Lead Nurturing

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We’re experts in one thing: Lead nurturing

The concept of brining potential or existing customers from a state of consideration to the point at which they are read to take action is well-understood. Yet on the journey from consideration to decisions, as many as seven out of ten marketing qualified leads (MQLs) will fall by the wayside and fail to become sales accepted leads (SALs). Using lead nurturing to improve that ratio is the single most efficient revenue growth strategy available to most technology companies.

However, delivering high quality lead nurturing programs at scale, on a consistent basis, remains a challenge for most organisations.

This is what we do, and we do it well. Over the years, we have invested significantly in the human expertise and systems required to run high-performance lead nurturing programs for the technology industry. By working with us, you will improve conversion rates, drive up sales performance and manage the cost of business development more effectively.

Lead nurturing process

At IDG Sales Development Services (SDS) we guide each customer’s journey toward conversion on your behalf, operating as a seamless extension of your in-house business development team. Once we bring your leads to the right level of maturity, we hand them off you you for final conversion.

Our service is:

  • Multi-touch and multi-channel: customisable to your requirements
  • Scalable: available for national, regional or global campaigns in 40+ languages
  • Transparent, honest and data driven: a structured schedule of meetings to discuss progress and optimisation, with metrics available on request
  • Experienced: built on a deep knowledge of the IT industry, languages and lead nurturing techniques
  • Underpinned by: robust infrastructure, quick integration with leading clients and high-calibre business development teams based in Dublin, Ireland

Accelerating the pipeline: our approach

The technology industry invests vast sums on brand-building and awareness generation. But in the space between lead generation and closure, lead nurturing is often adversely affected by the following factors.

  • In-house sales development teams constrained by a combination of high fixed costs and variable workloads
  • The allocation of specialist lead nurturing tasks to non-specialist sales teams, which typically generates sub-optimal results
  • Lack of nurturing expertise among Channel partners or within your in-house sales teams
  • The challenge of language skills and global time zone coverage
  • The costs of training sales representatives to the required level in an environment where staff turnover can be high

Our mission is to improve and revive performance. We achieve this consistently because we do something that few rivals can: we maintain the resource required to operate at scale. This not only gives us the ability to rapidly deploy nurturing teams fluent in 40+ languages. It also means that our clients benefit from a consistent approach and a deep pool of in-house talent, led by a management team with decades of experience in converting MQLs to SALs on behalf of the world’s leading technology companies.

For our clients, this approach delivers proven results: accelerated customer journeys, superior conversion rates and improved revenue generation.

Launching a lead nurturing campaign with us

Pre-launch and launch phase

Before launching a campaign, we work closely with you to understand your product, competitors and tech stack. We get to know your own process, including product narratives, ICPs/personas, intent sources and specific areas of focus (e.g. vertical industries). We agree on what a lead looks like. Our teams are accustomed to adapting quickly: in the pre-campaign phase, we immerse them in the detail of your own USPs and product offers.

We develop workflows and talk tracks to suit your ICP and data sets. By the time we launch, all workflows and frameworks have been agreed.

Work closely with your team

Become familiar with your process

Develop workflows and frameworks

What to expect post-launch

  • Consistent focus on optimising MQL to SAL conversion
  • Ongoing prioritisation and optimisation of lead data
  • Continuous product training to refine our representatives’ ability to communicate your offering
  • Our team leaders offer daily or weekly, as required
  • Weekly meetings: detailed discussion of activities, results, feedback, optimisation
  • Monthly meetings: in order to track progress against agreed target KPIs
  • Quarterly meetings: at which we compare the results we have generated against your strategic objectives

Your lead nurturing team at IDG SDS

When you outsource business development to IDG SDS, you work with a dedicated team of business development representatives (BDRs).

Your team will look like this:

  • A senior business director: responsible for understanding your objective and KPIs in depth. Ensures our programmes remain aligned with them from start to finish
  • Service delivery manager: identifies and manages resourcing, responsible for programme results. Actively optimises campaigns
  • Team leader: manages business development representatives and works with the client to ensure that the team is trained, incentivised and successful
  • Business development representatives: chosen for their languages and experience. Pre-trained in soft skills.

Business development: our 10 operating principles

Before and during our campaigns, each of our teams follow ten operating principles:

We represent you

After in-depth training, we assume your organisation’s identity. We don’t call “in association” with you. We represent you directly, becoming a seamless extension of your in-house business development team.

We optimise the campaigns we run for you

We optimise for results, continuously. Each campaign team is led by an experienced service delivery manager: optimisation is major part of their job.

We integrate with your systems

We aim for seamless client-side integration, working with the same platforms, databases, tools and plug-ins as your teams. Whatever tools your organisation prefers, we’re likely to know them well. We follow agreed rules for interaction to avoid communication errors.

We’re data-driven

We are a metrics-driven organisation: our reporting specialists ensure that the right data is available to us and you on a daily basis, or as required.

We work in a structured way across multiple channels

We follow processes for frequency of contact across all channels (social, email, in-person calls) before either allocating leads to the next stage of nurturing or handing them back to our main point of contact.

We treat each lead as a person

Before and during the lead nurturing cycle, we continuously research our prospects, their role and working environment, looking for potential pain points that your product or service can address.

We follow the rules

You can trust us with your database: we are 100% GDPR-compliant and work within all relevant regulatory frameworks (data privacy, email subscription rules etc)

We know when enough is enough

When a lead falls below our thresholds for responsiveness, we return it to you after reaching our agreed communication caps (e.g. 5 x calls per cadence, 2 emails per week, 4 cadences per year).

We coach our teams continuously

Training and coaching specialists work with all of our business development representatives. Each is trained in meticulous detail about your products, customers, challenges and competitors. Our metrics-based approach means that we can quickly identify situations in which specific operatives will benefit from additional coaching.

We only hand off high quality leads

We never pass a lead over until we are sure that it meets the criteria we have agreed with you. Our Quality Assurance (QA) team checks the inputs for each lead to ensure it meets the quality threshold agreed with you.

What makes us different?

We are a skilled resource, ready to go

We offer a skilled resource, backed by highly-experienced management and robust infrastructure. Our teams go to work on behalf of clients in over 40 languages in local and regional markets around the world, 24 hours a day.

Strategically rigorous, tactically flexible

Delivering consistent peak performance requires a balance. Our processes are the result of years of operational experience. But we never hesitate to optimise in search of advantage. Whatever the market conditions, we have the tools and techniques to accelerate delivery.

Global. Regional. Local.

We scale to meet your needs. Whether it’s a conference in Paris, SaaS renewals in east Asia or inbound leads on the US east coast, we deliver the leads your sales teams need.

The legacy of experience SDS is a subsidiary of IDG, the market-leading technology media, data and marketing services business. Lead nurturing is what we do: our contact centre in Dublin has been following the sun to generate and nurture them since 2011.

Lead nurturing MQL to SAL: What we deliver for clients

What follows is a brief introduction to the most common use case scenarios we encounter. The list is by no means exhaustive, so if you don’t see your requirements represented here, do get in touch to discuss how we might be able to help.

Channel

“Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower costs” – Forrester Research

In the Channel, vendors traditionally maximise opportunities by leveraging the power of their brand and deploying market development funds (MDF). Partners capitalise on high quality leads to drive revenues forward.

Everyone wins.

But this indirect sales model can misfire. MQLs handed over to partners can be underqualified. Partners sometimes lack the bandwidth to exploit them. Leads get lost, dropped, or go cold.

Our team has substantial experience in the Channel. We know how to accelerate your indirect sales to the next level.

Inbound

55% of B2B SaaS companies take more than 5 days to respond to inbound sales enquiries or fail entirely to respond

Our working definition of an inbound lead is simple: these are self-directed buyers giving you something important: their attention.

Whether they have requested a demo, a call-back, or additional information, the message is simple: ‘I’m read to engage with you’. And yet a surprisingly large number of vendors struggle to convert inbound leads into sales accepted leads (SALs)

Experience tells us that when in-house inbound conversions falter, the causes can vary. Sometimes speed of response on the vendor side is too slow. Sometimes, the quality of the response is pitched too low. Just as often, sales moves too quickly to discard a lead when it becomes apparent that the lead isn’t immediately ready to covert.

In all of these situations, our lead nurturing services will deliver a significant uplift in inbound conversions.

Renewals

Software companies invest significantly in acquiring new customers. But too often, once the licenses are sold, attention wanes and customer renewals are taken for granted. . . Investment in renewal management programs can lift renewal rates, dramatically improving profitability.” – Bain & Company

Renewal revenues come in three main varieties: support contracts attached to hardware, on-premise software licensing and cloud-based as-a-service subscriptions.

For many vendors, all three are becoming more significant revenue sources. Within mature software categories in developed markets, renewal sales can represent as much as 50% of overall revenues and up to 80% of profits.

Achieving results like these requires sophisticated lead nurturing. But renewals revenue can stall for a wide variety of reasons, including fragmented data on known customers, price competition and clients who were initially undersold on the value of their licence and therefore resist the prospect of renewal.

SDS specialises in addressing these challenges. Our business development teams have the ability to  transform renewals into a reliable and persistent revenue stream for your organisation.

Cross-selling and upselling

Only 28% of sales leaders report that account management channels regularly meet their cross-selling and account growth targets” – Gartner

Cross-selling is a compelling route to incremental revenue growth for most technology companies. This is because businesses typically have a 60%-70% chance of selling successfully to existing customers, compared with anything between a 5% and 20% chance of selling to new customers.

Both sources of revenue – from new and existing customers – are important. But cross-selling, in particular, involves specific challenges. In particular, the strength of the client relationship is often key. When relationships are strong, trust is high and cross-selling is easier.

Upselling involves generating more value from a single-product purchase, most frequently by selling an upgrade. Here, again, there are challenges, including the need to target customers who will benefit most from additional performance and the need to accurately explain the relevance of the upgrade.  

SDS has extensive experience with cross-selling and upselling in a wide variety of contexts. We understand how to generate more of these incremental revenues on your behalf in a cost-efficient manner.

Events

[The lack of] a sales strategy with defined goals around who will receive and act on captured leads, and how they will do it. . . is the biggest and most common shortcoming I see in event lead generation.” – Jason Michaels, Managing director interactive, Accenture

In-house business development teams often struggle to manage periodic spikes in activity triggered by events.

You need to recruit event attendees and follow up leads afterwards. But resources within the business development team are typically fixed, and in many cases, the core sales team does not have the bandwidth required to nurture post-event leads.

We can do more with your event leads. We already work as a trusted outsourced partner with many of the technology industry’s largest event organisers. Our contact centre teams can help you to exploit opportunities to the maximum – without the need to argue for additional headcount within your in-house sales teams.

Get in touch

Speak to our expert team to learn more

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