15th Jul, 2021
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- Modern businesses need to optimize their B2B telemarketing campaigns to drive sustained growth and higher revenue
- The challenges of unreliable data, high rejection, disjointed and siloed business processes loom large on B2B telemarketing across enterprises
- Undertaking best practices in terms of thorough research, flexible campaigns, right timing and measuring KPIs will define success in 2021 and beyond
In a world where digital processes and platforms have taken over nearly all aspects of our lives, there are still marketing approaches and strategies that rely on personalized human connection. Offline marketing activities like events, expos, and network-building conferences have been halted due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Hence, B2B telemarketing has emerged as one of the most reliable ways to ensure sustainable growth.
Let us take a closer look at why B2B telemarketing is effective, the challenges faced by most campaigns, and tips on designing a successful B2B telemarketing campaign.
The importance of B2B telemarketing
B2B telemarketing, whether inbound telemarketing or outbound, continues to be one of the most successful and cost-effective solutions to grow businesses. In addition to generating quality leads and building a sustainable pipeline of prospects, B2B telemarketing has a tangible and measurable impact on business revenue and the bottom line.
While many conflate B2B telemarketing with B2B telesales, the former is actually a broader attempt to generate leads and establish a rapport with prospects. In contrast, the latter is focused on simply converting leads into sales by closing deals.
Telemarketing is just behind email when it comes to lead generation, follow-up, cross-selling, promoting new products or services, online demos, and other critical B2B growth strategies.
Challenges faced during B2B telemarketing campaigns
Invalid and inaccurate entries in the database are among the biggest reasons why telemarketing campaigns might fail to deliver returns. Organizations that intend to run B2B telemarketing campaigns must either create a comprehensive and verified database of prospective customers (as per customer profiles) or procure the services of an organization like Denave that maintains such databases.
Estimates suggest that telemarketers have to make 80 calls before identifying a lead, which means that they often face failure or outright rejection. If not properly trained to manage expectations, these rates can prove to be a motivation killer for team members. It is challenging to start every call with renewed enthusiasm and energy after repeated rejection, especially with the pressure of time.
One of the challenges that businesses and telemarketing heads face is quantifying their success; as a telemarketing campaign sets in motion a series of processes that are taken over by other teams. Should the only parameter for success be the number of leads generated, or the number of calls made? Should all leads, whether good or bad, be considered the same? What about the cases wherein a good rapport and connection were established, but it didn’t convert?
Finally, one of the largest factors why telemarketing operations offer lackluster returns is executing the campaign and operation in a void, disconnected from other business processes. Telemarketing is not just the first step of the sales funnel that identifies and progresses leads but also a part of the bigger outreach and engagement campaign using different mediums and platforms. A multi-channel approach that works in tandem with other strategies like social media and email marketing is the best way to make the most of telemarketing campaigns.
Creating and implementing a winning B2B telemarketing campaign: Best practices
Undertake comprehensive research
There is a lot of groundwork and research activity to be done before initiating a telemarketing campaign. The most important aspect of this process is understanding the potential customers, profiling them, creating personas, and building or outsourcing a reliable database.
The other critical part is to figure out what the messaging and value proposition will be. This is based on existing market trends, competitor analysis, and the preferences of the targeted audience. These insights will help set goals, identify the best approach, and establish the purpose of each call. Businesses can also outsource these research, reports, and surveys to reputable marketing expert organizations (like Denave) for reliable and accurate results.
Draft a flexible script
A standard script that can help telemarketers stay focused and use the right phrases is an indispensable part of the entire campaign. It is important to note that while the script is one of the greatest and most handy tools to be used during calls, it must be drafted in a way that leaves room for personalization and flexibility.
It should contain easy-to-use and culturally relevant phrases, have the right set of questions and prompts, include a call-to-action, and set the tone and flow for the conversation. Don’t focus on compressing too much information, or else there is a risk turning the script into a monologue or a robotic call.
Unlock more insights on steps to get better telemarketing leads
Choose the right time
Depending on the geography, industry, and customer profile, choosing the right time is vital. Think of it this way, a cold call is anyway an unexpected disruption in the day of the potential customer, and all caution must be taken to avoid catching them at the wrong time. Most business leaders and decision-makers tend to be busy between 9-5, so early morning and evening calls tend to do better.
However, by varying call times and testing different slots, the best choice can be determined. Remember, the outcome of the call is usually determined in the first 30 seconds, so it makes little sense to reach potential customers when they’re too busy or distracted to pay attention to the pitch.
Train the team well
Many organizations and campaigns make the mistake of not focusing enough on the biggest asset in the process: the telemarketer. It is assumed that freshers with minimal experience can quickly get on board, but much like any other role, telemarketing requires a specific set of skills.
The good news is that these soft skills can be developed with adequate training and learning. Be sure to train the team on making great first impressions, being persuasive, setting the tone and pace of the conversation, and responding to potential customers as opposed to reading a script or forcing a sale.
Teaching telemarketers the art of conversation, listening, reflecting, decision-making, empathy, and curiosity will go a long way to ensure success. Additionally, be sure that they know the products and services inside out and are ready to answer any and every question about them.
Measure the right metrics and KPIs
As stated earlier, businesses and campaigns struggle to define the parameters of their success. In order to understand the true business value and output of the telemarketing campaign, go beyond leads or revenue made. Analyze how many calls are being made, the conversion ratio, the ratio of good to bad leads, the ratio of people interested and not interested, and the effectiveness of the database. These metrics should be measured against a definite time frame, depending on the nature of the business, and will also help determine the RoI of the entire campaign.
Get commitments to plan follow-ups
All telemarketers should remember that the first phone call is simply a step to nudge potential customers to take the next action. The purpose of each call should be to help prospects move one step ahead in the sales funnel. This means getting a commitment for the next call, a follow-up meeting, an introduction to another decision-maker.
Since most B2B partnerships are high-value, it is unrealistic to expect that the entire sales process will be closed in a single or the first call. The prospect may spend several days, weeks, or months before finally making a purchase, and telemarketers should know exactly how and when they must lead them to the next stage of the cycle.
How to derive more value from B2B telemarketing campaigns: The final word
Telemarketing has proven to be a dependable approach for B2B organizations to attract new clients and grow during the Covid-19 pandemic. While many enterprises have set up in-house telemarketing teams over the past year, others have chosen to outsource to entire campaigns to reliable marketing partners and agencies. Denave also offers comprehensive and result-oriented B2B telemarketing services. Please get in touch with us to know more.
Looking to generate more sales-ready leads? Take cue from Denave experts.