Staffing Firm Demand Generation
It’s time to talk about demand generation. How many of you are currently trying to get new clients, expand in your existing clients, and/or attract new candidates? Staffing firm demand generation is all about creating campaigns that draw demand from your clients, prospects, and candidates. Whether you are trying to attract new clients, expand, or drive more candidates, the fact is, demand generation is the approach your staffing firm should turn to. Today, let’s talk about how to identify those markets and objectives as well as how to create a strong staffing firm demand generation campaign.
What is my objective?
Many people try to lump too many things together in their demand generation efforts. Each demand generation campaign you create needs to be tightly targeted in order to focus on the specific needs of that audience. In determining your objective, you want to be as specific as possible because each part of the demand generation effort needs to be addressed in order to achieve success as well as be able to determine return on investment. Let’s focus on a demand generation campaign that helps you expand within your existing client base. In addition to this objective, we want to determine our definition of existing clients. Our objective must revolve around the clients and contacts we currently have and how to effectively reach them in order to gain traction.
Who is the audience?
Using our objective, we need to look at each existing client and ask a key question, “how many managers at our existing clients currently have active head count?” In talking about this with many of our clients, there is a belief that they know the client and understand the full extent of their needs. However, the question above addresses the facts. Many of your clients have between five (5) and fifty (50) hiring managers and when we address the question above, we learn that there are one (1), two (2) or three (3) managers that you are actively working with. To determine your audience, there are many data sources to consult in order to determine how many true active hiring managers there are at each client. DiscoverOrg is a great data source and it allows you to see a good view of the entire organization as well as help you define who you are not working with. Work with your existing client hiring managers to understand the full extent of their organization to bring additional clarity to your audience.
What steps/channels should I use?
Now that you have an objective and you defined your audience, the key is to establish the parameters of the demand generation campaign. First, and most obvious, is asking your hiring managers for internal referrals to the other managers. Over 95% of salespeople know they are supposed to be asking for referrals; however, less than 5% of those same salespeople ask for referrals at all. For some reason, referrals are one of the hardest areas for salespeople to approach. Second, ask the hiring managers for a testimonial to define how well you work with them. Third, determine which channels you want to use. In this example, we recommend selecting email, LinkedIn outreach, basic mailings (to be defined in a moment), and phone calls. Additionally, we recommend doing a client specific event to bring those hiring managers to you. Do you want to use video as one of the elements of the campaign or use a contest to drive behavior and success? The choice is up to you.
Messaging and differentiation
One of the reasons to choose a demand generation campaign that focuses on expanding within existing clients is because you already have an agreement with those clients. There are no lists that you need to get on and you have existing success to reference. So, what is your message? All of the content for this type of campaign is very focused on the fact that you are already working with them and specific groups within their organization. I don’t typically recommend calling out the names of the people you are working with because I include their names within the testimonials. The messaging should focus on various successes you’ve had at their organization and attempt to provide the references back to your consultants and existing hiring managers. Your messaging should point out how long you have worked with that client and your desire to be an asset to their entire organization. This is a great place for videos that include the merit of working with your staffing firm. This includes commentary from the salesperson simply talking about how much they appreciate working with the hiring managers (their names included), any documented successes that focus on the quality of the people you bring in or the speed in which you bring them in, or the partnership that you bring to their organization. This messaging and differentiation should be somewhat boastful. It feels like you are tooting your own horn, but this is the place to do that as it is both expected and important.
Defining the demand generation campaign
So, we now have the objective, the audience, which channels we wish to use, and messaging and differentiation. It is now time to execute. Does anyone think that one email equals a demand generation campaign? The simple fact is that multichannel demand generation campaigns succeed at a significantly higher rate than any individual effort.
Now, let’s talk specifics. I recommend the creation of four (4) separate emails that each talk to a specific point and carry the testimonials and, if possible, videos. The subject lines should include something to the effect of, “I was referred to you” or, “fill-in-the-blank-name recommended we speak”. Sometimes, I even include that we are currently working with *company name*. In other words, the subject line looks like: “Referred to you by John and we currently work with XYZ company”. This subject line seems simple, but the open rates and the click throughs confirm the effectiveness of this approach.
For LinkedIn, I recommend creating three (3) to four (4) separate messages to direct send to the hiring managers. Thanks to some of the updates of LinkedIn, you are now able to see if the person is online at their desk or on mobile. In addition to the messages, I recommend having each of these hiring managers’ direct messages within eyesight while the campaign in going on.
Previously, I had also mentioned the use of basic mailing. Believe it or not, a simple letter written and mailed to the hiring managers adds to the success of the campaign. I recommend three (3) letters being created that, similar the emails, drive different points. You’re probably thinking, “I can’t believe I just heard ‘send a sales letter’”, but when was the last time you received a letter? The fact is, handwritten notes or typed letters are having a great effect and are also inexpensive to add to your staffing firm’s demand generation campaign.
We already discussed the use of video, but how does a video help you on LinkedIn or in a letter? This involves a discussion about your website. Create a landing page for the client. We recommend referring to it as a portal for the client. The landing page should include basic messaging as well as the video, testimonials, and a simple form for someone to submit reqs or contact you. The forms are developed to send directly to the account managers working that client as well as copying management for tracking purposes. Each landing page should be unique in order to effectively show the client that it is all about them. As new hiring managers come on, quickly get testimonials and add them to the demand generation campaign. Also, set up Google Analytics tracking for the landing page to document your return on investment.
Tracking for success
Measuring success should be fairly simple now that you have determined how many managers you are actively working with and how many more you are able to reach. For example, if you have two (2) hiring managers with billing consultants and after two (2) months you now have four (4) hiring managers, you have the ability to track all of that success. Use Google Analytics to track the success of the landing page, use your email provider to document your open and click through rates, and use your ATS to document new meetings and reqs from these new managers. Tracking the success of this type of campaign requires a little bit of diligence.
Please remember that any campaign requires you to inspect what you expect. You are expecting new hiring managers and you know who your salespeople are that are on these campaigns. Make it part of weekly conversation to see how it’s going and be sure to ask a lot of questions. These demand generation campaigns typically show results quickly and provide an extreme amount of value. If you want to talk more about staffing firm demand generation, we are here to help.
About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.