Of the many qualities to look out for in a decent lead, knowledge of a company’s needs is definitely the most client-centered. However, there are some companies who list needs that are not only for themselves but are actually demanded by federal law. Thomas J. Trappler of Computerworld has this to say on the matter:
“If you move a function to the cloud that’s governed by legal or regulatory requirements and later your company falls out of compliance due to an error on the cloud vendor’s part, the law won’t go after the vendor – it will come after you. So you need to ensure that the cloud vendor can fully comply on your behalf.”
If someone out there thinks that this means providers are off the hook, they might want to think again. With trend of B2B software heading to the cloud, it’s more important than ever to constantly engage prospects and find out their expectations. These include compliance and Trappler’s article goes on to say that you might have contracts to fulfill.
Your software sales leads need to have this sort of information. If not, you might end up setting up your client for a nasty shock and even if they’ll be held responsible for whatever resulting mess, expect a bad referral at the very least. You’ll only be kidding yourself if you think you don’t need to know what legal responsibilities they want your services to live up to. It doesn’t matter what kind of communication medium you use or outsource (e.g. email, telemarketing services, direct mail, mobile marketing), the information you get out of it all should come with anything to do about compliance with the law.
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!
Outsourcing does not mean you’re lazy. Whether you’re being accused of being lazy with your sales, getting leads, developments, outsourcing another company to do them does not automatically mean you’re just looking for an easy way to do things.
Now of course, it’s usually the noble thing to do in the business world when you handle things yourself. However, sometimes reality actually paints a less demanding picture. You can’t always do things on your own but you can always do what you want to do in your business. After all, you can’t do well in something if you don’t like doing it.
It’s the same here. For instance, suppose you’ve dedicated your company to developing software for supply chain management. You love what your business does, your people love it too, and you want to spend all your time thinking up of new ways to create software that helps other businesses manage things more easily.
However, when it comes to getting the necessary software leads to stabilize your sales rate, your excitement drops dead. Perhaps you’d all be too happy to sit down and discuss your software with your prospects but when it comes the methods of initial contact, you start feeling cold. And who can blame you? Popular lead generation methods like email blasting and telemarketing are actually quite effective but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s not something you’d want to stress yourself out doing.
Well guess what? You don’t have to. That’s why even large companies outsource such things to those who actually love generating SCM leads as much as you love programming for SCM. Start outsourcing today, free yourself from worry, and do what you really want to do.