Telemarketing has long been an established method of b2b lead generation, particularly within the IT and technology sectors. But recently, the word on the street is that ‘cold calling’ is dead and the term ‘telemarketing’ has picked up certain blasphemous connotations.
With statistics on the number of people contained on the global do-not-call registry, the numbers of senior execs locked safely away behind the gate keeper and the volumes of unanswered calls, it can be easy to see why the industry won’t touch the words IT telemarketing with a 10 foot barge-pole.
Marketers very quickly move on from tactics that don’t generate the results they need. And quite rightly so - poorly delivered telemarketing doesn’t generate leads. But, unfortunately, it also gives the rest of us a bad name.
No one wants to be associated with IT telemarketing if it means accepting the stigma that comes along with it. So let’s look at removing that stigma…
Times have moved on and digital marketing has a firm place in any lead generation campaign. Inbound marketing campaigns which focus on industry thought leadership, distribute valuable content, and facilitate online engagement through digital marketing tools and channels generate inbound leads. These leads can be nurtured through the entirety of the buyer’s journey and passed onto sales – only when sales ready - to turn into revenue.
Changing buyer behaviour has resulted in the growing popularity of the Inbound Methodology and the success of a digital approach to lead generation.
But does this mean that the traditional methods should be put to rest? By definition “Progress” is the forward or onward movement towards a destination/goal!
While the necessity of digital lead generation is clear to see, it is also accompanied by the limitation of time. It takes time to start generating high enough volumes of website traffic, boost conversion rates and nurture prospects – it is not an overnight game.
More often than not, businesses can’t afford to wait that long. A lead generation campaign that includes a direct approach is the way to start producing results almost immediately, whilst inbound works in the background attracting leads at the top of the funnel.
The role of telemarketing in B2B lead generation is certainly not dead.
Getting rid of the stigma
The downfall of so many IT telemarketing campaigns is poor execution. All too often telemarketers are not armed with enough prospect intelligence, unable to deviate from an agreed script or discuss in detail the challenges faced by prospects. If this acts as the front line of a lead generation campaign, it is no wonder that success is stunted.
Ridding the industry of the stigma that is associated with IT telemarketing requires sophisticated inside sales teams who are equipped with the skills, experience and knowledge to defy the reputation that the industry has placed upon them.
In addition to skills and experiences here are 4 things all inside sales teams should bear in mind when attempting to overcome the bad perceptions of IT Telemarketing:
- Do away with the scripts – educate your team on the ins-and-outs of your service and empower them to have a conversation … and a personality.
- Offer value, don’t take it – Knowing someone is calling just because they want something is never going to endear a prospect. Remember these calls should be a valuable exchange. Give something to your prospects to get something back – can you give them advice to overcome a challenge? Or recommend they take a look at a useful tool to help them on their way to a solution?
- Ask leading questions, don’t interrogate – The best calls are the ones where your prospect does all the talking. Leading questions, opportunities for expansion and well placed pauses are all essential tools in getting the answers you need without working through a never ending list of questions.
- Deliver on what you promised – In the middle of a call, it can be easy to fall into the trap of agreeing to anything and everything the prospect asks for, just to get the close. But not delivering on these promises will only set you up for failure. Send over the information you promised, arrange the demo that they asked for. No matter how small, don’t set the precedent that you can’t deliver what was asked for. This is where the beauty of marketing automation comes in, as it will help you consistently nurture your leads. Request a demo of HubSpot Marketing automation here>>
Rebranding IT Telemarketing
Successful lead generation drives long-term pipeline development and is key to business growth. But it requires generating opportunities for today and leads for tomorrow. Doing so effectively requires a combined direct and digital approach to lead generation for long term results; supplementing skilled IT telemarketing with prospect intelligence and inbound leads produced by digital efforts for long term results.
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