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Is it Time to Shake-up Your Marketing Strategy?

Maximize your Lead Generation to enable Sales Transformation.

sales lead generation

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.

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.

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.

Top 4 Questions to Ask Outsourced Inside Sales Providers

In any high-tech companies, you’ve decided to invest in an inside sales team to surface new sales opportunities and qualify leads. Just as many of those same companies, you’ve done the research on your options – outsourcing, insourcing, or a hybrid.  You’ve decided to go down the outsourcing path in order to ramp up as quickly as possible.

The rest is easy, correct?

But not so fast. You are now faced with a pile of outsourced inside sales firms, and choosing the wrong one can cost you time, money, and credibility. Continue reading…

The Do’s and Don’ts of Summer Email Marketing

It’s at long last here! The fresh possess an aroma similar to fall, the crunchy leaves, pumpkin flavor all around, and it must mean one thing… it’s authoritatively summer season! I need to concede; this is my most loved time of year. I am tallying during the time until subsequent to Thanksgiving so I can impact my summer music without disgrace, anyplace and all over in providing professional telemarketing services.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Summer Email Marketing

DO:

Set goals. Even with holiday-themed emails need goals, whether they are clicks, downloads or purchases. You need to think about the strategy behind each email – just like you would any other email.  This will ensure that you’re not just sending a holiday email just to send one in providing professional telemarketing services.

Get creative! Since there is such an up-tick of emails sent during the holidays – all with a similar theme, you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd. You can incorporate creativity into your email by thinking of a fun subject line, providing a creative offer or time sensitive discount, or creating a new asset about your product and the holidays.

Incorporate social. Your audience may not check their emails during the holidays as much as they normally do. So in order to capture their attention, make your holiday offer available on across all your channels – social, email, blog, etc.

DON’T:

Forget about other holidays! There will be tons and tons of emails around Christmas, Halloween and Thanksgiving – but don’t let the smaller, less celebrated holidays go to waste. Use lesser-known holidays as an opportunity to be creative and make a splash in providing professional telemarketing services. Did you know that we should all be celebrating ‘Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day’ on August 8th? That could be the next big marketing opportunity….

Miss out on sending awesome follow-up! After you have created a super-amazing, thoughtful and entertaining holiday email, your next step is to consider what you will do with the people that converted or showed interest. You can’t forget about creating a follow-up plan because it will take your program to the next level in providing professional telemarketing services. Well-planned, thoughtful follow-up will help close the sale, open up an opportunity to talk with a sales person, etc.…

Overdo it and spam your audience. This is easy to do – especially when we are all drinking way too much egg nog and getting creative with our punny subject lines. Don’t stray from your best practices when emailing your audience, even during the holidays. You wouldn’t want your unsubscribe rate to go up just because you thought the email with the subject line ‘Top Tips for Furtastic Howliday’ was a good idea in providing professional telemarketing services.

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.

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.

Why Your B2B email notoriety or Reputation Matters in B2B Email Deliverability

B2B marketers battling for development in today’s economy know they have to get most extreme results for their B2B email marketing efforts, yet an excess of don’t comprehend the basic part deliverability plays during the time spent transforming business prospects into revenue driving clients. All the imagination and arranging that goes into a focused on B2B email marketing effort is useless if your messages don’t come to their expected inboxes. Each undelivered B2B email is a lost lead, and the cash you spent to gain that lead gets squandered. Continue reading…

How many is Too Many in B2B Email marketing?

 

The following morning I got an email advising me that I’d left things in my shopping basket. Absolutely sensible! In our email campaigns, we really prescribe sending these sorts of messages – frequently, the B2B prospects simply needs a tender poke. In any case, then, one hour and after 19 minutes, I got a SECOND email from them – another of their day by day messages. Continue reading…

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