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Four Guidelines In Improving Your B2B Telemarketing

Four Guidelines In Improving Your B2B Telemarketing

B2B telemarketing is here to stay, there is no doubt about it. You have to accept this fact if you want to be totally prepared for the challenges of generating qualified B2B leads. The problem with this kind marketing medium would be the negative outlook that people give it, which is something that could not be avoided. Considering the past performance (and over-aggressiveness) of B2B lead generation teams that used this medium, you can safely say that a lot of people are not happy with this. But you can make this better. You can improve this medium. What you need to do is to understand its nature and make it work to your advantage. Now that is the challenging part. How will you make that happen? Well, here is how you do it:

  1. Review old plans – sometimes, the most brilliant marketing solutions can be the ones that failed you in the past. Reminds me of Zenith Corporation, who were among the pioneers in Hi-Def television. The problem here is that the time was the 1980’s. People are not exactly interested in owning an HD television then. That resulted to the company to fold up. But look at today’s market, where HD TV’s are the king.
  2. Focus on the results, not on the author – you see, some of us take pride in the sales leads plans that we have thought of, and that is not a bad idea at all. The problem here is when we take it too seriously and use as some sort of cudgel during our marketing meeting. Now that is not a good idea at all. If you want your team to be successful, get everyone in as team players. Focus more on getting results, not on who created the best plans or whatever. That would be a more productive practice.
  3. Consider timing – while some would think that a marketing plan is a failure because it did not live up to expectations, others would ask if the timing for it was right. For example, you wanted to do a telemarketing campaign for winter time tourist destinations, but you offered it during the winter season itself. While there is nothing really wrong about selling in advance, would it not be more practical to offer it to your prospects at summer time? You do not have to think much about it.
  4. Always improve – that is the one rule that every marketer must remember. Markets change over time and the tools needed for it must adapt to these changes quickly as well. You know just how important that would be if you start losing B2B leads while still using the same marketing strategy. You have to change it, and you have to change it for the better. That is how you survive this highly competitive business environment. 

There are other things that you have to remember to keep your B2B telemarketing campaigns as profitable as ever, but if you can follow these pointers, then you would be in a good spot.

The Most Essential Rule in Telemarketing: Acknowledge your Prospect

The Most Essential Rule in Telemarketing - Acknowledge your Prospect

We often overlook the importance of capturing the real meaning behind what other people say. For instance, when a wife tells her husband that she’s “tired of her job”, the husband immediately tries to solve the problem by saying “You should quit” or “Get another job”. The thing is, that isn’t what the wife was trying to say.

Or when a kid tells his Mom that he doesn’t want to go to school, the Mom right away concludes that the kid was being lazy or irresponsible, but failed to capture the real possibilities – perhaps he’s sick or being bullied at school?

It’s also a basic problem in telemarketing. When a prospect says “I’m just going around the market looking for good Managed IT services, but we’re not going to get one just yet”, a typical telemarketer would say “Great! Let me discuss to you some features I’m sure you’d love”, and then he’d go straight into details and technicalities.

Three Traits of All Remarkable Marketers

What he missed is to acknowledge what the prospect really had just said. Although he was “going around the market”, he clearly stated that they are “not going to get one just yet”. A good telemarketer should have at least acknowledged the fact that the prospect is just shopping for information.

A good response would have been: “I understand that you’re still in the early stages of your decision making. Allow me to provide what you need to know to make it easier for you.”The advantage of using that statement is that it makes the prospect feel understood. He is assured that he will not be pushed for a decision because the telemarketer is aware that he’s not buying today.

A telemarketer should also know how to explore and read between the lines. In the scenario given, the prospect said that he was “looking for good Managed IT services”. However, one’s definition of “good” is very subjective, especially for a business. If his company is running short on budget, “good” may refer to a service that’s very affordable. On the other hand, if money is not an issue, then “good” is equated to quality, which means he may be willing to acquire a service despite of a high price.

It would be a grave mistake for a telemarketer to immediately jump into conclusion and assume what his prospect’s priorities are without even probing or analyzing his words. Rather than quickly transitioning to the sales pitch, the telemarketer should have responded with acknowledgment, such as “I hear what you’re saying – we all need to seek what’s best for our business. Tell me, what exactly is your basis for a good IT service?”

If you were the prospect, wouldn’t that sound heavenly to your ears?

The art of acknowledgment requires discipline – you have to resist the urge of jumping into an opportunity as soon as you see it. Breathe. Take time to acknowledge. It’s worth the effort, you’ll see, for it can help you determine what your prospect really needs, instead of having your sales pitch scatter all over the place without really hitting your mark.

Handling Telemarketing Calls With Business Executives

Handling Telemarketing Calls With Business Executives

All right, after a successful B2B telemarketing call to business executives, you end up with a meeting with them. Now, a business meeting with potential sales leads may not have to be in person. It could take many forms, like another telephone call, a video conversation, email, or perhaps a myriad of other things that marketers do these days. What never changes, despite all this variety in B2B appointment setting, is the process of actually discussing business with your prospects. You have to know where to start, as well as figure out what you need to do before, during, and after meeting with your prospects. That can spell all the difference in your marketing campaign. So, how will you do that?

  1. Do your research – before you meet with your business prospects, you need to do your homework with regards to their interests. Study their industry, the kind of markets they serve, what products and services they offer, as well as the problems they face. You just cannot step inside the office and speak things at the top of your head. That would be a real disaster waiting to happen.
  2. Never assume they know you – many a failed business meeting with prospective B2B leads can be traced to the simple assumption that the prospects already know you and your business. Be graceful enough to introduce yourself and your company. Help them connect your name to your business, and then go straight to the point.
  3. Present proof of credibility – once the meeting has started, you should show your prospects proof that you know your business. Focus on the problems that these executives face in their business. Try not to sell them anything yet, nor focus on the features and benefits that your solution provides. This will give them more reason to trust you.
  4. Ask intelligent questions – you see, asking a question, and asking the right question, are two very different things. The former will indicate that you do not know anything about your prospect’s problems. The latter shows your intelligence and that you are determined to find the right solution to their problems. It will not take you much to figure out which one will work.
  5. Talk less and listen more – when you are in a business meeting with B2B lead generation prospects, you should take this as an opportunity to learn more about them. You should talk, when you have to talk, but leave most of the talking to them. Surely, they have a lot to say about their business and what they need.
  6. Put value in your talk – you should be able to add something to the business discussion, something new and intangible that your prospects would want to hear about. It may not seem that much to you, but business executives value that.
  7. Conclude the talk – whether you have closed the deal with them at this point, or if you need to have more discussion, you should have this ironed-out during your current meeting. Be clear and concise with the details.

Once you mastered these steps, it would be easier for you and your lead generation team to handle business executives in a meeting.

The Triple A of Telemarketing, Article 3 – Animation

 

For every process there is a culmination. It’s the zenith of all the patience, persistence, and perseverance that transpired during your efforts in achieving your goal. In the context of telemarketing, the culmination is the part where an appointment is set, or a lead has been generated.

But right between the middle and end parts of the call, there’s a phase where the telemarketer would shift its focus from the prospect to the sales pitch. That’s usually a very difficult transition to carry out, especially when the foundation of trust and confidence is not that strong.

That part reminds the prospect that he is indeed engaged in a sales call and the pitch is naturally inevitable. If the telemarketer is unable to smoothly and swiftly make that transition, the mission would be compromised, and the conversation will end up as nothing more than a chit chat.

So how do you effectively transition from attention to animation?

First, drop the “sales pitch”.

“A ‘pitch’ typically conjures up images of a one-way presentation, with the salesperson talking at a prospect, which is not the effective way to sell,” says Art Sobczak, President of BusinessByPhone.com. After listening to the prospect regarding their company’s needs and wants, it’s your turn to “animate” the situation by offering to help them.

Avoid generic statements.

Make sure that in describing how your product or service works, include the things that the prospect mentioned, to make it sound like it was specifically designed for them. For instance, instead of saying a generic statement like “Our portal solution is the recognized leader in efficient user experience”, address specific concerns by saying, “Our portal solution can reduce your user-experience woes by implementing an integrated sign-on system and synthesized log-in portals.”

You need to make them feel that what you’re offering is a recommendation, and not a sales pitch. By using their own words and language, describe to them how your product or service can directly address specific aspects of the challenges they mentioned earlier. By doing that, they would immediately see the benefits. It will also facilitate in convincing them to agree to an appointment or give out their pertinent information.

And lastly, don’t forget to add a little sauce to your dish by patting a prospect’s back after a successful conversation. Let them know that their decision to consider your product or service was a brilliant move, and it shall not be a subject of regret. Make them feel appreciated and express your excitement towards future interactions. Thank them for their time, and end the call on a pleasant note.

The Triple A of Telemarketing, Article 2: Attention

The Triple A of Telemarketing, Article 2 - Attention

If you ask people to list down what they think are the qualities of a good telemarketer, they would probably include things like energetic, argumentative, persuasive, persistent, good talker, has a pleasant voice, warm and friendly, and professionally articulate.

A few, if not none, would include traits like keen observer, empathetic, and a good listener.

That’s because the standard persona of a telemarketer (or anyone involved in sales and marketing, for that matter) is someone who “controls” a conversation with a prospect. It is somewhat expected that the telemarketer would do all the convincing and selling, and then wait for a yes or a no, and that’s it.

Prospects should not lie at the mercy of telemarketers – it should be the other way around.

The flow of the conversation should be dictated by the one who ultimately has the power to take things to the next level, and that power is never rested on telemarketers. The decision comes from the prospects; therefore they should be listened to, not imposed upon.

This is how a telemarketing call should go:

  1. Telemarketer introduces self and company
  2. Telemarketer asks permission to discuss things, prospect agrees
  3. Telemarketer asks probing questions
  4. Prospects answer, may elaborate freely, while telemarketer listens
  5. Telemarketer acknowledges concerns, offers help
  6. Prospect asks questions, telemarketer answers
  7. Telemarketer offers appointment, prospect agrees
  8. Telemarketer thanks prospect, ends call

As you can see, the progress of a call relies greatly on prospects. If they respond negatively to any of these stages, then the call will fail. Telemarketers should aim to serve prospects, not overpower them. Prospects deserve attention, and to do that, there must be sincerity.

Most of us don’t really listen. Sometimes we just hear words, and if we do listen, we’re often just waiting for the other person to finish talking so we could be the one to talk. We often crave for our friends to listen to us, not realizing that we ourselves never lend our ears to them.

The greatest mistake a telemarketer could do is to dismiss whatever the prospect has just said. Some telemarketers respond with something completely unrelated, or repeat something that’s already been settled. Why? Because they don’t listen, and they’re too preoccupied with how they’re going to deliver their pitch.

How to Lose a Prospect in 5 Minutes: The Ultimate Disaster Guide for Telemarketers

According to forbes.com, here are some of the ways to give proper attention by listening:

  • Be attentive, but relaxed.
  • Keep an open mind.
  • Listen to the words and try to picture what the speaker is saying.
  • Don’t interrupt and don’t impose your “solutions.”
  • Wait for the speaker to pause to ask clarifying questions.
  • Try to feel what the speaker is feeling.
  • Pay attention to what isn’t said.

It’s a simple give and take relationship. If prospects feel that you’ve given them the attention they deserve, they’d be more open to consider what you have to say in the end. That makes it easier for you to better understand your prospect, establish a relationship and achieve your goals.

The Triple A of Telemarketing, Article 1: Attitude

The Triple A of Telemarketing, Article 1 - Attitude

One of the major points of emphasis in telemarketing training sessions is the fact that prospects do not see the telemarketer they’re talking to. That’s for agents to realize that since their voices are the only representation of their personality, it’s very important to keep a pleasant attitude at all times.

The Six Telemarketing Prospects You Meet

People have a general idea of bad attitude, and it’s almost common across most cultures. It can be born out of a recent bad experience, a sudden realization of worthlessness, a feeling of discomfort towards a particular place, person or situation, or perhaps something much deeper. But despite of its “subconscious” nature, an attitude is still, at the end of the day, a simple mental process.

Can we control our attitude towards something?

That’s a yes, according to Chris Widener, a New York Times and Wall Street best-selling business author and speaker (chriswidener.com). Widener said that even though we do not control the circumstances around us, we can choose how we perceive and feel about them. Ultimately, the choice of a right attitude would open up new and better circumstances.

If you go to work despising the fact that you have to suffer for 8 hours, will people attempt to have a chat with you or sit beside you during lunch? Probably not. But if you spend those 8 hours with a contagiously positive attitude, things happen around you and opportunities are drawn towards your existence.

The Three Steps To Communicate Well In Lead Generation

Attitude in Telemarketing

You don’t need to see one’s face or observe one’s actions to make an assessment – you can draw an impression from the choice of words, the way sentences are structured, the timing of pauses, the indistinct sounds, and most importantly, the tone of voice.

Prospects almost recognize immediately if a telemarketer possesses a certain unpleasant attitude over the phone. It’s something that can be as explicit as a sound, but can also be as subtle as a gut feeling. Going into a call with a negative attitude can spell doom for a telemarketer. Attitude affects the way spiels are delivered, questions are answered, and objections are handled.

So how do you do it?

Stay healthy and well rested. In order for your mind and body to function stress-free, you need to have sufficient time to rest before you start calling people.

Contemplate on your job. Being a telemarketer involves several goals – both qualitative and quantitative. Take time to look at your level of satisfaction in performing your tasks, your plans of execution, and what rewards you will get if you succeed.

Avoid complaining. Every time you feel like whining about bad stuff happening around you, pause for a while, take a deep breath, and gradually let go of the negative thought and focus on the good stuff.

Smile. Before you pick up that phone, think about the things that make you happy, and make it a goal to share that attitude with whoever you’re going to talk to. If you start and end something with a happy face, you have nothing to lose.

How To Train Telemarketers To Sell Your Products And Services

How To Train Telemarketers To Sell Your Products And Services

Selling to business to business (b2b) companies requires a distinct type of telemarketing. To differentiate your telemarketing from other telesales efforts and to better market your offerings to your business leads, you need to help your telemarketer gain more than just simple knowledge of your products and services.

Helping your telemarketer own the script

  • Help your telemarketer feel important – most companies who use telemarketing to sell their products and services fail to welcome a new telemarketer into the company organizational structure. They simply hand over a script and calling list to their employee and expect him to immediately start selling. Even veteran telemarketers need to know their place in a new company and need to feel a sense of ownership of the product or service to be able to sell it convincingly.
  • Review scripts with your telemarketer – after handing the script to your telemarketer, you need to spend time discussing this with him. He may have certain questions or doubts about the script or product that you can help clear up. When these uncertainties are not resolved, he could unintentionally impart this doubt to your business leads whenever he delivers his spiel.
  • Include your telemarketer when improving scripts – Eventually, your telemarketing scripts will need improving. No other person in your company can provide better insights on how to improve your script than the person delivering it everyday. He can suggest which parts of the script to emphasize or revise based on the reactions he gets from business leads. After the revision, your telemarketer will be more confident selling using the script because of the personal involvement in its creation.
  • Prepare your telemarketer for reality – reassure your telemarketer that you do not expect him to close the sale or set an appointment on every call and that rejection is inevitable, but remind him that the company highlights successful sales or appointments. This will condition your telemarketer to focus on selling rather than being rejected. It will also keep him from fearing cold calling or becoming rude to business leads.

An easier, cheaper way

Of course, to save yourself from the hassle of having to spend precious time training your telemarketers, you can always consider outsourcing your telemarketing to a business process outsourcing (BPO) company. There are plenty of BPO companies that you can outsource to, but to ensure your company’s integrity, you must hire a reliable telemarketing firm with vast experience in b2b cold calling. Doing so would ensure you that professional telemarketers who are experts in b2b telemarketing are communicating your products and services to your targeted calling list.

Acquire a Better Chance of Generating Leads from Singapore Through B2B Telemarketing

Generating leads has become much tougher ever since recession has rolled into the lives of many businesses. This can be thoroughly felt even to businesses that are located in Singapore. Many have dodged this event and are still lucky to have survived it. However, there are still those that are unlucky enough to have experienced this. Many companies that have been hit with recession have been seen to bear a great burden when it comes to their lead generation campaign. There are those that have given up with such a marketing strategy as it may be too costly for them while others have given up on their businesses entirely.

Through outsourcing their lead generation campaign, businesses (either hit by recession or not) can stand a chance in gathering quality leads. Outsourced telemarketing services for this marketing strategy is one of the best options one can take advantage of for the benefit of their business.

The key benefit that can be attained through outsourcing is that skilled professionals use the process known as cold calling to gather warm leads. The chances of qualifying a lead are high through this medium for the fact that a direct line of contact is created. Telemarketers can then send whatever data they acquire through their pipeline so that their clients can easily fold out any information they receive.

Outsourcing to a telephone marketing firm enables businesses to get warm leads at a very fast pace.

What is B2B Telemarketing?

The design and purpose of B2B telemarketing is very different from that of ‘telesales.’ The negative connotation associated with telemarketing is often due to its confusion with telesales.  Although telesales is a form of telemarketing, telesales is typically used in the business world to sell a product or service-or essentially close a sale. The telesales call is not successful if sale is not generated and completed during the call. B2B telemarketing is different in that the purpose is to generate interest, encourage additional contact, and build strong B2B relationships and calls are typically made directly to the decision makers within the potential or existing client’s organization. Depending upon the desired results of your B2B telemarketing campaign, outbound telemarketing callers can attempt to entice the recipient of the call into wanting to hear more about your product or service, or they might try to schedule a follow up visit with a company representative to discuss the potential client’s needs, as they pertain to your business, in more detail.

B2B telemarketing agents often make contact to gather information from clients or potential clients in order to improve their own processes and procedures. These types of calls are often referred to as telemarketing surveys. The results of telemarketing surveys are often instrumental in improving company policies, procedures, and strategic decisions.

B2B Telemarketing

by: Mahavir

The major advantage of third party b2b telemarketing companies is their ability to use dozens of telemarketers to get your message out quickly. Unless you have a fully-staffed internal b2b telemarketing division, outside firms will make thousands of calls in a relatively short time frame compared to what you can do in-house. However, b2b telemarketing services firms tend to be expensive and lack selling skills; they are limited in engaging in dialog about technical products or services and are better suited for information gathering, appointment setting and “yes or no” types of campaigns. And unless you supply the telemarketing list, telemarketing firms have a history of using poor quality b2b telemarketing lists.
There are advantages to using an in-house person for your business-to-business telemarketing efforts. People staffed by your organization can be trained in sophisticated selling techniques, so that they will be familiar with the technical aspects of your product and can engage in more extensive dialog with potential clients and pass on telemarketing leads to your sales staff instantly. Also, when the telemarketing efforts are done internally, you control telemarketing list buys, and can be more diligent on which lists to use.
But, as we mentioned earlier, small businesses rarely have enough people on staff who can provide telemarketing services on an ongoing basis. A cost-effective alternative may be to hire college students, retirees or part-timers and train them on a specific telemarketing project. And here’s a training tip for you… if your telemarketers are going to be reading from a script, have them practice sounding like they are improvising. Knowing that the person on the other end of the phone is reading is a sure turn-off and can hurt your response rate.
In short, both internal and external b2b telemarketing services has its benefits. Regardless of which direction you decide to go in, make sure you have the right telemarketing lists. It’ll make all the difference in the world.
Next, the b2b telemarketing company quickly recruits some people to do the actual cold-calling whose qualifications include something like showing up for the interview and smiling a lot. Or they ask a temp agency nearby to send over some people who have been through a similarly rigorous screening process. Next, they dust off an ex-client’s script, change a few words, give it to the newly hired business-to-business telemarketing reps and say, “Start calling.”
Hire a top-notch B2B telemarketing company. Look for a company with a proven track record of calling into the same industries and the same titles as you will want them to be calling on your behalf. Thoroughly check references and insist that the b2b telemarketing services appointment setting company assign experienced callers to your project. Then both you and the firm must invest time and effort in creating call guidelines (rather than a verbatim script) and training callers on the unique aspects of your business and your prospects. Finally, give the callers a well-targeted list of prospects to call, and have them start dialing.