3D2B - 3D2B - Lead Generation http://3d2b.com Mon, 22 May 2017 15:32:28 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb The Cure for the Common Cold Call: LinkedIn Warm Calling http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/cold-calling/linkedin-warm-calling.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/cold-calling/linkedin-warm-calling.html

You purchased a list, and John Smith is now in your database. He has not, however, expressed to your company any interest in your products or services. As such, he falls into the category of “suspect.”

A call to John is cold.

And, understandably, whether they are the initiator or recipient of such a call, most people prefer not to engage in this activity. Luckily, today you can use LinkedIn to warm up the call and make the experience more pleasant and fruitful to both parties. Here are some tips to get started. 

Check Out the Individual’s Profile

To discover what’s important to John, read his LinkedIn Summary and information about his current position. This helps you determine how you might be able to help him and the best angle for your approach.

For instance, if one of our business development specialists discovered that John Smith’s primary concern is building relationships with resellers to increase his software company’s sales, she could then tailor her communications around helping to solve channel recruitment and management challenges.

Another area to look is published posts. If John has articles on LinkedIn, they can give you a window into his thinking and provide a launching point for a conversation.

Also, scroll to the bottom of the profile to find his interests. Perhaps you both enjoy skiing or are dedicated to animal rescue. Such insights help you find common ground. Even if your interests don’t intersect, understanding that he enjoys hunting and fishing may give you clues for personalizing your approach.

And, don’t forget to look at their employment history. You may know or have things in common by the companies they worked at.

Discover More about Their Company

Once you have a feel for the person, learn more about the company for which they work. For most people, you can click from their current experience section to their LinkedIn company page where you’ll find their business’ statistics, such as the number of employees, plus the latest news.

Has the company introduced a new product? Are they merging with another organization? Are there any changes that make the timing ripe for the organization to benefit from your products or services?

Go for the Intro

Back to the profile. On the right-hand side, you’ll see “How You’re Connected.” If you have a connection in common, try to get an introduction. Here’s how you do it:

Dear Sue:

I hope everything is going well with your new business.

I see you’re connected with John Smith, Marketing VP at Ability Software. I believe we could help them to analyze the market and reach out to new partners that mirror the characteristics of their current top performers.

Would you be able to introduce us? If not, I’d appreciate any insights you could give me before I reach out to him.

Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you.

See how it’s worded so you don’t put your connection in an awkward position? You don’t expect an introduction…they can just give you some insights.

Asking for the introduction may seem like extra work, but in the long run, this practice will increase your efficiency. Here’s the proof. If anyone knows the ins and outs of LinkedIn, it’s the professionals at LinkedIn. They also sell, and their data tells the tale. LinkedIn’s biggest source of leads in 2015 was warm introductions (32%). This was followed closely by marketing leads (28%) and InMail (25%). The remaining leads came from emails, calls and events.

But here’s the really big news … drumroll, please. LinkedIn was not only 37% more likely to win a deal with a warm introduction, but also deal sizes were 23% larger than the average of all the other lead sources.

LinkedIn Image4Blog

Opt for InMail

Sometimes there’s no one to introduce you. Your next option for an initial outreach before calling is LinkedIn InMail. If you have a premium package on LinkedIn, you can use a limited number of InMails to reach out to people you don’t know. And the results from InMails aren’t too shabby either. A study conducted by InsideSales.com found that when they put the same content in an InMail as they did in an email, they achieved a 700 percent boost in response rates!

Be Visible

You don’t always have to reach out directly to be noticed.

If you can find groups where people are interacting with each other, it’s a good place to get to know people.

Another excellent option is to publish articles on LinkedIn. Your connections and followers will see it. Also, it goes into the newsfeed of professionals who like and share it, spreading your influence further. And if you create a post that gets featured on Pulse, it will be distributed to an even larger audience.

The value of this visibility is that a wide group of professionals may start to know, like and trust you.

Make the Warm Call

Ideally, your prospect may have read some of your articles or those written by other members of your organization. You’ve also been introduced by a mutual connection and sent an InMail to set an appointment.

Now you’re ready to make a warm call. It might go something like this:

“Hello John, this is Jeff with 3D2B. I appreciate that Sue was able to connect us. The reason I wanted to talk was that I noticed you’re responsible for building relationships with resellers. We offer channel recruitment and management services that have helped other software companies identify new partners and expand their businesses. I was wondering what challenges you face in building strong sales partnerships….”

Doesn’t that seem a lot easier and more productive than calling someone out of the blue without knowing what is relevant to them and how you can help them?

Call us at +1 718-709-0900 (US) or +39 06 978446 60 (EMEA), or contact us online to learn how you can respond to leads faster and pass more qualified leads to your sales team.

]]>
jeff.kalter@3d2b.com (Jeff Kalter) Cold Calling Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 +0000
Is B2B Telemarketing Effective http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/is-b2b-telemarketing-effective.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/is-b2b-telemarketing-effective.html Is B2B Telemarketing Effective

What are the most effective B2B lead generation tactics? How about social media, content marketing and search engine optimization?

Nope.

These shiny new tactics have their place, but according to research depicted in the chart, they pale in comparison to some good old-fashioned tactics. Ranking in the first, second and third spots for B2B lead generation are inside sales, executive events and telemarketing.

 Given how we feel about those pesky telemarketers who call just as we’re about to sit down for dinner and relax, this finding may be surprising. But remember, we’re talking B2B, not B2C. Business calls tend to be more targeted and professional. Therefore, they are more likely to be welcomed than random calls at home from robotic script readers.

Which B2B lead generation method works best?If you look at this chart, one observation jumps
to the forefront. One-on-one marketing, whether in-person or on the phone, still rules the day in a digital age.

Given the effectiveness of these somewhat old-fashioned techniques, why is it that we see such
a rush to use alternative marketing tactics? In
the case of telemarketing, I believe it’s partly because its reputation has been tarnished by its B2C cousin. But also, it may be because B2B telemarketing is perceived to be expensive. With social media options whose costs can be limited
to the time it takes to tweet or post, there is some stiff competition going on when it comes to costs. But look at where those tactics fall on the effectiveness scale. They are sitting pretty low.

If you’re spending more, perhaps the more important question is “What’s the ROI?” After all, if you will get a return, it’s worth spending more. Research conducted by the DMA showed a 1000 percent ROI on telemarketing. Spend $1 and you’ll get $11 back. It seems that most marketers would be pretty excited about those numbers.

How are marketers using telemarketing? The biggest use was to generate leads (84%). Making appointments followed close on its heels (79%). Nurturing leads (68%) and data cleansing (62%) fell into the third and fourth spots.

All this evidence presented about the power of B2B telemarketing is not to say that it should stand alone.  It may lead the way, but there are substantial synergies created when companies couple telemarketing with email marketing. And, of course, email marketing is most effective when you support it with educational content that answers your prospects’ questions and helps move them through the buying cycle. It’s all about creating the right mix … but don’t leave out one of the most important ingredients.

There’s one critical warning to the promise of telemarketing. Not all B2B telemarketing is created equal.

Typically, companies fall into telemarketing almost by accident. For instance, the marketing team might return from a trade show with a bunch of leads. They wonder what to do with them. They could give them to sales, but the list is not qualified. And the last time they did that, sales, understandably, failed to follow up. It would be like throwing away their trade show investment.

So the marketers say “Why don’t we put our marketing intern, Mary, on the phone to follow up?” Well, it turns out Mary hates making calls. Also, no one trains her, and she’s not a natural telemarketer. Nothing against Mary! As a result, the effort fails. When this happens, the conclusion is “Telemarketing does not work for us.” In reality, all the company has proved is that poorly planned and executed telemarketing does not produce results.

To give telemarketing a chance and see how it stacks up against other tactics you’re using, you can consider outsourcing the task to a professional B2B telemarketing agency. They will have trained business development representatives who love to be on the phone, developing relationships as they help other business people to solve problems. They do their jobs well because they are trained in best practices, and have the systems to support them, as well as a comfortable office environment in which to work.

Call us at +1 718-709-0900 (US) or +39 06 978446 60 (EMEA), or contact us online to learn how we can help you with effective telemarketing.

]]>
sabrina.ferraioli@3d2b.com (Sabrina Ferraioli) Lead Generation Wed, 19 Oct 2016 00:00:00 +0000
B2B Lead Generation: Help Your Prospects Climb the Sales and Marketing Pyramid http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/b2b-lead-generation-pyramid.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/b2b-lead-generation-pyramid.html B2B Lead Generation: Help Your Prospects Climb the Sales and Marketing Pyramid

We all love the sales funnel…at least in concept. Visually, it’s the perfect model: Our leads pour into the top of the funnel. As they move through the middle of the funnel, marketing and sales both qualify the leads. And buyers flow out the bottom.

Or do they?

With the increasing complexity of B2B purchases, sales cycles are becoming longer, and more decision makers and influencers are involved in the buying decision.

It’s time to stop playing a numbers game and just pouring leads into your sales funnel. Now’s the time to flip the traditional sales funnel on its head and create a new model. The image of a sales and marketing pyramid helps you understand that you need to be more responsive to buyers’ needs throughout the sales process. You must assist them as they climb the pyramid and reach the pinnacle—a decision to buy from you.

The Changing Buyer’s Journey

Where once sales were relatively linear—prospects came into your sales funnel and decided either to buy or not to buy—today’s buying patterns have changed. The buyer’s journey is more complex, more fluid and increasingly self-directed. Above all, we know that leads don’t naturally convert into sales. Left to make the journey on their own, buyers easily stray off course: 

  • Easy Click Comparisons

    With the click of a mouse and a Google search, buyers can find several companies offering similar products/services.

  • Omni-Channel Marketing

    With so many more sources of information at buyers’ fingertips (e.g., social media, webinars, digital advertising, blogs, white papers), the buyer’s journey is no longer linear. Buyers can jump in, download some information, fall out, and just as suddenly return and commit to buying. With so many touch points, it’s difficult to know where buyers are in their journey.

  • Distractions

    Third-party reviews, customers’ referrals and comments, competitors’ promotions and your own content are all helping to disrupt and distract buyers’ already short attention spans.  And when vendors see the sales funnel as a pure numbers game, they’re looking to attract leads—whether committed to buying or not.

Turn the Sales Funnel into a Pyramid

A sales pyramid presents a more accurate model of today’s sales process. It’s a reminder that buyers and vendors must climb several significant steps to reach the top of the pyramid. You need to help them because there is no natural gravitational force downward, drawing them to a decision to buy from you. Instead, leads and prospects need assistance up the pyramid.

As a result, you need a well-defined lead management process that reflects an understanding of each step to the pinnacle. That’s how you’ll be able to transform prospects into customers.

The process includes:

  • Target

    The better you understand who your best customers are, the easier it is to target similar prospects. Review your past sales, identify your best customers and use that insight to build a business persona for companies and decision makers with the highest propensity to buy what you have to sell.

  • Attract

    When you know your market, you can create a message that speaks directly to buyers’ wants, needs and concerns. Apply this message consistently to content disseminated across all media channels, such as blogs, whitepapers, social media, and webinars.

  • Capture 

    Once you’ve drawn prospects to your message, you need to give them a reason to ask for more information. Almost half of marketers create highly specialized landing pages for each campaign, offering valuable content, demos, trials and consultations. In addition to building on your targeted message, include a call-to-action that invites leads to sign up for more information. Alternatively, offer an inbound phone number answered by knowledgeable associates who can collect contact information, qualify leads and answer callers’ questions.

  • Nurture

    Only about 25% of leads are ready to convert when you capture them. Another 25% are likely not qualified. The remainder will convert at some point, but may choose your competition’s offering instead of yours.  If you’re not offering them a helping hand up the pyramid with lead nurturing, it’s good reason for them to stray. With outbound telemarketing and email, marketing can nurture prospects. As they continue to engage and qualify leads, they’re also informing, building trust, and suggesting solutions to real problems. The more personalized the messaging, the better the prospects’ experience. And when they’re ready to buy, you have a better chance that they’ll come to you first.

  • Qualify

    When does a marketing-qualified lead become a sales-qualified lead? It’s an important question because sales and marketing are often at odds. Traditionally, marketing has played a numbers game, thinking the more the better. Sadly, that’s not true. Sales wants a few good leads they believe they can close. Unless marketing and sales agree on their definition of a qualified lead, sales reps will fail to follow up on marketing’s leads.

  • Engage

    With well-qualified leads in hand, sales is prepared to act. And when marketing consistently updates the company’s system of records or CRM, it’s easier for sales to pick up the ball and continue to build their case and engage prospects in the critical discussions that will ultimately close the sales.

  • Measure and Optimize

    Analytics and marketing automation tools have revolutionized our ability to understand the sales and marketing process. Given the increasingly non-linear trajectory of the sales process, tracking prospects’ path to purchase and how they respond to various content and offers becomes more important than ever.

The days of just playing the numbers are past. Today’s marketing and sales teams need to work together to target their best leads with a series of carefully crafted messages and activities that help them climb the sales pyramid. Leads alone are not enough. It’s the ability to convert prospects into customers that raises ROI and increases the bottom line.

]]>
sabrina.ferraioli@3d2b.com (Sabrina Ferraioli) Lead Generation Wed, 14 Sep 2016 00:00:00 +0000
B2B Phone Sales Tips: Beating the Voicemail Gatekeeper http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/b2b-phone-sales-tips-voicemail.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/b2b-phone-sales-tips-voicemail.html B2B Phone Sales Tips: Beating the Voicemail Gatekeeper

Sometimes it seems that for every technological advance, there is a counter-force at work. Take the telephone. It’s a strategic tool for B2B lead follow-up, telemarketing and telesales. But with the ascendancy of voicemail and its handy helper Caller ID, it has become increasingly difficult to get a live prospect on the line.

For the sales rep, the question becomes: How do I break through the voicemail barrier, beat the technological gatekeeper and deliver my message? To leave a message or not to leave a message? That is the question you must answer. Here are some B2B phone sales tips to help you. 

When to Avoid the Voicemail Time-Trap

There are times when the last thing you can afford to do is wait through a prospect’s voicemail greeting so you can leave a message of your own…a message that probably will be deleted and ignored.

But before you can make the right call on whether you should hang up and move on to the next name and number on your list, you need to consider the variables. Hang up and move on:

  • If you’re inviting people to attend a one-time event or drop by your booth at an upcoming tradeshow
  • If you have a list of several 1000 names and numbers to get through
  • If you have limited resources available to make outbound calls
  • And if your objective is to have as many brief conversations with people as possible

Time is money, and your best bet is to spend it seeking out the low-hanging fruit. Personally invite everyone you reach, but should voicemail kick in, go to the next name on your list.

Initiate a Relationship with Voicemail

When your goal is B2B sales and you’re following up on leads to begin a conversation, you need to build relationships with prospects. Instead of grabbing the low-hanging fruit, you’re slowly, steadily shimmying your way to the top of the tree.

If you have 25 to 50 highly targeted, marketing qualified leads (MQL), inside sales can turn prospects into sales qualified leads (SQL). And if you turn even two or three SQLs into clients, you can have a substantial impact on your bottom line. So treat each one like gold.

The odds are that your call will go directly to voicemail, but don’t hang up. Leave a brief message that 1) introduces you and your company, 2) demonstrates your command of the industry and issues and 3) gives the prospect a good reason to return your call. 

When you send out a direct mail campaign and get a response rate of 1% to 3%, you’re happy. Use the same reasoning with every B2B sales call. Every contact has the potential to be your next important client. And every message you leave has the promise of bringing you closer to your goal: Engaging the prospect, opening a dialogue, moving them farther along the buyer’s journey and, ultimately, buying from you.

In B2B sales, don’t view voicemail as a technological gatekeeper. It’s a useful communication medium—just like email and direct mail.

To keep on track, you need to measure results the same way you would any targeted marketing campaign. To do so, you need to be consistent and leave messages 100% of the time.  Then celebrate when you receive a 1% to 3% response rate to your voicemail messages.

7 Tips for Leaving Good Voicemail

When voicemail is a strategic component of your telemarketing or telesales campaign, don’t wing it. Without a plan, voicemail can leave even the most articulate, silver-throated sales rep tongue-tied and blathering aimlessly. Here are seven tips for leaving a powerful voicemail:

  1. Don’t Sell on Voicemail: You can’t cram your entire sales pitch into a phone message, so don’t try.
  2. Spark Your Prospect’s Interest: Show that you understand your prospect’s business issues or challenges. When you deliver your message as a question or a tease, you raise your prospect’s curiosity. Leave them wanting more.
  3. Don’t Script Your Messages: Few people can recite a scripted message that sounds fresh and engaging. By thinking through what you want to say and practicing your delivery, you’ll be able to speak with confidence.
  4. Be Professional: Start by introducing yourself. State your name, company and phone number. Enunciate your contact information—slowly and clearly—and speak with authority.
  5. Remember, Less Is More: Keep your message short and to the point. When you know what you need to say, you should be able to say everything in less than 30 seconds.
  6. Close with a Simple Call to Action: Give your prospect a reason to call you back. Whether you have a new solution, special pricing, a research report or new white paper, make it clear that there’s something in it for them.
  7. Keep Your Message Fresh: If you follow up every week or so, make each voicemail new and intriguing. Build on your message. And if you want to perfect your message, try A/B split testing—with half of your recipients receiving Message A and the other half Message B. Track your results to see what works best.

So stop looking at voicemail as a barrier. Instead, understand its advantages and use the B2B phone sales tips to open doors to new sales.

Then, of course, there is the whole discussion of using technology for leaving voicemail, but we will leave that for another day.

]]>
sabrina.ferraioli@3d2b.com (Sabrina Ferraioli) Lead Generation Wed, 10 Aug 2016 00:00:00 +0000
Inbound Lead Conversion Tips You Need to Know http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/inbound-lead-conversion.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/inbound-lead-conversion.html Inbound Lead Conversion Tips You Need to Know

As a B2B marketer, it’s easy for you to get caught up in lead generation. After all, you often get measured on the number of leads you generate and even the cost-per-lead. But the truth is, none of that matters unless the leads convert. Inbound leads without a strategy for conversion are like kindling and logs without a match. One won’t ignite your sales. The other won’t start a fire.

The leads, however, are the starting point. If you have them, that’s great. Now you just need the match that ignites leads and transforms them into sales. You can find it in these inbound lead conversion tips. 

  1. Set the Parameters for Sales and Marketing Qualified Leads

    Contrary to popular opinion, when someone fills out a form on your website, it generally is not a qualified lead.

    In fact, the stats from Gleanster Research show that about one in four leads is qualified and ready to buy when marketing first receives them. Another 25 % are never going to purchase a thing. Nada. That’s because they’re just surfing the web, doing a little research, dreaming of solutions they can’t afford or writing term papers for their college courses.

    So, what’s going on with the other 50 % of your leads? These people are interested in what you offer and may even have the budgets to buy it, but they’re “just looking.” They’re not ready to buy yet. Don’t give them the cold shoulder, though—they’ll be ready someday, and you don’t want them leaving your fold for the competition.

    In marketing, you cannot afford to waste time on the people who are never going to buy. Similarly, your salespeople have no interest in leads that are not yet in buying mode. You need to sort your leads into buckets—sales worthy, marketing worthy and not worthy. To make the organization process easier, first define a marketing qualified lead. This definition lets you know which leads to feed into your nurturing campaigns. Also, work with your sales team to create a shared definition of a sales qualified lead. When you think through qualifying criteria, consider:

    • Demographics and firmographics, such as company size and industry, and individual responsibilities and title

    • Level of interest demonstrated through the individual’s interaction with your web content and emails

    • Budget, authority to buy, need for your product or solution, and time urgency (BANT)

    What’s the beauty of defining both marketing qualified and sales qualified leads? It enables you to invest your time where you’ll get the greatest payoff.

  2. Determine How You Will Qualify Leads

    Now you need to figure out how you’re going to qualify your leads.

    To determine interest level, you can use your marketing automation system to score your leads based on their behavior. For example, if someone has watched a webinar or is trying out a free demo, you can probably be justified in giving them a high lead score, indicating that they have a greater chance of converting than the lead that has just downloaded your tip sheet.

    You may get some of the demographic and firmographic information from your web forms, however, you probably won’t be able to attain all the data you need. It’s even less likely that you’ll be able to gain insight into someone’s responsibilities, their budget, timing to make a purchase and whether your solution or product is a good fit for them.

    Given the unknowns, you will need to pick up the phone to learn more about your prospects and how you can help them to solve their problems. Enlist your inside salespeople or seek out a professional B2B telemarketing company. They’ll have business development specialists available when you need them who can talk peer-to-peer with high-level executives.

  3. Set Up a Lead Nurturing Program

    Remember the 50% of your leads that are not yet ready to buy? You can’t afford to let them waste away in no man’s land, serving as easy pickings for your competition. You have to stay top of mind, building their interest and trust as they move closer to making a purchase decision.

    That means you need to outline your nurturing campaign.

    In many cases, nurturing will include a series of emails that help to answer your prospects’ questions. But don’t limit yourself. You may need to make phone calls to build the human relationship and provide a more personalized perspective on your offering. Conversations enable you to show the specifics of how you can help a prospect and their organization. They give you the opportunity to answer questions and counter objections.

  4. Determine Whether Inside Sales or Field Sales Will Convert Your Leads

    When the leads are sales qualified, it’s time to hand them off to your salespeople even though you may continue to offer marketing support. Decide whether to use inside salespeople or a field sales force to conquer conversion. Usually, your decision depends on the complexity of the product or solution that you’re offering and whether you can convey your message successfully on the phone or via an online meeting. The key is to think the whole sales cycle through upfront and decide which methodology is likely to provide the greatest return on your investment.

Clearly, you need to map out your inbound lead conversion methodology to get the most value out of your online marketing initiatives. It’s essential to:

  • Define sales and marketing qualified leads
  • Qualify leads
  • Nurture those that are not yet ready to buy
  • Have an inside or field sales available ready and eager to convert sales qualified leads in a timely manner

Call us at +1 718-709-0900 (US) or +39 06 978446 60 (EMEA), or contact us online to learn more about B2B inbound lead conversion.

]]>
sabrina.ferraioli@3d2b.com (Sabrina Ferraioli) Lead Generation Wed, 18 May 2016 00:00:00 +0000
4 B2B Sales and Marketing Trends You Need to Watch in 2016 http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/b2b-sales-marketing-trends.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/b2b-sales-marketing-trends.html 4 B2B Sales and Marketing Trends You Need to Watch in 2016

We’re still in the opening weeks of a new year, wondering how it will unfold. Soothsayers abound, and it is time I added my thoughts to the melting pot of predictions. Based on what I see in the world of sales and marketing, here are four trends you can hang your hat on.

  1. The Shift from Field to Inside Sales

  2. The inside sales train has left the station, and there’s no stopping it now. Companies are shifting the makeup of their sales forces as they discover that face-to-face meetings with salespeople are not as important to B2B sales processes as they used to be.

    Several factors are fueling this trend. Buyers no longer need as much education from salespeople. They’re happy to do their research online at their own pace. On the Internet, they can find white papers, e-books, blog posts and more produced by the companies that want to sell to them. Equally important (or more so), they can sift through product reviews, visit niche forums to tap into expert advice, and join relevant conversations on social media platforms.

Welcome to the age of the empowered buyer.

While the Internet has changed the buyer’s world, technology is making inside sales more efficient than ever before. CRM and marketing automation are systematizing the sales and marketing process. At the same time, virtual meeting platforms and webinars take the place of physical meetings.

Add to this the fact that inside sales is cost effective, delivers strong ROI and is easy to scale, and you have the recipe for a long-term trend that favors remote selling.

  • Focus on Lead Quality over Quantity

  • Last year, Ascend2 fielded a survey to assess lead generation strategy trends. It included 300 marketing, sales and business professionals around the world. They asked the question, “What are the most important objectives of an effective lead generation strategy?” The answer that rose to first place, with 70% of respondents opting for it, was “improve the quality of leads.”

    Falling below in the ratings was the value of increasing the number of leads. Only 54% said this was one of their most important objectives. Clearly, quality trumps quantity.

    Why the emphasis on quality, not quantity? Because it correlates directly with conversion rates from leads to sales. It’s not surprising that when responses were tallied, “sales qualified leads generated,” ranked as the most useful metric.

    As marketing and sales teams analyze all the metrics now available through their CRM systems and can put numbers on the value of a qualified lead, there is no reason for this trend to abate. Quality leads fuel sales and marketing productivity.

  • A More Targeted Approach to Email Marketing

  • Email marketing gets a bad rap as spammers fill our email boxes with irrelevant, unasked for information. Despite that, there’s no disputing that it works. In the 2016 B2B Content Marketing Trends—North America report from the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, they report that 81% of marketers are using email newsletters, and the majority say they are effective. And that’s just one email tactic.

    Email is already effective, and it’s about to get better with increased targeting and personalization.

    It’s an age-old fact that adding someone’s name to an email boosts engagement, but with marketing automation tools, personalization can now go much further. It starts with recognizing different needs based on demographics and firmographics. Then, we can also increase email relevance by customizing messages based on how someone has interacted with the company online and during telephone conversations. Businesses that do this will reap rewards in email performance with higher open rates, click-throughs and conversions.

  • More Consultative, Less Scripted Calls

  • More messages than ever before are barraging B2B buyers. Also, as they educate themselves online, they are becoming savvier and more likely to tune out sales messages. These realities are fueling the trend towards consultative selling.

    The truth is, even though people like to buy, they have never liked being sold to. So the trick is to help them to buy by becoming an advisor, tailoring phone conversations to an individual’s needs to help them solve business problems in innovative ways. When you shift your focus to consultative selling, you can deliver greater value to your prospects. Plus, buyers feel that you have their interests at heart which builds trust and deepens relationships.

    Call us at +1 718-709-0900 (US) or +39 06 978446 60 (EMEA), or contact us online for help in keeping up with today’s sales and marketing trends.

    ]]>
    sabrina.ferraioli@3d2b.com (Sabrina Ferraioli) Lead Generation Wed, 24 Feb 2016 00:00:00 +0000
    5 Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Marketing IT Solutions http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/5-mistakes-you-need-to-avoid-when-marketing-it-solutions.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/5-mistakes-you-need-to-avoid-when-marketing-it-solutions.html 5 Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Marketing IT Solutions

    No one said that tech marketing was easy. After all, you’re trying to reach IT leaders — some of the busiest people on the earth. Not only that, other companies are hot on their trails too. Naturally, they’re seeking cover, doing everything they can to avoid vendors and stay focused on their never-ending to-do’s.  

    Given the challenges of reaching your target audience, you need to have your marketing and sales ducks in a row. Where are marketers going wrong?

    1. Letting Potential Leads Slip Away
    2. Too many IT company managers think their offering is so unique that people will be clamoring for their products, services or solutions. As long as they have a “Contact Us” page on their website, they’ll be able to capture leads.

      Not so. You need to have an easy way to capture leads on your website.

      IT managers need a reason to part with their contact information. You have to earn it by providing something of value…like an e-book, white paper or webinar.  Creating an attention-getting landing page that focuses 100% on the content offering. Make it easy to sign up for and download.

    3. Not Qualifying Leads
    4. Not qualifying leads is the source of the age-old divide between sales and marketing. When the sales team doesn’t consider the marketing leads to be qualified, they will not follow up on them. When that happens, the marketers end up frustrated with the sales people for frittering away hard-earned leads. The sales team is equally upset because they feel the marketing team is wasting their time with leads that are not ready to buy.

      It’s essential for marketing and sales to concur on the characteristics of a qualified lead. Such an agreement is the foundation for sales and marketing alignment. Once you know the characteristics of a sales-qualified lead, your inside sales team or telemarketing team can call, qualify and pass only the leads that meet the agreed criteria.

    5. Not Warming Up Leads
    6. When you sort through your leads, you’ll end up with a fraction that are initially sales qualified. While some of the unqualified leads will never transform into qualified leads, others have potential. They will buy in the future. When they do, you want to ensure they choose your company, not the competition.

      To increase the odds that they will come your way when they are ready, keep these leads warm. Nurturing with emails works well. The occasional phone call is an effective touch. Both tactics enable you to build relationships and trust over time. Do it right and you’ll boost your results. According to Marketo, “companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost.”

    7. Not Making the Most of Events
    8. Technology events are costly. As a result, marketing and sales people have a tendency to focus on the sizzle and not the steak — a booth that outshines the competition, glossy brochures, a party with free-flowing refreshments and mouth-watering hors d’oeuvres.

      But it’s sometimes the less glamorous details that make the difference between an event that pays off and one that simply consumes the budget. If you want targeted IT decision makers at your event, send out invitations. Follow up by phone to make sure they received (or have seen) the invitation. Even if you don’t reach the individual, a voice mail can help. If you reach them, set up an appointment for a face-to-face meeting with one of your salespeople at the event.

      Your job is not over when the event shuts down. There’s still work to do. Many marketing leaders simply divide the leads they generated among their sales people and move on. Here’s the problem. Salespeople, for the most part, don’t follow up because many of the leads are not qualified. They throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. Before distributing the leads to sales, call them to qualify them. Do it quickly. Thirty-five to 50% of the sales go to the vendor that responds first.

    9. Forgetting that Leads Are Human Beings

      It’s easy in this age of marketing automation to think of leads as a number. But when it comes to business-to-business tech marketing, it’s really about human-to-human marketing. Each lead is a human being with their own concerns and interests. They want to do business with other human beings, not faceless companies.

      The company that develops a human relationship is often the one that seals the deal. Also, by continuing to build that relationship with the customer, you’re more likely to retain them.

      Open the lines of communication. Call your leads and ask questions to find out the problems they are facing and how you can best help them. Make sure your conversations are direct, open and relevant to the individual. When you talk with a prospect about what matters to them, they will remember you. Also, you’ll learn information you can use to help make the sale — not only the problems a company or individual faces, but also their objections and competitive offerings that they may be considering.

    Make sure you have an easy way to capture leads, you nurture and qualify them, make the most of your events, and, above all, treat your prospects like human beings. If you take this advice, you’ll likely be ahead of your competition. If you don’t have the resources to do this in-house, work with an experienced B2B telemarketing company with professional business development specialists who are ready to help you.

    Call us at +1 718-709-0900 (US) or +39 06 978446 60 (EMEA), or contact us online to learn how to improve tech sales.

    ]]>
    jeff.kalter@3d2b.com (Jeff Kalter) Lead Generation Wed, 25 Nov 2015 00:00:00 +0000
    How to Critique Recorded B2B Telemarketing Calls http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/cold-calling/how-to-critique-recorded-b2b-telemarketing-calls.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/cold-calling/how-to-critique-recorded-b2b-telemarketing-calls.html How to Critique Recorded B2B Telemarketing Calls

    When you’re managing business-to-business telemarketing representatives, you can record their conversations and use them as learning opportunities. If one agent is particularly productive, you can listen to recordings of her phone calls to determine what sets her apart from the others. Also, if another is having difficulty meeting their goals, you can re-live their conversations and learn where they go off track.

    Before doing anything, however, become aware oflocal and federal laws related to recording calls and ensure that you abide by them.

    What to Listen For

    When you’re listening to recordings to find out why some representatives are successful and others struggle, pay attention to these areas.

    • Language

    Are your telemarketing agents using everyday words with prospects and clients, or are their sentences packed with jargon and tech talk? Does the agent’s vocabulary fit the situation? Do they pronounce words correctly?

    • Product Knowledge

    Your agents need to have ingrained knowledge of the features and benefits of the products they are selling. If they don’t, they may hesitate, trip over their words, and miss opportunities to educate the prospect.

    • Soft Skills

    Because your agents are not face to face with contacts, their voice intonation, tone and pace are essential. An agent’s voice needs to have an energy level that says, “I’m enthusiastic about what I’m selling and how it can help you.” His pace needs to be just right. If it’s too fast, the telemarketer may sound as if he is rushing through the conversation because he is are nervous. However, if he’s too slow, he may seem bored and elicit the same feeling in the contact.

    • Conversational Flow

    If the call in any way resembles the robotic consumer calls that tend to interrupt us at dinner time, telemarketing will meet with natural resistance. Agents need to draw the contact into the conversation immediately and keep them engaged. That means a two-way conversation that flows naturally.

    • Questioning and Listening Skills

    By asking the right questions and listening to the answers, representatives will be able to ferret out prospect needs and help to solve their problems. Therefore, it’s essential that you point out to your reps when they:

      • Interrupt a contact

      • Fail to follow up on an important issue the contact relays

      • Do not ask a question that could provide critical insights into the contact’s situation

    • Systematic Sales Path

    While every call is different, there is a logical route from initially qualifying a contact to creating interest in the product you are selling, and determining the next action steps. Ensure your reps are navigating the path effectively.

    • Objection Handling

    Whatever route your reps navigate, there are likely to be roadblocks in the form of objections. Do your reps empathize with prospect concerns, ask open-ended questions to get to the root of the problem, and educate prospects to help overcome their issues?

    Also, if an agent receives an objection that no one has encountered previously, they may have difficulty countering it. You should share a recording of this situation with team members and discuss ways of handling it positively.

    Ultimately you need to ensure that agents are skilled enough to achieve the call objectives. You can do so by showing them where they trip up, but also by having them listen to sales calls that are well executed by others on the team.

    Sometimes, if an issue is specific to an individual, you’ll want to handle critique one on one. At other times, it’s best to call the team together to address a problem or opportunity that affects all of them. The advantage of this approach, of course, is that it saves you time and allows the group to brainstorm together and develop their team spirit.

    To learn more about business to business telemarketing, call us now at +1 718-709-0900 (Americas) / +39 06-978446-60 (EMEA).

    ]]>
    jeff.kalter@3d2b.com (Jeff Kalter) Cold Calling Wed, 22 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0000
    The 12 Days of B2B Lead Generation http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/12-days-of-b2b-lead-generation.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/12-days-of-b2b-lead-generation.html The 12 Days of B2B Lead Generation

    Get ready for the holidays with the 12 days of B2B lead generation. Give yourself the gift of qualified leads and more sales.


    On the First Day of Lead Gen

    Marketing Made for Sales

    A Database of Suspects

    Start the season with a database of suspects, people who meet your basic criteria to become clients, but are not yet qualified. Clean it up—eliminate duplicate names and update and append the data.



    On the Second Day of Lead Gen

    Marketing Made for Sales

    Two B2B Segments

    Look at your historical activities and decide how to group suspects so you can approach them with a set of tailored marketing tactics. Segment by industry, geography, company size, role, department or any other easily defined criterion…whatever is most likely to yield results.


    The Third Day of Lead Gen

    Marketing Made for Sales

    Three Engaging Pieces

    Provide content that engages and educates your suspects who are doing a lot of research before talking with your sales people. Whether it’s a blog post, e-book, video, webinar or infographic, the content needs to answer the questions that suspects ask as they move through the buying cycle.


    The Fourth Day of Lead Gen

    Marketing Made for Sales

    Four Convincing Studies

    As your suspects move through the buying cycle they become prospects and want to understand how your product or service has worked for other clients. Case studies are compelling because your prospects can relate to other clients’ problems and how you helped to solve them.


    The Fifth Day of Lead Gen

    Marketing Made for Sales

    Five Days of Calling

    Once you have a clean, segmented list and content to answer questions, it’s time to get on the phone. Ask questions one-to-one that help you understand each prospect better so you can customize their journey from awareness to decision making. It’s all about personalizing your marketing and adding a human touch.


    The Sixth Day of Lead Gen

    Marketing Made for Sales

    Six-Pages of Prospects

    The prospects are those who fit your qualifications as a potential customer and have shown interest. Through tele-prospecting, you can determine who is interested in receiving more information…perhaps one of those engaging pieces.


    The Seventh Day of Lead Gen

    Marketing Made for Sales

    Seven Nurturing Emails

    You need to nurture prospects to help transform them into Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and getting them ready to send on to your sales team. To nurture, send emails that answer prospects’ questions and provide insight. Also, add some tele-nurturing into the sequence to warm up leads even faster.

    Research shows that to generate a response in the B2B world, you need an average of nine touches in order to gain a response.


    The Eighth Day of Lead Gen

    Marketing Made for Sales

    Eight Scoring Rules

    Obviously, you can’t contact everyone at once. So, you need lead-scoring rules. These rules will help you to prioritize the prospects and determine which are more likely to become MQLs, and eventually sales qualified leads (SQLs). 

    Base lead scoring on demographics (company, industry, revenues, etc.), their level of engagement with your company as well as what you learn from conversations with them. The key is to keep lead scoring simple.


    The Ninth Day of Lead Gen

    Marketing Made for Sales

    Nine MQLs

    As you nurture the inquiries, some will respond. They will click on links in emails, visit your website, ask for more information and take actions that show they may be interested. When they reach a certain pre-determined score, they cross the threshold and become MQLs.


    The Tenth Day of Lead Gen

    Marketing Made for Sales

    Ten More MQLs

    Once you have the process down, the leads will continue to flow. After all, you have to feed your sales team continuously.


    On the Eleventh Day of Lead Gen

    Marketing Made for Sales

    Eleven SQLs

    Now business developers talk with the MQLs on the phone to determine if they are sales qualified leads (SQLs). The initial lead scoring can help you to estimate interest based on the level of a person’s engagement. It cannot, however, determine why they are taking action. The only way to answer this is to have a human-to-human conversation that uncovers the intent that led to their activity.


    On the Twelfth Day of Lead Gen

    Sales Made from Marketing

    Twelve Closed Sales

    In the end, if you follow a well-defined lead management process, the results will convert to sales. Although it may start slowly, it will snowball over time. And that’s the biggest gift of all.

    For a free consultation on B2B lead qualification, call us now at +1 718-709-0900 (Americas) /+39 06-978446-20(EMEA).

    ]]>
    jeff.kalter@3d2b.com (Jeff Kalter) Lead Generation Wed, 03 Dec 2014 00:00:00 +0000
    5 B2B Cold Calling Tips That Achieve Sales Results http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/cold-calling/b2b-cold-calling-tips-that-achieve-sales-results.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/cold-calling/b2b-cold-calling-tips-that-achieve-sales-results.html 5 B2B Cold Calling Tips That Achieve Sales Results

    Success is where preparation and opportunity meet,” said Bobby Unser, who is one of the ten drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 three or more times. His words not only apply to finishing first on a racetrack, but also to sales people who strive for first-place results in cold calling.

    So, how do you prepare for success? Start with these cold calling tips.

    5 Cold Calling Tips

     

    1. Pinpoint Your Customer Profile
    2. You need to ensure you understand clearly your targeted customers’ profile—who they are, the markets they participate in and the issues they are likely to be facing. Why?

      • First, it enables you to laser-target the people with whom you’re most likely to be successful and, thus, boost win rates and shorten sales cycles.
      • Second, by gaining a full understanding of the challenges they are facing, and how your company can help them, you’ll be able to show empathy and develop a more robust message.
    3. Research Each Customer
    4. With company websites and social media, it’s easy to research and discover vital information about a company. For instance:

      • How many employees do they have?
      • What are the backgrounds of key employees?
      • Have any recent changes, such as mergers or acquisitions, affected the organization?
      • What is the role of the person you’re calling?

      If you know that individual’s role and responsibilities, you can tailor your conversation to points (or specifics) that are relevant to them. For instance, operations managers are concerned about cost reduction while chief security officers tune into messages about risk reduction.

    5. Crystallize Your Call Objectives
    6. Don’t get on the phone until you know exactly what you want to accomplish. For instance, what information do you want to gather? What is the ideal outcome of the call?

      For example, if you’re trying to set appointments for your salespeople, you need to gather enough information to ensure the customer meets your minimum requirements as a buyer for your product.

      Also, consider a minimum objective. In the appointment setting scenario above, you know that you won’t achieve appointments with everyone to whom you speak. However, you can at least test a new value proposition.

    7. Polish Your Product Knowledge
    8. Product success stories that relate to the prospect’s situation need to roll off the tip of your tongue. A memory bank of stories enables you to paint a picture of how your prospect can be successful using your product or service by comparing it to a real-life situation. While it’s fairly simple to put together product stories, doing so will set you apart from the majority of cold callers.

    9. Build Your Confidence
    10. You have to believe in the value of your offering if you want your prospect to believe as well. So, make sure you have full confidence you’re offering something that can help the person you’re calling.

    Use these cold calling tips to boost your success. Or, find out how 3D2B can help you with business to business cold calling, call +1 718-709-0900 or +39 06 978 446 60 (EMEA).

    ]]>
    wolfram.vanwezel@3d2b.com (Wolfram van Wezel) Cold Calling Tue, 18 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000