How To Leverage Telemarketing in Your B-to-B Campaign

Keith Flint
B2B Marketing
Current average rating    
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Key Takeaways
  • B-to-B call campaigns can help marketers engage prospective customers, secure new business and cultivate important brand relationships.
  • An internal call center team has a deep knowledge of the service or industry and can integrate more seamlessly into your existing business process, and an external team allows you to control costs and leverage phone-specific expertise.
  • Regardless of the activity, there is one very valuable benefit that telemarketing always offers: real-time information. During the call, you can learn firsthand what your customers are experiencing in the marketplace.”
 

In B-to-B marketing, direct phone initiatives possess the potential to produce greater opportunities than any other marketing activity. Live conversations create the rare opportunity to personally engage your prospect, cultivate customer relationships and secure new business opportunities.

Today, B-to-B telemarketing is being embraced for a wide range of sales and marketing activities: lead generation, prospective lead nurturing, event support, and compiling and cleaning lists and databases.

Regardless of the activity, there is one valuable benefit that telemarketing always offers:  real-time information. During the call, you can learn firsthand what your customers are experiencing in the marketplace. This is only possible, though, if your phone team is capable of customer interaction rather than script recitals, which is one of many factors that affect the success of a call campaign.

A key decision that you need to make is whether this will be an internal effort, executed by your own in-house staff, or if you’ll need to outsource the work to a specialized telemarketing group.

An internal team offers many advantages, such as potentially deeper content knowledge and more seamless integration into your unique business processes. That approach might also give you more control of and visibility into the calling effort, as well as the advantage of working with your own staff.

On the other hand, outsourcing allows you to more easily control costs by eliminating salary and operational expenses. You also typically leverage greater phone-specific experience and expertise that’s often not available in-house.

If you decide to outsource your call campaign, here are six questions to ask:

1. What is the staff like? Good teams comprise professionals from multiple disciplines and tend to work a limited number of hours per day.

2. What is the call environment like? Avoid boiler room call centers. Your business deserves to be represented by people working in a comfortable, professional environment. Don’t be scared off by teleworker environments.

3. What is the call guide, brief or script process and format? Training is key. Callers must understand the mission and messaging so that they can execute the program without a script. Scripts are crutches and hinder conversation. A good call team uses a call guide and formulates the best dialogue when they call.

4. How do they set up and initiate a new project? Successful programs begin with an infusion of knowledge from both the client sales and marketing teams. Cookie-cutter approaches rarely capture the intent and nuance that need to be transferred between organizations to achieve success.

5. Can they integrate with your CRM/marketing automation system? We live in a real-time world. Actions need to happen fast and smoothly. Sharing data back and forth is essential to optimizing opportunities.

6. What level of reporting and analysis can they offer? Raw numbers are good, but what do they mean and what can you do to make the program work even better? Understand what the vendor brings to the table in terms of crunching numbers and producing actionable information.

Without question, the right telemarketing program can be a valuable asset to your B-to-B business. Developing that effort, though, requires careful attention and the right approach, and application of the program requires rigor. When that happens, you have a powerful revenue booster and brand builder.​​ 


​This was originally published in the November​​​​ 2014 issue of the B2B Marketing​​​​ e-newsletter.​​​


Author Bio:

Keith Flint
Keith Flint is the strategy director of Sudden Impact Marketing, a marketing firm that has utilized phone, direct, traditional and interactive marketing to serve high-tech B-to-B clients since 1997. He can be reached at 614-942-0914 or at keith@simarketing.net.
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