The year 2020 meant many B2B marketers have (in most cases) turned away from outbound marketing and towards inbound and B2B digital marketing activities. This pivot was, of course, necessary with the shift of individuals working from home driving digital initiatives. Telemarketing became a challenge, with office calls being diverted to a receptionist working at home, and therefore not easily able to transfer those calls onto key decision-makers. However, while it may be more challenging than before, telemarketing can be an extremely effective channel for B2B marketers and marketing agencies, and B2B organisations are eager to dip their toes back in.
As we (in Australia) return to a new state of ‘normal’, many B2B marketers are keen to diversify their marketing campaigns and slowly beginning to incorporate some more direct and outbound marketing activity. Further, many B2B organisations are excited to move back towards some ‘old school’ or more traditional activity, with digital marketing perpetuating some fatigue among the professional spheres.
Many B2B marketing agencies leverage telemarketing to recruit face-to-face events, sell products and services and build rapport with customers. If you haven’t conducted telemarketing before or need a bit of a refresher on how B2B marketers can use it as a successful lead generation tool, let’s take a moment to refresh our memories.
Telemarketing for B2B helps companies reach a group of targeted prospects or customers to communicate a message, gather feedback, and determine a next step for the relationship – Marketing MO.
- Communicating with your existing customers;
- Reengaging with lapsed or old customers;
- Speaking to prospective customers;
- Following up other marketing activities with prospects; or
- Identifying new business prospects that you’ve never contacted before.
B2B telemarketing tips
As we witness this shift, what are some of the key points to keep in mind? What can telemarketing or inside sales teams do to ensure their outbound calls are as successful as they could be?
COVID-19 has impacted many businesses. Some positively, but many negatively. When beginning to make calls, be mindful of the industry your targeted accounts operate within and what the last 12 months have meant for them.
Don’t sound like a telemarketer
It is no secret that individuals don’t like to receive sales or telemarketing calls. Further, we can all agree that often it is very easy to identify a sales call within the first few seconds of them speaking. They might sound stiff, and their dialogue may sound overly scripted. This approach can put prospects off and increase the chance of an unsuccessful call. To be effective with B2B telemarketing, you need to sound comfortable, relaxed and use natural language. Most telemarketers receive a script from a B2B sales or marketing team, so we recommend adjusting the provided script to reflect your natural language, so the conversations flow and sound like you.
Be assumptive and exert confidence
While this ties into our first point of not sounding like a telemarketer, it is one of the most crucial points to remember, so it deserves to stand alone. Being assumptive in telemarketing conversations instils confidence with the caller that you know what you are talking about, which, in turn, gives you credibility and makes the prospect more likely to speak to you and listen to what you have to say.
Planning is crucial
Understanding your audience, industry, message, value proposition, and offering is essential for a successful B2B telemarketing campaign. Planning will guide your script and give you the ability to relate to and understand the prospect, further giving you more credibility. As mentioned, there is a fine line between planning and overplanning. As previously discussed, your script must still sound natural, despite the knowledge you may have going into the conversation.
Understand your value proposition
When discussions around a B2B telemarketing campaign commence, it is crucial not to lose sight of what you are selling and, further, your B2B value proposition. Ask yourself questions – why should identified prospects speak to you? What have you got that they need that they can’t do themselves? The answers to these questions should be weaved into the dialogue when crafting your scripts.
Therefore, do some research on likely challenges or issues and weave those into your reason for the call to engage the customer from those important first few seconds of the call – GSA Marketing
It is no secret in the telemarketing profession that rejection comes with the territory. It is certainly not for the faint-hearted. It is essential not to personally take criticism or negative feedback and simply move onto the next prospect call. Remain goal-oriented and keep your eyes on the prize.
Speed up call handling
Time is precious for both the caller and the receiver. The last thing a busy decision-maker wants is a lengthy introduction to a sales call. Leverage planning time and value proposition knowledge to drive critical points in an ‘elevator pitch’ style introduction and get straight to the point.
If you have any questions about this article, or interested in learning more about B2B marketing, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with one of our B2B marketing consultants.