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16 Lead Generation Activities That Qualify for MDF Funds

This is part two of a three-part series all about how to secure vendor market development funds (MDF). In part one, I shared three times you should seek MDF funds. But how do you get the money? It starts with knowing what activities might qualify for these funds and then knowing how to ask.

Common and not-so-common activities vendors fund

Here’s a list of 16 different lead generation activities that we’ve seen our clients get MDF funding for – all in the past 12 months.

1. Lead generation plan. You can’t reach your lead generation destination without a plan that identifies who you should target, how to reach them, what messaging to use, and which lead generation activities to employ.

2. Lead generation campaign creation. Effective content writing isn’t as easy as you think. Get some help to differentiate yourself from generic content and don’t antagonize your valuable list.

3. Social media management. By boosting your audience and increasing engagement, you’ll gain digital visibility and increase web traffic.

4. SEO strategy and monitoring. Strategists can identify the best keywords to use and what activities will bring more traffic to your website.

5. SEO monitoring. To be effective, your SEO needs to be closely monitored by an expert who stays on top of the ever-changing playing field.

6. Website redesign. Your website should look modern and fresh. If it’s looking a little dated, it could cost you business. You work hard to get people to visit your website, now you need to convert them.

7. Showcases, seminars or even conferences – events are a great way to get people face-to-face and engaged. Anyone who comes to an event is already an interested prospect.

8. Appointment setting. You can outsource using an agency, or you can partially fund the salary of an in-house appointment-setter.

9. Case studies. A well-written case study will show prospects exactly how you can help them with their business issues.

10. Sales prospecting training. Stagnant sales? Your reps could likely use some new tools to keep their pipelines full.

11. Prospecting blitz days. Vendor funds can be used to pay for incentives, prizes and additional resources needed to execute prospecting blitzes.

12. Blog articles. Your website needs consistent educational content to stay relevant.

13. Social media training. Improve your social selling skills and boost your web presence.

14. Email lists and list services. You can break into a new vertical or just try a new, targeted list.

15. Lead generation laser coaching. Laser coaching helps you target specific areas of improvement for your lead generation campaigns.

16. Sales hiring. It might be time to hire a sales rep, improve sales compensation plans, or revamp your whole sales hiring process.

What to include in your MDF proposal

To get your vendor on board, you need to craft a strong proposal that includes three key elements:

  1. A clear-cut plan. Outline your campaign and include a timeline. You want to identify your target market, who will be involved in the project and what resources you will need.
  2. A budget. Include all of the associated costs. If you’re hiring a company for the activity, they should help with this. For example, we offer sales training, lead generation services and a number of the services listed above. When we work with clients, we help them scope the project and provide justification to their vendor.
  3. The anticipated results. Your expected results should be as specific as possible. Include your sales projections and the expected timeline for the sales cycle. You should also mention any lead generation goals and include a follow up strategy.

Notice that each of these sales and marketing activities will help you generate revenue and grow your business. When you’re successful, your vendors will be too. By delivering a proposal that offers the details that your vendor is looking for, you show them how those activities are going to benefit them. And you’re much more likely to succeed.

Kendra Lee

This is part two of a three-part series on how to get vendor MDF funds. (Here’s part one in case you missed it.) In part three (here), I share some tips on how to build better relationships with your vendors so those funds are as good as yours.

Kendra Lee is president of KLA Group, which works with companies to break in and exceed revenue objectives in the Small and Midmarket Business (SMB) segment. Read more blogs from Kendra here.

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4 Comments

Comments

    Amy Katz:

    More great information on ways to use MDF funds. Although, I’m not used to reading a list that starts with 1 on ChannelE2E! Thank you Kendra for some valuable tips. ABK

    Kendra Lee:

    LOL, Amy! You’re welcome. More MSPs should take advantage of vendor MDF to grow their businesses.

    Stuart Crawford:

    Good article..much of it I agree with…
    however…
    I work with MSPs everyday looking to get MDF funds from clients..here is what we see as push back from many vendors.

    1. No trained and certified technical resources on their solutions.
    2. No trained and certified sales resources on their solutions.
    3. No past success selling their solutions.
    4. No future pipeline predictability.
    5. Marketing plans are not in alignment with the vendor’s goals and objectives.

    I mention much of this in my guide to successful MDF ebook. 🙂

      Kendra Lee:

      Stuart, great lead in! Stay tuned for part 3 where I cover each of these issues that MSPs face and how to deal with them. Many of the MSPs that we work with have never considered or received MDF, which is a real value to growing their businesses their way. They have to start somewhere, and this series will guide them in getting their first MDF, or expanding their MDF.

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