Thursday, September 18, 2014

Quality Software Leads – Scoring Your Leads

For any software company that is looking to acquire some new business in this day and age, software leads are the way to go. With so many prospects beyond their reach, and sometimes even in the most unexpected of places, relying on leads to help connect them with potential clients and shorten, or even completely eliminate, the searching process allows these businesses to be more efficient in terms of generating more profit.

Obviously, profit is what drives a business. Without it, a company that was created for-profit would not exist. That is why to ensure its continued existence, a business must always seek sources of profit. And for companies in the tech industry, mainly software, there are loads of potential sources of profit – they just need to be found in order to be gained. This is where software leads come in. It makes the whole process of finding clients easier.

Leads, however, are only so useful. Even if you stuff your database chock full of software leads, not every single one of them will yield your desired results. In telemarketing lead generation, for instance, you make over a hundred calls in a single day. You’d be lucky if half of the people you called gave you a positive response. As such, using leads to acquire new business isn’t really a numbers game – it’s more of a game of quality.

Quality is a subjective thing, really. An item of good quality for can be one person’s view, but the same may not be said for another person. As such, your software leads should be scored according to your criteria… that is, if you had any. If you don’t, then here’s something to give you an idea about how to score your leads:

Level of interest in your business, products and services – Needless to say, interest is gosh darn important when it comes to making a prospect convert into a sale. If a prospect is not interested, then they will most likely not progress further along your sales cycle. This is another point that should be on your score card. An interested prospect is a better target. These are ones that you should put a lot of focus on.

Industry that your prospect belongs to – You cannot cater to all types of business. Even if you can design software for, say, an accounting firm, that would be going out of your way to meet a certain demand when your main focus is on mobile applications. As such, you have a target market. As much as possible, you want your prospects to be within that target market because that’s your area of specialization in terms of software development.

If the software lead that you are planning to engage further falls within your target market, then that’s one circle on the metaphorical score card that you should be shading.

Reasonable or unreasonable demands – In our first point, we talked about how it would be better for you to engage prospects that fall under your target market. Just because they do, however, does not mean that working with them won’t have you going out of your way to satisfy their demands. A prospect can have either big demands or small demands. When a prospect’s demands of your business are too great, however, then it won’t be good for you.

You put your efficiency and assurance on quality on the line when you try to tackle an obviously unreasonable demand. Even if a prospect is willing to pay a higher fee for your services, the increased focus on those demands may affect your other projects and quality of services you give to your other prospects. Losing them is not worth all that trouble to close a single prospect.

If you’re planning on getting more software leads to use, or to avail of lead generation services, then use criteria like these to help you filter out leads that fit your ideal customer – leads of good quality within your eyes. Scoring your leads according to criteria you set will not only help you find prospects that are worth the time and effort, but give you better chances at finding prospects that will convert into sales.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

How Speech Fluency can make or break Telemarketing Deals

The best telemarketers are those who know exactly what to say, when to say it, and who to say it to. Their spiels are free from hesitations, long pauses, repetitions, and annoying vocal sounds such as ‘hmm’ and ‘um’. The more fluent you are with your style, the more dynamic and competent your image will be projected to your customers.

Just like in B2B appointmentsetting services, making sales calls requires you to be flawless in your speech, that no matter how many times over you’ve delivered the same pitch, you never sound scripted. You sound confident yet friendly, smooth and effortless in the most natural way possible. You don’t stumble over your words no matter how technical your conversation gets because you know everything there is to know about your product, all it’s good points as well as its weaknesses. So everything you say will sound pleasant and free-flowing to the eager ears of your prospective buyers.

Here are other practical tips to impress and engage the decision makers when you make that call:

Watch your pronunciation. VIPs hate it whenever their names, their company’s names, and other important words are mispronounced. Before you finally decide to talk directly to the decision maker, make sure you call ahead of time to find out the right pronunciation so you have time to practice it over and over again until you get it right. The VIPs will be pleased with your effort.

Don’t be a phony. Decision makers who are used to dealing with telemarketers can sense if you’re a fake right off the bat. As fierce and unforgiving the competition may be, show some genuine warmth and concern to them and let them know that you are there to help them, that it’s all about them and not about you. The thing is, these things cannot be faked. You have to sincerely like your product and enjoy your work for you to pull this off successfully. Remember, your customers will be happier and at ease knowing that they’re dealing with positive and pleasant individuals.

Control your energy. As a telemarketer, you are expected to sound energetic when making cold calls, just be sure not to overdo it because it can be quite overwhelming for the person on the other end. You can speak powerfully yet in a calm and soothing tone. Your words don’t need to sound too complex or technical. The key to selling is letting the prospective customer know and understand what your product is and how this can help them and their business. You’re there to sell, you’re there to help, and you’re there to serve.  It’s that simple.

Keep these three important points in mind and you’re well on your way to becoming a successful and competent telemarketer. Good luck. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Appointment Setting – Do Not Cram Prospects Like Sardines!

The title may be stating the most obvious fact in appointment setting. However, there has yet to be a complete end to salespeople who think stuffing themselves with software appointments makes them a better vendor. On the contrary, it just makes you look like a person who takes pleasure in cramping prospects into sardine cans. You think appointment setting has no concept of spacing? Think again.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Lead Generation – Different Industries, Different Worlds

Your lead generation is actually like a ship. And not just any ship, it is a ship that can travel across different dimensions! Why? Because just like those dimensions, sometimes you have to market your business software to different industries. It might seem advantageous to have technology that can be used by all businesses and expands your sales lead generation targets (much like traveling to different worlds sounds fun). Just imagine your sales pipeline getting filled with hr software leads, business intelligence leads, SAP sales leads, oracle sales leads and other software leads from various sectors!

However, you will be asking for trouble if your lead generation campaign has little understanding of the industries you are targeting. Different worlds also include different dangers and unexpected encounters. Many stories that feature a multiverse tell of both the perils and the thrills. The ship that is your lead generation campaign should prepare its crew when it travels.

Guiding Your Lead Generation Across The Industrial Multiverse

It can be easy (if not fun) to re-imagine the different industries that your lead generation targets as different worlds to travel. For example, the manufacturing industry can be represented by a steam punk world full of hulking machines and tower-sized factories. The healthcare industry can be a unique realm where doctors fight monstrous bacteria using medical-based weapons and technology. But again, make sure that your lead generation campaign does not find itself lost in unfamiliar territory:

  • Remember your goals – Many multiverse journeys are due to a higher purpose that affects all the different worlds. It is the reason why your lead generation campaign targets multiple industries in the first place. There must be a common need or even a common threat that you need to address. That is how B2B software sales leads are first identified after all.

  • Start with what you see first – Before digging deeper, took a look around the world your lead generation campaign has landed you in. Much like the examples above, the nature of the world can be quite obvious. After that, make sure these details, while general, are relayed to your salespeople before they disembark and explore.

  • Gradually blend in – Of course, you need to avoid standing out at some point. Make sure your sales lead generation campaign is not too promotional that it becomes a dead giveaway for a lot of things (lack of understanding, disregard for what prospects value etc). Software lead generation may be about getting interest in your tech but not everyone will be initially eager to want your help.

  • Get to learn more – Some worlds are not so obvious on the outside. Several multiverse stories even have words that look exactly the same! Somewhere though, there are subtler things that make them different. Your lead generation plan should be for finding out what that is. Only then can you learn if there is a problem to be solved.

When your lead generation strategy markets to different industries, it is only common sense to acknowledge that difference and adjust yourself to each one. Learning about what an industry does and how your business can help sounds like quite the adventure. But like all adventures, you need to come prepared and to make sure your involvement does not do more harm than good.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Using Lead Generation To Combat Poorly Cheap Alternatives To Proper Software

When people think marketing and lead generation, they immediately think promotion. They forget that it serves a purpose that could arguably far more important: sharing information. And in this day and age, information is the key to combating the sudden rise of 'cheap alternatives' in business. 

Generating Software Leads Among Tight-Budget Businesses

For example, suppose you are a frustrated HR software vendor. The reason for your frustrations are not the result of making a bad product or being outdone by competitors. But rather, your HR leads are being stolen by competition that uses a bad product. 
The bad product in question is a so-called 'cheap alternative' to your recruitment software. The reason why this is so bad is because this alternative is not only wrong for you but also from the eyes of equally legitimate competitors! The method relies more on cutting corners and marketing hype than actual quality. 
Make no mistake, it is not wrong to save up on costs and at times it is more advantageous to employ the cheaper of two alternatives when they produce the same results. 
But that is the condition: The results must be the same. 
In the case of your poorly cheap alternative, you have the tactic of using sites like Facebook to qualify candidates. But according to Amit De on Mashable, such a tactic results in a dangerous and confusing mix between the professional and the personal. 
So what happens when the professional merges with the personal? The fact is, Facebook simply isn’t the core of your job search experience, as it’s been traditionally used for our social lives. How can you ensure employers won’t see anything that could cast you in a negative light, like pictures from this weekend or a less-than-professional wall post from a friend? 
One way to ensure employers can’t snoop is to keep your Facebook profile as private as you can. First, run a quick Google search to make sure your profile no longer pops up in association with your name. If it does, you can make your profile unreachable by search engines by clicking on the “Ads, Apps, and Websites” option under “Privacy settings,” then edit your settings under the “Public search” category. Consider restricting who can send you friend requests, and keep your phone number and email address limited to only friends. You can also restrict who sends you messages and who can see what others post on your timeline — choose from pre-determined options or customize it to specifically block this information from those who you may have friended for professional reasons.” 
Now supposed that De's advice were to be followed by many job seekers. The result is the cheap alternative produces lesser results because they do not want prospective employers looking up their social lives. They will divulge details that only give out information on their professional ones. The problem is your prospects might not know that and this is where software lead generation comes in. 
It is like the professional doctor calling out the snake-oil salesman. You need to share this information so that not only will they be interested, they will not waste time with something that clearly does not work well and comes with strings attached. 
To summarize, never despair when someone suddenly comes around calling your prospects with false promises. Head them off by approaching your HR sales leads with real information!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Use Appointment Setting To Explore More Possibilities

There does not seem to be an end to the constant mantra of “Do Not Need”. What hope can be found in appointment setting when you cannot even spark a prospect's interest over the phone let alone in an entire business meeting?

The key is to not lose hope and to always find more possibilities.

Spread Your Lead Generation Plan Across The Bigger Picture

For example, suppose you were a CRM software vendor and have been recently marketing the promises of integrating the mobile experience for a more accurate assessment of consumer behavior. Unfortunately, you just cannot seem to generate enough CRM leads with the idea simply because your prospects do not see consumers paying with their mobile phones.

How can you get more of them interested in something that not even the average consumer seems to need? The answer is obvious. You are not focusing on the greater possibilities.

Read again, you want to offer a software solution that integrates technology that is seeing increasing use and relevance when it comes to customer data. Sales do matter but is it not also important to learn what lead to those sales?

Related Content: Software Sales Leads – Leaving Your Own Mark On Consumer Experience

The fact is just because somebody cites how only a few people use their smart phones to pay for something does not mean they have a point. Like any other sales process, there is more to using mobile than using it instead of paper and coin. MediaPost, for instance, has just reported that consumers still use their mobile to assist in shopping even though they do not make the actual purchase with a mobile device.

Mobile devices have already revolutionized shopping. Last year, four out of five U.S. smartphone owners used their devices to help with shopping, according to Google/Ipsos. Of those people, 76 percent purchased in store; 59 percent purchased on their PCs; and 35 percent made their purchases on their smartphones. As mobile commerce becomes easier and more secure, expect that last number to rise considerably.

Such statistics make it tempting to predict the death of brick-and-mortar retail. But rather than cede their business, retailers like Best Buy will be forced to embrace mobile as part of the in-store experience, says Mark Silber, executive creative director of WPP mobile agency Joule.”

If you really want to present the possibilities then all you have to do is touch upon those possibilities during your software appointment setting campaign. For a basic start, take the following steps:

  • Re-evaluate the possibilities and add more research – Again, do not be taken aback by negative findings. Make sure your marketers still keep in mind that what you have goes beyond them. Try to find more statistics like the ones cited from MediaPost as well.

  • Keep it simple for them – The bottom-line is still important so avoid trying to impress prospects with excessive jargon and long-winded explanations. Save it for the actual appointment if you have to. When you think about it, the more simple and frank you are, the sooner they might realize what they are missing.

Related Content: Why Software Leads Do Not Mix With Software Lingo

At this point, it also pays to be cautious when it comes to being too presumptuous. You cannot expand over something if you do not know what that something is. Tell your lead generation services to wait and listen first and then respond by suggesting your prospect can realize more possibilities.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Telemarketing – Another Tool For Transparency

Telemarketing and transparency actually go far better together than some might think. With the entire business world shifting to digital, people are losing sight of the simple fact that there's still more to what's you see on your computer screen.

The advantage of B2B telemarketing actually draws from not being a very digitized process. Instead, the process is always best with a real human voice. And as cliché this may sound, something digital will still pale in comparison to the real thing. But because of digital business trends like cloud-computing, some people are forgetting this same fact. No matter how much information you store on an online database, it has to be stored somewhere on this planet. And by stored, this in reference to physical storage, not purely digital. Two articles actually draw attention to this fact and why service providers need more transparency in their marketing as well as everything else.

The first comes from the New York Times and it reports on the software giant's famous 'data farms' (large buildings used solely for the purpose of storing data):

The technology giant created a stir here in 2006 when it bought about 75 acres of bean fields to build a giant data center, a digital warehouse to support various Internet services.”

Farther along this article however, this one passage should get your attention:

While the term 'cloud' is often used loosely to refer to remote memory or other computing services accessed by the Internet, it is hardly some vaporous formation.

'Quite simply, data centers are the cloud,' Eric S. Laschever, a Microsoft lawyer, said during the legal challenge to its backup generators. 'You’ve seen it on TV. The heart of the cloud are these data centers, and the data centers are really at the heart of Microsoft’s business.'”

These could also be the heart of your business and even the businesses of your customers and prospects. While your qualifying cloud computing leads, make sure that your prospects are not too enchanted by the digital advantage that they forget their information is still being stored somewhere in an actual, physical, space. This means that you shouldn't just be transparent about who you are and where your business is located but also where your actual hardware is located.

The second article is from Wired and is in fact just one of the many reactions to the NYT article. However, this one speaks of Google's take on the topic of data centers:

We know that companies like Google are pretty secretive about some of the tricks they use to make their data centers more efficient — that’s a competitive advantage. But they are considerably more open, however, when it comes to talking about the things they’re doing to make the actual sources of their electricity more environmentally friendly.”

Whether or not you agree with the NYT, one thing remains clear: You need to be transparent with the physical side of your cloud-service. It's not just limited to environmental concerns but also adhering to your customer's right to knowing where their data is actually at.

Telemarketing is just one tool to that end because it emulates that simple reality of using a real representative, not a digitized one. You can hardly get any more open than an actual phone call. You can even just outsource a telemarketing company to help you enact your transparency. The fact is that no matter how impressive you make yourself on the virtual world, it's important to still show how your business operates in the physical world.