In order to have a successful outbound lead generation system, it is 100% necessary to have high quality content to back up the cold calling effort. Coming from someone who has been in outbound prospecting roles for the last four years, it is very difficult to engage with a prospect after the initial conversation if your marketing team has not provided you with:
- A modern, crisp website that explains your products, services, company history/ management teams, and value proposition
- Case Studies and/or Customer Testimonials
- Content Microsites and/or Content Portal
- A Brochure or White paper geared specifically towards the prospect’s specific segment
- (Videos embedded within any of these forms of content will make a huge impact! Consider using Reality Digital’s video distribution platform, Spotlight.)
I am a firm believer that it is necessary for these four pieces of content to be in every cold caller’s arsenal, and that each document/site must convey a company’s familiarity with the prospects segments/needs, value of the product/services and legitimacy of the solution. People will very rarely be engaged just through verbal communication alone — a Lead Generation Specialist needs backup after (and sometimes during, if the prospect is at a computer) the first conversation!
Don’t get me wrong — a cold calling team can’t solely rely on marketing materials. When a sales person connects with a prospect the pain points must be extracted, and the value proposition must be communicated. This is standard when it comes to OpenView’s Lead Generation Services model.
A compelling verbal conversation is by far, the biggest step toward closing the deal. However, at the end of the day, our culture in the year 2010 is extremely visually-oriented and in need of instant gratification — prospects have high expectations when it comes to marketing collateral. Everyone wants to be wowed. It makes buyers feel more comfortable with the product when it’s time to open up the wallet.
If you are a CEO of an expansion stage software company, please, please push your marketing team to develop high quality content for your outbound lead generation services team. In fact, your marketing team and your Lead Generation team should be joined at the hip. In a lot of ways, cold callers that are truly asking the qualifying questions can serve as market researchers for the content marketers: What are the features that prospects are most interested in? Who are the main competitors in the marketplace that are coming up, time after time? This is extremely valuable information for marketers, and it should be taken very seriously when creating/updating content.
If you are in a sales role, what type of content have you found to be really useful when it comes to building relationships and getting buy-in from prospects?