By Kevin Mabul on 1 July 2017
We marketers know very well the implications pricing can have on consumer behavior. The trend is common knowledge: products priced at a premium instill a sense of buying confidence – a reassurance that goods and services are built off of high quality standards – while lower-priced competitors are seen as “cheaper alternatives” playing catch-up with the market leaders.
“You get what you pay for” is the phrase that gets thrown around the most often, and perfectly summarizes this perception for most industries and fields of business.
As one of the leading providers of generating product demand at extremely low costs, we receive tons of questions about our business model, our differentiators from other providers, and our guarantee of quality at the rates with which we offer our services. With this in mind, we outline in this article answers to these questions, consequently challenging the notion that “cheap is always bad” and realigning it to “cheap can be cost effective”.
A lead generation company is defined by the quality of its data
Lead generation agencies can have the best trade tools and the biggest number of contacts, but it is the quality of the data which they work with that spells success or disaster. Besides, what good is a large database if it is diluted with so many unreachable contacts? A ten-figure number looks appealing in the homepage, but serves not much use for lowering costs-per-acquisition.
It is for this reason that ThinkLogic prefers to build and update its list of contacts manually. Looking up prospects and actually talking to them humanizes the data acquisition process, while also allowing telemarketers to pre-qualify and sort them according to their interests. Furthermore, this method eliminates dilution and the possibility of working with resold contacts caused by acquiring list after list from unknown sources.
Data dilution is a bane in the increasingly-competitive world of lead generation, and organizing contacts to streamline the calling process allows telemarketers to reach more by calling less. This means spending fewer resources getting to those who matter, thereby lowering their costs when passed on as leads to the sales team.
Results today are driven by dynamic criteria
The B2B buying process has changed. An overabundance of information coming from every channel possible – peer-to-peer referrals, social media, and Google queries – shaped the way purchase decisions today are made. This does mean that inbound and content marketing efforts are more relevant now than they ever were before, but this also opens for telemarketers plenty of opportunities for evolution to complement this change; evolution that’s also driven with improving the lead generation process in mind.
One such evolution is the renewed emphasis on humanizing the calling process. This is important for two reasons: (1) it breaks prospects out from targeted, yet still impersonal ads and content and (2) gives them a medium to voice their concerns and challenges with – a voice that holds a breadth of information.
And this lies at the core of dynamic qualification and criteria. Employing this strategy means placing priority on having a human conversation with prospects, picking up on individual pain points, challenges, and needs along the way. We’ve discussed this in detail in relation to BANT before, but in brief:
NEED: Pain points and challenges are just as crucial as determining a company’s need for certain solutions. With this alternative set of criteria, it is far easier to evaluate a company’s buying potential after an in-depth conversation with different members of the buying committee regarding an issue they are currently facing.
BUDGET AND TIMING: To quote the original article, “Salespeople are driven by urgency. They need to close deals in short windows. One salesperson told us recently that without an established deadline, he wasn’t interested.”
Budget and timing go hand in hand in the buying process, but sticking strictly to both lead criteria severely limits opportunities to just the “now” and completely forgoes nurturing for future opportunities. Assuming a need has already been established, leads failing these traditional criteria are easy prey for competitors somewhere along the line (presumably as soon as they get their budget).
AUTHORITY: Today’s buying process involves more people than it used to. Recent studies have shown that a vast majority of decision makers rely heavily on recommendations, and often turn to technology specialists for approval or rejection.
The takeaway here is that while decision makers are the ones signing dotted lines, they aren’t necessarily the ones attending webinars, doing research, and building relationships with companies. And, as was noted, decision makers need influencing from their staff.
Dynamic criteria and implications on cost
Asking prospects straight about who they are in the company, what they need, and whether or not they have a budget might look like the easy way out, but often these questions aren’t received well and significantly increase the chances of reflex rejections. Eventually the numbers will add up and valid leads will be found this way, but only after costs-per-acquisition have already escalated.
Dynamic criteria, on the other hand, not only make finding leads easier, but also uncover needs prospects may not have realized prior to being called.
Time spent getting to prospects is resources spent, which makes making the most out of every second the most important stride to maximizing efficiency in the lead generation process. That means humanizing conversations to increase the efficacy of calls and making every lead count with a modern set of criteria that keeps up with generational changes.
A guarantee of safety and quality
Perhaps one of the biggest changes needed to accommodate a dynamic set of criteria is to have a longer, more elaborate discussion with clients. Not much of a change to make, given that the exact definitions of different lead tiers vary from company to company, already necessitating the setting of goals and expectations at the very onset of each campaign. However, the key differentiator here is the need to make sure efforts from both sales and marketing teams are aligned – aligned in such a way that both teams fully understand the nature of dynamically qualified leads.
A small side note: ThinkLogic operates on a cost-per-lead model and guaranteed lead replacement policy. Clients pay only for the leads they accept, which ensures them spending only for the leads that pass their standards.
Telemarketing has developed a negative reputation over the years, which is why we have made it our mission to turn this perception around by improving the experience of every party involved in the sales process: from prospect, to telemarketer, to client, to sales team, and to partner company as a whole. And as our dynamic criteria and our unique interest-based methods have shown, challenging the norm with effective solutions can come at deceptively low costs.