In our Digital Transformation series, we're looking at the way digital transformation is impacting sales and marketing techniques and learning how we can harness the power of new technological advancements to make waves in our marketing and sales processes. In our eBook we delve into how sales and marketing has changed to keep up with digital transformation and how we as sales and marketing professionals can use these advancements to stay ahead of our competition whilst delivering the best customer experience.
So far, we have covered the importance of knowing your buyers in part one, and how social media has transformed sales and marketing in part two. In this blog, we’ll take a look at traditional telemarketing and discuss how this traditional method fits into the digital age and whether or not it still holds any power in lead generation.
In the digital age, telemarketing is viewed as out-dated and has become synonymous with cold calling and viewed as an interruptive marketing technique. However, in a B2B environment that offers prospects complex high-value solutions, the telemarketer still has a vital role to play in the sales process.
When compared to B2C, where customers can make impulse purchases without much thought, B2B prospects’ decision-making process has an increased complexity and longer time frame. Meaning prospects are far more likely to want to engage with someone over the phone to delve deeper into the product or service offered and discuss their needs.
Telemarketing can give you a competitive advantage in a time when companies are focusing their efforts online. A personal conversation builds loyalty and trust between you and your potential buyer, before the sale is ever made. To maximise results and ROI, telemarketing should not be a standalone effort, instead should form a part of a wider campaign plan.
Digital tools to improve your telemarketing efforts
Resources like LinkedIn can be used by telemarketers to conduct a quality check to ensure they are speaking to the correct contact. The platform allows you to gain knowledge on not only the contact but also the business, ultimately supplying you with the right information to nurture a strong quality lead.
Adding marketing automation to your process allows telemarketers to better understand the wants and needs of your prospect through tracking behavioural trends and engagement levels. These statistics can be beneficial to understand who your target audience is, so you can maximise your telemarketing efforts and ensure you aren’t wasting time and resources on the wrong people. When you spend time nurturing your prospects interests, reaching out firstly on LinkedIn, it prevents that cold-call feeling and instead means when you pick up the phone, you know it’s now timely and appropriate for the prospect. A telemarketing campaign with the help of marketing automation will increase your volume of enquiries, as well as the strength of the lead.
Using telemarketing to bring your prospect through the buyer’s journey
Telemarketing is still an important tool that can be put to use throughout the buyer’s journey. Once the prospect has an understanding of their problem and begins to look for solutions, telemarketing can provide them with answers to queries. It may even offer some advice during the consideration stage.
Your telemarketers will be able to extract data about your prospects which can improve future campaigns, lead scoring and lead nurturing. A quick and simple phone call can identify where your contact is in their decision-making process, and help you learn about the buying process as well as budget availability. The wealth of information gathered from a quick phone call (budget, timing, authority, challenges) can help you refine how you distribute content to potential buyers in each stage of the engagement cycle.
At the decision stage, telemarketing is key to understanding if the prospect is a fully-fledged SQL and ready to make a buying decision. Telemarketing provides a personal touch that digital can’t replicate, so, even if you are faced with some reservations while offering your service, a conversation has the ability to sway the prospect and close the sale.
INCo’s integration of telemarketing and digital tools
At INCo, we see the importance of linking traditional and modern marketing methods in order to effectively progress our prospects through the buying cycle, efficiently and effectively. We create a clear line of communication and coherent reporting between our Business Development Consultants and Digital Marketing team to ensure prospects are sufficiently nurtured and ready to engage.
We take digital marketing techniques such as BASHO email marketing sequences (you can learn about BASHO sequences here) and gated content such as infographics or eBooks to attract the attention of our clients prospects. Once a prospect has engaged with marketing material they are passed onto a Business Development Consultant that has become an expert in the clients value proposition any prospects to follow up with traditional telemarketing. Through the merging of two departments, a Business Development Expert will receive a prospect who is already engaged with the company, a lead who is ready to have a conversation, rather than a prospect who has been picked from a list that has never heard of the business, much less wants to have a conversation around it.
In the age of digital transformation, coupling your telemarketing and digital marketing efforts means you can target prospects in a more efficient way, that fits in with their day, rather than disrupts it. Overall, while technology has changed the way we target our prospects it has not necessarily change the way we communicate. Of course, it has paved the way for a more efficient method of acquiring leads that is enhancing the field, but at the end of the day there is still a great deal of value in a conversation with a human, thus telemarketing will always be a vital aspect of lead generation.
Digital Transformation in Sales and Marketing
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