In the previous blog I wrote about telemarketing strategies and outlined the high level approach to successfully outsourcing telemarketing. It's a good idea now to delve deeper into the tactics of outsourcing telemarketing: understanding your target audience; using an up to date Contacts database; throwing out the Script and having a Conversation; having a dedicated team: Benefits not Features; importance of collateral and follow-up process; closed loop measurement etc.
1. Understand your target audience. Develop profiles of the types of organisations that buy your products or services, and also the buyer persona of the individuals within these organisations that will participate in the decision making on the purchase. Of course, in B2B the more complex the product or service, the more complex/high value the sale, and the more parties involved in the purchasing decision. So, who should be targeted initially? Who will benefit the most?
2. Use an up to date Contacts database. I have talked about this before: the older / poorer the Contact data the outsourcing telemarketing company has to work with, the more inefficient the campaign because the telemarketer has to make calls simply to correct / delete inaccurate contact information. Of course the best data is current customers, who are targeted for a cross-selling / up-selling project. The next best data is contact information collected by the client company through it's own marketing activities, whether in the real world (seminar attendees, trade fairs etc) or over the internet (forms completed on a website etc.). Finally contact data can be bought, but it's a good idea to involve the outsourcing telemarketing company in the buying process.
3. Throw out the Script and have a Conversation. Buyers are typically very busy and do not have the time for a long scripted conversation. Smart outsourcing telemarketing companies employ smart people who can quickly engage in a conversation that adjusts to the prospects' level of understanding and needs, thus getting to the decision point quickly. Asking open ended questions is a good idea, followed by active listening.
4. Have a dedicated team. Allocating telemarketing duties as a secondary activity to your in-house organisation is a major mistake. The calls will never be made, or if made, not followed up effectively. Outsourcing telemarketing is a great way to focus attention on this aspect of your sales pipeline. Clear metrics can be defined and measured, and over time you can see the ROI on this investment. Leaving your in-house team to focus on the core business.
5. Everyone should know this: focus on the Benefits not the Features. Your outsourcing telemarketing company must understand the benefits of your offering to potential clients. Indeed the benefits could be different depending on your buyer persona, e.g. finance wants to save money, engineering wants reliability, operations wants efficiency etc. So the telemarketer needs to modify the conversation based on the prospects' persona.
6. No deal is going to be done on one call. So develop a process to stay engaged with the prospect until the buying decision is reached. So good, relevant collateral needs to be available to email plus link backs to well designed pages on your website. Maintain contact thereafter with good lead nurturing (on and offline).
7. Closed loop measurement. Using a good CRM system to log and monitor your varied interactions (both on and offline) with your potential clients will allow you to incrementally improve the processes that drive your sales pipeline. Good feedback is essential, for example, if you are using an outsourcing telemarketing company to set appointments for your sales people, then get them to rate the quality of the meetings they attend.
The above is by no means comprehensive, but hopefully gives readers new to outsourcing telemarketing some useful pointers.
Thinking of outsourcing telemarketing for your business?
Then contact us to see how we can help with your outsourcing telemarketing project.
Authored by John Drury, Sales Director at Interaction Europe.