Finding Leads for Complex Sales on a Limited Budget Part I

We’ve got lots of recent experience checking into resources capable of producing leads for complex sales. Some of the resources that we’ve looked into are free, others have recurring subscription costs. We decided to look into these resources for a couple of interconnected reasons: results from either exclusive telemarketing activities, and/or a coordinated, integrated direct marketing effort (which combined an email campaign with a follow up telemarketing effort within 24 to 72 hours of the release date for the campaign) were unsatisfactory.

We simply were not getting the right leads. The integrated direct marketing effort has consistently produced an open rate in excess of 15%, which we think is terrific, but this campaign has not been useful as a lead generator. We know at least some of reasons for the problem with the integrated direct marketing effort. We will discuss these reason in a separate blog post.

It’s worth prefacing this report with a brief overview of what constitutes the type of lead we are after. We need leads to companies that

  • really feel the pain of broken down IT systems, not just any type of broken down IT systems, but IT systems that our clients’ offers can fix. Further, “broken down” must mean “unreasonably expensive”, so expensive that a company is committed to fixing the problem as quickly as possible, regardless of what needs to be changed

All of the posts on this blog have been written on the topic of sales and marketing of enterprise IT software products; therefore, the leads that we’re after are either to larger for profit businesses (with at least 1,000 employees using IT systems related to our clients’ offerings), or organizations of equivalent size in the public and/or not for profit sectors. Over our years of experience we’ve learned that obtaining the leads that we’re after can accelerate the complex sales cycle for our clients’ products.

It’s certainly a given that we’ll have conversations with many different contacts as we develop these leads. Further, the actual sales cycles that may result from these leads (we say “may” as there is always the chance that leads will not be appropriate for our clients’ offers. Deciding on whether or not a lead is appropriate will take some time) is usually lengthy; in fact, some sales will take years to close. But (and this is a big “but”, no pun intended), the present day realities are such that the process, itself, of simply deciding on a solution to a need without a qualified lead is often broken down (a perhaps better term would be dysfunctional) with the end result that sales simply collapse with problems left unsolved. If handled correctly, a qualified lead can insulate an opportunity from the dead end that results from problems left unsolved. Therefore we need useful, qualified leads.

In the next post we will look at various sources for this type of prospect. If you would like to discuss your own specific needs for quality leads for enterprise IT sales, please contact us. Telephone Ira Michael “Mike” Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at imblonder@imbenterprises.com.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved

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