Over the years the whole process of lead generation in the B2B segment has become tougher and tougher.
About 20 years back one of the best ways to identify opportunities in B2B were things like lunch and learn or an event of an hour followed by cocktail and dinner.
The value proposition for the seller was that they got to meet people from their prospective clients first hand and understand their challenges. For the buyers, there were two key benefits.
First was that they got information, second was that they would meet their peers from the industry and share notes. Once the visiting cards were available, then the calling out teams, sales teams would target these prospects. However all vendors followed a similar process and people started getting tired of responding to calls.
With the large scale availability of information via the internet that aspect was lost. In addition with travel times increasing in most countries and complexities in their environment growing, they found less and less interest in socializing.
From an economics standpoint the cost per lead was pretty high, but if you had experienced sales people in the room with the prospects, you could get firm requirements also from an event.
On the other hand email is free. You can send as many emails you want at virtually zero cost. The challenge is that nobody wants to share their email with you because they realize that you will start inundation them with emails.
However if you can offer something of value, in return for an email address, people may still be willing. But that VALUE is the question we were looking at yesterday. Its becoming tougher and tougher to get people to part with their email addresses.
So one other mechanism which I wrote about in a post about a week back is to utilize snail mail once again to be in front of customers regularly. Since most companies are either lazy or don’t have the manpower to send out post cards or envelopes, its a good opportunity to stand out and get mindspace. And the economics of sending one post card to a thousand prospects over 52 weeks will not be too much.
The key is to figure out how you can cross the barrier to get the prospect to raise their hand and show interest.
Till next time then.