Being adequately prepared for a conversation can make the world of difference to the success of a B2B lead generation campaign. One of the most useful tools that can be used is a well-designed call approach guide. A call plan should be no more than a couple of sides of A4 that contains any information about your company, product and target market that might be useful in an IT Telemarketing call.
There are many different things that can be included in the document, and I will run through some of the most useful ones in order to provide an ideal starting point for those looking at this for the first time. It is important that you remember a call plan is most certainly not a “script” and if done properly will help you to have a natural two-way conversation with your target market.
I am sure that a lot of readers will be familiar with the concept of the elevator pitch and many of you will have already use one in your day to day lead generation activities. On the call plan you should have a few short sentences that introduce yourself, your company, establish your credentials and sets out the conversation ahead ending on an open question. The open question is perhaps the most important part of the elevator pitch as it will set the agenda for the conversation ahead, allowing your prospects to actually talk to you and not have to listen to a generic pitch.
In the elevator pitch, I suggested that you establish your credentials as part of this process. One of the best ways of doing this is to provide the customer for references and the call plan should include information on any customers you mention. I always like to use “household names” where possible, in the B2B space I define this as the most likely companies your prospects will have heard of. Make sure this section includes enough detail about the work you have done with them so you can have a conversation with your prospects about this work and demonstrate how your success in that project could be translated to their business.
Objection is part of the reality of any telemarketing campaign. Some prospects may already be working with a competitor; others may think that your offering doesn’t suit their business at first. A call plan that features a list of common objections and the best possible way to handle them is really useful in a call plan. Following on from a Buyer Persona workshop, your inside sales team should spend time as a group discussing common objections and each suggesting a way to handle that objection. This exercise is also really useful in building product knowledge with everyone sharing their individual experience and taking on board new ideas.
A list of open questions relevant to your offering again builds upon the elevator pitch I spoke about at the start of the article. As I suggested, an open question is the best way to end the pitch, but you might not always get everything you were looking for from that question. A list of relevant questions designed to get prospects talking about the areas you are interested in is a brilliant way of making sure conversations stay on topic and every call realises its full potential. I found a similar exercise to the one I described in the objections handling section to be really useful here, encourage your team to share their ideas and record the ones you think will work best for everyone to use.
Often you will find your buying market will not only be talking to you, but also your competitors. A section containing the strengths and weaknesses of your top competitors can be really useful in a competitive scenario. This information will allow your business development team to identify and highlight areas where you stand out from the crowd and move the conversation away from areas where your competitors are stronger. With this knowledge, your business development team will be able to consistently make a compelling case for your buying market to have a strong desire to explore your offering.
A bit like a bookend; the close serves a similar purpose to the elevator pitch. It should be a few sentences setting out expectations with your prospect for next steps, recap the call and bring the conversation to a professional ending. It is a good idea to remind your team to thank the prospect for their time and if possible let the prospect know who they can expect to follow up the conversation. By this point, your prospect should already be in a conversational state so warming up the call is not the objective here. The close is to make sure the call ends in the best possible way and to ensure the next conversation runs as smoothly as the first.
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