While the idea of a lead generation exercise that involves contacting 10,000 companies in one week may sound daunting, for PC hardware reseller Business Computer Systems the job was made easier with a little help from its partner, IBM PC Company.
When BCS first hatched the idea of conducting a massive lead generation exercise, it approached IBM to see what help was available. Fortunately, BCS's needs also fell into line with those of IBM. According to IBM PC Company's business partner relationship manager, David La Rose, IBM didn't take long to act on the approach.
"It's completely in line with the program that we're rolling out with the other business partners. What we're trying to do is show some of the resellers the success in terms of lead generation and demand generation that they can achieve, and that IBM is very willing to work with partners in joint marketing efforts," he said.
The efforts made by IBM included providing space and subsidised phone lines and PCs for BCS's telemarketing staff at its Cumberland Forest headquarters. IBM also worked with BCS on joint marketing material.
BSC managing director Andrew Rouse says such an operation would have been difficult to mount were it not for IBM's assistance. "It would probably be a lot more costly, and the main problem would be time. It's not the sort of thing you can organise in a few days - it's probably taken about one and a half months to organise the concept." BCM also sought help from ICM, which provided the telemarketing personnel.
Rouse says the work of the telemarketers was based around lead generation, and that no sales were made over the phone. He is delighted with the response from customers, estimating that 80 per cent of those people called have shown interest, of which 20 per cent have asked for quotes. "Some of these leads could be over 12 months away, but some of them are very large opportunities," said Rouse. The leads generated by the operation are being passed on to BCS's sales force for follow up.