Revisiting Surveys as a Lead Generator for Complex Sales

Where budgets are limited it is very difficult to identify specific enterprise and/or public sector prospects for complex IT products. We make regular, daily use of free of charge news services (principally Google News, LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook), but are, more often than not, disappointed with results. Certainly lots of enterprise businesses are losing money each and every day on their IT investments, but few of them will go public with this information. Even a review of financial statements for publicly traded businesses that need to publish quarterly earnings reports will rarely reveal a business that is losing money in a manner that can be corrected through an acquisition of a specific product. Finally, even when losses on failed IT projects are publicized (for example, recently several businesses publicly disclosed large losses as the result of failed ERP projects), the negative stigma of these events, in our experience, generally constrains the ability of the victim to reach out to alternative providers.

As we have written in this blog in other posts, there are paid services that claim to provide this type of information — just to name four, Hoovers, Factiva, Lexis Nexis, and Harte Hanks. We cannot comment on the usefulness of these services as we have no experience with them as a customer. We can say that we have had extensive conversations with all 4 of these vendors. Presumably their services afford customers an opportunity to drill down to specific groups within administration or operations to identify potential leads.

We think it makes sense to maintain an ongoing direct effort to engage with enterprise IT software markets around surveys. In our experience surveys can produce leads that, over time, will mature into sales leads. We find that enterprises will generally have an interest in participating in surveys that provide results that can be used by these contacts to establish a position for their enterprises as compared to peers on the same topic. Further, if the survey is successfully designed to unearth information that can be used to identify qualified prospects, then some volume of ongoing lead production can be quantified as a complement to other activities, such as online engagement.

If your budget is limited, but you have an ongoing requirement for leads, you should consider designing a survey which will provide your business with results that you can use to qualify prospect opportunities. If your experience is limited in this area, you should consider using a third party to design the survey, provide your teleprospectors with a call script, and interpret results. IMB Enterprises, Inc. should be on your list of potential solution providers in this area. You can contact us online or telephone us at +1 631-673-2929. The first 15 mins of any consultation is always on us.

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

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