Tech Marketer Talks: Leveraging Activity Intelligence for more effective sales follow-up – Europa UK
Alan Haley is CEO of Europa Communications, a 21 year-old international market development agency focused on providing international demand generation and channel support services to technology vendors. Some of Europa clients include IBM, EMC, Fujitsu and Vodafone.
Can you tell me a little bit about Europa?
Europa provides outsourced sales and market development services to some of Tech Target’s clients needing sales qualification and nurturing with their demand generation programs. As digital marketing and market automation continue to expand, vendors need services to handle their leads through the funnel and want their prospects to receive â€˜personal’ contact to supplement an otherwise digital buying journey. Europa helps vendors further qualify their pipelines and nurture prospects to a successful close.
How important is working with data intelligence in your service?
Data is one thing that makes a huge difference in demand generation and sales qualification success. It isn’t about just quantity, it’s about quality too. In our business we need accurate data to work with in order to take it from response to inquiry to contact stage and all the way through. When we do outbound calling for our clients, the data we have to work with and how much we know about what a prospect has downloaded and engaged with ahead of time allows for a far more productive sales conversation. TechTarget gives us that insight into the journey prospects take across their sites and delivers real names and real people who have taken real actions. Also, many respondents tend to remember what they do on TechTarget sites, which in turn helps us in our sales follow-up conversations.
As an agency what changes are you seeing in how technology buyers are researching and evaluating solutions?
IT buyers are researching through social channels, their own networks and third party sites independently way before ever talking with a sales person. Since they are doing so much on their own, vendors can’t wait until they are making their short list to get in front of them. By then it’s too late. In order to be part of their mindshare, you need your brand and content in front of them much earlier while they are engaging and evaluating. That’s where TechTarget comes in by helping vendors have their message, content and brand in environments where buyers are researching and evaluating during the buying cycle. Europa inserts what we refer to as the “humans in the machine” that overlay the buying process. It includes checking a vendor’s processes, managing their quality of inbound efforts, and nurturing along the way to track and measure what percentages are going to the next stage to see how a vendor’s investment is paying off.
Can you comment on what your experience has been using TechTarget leads and responses?
TechTarget generates high quality leads and responses for our clients’ demand funnels. Some technology vendors don’t always have the bandwidth or sales infrastructure to do prompt follow-up on their leads so look to outsource sales qualification and nurturing. They start by partnering with media companies like TechTarget for demand generation and then use Europa services to ensure their inbound opportunities receive prompt and professional follow-up.
Can you talk a little bit about how you use TechTarget’s Activity Intelligence Dashboard within your process?
TechTarget’s Activity Dashboard provides an excellent portal for us to use as part of our services. It enables us, on behalf of our client, to separate the â€˜wheat from the chaff’ in terms of the many hundreds of responses that a campaign can generate. Europa can easily identify those organizations that are really interested in buying and then follow up with them in the most appropriate way.
What impact have TechTarget leads had on Europa’s ability to deliver ROI to its clients?
Working with TechTarget leads and their Activity Intelligence dashboard has been very effective in our qualification process since we’re starting out with a high lead quality and full visibility into the activities and engagement those leads have had. For example, we saw excellent results in a recent co-funded campaign we ran with two leading global IT vendors promoting their joint cloud infrastructure proposition. The campaign generated 363 â€˜raw’ responses direct from TechTarget. Through the dashboard, we could quickly assess that we should immediately engage by phone with 312 of those (or 86%). This then generated 36 â€˜client-accepted’ qualified sales leads or a 12% outcome. That was 3x higher than what we usually see in a typical outbound campaign.
What do you think is different about TechTarget leads as compared to other lead sources?
TechTarget provides a higher quality of respondent which helps reduce the qualification and follow-up cycle. TechTarget has the ability to get technology vendors messages to the right people at the right time because they have such targeted audiences across all their sites and network. However, we find that many clients that invest in media syndication don’t necessarily have the means or expertise to deal with the resulting responses efficiently. To optimize their investment, vendors either need an internal system in place or need specialized services like Europa’s to react and follow-up promptly and professionally. That’s exactly how the clients mentioned earlier utilized TechTarget and Europa together to achieve the great results they did.