6 Best Practices for B2B Telemarketing

By on 13th May 2016

B2B Telemarketing can be an invaluable lead nurturing tool to complement your marketing campaign, build customer relationships and close sales.  A Forrester Research study from 2015 reported that companies with strong lead nurturing programs generate 50% more sales ready leads at third of the cost.

The success of your B2B telemarketing initiative comes down to what you do before you start calling. Follow these six best practices to maximize results:

1. Target your audience ­– Are they your type?

The first step here is to define your target audience, especially for those who don’t have any. Start defining your usual buyer type or personas. Do they fit the demographics or firmographics and budget capabilities you seek? Make sure you can satisfy the needs and wants of your prospects, target the decision makers and ensure they can afford your offering.  Now you can speak their language and reach out to them.

Down the track, as your offering expands, segment them into defined, smaller groups to be able to generate quality leads that have higher chances to convert into sales.

2. Build a relationship with your prospects

Your B2B telemarketing should form part of a larger campaign that utilizes direct marketing strategies – websites, email, SMS and social media.  As you move along in your campaign, you’ll be able to see how your prospects are interacting with your messaging.  You’ll start gaining insights on your leads and develop appropriate strategies when reaching out to them by phone. It generally takes six to eight touches to establish a relationship that yields a sale.

Avoid cold-calling by sending at least one direct email blast to your leads before you call. Following up your first call with a personal email is far less intrusive than calling prospects multiple times. It’s also an opportunity to clearly recap and expand on the main benefits of your offering.

3. Be wary of CAN-SPAM laws

Ensure that you comply with CAN-SPAM laws throughout your campaign. For example, emails must be clearly identified as a solicitation or advertisement for products or services, and must give the sender an opportunity to opt out of receiving future messages.

But compliance isn’t the only reason to carefully plan the regularity of your calls and emails – your reputation is also at stake.

4. Your telemarketer needs direction

Now that you’ve gathered your leads, it’s important to brief your telemarketers on your goals and expectations. Your nurture programs should also have built-in Lead Scoring capabilities so you know straight away which leads you need to act on first.

If your telemarketers are following up a direct email campaign, ensure they know who on your call list opened and clicked-through your emails. This would allow them to focus on warm prospects, and tailor their calls and phone conversations accordingly. Each call should move the prospect closer to a sale or action. Directing prospects to websites, webinars, articles, and downloadable brochures helps progress the sales cycle once the receiver is down. 

5. Pick the right time to call

Research your prospects to determine the best time to call. When calling a prospect for the first time, try and catch them before 9 a.m., during those first few moments before they start their day. If the call is following up a direct email blast, ensure you call soon after, while the email is still fresh in their mind. With follow-up calls, stick to scheduled appointments – nothing cools a warm lead more than playing phone tag.

6. Keep it simple

Clarity is key when calling prospects. Your telemarketer should communicate their reason for calling quickly and effectively, so the prospect understands exactly what they’re offering.  A B2B telemarketing script can keep calls on track and provide guidance, but shouldn’t be read word for word – people can tell when you’re simply reading a sales spiel. Instruct your people to inject a little more of themselves into the call and see what happens.

Companies often generate lots of leads but don’t have time and resources to follow up on them, resulting in missed opportunities.  According to a study by Dartnell Corp, 81% of sales are made after the 4th call, which by then 90% of sales reps have quit calling.

If you need help to expand your telemarketing team, Elastic Grid’s marketing experts can call and follow up leads on your behalf, enabling your sales team to focus on closing deals. You’ll be able to reach more prospects, increase brand awareness and speed up your sales cycle.

Former hard-hitting business and finance journalist, Silvia moved into the world of marketing and advertising becoming an all-rounder communications professional. As a writer, editor and creative, she’s always trying to come up with new ideas and clever concepts to create engaging, witty content that gets results for Elastic Grid’s clients. Her writing experience covers technology and IT, financial and professional services, industrials, as well as consumer and lifestyle. When she’s not in the office, she’s busy writing her telenovela, which she hopes one day will turn into a TV show. Sigh.

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