I’ve experienced a recent rash of telephone calls from business developers after I’ve filled a form to get a piece of thought leadership. Sometimes within hours and other times within days.
When I pick up the phone and hear, “I’m just following up to make sure you received the white paper and see if there are any questions I can answer,” I feel sorry for that poor business developer who has been tasked with talking to someone that is at the top of the sales funnel.
I reply,”I just wanted some information. Don’t really have a need at this time.” And, on occassion, I add, “You really should talk to your marketing group and help them understand that using you to qualify and try to accelerate someone that is not exhibiting any buying behavior is a waste of your time and company resources.”
It’s a shame when you see an expensive resource like a BD used at the beginning of the sales funnel; or as I like to call it, the “buy-cycle.” It’s about as close as you can get to cold calling as there is.
What they should have done is provided more content on the subject, created some progressive profiling questions and “triggers” that would alert the BD when I start to read more, visit more and exhibit more buying behaviors. Even if you don’t have a marketing automation system, you can set these up with simple web-forms.
Hey! Marketing Manager! Use that expensive BD at the beginning for campaign development to get their input and understand what type of content to create. Learn what questions they need answered, and then again at the end, when someone actually becomes qualified and sales ready.