Tag Archives: B2B Outbound Marketing

Augment Your Sales Pipeline: Outbound Lead Generation

By Megan Hottman, Brand Evangelist

Outbound lead generation One of the services we specialize in is outbound lead generation. We provide thousands of qualified leads to our clients on a daily basis. One of the activities that drives the demand for our services is pipeline management. In most organizations, sales pipeline management is an activity owned by the Sales VP or Director. We partner with those individuals to assist them with keeping their sales pipeline as full as possible – ensuring they are in a position to achieve their sales goals every month.

That got me to thinking about what makes up a healthy pipeline. I think there are 6 key things that B2B sales reps and their managers should focus on to ensure a healthy pipeline.

First, it goes without saying that a pipeline full of opportunities feels SO much better than a sparse or empty sales funnel that won’t generate the revenue required to hit quota. However, as you’ve likely experienced with yourself or your peers, less is often more. The idea of quality over quantity certainly rings true when it comes to a healthy pipeline. The ultimate goal should be a pipeline with a high percentage of well qualified opportunities that move methodically from stage to stage, through the funnel to close. The consequence of a poor-quality pipeline not only impacts you, but it creates a nightmare for management as they spend their time working though inaccurate forecasts and wrestling with what is truly a good funnel representation.

Control is essential

To manage a pipeline effectively, you need a level of control. This requires a process and definitions that make sense, including a clearly defined target audience, and set criteria for what constitutes a ‘good prospect’ as well as definitions for each stage. Having established clear qualification criteria, you can then move prospects in and out of the pipeline appropriately. This helps make sure that time and effort is spent towards the right opportunities.

Process, process, process

Stick with the process. Why do I say that? A study by Harvard Business Review found that companies with a formal sales process generate higher revenues. Most companies have a very explicit sales process with definitions for a reason…this article would absolutely support those reasons. Intimately familiarize yourself with that defined process and stick to what works. If you are unclear or need help, just ask.

Be transparent

A healthy pipeline should be open and visible to everyone. You must keep it up to date and review it regularly. Pipeline reviews aren’t fun however not being real with yourself and others on what your pipeline really looks like is a terrible idea. It may initially keep management off your back but that will without a doubt catch up with you. The last thing you want is an inflated, very unattainable forecast where nothing ever closes. You’ll make yourself look terribly incompetent.

Make a commitment to yourself right now, that this year you’ll have complete transparency and accuracy in your pipeline numbers. Keep in mind that this data can help illustrate where you may need help at in the process. If your pipeline is full of several late or mid stage opportunities for instance, there is probably room for you to invest time in working on qualifying and discovery.

Have a reality check with yourself

Don’t waste your time trying to push a prospect to close too soon. Consider what you may be leaving on the table? Are you targeting the right buyer profile and if so, are you making headway with qualifying and moving them from stage to stage? If not, recalibrate and focus on the leads that are most likely to buy. No one wants to walk away from leads but holding on to those that aren’t the “right” leads to begin with is just a complete waste of time. Spend your time concentrating on the prospects who are most likely to buy and will be the most valuable to your business. When you begin to really scrutinize the prospects that make it into your funnel, your attention will be focused on the deals that matter most.

Prospects at every stage

A healthy pipeline will have prospects at each stage. It may sound obvious, but if you focus all your activities on closing deals in the later stages, without filling the pipeline at the beginning and nurturing those in earlier stages, you’ll be left high and dry once the later stage deals have closed.

Pipeline movement

A pipeline needs to flow. If a deal stays too long at one stage, chances are it’s not going to progress or close. Take a hard look at the deal and either qualify it or move to the appropriate stage. Don’t waste your time on deals that look like they’ve stalled.

The bottom line is that as a sales professional you live, breathe and die by your pipeline and forecasts. It’s critical that you invest the time to manage it well as it will increase sales performance as you’re spending time on the right opportunities.

Other Articles You Might Find Interesting:
5 Keys to Writing a Successful B2B Telemarketing Script

Megan Hottman is a Brand Evangelist for Quality Contact Solutions. Megan’s experience includes working as an outbound telemarketing manager for a Fortune 100 company for many years. Megan has been both a client and an employee of QCS, so she knows first-hand the quality, productivity and passion the team brings to work on a daily basis. As Brand Evangelist, Megan is a freelance contributor to our website. You can reach Megan at https://www.linkedin.com/in/meganehottman/

How to Calculate Call Center Outsourcing Cost: Outbound

By Angela Garfinkel, President

Call centers price their services in a myriad of ways, but the two primary cost structures are “per hour” and “per minute”. Outbound call programs are typically priced per hour. Inbound call handling programs are priced hourly if the team of call center agents are dedicated to the client, or per minute if the call center agents are shared with other clients. In this article, I’ll share how to calculate call center outsourcing cost for outbound calls.

Outbound call center outsourcing cost

There are typically 4 different components that you will see on a call center invoice.

  • Telemarketing hours
  • Training hours
  • Setup fee
  • Monthly management fee

Continue reading

Why You’re not just doing B2B Appointment Setting

By  A.J. Windle, Director of Operations

B2B Appointment SettingHave you ever changed a tire? Seems pretty easy when you say it, but have you ever thought about how much work goes into something so simple? First you have to brave the weather and if you live where I do that could be a lot of work in itself. Then you have to make sure you have the right tools to do the job. You’ll need a jack for the car, potentially gloves and a spare tire. You have to jack up the car, take off the lug nuts, pull the tire off, put the new tire on, tighten the lug nuts, release the jack and put everything back. What seemed simple is much more complex.

B2B appointment setting is very similar. It seems easy at first glance. However, if misjudge the task as easy, then you will most certainly be disappointed. At Quality Contact Solutions we are experts at B2B appointment setting and here are a few items you’ll need to keep in mind to make sure your B2B appointment setting program doesn’t go flat. Continue reading

Choose an Outbound Telemarketing Outsourcer to Hit Goals

By Megan Hottman, Brand Evangelist

Outbound TelemarketingI know firsthand how powerful working with an outsourced outbound telemarketing sales partner is. I also know how intimidating, overwhelming and daunting it can be. It sounds cliché but outsourcing to an outbound telemarketing partner really can save time and money by delegating labor intensive processes like recruiting and training, not to mention sparing you from other potential headaches like technology challenges. I’ve made a list of 9 distinct advantages I discovered while working with an outsourced outbound telemarketing partner over the years. Continue reading

Lead Segmentation for Telemarketing Companies

By Megan Hottman, Brand Evangelist

Telemarketing CompaniesIt’s a known fact that most organizations place incredible pressure on their teams to shorten sale cycles and to improve close rates. A key piece that contributes to the effectiveness of increased productivity is to ensure the entire sales process is optimized every step of the way. What I’ve found to be an essential component in the optimization of the sales process is the segmentation of leads. Continue reading