Monthly Archives: May 2012

More Proof On How Business Identity Affects Methods For Getting Business Leads

Business Leads

In a recent article from Bloomsburg, Dan Kunz has written about what exactly GM did wrong and tries to put the auto company’s decision to pull out Facebook ads in to proper context. In doing so however, he included this statement:

 

“But the truth is that Facebook ads work better for some businesses than others. GM did what any savvy marketer facing a budget squeeze does—it optimized away from underperforming media channels. Advertising, after all, is an investment. You need to put your funds against what works best.”

 

While this is basically common sense for business, it’s less trickier to say it than to actually pull it off. Part of the problem is the business itself, how it tracks the buyer’s journey and calculating who gets the credit for the sales. You can clear things a little bit more though if you would identify which side of the business world you’re on.

 

For instance, if you’re marketing business software, does Facebook sound like a likely place to fish for ERP leads? Even Dan Kunz has given a lot of nods on the overall personal nature of the social media site. You’re likely to find more people talking about their pets than anything big business related.
Now it’s time to look at yourself as a business and also ask some of the questions posed in the article. Who is your market? Who are you targeting? How do you find out where they managed to hear about your software? What’s a good place online besides Facebook to find people who could qualify for business software leads?

 

One thing’s for sure though, if you don’t know how to figure that out, you might make the same mistake as GM.

Types Of Information For Software Sales Leads – Type #5: Schedule

Software Appointments

Suppose you’re already in the final stages of the lead generation process. You’ve made contact with a potential client, learned about they do, figured out their needs, and confirmed that they have the necessary budget. So what now? Better yet, do you even know what qualifies as the final stage or what qualifies a certain lead?

 

In other words, do you know how to finish it up and attempt the sale?

 

Think of lead generation as aiming a hunting rifle. You make sure that the target is not moving or if it is, you try to time the shot and move the barrel at an appropriate pace. The process is finished when you finally pull the trigger.

 

That won’t matter if you don’t know how and when to shoot the gun in the first place.

 

Hence, you need to know how to plan your process so that you have a cutoff time or a set date in which you can attempt the sale. In other words, you need to really schedule your attempts. The idea of implementing something as high-end as ERP software will definitely be something that company decision makers need time to think over. And it’s not just them either, when you consider parts of the package such as CRM and HR software, they’ll be talking this over with their employees as well. You will need the full support of their organization.

 

These things take time, lots of it. Some companies even go as far add in software appointment setting so that their potential clients will have a really comprehensive idea of what they’re being offered. The only way to finish the process that way however is if you take note of their schedule.

Types of Information For Software Sales Leads – Type #4: Budget

Appointment Setting

Everyone knows that finding out the needs of a potential client is critical because that information will help in the attempt to make a sale. However, another piece you need to find is the budget of the company you’re targeting.

 

Sure, you’ve made contact, figured out how to serve them in the context of their industry, and more importantly, learned about their needs and how you can serve them. Sadly, if they can’t afford that service, what would be the point?

Some would say that a budget is simply another extension of a potential clients needs. However, you need to know exactly how such a thing translates into those needs so that you can adjust your qualification process accordingly.

 

  1. First, a budget denotes time, time needed to make it bigger so that they can afford.
  2. Secondly, the time needed also implies timing. Your follow-ups must be timed accordingly or else you either risk giving competitors the opportunity or rushing the prospect
  3. Thirdly, budget naturally affects the disposition of a potential client to do business with you.

 

As you may have noticed, these all revolve around both needs regarding time and money. However, what’s interesting is that these needs are all reflected once you know a company’s budget. There’s also the fact that ERP software is expensive so you can’t just expect clients rushing in and crowding around you for it. In fact, the implementation project itself requires its own share of time at the very least. You can even say it’s a culmination of their needs because time and money are major factors in all business decisions. As such, it’s another type of information all on its own and you need to put it on your list on what you need to know like everything else.

Types Of Information For Software Sales Leads – Type #3: Needs

ERP Leads

All right you’ve obtained some contact information about a business, checked out what kind of industry they’re in, and now preparing yourself to contact them. At this stage, you might already be preparing to send an email with an impressive template or readying a very convincing telemarketing script.

 

However, you might want to step back because chances are, you’re assuming a sale a little too soon. There’s still something you need to know.

 

The good news is you can still push through with contacting the prospect even if you don’t know what that is. That being the needs of the business you’re calling.

 

ERP software deals covers a lot of departments. As such, you have so many features and so many solutions to many problems but guess what? Not all companies have the same problems (or even set of problems). Whether you’re already calling/emailing or formulating the words to say/write, you need to find out these needs.

 

If you’re planning on doing it beforehand, try researching more in-depth. Do they have news about them on their own website? Can you look them up on LinkedIn? Have they made postings and requests somewhere where they’re looking for a software solution.

 

Now if you’re already contacting them, don’t try to sell your product right away. Instead, use your first contact as a means to ask about any problems they might have, introduce your business, and simply ask up front if they have had any problems (sometimes they don’t even know how to check).

 

Decision makers don’t want to be sold to. They’d rather want to be helped and the only way you can do that is by finding out what they need help with.

Types of Information For Software Sales Leads – Type #2: Industry Expertise

SCM leads

While contact information can make for a good start, even good starts can have you either crashing into a halt or painfully slowing down if you don’t know how to keep going. Now in order to keep the lead generation process running, you need to know what to do and say during the first time you’re connecting to a prospect.

 

There are actually many other different types of information that come in here but one of the important ones is industry expertise. In other words, how much do you know about the industries your targets are in? Believe it or not, it’s actually one detail you need to carefully investigate when you acquire contact information. Depending on the flexibility of your software, it can be good news or bad news.

 

For instance, with regards to SCM systems, you need to make sure that your SCM leads are in accordance with your industry expertise. It doesn’t matter if you’ve managed to develop one that can be tailored any kind. There might be some industry specific details that you might still need to know (and if you don’t, it might mean a nasty surprise during the actual engagement or even during implementation). Speaking of which, it’s another way to keep your foot in the figurative door. Decision makers and their gatekeepers are logically more willing to listen someone who is at least familiar with what they do. (And as far as SCM is concerned, industry really plays a big role because it can also be an indicator of the products and services that they manufacture for.) It also applies even if you’re outsourcing lead generation services because they need to know your industry as much as that of your targets!

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