By A.J. WIndle, Sr. Operations Manager
We exist because the world is driven by sales. Think about it. Everything we have is tied back to a sale that was made from a conversation that was had, which all started by generating that first lead. Let’s face it, most businesses have a goal to grow and in order to do that they need new leads and new opportunities.
So, what’s the magic sauce? How can you get more leads and how can you make sure that your sales team is capitalizing on those leads? Every business is different however I will tell you that after running hundreds of B2B Telemarketing lead generation programs, there are several processes that I believe will make sure your team is generating strong leads and that your sales team is capitalizing on those opportunities. Follow these tips and you are going to see improved results.
Multiple Touch Points
One of the hardest and most time consuming aspects of lead generation is just getting the person who actually makes the decisions on the phone. Regardless if you are generating your own leads or using Outsourced Telemarketing, the days of people sitting at their desk all day is dead. We are truly living in a mobile age! So how can you more effectively reach prospects? You must use a multiple touch approach. Call them, leave voicemails, send emails, connect on LinkedIn, and join groups with people you know need the product/service you are selling. Implement a process for these contact methods, including on what attempts you will try a different or multiple touch approach. Also consider the amount of time you are spacing between contact attempts. You “Do Not” want to call, leave a voicemail, send an email and connect with them on LinkedIn all on the same day. Honestly, that is borderline creepy and will more than likely push them right into your competitor’s hands.
It’s not an interrogation
One of the biggest mistakes I see when launching a B2B Telemarketing lead generation program is the use of an overly interrogative script. I get it; you want to ensure that your sales team has as much information as possible going into the sales call to be successful. Consider this, if you had to sit on the phone for 15 minutes answering questions, only to find out the purpose of this call is to set up another call with more questions, would you stay on the phone? I’m going to put my money on “No”. Don’t get me wrong, valuable information needs to be collected however if you are skilled enough to get C-Level managers on the phone, respect their time and know they probably have better things to be doing. Keep it to the bare necessities. Part of the follow-up call from your sales team should be engaging the conversation and asking more questions so they can build the relationship with the potential client.
Setting up the Sales Call
I cannot stress enough just how important this is. If your Outsourced Telemarketing team does not have a proper process in place to set up the follow-up sales call, your leads will run cold. With that said, first and foremost, time is of the essence. The closer the follow-up call to the original lead gen call the more successful you are going to be. I recommend a two day max follow up call process which should only be exceeded if there is a very valid reason. If your prospect wants to push past a week, don’t set the appointment. Instead schedule a time to call them back when there is a smaller window. This will keep show rates up and the likelihood of your prospect recalling the initial interest much higher. Secondly, send the prospect a calendar invite while you’re on the phone with them and get them to commit to adding it to their Outlook calendar. If the time is blocked off, although not impossible, it is a lot less likely they will back out of the appointment. Lastly, walk them through next steps. If they clearly know what is going to happen after you get off the phone they are more likely to be prepared for the next level conversation.
Create a Lead Rating System
Every lead is not created equal, so why do people classify them as such? When conducting a lead generation program, you are going to get the bad, the good and the great leads. The key is to know the difference so you can appropriately prioritize the timeframe in which you contact these prospects back. When conducting B2B telemarketing lead generation you should have a method in which prospects are rated on how they answer specific questions you have deemed “Necessary” within the script. You can use the old “Hot” or “Cold” method, however typically I prefer a bit more detailed approach of A, B, or C. “A” leads, want to make a decision now, they have been looking, have the budget and want a call right away. They are informed and you can tell they have done their research. “B” leads, are prospects who are interested in having further conversations however their timeframe for a decision could be several months out. You will know when talking to them that they are interested, they just don’t have a plan in place. Lastly “C” leads are those who don’t necessarily want to have a phone call or in person conversation but would like more information sent to them for future reference. Because timely follow-up is so critical with prospects, having a system in place for your outsourced telemarketing team that clearly conveys who is priority number “1” helps increase the likely hood of you closing deals.
Synergize Lead Gen and Sales Teams
Lastly, one of the most important pieces of a successful B2B telemarketing lead generation program is to open the lines of communication between your lead gen team and the sales team. Although these teams both play separate roles, the end game is the same and you should never create silos. A strong lead generation team should always know what the sales team is looking for in new leads, the results of leads sent and what they need to do to improve the quality of leads that the sales team is receiving. I would recommend a weekly or even monthly call between the two teams to ensure everyone is on the same page. The time spent will be worth it.
Generating high quality leads for your sales team is something that will no doubt be a learning process and one that requires constant refinement. That being said, if you stick to some basic processes and lay out your expectations clearly it is one that can be very fun and rewarding.
Outsourced Telemarketing is a great way to quickly supply your sales team with the amount of opportunities they need to meet your ever growing business goals. The team at Quality Contact Solutions has significant expertise in B2B Telemarketing Lead Generation and we would be more than happy to assist you with meeting your goals. Give us a call! 1-800-963-2889. Or email me at [email protected]. I’d love to hear from you!
A.J. Windle is Sr. Operations Manager for Quality Contact Solutions, a leading outsourced telemarketing organization. With responsibility for overseeing the daily operations of client programs, A.J. is relentless in his pursuit for ensuring every client program is reaching the desired goals – every day. With over 14 years of experience in Telemarketing, A.J. has built his career on creating win-win-win relationships between his team, his clients and his telemarketing vendors that drives unparalleled success. A.J can be reached at [email protected] or 516-656-5106.