Telemarketing or telesales is an art that is arguably falling by the wayside. Instead, many use ‘social selling’ and ‘email only’ approaches to outbound sales and marketing. Not only can they be considered more efficient (as you can get at more prospects with less staff), with telemarking and telesales it requires far more time and money to build relationships and nurture prospects.
So, with the need for additional manpower, management, time and data to consider – can the expense of a phone-based team be justified? Of course. Telesales and telemarketing can still be a very effective way to generate leads and revenue. It just needs to be done right.
Some say that pipeline management will help you to better oversee and organise the sales process, while others claim lead qualification can help establish the needs of your prospects for more productive conversations. These can most definitely help, but both require decent foundations to be in place first.
Before other processes can be implemented, it assumes a caller can find and speak to the right person to begin with. Without the right data, you’re going to end up with frustrated staff, irritated customers and a lot of wasted time.
Customer data in the B2B sector decays at an alarming rate. Some say as ‘little’ as 22% of your contact database will become obsolete per year. Others put it as much as 70%. Whichever figure you choose to believe, the implications are the same: the information that you think will connect you with decision-making prospects simply will not. Or, even worse for your reputation – and your customers’ patience – inadvertently see your team bombarding them with multiple calls.
Of course, even once you have found your customers and obtained the relevant records and permissions to get in touch with them, not every prospect merits a call. Customers come with different costs to serve, so to make the best use of a team’s time (and justify the cost of using them) then you’re going to want to ensure that they are talking to the customers with the highest propensity to spend a lot and stick around for a long time.
We believe a solution to more effective and more efficient telemarketing requires a two-step approach:
Data cleansing and enhancement: With the knowledge that a database is accurate, up-to-date, free of duplicates and legal to use, teams will have the confidence to make calls that they know will reach the right decision-maker and therefore have more chance of selling their services or building rapport with new leads. It also means a lower likelihood of falling foul of strict data privacy laws that come with severe punitive fines.
Customer Insight tools: Data hygiene will ensure that you can identify your customers, but a modelling tool such as a Money Map allows you to segment your data into groups of customers to shape your outreach. For example, the aforementioned big spenders (your ‘treasure’ accounts) validate the use of more expensive marketing methods, such as telemarketing and direct mail. Others might warrant a cheaper approach, such as email marketing. Some (which the Money Map process calls ‘avoids’) will yield such poor results from your efforts, they may not be worth your time at all, let alone go to your telemarketing team.
With accurate data to underpin your marketing strategy, and the insight to uncover which of your customers are most likely to fall into your ‘perfect prospect’ category, telesales and telemarketing doesn’t have to be a drain on your resources. Instead they can be productive, confident and a valuable contributor to your outbound efforts.
Build longer lasting relationships with your most profitable customers - and acquire new ones
- Discover which customers are costing more to serve than the revenue they return. Sack the 'Avoids'!
- Tailor your marketing spend and campaign tactics to different customer segments