Business-to-Business Telemarketing: Wasting Your Money?

Are you dialing for dollars or wasting your money with telemarketing?

Business-to-business telemarketingUnfortunately, most of what B2B marketers call “telemarketing” simply doesn’t work.

Why? Because this is what happens when somebody realizes that there are not enough sales leads in the pipeline to meet this quarter’s sales revenue goals:

Scenario A: Forced Labor

They grab a couple of unlucky administrative assistants, salespeople or interns, put them on they phone with old leads and pray. The unmotivated crew manages to fill their time “getting organized.”

Scenario B: Garbage In, Garbage Out

The marketer Googles for an outsourced business-to-business telemarketing company, and eager to start, sends and old call list or worse, a list of all area businesses. The telemarketing company hires some temps, changes an ex-client’s script, and tells the newly hired business-to-business telemarketing reps, “Start calling.”

Not surprisingly, both scenarios are recipes for disaster.

Of course, you’re experienced and have the skill and knowledge necessary to recognize when a prospect’s needs are a good fit for your services. But you’ve got more important things to do.

So if you’re serious about using B-to-B telemarketing to quickly generate qualified leads:

Hire your own top-notch telemarketers.

Look for people who like being on the phone, understand that rejection is part of the process, have lots of experience calling your types of customers and can knowledgeably discuss the situations and applications your services fit best. (Hint: Consider ex-salespeople who now have kids and want to work part-time and without traveling. Or go after retirees who have realized they’d like to work part-time.) Then give them well-targeted and up-to-date lists of prospects to call.

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 BtoB telemarketing 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.

The acid test for success in either case: How would you feel if you received that telemarketing call?

 

For the full version of this article, please visit:
Business-to-business telemarketing: Dialing for dollars or wasting your money?

Also: Make your telemarketing efforts take off. Find out more about my telemarketing lead generation consulting services.

 

Persona-Based Marketing: Getting Started

Persona-based marketing goes beyond simple demographic data

Persona-based marketing describes who a prospect or customer is, by also answering questions about their behavior such as: what keeps this person awake at night? How does he spend his time? How does she like to be sold to?

This concept can help you, as a business-to-business marketer, by creating a vivid, tangible picture of your best prospects or customers, and then sculpting a marketing message that’s pertinent to their concerns, and move them to inquire and buy.

How to get started:

  1. Convene a group of employees who interact with your customers and prospects. Bring in lunch and a white board and ask them to help you build a persona for each of your target customers.
  2. Start by describing the customer’s role in their company: CEO, CIO, CFO, COO, sales manager, purchasing agent, user, and any other important influencers.
  3. Next describe the kind of company they work for. What industry is it in? How big is it? How up-to-date is it? Does it have a lot of competition?
  4. Then describe the person and their behavior: Give each persona a name, a title, an age, and describe how he or she looks. How does he dress? What kind of car does she drive? What does he do in his free time? What kind of educational background does she have?
  5. Flesh out as many attributes as you need to give a full, rounded picture of who this person is. Then, turn to your persona’s problems and goals.
  6. Think about what does this person’s daily calendar look like? What are his or her most pressing concerns? What product or service attributes would be most helpful in solving this person’s problems? Is he or she looking to roll up 20 databases into one, getting ready for an IPO, dealing with a new competitor who has just entered the market?
  7. Then, when formulating your marketing messages, think about what path this prospect or customer might pursue to solve this problem. Will he or she turn to white papers or articles in trade publications or Web sites? Would this customer or prospect seek input from a speaker at a networking group of their peers? Let the personas steer the route, which you can pave with information that can help your prospect and customers move forward in their consideration and buying process.

Read the full article at my website: Persona-based marketing: Powerful tools for connecting with prospects and customers

 

Targeting Your B2B Lead Generation

When searching for leads to buy your products or services, you want to find those companies who have a problem for which you have the solution.

How do you go about finding those companies and how do you find the level of contacts you need from within the companies?

I’ve added an article to my website about the process of targeting your lead generation:

  • Rank current customers
  • Add information about each customer
  • Determine likely prospects
  • Target lead generation by market or geography
  • Research the media they use
  • Focus on B2B marketing vehicles

Read the full article: Lead Generation: Targeting your B2B lead generation

 

4 great solutions for a marketing ROI challenge

What do you do when you have a tough time quantifying marketing return on investment? Recently someone contacted me asking for advice.

A Marketing ROI Challenge

The challenge I face is that we sell 98% of our products through one and two step distribution. As a result:

  1. Even if my sales guys follow up the lead, it’s being referred to one of our distributors,
  2. We don’t know if the prospect ever visits the distributor, much less buys from him,
  3. Our distributor doesn’t share sales or customer data, because they’re afraid that we’ll ‘poach’ the customer,
  4. If you ask the sales team how much the advertising drove the sale, they (obviously) tell me that while it was helpful — they were the key variable in closing the sale.

We track all of our marketing expenditures and leads, so we have a good sense of what each lead generation source costs us. But I can’t close the loop on an ROI. Any thoughts on how we might approach quantifying it?

4 Marketing ROI Solutions

  1. Conduct “Did you buy?” surveys (by mail, e-mail or phone) to the leads to determine what sales resulted and why or why not.
  2. Compare warranty cards or registrations to leads. Incentivize the returning of warranty cards with hats, t-shirts, etc.
  3. Incentivize the distributor salespeople to report back on closed sales by offering spiffs, bonuses, etc.
  4. Give the lead a “coupon” they can redeem at purchase for a discount or upgrade or add-on. The distributor has to turn it in to get reimbursed, closing the loop.

Marketing Lead Calculator

I’ve also developed a spreadsheet you can download and use to calculate marketing return on investment:

 

Lead generation tactics e-book

Successful B2B marketing includes using a broad range of tactics.

This “recipe for success” guide gives you the knowledge how to drive lead generation with:

  • Relationship marketing
  • Direct marketing
  • Online marketing
  • Events and tradeshows
  • Educational events
  • Additional tactics

Lead generation checklist included

Get a head start with the included Sales Lead Generation Checklist to maximize results.

Download my 24-page e-book with proven B2B sales lead generation tips and techniques. I recommend it to my clients and I hope it is thought provoking for your lead generation programs.

Lead generation tactics: A recipe for success.

 

Getting marketing done

I think most business-to-business marketers should aim for “good enough” and “get it done” rather than aim for perfection when it comes to marketing to drive leads and sales.

Why? Because aiming for perfection, in addition to being nearly impossible to achieve, results in your marketing campaigns and materials spending far too much time in the concept and development stages and causes significant delays in delivering your lead generating messages to prospective customers.

Or worse, your marketing messages never get delivered at all.

 

 
Need help with B2B lead generation, marketing and sales?
For more information, please call Mac McIntosh at +1-401-294-7730, send him email at or visit www.sales-lead-experts.com