You have a sales team that excels in key account management, but you’d like more prospective clients. So what do you do? Invest in marketing communication, or in sales?
Take our client, Zetes: 25 of its 90 employees in the Belgian branch have a sales role, a third of which are internal. The others take to the road as key account managers and business developers. “The key account managers keep clients warm and happy, which they’re better at than canvassing, but it’s not the right way to reach all your potential customers,” points out Director Hervé Toussaint at a recent Business Meets IT seminar on marketing automation.
Zetes could have chosen to recruit hunters – sales people who are happy to canvass – but they opted for a different route. Our client has put all their faith in lead nurturing. “Traditional lead generation on its own doesn’t work any more,” says Toussaint. Zetes wasn’t generating enough leads from telemarketing and trade exhibitions, for instance, and the quality of the leads they did generate was disappointing. So it’s no surprise that 80% of these leads are not followed up by sales people. “And this was the case for us too.”
With lead nurturing, Zetes uses marketing communication campaigns that focus on the right products for the right audience at the right time. If you approach the buyer too soon, it’s possible they won’t be interested yet. Sometimes your prospective client opts to buy the product six months later, hopefully not from a competitor who gets their timing right. Lead nurturing helps you appeal to the buyer with the right message at the right time. “We’re no longer concentrating on our selling process, but on the prospective client’s buying process.”
Specifically, Zetes has put all its contacts in Salesforce, which is linked to eTrigue for marketing automation, email marketing and lead scoring. Potentially good leads are passed on to the marketing team who check where the prospective client is in their buying process. The sales people then only contact the lead when they are registered as being ready to buy in Salesforce.