Enhance ROI from B2B events by investing marketing development funds (MDF) in BNZSA Channel Concierge, to get in front of the right people

Despite the increasing ability to order IT products and services online, three tier distribution or “the channel” has always been an important route to market for vendors, especially in the sub enterprise space to secure and renew long tail business.

To enable channel partners to prospect new customers and service existing ones, vendors have traditionally put aside vast amounts of marketing development funds (MDF) to support distributors in holding stock, enabling credit lines and to support marketing campaigns that are provided to Value Added Resellers (VARs) and Managed Service Providers (MSPs)

This successful model was perhaps the reason why previously direct selling champion, Dell Computers, has become one of the largest indirect selling channel companies in the world.

Pre-pandemic, MDF funding was largely invested into face-to-face events, with one major enterprise software vendor spending over 80% of its MDF on events to generate leads alone.

And while during the pandemic and going forward channel companies are looking to do more digital marketing to generate brand awareness and to generate leads, events are making a strong comeback in the B2B world, especially for the channel.

Despite research claiming that users in the future will increasingly want less interactions with sales folk; People, it seems, still currently prefer to buy from people.

And what is better than having a conversation with an interested user that has come to your stand or requested a meeting in person. No Zoom, no Teams, no need to ask for consent, no cold calling, no irrelevant email in an overflowing inbox.

But for those that have organised or participated in events will know, putting on events is never easy.

Maximising Marketing Development Funds (MDF) via events

Events are strategic opportunities to forge strong connections and generate high-quality leads. However, organizing events can be resource-intensive, involving considerations such as securing stand space and having suitable marketing to adorn it, covering sponsorship fees, managing travel costs, accommodation, and more. Demonstrating a return on investment (ROI) is a constant challenge, demanding not only many attendees but also the right ones who will convert into revenue.

This is where MDF is hugely beneficial for channel partners. By allocating these funds to events, IT providers empower their partners to host impactful gatherings, providing a platform to showcase products and solutions. Done well, it is an investment in meaningful interactions that can translate into long-lasting relationships and substantial business growth. Done poorly and it can be an easy way to burn through funds that could have been better deployed to generate pipeline.

BNZSA's new Channel Concierge service

When staying at a decent hotel in a place you are unfamiliar with, the hotel concierge service is often the difference between having an excellent stay rather than just a good one. Not only can they recommend you the best restaurants in town, but they also often have the ability to book good tables at them that might not be available if you just rang or turned up on spec. They also can exchange their knowledge about attractions and provide advice on which ones to prioritise. All in they provide the human verification on top of the digital information you may have searched for in

BNZSA's Channel Concierge (BCC) service has been designed in the same way to help channel partners with the heavy lifting involved in providing marketing services, to attract new opportunities including events so they can concentrate on what they are good at, selling! To this end, BCC, is a centralised, fully integrated Marketing-as-a-Service platform tailored for channel partners. It is not just a service; it is a strategic ally that empowers your partners to fuel their lead generation strategies across many platforms to culminate in the climax of your marketing activity, F2F events.

By allocating MDF to Channel Concierge the service will provide:

By providing partners with the tools, support, and expertise they need, Channel Concierge paves the way for success in today's competitive IT market. Discover true ROI by investing MDF in Channel Concierge and unlock a new level of collaborative growth with your partners. They might also know some of the best spots to go to in Madrid, if you ask them!

Additional reporting by Paul Briggs, Director of Global Corporate Development


Avoid content fatigue and maximise your lead generation eco-system.

Companies invest in resources and do a lot of work to map out their addressable market, identify their Ideal Customer Profile and build a database of relevant contacts. This is an essential task to build an eco-system of consented contacts to use in sales and marketing outreach.  

Having a robust database of contacts is crucial for a successful B2B marketing strategy. But there are three questions that need to be answered when addressing this eco-system:

Even if the leads generated are high quality, contacts can easily become disengaged if bombarded with irrelevant content when they are not at the right stage of their purchasing cycle. Marketing and sales teams then play a dangerous game of trying to keep their prospects engaged and educated through content marketing, while also trying to avoid overloading them with messaging that won’t land.

So, once you define your audience how can you easily personalise your reach?

Data is key

Intent data, data science and decision science can help you to enrich your database with vital information regarding purchasing cycles, buying committees, and stakeholders within your target accounts.

This data means you can categorize prospects into the following:

Not only can you identify the “low-hanging fruits” that are currently in market, but also potential customers that may need further nurture and education before they are ready to buy.  

Tailor your messaging

These insights can be incorporated into your digital activity allowing you to tailor your messaging based on buyer persona, buying intent, industry etc.

This could be a programmatic campaign which has messaging revolving around a special offer or discount for those who are actively in market to encourage a quicker conversion.

Or this could be applied by tailoring emailing sequences with different messaging based on behavioural triggers and engagement levels.  

Quick & proactive BDR follow-up

However, it is not enough to solely engage prospects digitally it is important to have BDR or SDR resources in place to actively follow-up once their behaviour shows interest or that they are in market. This human element allows you to further understand their needs as a buyer, but also deepens their knowledge of your product or service.  

Quick BDR follow-up means you can capitalize on the momentum of the prospects interest, in turn bringing them further along the sales pipeline, and increasing the possibility of converting the opportunity to closed won.

BNZSA’s Opportunity Finder is a fully integrated solution, which follows these principles. It combines some of the most advanced lead generation tools, allowing you to identify credible, qualified opportunities, engage them at the right time and increase conversion rates.

Case Study

BNZSA recently applied these steps to a telemarketing campaign for our client, a blue chip IT enterprise in an effort to re-engage 62 leads which were deemed as closed negative by a third-party agency. Once these leads were passed to us, we:

By following this process, we were able to deliver:

Switch to a Hybrid BDR and SDR "Sales As-A Service” model for more sustainable sales pipeline and faster returns on marketing investment in 2023

By Paul Briggs, Director of Global Corporate Development 

To hire and retain the best talent in the future it will not just be about overall compensation, it will also have to address growing themes of work /life balance, remote and flexible working, and other hygiene factors.  

Ultimately, these trends may force hiring managers and chief strategy officers (CSOs) to completely rethink how they hire, manage and workplaces and employees, especially when more and more companies are looking to adopt a 4-day week for staff without reducing current pay. 

Naturally, the main concern is how to adopt to these new working trends without affecting pipeline and ultimately revenue targets, especially when analyst Forrester notes that traditional leads-based “contributions have declined in terms of contribution to overall revenue results performance. 

But instead of hoping that short-term re-orgs, layoffs and downsizing fixed assets will solve the current and future challenges companies are facing, many industry commentators are suggesting that the companies that will ride the wave of recession and post pandemic pain points will be those that are planning to move to a distributed enterprise where not only will IT and business solutions be provided “As-A-Service,” human resources, will be too! 

Time-based models for supporting IT vendors and channel partners are increasingly being sought after as new hybrid business models evolve. By engaging with well trained and highly specialised individuals, companies can either back-fill existing vacancies, generate new high-quality opportunities or provide validation or nurturing support for existing opportunities. 

BNZSA is one such company that has evolved its business model to provide its clients time-based full-time BDRs and SDRs “ Sales as-a-service”. These resources work with clients in a number of ways for opportunity and closed won sales generation, in addition to its traditional CPL-based content syndication offering. 

BDR-as-a-service: Time based Model 

By engaging with a BNZSA BDR in a time-based model, clients only pay for the time of that BDR which is usually 20 days a month. The BDR can either use client data such as Target Account Lists to prospect from. These lists can be validated and enriched by BNZSA’s Decision Science and Data science teams or BNZSA’s own mixture of 1st party, 3rd party and intent data to create custom databases and audience segments.  

The use of BNZSA’s data services is included in the BDRs time-based fee at no extra cost. As the BDR works in a waterfall model, this allows for a deeper engagement with prospects. As well as producing 12-15 Warm HandoversTM per month, a BDRs also has approximately 5-15 interactions with decision makers on a daily basis generating: 

Without recruitment fees to hire, or ongoing costs such as holiday and sick pay, the BDR can be trained by the client in the unique selling points of the product or service, understand who an ideal customer is and can work with the client on a script to ensure brand protection and management.  

In some cases, the BDR can also use a client’s email address and call on behalf of the client. With regular reporting and calls, the progress and pipeline of the BDR can be managed by the client and can complement existing internal teams rather than compete with them.  

As well as backfilling resources and generating opportunities, BDRs can also be utilised to validate and recycle opportunities that have been generated by social media or digital content syndication activity.  These opportunities may have either stalled or have been discarded because there is either too much volume or not enough time/resources to nurture the prospects into a more sales ready status. 

As BNZSA’s BDRs have native speaking support for 26 languages, companies that are looking to land and expand in new territories can also avail of instant support in these regions, which is also attractive for companies that are looking to IPO.  

As BDRs can be throttled up or throttled back, clients can add additional resources or scale back depending on clients’ requirements, leaving internal and channel teams to concentrate on existing customer needs as well as finding new ones. 

SDR-”Sales-As-A-Service" model 

Similar to the BDR-as-a-service model, BNZSA has recently introduced a hybrid SDR- As-A-Service" model, where the SDR is effectively a full-time sales resource for the client. Essentially it is a “sales-as-a-service” offering, with a fixed fee and commission pricing structure.  

Like the BDR model, the client only pays for the days the SDR works, has a client email, and calls on behalf of the client. However, the key difference between the two is that the SDR handles the entire sales cycle and is responsible for generating closed sales and revenue where the client agrees a commission structure to create a strategic partnership.  

Like an FTE sales resource, the SDR handles PO, payments and all details required to enter a contract. Between the client and BNZSA, the SDR is incentivised for bigger value, high volume sales and facilitates a deeper nurture of the opportunity through the whole funnel. As well as access to BNZSA’s data and decision science team, the SDR fixed fee also includes additional sales support and resources such as sales managers and project managers.  

Like an FTE sales resource, BNZSA’s SDR will, in concert with the client’s own model, earn commission on closed won sales, but unlike many internal FTEs not in the first three months of engagement if there are no closed won sales. And due to BNZSA’s industrialised internal training programmes, there is a shorter ramp up time to get SDRs up to speed and closing sales, but like the above BDR model, there are not the extra costs in recruitment fees, training, holiday pay, sick pay, pensions, technology, software licence fees or tax.  

And like the BDR model, BNZSA’s SDRs can support 26 languages with native speakers that allows clients to instantly ramp up in new territories, achieve a lower cost of sale and see quick, sustainable, and measurable ROI to investment.  

In short, BNZSA wants to offer its clients a strategic partnership that works because its client’s success is BNZSA’s success. 

BNZSA Spotlight

BNZSA’s Lead Recyclr: Re-engage sales pipeline and focus on high value opportunities

The challenge faced by sales teams when trying to optimise resources to maximise pipeline 

According to our clients, on average only 1.5% of leads will eventually close, meaning 98.5% of leads are rejected by sales teams at some point along the sales pipeline. But what can cause a lead to drop from the pipeline? Leads can be lost from a sales funnel for a variety of reasons such as:

Although these leads drop out of the pipeline, it does not mean that they are a lost sales opportunity. In most cases, they simply need more nurture throughout the pipeline. Not only will this nurture allow sales teams to identify when a lead is sales ready, it will also provide a deeper understanding of why the lead was closed in the first instance, as well as key insights into buying committees and purchasing cycles which can be used to tailor their future outreach.  

However, BDRs and sales teams often do not have the resources that allow them to nurture or regularly revisit discarded leads to re-engage with them. In-house sales teams are already facing a mounting level of burnout and adding the task of re-engaging with previously discarded leads to workloads will only further amplify this pressure.

To cope with the volume of prospects that need to be processed, sales and marketing teams at vendors often outsource this work to third-party agencies. However, to limit potential brand damage and to help ensure prospects are nurtured up in the right way, picking a specialist agency is a crucial part of the process. To be efficiently nurtured in order to be converted, prospects must be followed up by highly trained and qualified BDRs who intimately understand the problems faced by the prospect and how to appropriately align them with the client’s product or service.   

BNZSA’s Lead Recyclr: Lead Recycling Solution

BNZSA’s Lead Recycling process is driven by its highly trained and specialist BDRs, that are presented to clients as ‘Virtual Teams’. Clients provide BNZSA with a database of leads which have been deemed a lost opportunity at different stages of the pipeline – these leads are then picked up by BNZSA’s BDRs with the express objective of re-engaging the prospect, nurturing them, and pushing them through the sales funnel until they are eventually sales ready.

The leads are analysed using our Decision Science Practice and our InTNT intent data activator, that uses intent data and analytics to determine which leads are more likely to be in market at that time. This will allow the leads to be prioritised for follow up by our agents.

Agents will work to connect with each prospect over the phone, which allow them to determine what obstacles the prospect encountered originally and why they were not considered a viable opportunity at the time. For example, there was an established interest but not in the timeframe required to be qualified as a sales accepted lead (SAL)

By re-engaging the lead, BNZSA BDRs will be able to bring the lead back into the pipeline. Although not all will be sales ready, the nature of BNZSA’s approach, the quality conversations its BDRs have with IT decision makers will help to enrich the database and provide quality insights into buying cycles and buying committees.

Also, by allowing a specialist agency such as BNZSA to concentrate on reviving, nurturing and enriching top of the funnel leads to more ready for follow up with a product specialist or more sales accepted lead, existing client BDR teams can concentrate on opportunities that are perhaps more complex, lucrative and more importantly closer to converting to closed won.

Results:

On average we are able to re-engage and bring 56% of recycled leads back into the funnel. This engagement allows our clients to gain insight into the needs of their prospects and identify why these leads were originally considered a lost opportunity.

Of these re-engaged leads, we are typically able to convert 10-15% of them from a closed opportunity to a sales ready lead, increasing pipeline substantially and re-claiming a vast amount of revenue which otherwise would have been lost.  

Additionally, the conversations held between our BDRs and Decision Makers means we can provide deeper and more comprehensive insights into approximately 60% of the contacts which were not converted. These conversations allow our BDRs to enrich our client’s database with crucial information concerning intent buying signals, continued interest in product or service, need for product or service and buying committees.  

BNZSA’s Lead Recyclr – A Case Study

BNZSA recently completed a lead qualification campaign in the US market for an existing blue chip IT client.

Originally, we had undertaken a lead generation campaign for the same client, producing MQLs and organising telephone appointments for follow up. These leads were then transferred to another third-party agency for follow up.

However, the second agency were not thorough enough in their follow up leading to many of the opportunities we had identified were closed negative. This equated to a lost pipeline worth millions of dollars in revenue for our client.  

But we were confident in the quality of our work, so we took it upon ourselves to implement BNZSA protocols to recycle and revive these leads and complete the follow up ourselves.

We received 62 leads which the second agency had closed negative to investigate why they were closed, with the aim of re-opening the opportunity and re-claiming revenue for our client.

We were able to deliver the following:

BNZSA Spotlight:

Sales teams can often be daunted by the number of old leads that they have that can be recycled, even the best sales teams will struggle to allocate resources to this this activity on top of their regular outreach to new leads. But leads are expensive and marketing budgets need to be spent efficiently.

Leads that have been prematurely closed negative, for whatever reason, can equate to millions in lost potential revenue for a company.

BNZSA’s Lead Recyclr provides the resources sales teams need to recycle old leads and re-engage sales pipeline, so they can concentrate on what they do best – closing deals. Our Virtual Teams of BDRs provide support to in-house sales teams to re-activate leads, bring them back into the funnel and re-claim lost revenue.

Our approach not only generates high quality sales ready leads, but also enriches sales pipelines with detailed insights and understanding of why leads are being closed in the first place, providing a benchmark to analyse future lead generation campaigns.

Channel your MDF investment into Virtual Teams 

VARs and Distributors that want to beef up lead generation activity and accelerate pipeline growth, are increasingly looking to adopt virtual selling teams to add instant BDR resources to ramp up pipeline for vendor partners. 

Direct vendors and suppliers that utilise internal teams of business development resources (BDRs) are not the only ones looking to reorganise remotely or recruit virtually, the Channel is too. 

Traditionally used as a robust and complementary part of an IT vendor’s go-to-market strategy, value added resellers, (VARs) and managed service providers (MSPs) have been an invaluable extension to a vendor’s sales team, being a reliable source of both pipeline and sales. 

For this service, channel partners receive vendor training to get sales accreditation and marketing development funds (MDF) to support sales activities. 

Typically, especially pre-pandemic, this MDF funding has largely been invested into face-to-face events to generate leads, with one large enterprise software company spending over 80% of its annual MDF budget on events alone. 

Face to face meetings between reseller reps and prospects were also commonplace before the pandemic, but more recently, the number of B2B sellers operating virtually reached 90% in January 2021, up from only 24% in 2020, according to research firm Gartner. It noted: 

"For decades, direct field sales was the dominant go-to-market channel. This dominance is being challenged with 67% of CSOs planning to transition some field sellers to virtual roles, and 80% have already considered or are considering creating hybrid field/virtual sales roles."

Marketing trends in a post-covid world

However, following Covid and the cancellation of events during the lockdown the channel has been a little slow to embrace complementary ways to attract, validate and nurture potential prospects to the products and services they sell on behalf of vendor partners. 

Anecdotally, some channel veterans have commented that channel marketing is behind the rest of the marketing world by about five years and that most VARs are five years behind that. 

Although many channel companies have invested in digital marketing tactics such as pay-per-click (PPC) and search engine optimisation (SEO) to generate interest and leads, the results in terms of the quality of inbound leads is mostly disappointing in terms of return on investment (ROI). 

This is largely because, the content they are providing on their sites is often more important to them than their users or potential customers. Often VARs and Distributors are just recycling a vendor’s corporate marketing collateral which looks at speeds and feeds rather than producing content that would address the needs and benefits to their potential customers. 

Without a full events calendar to drum up prospects, many channel companies are now scrambling to find new ways to help with pipeline acceleration and lead generation support. One of these tactics has been to set up virtual teams to retain pre-Covid sales forces that now favour remote working practices and benefits rather than returning to the office, even if it means reductions in salary, according to Gartner. 

It also noted that chief strategy officers (CSOs) are also hesitant to fully commit to virtual teams as they are undecided if remote working is just a temporary hiatus until the world emerges from the Covid pandemic or if it is indeed the ‘new norm.’ 

There is an understanding that the ‘digital native’ Millennials and Gen Z, who have emerged into the work force in recent years, are already accustomed to digital communication and platforms. They favour the benefits of remote working and communication rather than working and commuting to office-bound cites.

But what is clear to many channel companies, is that by reallocating field sales to virtual sales teams there are many savings to be had such as less travel expenses, company vehicles and entertainment budgets.

Remote working – a virtual insanity or virtually impossible to ignore? 

While it was a necessity to work remotely during the pandemic, now as the world emerges from the pandemic, channel companies can reap the benefits of Virtual Teams without the worry that they are over committing to a strategy that will change as Covid restrictions lessen.  

As today’s MDF funding is less discretionary and requires more business planning that is tightly linked to sales performance, to secure funding being able to demonstrate a credible source of pipeline and sales ready leads is a better bet.  

Virtual teams not only increase pipeline, but it can also be measured in uplift of closed won opportunities, so it is very transparent for the vendor allocating MDF to its reseller partner. The opportunity is validated, has given GDPR consent so even if the opportunity is not sales ready, it can be put back into nurturing for the future. 

Increase conversion rates from digital content syndication

For those in the channel that have tried digital content syndication for lead generation, many are finding the returns are not as they once were, especially in a GDPR monitored market that has reduced the number of daily marketing emails by 1bn.  As we can see from the below infographic, compiled using internal BNZSA data, there is a very low conversion rate between the number of digitally content syndicated leads that are recognised as sales accepted. This is because in many cases the interest is triggered by open rates, not true indication of the prospect’s interest that you can get through tele-based means. There is often little nurturing, personalisation or validation of the prospect before it is handed over.  

So, it’s a small wonder that when these digitally generated ‘leads’ are passed on to a vendor’s sales team, there is the usual outcome of “I don’t remember downloading the whitepaper” or “Where did you get my details? I don’t remember giving consent for you to email me.” 

Even when customers are followed up with BANT style questions, many outcomes are considered closed because the prospect either a) might have the need but not the budget or b) need buy in from a group rather than overall sign off or c) may have need but not in the next 12 months as they might be working on another project. Combined with often unrealistic internal KPIs to move leads from MQL to SRL in a couple of weeks, it is often easier for sales to close the leads rather than do the required nurturing to move the prospect down the funnel. In this scenario many BDRs think it better to bin prospects that don’t instantly convert, than manage too many prospects that are stuck in the funnel because they have not had the required nurturing to be approached. This often means that vendors are paying several times for the same MQL which is wasteful and potentially brand damaging. 

BNZSA WarmHandoverTM vs BANT methodology

However, with a virtual BDR approach from BNZSA, highly trained agents call on behalf of the channel partner or vendor, strike up a conversation with the prospect, validate the person’s details are correct, gain consent to email over collateral, and capture any buying intent signals that might be useful to prioritise who to follow up, first. 

By deploying virtual teams, BNZSA agents are not only identifying those prospects that might be ready to have a call with sales, BNZSA’s agents also sets up the call with the channel partner’s vendor in what is termed a Warm HandoverTM which boasts a 70% conversion rate.

Conversion rate comparison between traditional digital content syndication and implementing a BDR approach showing how IT channel providers can better use their MDF.

Conversion rates using the WHOTM process, rather than BANT methodology, can improve closed SRL opportunities by 300%. 

Instead of competing with the functions of an in-house BDR team, adding BNZSA Virtual Teams offers companies an extension to its current set up. Not only are the resources dedicated to the campaign, BNZSA can in advance or concurrently surround target companies with programmatic advertising to raise awareness of the vendor’s product or service. 

All BNZSA’s agents go through a rigorous and industrialised training and onboarding process and are experienced in selling enterprise IT B2B products and services. 

BNZSA agents are also available to receive specialist training from a company’s product/subject matter specialist. BNZSA also employs highly experienced technical coaches that have spent years in the IT industry. They can add instant quality and experience to a company’s set up in a fraction of the time it takes to build this infrastructure in-house.  

With support for over 26 languages, companies looking to land and expand in EMEA have instant access to native speakers that can communicate with a company’s prospects and understand the various cultural nuances of that region and importantly get clear consent for follow up with email and other communications preferences. 

As BNZSA has the ability to rotate and scale resources depending on the client’s requirements, companies that use Virtual Teams will never have staff shortages through sickness, holidays etc. They will also have access to BNZSA’s data scientists, first party intent data, third party intent data and other multiple sources of technographic, firmographic and trigger data as part of the Opportunity Finder stack.

Prospects that are sent over from BNZSA are qualified, validated and ranked in accordance of where we see them in the purchasing process. This means that opportunities are much more transparent to the end client and not passed through as something that they are not. For example, if we pass prospects over as marketing qualified leads (MQLs), we have identified that they are towards the top of the sales cycle or funnel and require more nurturing before they become credible sales ready leads (SRLs). 

What are the benefits of Virtual Teams in channel marketing?

Virtual Teams are a hugely beneficial addition to both sales and marketing teams' resources, especially within the IT sales channel. Channel partners can face certain challenges such as lack of resources, inadequate data analytics, and inefficient training. Virtual Teams can help sales and marketing teams navigate these issues.

Benefits for marketing:

  1. Quality data sources: Clients who work with multiple resellers, often have difficulty accessing adequate and consistent data. BNZSA Virtual Teams are supported by in-house Data Science and Decision Science teams and our data services are built on first party intent data and second and third party data. Marketing teams will gain valuable market insights to drive strategic decisions.
  2. Better insights: Not only can Virtual Teams deliver more SRLs, through pipeline nurture they can identify key decision makers, organizational structures, purchasing cycles and buying committees, as well as consented opt-ins, MQIs and MQls with timeline and budget. All of which are key insights for marketing teams to leverage.
  3. Larger Audiences: Smaller channel partners can instantly expand their international reach instantly as BNZSA provides multi-lingual support with native speakers of 26 languages. This means that not only can marketing teams expand their lead generation efforts internationally quickly, but they can also localise their messaging in markets across EMEA, APAC and US.

Benefits for sales teams:

  1. Professional BDR resources: Resellers and distributors can often lack the resources need to recruit, train and retain qualified BDRs. By using Virtual Teams, channel partners can quickly professionalize and standardize their approach. This allows them to quickly ramp pipeline generation with highly trained BDRs with product specific knowledge.
  2. Enhanced lead generation: BNZSA's Virtual Teams are driven by highly qualified BDRs who have gone through rigorous training. Channel partner sales teams will benefit from a stronger pipeline as Virtual Teams can concentrate on prospecting and identify high quality opportunities.
  3. Increased revenue: Channel partners using Virtual Teams will receive higher quality SRLs with up to a 300% improvement in closed opportunities. This generates a healthy pipeline and substantially more revenue.

BNZSA's Lead Verifyr - make your pipeline work harder

The challenge faced by sales and marketing teams

Marketing teams work hard to produce a healthy pipeline of leads for sales teams to nurture. They commission lead gen services from a range of agencies who are able to generate simple opt-ins through to MQLs, with a typical cost of €50-60. However, with thousands of leads coming through monthly and very short timeframes to push these through the pipeline, sales teams can only touch a very small percentage of the pool.

We’ve heard from clients that just 1.5% of this pipeline eventually closes. This means that a marketing spend worth potentially millions of euro is going to waste, simply because the sales teams don’t have the resources to follow up on everything that is delivered.

For a marketing team requesting 20,000 MQLs globally, this would be a total marketing spend of more than €1 million. If we take the 1.5% figure from above, this would equal just 300 converted leads. On that basis, the cost per conversion would be more than €3000, without taking the additional nurture cost of the work done by the sales team into account.  

But why is this happening? Due to time pressure, sales reps likely reach for the best qualified leads with reliable contact information, leaving the rest of the pipeline to one side.

This is completely understandable – our lead qualification team have found that just 15-30% of contacts could be reached on the first attempt and in fact 40-50% took 5+ attempts. Even worse, around 10% of the pipeline turns out to have incorrect phone numbers so cannot be reached at all. Busy sales teams under pressure to meet targets simply don’t have the time or resources to work these contacts.

However, this doesn’t mean that 98.5% of the pipeline is invalid. Lead gen partners have identified a universe that can be activated – the challenge is how to do this.

Our Lead Qualification Process

BNZSA’s lead qualification program picks up all leads that were rejected by sales in the first screening – our clients tell us that this can be up to 98.5% of the pipeline.

Image with percent about lead verifyr

Our Virtual Teams of highly trained BDRs have one single objective: to drive the leads to the next stage of the funnel up until they are ready for sales.

They will work to engage every single contact and organise them into categories based on their contactability and level of engagement. Where contact information is unreliable or out of date, our data team will work to enrich the database and then the agents will follow up and validate the information. Where they are missing information, they will conduct their own desk research to understand how to navigate the target companies and which contacts should be engaged.

Then the BDRs will explore the topics with the prospects in further detail in order to push them along the funnel. If appropriate, we will introduce them into our email nurture tracks to keep them activated with custom content until they are ready for further engagement. Our lead scoring mechanism means we can accelerate leads for follow up if the intent signals are strong.

If the lead is not ready, our BDRs will at least capture market insights like number of users, buying cycles, key decision makers etc.

This means that we’re able to provide more detailed insights into the pipeline that enable your team to prioritise and focus on closing the warmest leads whilst ensuring that they’ll have more coming through for the following quarters. 

The results

Typically, we are able to move around 15% of those reached on the phone along the funnel, warming them up for the next phase of engagement by the client’s sales team. This is a huge improvement on the 1.5% that are sifted through by sales, and already increases the pipeline dramatically.

Furthermore, we can add additional insight to around 60% of the contacts which means that digital teams can appropriately stream them into marketing automation tracks to receive the required nurture.

We’re also able to enrich the 5-10% of the database that sales teams flagged as uncontactable with email addresses, phone numbers or updated employment information so they can be used for future activity.

BNZSA's Lead Qualification Engine - A Case Study

We recently conducted an EMEA wide lead qualification for a client in 7 languages. Our client was receiving up to 10,000 leads per month through content syndication. We were invited to conduct some initial qualification and found the following:

We were able to help the client secure better value for money from their content syndication programme in the following ways:

Conclusion

In conclusion, BNZSA’s lead qualification engine results in better quality MQLs and SQLs which are more likely to engage and enter the sales funnel.

By discounting leads that are not immediately identifiable as a tangible opportunity, sales teams are losing a large part of their potential pipeline. Not every lead generated is immediately going to be a Sales Qualified Lead, but that doesn’t mean that they should be discounted as a revenue-generating opportunity for the future.

Not only is this a waste of potential in itself, but it also compounds since marketing often ends up paying multiple times for the same leads to be generated at a later date since they still sit within the relevant campaign targeting.

Our approach keeps leads in the system to activate them when they do have a concrete project and budget in place. Gradually warming and engaging leads to push them through the sales funnel will help you keep the pipeline active and help you close more deals.

How pre-IPO companies can meet global revenue targets

When companies look to enter an Initial Public Offering (IPO), revenue targets are of course crucial for potential investors. An area that can be especially challenging can be requirements to generate a certain percentage of revenue outside of local markets. This is considered to demonstrate long term growth potential and validate a successful IPO. For example, many private equity or venture capitalists require at least 30% of revenue to be generated in EMEA before considering investment.

When faced with the challenge of expanding pipeline generation in international markets, companies often struggle to grow as quickly and efficiently as needed.

Launching into new international markets can be a costly mistake if not done correctly. Expansion comes with a high possibility of brand damage if you launch without the right data, sales structure, and customer focus in place.

Common challenges faced by pre-IPO companies include:

Lack of efficient sales structure to enable growth

International expansion requires a stable sales structure to facilitate growth. This calls for an experienced sales team, reliable and extensive data, and HR resources to support a large, international team. Training will be required to ensure a consistent customer experience and to absorb local feedback. Many companies will struggle to scale all these resources in an efficient manner.

Shortage of resources to localize outreach and offering

When expanding into global markets, it is hugely beneficial to have a localized outreach strategy. This requires multi-lingual resources and BDRs who are familiar with their target markets. It is a huge investment to onboard and ramp the necessary BDR resources to facilitate effective international outreach. Companies often face challenges with legal and regulatory compliance in new, unfamiliar markets which can create reputational and financial risks.

Limited experience handling larger enterprise accounts

Growing pipeline and revenue generation will often require working with large enterprise accounts. However, these companies will often have a complicated organization structure and procurement processes. Smaller companies who are only beginning to grow internationally may not have the resources in-house or procedures in place to support such large accounts.  As well as excellent cross-market coordination between BDRs working in different regions on the same accounts, there is also a requirement for company and contact information, as well as market insights to support their initial outreach

Taking these challenges into consideration, companies must consider whether it is feasible to grow their internal resources, or if they should partner with an agency with an established presence in their target market.

How outsourcing your sales team can help you IPO

Global B2B sales and marketing agency BNZSA can help streamline pipeline generation from day one. Our Virtual Teams have helped our clients to scale up rapidly and meet the targets required for a successful IPO. Virtual Teams can help address the following needs:

Speed and Scalability

Virtual Teams give you access to all the resources you require, at the moment that you need them. At BNZSA we have BDRs speaking 26 languages from 48 countries, meaning that you can reach EMEA, APAC and the Americas from Day 1, with the cultural awareness you need to adapt your outreach strategy to local markets. Working with an outsourced sales team allows you to scale BDR outreach and adjust and rotate resources as you require. This means you only pay for what you need without the need to invest in internal recruitment, training or employee holidays.

High Quality

A consistent and customer-obsessed experience will be essential to your brand’s reputation in new markets. Our Virtual Teams receive rigorous training and are subject to quality control for every single lead generated in any market. We invest heavily in our training programmes to ensure deep understanding of technical products – Intel’s Marc Beckers develops our IT training courses, supported by Head of Learning & Development Alvaro Aldana who brings experience in scaling consistently from Starbucks. This emphasis on quality at every stage means that our Warm HandoverTM process, which is unique to the market, boasts a 70% conversion rate.

Experience with large enterprises 

BNZSA’s Virtual Team of BDRs are experienced in tackling global enterprises and building relationships across departments and regions to secure revenue. They are supported by industry-leading data team who help map out the global decision-making matrix and enrich with contact information. Our Decision Science practice provides actionable insights about their prospective customers and to anticipate when customers have a need for a certain product or service. Using these insights, digital campaigns can warm and engage stakeholders around an enterprise, leaving the BDRs available to focus on the key decision makers.

Preparing for IPO can be a nerve-wracking moment for leadership team, and it’s tempting to hold all revenue-generating activities close to home. However, choosing the right strategic partner to help you meet your goals can relieve some of the risks and pressures, enabling you to focus on areas such as product that will ensure your ongoing success post-IPO.

Virtual Teams: The solution to BDR burnout and the Great Resignation

YouGov recently surveyed two thousand workers for recruitment website, TotalJobs. The results showed that more than 75% of participants had experienced at least one symptom of burnout this year. Two fifths of respondents cited unrealistic workloads as one of the biggest causes of burnout. 

Many sectors such as travel and leisure, which were hit hard by the pandemic are now facing staff shortages. However, there is also currently a record number of vacancies in sales and marketing. According to GrabJobs, roles within sales and marketing are some of the most in demand positions in the UK in 2022.    

Adding to the strain is what is referred to as “The Great Resignation”. Workers are deciding to quit or not to return to their jobs as the working conditions provided pre-Covid crisis are no longer appealing to them. Instead, people are now looking for companies who are more mindful of their needs and who respect their work/life balance. Companies providing benefits such as remote working, better pay and better career opportunities are now more competitive as employers.  

Sales teams within the technology and software sectors have been acutely affected by the Great Resignation, with voluntary sales departures reaching 67%, according to figures from Xactly.  

Challenges affecting in house BDR management: 

When considering the role and responsibilities of a BDR, the above challenges are compounded by an elevated level of burnout. A BDR position can easily be considered one of the hardest roles in sales as they face a high level of rejection daily, no matter how good they are at their job. Despite receiving compensation in the form of commission, the pressure can affect their mental health and lead to burnout. Some of the aspects adding to this high level of employee turnover and burnout are: 

Cost of Living:

With sharp rises in energy costs and geopolitical factors, 2022 has seen the cost of living rise steeply. As a result, workers are not just seeking out the most competitive employer for salary, they are more mindful of those that can provide benefits and working conditions that are more inclusive of their personal needs, such as remote working and flexible work schedules.  
There is also a pressure on BDRs to perform, hit quotas and achieve KPIs on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. Although they are compensated for this work, missing targets and therefore losing commission can cause added financial strain. 

Covid:

During the pandemic, many workers faced with layoffs and uncertainty saw the time as an opportunity to reflect on their career path and their passions in life, with many deciding to pursue other opportunities outside of sales. 

Staff shortages:

As more workers change positions, the gap left in sales and marketing roles means BDRs are tasked with carrying an even greater workload to compensate for being short staffed, adding to the pressure to perform in their role. A higher-level of stress is key factor in BDR burnout.  

Unrealistic workload:

 Compounded by a high churn rate, BDRs are facing an unmanageable workload which can also negatively impact their mental health and add to burnout. According to BNZSA research, a BDR will have to simultaneously manage 1000s of contacts in a 12-month sales cycle. Tasked with outbound calling, trawling databases, coordinating with marketing and data teams, as well as handling inbound requests from various sources, BDRs can often struggle to prioritise their workload efficiently. 

Friction between teams:

Technology and automation to define workflows for lead follow-up are often chaotic and unmanageable. If processes to manage workflows are not clearly defined, this can lead to friction between BDR teams and Sales and Marketing. 

BDR Burnout is caused by a combination of the Cost of Living Crisis, high turnover in sales and marketing positions and a greater workload in a high pressure environment.
There are many factors which contribute to BDR burnout.

Virtual Teams as a solution: 

Designed to be an extension of your in-house team, rather than a replacement, BNZSA Virtual Teams is a ready-made solution. It is intended to not only enhance the functions of in-house teams, but also give instant resources, multi-lingual support and credible and compliant opportunities that are more mature in the sales cycle. 

Instead of hiring, training and paying for holidays and local taxation, customers only pay for the time of BNZSA's BDRs. They are virtual only in the sense that they are full time BNZSA employees but use an email domain and call on behalf of the client.  

BNZSA’s Virtual Team of BDRs and marketing executives provide our customers with end-to-end lead generation services including profiling accounts, following up on digital activity, qualifying leads, identifying decision makers, and buying committees which is key for companies wanting an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy. Costing of Virtual Teams is via a subscription-based Marketing-as-a-Service (MaaS) solution, rather than a traditional cost-per-lead (CPL) model. 

Virtual Teams have access to BNZSA's own technology stack, as well as the support of our data science team and newly formed decision science practice. This allows BNZSA to do a lot of the heavy lifting for our clients when it comes to providing high quality, sales ready leads. 

Using a Virtual Team has many benefits which can enhance your B2B lead generation strategy
Virtual Teams are an extension of your BDR resources - not a replacement.

Benefits of using Virtual Teams: 

Enhanced B2B Lead Generation:

Extend and enhance your lead generation efforts with our fully ramped and trained teams. We deliver high-quality, warm leads with our trademarked Warm HandoverTM process, developed specifically to increase conversion rates of the leads we deliver. BNZSA’s BDR will orchestrate a three-way call between themselves, the prospect, and a sales rep, allowing for a direct introduction. This allows for a smoother customer experience for the prospect, and a much more efficient use of time for the sales rep. 

Dedicated BDR Team:

With a BNZSA Virtual Team, they will function as an extension of your in-house BDR team, rather than as a replacement. Our process ensures consistent communication between our agents and your sales rep, creating an environment for constructive feedback, improving the quality of opportunities we deliver. They will be fully dedicated to customer campaigns. They will contact and qualify prospects on their behalf and be an expert in our client's products and services.  

Technical Training and Support:

Our highly experienced technical coaches are on hand to provide support to your team, adding instant quality and experience to your infrastructure. Our agents receive continuous training and guidance throughout campaigns, guaranteeing high quality leads.  

Localise in New Markets:

BNZSA can provide multi-lingual support with native speakers in over 26 different languages. This means our customers can expand their international lead generation strategy, and localise their messaging across EMEA, APAC and US markets. 

Flexible BDR Resources:

As BNZSA can adjust and rotate our resources based on clients’ needs, meaning a B2B campaign will not be slowed down because of sickness, holidays or other absences. 

Quality Data Sources:

Clients have access to BNZSA’s data services comprising of first party intent data, second- and third-party data, as well as support from our Data Science and Decision Science Teams, adding valuable insights to your B2B marketing strategy. 

Why BNZSA? 

 BNZSA is positioned to ramp your lead generation efforts quickly and efficiently with our Virtual Team offering. The Warm Handover (WHOTM) process has a 70% lead-to-conversion rate. With access to almost a decade worth of our own first-party intent data, along with the support of our Data Science and Decision Science teams, BNZSA have the resources to expand pipeline generation. BNZSA works with leading IT providers, with a 95% client retention rate. Get in touch today to discuss how we can add value to your B2B marketing strategy. 

9 YEARS ROCKING WITH BNZSA

June is a special month here at BNZSA. Why? It's our birthday!  

Because 9 years ago in a small garage in the South of France, BNZSA was born. With an ambition to change the lead generation industry, our founder and CEO, Brahim, started on the path to make BNZSA what it is today – a leading B2B sales and marketing agency in delivering campaigns for some of the best-known IT brands in the world.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NY_9u37Sv8

The Team

From humble beginnings in 2013 when our founder Brahim Samhoud was working as a one-man band, to now in 2022 rocking as an ensemble of more than 400 employees across Spain, UK, France and Morocco, we wouldn't be here today without all the hard work and dedication of every single person who contributed to BNZSA's success along the way.  

From our business development representatives, coaches, data scientists, digital marketers, software developers and more, we are grateful to have such a huge pool of talent that will drive our growth to the next level.  

It’s incredible to have such ambitious and skilled individuals choosing to spend part of their career with us. We also have a growing alumni network and we're excited to see how they're spreading the BNZSA spirit into our industry and beyond! 

Our clients and partners

Over the last 9 years we've had the pleasure of building and developing strong relationships with key players in the IT industry. To the clients that trusted us in the beginning, and took a chance on a small player, thank you for being part of our exciting journey.  

Our clients and partners have not only helped to develop our network, but by working together, building strong connections, and looking for creative ways to address new problems, our clients have been pivotal to our continued innovation and growth.  

Their trust and commitment to us have allowed us to build new departments, launch new products and services and invest in new technologies that help us get our clients to where they want to be. These include our trademarked Warm HandoverTM process, our B2B programmatic offering and the new Decision Science practice. 

What's next for BNZSA? 

In BNZSA we strive to deliver the highest quality leads and go the extra mile and our plans for the future are no different.  

Having recently launched our Decision Science practice to provide our clients cutting edge actionable insights, here at BNZSA we have no plans on slowing our innovation and growth.  

With some exciting projects in the pipeline, be sure to watch this space as we continue to change the industry!

Best Practices to Drive Effective Demand Generation in EMEA

For companies that are not based in EMEA, landing, and expanding into this territory is often considered a key milestone for global expansion.

Many private equity or venture capitalists require up to 30% of total revenue to be generated from EMEA before considering investment and having customers in EMEA is certainly a key factor when preparing for an initial public offering (IPO).

However, breaking into EMEA can be fraught with challenges if you are not familiar with the market and the various nuances between each country you are looking to expand into. As well as different languages to consider, each region tends to purchase products and services slightly differently. Some require a lot of consultation and support, while others buy on price point or feature sets.

For example, before Dell became one of the biggest channel companies in the world and had a direct go-to-market strategy, it had a challenging time selling against Compaq in Germany, because many German buyers purchased their technology products and services via their reseller partners. There are also the time zone pain points that initially often have to be managed from the other side of the globe and of course the privacy implications of the general data protection regulation (GDPR) that regulates the region.

In this article, BNZSA’s Chief Product Office, Saurabh Rastogi sets out his top tips to advise companies that are looking to expand into the EMEA region.

Demonstrate Local Capability

For a region as diverse as EMEA, with huge differences in culture, languages, and time zones, it is essential to demonstrate and leverage local capability. This includes developing marketing strategies in local languages and the need to acquire local phone numbers and email addresses, with consent, and having Business Development Representatives (BDRs) who are not just native speakers but who speak local dialects and understand how to navigate cultural norms.

While hiring locally and setting up a presence in the region would be a sensible strategy to address the EMEA market, it takes time to recruit the right staff and while the territory is not generating revenue it eats into other budgets that have to support it. This is why working with a local partner that can add instant resources and presence can make sure that your product or service does not get lost in translation.

Source Data Optimally

Having local compliant data is also a key element to successfully expanding in EMEA, but overall, the available data is much more fragmented than other regions, and you may have to turn to multiple data providers to build out your full universe. This can end up becoming a huge drain on resources – not only are the upfront costs higher, but they also end up recurring as you try to keep the database up to date with intent data, technographics, firmographics and buying committee details. You also need a wide-ranging skillset to keep on top of the strategy and architecture.

So, choosing a local data partner who can access all of these sources, as well as build and maintain the database for you can relieve a lot of this pressure.

Be Aware of Lead Generation Differences

To get your message out and to access the data on EMEA users often leads many companies to partner with specialist B2B publishers. But like data, this network is also fragmented and the data they have is often out of date and based on old circulation data. Publishers typically do not hire huge data teams to make sure their data is up to date and rely on their users to correctly fill in forms for subscriptions to newsletters and other content.

And because no one publisher has a 360 view of the entire EMEA B2B landscape, companies often end up working either directly or via agencies with multiple publishers, which increases costs and management time. There is also a high level of lead outsourcing from those publishers because they haven’t made the right investments in data and data management. In many cases, the leads that companies believe have been purchased using the publisher’s database are often sourced via a third party that a company might not have a relationship with or has the ability to scrutinise for quality or compliance. Therefore, understanding and adapting to these differences is crucial.

Recognise Different Decision-Making Styles

As previously mentioned, decisions in EMEA are made in different ways and no one size fits all approach is effective. Relative preferences for phone versus email or in person vs digitally vary too, as does speed of decision making. It’s also worth noting that the usual organisational differences apply too – some decisions are handled regionally whilst others come from HQ.

It's also worth considering advice from local partners or consultants that are more familiar with these structures and styles.

Ensure Total Compliance with Legislation

As we have said, legislation impacting demand generation in EMEA is very different from other regions and there are heavy penalties for violations. Ensuring compliance with data privacy regulations in each country is crucial. Adapting to employment law can also be challenging when you’re taking risks in new markets – hiring and letting people go can be expensive.

So again, working with a local partner who takes on these risks and responsibilities on a company’s behalf can often be a good investment and can save a lot of money in the long run while a company's presence is growing.

Learn more about demand generation in EMEA 

At BNZSA, we’ve helped many companies enter EMEA and scale to their next level. To learn more, tune in to a webinar with Saurabh and our partner Slintel on Wednesday 21 September at 11.00 AM ET, where you will hear us discuss all of the above and share some key take aways. Sign up here to learn more.