Being an industry leader may get you a lot of financial services leads but that is not an excuse to treat your prospects like idiots. Heck, sometimes you can do it even in the most polite way but still lose your sales leads because you assume every prospect you engage in is clueless about what you know.
Generating sales leads should be about finding needs and problems to solve. Unfortunately, some people (both on the sides of marketers and customers) have come to feel that this always leads to more spending in the end. It may sound logical to say that not all problems are fixed by throwing money at them. However, the way that sales leads are acquired can give that impression.
There is a lot that you can do with your sales leads that can make an impact on consumer behavior. See, being part of merchant services, you have that unique position between a paying customer and another business. You should be asking yourself if your desire for sales leads could indirectly contribute to bad shopping habits.
Given the information-based nature of lead generation, your process can be an alternative source of news regarding other businesses. But while some news can entail opportunities for your lead generation campaign, you have to be careful if one particular piece of info means you will be fighting in a battle for succession.
Sales leads can actually be generated across various levels from B2C to B2B. Although, people usually say ‘lead generation’ to describe marketing for things that have a really long sales process. How can you have marketing that easily goes from appealing to consumers en masse to setting up important client meetings with large business decision makers? In short, how can you get bigger sales leads without leaving out smaller ones?
A wholesaler can count on up-selling to get the most out of the B2B lead generation process. It’s a classic example of the clichéd phrase “hitting two birds with one stone” whereby you get to sell more products without having to ramp up your marketing budget or efforts. Here are four tips to help you achieve up-selling success in your wholesale business.
- Know your products thoroughly. A deeply-running familiarity with the product lines you sell is a basic requirement for a successful up-selling run. You have to know how some products complement others. As a wholesaler, you also have to effectively profile the prospects in your direct market as well as the end-consumers themselves.
- Find out which items work as add-ons. Knowing which items to suggest as add-ons to your main sellers is the key idea behind up-selling. Typically, retailers up-sell small-ticket items such as those which are needed to maintain, operate, or enhance their big-ticket products. It’s a bit more challenging for wholesalers, though, since you have to take more than a single perspective on matching out products to be sold as add-ons.
- Be informative enough. Once you have a clear idea which items you want bundled together, you have to educate you prospects about the benefits they’re likely to gain from purchasing the add-ons along with the main items. A good way for wholesalers to do this is through B2B telemarketing since this medium gives marketers the chance to truly communicate and connect with prospects.
- Observe perfect timing. Timing is essential in up-selling as anywhere else in business. The most ideal time to present your recommended add-ons is when your customers or prospects have already agreed to buy something from you. However, you can also suggest the sale of related products at other times in the sales process, especially if the potential buyer is at the exploration or selection phase of the buying cycle.
Every business needs to allocate its limited resources properly to avoid the consequences of being inefficient. This is why your marketing mix has to have a sound budget that focuses on things that really work. But this is generally more easily said than done. With a wide variety of marketing tools such as traditional ads, B2B telemarketing, social media, etc., it is very difficult to decide which items to spend more marketing dollars on. To help you with this issue, here are a few very basic tips to optimize your marketing mix.
Set SMART objectives. Here, SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound which should be the characteristics of each objective we set. An example of a SMART objective is “to increase total sales by 25% by the end of the fiscal year.” Notice that it has all the five characteristics. You should avoid setting vague objectives like “to improve B2B lead generation.” Instead, it should be stated as “to increase B2B lead generation output by x amount after y weeks.”
Understand economic concepts. Marketers need to have an understanding of some economic concepts that affect marketing decisions. For instance, you need to know the implications of the law of diminishing returns to your marketing mix decisions. This helps you determine at which point in your budget your marketing dollars no longer generate favorable returns. There are many other models that you should have some basic idea of like marginal utility and economies of scale.
Manage information systematically. Managing information systematically means handling the right quantity and quality of data for decision making. Because of the overwhelming amount and types of data related to marketing mix measurements, you have to rely on systems and tools to make sense out of it. Normally, you’ll have metrics like return on ads placed, B2B telemarketing conversion rates, email click-through rates, and so on. Your objectives will prove quite helpful when deciding which information to focus on and which to filter out.
Seek professional help. Marketing mix modeling is both an art and a science which unfortunately not everyone can be good at. To be really effective, you may need the help of professionals. Although this option may cost you, the benefits will more than pay for whatever you spent. Good consultants and analysts are not hard to find. But beware; there are incompetent ones as well.
Marketing mix modeling or optimization is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a marketer or manager. Just keep the previous points in mind to guide you as you go through this critical process.
You don’t have to be a savvy financial analyst to be an effective marketer. But it does help to have some working familiarity with what finance people look at, especially if these things refer to or affect your marketing project. Among these items, the concept of cash flows is one of the most important things to know something about, particularly when making decisions on marketing mix for B2B lead generation and appointment setting. While you may have a general idea of what cash flows are, here are some tips to help you get a more solid footing when dealing with them.
- Categorize cash flows properly – Cash flows need to be segregated and classified according to their relevance and applicability to your project. Only those cash inflows and outflows directly resulting from your marketing project should be considered in your computations. This means that only the incremental costs and revenues associated with your B2B lead generation project are analyzed. Also, you need to make sure that each cash flow matches the time period which it takes place in.
- Consider the effect of taxes – Analysts tend to study after-tax cash flows more than any other. Normally, this is computed by adding back applicable non-cash expenses like depreciation to the net operating profit (or loss) from your project then subtracting the appropriate taxes (according to your marginal tax rate). In telemarketing and related activities, depreciation depends on whether you’ve purchased equipment or other fixed assets to be used in your project.
- Use a spreadsheet – For superior analysis and results, it’s advisable to perform your project’s cash flow calculations on a spreadsheet. Microsoft Excel is an excellent spreadsheet application for cash flow analysis because of its many finance-related functionalities. The key point is to make sure that the descriptive and quantitative aspects of you analysis are interpreted and reported in an understandable way, especially if your B2B lead generation project has multiple cash flow streams.
While it may not matter to you at first as a marketer, the concept of cash flows is an essential tool that anyone in business, regardless of specialization, should have an idea about. Doing so will not only help you out in terms of running your projects smoothly but will also help you become a better decision maker.