e-Direct Marketing 64157 電子商務模式設計與應用 國立中山大學企管所 2002 Spring, Week 8-1 • 黃光彩 博士 • 太世科公司 • 2002/05/18
Offers for B2B Lead Generation —OR— “Hello Prospect, Let’s Make a Deal”
Definition An offer is an agreement between the prospect and the marketer. The prospect agrees to give something of value to the marketer…
Definition …if the marketer agrees to give something of equal or greater value in return.
Therefore: the success of your offer depends on how well you understand your target audience and what it values.
How to find out what your audience values • Analysis of previous successful offers • Talk to your sales representatives; what do their accounts mention as top challenges • Read your white mail; what are the common themes • Conduct periodical surveys of your customer base • Read industry publications; pay attention to letters to editor, profiles, roundtables
Lead Generation Offers Three main types of offers you can use to persuade prospects to indicate their level of interest in your product or service: • Information for information • Information for a prize • Limited commitment for free trial
Information for Information Offers Brochure/CD Demo Request • Bare-bones offers, where marketer exchanges product/service information for answers to lead-qualifying questions. The effectiveness of this approach is based on the accuracy of the list. Tip: Howard Sewell, president of Direct Connect, finds that too many qualifying questions on a BRC dampens response. Limit your questions to between two and three, and make sure they absolutely deal with only the kind of information sales representatives absolutely need to make follow-up contact.
Information for Information Offers Needs Analysis/Consultation • This offer is a great way to get a phone call or in-person meeting without scaring prospects away with the words “sales presentation.” • This approach is particularly suited to products and markets that require tailored solutions and pricing.
Information for Information Offers Needs Analysis/Consultation Example: Verio, a global IP service provider, offers prospects price discounts up to 60% but the real hook is the free evaluation of prospects’ circuit usage if they respond before the deadline. Of course, the results will point toward Verio being able to offer prospects better coverage at a competitive price. Tip: Maintain the consultative aspect of this approach by referring to the sales representatives who will perform the follow-up contact as anything but sales representatives. Verio tells prospects they will be contacted by the firm’s engineers.
Information for Information Offers Free White Paper • A step up from simply sending a brochure or CD, and a favorite approach in B2B lead generation. • While business people are overwhelmed by information, the attractiveness of the white paper depends on its relevance to your audience’s top challenges. You’re looking to address those topics that keep your prospects awake at night.
Information for Information Offers Free White Paper • White papers can be produced in-house or purchased from outside research and consulting firms. Reports from third-party sources—so long as they are reputable—may be perceived as more valuable to the prospect, since they would not be biased to your firm. Tip: If you do use a white paper from a third party, be sure to find one that espouses topics and slants that fit your product features and positioning.
Information for Information Offers Free Customized Website • This approach is a good fit for a longer sales cycle, where you want to pepper prospects with information on a regular basis until they are ready to make a capital investment. • It requires a commitment on the part of the marketer to set up, maintain and track this system.
Information for Information Offers Free Customized Website Example: Epicor, an enterprise software developer, funnels leads into a drip market program via websites that are personalized according to prospects’ interests. The direct mail piece uses a web address based on prospects’ names to entice them to sign up for their own microsites. Four vertical sites deliver regular content updates on industry-specific topics. E-mails drive website visits, with announcements of content updates. • Epicor tracks prospects’ movements within the sites to provide sales representatives with detailed information for more relevant inquiries into prospects’ software needs. • The web sites pull 15% to 22% response for lead generation.
Information for Information Offers Free Seminar/Webinar • This offer is similar to the offer of a free report or custom website, except that it allows marketers to get up-close and personal with prospects • As with the white paper, the seminar presentation must offer valuable insight on the top business concerns—but the topic naturally will lead to the marketer’s product as a solution. • The introduction of web-event tools have given rise to the webinar, which is much less expensive and time-consuming than meeting planning for several key selling regions.
Information for a Prize Premiums • Business people like getting something free as much as the next person. While the premium does not have to be related to the offer to be good at drawing response, the results are more meaningful if prospects respond to a related premium, rather than an all-purpose item. • Example: Epson offers a stylus pen and a CD-ROM of presentation tips to respondents who are interested in its line of light projectors. Unless you are someone who makes frequent presentations and speeches, these premiums would not be particularly appealing.
Information for a Prize Premiums Example: Multi-level test for financial management firm • Test conducted by The Hacker Group • Two lead generation packages • Package #1—strong two-page letter, a response device, a return envelope, #10 closed-face outer Offer#1—White Paper A, calculator Offer#2—White Paper B, calculator
Information for a Prize Premiums Example, cont. • Package #2—strong two-page letter, a response device, return envelope, 6 x 9 translucent outer Offer#1—White Paper A, calculator Offer#2—White Paper B, calculator
Information for a Prize Premiums Example, cont. • Package #3—one-page letter that requested prospects to complete a short survey, a return envelope and a special sheet that served to billboard the offer through the translucent outer. • Offer—Three-piece mini sound system, calculator
Information for a Prize Premiums Example, cont. Test Results: • All packages met or exceeded the 1% response target • Survey package in 6 x 9 translucent envelope pulled 5.37% • 3-piece mini sound system was overall winner, at 7.49% • While the white paper would still have performed to expectation, a better offer was in existence
Information for a Prize Contests • Some audiences need more persuasion to share details on their business plans and needs. • Contests are your alternative to offering the entire prospect base a premium for response. • This approach is also appropriate for situations where your audience requires an incentive with more cachet. • The hot prize for many business sectors, particularly technology offers, is hand-held mobile devices.
Limited Commitment for Product Trial Evaluation Period • When you have a product or service that you believe is most convincing in operation, and that can be easily integrated into any business operation, a free product trial can offer a higher level of lead qualification. • Inertia works for you here, as once prospects have the product in hand and have been using it on a daily basis, they will be easier to convert to the final sale.
Limited Commitment for Product Trial Evaluation Period • You need to judge the adequate breaking-in period, and then schedule follow-up calls to help prospects make optimum use of the product—or it could sit in the box for the entire evaluation period. • Example: Pitney Bowes offers small business prospects a 90-day trial on one of its postage meters, with a nominal deposit required. It sweetens the conversion to paid by offering the scale and the first four meter refills for free.
Don’t Forget the “Burger King Rule” • The standard rule for offers in direct marketing is to never make more than one in a single effort • But… B2B requires a second rule: One-size offers do not fit all prospects, so you must allow the audience to choose one, two, maybe even three paths to the final response.
Don’t Forget the “Burger King Rule” • Consider this the “Have it Your Way” Rule of B2B lead generation. • According to B2B expert Bob Bly, these variations on the same offer produce more overall response for your efforts. Example: You offer a free needs analysis to respondents who meet the deadline, but you also allow prospects who don’t want to get that involved to request a capabilities brochure. The qualifying questions include a fill-in blank for a future date when these prospects will be considering making a purchase.
Post 9/11 Trends • More postcards and self-mailers—but many marketers stuck with their “controls,” if they had them before September • Outside of lead generation, companies have increasingly responded to market conditions with more discounted offers and the inclusion of add-ons to increase the value of the overall purchase • Slight increase in CRM efforts, with special offers for current customers
Post 9/11 Trends • No huge change in B2B creative, but a few companies switched from plain outers to carriers with teaser copy and graphics that indicated the pieces were advertising mail • Mailrooms are no longer fearful of anthrax-tainted mail—which means the biggest challenge is still getting past gatekeeper.
PROBLEM • GOOD NEWS • Your marketing communications programs are working and producing many inquiries. • BAD NEWS • Inquiries are not leads and the sales group want only qualified and ready- to-buy sales opportunities.
SOLUTION • Your need to develop a system that delivers only qualified sales opportunities to the sales group. • There are proven methods to develop such a system based on real world experience and best practices • Tonight’s session is intended to provide the key points to start developing your lead qualification process • Customization will be needed to fit your marketing and company situation
Two Measures to Benchmark Before Starting • How many of your current inquiries convert to a sale? • Somewhere between 30-60% of all B2B inquiries convert to a sale within 18 months of the inquiry • What is your cost/inquiry and cost/lead? • 90%+ of all companies don’t know their current cost/inquiry and cost/lead
THREE STEP SYSTEM • Here’s the three step system we recommend • Inquiry Screening • Lead Qualification • Sales Opportunity Development
INQUIRY SCREENING • The objective of the inquiry screening process is to identify – without even talking to the inquirer – which inquiries appear to be the best.
INQUIRY SCREENING • This process evaluates the inquiry by four criteria to determine what potential the inquiry “might” have based on -- • The outbound communications media • The offer accepted by the inquirer • The media used to inquire • Their “sweet spot” profile
Outbound Media • The number of qualified leads found in the “pool” of inquiries will vary by media you used to communicate to “suspects” • Public Relations low number • Banner advertising • Trade advertising (print) • Trade shows • Direct mail • Telemarketing high number
The Offer Accepted • The “harder” the offer the more leads per every 100 inquiries • “for more information” – not really an offer • Soft offers – “free”, premiums, literature • Value offers – white paper, technical reports, etc. that provide the inquirer objective information of value to them • Hard offers – a commitment of some kind
The Inbound Media • The interest of the inquirer is tipped off by how they choose to inquire • Bingo card low interest • Web registration • Business reply card • Letter • Phone call high interest
Profiling The Sweet Spot • The “sweet spot” is defined as the type of companies where you’re sure your best sales opportunities lie. • Three common parameters • Size of company – employee size is best • Type of business – SIC/NAICS code • Relational demographic fact – something specific to your selling situation (e.g. equipment in use)
Inquiry Screening Summarized • Most companies cannot allocate expensive resources (telemarketing) to qualify all the inquiries. • Inquiry screening provides a system to determine which inquiries appear to have the greatest potential to become leads.
LEAD QUALIFICATION • The objective of lead qualification is to qualify as many inquiries as possible into leads without losing any.
Lead Qualification • There are four traditional criteria used to qualify leads • Need for the product/service • Timing of the need and/or decision • Budget available to spend • Authority of the individual(s) to make a decision
Some Tips and Techniques • You need to define what is a qualifiedlead using these criteria (plus others specific to your company) before setting up the lead qualification system. • This is not as easy as it may sound! Sales, product management and marketing communications will have different definitions.
Tips and Techniques • The order each qualification criteria was listed (NTBA) is generally the order in which the prospect will be able to answer lead qualification questions. • Not all inquiries can answer all the four questions – particularly if they are beginning their buying process • Allow the prospect to proceed at the natural pace of their buying process – don’t arbitrarily rush them.
Tips and Techniques • Not all inquiries are at the same stage of the buying process. As an example: • 20% are curious • 40% are beginning their buying process • 30% are actively engaged in evaluation • 10% are ready to buy and should be handed off to your sales group now • Your job is to separate and handle them accordingly
Tips and Techniques • Speed of response is the single most important element to increase conversion to sale. • Particularly when the prospect is actively engaged in the buying process or ready to make a decision • Speed of your response not only captures the “ready to buy” group but portrays your company as having its’ act together!
Lead Qualification Summary • Lead qualification is a difficult job and with the high cost of a sales call, it’s now the job of marketing to get it right! • Any successful lead system will be based on proven methods customized to your company’s market, product or service and distribution system.
SALES OPPORTUNITY DEVELOPMENT • The objective of sale opportunity development is to create more “ready to buy” potential accounts for immediate sales contact.
Sales Opportunity Development • Not all leads are ready to be handed off to a sales resource even though they may well be “qualified”. • A qualified lead means that the prospect is serious and capable to buy your product or service. • That doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily time to send a sales person.
The Role of The Buying Process • Determine the standard buying process by market segment – an example • Need awareness • Information gathering • Vendor evaluation/narrowing of choices • RFQ or RFP • Presentation or demonstration • Decision process • First order
When is this a sales opportunity? • In the preceding generic example, the sales opportunity exists at the time of the presentation or demonstration request. • It’s marketing’s job to move the lead to that stage and then hand over to the sales group for conversion.
Tips and Techniques • Additional offers should be developed to motivate the prospect to advance in the buying process. • Outline the normal buying process for the product/service you are offering • Develop an offer that would be logical to move the buyer to the next step • Determine which step the inquirer is in and make the appropriate offer