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Who should generate Sales leads in a B2B business? The sales team or Marketing?

If we look at a FMCG organization, it is a given that demand is generated by Marketing, and sales teams are tasked with distribution. They do sell, but their sales efforts are directed at the distribution channel, and their actions do not directly impact sales of the organization. Sure, if they have inadequate distribution or not so visible merchandising and product display, they are likely to lose sales. But the primary responsibility of generating consumer demand is with Marketing. And the distribution channel responds to consumer demand.


However the picture gets very fuzzy when we look at B2B organizations. There are organizations that have well defined processes for lead generation and management that are not reliant on the sales teams. These organizations use a variety of marketing channels to generate the leads and qualify them. However they will be a small minority, and typically relatively high profile organizations.


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Should B2B sales reps be asked to make cold calls?

Let me first define what I mean by Cold Calls. To me cold calls are calling on/making personal calls on organizations to meet a decision maker for a business discussion.Without any prior appointment.

In several organizations, Cold calls are seen as a necessary component of the sales rep job description. Sales reps in most cases will have two or at most three appointments (the very productive ones) in a day. And they may or may not have other follow up work in terms of sending quotations, organizing product demonstrations etc. This does leave a substantial chunk of free time during the course of any work day.

During this period, they are expected to make cold calls on organizations to generate new prospects/sales leads. In theory this is an excellent way to utilize a Sales Rep's time. But to gain a deeper understanding of whether it should be this way, we need to analyze a few factors.

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Marketing Channels for generating Sales Leads

Marketing is a pretty wide and deep subject, but when we look to Marketing for generating sales leads, it is not necessarily very complex. There are logical marketing channels that can be used very effectively to generate sales leads.


When I look at Marketing for Sales Leads generation, I have a totally different view of what we need to achieve. Every marketing activity must generate sales leads, or lead the visitor to another channel which helps generate the sales lead.


In order to generate Sales leads, every marketing communication must have a 'Call to Action'. It can be : Give me a demo, call me, send me pricing, Meet me etc. Avoid generic calls to action that say: I want more information.


This blog post takes an aerial view of what's available, and is not to be mistaken for a 'How To' article or an expert article. The objective is simple. If you are planning on a marketing campaign to generate sales leads, this blog post gives you a quick view of various channels that you can use.


While some of the marketing strategies may work for any business, this post is specifically for B2B businesses. I look at marketing channels as being broadly classified into two categories : Conventional Marketing Channels and Digital Marketing Channels.


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