B2B Acquisition Strategies

LIVE

We discuss innovative strategies to reduce customer acquisition cost with CLA panelists from Linkedin, Thinking Capital, Econolease, and Lending Loop.

A key challenge we hear from lenders is the amount of effort it takes to get a meeting with a potential client. Is this a challenge for your organization? How have you tried to overcome it?
Yes, in any industry qualified leads and meetings with customers are always a challenge. At Thinking Capital, we have split our sales team in two, Business development reps (BDRs) and Account executives (AEs). The BDRs are responsible for lead qualification and setting call backs for our account executives. Because they have more of a hunting background, we believe that they are better skilled at getting through the gate keepers and getting customers to commit some time. The AEs are more relationship developers and handle the sales call. It also allows us to focus training on the type of selling skills required.
Econolease has been offering financial solutions to the food and hospitality industry since 2005.
At our core, we deliver asset based lending solutions. Businesses that are starting-up, renovating or expanding their operations need to tap into lots of capital to acquire equipment to deliver their products to market.
In the early years we struggled getting those initial appointments, But after 14 years, we dominate our market and the meetings are much easier to secure today.
We market our services largely to dealers that sell equipment. Dealers have a need. They need financing solutions to help their customers pay for the equipment they are selling.
We receive referrals from those dealers and that’s the largest source of customer introductions.
Most of our marketing is targeted at the dealer channel which is far more economical than targeting end-user business.
Mike, thanks for sharing. Certainly brand recognition has a major impact on response rate and ability to get meetings, so glad to hear that is going well for Econolease. Have you found a way to proactively seek out referrals at scale?
Hi Dominique - specialization is certainly a strong trend that we are starting to see. Have you seen an increase in meetings/ opportunities based on this change at Thinking Capital?
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Is your firm leveraging digital technologies to transform the way that you find new clients? If so, in what way?
In 2010 we started development of our internal business management platform, EFSOnline. In the early years of our technology development, we focused on our business processes. How we could use technology to make processing deals efficient?
EFSOnline has become the engine that drives all parts of our business. We use it for marketing to customers that are active or had activity with us in the past. We integrate with third party marketing services directly through our platform.
We also use our technology to automatically update our dealer partners on where their customer applications are at from a status-tracking perspective. That in itself is great marketing. If the dealers know where their deals are at, they feel great comfort that things are being well managed. The positive reinforcement of seeing their deals move through EFSOnline leads to stickiness with the vendor and more customer introductions from those vendors.
Obviously greater efficiency and transparency leads to better end-user outcomes, which leads to repeat business. The technology makes all of that possible.
As a key player in the FinTech industry, technology drives how we do business. Our strong online presence and our Key Partnerships (CIBC, National Bank, Equifax, Moneris, Money Mart, ...) are at the center of our strategy. We do invest in both SEM and SEO and are present on all key platforms. Although we are the leading online lender in Canada, it is essential to remain visible and accessible. Everything we do is around simplicity, speed and experience.
Hi Mike and Dominique, nice to hear that your investment in modern systems is having a positive impact on your business. I’m interested to hear if social networks are in any way part of your customer acquisition strategy?
Hi Peter, yes it is actually an important part of our lead gen strategy. We have a basic content strategy mainly for Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram but we also invest in Facebook Ads and have been getting a good ROI. The challenge with managing your social presence is resource availability to manage it. Content cannot just be generic, it needs to be engaging and bring value to your target market. The beauty of social media is obviously it’s targeting capabilities, your content needs to be tailored to them. Over and above, you need to manage your ratings & reviews, which is also delicate and time consuming as this medium is usually leveraged by unhappy customers. That being said, I believe that in 2018 if you do not have a social presence, you are missing out on key potential leads.
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