In our first blog on telemarketing we established that within the B2B space telemarketing is NOT seen as the lowest of the low, it gets results and yields a healthy ROI. However, levels of success vary and – at the risk of stating the obvious – good planning can help to ensure your marketing funds are well spent. Here are five telemarketing ground rules:
1. Be clear what you’re trying to achieve
And ‘more sales’ is not specific enough. B2B telemarketing campaigns are targeted at focused outcomes. Here are the top five*:
– 84% to generate leads
– 79% make appointments
– 68% nurture leads
– 62% clean data
– 33% customer service
(and what’s interesting is ‘closing the sale’ is not on the list)
2. Call at the appropriate stage in the sales process
Use buying triggers to establish when to call. Examples could be online behaviour, such as number of content downloads or web pages visited / re-visited or emails opened and clicked through. Calling from completely cold is less likely to be productive and given that people’s online behaviour is so easily trackable – especially with marketing automation software – it’s relatively easy to focus on warm leads.
3. Make sure it fits with the bigger picture.
A telemarketing campaign shouldn’t be an isolated event, it should fit and support your other marketing efforts. For example, once leads have been qualified they can be nurtured further and unqualified leads removed from the list. Following up is essential; research by Sirius Decisions shows that most businesses are not good at following up – up to 80% of leads are not followed up by in-house sales teams. With 80% of ‘bad’ leads buying within 24 months, the money’s in the follow up.
4. Give the campaign time to work.
Telemarketing is not a quick win. The average telemarketing campaign takes 14 weeks to ramp up to an optimum level of opportunities per day. You’ll also have to make sure you’re setting the right KPIs, for example calls per day or leads clarified per day. However, giving the campaign enough time doesn’t mean you shouldn’t change anything…
5. Measure, analyse and tweak.
Like a lot of marketing, telemarketing is a numbers game – but you can stack the odds in your favour by constant monitoring, feedback and improvement. SCi sales group has found that well-matched data can increase response by 800%, so drilling down to fine-tune the best prospect profile and the optimum time to make contact will help you focus your campaign tightly and get more return for your investment.
Clear objectives, a big picture view, and real-time measurement are essential for a successful campaign. In the next post we’ll look at what you need to have in place before you make that first call.