Imagine the scene. It’s 2pm on a Sunday and you’re just about to sit down to lunch. The phone rings – it’s Dave from Acme windows. Your heart sinks and you prepare yourself for a terse ‘no thank-you’. The insincerity of Dave’s ‘how are you today’ somehow seems magnified by the chatter of everyone else in what sounds like a vast call centre.
Unsolicited phone calls to your home are the most annoying form of advertising for over a third of people (with pop-up windows on websites coming in second). But this isn’t the case in the workplace. In fact, sales calls at work are among the LEAST annoying form of marketing. People would rather get a call at work than receive a text*.
Selling into the B2B space is not the same as selling double glazing to the general public. For a start, businesses buy on need rather than want – and it’s much easier to target the right businesses rather than the right part of the general population. So, your marketing phone call is more likely to receive a warm reception if you’re targeting people at work, but does that make it effective?
The answer seems to be ‘yes… but’. B2B marketing magazine surveyed over 200 managers and asked them to rank marketing channels in their effectiveness in lead nurturing. Telemarketing came top. And, together with email marketing and in-person networking, telemarketing generated the best quality leads.
Additionally, the value of what you’re selling seems to have an impact too. In the B2B space, almost 70% of purchases have some kind of human interaction (either phone or in-person meetings). The average order value without human interaction is £1,018 and the average order value with human interaction is £68,032. Clearly this does not mean that if you introduce telemarketing to your company, you are going to sell a £1000 product at over £50k. But what it does imply is that costly (presumably complex) products need human interaction within the sales process. No surprises there.
How quickly you’re likely to see results from your telemarketing efforts depends on a whole host of factors and response does vary by industry. For example, managed IT services need an average of 254 calls per opportunity, whereas HR pensions consulting need only 160. However, these results can be improved by carrying out an integrated marketing campaign. Gartner identified that “campaigns integrating 4 or more digital channels will outperform single or dual campaigns by 300%”
Is it worth it?
In addition to the essential ‘human interaction’ part of the sales process, does B2B telemarketing pay? Again, yes. According to the DMA**, in the B2B space, for every £1 spent, businesses get £11 return on investment. And when paired with other marketing efforts, such as email, telemarketing becomes even more effective.
But, stats and theory aside, a single campaign is only as good as the plan. Next time, we’ll show you how to plan for a successful campaign.
In the meantime, just call us now on 0845 331 6069 to find out how we can make your lead generation campaigns more successful or drop us a line to get more information.
*SCi survey of 200 managers, 2012.