Friday, June 22, 2012

Outsourced Telemarketing – A Classic Tool To Direct Traffic

In this age of cloud computing, it's no surprise that more accounting software firms are taking their products towards that direction. However, their marketing challenge now lies in establishing a strong online presence so that more clients will come over and sign up. It's only natural that when you offer your software as an online service, you'll need a piece of internet space that the people in your market can locate and access. This means that all attempts to generate software sales leads must be heavily digitized and online.

Obviously, this requires the construction a website and using optimization techniques to draw attention to it. Usually, companies would first try to appear on search engines like Google and experiment with SEO techniques that would give them good page ranks.

However, there are times when SEO isn't enough. There are just too many companies who are also using the same techniques. There's also the danger of having so much traffic but it's not the kind that really reflects the attention of potential clients (and to extent, bring in sales). You also have to be careful about distinguishing between white hat and black hat methods because you don't want your company to be accused of unethical internet practices.

Sometimes it's better if you boost these efforts with offline forms of marketing.Your website may act as the 'main entrance' to your business and to your software but that doesn't mean you can't use something else to draw other businesses to it. The processes of connecting with prospects, measuring their interest, and inviting them over don't necessarily have to be done on the internet. Amazon is a heavily web-based company but it's not afraid to occasionally advertise itself on television or print media.

You could do something similar. Even small businesses use unlikely means to direct people to their websites. Some people do it through their social circles and not just social media. Others leave their site addresses on their business cards and fly-posters. Finally, you also have telemarketing. Granted, it's not just about getting a contact list and start firing off sales pitches. You have to study the prospect for a bit prior to the call and remember that the only thing you're doing is informing them about your website.

It might surprise you to learn how cost-efficient telemarketing can be if you outsource it to an experienced telemarketing company. You don't have to hire any more people or build up your own call center. They'll just do the telemarketing for you and even give you access to their records as proof that they're making calls on your behalf.

Every little bit helps when it comes to directing traffic and having people checking in on your website. This doesn't include junk traffic by the way. Using offline referral methods like telemarketing can direct authentic prospects who will at least give your cloud-based accounting software a look. And who knows? You might even be a step ahead of your competitors because they're just sitting around hoping that their websites alone will get them attention. Meanwhile, not only is your site getting attention. You're also deliberately pointing people into its direction and thus, you're getting more authentic traffic.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Adding A Back Up Method Upgrades Your Telemarketing Services

Despite the prevalence of online communication, telemarketing is still a common tool among lead generation companies. This is worth noting because these are the same companies that many B2B organizations outsource to in order save up on costs. In fact, despite the involvement of said costs, they are not even the primary reason anymore (as some people might think). It's simply the fact that the less a company spends resources on it out of its own pocket, the more it can spend on its core functions.

Now on the subject of telemarketing, the continued existence of its industry still doesn't mean that new online methods haven't posed a challenge. With communications technology rapidly progressing alongside IT, there are more new ways of getting in touch while more old ways are dying out. Companies who have long relied on the latter for business still have a good reason to feel even just a bit intimidated. The same goes for companies who are now reassessing the type of companies they outsource to for leads.

If you want an industry that gives a clear example, look to ERP software. Plenty of the latest developments in ERP are directly related to online communication. Companies are now revising their systems to support SaaS and cloud computing. Assuming you're one such company, it would appear that online communication is more desirable for software lead generation because it suits this change. On the other hand, telemarketing always had to deal with a list of common obstacles that would roughly sound like this:

  • Phone calls are too short. - This is difficult because there really is a need for them to be. Too much information turns prospect off but so does a severe lack of it.
  • Gatekeepers are as vigilant as ever. - They know a pitch when they hear one and every day, professional telemarketers are challenged by them to find ways to creatively reword their scripts.
  • Voice mail can still be ignored. For all you know, the decision maker may not even be the one checking it and messages left there meet the same fate as they would if they tried to get past the gatekeeper.

This is just a rough outline but the fact is, email seems to have an advantage in two out of the three above. You can spell out more details. Your message goes straight to the decision makers inbox instead of passing through the gatekeeper. With regards to the voice mail case, it's only on even grounds with telemarketing because the messages from either medium are left in their own respective boxes, waiting to be read.

The truth though is, a second look at email will reveal that it has flaws of its own. A lengthy email message commits the same crime of information overload. If the subject line sounds too much like spam, your message gets tossed in the trash just like it would have if you sent it into voice mail. Gatekeepers may not be in charge of the inbox but decision makers can still hire someone to manage it for them while they go about other tasks.

Instead of pitting these two together however, why not use them both instead? This is what is meant by having a backup method. And guess what? Plenty of professional telemarketers are already taking this hint and are now using email in case their initial attempt over the phone has failed. It could also be the reverse as some would first send emails announcing their call. This would give higher chances of passing by the gatekeeper because a decision maker who has taken interest in the email will tell them to let you through. So the next time you're looking for a group to outsource, don't rule out the telemarketers just yet because they might have found ways to make email an excellent backup method.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Some Methods Have To Be Fast For B2B Lead Generation

If you think getting customer interest wasn't easy, that's nothing compared to getting the interest of a business executive. First of all, when you think about the numerous advertising methods out there, how can you really think it's that hard to get the attention of a passer by?

Sure, you might run into some statistics showing that consumers are having a lower and lower response rate to advertising. However, that hasn't stopped advertisers from being more creative, thought-provoking, and even controversial with their work. The result? It goes to the point that even the advertisements themselves are considered high quality products (and high quality works of art even). These go from memorable television commercials to really innovative web banner ads.

On the other hand, when you consider the life of your typical CEO, expect the response rate to be absolute zero. These people are busy folks. Even if they wanted to, they'll hardly have enough time to enjoy these forms of advertising. Their days are spent having meetings, granting approvals, making evaluations, and God knows what other heavy business work needs to be done by them in a single day.

Of course, if your company supplies BI software, that's exactly where you come in. You're in the business of making computer systems that make their job easier and more streamlined. Since decision makers are always so busy though, how are you going to get them interested?

That there is the reason why you need to be careful with your marketing methods. At this point, you might want to consider approaching them one by one and then measuring their interest in the form of qualified software leads. The biggest question however is exactly how do you start connecting with them?

The methods between lead generation and advertising may differ but their goal is more or less the same. Their goal is to connect with the target market, attract interest, and attempt a conversion into a sale. You need to find out what accomplishes just that for your software.

It's obvious that regular advertising and banner ads are out. You need a method that doesn't consume much of the decision maker's time. Examples cover a range of everything that has to do with quick, direct, one-on-one communication. This would cover emails, phone calls, and direct mail. Furthermore, you need to take advantage of how fast these methods can make you communicate. Don't make the mistake that just because you're using them, things are going to go smoothly. Whichever of the examples you choose, the message contained must be quick enough but at the same time, it gets them interested.

The factors which affect their interest involve how much you know about their needs. It also has to do with the way you present yourself. The difficult thing about generating B2B leads is not only the initial contact but the qualification process that follows. Despite the speed, the process actually needs to be done over a certain period of time. The speed helps because it makes it easier for you to be less pushy and can make for quick follow-ups.

The next thing you need to concern yourself with are the resources to pull this off. From here on though, it's only a matter of cost. You can go the route of sparing no expense by hiring your own team of professional telemarketers or online lead generators. In case your budget is a little short though, you can also just outsource (and there are a lot of lead generation companies out there who are very eager to serve).