How to Obtain Hot Leads for B2B Sales

Telemarketing - Digital Marketing - Buzz generation via PR

Selling complex systems or services to companies is quite different from pushing mass products to consumers. Complex systems’ sales require a solid level of trust between the seller and the buyer through multiple contacts with customer staff and decision makers. Such sales also often span a long period involving presentation, evaluation, trials, RFQ, proposal, contract negotiations, delivery, installation, testing and final acceptance. Since sales people play a pivotal role through the whole process, as supplier, you have to make sure you engage professionals with solid expertise and experience.

In addition, you have to maximise your sales people efficiency by enabling them to get and follow the best possible leads. If your target customers are easily identifiable –e.g. telecom operators, large banks, food retail chains- you can ask the sales people to qualify such prospects one by one, relying on already established contacts in such companies. At the other end of the spectrum, if you can consider about any company as a potential customer (quasi B2C scenario) and if you have no upfront indication of what market sectors would be the most lucrative, lead generation plays a predominant role.

There are several ways to create a pipeline of quality leads and, in most cases, these methods can and should be combined to maximise effectiveness.

Let’s examine three standard approaches.

[1] Telemarketing – Calling potential customers by well trained professionals allows to identify and to partly qualify interesting targets. This method permits trials and errors, testing samples in several sectors and progressively focusing on the most fruitful. You have to be careful not to antagonise buyers with quasi- automated calls sounding like cheap telesales. Callers have to fully understand what they present and be able to entertain a meaningful conversation through relevant questions... and answers. Positive calls can be followed up with mailings including appropriate documentation and introduction of the sales person who will carry on the dialog.

[2] Digital marketing – In today’s world it is essential for most companies to have a well-managed social media presence. This includes the development of professional LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter pages; efficient Search Engine Optimization keywords; Search Engine Marketing; technologies enabling online chat, automatic email responses, web conferencing and so on. Using advanced Online Reputation Management listening techniques, you can seek out relevant conversation hubs and Key Opinion Leaders and develop a plan to create a Conversion Rate Optimized online presence. By putting all your digital assets to work for you in generating leads efficiently, you will generate a pipeline of significant new leads.

[3] Buzz generation– Your first challenge -when entering a new geographic or application market- is to catch the attention of potential customers and to create some interest for your products and/or services. You will make the task of telemarketers and sales representatives significantly easier if -in the first contact- your company’s name/brand rings a bell in the prospect’s mind. So, you need to create a buzz in the new market. Apart from advertising, public relations -PR- is a rather efficient way to generate buzz. A single, part-time freelance local PR specialist with a reasonable knowledge of your application market can make a significant difference by drumming up the support of relevant media/publications, making your brand show up and initiating word-of-mouth.

The whole process can be kicked off by a launch event marking your entry into the market. Your PR person will also advise your participation in local conferences or seminars, and help you manage contact during and after such events.SFE can help you generate hot leads through the above methods by offering, in addition to standard Sales Representation Services and Sales Management Services, the services of experienced professionals in telemarketing, digital marketing and PR and all main geographies.

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