‘Telemarketing’ is a blanket term which conjures up visions of mass call centres and high levels of cold calling; this bears little relation to what you are about to read.
Briefing an agency.
Your fundamental objective when engaging in a B2B Telemarketing campaign is surely to uncover new business opportunities and win new clients. By the time you get to the point of briefing an agency, you will have thought long and hard about the businesses you would like to target and why your service will resonate with them. This is the time to be ambitious for what you and your chosen agency can achieve together; this requires far more than a traditional telemarketing approach. The journey towards identifying and securing new business opportunities is a complex and multi-layered one; data is validated, intelligence is gathered and a picture is built of buying cycles and the decision making unit within your target organisations.
This multi-layered and multi-faceted sales activity takes place over weeks and months and should always be dictated by the needs and buying cycles of your target clients. Focussing on the end results, rather than the tools, will secure a higher level of engagement internally.
This brings us onto the next point.
Engagement (from everyone) is key
When you engage a B2B Telemarketing agency, you will have done your due diligence and, in times of restricted budgets, will have decided the value in outsourcing the activity. To get the best return, partners and other stakeholders must also see the benefit and truly engage in the process. If they view this as low priority, this might put at risk the investment in the campaign.
Partners and fee earners can get involved in many ways. At the very least they should attend the initial planning and briefing sessions; they should share insights about their marketplace, the needs and challenges of the prospects and the solutions they can provide. Ideally they will be regularly available to contribute to progress meetings to share updates and insights and hone sales messages. You will gather a lot of valuable intelligence throughout the course of the campaign; your wider marketing team need to play their part in ensuring this information is used effectively. Whether it is inputting relevant data into your CRM system or feeding information about current suppliers into your bid team, the stakeholder group involved in lead generation projects might be wider than you initially think.
Don’t abdicate responsibility
Even if you engage an agency to support B2B telemarketing campaign, responsibility for its success remains with you. The agency are the experts in their field and while they expect to be accountable for the results they undertake to deliver, you must be available to provide additional data, to engage in conversations if the project needs to change direction and to provide access to partners and other stakeholders as necessary. It can be easy to think that once you have briefed your agency then you have done your job; you should remain engaged and available to work alongside your agency if you need to change approach or adjust targets.
Get your money’s worth from your B2B telemarketing campaign.
Encourage your agency to challenge you and play devil’s advocate. They will undoubtedly be more experienced than you – after all that’s why you picked them! So let them provide their perspective and take the opportunity to pick their brains. Work together as a team and leave no stone unturned in planning and preparation.
Be clear on goals
A B2B Telemarketing campaign team can deliver the best results for their clients if there is a shared understanding of strategic goals. Check your value proposition; you can guarantee that your competitors are targeting the same company so your proposition needs to be at its most compelling. Why should the prospect take the call about your service over and above the competition?
Don’t just count calls, make calls count
Think carefully about how you want to measure the success of a B2B Telemarketing campaign. While you must make a certain number of calls for a campaign, it’s important to make each call count. Each call is an opportunity to validate existing or add new data, map the DMU in an organisation, find out about buying cycles and retendering processes and generally build a clearer picture of the organisation you are targeting. All of the above activities are valuable and it’s as important to measure and report on them as it is to record the number of appointments set or leads generated. In each and every business, regardless of size, there are a number of people involved in the decision making process; identifying and mapping the constituents of the DMU can be a time consuming task.
It’s vital that all stakeholders involved have realistic expectations of the time it takes to go through this process. Work to your prospects timescales and priorities, not your own; in sales, timing is everything.
Don’t use scripts.
B2B calls should never be scripted. When you receive a phone call, you don’t want to feel that on the other end of the phone there is someone who is reading from a script without any interest in what they are saying; it is annoying and off-putting. So why inflict this on your prospects?
Make them call by a real person, instead, who shows interest in the prospect, who has done preparation work, knows the market and the prospect. You will be amazed at the results you will get!
Put the prospect at the centre.
In building new relationships and winning new business, we need to consider the priorities and timescales of our target prospects; this will make them feel valued and will engage them with your preposition more effectively. When you phone a prospect, talk about them, not yourself.
Don’t just limit your telemarketing campaign to a short time; do it all year. We have known organisations limit their lead generation activity to one intense eight week campaign every year. No wonder outcomes aren’t good: what happens if their prospects are looking for a partner in the other 44 weeks?
Follow this link if you want to read more articles about our Telemarketing and Telesales services.
If you would like to discuss your business needs, get in touch for a free consultation.