More than ever, successful companies are seeing stronger links between their customer experience levels, sales, and the ability of their sales team to get under the skin of buyers, to understand what they want and deliver the best service possible.
Its no accident that we buy the most expensive cars or houses from the people who deliver exceptional service. And where staff are ambivalent, complacent, or lack charisma, most of us will walk away.
The connections made by sales teams in B2B have never been more important. And in turn B2B telemarketing offers an almost unique opportunity to reach out to potential buyers, lots of them in a systematic and measurable way, to find out what they need and what we can do to meet those needs. Done well telemarketing can make a powerful and measurable difference to sales success.
Well executed telemarketing will enable a business to connect with clients, research potential new markets and promote a product or service. It can test small segments to inform and empower innovative marketing strategies on scale. More and more companies are recognising the need for outsourcing their B2B telemarketing because it has become such a specialist skill. So much so, internal team members can struggle to learn the competencies and disciplines associated with successful, systematic B2B telemarketing. Often doing it in-house, at best works for a while and then quickly loses its effectiveness.
However, many – if not most – telemarketing campaigns are not done to this high standard. Companies often use the tool as an afterthought or don’t utilise it to its full potential. As a result, a lot of businesses have the wrong idea about telemarketing and a number of myths have built up around the industry.
To help you sort the telemarketing facts from the fiction, we’re dispelling some of the most common modern telemarketing myths.
Telemarketing for complex solutions
Skillful telemarketing is all about distilling key business benefits down to a few pithy points. Whether you’re talking about scientific equipment, or a simple consumable, what captures the interest of your buyer will always be associated with business benefits, namely improved time, effort, cost, or security advantages delivered by your product or services.
Invariably they want to know ‘what’s in it for me’, and communicating this succinctly and compellingly in the opening of the call will lead to a richer more informed dialogue.
Getting the buyer involved
Using hard closes, scant detail, or pushy techniques to get in front of buyers is unlikely to position the selling organisation as a potential partner or supplier of choice. In Blue Donkey’s 22 years of experience, we’ve found there is no substitute for a detailed two-way conversation, where criteria has been properly established on both parts, so the buyer knows how they would benefit meeting with a potential supply organisation, and the supplier knows that the buyer satisfies criteria for them to potentially enjoy a valuable mutual long-term partnership.
Investing more time and effort at the telemarketing stage will not only save costly wasted meetings, it will set the selling organisation apart as a best in breed compared with competitors. More importantly, your telemarketing will reflect your brand values.
Avoid written scripts
If B2B telemarketing is about connecting with the right people and building a relationship, then using a script, or any kind of formulaic process will be a hindrance to that objective. Where in life would you speak with somebody using a predetermined script. Scripts are designed around assumptions about what a buyer will want and the basics of the product or service on offer. It’s far more rewarding for the maker and the receiver of a call if the dialog is based on sensitive questions and sound product knowledge. After all people buy from people.
Stop hating cold calls
We all dislike receiving calls that are irrelevant, banal, or pushy. The telemarketing industry has been awash with shocking examples where the telephone as a business tool has been abused. Fortunately most marketers today understand the importance of customer experience and are therefore far more tuned with the principles of good database management, understanding customer needs, and the importance of structuring campaigns to touch the right buyers.
What’s more, most business decision-makers accept that being effective depends on them keeping the channels of communication to the outside world very much open, they don’t want to receive irrelevant or scripted calls, they might welcome a call from a supplier who can help their organisation achieve its objectives. Indeed in such cases the way a call resonates will determine whether or not a buyer even considers it a cold call. Our experience tells us, people only perceive a call to be a cold call where it leaves them feeling cold.
Gently does it!
Coming on too strongly, being pushy or using aggressive tactics is counter-productive in telemarketing. Call recipients are likely to put the phone down if a telemarketer overwhelms them, something that’s not useful or productive. Instead of using aggressive tactics, our telemarketers try to connect with the people they’re speaking to, developing a two-way conversation instead of a monologue. More likely to get results, and more pleasant for the call recipient, this technique helps to build trust and rapport between telemarketers, the business they represent and the companies they’re calling.