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Is it Time to Shake-up Your Marketing Strategy?

Maximize your Lead Generation to enable Sales Transformation.

B2B telemarketing

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.

Shark Week: How Marketing Differs in Terms of Tools

Shark week is week dedicated to tune TV programs to a contemplating and mysterious creatures in the deep blue –yes, you have guessed it, it is all about shark. Sharks are known for their big appetite in feeding small creatures under the sea and there are actually two different kinds of shark. One that grabs a targeted bite like Bull Shark or Great White Shark and the other hand is the Whale Shark that open their mouths and take in all small creatures like plankton. Same with sales and marketing, targeting specific prey or just simply gobbles in any prospect that may pass their mouth. Continue reading…

Data-Driven Lead Nurturing Program for B2Bs

We all understand that the pressure for immediate results drives strategic decisions. But identifying and making use of the buyer’s position in the overall life cycle with the right approach can yield more fruitful results, compared to pushing the hard sell at the wrong time.

data driven lead nurturing

Larger business purchasing decisions lead to longer sales cycles, today taking anywhere from 18-24 months. Faced with a potentially lengthy courtship, view your Lead Nurturing process as a series of “micro conversions.” Until you determine if there is real interest or are able to build on the current level of interest, you shouldn’t assume your Prospects are ready to commit. But with continued nurturing and patience, you can qualify them at a higher level, deliver real value, and begin your relationship even before they make a purchase.

Take simplified approach, it’s worth it.

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”—Albert Einstein.

Or in other words, just keep it simple. It’s not necessary to take on your entire data base in one fell swoop. Hone in on a specific segment to begin with, measure your progress and optimize accordingly. The key is to take incremental steps while keeping it as simple as possible to reduce complexity while learning the ropes.

Use your audience understanding to create targeted communications.

Getting “the right message to the right person at the right time” is what every marketer seeks. Technology has provided access to a wealth of information and subsequently created a paradigm shift that has changed the marketing perspective to a consumer-focused one rather than product focused. This shift has ushered in the Age of the Customer. 1 In its wake are the “one-to-many” communications containing generic information sent to broad audiences, discarded in favor of “one-to-one” communications that are responsible for propelling Prospect leads closer toward a purchase. Using a targeted approach, each person is guided through their personal stage in the life cycle. Segmenting your database by behavior or developing personas (snapshots of your segments), can enable you to deliver targeted communications to drive success in your Lead Nurturing activities.

 

Personalization goes beyond a name and address.

What’s the single most important word to a person? Their name! A proper Lead Nurture campaign is powered by data; but to truly realize the potential, you have to put that data to use. This concept extends past addressing your leads byname; it involves using their digital body language to determine what content is useful and relevant to them. Research from Marketing Sherpa showed that 82%of Prospects identified content targeted to their industry as more valuable, and 67%found content targeted to their job function to be more valuable. By personalizing content, you make it more relevant, while moving your Prospects through the nurturing phase. Embrace their unique qualities to get more out of your nurturing efforts, while increasing the life time value of your customers.

 

The Four Basic Benefits in Having A Telemarketing Services in Your Business

  • Four Basic Benefits in Having A Telemarketing Services

    Four Basic Benefits in Having A Telemarketing Services

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It’s a marketing conundrum that the telephone offers the most direct method of getting through to potential business partners, but also has the greatest capacity to irritate them. And with the volume of telemarketing increasing year upon year, it stands to reason that your own telemarketing campaign must be highly targeted and professional to get results. Failure in one or both of these areas can result in wasted resources and damaged business reputations. So where and how can business to business telemarketing actually work for you?

Telemarketing can form an integral part of a sales and marketing campaign, either as a tool for gathering the data that will be the foundation for your direct marketing approaches, as a follow up to other forms of direct marketing, or as an up-front weapon for identifying your best sales prospects. The four basic benefits of having a business to business outbound telemarketing include:

Improving marketing data: at a basic level this may include gathering the contact details of decision makers and their usage of products and services relevant to your market, but further probing can deliver more in-depth information – perhaps on distribution channels for example.

Verification of your existing data: it’s your data, but is it a valuable asset? Only if it’s clean and accurate. A professional team of telemarketers can ensure that your data doesn’t embarrass you or let you down.

Lead generation: using a team of dedicated telemarketers to do this tough, up-front work can make more cost-effective use of your often highly paid field sales or telesales executives by allowing them to focus on closing sales rather than chasing business prospects.

Company profiling: this offers the opportunity to go beyond the type of superficial prospect data held by most businesses and gain a full understanding of how potential customers operate. Information on aspects such as their decision making processes and who they currently purchase from enables much better tailoring of sales and marketing approaches.

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.

The Real Cost of List Management Services

  • List Management Services

    List Management Services

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When collaborating with our clients we devote a excessive deal of time conversing contact data. Who is the target, how easy are they to locate, what are key role descriptions, and what is the message you bring to them. We are industrious about educating them with regards to direct dials, the need for emails, and the ownership of the list versus a rental list. All of these are critical but often ignored by organizations looking to purchase data. A list is assumed to be a commodity item and yet it is far from it. The list is the key driver for all other actions that happen in the sales campaign. It is one of the most critical portions of any marketing outreach.

During the MarketingSherpa B2B Summit 2011 presentation, presented by MECLABS, “Optimizing the Lead,” it was discussed that a $1 per record list (“the best deal”) results in a campaign that is 2.5 times more costly than the most efficient list. In the study, the $1 per record cost, resulted in a $954 cost per lead. In a list that cost $24/record, the cost per lead was $373 and resulted in a 60.85% decrease in overall campaign costs.

Targeting Your Prospects Correctly

The details in arrears this result are clear to see. Although the $24/record list cost $24,000, the calling campaign associated with that list cost $92,400, for a total campaign cost of $116,400. Comparing these metrics to the $1/record list; the total list cost was $9,350, but the calling campaign associated with that list was $287,980, for a total of $297,330. At the end of the day which result would you take?

The key takeaways are that “cheap” data is really expensive, and the less you spend on the data the more you will spend on tele-prospecting. List acquisition must be seen as strategic and not simply transactional if you need to roll your marketing strategy.

Reasons Why Telephone Surveys Should Be A Part of Your Business

  • TELEPHONE SURVEYS

    TELEPHONE SURVEYS

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I don’t mean to exaggerate when I say that the success or failure of any business depends upon the level of customer service a company provides. In fact, satisfied customer recommend a good company while those disgruntled customer can say many awful things about your company on the social media and influence thousands of people away from doing business with you. I think one of the best way of gauging the service of your company is by conducting telephone surveys.

WHY TELEPHONE SURVEYS ARE CRITICALLY IMPORTANT

Telephone survey can help a business discover the actions are necessary to have a customer service to the next phase, or it can validate the already-strong performance in order to deliver the customer satisfaction by simply and directly dialing and asking the customer of hoe they are doing. Telephone surveys also discover new product and service needs of the target market, thus it also gives input to the needs of the business. There are many ways to collect the data, a telephone survey is an expensive way to make an actionable information in real time. Telephone surveys also have the highest response rate compared to any type of survey methods.

These are a few of the reasons to consider this form of market research:

  • A better response to open-ended questions than self-administered surveys (due to probing);
  • More control over the order of presentation of questions versus skip ahead that frequently happens with self-administration;
  • Better success in avoiding item non-response;
  • Less reluctance on sensitive topics than face-to-face interviews;
  • Telephone surveys offer the ability to survey hard to reach groups.

A telephone survey conducted by our professional research company helps you take your service to the next level, while collecting vital customer information. So at Kick Start Sales Force, we will conduct the business with highest affairs.

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.

3 Reasons How Email Marketing is Different from Cold Calling

How many times have you sent an email to the people on your contact list and not gotten any results? We’re betting that’s a lot, and well, we’re guessing you don’t like seeing those figures either. You probably do email blasting every day and send millions of mail a month, but have you ever wondered why your conversion rates don’t exactly seem to be improving, or at least hit your expected output? Maybe that’s because you do email marketing the same way you do cold calling: cold!

3 Reasons How Email Marketing is Different from Cold Calling

A wise man once said that what kills a business is a lack of sales. Such is true because money continues to prove that it is indeed the lifeblood which keeps companies up and running. Without it, a business crumbles to the ground. And well, your email marketing campaign is essential to helping your business make more money. Why? Because it generates leads and sales, that’s why!

So what do we mean when we say that email marketing should not be done like how we do cold calling? See for yourself in the points below.

REASON 1

I’m busy and I don’t know you. I’m going to press delete now.

Have you ever received any emails from people you don’t know? Well, if you have, then you know all about how to ignore such emails and how easy it is to just get them out of your inbox. As such, put yourself in the shoes of your email recipients. Do the people in your sales leads database actually want to receive your emails or newsletters? If they don’t know you personally, or just don’t want to be bothered, then they will be quick to get rid of your email, or just ignore it for the rest of the day… or even for all of time. After all, they’re busy and have much more pressing matters to attend to.

REASON 2

I never asked for an email from you. Why are you sending me one?

Receiving an email from an unknown recipient can often be annoying, especially when they keep doing it again and again. If you’re native to cold calling, then you’ve probably heard someone complain to you on the phone about how they never asked to be called, and asking you why you’re calling them. The same thing applies to email marketing often enough, and some of your prospects don’t want to be bothered with your emails, especially when they never asked to receive them, or subscribed to receive your newsletters.

REASON 3

I Don’t. Know. You.

Pretty similar to the first point, although without the factor of them being preoccupied by something else. Why doesn’t cold calling work all the time? Well that’s because the person being called has no idea he/she was going to be called, and also because they don’t know who the heck is calling them. So why does your email marketing campaign fail? That’s because relationships between you and your clients and prospects matter. If people knew you on a personal level, then they would be more receptive and probably take time to go out of their way and read your emails, let alone answer your phone calls.

 

Email marketing is not the same as cold calling; you can’t always get what you want from sending mail to random people on your business contact list. As such, it’s important to build proper relationships with your prospects before you start blasting like a laser cannon.

So, do relationships with your clients and prospects matter to your email campaign? We’d love to know what your take on email marketing is. Feel free to leave us a comment.

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