies, tricks, and tactics to continually improve lead nurturing campaigns and marketing automation processes. Do you have any tricks or tactics that have proved successful? Please share in the comments below.

This article was written by Rebecca Whitefield and originally appeared on iMediaConnection.com.

 

 

Marketing Automation: Hot or Not?

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While analyzing record second quarter earnings for Salesforce.com a few weeks ago, CEO Marc Benioff gave partial credit for a 30% revenue bump to the company’s addition of ExactTarget—and specifically its Pardot marketing automation arm—to its Marketing Cloud. Salesforce had just acquired the company in June. Could it really have made a difference that quickly? Or was Benioff justifying the whopping $2.5 billion price tag to shareholders? It nagged at me to get on the phone with people who know better (than me, that is) to answer the overwhelming question: What’s the magic behind marketing automation and why are companies like Salesforce and Oracle shelling out a billion bucks and more to add it to their arsenals?

I recently hosted a webcast featuring a company called Demandbase. Its approach is to use data to help B2B players sell the most stuff to the most appropriate prospects while breezing by the tire-kickers. That sounded a lot like the promise of marketing automation to me, so I asked Demandbase CMO Greg Ott if marketing automation was living up to its notices.

“Companies are spending a lot of money on marketing, and marketers are spending a lot on technology, but what kind of technology you buy depends on your type of business,” he said. “The fact is that most marketing automation is used by B2B companies in concert with their email marketing programs. ExactTarget was first and foremost an email marketing company when it bought Pardot, and that turned out to be one of ExactTarget’s most astute business moves. They paid about a hundred million for it and it accounted for about a billion dollars worth of the Salesforce deal.”

Ott’s ultimate point is that marketing automation is but one layer in the marketing tech stack. He ticks off several significant new methods being used by marketers that are untouched by marketing automation: content marketing, customer engagement enhancement, and testing and optimization.

“It’s kind of the girl with the curl right now,” Ott said. “Everybody figures, ‘I’ve got to have this thing.’ “But the 80-20 rule is in play with marketing automation. Eighty percent of the people who have it use only 20% of its capability.”

And an even smaller percentage actually have it. “Only four to six percent of companies are using marketing automation, and a big chunk are tech companies,” says VP and GM of Pardot Adam Blitzer. “They’re the quickest to embrace change, but we’re starting to cross that chasm now. Some really good-size businesses outside of tech are coming on board.”

So while one might wonder why Salesforce would spend $2.5 billion for what appears to be a niche business used by only 5% of industrial enterprises, Blitzer’s retort is that Salesforce got into the game for the promise of the other 95%. Blitzer, a personable and plain-spoken tech exec, was able to make a simple case for the importance of marketing automation that I, summoning up my six years of experience in sales, was able to appreciate. It goes something like this:

Marketers are increasingly being looked upon by senior management at B2B companies as revenue-generators. Because sales cycles tend to be long in those companies and are closed by sales reps who take most of the credit (and all of the commission), the only way B2B marketers can earn their bonuses is by producing and tracking solid leads that convert.

Salespeople tend to focus on the low-hanging fruit—big legacy clients. Marketers’ opportunities, then, reside higher up the tree (and the sales funnel) where a feature of marketing automation called lead nurturing comes into play. While sales shuns these prospects, marketing uses automation and data analysis to examine their buying process and conversion potential. Once categorized, the system automatically communicates with the prospects in a manner and frequency that could bring them back into the discussion. If they take certain actions laid out by a company in its marketing automation platform, they are promoted as warm leads and sent back to sales. Sales now has a qualified lead and potential new account that it spent no time nurturing. That makes both sales and marketing happy, and the B2B world is a better place.

An automation program can also keep a seller’s name in front of lost accounts. “We all lose deals,” says Blitzer, “But if you’re good enough to have been a finalist and you know who you lost to and the duration of the contract signed, you can position yourself for the next deal.” A common approach is to keep light contact with lost accounts with content-driven emails providing thought leadership and information on trend-setting products. “Your automation system will increase contact as the contract expiration approaches. If you win back only 5% of these accounts, it moves the needle on your business,” says Blitzer, who notes that the process is something few salespeople have the time or inclination to do.

The final raison d’etre for marketing automation stems from analytics – an area most CRM systems are isolated from. Marketing automation will engage in social listening and website monitoring of top-of-the-funnel prospects being ignored by salespeople, who will be tipped off, for instance, that Mr. X was on the company site checking out Product Z and maybe could use a call or an email. Once again, it’s potential found money for sales and a trackable lead for marketing.

Marketing automation may not be setting the world on fire yet, but it is a catalyst for B2B marketers to take themselves to a place senior management is insisting they inhabit. It’s a scary place called The Land of Measurable ROI, and you have to journey over the stormy Sea of Sales to get there.

“Marketing automation is not just a matter of changing tools and systems,” Blitzer says, “It’s also a matter of changing your process if you want it to be as successful as it can be. The more agile companies are the ones more likely to adopt it. ”

This article was written by Al Urbanski and originally appeared on DMnews.com.

Does marketing automation encourage bad behavior in marketers?

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Many companies are adopting marketing automation each day. But they aren’t necessarily changing their marketing habits as a result. So, is this new technology just enabling marketers to essentially spam people?The current answer is yes, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
In recent years, the marketing automation software industry has exploded in popularity, and it’s become one of the fastest growing segments in the enterprise software space. For instance, the term “marketing automation” has had more Google searches in the beginning months of 2013 than it has at any other point over the past three years. And even on my company Capterra’s site, where millions of people come to search for business software each year, organic traffic for marketing automation software has grown by more than 20 percent year-over-year.But according to a recent study by iContact, 56 percent of businesses say they plan to increase their use of email marketing in 2013, and on average, they only plan to grow their email lists by 28 percent this year.So, more companies are buying marketing automation software, and as a result, they’re sending more emails more frequently. But their list of subscribers isn’t growing nearly as quickly as their email sending habits (actually, it’s shrinking at a faster rate due to people unsubscribing).All this suggests that marketing automation is nothing but a glorified spamming engine. In fact, when I recently explained to my family what I typically do at work, several said, “Oh, so you SPAM people?”“No,” I protested. “They’re opted-in! These people want to hear from us; they’ve found us through search and other inbound channels, and then filled out a form. Marketing automation just allows us to respond to them more efficiently.”

Despite my best efforts, they didn’t really understand how that was any different than spam. Which is precisely the problem.

To marketers like me, marketing automation has been a glorious solution to our problems. We (and by “we” I mean the general marketing community) knew all along that we shouldn’t be sending batch and blast emails to our entire email database, but without the time to segment lists, A/B test messaging, and send one-off emails the moment someone fills out a form, we were forced to just send out the blasts (and wrestle with the morality of that on our own time). With the advent and adoption of marketing automation software, all those pent-up ideas of how we should be sending emails were suddenly made possible. So we took advantage of the technology and started sending a lot of them.

But to consumers like my family members, the fact that we can now send emails with personalized messaging and specially-tailored offers the moment someone lands on our website doesn’t negate the fact that, at the end of the day, we’re sending them more emails.

Marketers need to catch up to the true capabilities of marketing automation technology, instead of using the technology to catch up on their marketing. We could be using marketing automation to send the same emails we sent before, but at a more relevant time, with more relevant content, and with more emphasis on the prospect. What we’re doing instead is sending the same old batch and blast emails from before, plus all the new, custom-tailored ones we wanted to send all along.

Fellow marketers, let’s agree to put an end to this before it gets too out of hand. Together, we can harness the powers of marketing automation software for good and not evil.

This is a guest post by Katie Hollar, marketing manager at software research site Capterra, that originally appeared at Venturebeat.

 

The 4 Spheres of Business-to-Business Selling

 

The 4 Spheres of Business-to-Business SellingWhenever someone mentions the word “Disney”, there are only several possible thoughts that quickly enter the mind: Disney films, Disney products, and Disneyland. Below the surface, one would also associate “Disney” with happy thoughts, like your favorite friend, your recent rollercoaster ride or a nursery rhyme you used to recite as a kid.

The Walt Disney Company is a multi-faceted mass media corporation, and it has become more than just a film producer, merchandiser and theme-park corporation. They were able to sell their own unique concept of joy among kids and adults alike, and their brand will be forever identified with that iconic symbolism.

Disney and several other successful companies in the world have come to know exactly what they’re selling, and such a question is very important in running a business. In the Business-to-business (B2B) setting, there must be a clear definition of what you want to sell to the public so all your efforts will be geared towards it.

Do you know what your company is really selling?

Selling the product or service

B2B sellers that are product-focused spend all their marketing endeavors in making their products look good in front of the relevant buyers. Their strategies usually involve emphasis in exposure through photos in social media and print ads. For service firms, they like to advertise in multimedia including TV commercials and YouTube videos to let people know what they actually do.

Selling the company

The Disney example is the perfect example of a company that sells itself. Disney loves to stick their popular characters on almost any product out there – lunch boxes, bags, toys and clothing. They don’t have to be particular, for as long as there’s a “Disney” iconology visible, people would already associate it with quality and esteem. For a company to effectively do this there must be a long-term investment on attempting to broaden your reach as extensive as possible. Once a name is established, it will sell your products for you.

Selling the solution

Conspiracy theorists believe that anti-virus software companies deliberately spread viruses throughout the web so people – and especially businesses – would buy their products. Appalling, yes, but true or not, you would see how they market their software by reminding people of the problem (sometimes creating an anti-virus to counter a certain popular virus) and would tell people that their solution is the only one that works.

Selling the results

This is as common as it can be. On TV, you always see diet products or programs that show you a before-and-after visual to convince you that they work. B2B companies, such as outsourcing firms, would usually boast their statistics (“We can increase your sales rates by 66 %!) or their clientele (“We’ve helped major companies such as….”) This is a traditional way to attract prospects by painting a picture of success before their eyes.

Top Ten Tips For B2B Telemarketing

Top Ten Tips For B2B Telemarketing

Being effective in your B2B telemarketing campaigns all about being ready to address the various issues faced by both your customers and business prospects. Basically, it is all about providing quality customer service for all you call as well as those who call you. While you do need to meet your sales leads targets, you also need to make sure that the other party is happy as well. This is a very important point in ensuring that your B2B appointment setting process will go smoothly. Now, the question here is how you do your job right. Luckily, there are some tips that you can use.

1. Clarify complaints – people complain about the service or products that you offered, you should check the details. Most callers would be saying too many details that the real issue could get muddled.

2. Have confidence – this is a real boost to your performance, one that can be noticed during your call. Believe that you can do the job, and the job can be done.

3. Be positive – no matter how bad the day has gone by, thinking that things will turn out well in the end is important. A little positive outlook can mean a great deal for a person’s morale.

4. Speed up the call handling – time is precious, for both the caller and the called. It is important that you and your B2B lead generation team be made aware of that. No dilly-dallying of calls, go straight to the point, and help your prospects get things done.

5. Have a proactive system of helping prospects – some problems can be anticipated before it happens, so it pays for you and your team to prepare for it before it happens.

6. Plan your seating arrangement – this is especially important in large scale telemarketing operations with shifting work schedules. It would be useful if you can get some automated planning system that will maximise the productivity of our marketing team.

7. Know who you are calling – take note that there are different kinds of customers and potential B2B leads. Once you realise these little details, it would be easier for you to generate more sales leads for your business.

8. Make self-service options easier for users – sure, nothing beats a good marketing call, but you have to make sure that alternative sources of information is readily available in a quick and convenient manner.

9. Hire the right team – telemarketing can be a really stressful and complex job, so in the event that you have to hire people, make sure you hire those who know this business well.

10. Delegate to the right people – you cannot do everything well on your own. In case you have to do business with someone you are not skilled with in handling, leave that job to those who do.

These tips can be really simple, but they all have a strong effect on B2B lead generation campaigns that rely on them. You can follow these tips to, and you will see that this is a good investment.

The Three Telemarketing Mistakes That Companies Can Make

The Three Telemarketing Mistakes That Companies Can Make

 

The Three Telemarketing Mistakes That Companies Can MakeThe thing about telemarketing, and why it gives a lot of grief for countless companies, can be traced to the poor management and planning practices that one often commits in the name of marketing. Really, if you want to generate good sales leads, you have got to know how to do things properly. More often than not, we fall into marketing practices that cause nothing but trouble to us. If anything, we should avoid them. But to do that, we have to first know what can cause our B2B lead generation campaigns to fail. Knowing is winning half the battle, so to speak. It is up to us on how to correct these mistakes.

Let us start with the first error that even veteran appointment setters commit: making assumptions. But what could be even more troublesome for business would be to make a bad assumption. Marketers need to examine data most of the time in order to make sensible marketing plans. The problem here is when we make conclusions based only on an initial set of data. Or, like some marketers do, they skew the data to be obtained in order to get favorable results. That is not a good business practice. Indeed, it can pull you back. So, for you to be more effective as a marketer, be honest. Get all the data that you can possibly get. Only when you have the details should you make a conclusion.

Another error that marketers make lies with the way they plan the campaign. Most marketers today, especially those pressured to hit the numbers, are focused on creating campaigns that drive the sale. That is not a good business move. Business these days is all about establishing a relationship with your customers. And you can only do that by applying yourself in various marketing touch points. You have to be everywhere, in any medium, in order to connect with the most number of people. And instead of spending big bucks on traditional advertising, maybe a little telemarketing survey on the major influencers might be more effective. At least you know who can get to your audience better.

Lastly, despite what others say, nothing beats the original. That is the same thing with marketing. Maybe you got interested with the marketing strategy employed by another company. It was so effective that you wanted to imitate it. While trying to emulate the success of another company in generating B2B leads is not all together bad, you should also know that copying them is inviting problems for your firm. Remember, that strategy worked on them because they are ‘them’, not ‘you. See what happened to Radio Shack when they tried to copy Apple’s branding strategy. It can be that bad, really. As a sensible marketer, why not try tapping into your creative juices and come up with an appointment setting strategy that works well for you?

See? These are the mistakes that you should be avoiding in your telemarketing campaigns. Are there any other bad marketing moves that you can share?

Secrets In Better Telemarketing Team Retentions

Here is the deal with B2B telemarketing: you simple lose too many employees in the course of many campaigns. Turn-over rates and work dissatisfaction can be high, which explains why only a handful of people would actually stay and keep looking for sales leads. This is a real headache for many managers, since getting employees to stay is also an important job. So, how does one ensure that employee retention is good? There are several ways to do just that. And really, if you think about it, this is no secret at all. It is just that only a handful of people actually know that this would work.

So where will you start?

Let us deal with skills improvements first. Despite what you see, money is not the real motivator for your B2B appointment setting team. It is with regards to improving and expanding their repertoire of business skills. This is something that no money can take place. And this is precisely what will compel your employees to stay with you. With the world of business in a constant state of change, you have to prepare your people for the challenges that they will face.

Another thing that you have to remember is that you have to keep open channels of communication with your employees. You may have given them specific instructions on what to do, but a lot of things can change in short notice. In order for you and your team to adapt quickly, you need to maintain open channels of communication with them.

Third, try to ensure that everyone can advance in the company. In one way or another, tell your B2B lead generation team that they can go higher with you. It may not have to be outright promotions, but you can always employ other tools, like bigger salaries, more responsibilities, and the like. These are very powerful tools for promotion that you should not take lightly. It can even be better than the usual perks or vacation offers for the best employees.

Next, maybe you should take a closer look at your own management style. It may not have to be that dashing or something, but it should be a style that plays on the strengths of your business and yourself. You need to know how to best lead your people, and not just pulling them around and telling them what to do in generating sales leads. That would have been really unproductive.

Lastly, you should help your employees reach a work-life balance. You know that it will be difficult for your employees to leave their problems at home and concentrate on their B2B lead generation task. Help them adjust to work as well as the needs of their homes. Your employees will appreciate that and will make them less likely to leave you.

Of course, if lead generation skills are what you or your marketing team lacks, then maybe leaving the job to outsourced marketing agencies would be a good business strategy for you to take.