Sales is the heart of any successful business. However, in many industries, technical expertise forms the basis of the company, leaving sales lagging. This is particularly true in the IT space, where techies speak in feeds and speeds and sales leads are rarely found.
“Technology has led to many amazing innovations over the last few years, but there are large numbers of tech companies out there that have amazing products and no sales pipeline. There is no point in having wonderful products if no-one knows about them,” says Louise Robinson, sales director of CG Consulting.
She points out that without sales leads marketing campaigns have no audience – and may as well not even exist. According to Forrester, the modern marketing world looks very different to the time before marketing automation and customer segmentation platforms. “We have to start thinking of our customers in very specific terms. Many organisations that offer resources to small businesses lump every single small business into the same category based solely on company size. This type of targeting pits entrepreneurial startups on the high speed growth track alongside the locally owned corner bakery that’s been selling the same scones to grandmothers for 45 years, and intends to do so exactly the same way for the next forty-five years. Company size is no longer a sufficiently informative lead attribute,” the analysts state.
The solution is “laser-focused market segments” which require equally focused sales and marketing campaigns. “Even the most experienced sales teams can struggle with identifying and deploying the best strategies. The question of how to find a clear path to effective, sales-generating leads is as simple as partnering with the right solution provider,” says Robinson.
She explains that companies can purchase databases that could offer potential leads, or invest in lead generation services. However, while both are effective, the efficacy of each depends on the structure of the sales team.
“Buying a database as a lists of leads needs to be done carefully. The data must be clean, and must be based on the appropriate segmentation criteria. Once a company has a good, clean database, they can do with it as they please. Lead generation through appointment setting is the next step, and takes all the schlepp work out of the sales process. This will provide vetted, qualified leads that basically require just a meeting or a call to bed down the sale.”
They key, she says is understanding the target audience are and what they’re looking for. “We speak geek, and have found that the IT space requires a specific approach. Having readily available leads with a focus on their business issues, needs, interests, and pain points allows tech companies to dispense with the early side of sales, and move straight into getting their solutions to the right market,” says Robinson.