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Business To Business: Services That Your Business Needs But Probably Doesn't Use Right Now

You run a business, and you're being pulled in multiple directions. What you need is a way to de-stress. At the same time, you don't know where to turn. You know most of your competitors are outsourcing the tough jobs, you just don't know where they're going to get the work done. Here's a few places to start looking. You won't believe what you'll find. 

Guided Voice Mail 

BoxPilot is the leader in what it calls "guided voice mail." It's a way for your company to break through  the "gatekeeper" at most companies and get to the person you need to get to. Here's how it works. First, you record a message and set a date for the marketing calls. Then, live human beings make the actual phone calls on your behalf, get past the gatekeeper or navigate the phone system and get you to the right voicemail. When they do get the voicemail, they play a recorded message. If they get a live person, they hang up because it defeats the purpose of guided voice mail. 

It might seem a little strange to call someone only to hang up, but some companies, many companies actually, use this very same tactic manually to entice prospects to call them back. It's a bit of a power game - the person who is doing the calling has the power. If you get your prospects to call you, suddenly, you're in control and that's good from a sales perspective. 

Trade Show Marketing 

Your company makes a huge investment when it contracts for a booth at a trade show, event, or conference. You shouldn't be wasting your time there handing out business cards - there's no way to track lead flow and sales from the event this way. Your trade show marketing becomes a huge black hole. 

This is where companies like NewLeads come into play. They help businesses put together a killer trade show exhibit where critical customer data is captured and seamlessly integrated into the company's SFA, CRM, or some other marketing database. Rather than have people enter information manually, which is time consuming and often turns people off, visitors can either scan badges or use simplified data entry that captures essential information (i.e. contact information) that's useful for followup marketing. 

Company Background Checks 

A big part of doing business with other businesses is understanding business profiles. Business profiles include things like discovering the true owner of the company, making sure they are who they say they are, verifying government documentation, and verifying other company data. Not surprisingly, the leader in this industry is a company called BusinessProfiles. 

Why use a service like this? Because the Internet makes it very easy to fake yourself, your company, and your credentials. You probably don't think twice about doing a background check on employees, but do you ever do a background check on companies you do business with? Well, you should, and for the same reason you do it with employees. 

Explainer Video Creation 

Companies like CommonCraft dominate the explainer video marketplace. Why use them (or any other company that creates educational videos)? Because more and more consumers are demanding education. They don't want to be sold. They want to be educated about what it is you do. They want to be in control and make their own sales decisions. They want to buy, not be sold to. 

Accounting Software 

It's surprising just how many companies lack a good accounting program. Companies like Intuit often market to medium and larger companies, but they also have a suite of small business solutions. Unfortunately, most small business owners either don't think they need a solution at all or they're intimidated by accounting software. Here's the downside to not having it though: it's virtually impossible to track sales and revenue and tie it in with marketing data. 

There's a reason why larger companies use accounting software. It integrates with their marketing system so they can understand the relationship between sales and marketing, revenue and profits. If you want to grow out of a mom-and-pop shop, you really need some kind of accounting system in place. 

Virtual Assistant 

There's nothing like having a virtual assistant to help you out - especially if you're a one-man operation.  Hiring an assistant that's a full-time employee, however, adds a lot of expense to your company. Bringing on an independent contractor, like EAHelp, for example, who works with you on specific tasks, like bookkeeping or billing, can save you hours and hours of work that you don't want to do yourself.