As a professional marketer there are a number of channels at your disposal to attract and engage your target prospects. Finding the most appropriate channel or set of channels for your message can be the difference between no traction and building a loyal audience.
As a marketing professional, you can potentially leverage any or all of the following:
- Digital Advertising
- Channel Promotions
- Traditional Advertising (i.e., print, radio, TV)
- Direct Mail
- Mobile Marketing
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Organic Search
A successful marketing plan will certainly include at least a few of these channels. However, the ultimate goal of any lead generation efforts is to find, qualify and connect with new business prospects. More directly, the goal is to help schedule the first meeting. Once there is an initial discovery meeting scheduled with a qualified prospect, sales is firmly in the driver’s seat. Mission accomplished for both departments.
How can a marketing team amplify their efforts to ensure more valid meetings get booked for the sales teams?
Start with the end in mind. Marketing departments are increasingly leveraging the power of professional telemarketing teams that are focused specifically on making outbound calls and setting new business appointments for the sales force.
With a telemarketing process, both departments can produce those actionable customer meetings that the sales team needs to help the business grow. The benefit of an appointment-setting program is its ability to proactively engage, qualify and schedule meetings directly under one lead generation program.
Most other marketing channels are passive and have to inspire the prospect to take action. This can require between 5-8 touches before a prospect ever responds. Then, after the prospect has taken action, the lead is still only half-baked. It will require either direct engagement by the sales force or several additional touches from an email-nurturing campaign before an actual sales meeting is ever scheduled. This creates additional expenses and more opportunities to drop the ball.
Marketing departments often become frustrated with the sales team’s lack of urgency concerning the leads generated from other marketing efforts like trade shows or website downloads. The marketing team wonders if the sales department will take the lead seriously and follow up with the prospect in a timely manner. It might also be difficult to track the lead back to the initial efforts for ROI analysis once it has been handed over. After all, many have seen a marketing-generated lead get buried in the pipeline and incorrectly attributed solely to the efforts of the sales department.
When leveraging a telemarketing team as an internal function or as an outsourced marketing service, all leads are easily tracked back to the marketing expense. And because the leads have been fully qualified and confirmed sales meetings have been booked, these leads are given top priority. Sales people live for these meetings. Because these meetings are so tangible, the sales teams immediately attribute the leads and consequential opportunities back to your marketing efforts.
Don’t be surprised if the sales team buys you lunch when the deals close!