What Will Appointment Setting Services Look Like in 2018?

What Will Appointment Setting Services Look Like in 2018?B2B marketing continues to evolve. That, of course, barely registers as news. What’s really interesting is that, this time, the trends reshaping marketing are starting to impact traditional outbound strategies, including finding and booking sales meetings. If you’re looking to partner with a third-party appointment setting services provider in 2018, here’s what you should expect next year.

Generating leads and appointments still rank as the top challenge that B2B marketers face. That’s why B2B marketers allocate the bulk of their budget increase to prospecting activities. With more than two-thirds of marketers claiming they’re unable to consistently connect with high-quality prospects, a significant number of organizations plan to outsource at least part of their prospecting program.

This makes appointment setting a prime area for marketers to consider. But marketing itself has now changed so much that even appointment setting doesn’t look like what it did just a couple of years ago. Prospecting continues its steady march toward adopting pull tactics as more B2B buyers chart their own course in the purchase journey.

This means that an outsourced appointment setting services partner should deliver prospecting solutions that help you keep up with the times. At a bare minimum, here are four things you should expect from a reputable provider:

 

Account-Based

Account-based marketing (ABM) is gaining traction among marketers. In a nutshell, ABM strategies focus on targeting only a few organizations with the highest likelihood of turning into customers, rather than directing marketing efforts at huge numbers of target companies. It’s like fishing with a spear instead of casting a net.

A reputable appointment setting services company gives you ABM capabilities on top of personalized and targeted prospecting. They tailor campaigns based on an account’s characteristics, which is a step closer to the much sought-after “segment of one”. ABM-enabled appointment setting services target entire org charts of key decision-makers from target accounts, connecting with every person involved in the buying process within a single company.

 

Automated Prospecting

As much as 7 in 10 companies currently use some kind of marketing automation platform (MAP). That’s because MAPs boost lead generation for 80% of marketers and improve conversions for 77% of users. Companies rely on MAPs so much that, as a percentage of revenues, spending on marketing automation now outweighs other IT expenditures.

Appointment setting services that leverage automated prospecting use proven tools to rank leads and follow up on opportunities with minimal human intervention. This frees up their marketing and sales specialists to work on more value-added activities in your campaign such as live conversations with decision-makers. Automated prospecting accelerates one of the most time-consuming components of marketing and makes it more efficient and productive.

 

Data-First

Around 42% of marketers blame poor data quality as the main reason why prospecting campaigns tend to underperform, while about half point the finger at bad data for their MAP’s failure to deliver decent returns. In addition, marketers think they don’t have access to detailed data on prospect behavior and intent, which can help refine their targeting accuracy and enrich segmentation.

Any third-party appointment setting agency should (at the very least) transparently describe their data validation and enrichment processes. You want appointment setting services that let you target, track, and test all aspects of a prospecting campaign. It’s no longer enough to be data-driven, it’s now about being data-first.

 

Experience-Led

Adobe finds that tech marketers prioritize “customer experience and being experience-led” for 2017. This pretty much sums up the trends influencing today’s prospecting strategies in the B2B space. Appointment setting now requires not only a multichannel approach, but also an omnichannel mindset. The difference is that multichannel strategies tend to revolve around marketers’ perspective, while omnichannel takes the entire customer (current or potential) experience into account.

Omnichannel appointment setting services goes beyond integrating different marketing channels to engage prospects. They weave the entire buyer journey into a coherent process for you and your target leads.

So, be on the lookout for these four qualities. These form the baseline for “good” appointment setting services. Make sure that a potential marketing partner meets all four characteristics.

The 5 Cases Where It’s Okay to Buy a B2B Contact Database

buy b2b contact databaseIf you go around asking whether to buy a B2B contact database, chances are you’d soon end up being chastised for simply just thinking about it. This is a little unfortunate, since a bought list sometimes makes more business sense. In fact, there are specific cases where buying a list can potentially bring you better results than taking the organic route.

The main reason why a lot of marketers advise against buying B2B contact databases is that people tend to use purchased lists for spamming contacts. While this is a valid point, the truth is that it still boils down to how you use a bought list that determines whether you’re engaging in spammy activities. So with that aside, here are five situations where it’s really okay for you to buy a B2B contact list:

 

Case 1:  Your solution solves a real pain point.

Early-stage investor and serial entrepreneur Jason Lemkin raises this very interesting idea. If you can solve a real pain point, outbound marketing will always work for you.

The same can be said about using a bought prospect list in your campaigns. When your solution fixes an urgent issue or fulfills a pressing need that your target buyers are experiencing right now, why wait for leads to naturally start trickling into your funnel? Why not reach out to them and deliver value right away?

 

Case 2:  You’ve clearly identified your target prospects.

In an eye-opening post, creative strategist Jake Jorgovan shares the story behind his cold email campaign that landed him a consulting project with a bunch of new customers including some Fortune 500 clients.

Among the key points he mentions is that he was only able to build a cold email list after knowing exactly who the target audience was. So, instead of sending generic templates, he came up with relevant, compelling email messages that cold prospects were interested in.

 

Case 3:  You’re targeting a high-turnover industry.

It’s no secret that marketing data has an expiration date. MarketingSherpa places the average rate of database decay at about 2.1% per month or around 22.5% each year. For some industries, this can reach as high as 6.1% every month.

So if you’re targeting decision-makers in an industry where people tend to change job titles or move to new locations relatively frequently, one way to keep up is through using bought contact databases from a reputable list vendor.

 

Case 4:  You don’t have the resources to build a list at scale.

Aside from the time investment required to help your B2B list reach critical mass, organically growing your database also needs tons of effort and the right kind of expertise.

That’s why, if you’re unable to make all these necessary commitments, buying a contact list is a more viable option. What you’re paying for when you buy B2B contact database goes beyond list records. You’re putting resources where they’re needed the most.

 

Case 5:  You’re expected to deliver results in the near-term.

Let’s say your revenue goal for this quarter is $300,000, the average deal size is $10,000, and your sales cycle is around two weeks. That means you need to close 30 deals. At a close rate of 5%, you need to generate at least 600 new leads by the first half of the quarter to reach your targets.

While we’ve played around with figures in our hypothetical scenario above, the main point is that hitting sales targets is still pretty much a numbers game. In most industries, B2B conversion rates (lead-to-opportunity and opportunity-to-close rates) simply aren’t in your favor, so you need to start out with a large number of relevant prospects to get any meaningful results further down the funnel.

If you find yourself in any of the above situations, then by all means start looking for a trusted list vendor right now. Don’t pay too much attention to people who think they know what’s good for your campaign. Instead, let your solution, audience, industry, capabilities, and objectives decide whether you should buy a B2B contact database.

Give Your E-mail List TLC With These 3 Management Tips

Give Your E-mail List TLC With These 3 Management Tips

Email list is one of the food that fuels every marketing efforts (particularly email marketing campaigns) and therefore, is very important to all marketers out there. Let’s take a look at these 4 e-mail list management tips that will keep your list scoured and ultimately, prompt a healthy produce of streamlined leads into your funnel.

Keep It Clean

A clean database stems excellent email deliverability and ROI. Consider this, research shows that B2B data decays at a rate of 2.1% per month. This is an annualized rate of 22.5%. (Marketing Sherpas). So whether you utilize an organic or bought email list, get into a data cleansing arrangement to guarantee deliverability and CAN-SPAM consistence. Correspondingly, not all ESPs cater list management or cleansing services, so you’ll be needing a software a third party service provider that can do that.

Deliver the Right Message

Consider your day to day interactions. Do you make a similar discussion with your mail carrier like you do with your family? Obviously not! They’re distinctive individuals, and the profundity of their relationship to you differs definitely. Email marketing is the same. If you want to make an on-point discussion, you need to segment your list and focused your message as per well-researched buyer profiles.

Lose the Dead Weight

Drop the hard bounces. They’ll be hurting your sender reputation. The same goes with inactive contacts or opt-outs. For some reason, they’ve decided to stop engaging or plainly cut ties with you. But you can try reaching out to them for a one last push just in case you can still do something to save these contacts. Confirm if its really the end of the line. Ask them if your content is something they’d still be interested in. If there is no saving them, then move on. In this case, it also do you well as it can assure you a targeted, CAN-SPAM conforming, list.

Why You Shouldn’t Overlook Invalid Email Addresses

Why You Shouldn’t Overlook Invalid Email Addresses

“What would happen when a customer registers an invalid email address into the marketer’s online registration, contact form or subscription page?”

Clients were asked  about the rate of their typo errors and their replies were mostly “If it bounces back, my ESP filters it out and removes it from my list. It’s not much of a struggle.” But truth be told, it is a struggle and is far more complex. It ought to concern any know-how email marketer.

Businesses ought to monitor the emails they procure. Customer emails are generally the life of their marketing efforts. It is okay to pay for them, yet spending excessively and not getting your money’s worth is bad by any means. The real cost of faulty email addresses is far more worrying than marketers, and the business as a whole, may anticipate. Certain implications ought to be put into consideration.

First, marketing investment are wasted. Odds are, that the lead that appeared on your site did not just accidentally wandered there. That it is your marketing effort that motivated that lead to take action and provide their email address and other personal information. In the instance that the business cannot reach out and engage this lead more, then the marketing effort and money you have invested, is good as useless.

Second, prospects left hanging. When there is a typo in the registration, it is a mistake. Anybody registering their email address on the business website does it in the belief of hearing news regarding new product or service updates, an email activity alert, or a promotional offer. At the point when that expectation is not met, the confidence placed by the customer has been broken. Worse, they may not even be aware that  business’ failure to connect was the consequence of their own typo error. They would then assume that they were not valued and is being neglected. The reaction would be disappointment, separation and a customer left to ponder what perhaps had turned out badly.

Lastly, decreased ROI. While coming up short on client expectations, there is an added (grudgingly) consequence to that and that is as the efficiency of those faulty email addresses are made smaller thus will be its Return of Investment in the email campaigns. Regardless of whether the business’ goal is an increase in sales, spur social appointment or petition for donations, undeliverable emails is a bane to the ROI.

 

Looking for IT Lists? Here’s What You Should Keep in Mind

 

Looking for IT Lists? Here’s What You Should Keep in MindThe IT business is among one of the industry behemoths in the world today. With the fast-paced upgrades in innovation, businesses and a lot more are fusing IT in their operations. Likewise, the advancement of more up to date and more effective software has many businesses testing the market and opening their ways to potential IT providers who can give them quality service (and ultimately, help them at providing quality service too) for a reasonable value. On the other hand, IT companies themselves, dynamically search for approaches to acquire IT sales leads in which one of this approach is purchasing business lists. They can leverage such to reach IT managers and IT chiefs that they’re targeting.

While on the subject of lists, purchasing a list of IT chiefs and additionally list of IT managers is of an extensive advantage when you need leads. Utilizing an excellent list can bring in favorable outcomes like for example when your having a targeted email campaign and you purchase a mailing list of these mentioned prospects. Having a great number of contacts in your database in order to keep it loaded with potential prospects is a smart thing to do. However, there are instances where you need to manage any conceivable wasteful aspects that accompanies when purchasing business lists/IT mailing list from a business list provider. If you happen to have purchase an inaccurate and messed up business list, it would merely pull you down. As opposed to reaching prospects and working on business proposals immediately, you’ll rather need to first sort out the business list you purchase, which in itself takes up a lot of your time – time that should have better spent on closing sales and not struggling on your database.

So in case you’re in the IT business industry that is searching to purchase business lists from a business list provider, endeavor to choose a supplier that offers only accurate and well-segmented records. This can spare you significant time as well as help you in closing sales for your company.

Choosing the right database/contact list provider

Choosing the right database/contact list providerThere are an overwhelming number of database and contact list providers globally and each of them comes with their own edge and potential issues. Given this, choosing one could really get challenging. So here are some of the key considerations that would guide you in picking the right match.

  • Create a data set that satisfies your business’ data standard and segmentation criteria (So if you do not have one, you ought to lay it out now.)
  • Served and/or still serving reputable clients and have a major base of operations in North America
  • Verify and maintain the accuracy of their data to ensure its high quality. They should be able to keep up with people changing jobs, job positions, addresses, contact numbers, etc. and must gather their data from reliable sources or from personal interaction with the key contact persons.
  • Keep in line with FCC and CANSPAM regulations. Database and contact list providers compliant with these regulations does practices such as filtering out spam traps or steering clear of DNC registered numbers to avoid putting their client’s reputation and sender score at risk
  • Specialize in the industry you are targeting. Although, a lot database and contact list providers now specialize in a wide array of  industries and are pretty much flexible in customizing list for meticulous clients.
  • Offer Data Integrity Guarantee. That is, in the event that they have sold some outdated records, they will replace it without asking for additional charges.
  • Excellent client service (because it always boils down to those three words).

Never keep your guard down when selecting a database/contact list provider for your business. Always remember that substandard management and service begets substandard list. Take your time in contemplating who to select and do not be hasty. This way, you end up with nothing less than the best.

Treading the Same Grounds in B2B Leads: Content and Call List

Working together for B2B leads

They’re not so different when it comes to B2B leads.

            It is easy to perceive that content marketing and calling campaigns have different means in B2B marketing. The former earns the confidence of these B2B leads by employing the creation of content which is significant and useful to address business solutions sought by these prospects. While the latter generates B2B leads through persistent calling, securing the trust of these prospects and then setting them to an appointment.

            Nonetheless, they are both substantially spoken for by your B2B leads. Apparently, your B2B leads have all the qualities, specifications, as well as hypotheticals that interprets your prospect clients.

Furthermore, as pronounced as it is, both touches similar important grounds such as:

  1. Reflecting the Sales Process – These marketing strategies have their own way in laying out the details of the sales procedures. You need to contemplate on this if you want to determine the prospecting style best suited for you. A long sales process will require additional content and extra resources committed to enlighten potential clients. A short one will suggest a large number of calling list but maybe a quicker time on qualification.
  2. Focusing the Needs of Target Audience – The accuracy of your call list can be verified if the people in that list appears to be actually interested or seeking for the services you are offering. Likewise in content, you don’t reckon it to be targeted if it is not even perused or viewed by the audience concerned. Most likely, the appropriate audience will come to examine your business’s blog or website if they discover that it contains helpful information they can use as solution to patch up problems.
  3. Requiring an Update – The quote “There is nothing permanent except change.” is not only limited to life philosophy. You can say the same thing in business. Changes are what keeping marketers on their toes. With this, content and call list should be updated with regard to their potential clients (individually at that) and the mechanisms that steers the market in general. Of course, changes in trends comes with needs and expectations and every marketer should not be lagging in countering these.

Altogether, both are regulated by the same demands and the same needs of the same target market. The information for both are contained in your B2B leads.

Essential Queries in Telemarketing

In every call of your telemarketing agent in telemarketing, one very important thing needs to be asked. Why so persistent in asking? Should it be really that necessary in every call you got, you keep on asking all over the same question?  Should it all about the product or something? Should it sound like not so pushy towards the receiver’s part? Well, information always comes from question. Information is the core of the business in B2B marketing. Without asking, you’ll never know what will happen. Read more

Efficient Telemarketing Tips

The peak of the B2B telemarketing is to close a sale no matter what. Easy said than done and as far as it goes, most telemarketers are struggling to close a deal. Whenever you try to think about the clients that never had any interests in dealing business, telemarketers tend to be drowned in frustration mostly under the pressure of their boss. The running quota of everyday call figures seems far from the reality and the pressure seems unending. Read more

Standing Guard

Telemarketing Data ListWhat would happen when a customer registers an invalid email address into the marketer’s online registration or enrollment page? When clients are asked what the rate of their typos is, their responses mostly comprise of “if it rebounds, my ESP sifts it out and eliminates it from my list. It is not a big deal.” However, the sad reality is that it is a big deal and it far more complex. And thus, it should be a cause for concern for any know-how email marketer.

Marketers should stand guard over the emails they acquire. Customer emails are the life-blood of their marketing campaigns. It is alright to spend for them, but spending too much is not good at all. The real cost of awful email addresses is entering the database through a type, a simple mistake, or any other suspicious activities are far higher than the marketer might expect. The marketer should put into consideration on certain implications.

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