The sales process for most B2B businesses usually involves a face-to-face meeting with the prospect.
From a prospect’s perspective, the best salespeople are those who can provide them with expert knowledge to ensure they make a good purchase decision. This is where the true value of salespeople lies; by understanding the customer and their requirements in detail, they are able to propose exactly the right solution. It’s a win win.
Yet, we all know, that generating that first sales meeting has become more difficult…
So, the question is how best to achieve these invaluable first meetings i.e. do you manage lead generation internally or should you outsource lead generation to experts?
Things to consider when answering this question…
1. Can your salespeople generate their own leads?
If they can, great! But don’t assume that by default, good face-to-face salespeople can, or will, generate their own sales appointments. Generating leads requires a different skillset, mentality and approach. Often even the salespeople that do have the ability to generate their own leads simply don’t like making cold calls!
2. How well do you understand modern lead generation?
Times have changed. Many traditional lead generation channels such as telemarketing and email marketing remain as effective today as they have ever been.
But only when they are part of an integrated approach. An integrated approach includes content marketing, raising brand awareness, and enabling telemarketing calls to be targeted at prospects that have been warmed up by other marketing activity, and are therefore more receptive to a call.
3. Do you have the right technology?
Marketing technology has come a long way. From marketing automation, which is able to track prospects interactions and automatically trigger relevant marketing communications, through to Google remarketing which keeps you front of mind to visitors of your website.
CRM platforms such as Salesforce, Sugar or Microsoft Dynamics are invaluable in support sales to record conversations with prospects, schedule follow-ups, and manage a sales pipeline. One drawback of CRMs however, is that because they are feature-rich, they’re slow and cumbersome to use, so not conducive to telemarketing activity, where a professional telemarketer would make 80+ calls in a day.
4. Have you got the expertise and management resource?
Managing marketing and lead generation activity takes expertise and time. With more marketing channels than ever before, it’s easy to make costly mistakes learning which solutions work for your business and which do not. And if you’re going to employ an internal sales team (telemarketers), they will need ongoing supervision, training and motivation.
Is Outsourcing A Good Alternative?
Probably the first factor to determine if you should manage lead generation internally is to consider whether it’s something you can do consistently. Lead generation results come from using a robust process that is continually refined to provide repeatable outcomes. This takes management time and on-going development.
If you’re not able to make this commitment, then it’s unlikely to provide a worthwhile return on your investment; because it isn’t easy, it requires dedication to manage an internal team, technical skills to make best use of marketing technology, and the ability to be objective which isn’t always easy when it’s your processes and people that you’re evaluating.
The second consideration is whether you have the skills and expertise to develop a successful lead generation process. Marketing techniques have changed more in the past 5 years than they have over the previous 50 and they’re still evolving.
Modern lead generation is no different to Accountancy or HR. It’s a specialist skill. Lead generation businesses have to be more effective than their customers, otherwise they wouldn’t have a business.
So those of you that successfully manage lead generation in-house, we salute you! But for everyone else, there’s no need to feel bad… you’re in the overwhelming majority.
Lead generation may not be cheap or easy, but it is the life-blood for business growth and requires specialist skills, great people and continual management.
If you would like to discuss your lead generation needs, or how Beanstalk can generate those vital first meetings and conversation with your prospects please get in touch on 0345 474 2047.