Marketing strategies evolve. In the past few years, digital marketing has become the medium of choice for many businesses. It is cost-effective and can achieve ubiquitous reach. However, traditional media still has a place in effective marketing, especially for B2B organizations seeking growth from small-to-medium. Traditional media includes telemarketing.
Telemarketing does have a reputation as a marketing channel that is ineffective and annoying – in B2C. In B2B, telemarketing achieves goals that social media, email, blogging and print media cannot – you get instant feedback.
What is telemarketing?
Telemarketing is an advertising method used in direct sales campaigns in both B2C and B2B strategies. The process is simple. Sales teams call contacts from a list of qualified leads to discuss their products or service with the lead. The contacts can be harvested from data companies, internal sources and other campaigns. The conversation is often scripted with sales teams following a logical process when responding to questions or comments from leads.
Telemarketing can help sales teams connect with leads in real-time and close deals. The personalized element of talking directly with a sales representative gives potential clients a sense of confidence and connection that is not always readily available during online transactions. Data collection is also more efficient, as people who are responsive to sales calls tend to be more forthcoming than with other methods of data collection. Sales calls can boost sales, and typically, are cost-effective. Let’s take a close look at these points.
Telemarketing puts businesses in a position to talk with customers and potential clients directly. While for smaller operations this is mostly done in-house, there are outsourcing services that will contact potential leads on behalf of a business, and then pass qualified leads to your sales team for follow-up.
Most people like to research the product or service they are considering before making a purchasing decision. This research, done online in most cases, is removed from the business.
Direct communication through telemarketing allows businesses to:
- Build a connection with clients: With direct communication, a brand can learn important customer information. Things like how the person likes to be addressed, what their preferred method of contact is and how they interact with the brand can all be gathered in one phone call.
- Show the brand persona: Consumers are more often choosing brands that align with their personal values. For example, a person might choose a particular brand because it is committed to environmentalism. If a consumer is aware of this and agrees with the values of the business, they might align themselves with that brand. However, consumers still value interactions highly. Even if a brand aligns with their personal or business values, they want to work with a brand that has friendly staff. Having a phone presence is one way of communicating your brand identity and sharing your personality with customers.
- Generate quality leads: Telemarketing also allows businesses to generate quality leads by enabling companies to communicate with people in a friendly and direct manner. The telemarketers’ job is to about discovery. They gather the information from the potential lead and pass on that information to the sales team. This makes the work of the sales team easier – they are given qualified leads with supporting data, making it easier to close a sale.
- Follow-up: A good follow-up strategy forms the key to successful marketing campaigns. Following up with generated leads actually increases sales opportunities by 20%. Many clients prefer a phone call to talk through any pain points that are preventing them from finalizing a purchase. The personal touch can change a potential sale to a closed sale with minimal effort on the part of your sales team.
Accurate data gathering
Telemarketing can be used to help you gauge the success of your brand awareness or a marketing campaign. When a telemarketing team are talking with a potential lead they can ask directly how satisfied the person is and how aware that person is of the brand or a new campaign.
While telemarketing has a poor reputation, it should not be underestimated in B2B marketing. When you call a qualified lead with solutions to their problems, you are doing them a service. In business transactions, it is typical to make an initial call to set up an appointment time to have a discussion. During that initial call, your team can collect important data for the sales team, such as decision-makers titles, organizational structure and existing solutions that might be used by the business that either complement or compete with your solution. Most people in business are happy to make time for calls that make them more productive.
Enhance customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is more important than almost any other function of your business. If you have unhappy customers they will tell other people about their dissatisfaction with your brand. They will write reviews and they will move on to another provider who does offer excellent customer service. Yours is not the only option, so you must treat your customers as the valuable asset they are.
Telemarketing helps customer satisfaction because you are presenting your customer with a real person – a real connection to your brand. When a person can speak with another to solve problems, they are satisfied. While your business might prefer to handle affairs online via chat or email, having a voice for your brand that people can talk with helps personalise the customer journey. If in B2B you start with calls and chasing leads on the phone, you’ve already created a connection point that people can relate to.
More than half of marketing heads working in Fortune 500 companies say that telemarketing is an asset for closing sales. It works because calls aren’t time-limited, so people can connect and chat. There is time for real discussion. A good salesperson takes the prospect on a journey, answering pain points along the way, and guiding the sale. For large contracts and deals, salespeople will need to negotiate terms. This all becomes easier when done verbally.
Cost-effective marketing strategy
Outsourcing is a cost-effective way to manage core business operations as your company grows, and call centre services are one of the most affordable support services you can contract.
Business owners can control their budget objectives while leveraging the power of telemarketing. You are given immediate access to trained teams of professionals who follow your script, mine data and connect with potential leads.
Telemarketing the right way
Telemarketing can offer a high ROI when it is done correctly. Making connections, gathering data and linking the strategy with your digital marketing strategy is essential to making the most of any telemarketing strategy.
The agent or representative must be knowledgeable about the product or service they’re trying to promote. They should be assertive in introducing themselves and the company. They should be responsive, flexible thinkers who are able to actively listen and engage your target audience.
For connections to form, the use of a person’s preferred name is important. Your team should know how to ask open-ended questions that invite the potential customer to share information that moves the customer along the sales journey.
Information is vital to the success of any marketing campaign. It is one of the key roles of telemarketing; to gather accurate data that supports sales. Information like business type, size, key decision-makers, pain points and more. That information, when kept accurate can mean the difference between a successful connection or missed opportunity. The database for qualified leads should be kept accurate and up to date, each time contact is made with the client. If the general manager leaves the company, or if the lead is aligned with a new supplier you also use – this information is all relevant and foundational to successful sales.
Integrating different channels to interact with prospects and customers is important. It allows businesses to create a consistent brand experience for their target audience and enables consumers to engage with a business on their own terms.
Telemarketing can complement live chat, chatbots, social media comments and other forms of connection by offering people a real person to talk to about complex issues.
Telemarketing is a cost-effective marketing strategy that enables direct marketing, enhances customer satisfaction, and boosts sales. Adding the technique to your sales and marketing strategy when growing your B2B is a great way to create a lasting impression by presenting a brand persona that people can connect with, develop a relationship with and feel confident developing an ongoing business partnership.
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