As part of its ongoing growth plan, a major international company decided to focus on its database last year, looking at leveraging its information and breaking into new markets. However, the business was unable to use the data effectively, as its analysis highlighted the fact that the database was outdated and yielded very few real results, despite being only a year old.
Armed with this information, top management called a retreat to figure out what they should do. After much soul searching and disagreement, they decided to scrap their database and, rather than going through the expense of creating a new one, obtain it through a specialist database provider. This decision was especially significant as the company was focusing on growth in emerging markets, where access to the correct information could make or break a business deal.
“Achieving a comprehensive understanding of a target market, and the details of the individuals responsible for making purchasing decisions within that audience, is essential to any company looking to break into a foreign market. The best way to do this is through purchasing a clean, well-managed and well-maintained database from a third-party database provider,” explains Louise Robinson, Sales Director of CG Consulting. “In emerging economies, which are growing rapidly, obtaining corporate data remains difficult.”
Achieving Results with Effective Sales
Market segmentation is only the first approach to effective sales, and identifying the correct contacts in any market is essential to achieving results. “A clean, well-organised database is worth its weight in gold, because it lets you talk to exactly the right decision makers,” says Robinson. “With this as a business tool, companies can determine the types of customers common to a market, as well as the best approach to them.” She adds that without rigorous analysis and insightful reporting, the data remains simply… data, it never becomes useful information that can be actioned. “The ultimate test of the data is whether it provides the right information in order to let the sales team easily convert leads into sales.”
Most multinationals understand that their tried-and-tested approach may not work in some markets, and that a database with all the essential contacts and information on that particular country or sector is the only way to ensure success. “Buying a database is a tough decision, but the proof is in the sales. Companies that try to go it alone find that local knowledge is essential to breaking into new markets – particularly when these fall in countries known to have a different approach to business – and that this knowledge is hard to come by. Using a database from a service provider whose only job it is is to pass on this information ensures results, with none of the pain associated with doing business in emerging markets.”
“Many European and US-based companies looking to grow into Africa are unaware of the cultural and business differences they will encounter. By having the experience, the training, and the footprint on the continent, we are able to offer insight and guidance in addition to a database of names,” Robinson says. “By plugging into the vast number of highly qualified leads we are able to offer, an international company can alleviate the time and stress usually associated with setting up shop in a new region.”
Organising New Marketing Campaigns for Effective Sales
According to Robinson, lead generation is the only reliable way to organise a sales campaign and set it up for success. Specialist lead generation companies like CG Consulting are highly experienced in early stage sales cycle development. “Developing a targeted list of prospects is an ongoing project that requires many man hours and much maintenance, so outsourcing makes good business sense’” she says. “A good lead generation company can uncover a wealth of information not only about the sales cycle, but also about the market for your offer. The resulting data can be used to fine-tune your marketing and sales strategy. In addition, a good service provider will provide your business not only with leads, but with a full briefing of the relevant information that will increase the sales close rate.”
Gauteng Business News