42 B2B lead generation touches on one contact… What… are you Crazy?

Posted by Dan McDade

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on Mar 2, 2010 7:29:00 PM

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My favorite stories are about client successes. The best one of these is work we did for a global consulting company with BPO offerings across a number of verticals. On one project we deployed one of our people for a full quarter and they were tasked with making contact with the CFO at the nation's top 50 utilities.

Most people I tell this story to, particularly C-level and senior sales executives, feel that anyone contacting them as many as forty-two times would not only never get their business—they might end up putting us on the wrong side of a "nasty-gram"...

First, let me tell you what our associate actually did, and then how it worked out for our client.

A b2b lead generation touch cycle at the C-level frequently includes the following:

1. Navigation calls to confirm CFO contact information and administrative support (sometimes this can take as many as three contacts).

2. A series of attempts and discussions with administrators to first sell them on our client's solution and then sell them on helping us get it front of their boss (this could take up to another three contacts—and it does not always work).

3. Multiple cycles of contact that include calls, voicemails and immediate email follow ups—a cycle can include as many as six attempted calls, three voicemails and three emails over 10 business days.

4. On the last cycle of attempts (three or four cycles usually) our voicemail explains that we do not want to pester the individual we have targeted, that we would like to talk, but won't leave another message and the emails follow suit. Approximately 30 percent of all opportunities created for clients are as the result of a telephone call or reply to an email from our prospect.

Take the three navigation calls and add six more calls to the administrator, some calls early in the morning, lunch time and early in the evening to try to reach the decision-maker before and/or after hours—and three cycles totaling nine calls, nine voicemails and nine emails (and throw in a package sent overnight that contained a magazine with an article about our client's success with the CFO at another utility) and it does not take long to add up to forty-two touches.

So here is what happened:

1. The CFO called us back after the 42nd touch and said "don't stop calling me... you are my conscience. I have listened to and saved your voicemails and I have saved some of your emails and I want to talk to you—I have just been extremely busy. Call me back in two weeks on Tuesday at 10:00 AM and I will take that call".

2. Two weeks later we generated a high quality opportunity for our client.

3. It closed in six months for $1,000,000,000. Yes, a billion.

Is 42 touches too many? Hardly!


By Dan McDade

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Topics: Lead Generation, Marketing Strategy, Prospect Development

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