The Benefit of Utilizing Multiple Lead Generation Approaches

Let’s say your friend invites you to join on a mountain climbing trip. Your first thought is, “this sounds awesome!” Your second thought might be, “what in the world do I bring to climb a mountain?!”

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Mountain Climbing Resources

Here at Dunlap Marketing, we’re not mountain climbing experts. However, we do know there are multiple resources that should be utilized to reach the peak! A rope, harness, helmet, boots, navigation, first aid, and nutrition are a few items that come to mind.

If you chose to bring just one of these along, chances are you wouldn’t make it far up the mountain. Imagine attempting to climb a mountain with just a rope! The various resources work together, helping you accomplish your goal – reaching the top of the mountain.

Lead Generation Resources

In this aspect, lead generation is quite similar to mountain climbing. Utilizing multiple resources will help maximize your results. Telemarketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing, direct mail, and content marketing are all examples of lead generation techniques.

When used together, various modes of lead generation complement each other. Utilizing multiple approaches helps to broaden your reach, touching different segments of your target market. Additionally, when they overlap, your message is reinforced.

Set yourself up for success in lead generation, just like you would for mountain climbing – how could utilizing multiple lead generation approaches increase your sales numbers?

Need help getting started? Check out our FREE eBook, or contact us today. 

Kaitlin Dunlap Cuevas – 281.496.9870 x 180 – kaitlind@dunlapmarketing.com

The Difference Between Qualified Leads

As a sales professional, the origin of a lead is important to know, especially when establishing expectation for a lead. Lead generation is not a cookie-cutter process and because of this, all leads are not equal. Understanding the difference between qualified leads helps to properly layout your sales strategy for each individual opportunity as you advance it through the sales process.

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The Origin of Leads

First, let’s look at common ways leads come to life:

  1. Referral/word-of-mouth
  2. Online research (i.e.: website, SEO, PPC)
  3. Social media
  4. Self-generated (i.e.: cold calling, telemarketing, email or mail campaigns)

Commonly, sales people will look at each of these avenues of lead generation as equal, or very similar. Therefore, a sales person will subconsciously assign the same level of expectation and approach to all leads, no matter its origin.  With this mindset, some leads will fall short of expectation, no matter how good they are. Additionally, leads run the risk of dying if opportunities are not properly planned and nurtured.

The Difference Between Qualified Leads

How are leads different?  In the broadest perspective, there are two forms of lead generation:

  1. Buyer-generated: Created by the potential buyer, reaching out in an effort to find a solution
  2. Seller-generated: Created by the seller, reaching out to identify potential buyers

Buyer-Generated Leads

Selling opportunities created by the buyer are usually the most qualified and advance through the sales cycle faster than seller-generated leads. This can be attributed to the fact that the buyer has a need and is looking for a solution; the need is creating enough pain that the buyer starts actively looking for a company who can solve the problem.  Not much legwork, such as cold calling and other telemarketing efforts, is required of the sales person up to this point.  From a typical sales person’s expectation, these are the best kind of leads to receive.

However, downsides exist. Commonly, there are not enough buyer-generated leads to satisfy sales quotas and sales people have little control on generating a volume of them (referral or word-of-mouth). Also, they can become expensive to produce (online and social media advertising).  Ultimately, in most business-to-business situations, there are not enough of these leads to fully distribute to and satisfy a whole sales team – certainly not enough to achieve overall company sales success.

Seller-Generated Leads

Selling opportunities created through seller-generation usually occur when a sales person initiates activity that stimulates conversation (i.e.: cold calling, telemarketing, email or mail campaigns) with a prospective company. Conversation usually starts with probing-type questions.  If you are lucky and the timing is right, good questions become the start of a new lead opportunity. In this situation, similarly to buyer-generated leads, your Q&A session will coincide with an existing pain the prospect might be dealing with; however, this is the exception, not the rule.

Read more about how to write a telemarketing script.

More frequently, you will stimulate a level of interest. But, timing is dependent upon many less controllable factors such as being inside an existing agreement term, the need for the prospect to research new solutions, or the prospect having to decide if making a change to your solution is worth the effort.

The Journey

It is important to recognize the point in a prospect’s journey where you, as the seller, get involved. With seller-generated leads, the journey begins when the prospect expresses a level of pain associated with their current solution.  With buyer-generated leads, the journey is well underway by the time the sales person gets involved.  Understanding your point of entry will help guide you into setting proper time lines, expectations, and upcoming sales strategy.

A seller-generated lead can feel colder early on because the buyer is at an earlier stage in the journey; however, when properly nurtured, the selling opportunity becomes more valuable.  During this development, you start building a relationship with the prospect, which ultimately becomes an advantage for you.  Frequently, seller-generated leads have fewer competitors involved.

In Summary

Expressing a level of pain by the prospect and the action you take to resolve this pain can take time and sales skill to advance.  Because of this, it is important to apply a fair expectation on each, as the value of each opportunity is different and the amount of time and work involved with each opportunity varies.  The close rate of buyer-generated leads is higher than seller-generated leads; however, there is a finite number of buyer-generated leads available and that number is not enough to satisfy company sales goals in most business-to-business environments.  This is the point where it becomes important to realize the value of seller-generated lead generation.  In most organizations, sales professionals should also maintain an adequate number of these leads inside the sales funnel.

In almost any instance, a proper balance of buyer-generated and seller-generated leads are required for a company to be successful and exceed sales goals. With both types of leads inside the sales funnel, always remember the difference between qualified leads.

For more information on this topic, please contact Mike Dunlap at miked@dunlapmarketing.com.

 

Summer 2016 Internship Program

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This summer, Dunlap Marketing hosted three college interns. They worked on selected, entry-level projects and did exceptionally well. When asked to describe her experience with the internship, Meredith, University of Texas, said, “It has been great – I’ve had the chance to see a side of business and marketing that usually goes on behind the scenes. I’ve gained so much knowledge from it!” Lydia, University of Texas, agreed and added, “I learned how to deliver a message in an effective and understandable way during a phone conversation. Over time, I became very comfortable and really enjoyed getting prospects to cooperate. I had a great time at Dunlap Marketing and really enjoyed all of the people here.”

The interns worked a fulltime schedule and even put in their fair share of overtime. “This job has taught me patience and tactful persistence,” said Grace, Texas A&M University. “It can be tiring trying to get to the decision maker, but having a positive attitude can go a long way. The person on the other end of the phone can tell a difference when you speak in a happy tone and they’re more likely to help or listen to what you’re saying.”

Each of the interns agreed that saving time is the biggest value Dunlap Marketing’s services provide to its customers. “Instead of spending time on setting appointments, sales reps can focus on their expertise and actually sell,” said Grace. Meredith added, “We [Dunlap Marketing] are the middle man between our client and their prospect. Dunlap Marketing reports back with details gathered from prospecting calls and the client can use that information to advance the sales process.”

Meredith summed up her experience by saying, “I have definitely improved and gained confidence in speaking with individuals as well as businesses on the phone. It’s a great skill to have in general, but even more important to me because I’m majoring in business. It’s essential to have these skills.”

Dunlap Marketing kicked off its internship program in the summer of 2015. It was a great success for the interns, Dunlap Marketing, and Dunlap’s clients. “The internship was extremely rewarding as well as eye opening,” said 2015 intern, Matt, University of Texas. “The program has proved to be a win-win for both our customers as well as business men and women in the making. Our client campaigns that staff interns flourish with the added enthusiasm. Additionally, these upcoming business leaders gain valuable, real-life knowledge and skills,” said president, Mike Dunlap. With such a fantastic experience for both the interns and clients, Dunlap Marketing will continue with the program. Please email Kaitlin, kaitlind@dunlapmarketing.com, for more information.

Getting Your Telemarketing Campaign Started

ARTICLE #4 IN A 6 ARTICLE SERIES

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When you sign up for a marathon, or any athletic event, there is a lot of planning that goes into training and the day of the event. While the planning is necessary and will help your marathon go smoothly, there is one fact: the only way to cross the finish line is by taking one step at a time. When doing appointment setting and lead generation, the same approach holds true.

This “one step at a time” principle can be used in many different aspects of work. Similar to running a marathon, looking at a prospect list that needs to be called can seem like a difficult task to complete. However, if you make one call at a time you will eventually get through your list and cross the finish line!

Making cold calls is not what someone puts first on their “to do” list. Human nature usually drives people to do everything else on their list before making telemarketing calls. Commonly, they hope that time runs out before they have to make the calls. Or, they hope their boss assigns them other work before they have to get on the phone. This type of behavior is exactly why many call projects either never get started or they are started, but are never completed.

When assigned the task of telemarketing, try to designate specific times of day to make these calls. Treat the assignment like it’s an appointment. Everyone is willing to stop what they are doing to honor an appointment. Schedule specific blocks of time in your calendar each day, over an extended period of time. Each block of time should be approximately two hours long. Additionally, set reasonable and measurable expectations, such as:

  • Number of calls made
  • Number of actionable events identified
  • Number of appointments set

Two-hour segments each day is enough to settle into a rhythm, but not so much time that someone gets burned out. Two hours per day over four or five days per week results in 32-40 calling hours per month. This much time will typically yield very positive results and selling opportunities.

Do not let yourself get stuck on trying to make the telemarketing campaign perfect before going live with your calls, as this is rarely possible. If you seek perfection, there is a good chance the calls will never get started. Accept that there might be shortcomings (ie: possible unexpected questions, questions you don’t have answers to, missing contact names). This is okay, but if you have followed steps 1, 2 & 3 there is a good chance you are prepared to start calling. You can refine and optimize as you go. Keep in mind these calls simply get the sales process started; this should be your primary goal. There will be future steps as you advance through the sales process to address questions that you were unable to answer during your first calls.

When someone asks, “how do you run a marathon?” the answer is “one step at a time”. Now it’s time to pick up your phone and get your appointment setting and lead generation campaign started, “one call at a time”!

Stay tuned for our next article discussing follow up best practices.