LeadG2 is an inbound marketing and sales enablement agency that does excellent work with organizations that are B2B focused and have complexed sales environments. What that means is they’re typically targeting executive-level decision-makers. It’s not a one-call close; it’s a sales process that might have a long sales cycle, a multi-step sales cycle that could last weeks or even months. It’s typically a higher ticket, more complex solution that’s being offered.
One of the markets that really describes this situation is PEO companies and human resource outsourcing firms. These organizations are trying to sell to business owners and trying to engage in complex discussions about how they can better manage their human resources, payroll, and benefits. This requires building trust, credibility – and it’s a long, complex sales cycle that often creates frustration. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to stop using tired and overused PEO marketing tactics.
3 Overused PEO Marketing Tactics
PEO companies are frustrated with their marketing and business development tactics, and the overall performance they’re seeing. As we have conversations with business owners, sales leaders, and sales executives at PEO organizations, three overused marketing tactics that really stand out.
1. Relying Solely on Outbound Marketing
Relying exclusively on cold calling to generate new leads is the first outbound marketing tactic that raises a red flag. Salespeople are knocking on doors, sending cold emails, and phone calls — cold calling has always been a numbers game. Make X number of calls and send X number of emails to get appointments and, ultimately, clients. What we know is that numbers are getting bigger—you must make more and more calls only to get less and less results. While cold calling is hard, it’s even harder to find people who are good at it.
2. Third-Party Databases
Another overused marketing tactic we’re seeing with PEO organizations that are frustrated or struggling with business development is they’re looking for this magical third-party list. They want a list that they can buy, start pushing emails out to and spam the market, and, hopefully, get some results and get prospects interested in their services.
This is a tired, old tactic and there is no third-party database that you can buy and market to. The best databases you can market to are the ones that you custom build yourself with your specific target market. It takes hard work and time, but it is achievable.
The third problem we see is PEO organizations looking for a rainmaker. The answer to their revenue growth problems is to hire another salesperson who can hopefully come with a LinkedIn network that they can leverage to bring in business that’s ready to close. And, that’s great if you can find it, but it’s rare and it’s hard. The downside to this is that the rainmaker you bring on will only bring a few deals — it’s not something that is repeatable and scalable.
In the PEO and HR Outsourcing space, what we often find is that rainmaker is building that broker network, looking for the new broker relationships that can bring deals to them. That’s a great way to drive business IF you can build and sustain those relationships. Those brokers will take you to multiple partners and companies, so there’s no guarantee that will work for your organization.
Inbound Marketing for PEO Companies
If your PEO or HR Outsourcing company wants to be effective with marketing and business development tactics, the secret is to base those tactics on a process. The process needs to be repeatable, scalable, and measurable.
Inbound marketing is nothing more than some tactics that you can leverage to attract your prospects to you. Instead of you doing all outbound work— trying to engage and find your next prospect and next best deal. Inbound making allows you to get them to raise their hand, self-identify, and come to you.
Inbound marketing works in complex sales environments. It can be measured and optimized over time and can be a key ingredient to driving business growth. There’s not just one tactic that is magic and works for every company. We believe that cold calling always has a place in business, emailing to lists that you can build and nurture over time has a place in your marketing tactics, and hiring good salespeople who can bring deals to the table is part of it as well.
However, if you’re just doing one of those marketing tactics or outbound marketing alone, you’re not going to be effective. Inbound marketing should also have a place within your portfolio as you build and develop your business.