TelemarketingHow To Use Telemarketing To Increase Revenue

1st February 2018by Talk Intelligence
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Introduction

You have hired a group of highly qualified and expensive sales people. They have been well trained and are all well versed in the art of closing sales. You have these stars sitting right in your company and they are itching to close business, so what’s the problem?
Unfortunately, instead of closing sales your salespeople are instead spending their valuable time poring over online directories and spread sheets, compiling lists of prospects and then going through the time-sucking, monotonous and repetitive process of cold calling each and every one. Every minute they spend doing this is a minute they could potentially be at a client’s side, engaging in conversation, building relationships and inching toward the close – in other words, the high value communication that you’re paying them so dearly for.
Luckily it doesn’t have to be this way. In this paper we’ll show that through telemarketing you can keep your highly-trained and specialist sales team well supplied with a stream of qualified leads. We’ll show that telemarketing for lead generation and nurturing not only increases the potential revenue generated by your sales team but that it allows you to track return on investment accurately and also leads to host of additional benefits which can unlock further value in your sales and marketing processes.
And finally, we’ll demonstrate that through outsourced telemarketing you can gain access to all these benefits without incurring the costs, time and risk associated with hiring and training your own telemarketing staff.

How Do Prospects Become Qualified Sales Leads?

The most popular way of visualising a customer’s journey from mere prospect through to completed sale is the marketing funnel. This splits the buyer’s journey up into a number of stages through which they move as they become better acquainted with your company and your offering and get closer to making a purchase.
How To Use Telemarketing To Increase Revenue
There are always many more leads at the top of the funnel than at the bottom i.e. there are always many more prospective customers with only a slight knowledge or awareness of your company and its offering than there are customers who are very close to making a purchase. The aim of the sales and marketing team is to convert as many of those leads at the top into purchases as possible.
However, the funnel is an idealised version of the typical customer’s route to purchase where, for example, a few ad impressions lead to website visit which leads to an enquiry which leads to a sales call which leads to a sale. In reality the customer’s journey is always much more haphazard than this and might even involve several people within the buyer’s organisation rather than a single point of contact.
The key to maximising revenue is the efficient deployment of resources at strategic points in the customer’s journey. These points might include downloading a whitepaper from your website, receiving a piece of direct mail or email marketing or submitting a request for quotations. It obviously doesn’t make sense for your highly trained sales people to attempt to contact all the leads at the top of the funnel, since many of those leads will either have very little chance of becoming sales or require more nurturing (i.e. they need to be guided further through the sales funnel) before they’re ready to enter into a sales conversation.
Which raises a critical question: When is a lead ready to be handed over to a sales person?

What makes an ideal lead?

To ensure a smooth transition through the funnel from marketing to sales, and to ensure that hot leads are quickly followed up by sales people, it’s essential to determine what constitutes a sales qualified lead (SQL).
There are many different ways to do this but one popular approach is to define what’s required of a lead in each of four characteristics: Budget, Authority, Need and Timeframe; or BANT for short.
How To Use Telemarketing To Increase Revenue
Naturally, the stricter the qualifying criteria you impose on a Sales Qualified Lead the lower the volume of leads you can expect to generate for your sales people. The cost per lead will also likely increase.
Often the most time consuming portion of new lead generation campaigns is establishing initial contact with the lead. Many organisations are happy, at this initial stage, to simply confirm that they are in contact with a budget holder who has the authority to make a purchasing decision. They will then pass the lead over to sales experts to begin qualifying the buyer’s needs at the start of the sales cycle.
Every organisation has different requirements, so setting the qualifying criteria for a Sales Qualified Lead is a joint task between the sales and marketing teams. It’s often a process of trial and error as you work towards maximising the efficiency of the lead generation, lead nurturing and sales process.
Which leads us to our next important question: How can telemarketing improve the quality of your Sales Qualified Leads and increase your sales revenue?

The Many Benefits of B2B Telemarketing

In an age where B2B marketers are spoiled for choice when it comes to channels through which they can generate and nurture leads (think social media, PPC and display advertising, email marketing, content marketing) many are surprised to find that telemarketing is still a hugely popular choice.
A recent survey of UK B2B marketers found that 54% of respondents had used telemarketing in the last 12 months and that 76% reported that it was effective.
There are multiple reasons for this overwhelmingly positive response into which we’ll now delve in more detail.

1. By generating qualified leads, telemarketing increases revenue.

Telemarketers are able to gather detailed information and insight from prospective customers. This helps to segment customers and supply the sales team with Sales Qualified Leads. As a result, your sales team spends less time sourcing and nurturing leads and more time on their specialist activity – closing sales.

Research carried out by the DMA in 2014 found that for B2B marketers, telemarketing generates £11 of revenue for every £1 spent.

2. Telemarketing is effective at any stage of the marketing funnel.

From cold calling through to lead qualification, telemarketing can be used to reach out to prospective buyers at any stage of the buying cycle.

Research conducted by MarketingSherpa discovered that 53% of respondents said “they added a technology vendor to their database for consideration after receiving a cold call.” The same survey found an impressive “40% said they invited vendors to provide additional information by phone or electronically.”

This versatility means that telemarketing can be used to augment your lead generation and nurturing processes wherever you identify a gap, helping keep leads in the sales funnel and moving them towards becoming Sales Qualified Leads. Responding to leads in a timely manner is a critical function since, as research by InsideSales.com points out, 50% of buyers choose the vendor that responds to their inquiry first.

3. The ROI of telemarketing is easy to track.

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” John Wanamaker, 19th century marketing pioneer.

According to the same Business Marketing Collective report cited above, ‘Proving ROI via measurement’ was the sixth most often reported goal of B2B marketers in 2015.

The return on investment of most marketing efforts is notoriously hard to track and quantify. Despite the analytical marketing movement made possible in recent years by big data, without investing huge sums in marketing automation and attribution technology it’s still incredibly difficult to measure the success of B2B marketing efforts.
This is a great advantage of B2B telemarketing over almost all other methods. It allows you to get a direct response from the decision maker, providing a trail which can be followed all the way through to the meeting and, ultimately, the purchase. You can follow this trail backwards to see who made the initial call and even at what time.
Measuring telemarketing ROI can be done with a very simple formula:
ROI= (cost of generating leads*+cost of telemarketing+cost of sales)
___________________________________________________
revenue generated from sales
*if you’re supplying the telemarketers with leads then include the cost of generating these leads. If you’re using telemarketing to generate demand, then leave this out.

4. Telemarketing provides immediate results, is customisable and scalable

All that’s required to begin a small-scale telemarketing campaign are a telephone and a list of numbers to call. While more sophisticated approaches might generate better returns, even the simplest telemarketing campaign can generate instant feedback and insight about customers that would take much longer to gather via online marketing methods.
Telemarketing is also infinitely customisable. Over time your approach can be refined and tailored to exactly meet the needs of the target audience, the intricacies of the product or service and the qualification demands of sales people.
Finally, telemarketing can be scaled up or down relatively easily – especially when you make use of outsourced telemarketing services – to match the capacity of your sales team, keep up with increasing demand, allow for seasonal variations in business or to give an extra boost to product launches and promotions.

But Why Talk to Customers at All? Can’t we Just Close the Sales Using our Website?

Unlike B2C sales that are mostly low involvement-low value purchases, B2B sales are often high involvement-high value purchases, the sale of which may require significant staff training or the reconfiguration of a whole department.
It’s for this reason that a lot of B2B sales are not closed online. Matizmo’s report on the 5 things that influence a B2B buyer places “people buy from people” as number one, and “B2B buyers are risk averse” as number two. Dedicated sales people solve both of these problems as, during the call or meeting, the B2B customer is buying from a person not a website. Because they’re able to ask all the necessary questions and have the salesperson address any uncertainties the risk is a lot less.
Contrary to what some believe, B2B buying decisions are not purely fact and logic driven. The amount of emotion involved depends on “the size of the deal and the amount of disruption the solution will cause” – but in all cases an element of emotion is involved.
So how does this all relate to the importance of the salesperson in B2B sales? Well put simply, as all B2B sales decisions are at least in some part emotional then conducting sales calls and meeting face to face is the best way of channelling and appealing to that emotional element in the sale. Your website and all other materials adequately take care of the logic, assuming it is built/written properly, but can’t fully address the emotion the same way a real conversation can.

Outsourcing: the Easiest Route to Telemarketing Success

So we’ve established that telemarketing is one of the most revenue-enhancing lead generation and nurturing methods for a B2B company to adopt, and that it’s measurable and scalable. In addition, it provides a personal touch and leads to a host of additional benefits which could unlock further value. So what’s are the obstacles to setting up a telemarketing campaign?
Hiring, training and managing telesales staff is time consuming, expensive and introduces the risk of being overstaffed when demand for new leads falls. The other option, of having your current sales team also do the job of telemarketers, is not a real solution since your salespeople are paid and trained to close sales. Their time is expensive and for good reason.
Luckily there is a third option: Outsource your telemarketing.
A study by EG Innovations titled the “2013 B2B Lead Generation Report” surveyed 800 respondents and found that their biggest lead generation challenge was a “lack of staffing, resources and time”.
Outsourcing your telemarketing will enable your company to overcome that challenge by gaining access to high quality telesales staff at a fraction of the cost and resource and in a fraction of the time it would take to hire and train your own.
EG Innovations – “2013 B2B Lead Generation Report”.
Source: http://www.slideshare.net/hschulze/b2-b-lead-generation-report-2013
How To Use Telemarketing To Increase Revenue
Imagine being able to call on an army of professionally trained telemarketers to generate and qualify leads. Imagine a stream of steady leads flowing to your prized salespeople for them to go out and close. Best of all, imagine you could obtain this without having to spend time and money hiring, training and managing your own telemarketing team.
Instead you simply plug into an external team and watch as the leads roll in, pay only for results and have the ability to scale up and down to suit your needs. Sound too good to be true? Well it’s not. Companies rely on us for their telemarketing needs, freeing up their sales people to concentrate on the high value of tasks of relationship building and closing through in- person meetings.

Tips for Selecting a Telemarketing Provider

Choosing a provider of outsourced telemarketing solutions is largely a case of establishing which provider fits best with your company, customers and product/service. The ideal supplier will feel more like an extension of your own team rather than an external service.
Here are our top tips:
  • Make sure the telemarketers are well trained and have a high level of professionalism;
  • Choose a company with whom your internal team can establish an excellent collaborative and communicative working relationship;
  • Find a company who specialise in the kind of telemarketing you’re looking for, be it lead generation, lead nurturing or data cleansing;
  • Ensure that the telemarketers have a thorough understanding of your product and service, that they can clearly articulate its benefits to the customer and that they know its unique selling points;
  • Specify the format in which you require the returned data – reformatting the generated leads for your CRM system can be time consuming.

Conclusion

Telemarketing offers one of the most revenue-boosting lead generation and nurturing channels available to B2B businesses, with a proven average return on investment of 11 to 1.
It offers a personal, scalable, customisable and measurable way of filling your marketing funnel with prospects and nurturing those prospects through the sales cycle. With the right provider, outsourced telemarketing can feed your sales team with a ready supply of Sales Qualified Leads, removing the need for them to waste countless hours cold-calling and allowing them to concentrate on what they do best: close sales.

Talk Intelligence – Who Are We And How Can We Help?

Talk Intelligence is a leading provider of telemarketing services. We specialise in B2B Lead Generation, Audience Development, Research and Appointment Setting.
With a wide range of clients in the B2B sector, and many years’ experience in Lead Generation, Telemarketing & Data, we will work closely with you to ensure that we understand your products, services and goals, enabling our dedicated campaign staff to work as an extension of your own internal team.
By engaging directly with prospects on the phone, we’ll uncover valuable intelligence about your target audience, including buyer challenges, motivations and existing supplier relationships. We’ll then draw on this to create a compelling and engaging proposition that clearly demonstrates your USPs, makes you stand out against competitors and win new business as a result.
Whether you need to nurture leads through the buying cycle, identify qualified lead opportunities or secure face to face appointments, we’ll work as an extension of your existing team, to uncover a consistent stream of profitable new business opportunities.

Sources:

  1. How the B2B Marketing Funnel Works, Business 2 Community 2015 http://www.business2community.com/b2b-marketing/how-the-b2b-marketing-funnel-works-01319932
  2. How to De ne a Lead, Marketo 2014 http://uk.marketo.com/assets/uploads/
  3. The B2B Barometer Report 2015 http://businessmarketingcollective.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/B2Bbarometer20151.pdf
  4. Telemarketing – marketer and consumer research 2014, DMA http://www.dma.org.uk/press-release/new-telemarketing-research-reveals-it-s-good-to-talk
  5. 2014 Lead Response Report, InsideSales.com
  6. The B2B Barometer Report 2015 http://businessmarketingcollective.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/B2Bbarometer20151.pdf
  7. B2B Purchase Decisions: Logic Driven by Emotion, Kapost http://marketeer.kapost.com/b2b-purchase-decisions
  8. Telemarketing – marketer and consumer research 2014, DMA http://www.dma.org.uk/press-release/new-telemarketing-research-reveals-it-s-good-to-talk

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