Article

Suzanne Stock
Suzanne Stock 17 March 2014

10 hot tips to improve your B2B telemarketing results

Put your B2B data lists to better use and rejuvenate your telemarketing department with our 10 hot tips.

Let’s be honest, when most of us think of telemarketing we think of those annoying phone calls made to someone who hasn’t lived at your house for 15 years or by someone who appears to be trying to sell you pet insurance for a dog which you don’t own and have absolutely no intention of owning either now or in the future.

Effective B2B telemarketing couldn’t be more different. If you want to improve your results, a top priority is to ensure that your telemarketing team do not view themselves in the same industry as the unsolicited B2C callers mentioned above.

  1. Ensure your team understand their value.

  • Well-researched and well-planned B2B telemarketing is one of the most effective marketing assets a company can employ, and is widely welcomed by other businesses.

  • In a recent UK study of 200 business managers, telesales calls at work were voted one of the least annoying forms of advertising (polling just 4%), whilst 90% of marketing managers said that B2B telemarketing was either effective, or very effective, for their business.

 

  1. Ensure your B2B data lists are spotlessly clean

  • Never underestimate the value of clean, up-to-date, targeted B2B marketing data, tailored not just to your business, but to the specific campaign (if you’ve just sold a software upgrade to a client, he’s going to be a bit peeved if you try and sell the same product at 25% off).

 

  1. Develop realistic goals and a clear pipeline

  • Develop a clear structure for your campaign, and set goals for each call in the sequence, culminating in the ultimate outcome (appointment / sale / renewal etc.).

  • Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither should your telemarketers be expected to broker a killer deal in a single cold-call.

 

  1. Understand that good B2B telemarketing takes time

  • An analysis of 29,000 UK B2B telemarketing calls, showed that it took an average of 80 calls to develop a new opportunity. Success rates vary hugely by sector, so it pays to analyse your own team’s call conversion rates to set future goals and manage expectations.

 

  1. Integrate your telemarketing strategy

  • Don’t view your telemarketing campaign in isolation, but rather integrate it as part of a multi-channel approach to achieving your end goal.

 

  1. Outsource

  • A 2013 presentation by SiriusDecisions, claimed nearly two thirds of a B2B buyer’s journey occurred independently from sales interaction, whilst in-house sales teams only follow up on 20% of leads. Outsourcing your telemarketing requirements can free up valuable time for your sales team, and help to ensure that no leads slip through the net.

 

  1. Allow your team to innovate and improvise

  • It’s often more valuable to give your team a set of key points to cover in each conversation (thus allowing them to adapt the pitch as they see fit), than insisting on scripted conversations.

  • Micro-managing your team’s conversations can limit the rapport they develop with prospects, and can lead to the perception that your company lacks personal touch.

 

  1. Knowledge is king

  • Arm your team with clear, concise information about the product or campaign they are promoting.

  • Just as you would read up on your client before heading into a face-to-face meeting, so your telemarketing team should be briefed on each new prospect they approach.

  • Make sure your B2B marketing data is detailed enough to give you this information.

 

  1. Vary call times

  • Key decision makers often operate outside the normal 9-5 working hours of a company’s ‘gatekeeper’. Early morning and evening calls can result in easier access to those with whom you wish to speak.

 

  1. Finally, don’t let your team think or act like B2C telemarketers

  • Most B2B buyers are receptive to telemarketing calls - it’s their job to procure products for their business. A structured, personalised and professional approach to each call is most likely to have a positive outcome.

  • In a recent B2B lead generation survey, 31% cited telemarketing as their most effective lead generation channel, falling behind only email (42%) and live events (35%).

In summary:

  • Plan meticulously.

  • Clean up your B2B data lists.

  • Set realistic targets.

  • Encourage your team to build rapport with new prospects.

  • Ensure your team understand the professional value of their role.

 

Discover how to generate even more business in 2014: The Business Owners guide: use your customer database to boost the sales pipeline

 

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