Some people are skeptical of the cost effectiveness of certain types of telemarketing especially in introducing Software Leads, and many B2B marketers feel it is most appropriate to dealings with existing prospects. But those who close their minds to wider opportunities risk missing out. Continue reading
Given all the popular ideas of telemarketing, you might think that it is a tool that only brings out that bad behavior. How can it possibly be used to discourage it? Well first off, telemarketing is not the only (and perhaps not even the most notorious) cause of bad business habits.
Forbes just announced that famous coffee-chain Starbucks has just made a hefty investment in mobile payment service company Square. Asides from the prediction that mobile will eventually bring to question the very purpose of paper and coin currency, you can also see it as another sign that mobile is becoming another market that’s growing with potential B2B software leads. Just look at the figures being mentioned:
“Mobile payments service provider, Square, got a $25 million investment from Starbucks (SBUX) — valuing the start-up at $3.25 billion— that could mark the beginning of the end of cash. Meanwhile, this deal could boost Starbucks’ profits and puts Square’s competitors on notice.”
But like every other B2B software market, generating qualified software leads can sometimes be troublesome. In the case of relatively new markets like mobile payment, targets might be hard to define. If the report is any indication on the other hand, a few possible business groups could be:
As pointed out by the article, small businesses make good targets for this type of mobile business technology:
“That’s because it launched by selling to the 66% of 27 million small U.S. businesses that don’t accept credit or debit cards to avoid expensive payment processing fees, an annoying application process and required credit checks.”
Small businesses however can be very elusive for different types of marketing approaches. Typical B2B tools like telemarketing and email could backfire but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a call center ready to take in customer support calls. What small businesses lack in size and budget, they can make up for in numbers. Don’t let poor customer service generate bad referrals and a lack of desirability among them.
You can also target mainstream retailers who generally take credit cards. The lower costs isn’t a benefit that’s limited to simply small businesses. If you can find a way to impress and assure larger companies, that gives you another potential market to target. Even better, it gives you more wiggle room for telemarketing attempts if they’re done right. Get the name of the proper decision maker and do some prior research to confirm their interest in mobile payment. If they agree to an appointment, make sure that their information is recorded accurately on your database so your sales representative won’t have trouble preparing.
If Square aimed for Starbucks, why shouldn’t you try aiming for similar chains? Just like retailers, it’s simply a matter of knowing your targets individually as much as you know them as an entire market. Keep in mind though that it’s also important to know about how these chains approach their own customers. Will offering mobile payments improve their own marketing strategy? Will it improve customer relations? Different companies have varying approaches to their customer so you need to show how a mobile payment service fits into that approach.
To summarize, a new market can still require the same old marketing techniques. Know the desires and needs of your targets, familiarize with them individually as much as a whole group, and try to relate your product to their business needs prior to appointment setting.
As you’re well aware, few things describe the industry of a business better than the process that makes and delivers their products (a.k.a. the supply chain). And as such, it’s important for that vendors have industry as a requirement when defining their SCM software leads.
Now, it’s not a bad idea to use industries as categories in order to organize your software leads. So as long you don’t forget that each business should still be approached individually and aren’t closed to the possibility that they have very unique problems. If you’re going to set up categories however, you have to be sure that your industry expertise not only covers knowledge of the industry but also knowledge of it as it currently stands.
Lots of industries require manufacturing and thus, need SCM software. On the other hand, it’s good to pay attention on which of these industries are currently leading. You also need to organize further by outlining how far you will judge these industries. Ask yourself questions like;
- Will I compare by a regional or global scale?
- Do I limit my targets to businesses of a certain size?
- How soon should I quickly respond to changes?
While there are many other factors that could affect the interest of a market, knowing where certain industries stand can also help predict changes in that behavior. It can also determine the appropriate marketing strategy for your product. For example, if your SCM software is cloud-based, then you might benefit further from comparing industries on a global scale. But despite that, not all regions around the world rank high in the world’s top-most industry. If your software is flexible enough, another alternative is to learn which industry ranks highest in a particular country. Another example: just recently the New York Times published a five-part article that stated the U.S. still remains to be one of the world’s top auto manufacturers.
“But the migration of Japanese auto manufacturing to the United States over the last 30 years offers a case study in how the unlikeliest of transformations can unfold. Despite the decline of American car companies, the United States today remains one of the top auto manufacturers and employers in the world.”
This means that auto manufacturers are a good bet when targeting the U.S. Regardless, not everyone stays at the top forever. One of the risks of industry expertise is obsolescence so you need to keep your knowledge of an industry up to date. That though includes how it’s currently faring whether in regards to the industry’s place in a certain country or the world as a whole.
Sometimes, the top might not be the best place to aim for. A few more questions you should consider could be:
- Should I really be targeting the ones at the top?
- Will their place in the rankings actually work to my marketing advantage?
- What will it mean if this particular industry suddenly makes way for another one?
Targeting is important for many marketing endeavor whether it’s B2C or B2B. It’s not static either. If your targets are moving in entirely new directions, a change in strategy is in order. Therefore, your industry expertise must be ready to adapt to these changes and kept up to date.
People hate complaints. That’s a fact. The hatred for them has gone so far to the point that those who make them plenty are treated like mortal sinners. However, do you think such an attitude is really good for business? How about in CRM software? If complaints are so awful, why is there a need to store them as data? Do you really think that treating them with this attitude will positively affect the way you generate software leads?
Well, it won’t.
Remember, handling complaints is supposed to be part of what CRM does. Hence, it’s logical to assume that your software is supposed to help businesses handle them as part of their tasks. The way you treat complaints will reflect on both your software and in your own dealings with your software clients. As far as the latter is concerned, your treatment will definitely affect your success with your software leads.
Now here two of the worst ways you can respond to a complaint:
“If it’s such a problem for you, then do something about it.”
Why would they be calling you if this was a problem that they could solve on their own? Better yet, what if they could solve it but they’re looking to you for guidance? A common idea about complaints is that those who make them the most are the laziest to solve the problem. People who think this way, respond in the manner above. The truth is the ones who immediately have that response are the ones who are really lazy. They’re too lazy to consider the possibility that:
- The customer may already be in the process of doing something about it but needs your support.
- The customer’s business is still new to using software for CRM so you should be ready to help because you’re the expert.
- The complaint could indicate an unseen flaw in your software or an entirely new problem altogether.
“I’m sorry but that’s beyond our control.”
Really? Are you so sure of your incapacity? Maybe this response will find some validity in the end but it’s still not a good idea to set this as a knee-jerk reaction to every complaint. A better reaction would be a FAQ page because then, you would have at least identified some common complaints and set up guidelines for customers to help themselves with.
First, you need to investigate thoroughly and really make sure that the problem is out of your hands. Here are some suggestions:
- Outsource a software call center and use live, well-informed agents, who can help them troubleshoot the software.
- Set an appointment if the problem can be solved but its complexity and that of the solution’s warrants discussion.
- Use social media as your eyes and ears for common problems and as another means to discuss it with both prospects and current customers.
What people have forgotten about complaints is that they’re supposed to indicate that something is wrong. And whether a problem is big or small, helping a customer resolve it is part of what CRM is supposed to do. Customers with complaints shouldn’t be treated like ‘whiners’ who have to be shown the door the moment they come in. They’ll just be taking their complaints outside for other businesses to hear them. And when they hear them, it will affect the way they’ll see your business. These include the businesses you’ve already qualified for leads. If you don’t want them to revoke their hard-earned approval, then start handling complaints properly and with respect.