This interview was conducted on Apr 28th, 2014.
Please tell me a little about Green Leads
Green Leads clients are B2B enterprise software. Specifically we focus on demand generation on a pay for performance basis, specifically appointment setting and qualified leads. There are no monthly recurring fees. We’re all about setting appointments for our client’s sales teams to get in and penetrate their target accounts.
Green Leads is the outbound marketing arm of the clients companies.
Our clients give us their target accounts and that’s who we pursue on their behalf. For example: Target the VP of Security at companies greater than 1,000 employees. If that is their target, that is who we secure appointments with.
As regards marketing efforts, what is working?
What is allowing you to get through to these people and set appointments?
It’s different from what it used to be. What works today is patience and good research. Ten years ago when we started doing this you could basically “dial for dollars” and for every 100 outbound calls you would set one sales appointment. Today my team is using a variety of advanced tools. They’re doing between 250 and 300 outbound calls per day, which is way more than the typical inside sales organization, and even at those increased numbers, they still are averaging just one appointment per day.
It really comes down to great research. Everyone has LinkedIn open on one screen and SalesForce open on another. They’re Googling for people and positions and once they identify the proper prospect the rest is patience and determination to get them on the phone or get them to respond to an email.
What isn’t working these days?
What isn’t working is traditional “dialing for dollars”. The old days of having a list of 200 people and just dialing until I get a person on the line are over. People don’t have desk phones like they used to. People don’t have administrative assistants. You’re chasing down someone who has a cell phone, who might have a desk but no desk phone, but who also may not even have a permanent desk.
However even though the ability to get people on the phone has diminished, it is still the best way to actually engage the prospect. People use email to trigger the first conversation, but most people are reluctant to do the whole transaction and relationship building via email, so eventually you need to have a conversation.
Another area that just doesn’t work is unsolicited email that feels as if they’re marketing emails. If it’s a personal two or three sentence email that mentions something of relevance, the recipient is much more likely to respond. If the message is three paragraphs, bullets, charts and an unsubscribe link, they either get filed for future consideration or deleted.
What trends do you see that you consider to be important?
I think some of the biggest trends in the world of lead generation are to combine multiple techniques. People talk about nurturing, marketing automation, inbound marketing, and outbound marketing, but it’s the combination of all of them that can get you what you’re trying to achieve.
The important point here is that selling doesn’t start until a conversation with a prospect starts. So when your goal for the pre-sales process is to get a conversation started, you’ve got to use every technique at your disposal.
Again, the whole goal is to secure that one conversion that is going to lead to a second conversation, and it’s that second conversation that gets the sales process started.
Why do you consider these trends to be important?
I do a lot of consulting for demand generation teams where instead of hiring our services they hire us to re-engineer what it is they do.
Typically the biggest fault they have is that they limit themselves in the amount of different techniques they use and they don’t update their goals to match the changing trends in the industry. If people are picking up their phones less, then you have to dial more. If people are using email more, then you have to send more email. And remember, people don’t want to listen to a script. That isn’t how customers buy today. They want to know that you understand their business, that you know a little something about them and their company, and that you are bringing value to what they do.