The technology market today is a constantly changing, competitive landscape. In order to execute an effective outbound lead generation cold calling effort, organizations need intelligent lead generation specialists capable of having in-depth technical conversations with prospects, making at least 60-70 calls per day. These specialists need to be persistent in nurturing leads and be able to constantly adjust to the market in order to be successful. It requires a focus that many small or emerging companies simply can’t give it and so a fully defined lead generation process gets lost to other priorities.
But don’t underestimate the importance of an outbound lead generation strategy. If done well, it can be the foundation upon which your entire sales structure is built. Whether you’re attempting it in the house, or bringing on a lead generation outsourcing vendor such as EBQuickstart, here are the building blocks you must have in place, in order to have a shot at success.
A Dedicated Team
Many sales managers assume that outbound efforts can just be added to the responsibilities of sales reps or that they simply don’t require a dedicated group of people. Make no mistake, successful lead generation hinges on a reliable, knowledgeable team working daily to drive new opportunities. Many of our customers choose our lead generation services after first trying to build it internally, with the assumption being that it would be cheaper and easier to keep the effort close to home. However, the opposite tends to be true. An internal lead generation team costs money not just in the staffing itself but the continuous training as well. And these costs will keep coming back to haunt you, as turnover rates for such positions are notoriously high.
A Management Layer
At EBQuickstart, the dedicated “departments” that our customers receive when they opt to bring on any of our services all feature a built-in management layer. This is comprised of a Success Manager overseeing the project in terms of the “big picture,” directing the overall vision, and the Specialized Manager who’s job is to manage the day-to-day operations of the project. For our customers, this is protection against turnover, but also against becoming unnecessarily overwhelmed with responsibilities. Whether you are cultivating outbound lead generation efforts in-house or opting for an outsourced vendor, this managerial hierarchy is crucial.
A Defined Audience
Any company that boasts a product or service knows who their target market is, but do you know who your prospects are? Before anyone picks up the phone, put in the research to define your universe. Decide on the best titles and departments within target companies and go after them specifically. You’ll be surprised at how much this will also assist in sharpening your message and you may even uncover interest from people or titles you never expected.
The Right Questions
Once you get the perfect prospect on the phone, what information do you need to adequately pitch your product or service? Traditionally, cold callers have worked off of a script that features just a few “yes” or “no” questions. But to generate qualified leads, you need lead generators capable of engaging in conversations. Open-ended questions and the ability to ask valuable follow-up questions leads to legitimate opportunities- not to mention lending your organization a legitimacy that call center telemarketers can’t provide.
This is just the start. Whether outsourced or internal, the outbound lead generation has become a necessary element to every company’s business strategy, so it’s time to start treating it like an equal piece of the puzzle.