This Classic Business to Business Lead Generation Program Hard to Beat

Business to business lead generation strategies continue to evolve. The Internet plays an increasing role in building interest and qualifying prospects.

But setting up live appointments with C-level executives for highly compensated sales people still relies on the penetration tool of choice --- telemarketing.

No single medium alone will yield satisfactory results. Online, direct mail and telemarketing work synergistically to create high level appointments with a winning Return on Investment. But the core medium remains telemarketing.

If a program allowed the use of only one medium, I would select telemarketing as the most important and reliable medium for B2B lead generation.

Do not underestimate the challenge of securing appointments with C-level decision makers in today’s companies. Their time is valuable and they do not respond well to interview offers that do not promise solid opportunities to solve their business challenges.

It is not uncommon to spend $1,000 to $1,500 or more per qualified appointment with these executives. So the direct marketing lead generation program must yield both a consistent lead flow combined with prospect quality.

The following example represents a lead generation program I designed for a client in the health care industry selling two to three year contracts that could easily amount to one million dollars each.

Here is the program summarized in a simplified flow chart.

The strategy calls for a personalized mini-proposal with case studies and key product benefits in a personalized direct mail package sent as certified mail. The telemarketers follow up every direct mail package with a call to the individual it is addressed to.

The call to action includes an 800 number, a response form with qualifying questions and a personalized url (purl) to complete the same questions and/or request an appointment.

After repeated, unsuccessful attempts to contact the executive or set up an appointment by phone, the strategy includes a follow up 9X12 package sent priority mail to these individuals in a last effort to secure an appointment.

The entire project works best with sales staff involvement when they contribute to the content of the direct mail packages and assist in the training of the telemarketers.

What modifications would you suggest for the strategy as laid out? What results did you achieve? Did you test your strategy? If so, what were the results?

Posted on March 11, 2008 and filed under Lead Generation.