Telemarketing is simply marketing a product or service via a telephone. Outsourced B2B telemarketing is when a business engages a professional supplier to do this on their behalf.
This is a common misconception, as telemarketing is related to marketing a product or service, whereas, telesales is related to selling. The strategies put in place are a lot different in telemarketing as opposed to telesales.
Telemarketing can be used for different activities depending on the campaign. Most, if not all, telemarketing companies offer outbound services, while there are a few that also offer inbound services. Telemarketing can be used for lead generation, appointment setting, new product launches, data enhancement, lapse customer re-engagement, market research, customer service, customer satisfaction, and much more. Telemarketing can be a great way to engage with potential customers and educate people about the products and services you offer, and how they can benefit from them.
Telemarketing works to deliver different results depending on the campaign provided. It enables a company to get through to key decision makers who are potential customers for their products or services. Using an outsourced telemarketing partner removes in-house costs and frees up time that can be utilised elsewhere. Another great benefit of telemarketing is the ability to provide the sales team with important information about clients. Before choosing a B2B telemarketing company, make sure to choose a company that can build up rapport and possesses the capability to sync with the sales team.
If you want to generate a pipeline of potential customers that you can nurture until they’re ready to progress to the next stage, telemarketing is definitely the answer – it ensures opportunities are not missed by having dedicated resources to manage callbacks with prospects at the times they have indicated there may be a potential interest.
A dedicated telemarketing campaign not only provides leads, but it also contributes to a significant increase in awareness for your company and at the same time ensures your client database is cleansed and up to date. Sending out a direct mailer or e-shot will do this initially, but you are then reliant on the person who’s received it to contact you. If you combine your direct marketing with telemarketing follow-up, you can speak to more people and arouse more interest, ensuring that your marketing efforts are not being wasted.
Telemarketing campaigns can be paid for per an agreed project duration, agreeing the size and scale of the project and attributed relevant targets from the outset.
Pay by Days – this allows the client and the B2B telemarketing partner to negotiate exactly how many days the campaign will take and how many leads and targets they are looking to receive. Once this has been agreed, a fee is also agreed, and both parties will work together to begin the process and ensure that all is in place to achieve the right result. The telemarketing partner will be able to engage in the campaign with more commitment to quality and to building rapport with the prospect. They will dedicate the necessary days to actually go into the campaign with more emphasis and enthusiasm.
The best advice is to find a telemarketing partner that will listen and understand your campaign and is focused on your objectives. Also, be sure that their business managers are not just looking to charge a high quote; ask about the benefits you get when you agree on a price and payment structure. What exactly is invested into your campaign from setup to execution? Some telemarketing partners would be happy to show you what they actually invest into each campaign, so do not be hesitant in asking. Find out how much the setup of the campaign costs, what KPIs they offer, and how they will go about conducting the campaign.
Any professional telemarketing company will have integrated ICT systems that will log the activity undertaken and from which reports can be generated. The real proof of the pudding is when the leads start to arrive, but do be patient as it sometimes takes a little time to build momentum on a campaign. Databases will have an audit trail of calls made and discussions with each company. Professional telemarketing companies employ call recording systems, so should at any point the customer request evidence of a call; this can be provided to them. Ensure that the B2B telemarketing supplier you choose offers reporting as standard.
Getting a telemarketing partner to conduct a campaign means that they are part of your marketing division. Although they would be operating as their own company, they could call up prospects and represent you. For the prospects, it is less confusing if the agency remains invisible and introduces themselves as the customer they are working on behalf of. However, when asked, it is a code of conduct that the telemarketing company would be obliged to say that they are from a third-party organisation calling on behalf of your company.
There are a number of different views on whether scripts should be used. Quality-based telemarketing partners will educate their staff about the company being represented, the product or service being promoted, and the features and benefits they need to project. The message should be delivered in a conversational manner using call guidelines rather than a rigid, scripted approach. By using a non-scripted approach to the calls, the decision-maker is likely to feel more engaged and less like it is ‘just another sales call’, and they tend to be more receptive and forthcoming with information.
Niche is good! It means that the target market can be closely defined so that there are fewer wasted calls to businesses that do not need the product or service. Look for a B2B telemarketing supplier that has comfortable experience in running a specialised niche campaign. Also, if the target market is particularly small, it is likely that prospects will already be aware of the product or service or engaged with your company already.
Campaigns are usually agreed upon before contracts are written out; it is up to you on whether you would like your campaign to run for a fixed duration or even ongoing throughout the year. The benefits of choosing a trusted B2B telemarketing supplier is the ability to negotiate on the days required for a particular campaign. Some telemarketing suppliers would enjoy lengthening the amount of days required to complete a campaign so it is important to assess everything before agreeing to a contract. Records show, however, that if you enjoyed a quality service from a telemarketing supplier, then it is more likely that you will lengthen your contract with them. Look for a B2B telemarketing supplier that has worked with clients for over two years to get more clarity into which telemarketing supplier you would want to start your campaign with.
Generally, contracts will work on a monthly rolling basis with a break clause to cease the agreement with one months’ notice in the unlikely event that expectations are not being met. It is always best to set the right expectations with new customers and one of the key points is that too short a campaign will not usually fully benchmark the results achievable on an on-going basis. This is due to the investment in time at the start of the campaign to build up contact names, have initial discussions, send info, and follow up.
There are many steps in the sales cycle to take a business through from being merely a suspect to a prospect, and then identifying where they are in the buying process. Lead generation is identifying those companies who are in the early stages of the buying cycle and with whom rapport can be developed to ensure that one is in the loop when purchasing decisions are being made.
Most Telemarketing companies are happy for you to utilise your own database on the basis that it complies with current data legislation standards. However, what separates the normal from the great telemarketing partners is the ones that offer a review and feedback on the quality of your database. This piloting process enables the telemarketing partners to investigate your database before they actually go ahead and roll out the campaign on an ongoing basis. This is essential because it enables you and the B2B telemarketing partner to evaluate the usefulness and relevance of the data. So next time you are about to prepare your own database for the telemarketing partner, make sure they offer this valuable service.
B2B telemarketing partners should be able to source data for you if both you and they feel that your current database is not useful. Be careful of how the telemarketing partner sources the data. It is important to remember that the data being sourced for you will be for you alone. You do not want to be paying for market intelligence that will be sold to your competitor next week! Find a B2B telemarketing partner that offers exclusive data that is only for your campaign.
Most telemarketing companies will deliver an event attendee generation campaign. It is important to start the activity with plenty of time before the event to enable people to have space in their diaries at the right time. Also, give some consideration to the geographical location and time of the event prior to selecting the target audience to approach.
Market research is a great way of getting to know what people think about your company, your products, and your services. People will often be more honest with a third-party researcher than direct individuals from your company.
There are many companies who specialise in this environment and they tend to be larger-sized companies and are generally referred to as call centres.
This can depend on your preference and also the telemarketing partner that is chosen. Some clients prefer to choose a telemarketing company that has local staff because of the local knowledge and ability to meet the person who will be representing your company. However, if the requirement is particularly high volume, and if low cost is imperative, then staff abroad may provide the solution. You would have to remember that these staff members will be representing your company and extra training is required for staff that are abroad so you would need to take that into consideration. Telemarketing companies that operate with their staff nationally based provide extra benefits, such as knowledge of the country and experience of the culture.
"We are a very traditional supplier of test monitoring and measurement equipment in B2B markets. Working with Tangible Results has opened our eyes to the effectiveness of telemarketing which has proved very beneficial for us. Their professionalism and enthusiasm is exceptional and has significantly contributed to the success of generating new sales leads for our business."
– Test Measuring and Monitoring Equipment supplier