In my line of work, I have been involved in assisting hundreds of clients in different industries carrying out business-to-business sales and marketing activities through a variety of techniques and communication channels and this gives me a unique perspective on what actually generates the best results.
Mass vs Personal
One of the biggest misconceptions is that bigger is better and, from my experiences, this is certainly not the case. Companies have assisted software clients with campaigns targeting IT decision-makers and managers, and identified over 1500 potential prospects. Rather than send out a bulk communication, the clients sent small batches of 50 personalised communications out each day via a mail merge testing different subject lines and small changes in content. The result was 10 – 15 direct, interested responses a day with 50 percent of these being converted to appointments, and 50 percent of those leading to sales. When compared to campaigns that havebeen carried out, targeting tens of thousands of people, this personalised communication approach far surpassed expectations.
Longer vs Shorter
I have seen too many clients that have been mandated by a decision-maker, or in some instances, decide themselves that they have to get a communication out in a very short amount of time. The result is a poorly designed message that gets pushed out with no testing on what reaps the best results. Additionally, little or no thought is put into who is being targeted and, after the campaign is done, the client wonders why? In short, they said the wrong thing to the wrong people.
One of the bigger exercises carried out for a large financial IT company was profiling its existing database of clients against the database of the service provider database. The service provider was able to identify which broad industry segments the client was currently servicing, which decision-makers it typically dealt with, what size these companies were, their geographic footprint, etc. The company was then able to identify a database of prospects that most closely matched its ‘sweetspot’ along with who it should be contacting in those companies. The planning and analytics stages.
took a few weeks but the results were incredibly powerful as both sales and marketing activities could be directed to the correct decision-makers and this had a huge effect on the bottom line as prospects were warmed up with relevant marketing messages, and the sales teams could follow these up and convert leads into deals. The important thing was taking time to understand who the client wanted to target and with what message.
Once off vs Repeat
Some of the best clients I have seen captured have been two to three years after the initial introduction. Too many clients have a one-touch mentality when it is well known that it takes more than one contact with a prospect to earn their trust, understand their pain points, how you can help remedy these and ultimately convert them into a customer. It is essential that a multiple contact approach is adopted as this will always lead to better results – I have seen this over and over and the best results are always achieved through multiple contacts.
Many vs Single
Another common mistake I see my clients make is to target one specific decision-maker within an organisation. That is the classic scenario of ‘putting all your eggs in one basket’. If the person you contact is struggling to hit year-end targets, or is on leave, chances are your communication will either not be heard, understood or will be overlooked. So, why not contact multiple people in the organisation? This is especially true in larger companies where there are different decision-makers in different divisions, each with their own goals. If your chosen contact person doesn’t have an immediate need, that is not to say one of the other divisions doesn’t have a need.
By trying one or more of these simple tips in your sales and mar- keting activities you are sure to reap the rewards