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Is it Time to Shake-up Your Marketing Strategy?

Maximize your Lead Generation to enable Sales Transformation.

Appointment Setting

What Do We Know so Far from Merchants Services Leads?

Merchant acquiring is an integral part of card payment transactions processing. Acquirers enable merchants to accept card payments by acting as a link between merchants, issuers, and payment networks—providing authorization, clearing and settlement, dispute management, and information services to merchants. The merchant acquiring industry is dominated by a few large players across the globe, with the top ten acquirers in the world handling nearly 50% 1 of the global cards transaction volume in 2010.

 

Merchant acquirers enable merchants to process credit and debit card payments and help in increasing sales by accepting the most popular cards to attract customers to their businesses. Typically, a card payment transaction involves two sides: the first between the cardholder and the bank that issued their card; and the second between the merchant and the acquiring bank.

The acquiring side of the industry typically involves interaction among various stakeholders including merchants, acquirers, processors, independent sales organization (ISO), and payment networks. Each of the stakeholders has an incentive to play its specific role in completing the payment transaction:

  • Merchant: A merchant accepts payment from the cardholder by swiping the user’s card at its terminal, increasing the chance of a sale by accepting popular cards used by cardholders. For example, retailers such as Walmart who accept these cards have higher chances of sale compared to local retailers without card processing capability
  • Acquiring Bank: The acquiring bank provides payment processing services to the merchant, enabling him to accept payments from cardholders. The bank levies a merchant service charge (MSC) on every transaction at the merchant’s point of sale (POS) terminal to generate revenue. The MSC is usually 2% of the transaction amount and contains an interchange fee, the fee paid to card network associations such as Visa and MasterCard, and the acquirer fee
  • Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs): The ISOs solicit merchant accounts on behalf of acquirers and charge a service-based fee from the acquirers. ISOs also manage risky merchant accounts with a higher possibility of credit fraud, for which they charge a higher fee. Examples include: Cornerstone Credit Services LLC, and Bankcard Systems of Newport
  • Third-Party Processors: Third-party processors provide transaction processing services to acquirers as they possess economies of scale and advanced technological systems for cost effective processing. Processors charge a service based or fixed fee from acquiring banks based on the type of pricing contract. Examples of third-party processors include: Global Payments Inc. and First Data.
  • Payment Card Network Provider (Card Association): Card associations, such as Visa and MasterCard, act as the link between the issuer bank and the acquiring bank. The payment card network validates the availability of credit or funds with the issuing bank and communicates the same to the acquiring bank. The payment card network provider charges a fee for each transaction processed through its branded card by the card issuer/acquiring bank.

Lead Generation: Make Your Offer Creatively

In direct response marketing – regardless of media – people don’t respond to award-winning creative, clever prose or flashy design. They respond to offers.

Your offer is the key leverage point for determining both the quantity and quality of response – which affects both your response rate and your conversion rate.

We start this process with the offer in part to emphasize the importance of the offer no matter what tactic you are planning to use for lead generation tactic.

When you see the offer as the centerpiece – and not an afterthought – you will begin to see how the offer can be manipulated to deliver the response you need.

What is a lead generation offer?

Many people think of an offer as some variation of “buy one, get one free” or “10% off.”

To be sure, these are offers for certain types of products and certain types of direct response applications – but not for generating leads for professional services firms.

In lead generation, we want offers that provide educational information – a free white paper, a how-to guide or a special report covering a topic that is closely aligned to the service you provide. Much like what you are reading right now.

Typically, these are free offers that are made available to your target audience with very little commitment other than sharing some contact information. If your firm produces articles, reports, research or other helpful information, you likely already have the content to produce an effective offer.

Choose of a compelling title

Picking the right topic is essential, but after that, choosing a compelling title can make all the difference in the world.

You need a title that will not only summarize the report, but will also get the attention of your audience.

But don’t rely entirely on your personal preferences. Test out two or three titles to see which pull best. You could see significant changes in response with different titles.

Become a thought leader

For professional services companies, when you write these reports, you also help to position yourself (and your company) as a thought leader and the expert solution provider on the topic.

This could also help to build your reputation within your industry. Over time, you may be able to create several of these reports which could make your website a popular destination for anyone doing research in your field.

Tweeting Though Audience in Social Media Marketing  

No content marketing strategy is complete without a strong social media strategy. As Jay Baer says, social media is the fuel to set your content on fire. According to 2013 research from CMI and MarketingProfs, B2B marketers use an average of five social media channels to distribute content, whereas B2C marketers use four. Whether you’re just getting started with social media or looking to fine-tune your plan, this guide is for you.

Tweeting Though Audience in Social Media Marketing  

Tell a story through your tweets. Present a consistent voice to tell the story of your industry and your brand. Each post should be compelling in its own right, but an inconsistent tone confuses the audience.

Make use of hashtags. Including 1-3 relevant hashtags with your tweet makes it simple for people to find your content. Creating an original hashtag and linking it to a specific campaign is an even better use of the tactic.

Use it as a testing ground. Tweet your original content, and keep tabs on which pieces of content get more shares. Use this information to direct your future content efforts.

Cover industry events. To offer insights in real time, live tweet coverage of events that are significant for your audience. That way, your brand can act as the eyes and ears for individuals who can’t make it to the event.

With 270,000+ followers, food chain Taco Bell has found a great social media niche for its nationwide brand.

  • Even followers with small influence get retweets and responses. The brand’s voice is down-to-earth and (at times) hilarious.
  • Events and promotions get great visibility.
  • Hashtags, especially trending topics, ensure even non-followers can find the brand’s tweets.

Tweeting through Twitter has become an enormous lead for businesses to showcase their virtual presence. Through Twitter, an organization can make banner announcement that can be responded by different use leveraging the social media marketing to the fullest.

A Revisit in Lead Generation Services for Kick starters

Lead generation services includes identifying prospective customers and qualifying their likelihood to buy in advance of making a sales call through multi-media marketing strategies. In short, it’s about motivating prospects to raise their hands to sign for your product.

Lead generation service is the single most important objective of any business-to-business (B2B) marketing department. Other objectives, such as brand building, brand pioneering, public relations, and corporate communications are also on the list, to be sure. But, providing a sales force with a steady stream of qualified leads is job one.

A Revisit in Lead Generation Services for Kick starters

A business lead is a prospect that has some level of potential of becoming a business partner. We need to distinguish a lead from a business inquiry or from a mere list of names, with which leads are commonly confused. Mailing lists or contact lists of business prospects are often presented as “lead lists,” a misnomer that generates not only confusion but even ill will in the world of business marketing. A passive list of prospects (or, more appropriately, suspects) does not deserve to be called a list of leads, they are just contact lists and call them through telemarketing services.

The same holds true for inquirers. Simply because someone has expressed a modicum of interest in your product or your company does not mean that person or that company is ready, willing, or able to buy. But an inquirer has plenty of value. You can continue to communicate, nurture that interest, and keep a relationship going until a sale is imminent.

Marketers must deliver a lead to the sales team only when the lead is truly qualified, and they must do so by criteria developed in consultation with the sales force. Consistent delivery of qualified leads that convert satisfyingly to sales and meet sales quotas—that is the hallmark of successful B2B lead generation.

Effective Ways in Building Relationships with your Prospects

Accelerating your funnel isn’t just about better lead qualification and assignment. It’s also about continuing to build relationships throughout the length of the sales cycle — without all of the manual work that relationship-building normally requires. With the ability to automate communications and tedious follow-ups, your sales reps can move prospects through the sales cycle with minimal time and effort.

Building Relationships with your Prospects

Nurture leads who are actively participating in the research process.

According to Pardot’s State of Demand Generation study, 77% of buyers want different content at each stage of their research. Using lead nurturing, sales and marketing teams can cater to these preferences by “dripping” appropriate content depending on where they are in the sales cycle. Content can then be adjusted accordingly based on prospect responses. When buyers have completed their research and start reaching out to sales reps, they’ll already be educated, meaning that sales won’t have to waste time guessing at their pain points and needs.

Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Forrester Research)

Then, nurture leads who aren’t yet ready to buy.

Lead nurturing is an equally powerful tool for buyers who aren’t actively participating in the research process. According to Gleanster, 50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy. Without a way to nurture these leads to a sales-ready state and keep your company top of mind, you risk letting them fall through the cracks, increasing the chances that they’ll be won over by a competitor. Steadily communicating with these prospects by delivering helpful content ensures that sales reps never neglect leads who might eventually turn into opportunities, or even closed deals.

 

For many marketing departments, lead and prospect databases represent one of the largest monetary investments of the entire department. Don’t lose the leads (and potential revenue!) in your funnel to neglect, or even worse, to your competitors.

Have your sales team automate follow-ups.

When follow-up isn’t automated, it can be easy to forget. While your sales and marketing teams may recognize the importance of a prompt follow-up when trying to close deals, they’re often too busy to make it a priority. Instead of wasting time covering their tracks and rebuilding relationships, they could be using marketing automation to define appropriate follow-ups for specific situations. These messages can then be automated and personalized so that sales reps get regular touch points with each of their prospects, reducing time spent on manual tasks and freeing them up to focus on closing deals.

By automating follow-ups, it’s much less likely that prospects will be neglected by sales reps, reducing the chance that they’ll be lost to a competitor. And with regular touch points, reps can stay with their prospects all the way through the sales cycle.

11 Questions to Ask on How To Qualify a Good Financial Consultant

  • 11 Questions to Ask to Qualify a Good Financial Consultant

    11 Questions to Ask to Qualify a Good Financial Consultant

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Financial consultant can work at banks, mutual fund firms, brokerage firms and investment management firms. Not all financial consultant offer the same products and services or have the same expertise. Some specialize in certain kinds of investments. Others can offer you a wide range of investments and services.

The right financial consultant for you will depend on what products and services you need, and how much you’re willing to pay for advice.

Choose a financial consultant who has the necessary qualifications and experience, who is registered with your local securities regulator and who you believe is trustworthy. Just as important is choosing someone you are comfortable with.

Start by screening candidates over the phone or make a call with us if we have a list. Find out if they are taking on new clients and what type of clients they work with. Once you’ve narrowed your list, set up meetings with each candidate at their office. This will give you a sense of how they run their business. Gauge how comfortable you would be working with them. Do they listen to you and answer your questions clearly? Do you have a good rapport with them?

Expect the financial consultant to have some questions for you as well. They will probably want to know what financial goals you want to achieve and what kind of services you’re looking for.

Checking the qualifications of your financial consultant

Find out if the financial consultant is qualified to give you the help you need. To help you decide, ask:

  • What is your education and professional experience?
  • How long has your firm been in business?
  • How long have you been with the firm?
  • Are you and your firm registered with a securities regulator?
  • What products and services do you offer?
  • How will you help me reach my goals?
  • What kind of account reporting will you provide?
  • How are you paid for your services (salary, commission or flat fee)?
  • What fees will I be charged and how will they be reported to me?
  • Who are your clients?
  • Can you give me references from clients who are like me?

Your local securities regulator can tell you or confirm if an individual or firm is registered, the kind of registration they hold and if they have a record of any disciplinary action. Choosing and qualifying the best financial consultant can be done with our teleprospecting and with that, we can get you the most suitable financial consultant out in the market.

The MAGIC Formula in B2B Appointment Setting

  • The MAGIC Formula in B2B Appointment Setting

    The MAGIC Formula in B2B Appointment Setting

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B2B sales appointment setting and lead generation are such critical part of any businesses’ sales funnel. Appointments and B2B leads are the fuel to a healthy sales engine, after all. Yet so many sales organizations are with challenged with the task of filling their sales funnel with more opportunities.

            “Only 25% of leads are legitimate and should advance to sales.”

Source: Gleanster Research

            “More than two thirds (68%) of companies report struggling with lead generation.”

Source: Lattice Engines

            ‘Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost.”

Source: Forrester Research

            “57% of B2B organizations identify ‘converting qualified leads into paying customers’ as a top funnel priority.”

Source: MarketingSherpa

Some sales research suggests that 75% of business calls end in voicemail. There’s widespread debate on whether it’s even beneficial to leave voicemail at all in B2B sales. We’ll save that debate for another day and focus on tips that might help you if you DO decide to leave voicemails in the course of B2B sales prospecting.

There are several B2B appointment setting metrics that carry weight. Really, you can dice up the numbers any way you like, but the idea in sales data analysis is to identify problem areas and success areas. Not only that, these data points must be used to fix the problems and expand on those successes.

There’s a “Magic Formula” which encompasses the most basic B2B appointment setting metrics.

  • Touches/Dials – The number of times an agent touched a contact record. There’s some flexibility in defining this number
  • Conversations – The number of hard connects with targets. This is live conversation with the prospect on the telephone.
  • Appointments – This is the end goal of a lead generation team. All previous efforts have combined to produce this result.

Once you have a large enough sample (we recommend 2500 touches or more), get acquainted with this ratio and how it fluctuates. The formula will be different for all types of industries. You can even compartmentalize the formula to find out how well your inside sales team performs in certain industries, geographies, etc.

This Women will Change the Merchant Service Leads Industry

Merchant services leads have earned a bad rap in recent years.

A quick browse of the Better Business Bureau’s website shows a wide variety of complaints against leading credit card leads, often accused of overcharging, adding hidden fees, binding customers to long-term contracts, and executing hefty fines when they try to escape.

Suneera Madhani had worked for one such company for more than two years when she began noticing a high volume of complaints. “I wrote down every time a customer had a complaint,” she says. “It was always about transparency and simplicity, and even just consistency in what they were being charged.”

Merchant Service Leads

Photo of Suneera Madhani; CEO of Fattmerchant

But by the time Madhani brought these complaints to her superiors and suggested changes that might improve customer service, they never expressed any interest in changing their tactics.

The merchant services industry is notorious for hidden fees and long-term contracts, just like the phone and insurance industries. Madhani says she believes she is ushering in a new era.

“I 100% believe the industry is changing,” she says. “If they’re not going to change they’re not going to survive.”

How Madhani’s Company work?

Fattmerchant charges the standard interchange fee from Visa and MasterCard, but offers three monthly subscription options with a transaction fee that isn’t tied to sales. Customers can choose between a $59 monthly subscription for 15¢ per transaction, a $79 plan for 10¢ per transaction, and a $99 plan for only 6¢ per transaction.

The end result, Fattmerchant is able to save its customers an average of 40% on their monthly bills.

Though she looks different than the average financial services CEO, and her company’s pricing model is different from other merchant services leads, Madhani says she has found that “different” is what many customers have been waiting for.

“She’s very knowledgeable—when you talk to her, you can see the passion she has for her business,” says Junior Smizmaul, the director of operations for Orlando-based VoIP phone service provider VOXtell. Smizmaul says VOXtell has worked with three other merchant services leads before switching to Fattmerchant.

Smizmaul explains his company has saved nearly 40% on its monthly merchant services bill since making the switch.

“It’s a great company to work with, and they’re doing a great job,” he says. “I hope they change the way the big companies work.”

Madhani says she doesn’t only want to change the merchant services industry’s pricing model. She is also determined to be a role model for women who are afraid to challenge the status quo in male-dominated fields.

A Kick Start Recommendation for Marketing Technology Issues

 

I had a realization that reminded me of recent conversations with many of our leads whose marketing technology issue is starting to look like a kitchen drawer—full of unitaskers, gained through a variety of circumstances, without any real thought about how they fit into a well-functioning kitchen. These leads lacked a technology roadmap and hadn’t fully anticipated how these systems would integrate across their marketing technology issue and provide good insight in providing professional telemarketing services.

Kick Start Recommendation

So how can a marketer make informed decisions in this fast changing technology landscape while providing professional telemarketing services? Here are three recommendations for evaluating your marketing technology issue and kick start your sales lead generation:

  1. Address the Root Causes Before Taking on New Technologies

During the SiriusDecisions Technology Exchange conference, one of the key takeaways for marketing was to focus on people, process, and technology—in that order. I would suggest adding data into this framework, so focus on people, process, data, and then technology by the Inside Sales professional. Problems with people and process are real, as are issues with data and technology, so don’t rush into new technology adoption when your problem could be more fundamental. In fact, adding new technology without addressing the root causes in people, process, and data can mask or even further exacerbate the problem in Database Management.

  1. Develop a Technology Roadmap and Integration Strategy

Before rushing to buy the next new shiny object, have a plan first. Develop a technology roadmap that specifies what core components you need in your marketing technology issue. Once the core stack components are identified, then identify what gaps you still have and plug each with the right unitasker. Along with the roadmap, have an integration strategy that addresses how data and process will flow through the stack of Database Management.

While every company’s needs are different, in my opinion, here are the five essential components every B2B marketer should consider in their marketing technology issue:

  1. CRM
  2. Marketing automation
  3. Data management and integration
  4. Data visualization and reporting
  5. Content management and personalization
  6. Determine How You Will Measure before You Buy

Before you commit to a new marketing technology solution, ask yourself and your Inside Sales professional: How will you measure and keep track of the performance and return on investment of the new solution? It’s important not only to demonstrate to your marketing and sales leadership that the new solution is effective and works as advertised, but also to ensure it’s producing the correct results without unintended side effects in sales lead generation.

While there’s an abundance of great solutions out there for lead generation services, it’s important not to lose sight of the forest for the trees. Understand the root cause of your problems and whether a new solution will really address them, have a technology roadmap in place to understand where your strengths and gaps are, and understand how you’ll measure success before you commit to purchasing.

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