Business Development activities are crucial in any organization. This function generates leads that convert into sales-the lifeline of any business. Lead generation is no easy task, and especially so in a B2B enterprise. It requires tremendous efforts and perseverance to sustain a robust pipeline of leads.
In conventional business development large teams of people are employed to work towards this end. There is one or more manager with several executives reporting into him/her. The executives are employees dedicated to scouring the web to create prospect lists. The manager oversees their work to ensure quality, timeliness and continuity.
Phase One involves creating contact lists that will serve as the basic database. Unlike B2C businesses where almost every contact is a possible lead, in B2B businesses creating even a basic contact list is time consuming. Data is more difficult to access and obtain.
Executives are required to spend all their working hours researching and scouring the net to identifying potential customers. They need to filter companies and target only those that could have a possible use for the product/service that they offer. This requires detailed information of both company and individual; details such as the industry, the business segment, the relevant executives, their designations and their contact details. The process has to be repeated innumerable times to create even the smallest of databases.
Phase Two kicks in once a sizable database is built. Email campaigns have to be launched. Without an automated software, this can turn out to be an extremely laborious and complicated task. Personalized emails have to be sent to each and every contact on this list. Because of Spam rules the mails need to be sent in batches. Executives have to create sets of email lists and send it over several days.
They also need to keep track on responses received and forward the same to the sales team. The wishes of those recipients who do not wish to receive mails have to be honored in a prompt manner to avoid legal action.
The process being executed and monitored manually, often results in errors, oversights, lead losses and leakages. Timelines may be breached, employee turnover can impact performance, and expanding scale of campaigning may be constrained by lack of resources. Monitoring and tracking responses becomes progressively complicated.
The combined impact is less than satisfactory ROI on business development.
So it there a better way to handle this?
To find out, watch out for our next blog…
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