Relieve stress and get results with marketing response handling services
You are up to your ears in responses from your B2B marketing programs. You and your staff are overloaded. Is there an alternative to marketing response handling in-house?
Fortunately, there is. The answer is to hire one of the sales lead management service companies that assist business marketers with marketing response handling or sales lead management.
Today’s response management/marketing response handling/contact management/sales lead management service companies
Marketing response handling service companies have become quite sophisticated. They can:
- qualify your prospects for you,
- get your sales force involved sooner,
- enhance your service-driven image, and
- provide the data required to measure and increase the ROI of your B2B marketing.
Today, marketing response handling services go far beyond basic literature fulfillment, lead distribution, marketing response handling, tracking and reporting. Consider the following:
- Fax numbers or e-mail addresses published in your ads and routed to the marketing response handling service make it fast and easy for inquirers to request information and allow for immediate marketing response handling response, electronically or by mail.
- By answering calls to your toll-free numbers during business hours coast-to-coast or 24-hours a day, these marketing response handling services can offer prospects fast, easy access to your sales literature and “where to buy” information. They also can provide immediate qualification of inquirers and first level technical support.
- These response management service companies can also handle information forms and “chat” requests from your Web site and respond immediately.
- Most of these marketing response handling services can forward sales leads as email attachments that integrate with your salespeople’s existing contact management software or corporate customer relationship management or sales automation systems.
- Their advanced sales lead distribution methods let you get sales leads to your salespeople, reps, dealers or distributors by email, fax and mail. However, most of these marketing response handling services also allow your people to use Web browsers to retrieve their sales leads from secure Internet sites and many even provide for feedback on results.
- Outbound telemarketers at the service companies can generate sales leads, qualify prospects, perform “Did you buy?” studies, build relationships with longer-term prospects and invite them to seminars. Some can even sell your products or services, when appropriate.
- Sophisticated reporting capabilities offered by the marketing response handling services let you measure follow-up of leads, link inquiries to sales and determine return on investment. Reporting can be prepared as statistical analysis or graphs and charts. Reports can be given to you as printed documents, as e-mail file attachments you can view using common programs like Excel(r), or they can be viewed, downloaded or printed on demand at secure Internet sites using your Web browser.
- These response management services can develop and manage your sales and marketing databases, clean them up and append data from postal and public databases, enhance them through feedback from salespeople and marketing response handling and direct mail and telemarketing efforts, and let you keep in touch with and convert more prospects to customers. Your database also can be used to track and analyze activity and results by territory, product, media or other criteria.
- Ongoing broadcast e-mail, broadcast fax and e-mail programs can be implemented by the marketing response handling services to keep in touch and build a sales-winning relationship with your prospects and existing customers.
Do it yourself?
“Doing it yourself” can be a great idea until you take into account all the B2B marketing and communications responsibilities you already have. Outsourcing your marketing response handling and sales lead management sometimes proves to be a better alternative. Aside from the reality that business often forces you to delay your marketing response handling or give it a lower priority than it deserves, there are problems associated with staffing. For example, it is difficult to staff for the peaks and valleys in inquiries, sick time and vacations.
Where do you find service companies to assist you with marketing response handling and sales lead management?
Ask your peers at other companies. Ask the folks at your advertising agency. Check the display and classified ads in industry publications like B2B, Direct, DM News, Sales & Marketing Management, Target Marketing and Exhibitor or the directories they publish. Do searches on the Internet using key words like “response handling,” “inquiry handling,” “sales lead management,” “response management” or “literature fulfillment.” Check with marketing associations like the Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org).