ecently I had some interesting chats with some people from large international companies looking for some high quality leads for their marketing campaigns. As always I asked them what kind of leads are they aiming for and which criteria should be the appropriate criteria of choice. Not surprisingly they came up with standard criteria like number of employees, sales revenue, industry codes and geographical setting. But is that really what matters? Is that enough? Haven’t marketers been told that they need to stand out of the crowd?
Let’s have a look at a new criterion that eases your life but only a few companies can deliver (and basically not those companies that you approach when buying some leads). Let’s call this criterion creditworthiness. Creditworthiness means an assessment of the creditworthiness of a company or individual to ensure that in 12 months time the subject is still active and won’t go bankrupt.
What do you think about it? Might sound strange to a marketer? What the heck do I have to care about creditworthiness in sales or marketing? Isn’t that finance departments problem? No it is not. At least no any longer. Credit management usually should start right before the first contact. Or don’t you agree that you should not approach any prospect that is highly unlikely to be on the market for any longer than the next 12 months? See. I knew it. In times when resources are scarce anyway why should you want to risk your marketing budget by wasting money on prospects that either cease trading soon or cannot pay for your products anyway?
Have you thought about it what’s going to happen if you leave this to finance or the credit department? Assuming that you contact some prospects that in turn will buy your product but won’t pay for it: The process will pretty much resembles the following one:
- Final reminder
- Collection proceedings
- Maybe successful in collecting some money, maybe not.
- Assuming that no money could be collected due to the fact that the company goes bust
- There will be a gap due to the loss that needs to be offset by additional sales. What if among those additional sales there are some more bad debts. In industries where there are small margins a loss can become a serious challenge to offset. (Example: 3% margin, loss of 10’000 $ –> additional sales required of = 333’333 $…..that’s A FIGURE)
- Certainly, marketing will be responsible for those bad debts due the fact that the wrong companies / people have been selected leading to a direct loss.
- Marketing budget might be reduced because the performance is not appropriate, in fact it’s even generating some direct losses at the bottom line (not even considering the costs of those leads etc.)
I guess you don’t want to go into such discussions. Therefore, think about taking creditworthiness into your catalogue of selection criteria to ensure that you really target companies and people that are worth the effort.