Whether your company is a small start-up, a well-established brand or something in between, chances are you’re not doing all you can in terms of creating and moving leads through your pipeline. As a result, you’re missing out on untold dollars in sales. Telemarketing may be your missing link.
Last week we talked about the importance of lead nurturing. I touched on telemarketing in that piece:
Whether automated or manual, a message should go out letting your prospect know you are going to contact him or her. Better than an email is a phone call. If you don’t have in-house telemarketing, invest in a high-quality, professional telemarketing firm that can speak to prospects on your behalf.
Yes, we’re going to talk about lead nurturing again! Because it is that important. This week, however, we’re going to focus solely on the advantages of using telemarketing to create and move leads through the sales pipeline.
Right out of the gate, let’s define what we mean when we say telemarketing. Just as you wouldn’t hire just any Joe off the street to head up your sales team, you should put time and care into selecting a top-notch telemarketing team. We’re not talking about your typical call center telemarketing. We’re talking about high-quality, professional telemarketing.
The company you choose will essentially be an extension of your brand, so you want a group that will take pride in and ownership of the projects they are given. In other words, this should be a true partnership, with your telemarketing team working earnestly towards your company’s goals. And remember, you get what your pay for.
Must-Haves for Your Telemarketing Team:
- Callers should know your brand as well or better than you know it yourself.
- Callers should immerse themselves in your products/services.
- Callers should be knowledgeable about your target industries.
- A given, but callers should be friendly, outgoing and great listeners.
Your telemarketing group should be industry pros in the following core competencies:
Take all of those leads from trade shows, advertising, your website, etc. Most of these will be qualified to some extent, some may be totally green. Throw them all into the mix. Let your group help you sort through all of your data and refine these into highly qualified sales leads ready for follow-up.
Additionally, if you have any special programs, marketing initiatives or want to break into a target industry or company, your team should be on task.
Typical campaigns might include:
- New customer creation
- Email or direct mail campaign follow-up
- Territory expansion
- Web-based inquiries
- Trade show registrations or inquiries
- Webinar registration or follow-up
- New product launches
Lead Nurturing (Did I mention how important this is?)
79% of marketing leads
One of the most critical aspects of your sales cycle is keeping leads warm until they are ready to purchase. Sales teams don’t have time to nurture the pipeline, they need to close deals. Enter your telemarketing team. I almost want to call them your nurturing team, because really, all of these core areas are or relate very closely to nurturing.
Your team should keep you connected with your prospects, handing them over when the prospects are ready to take the next step. Your ROI will be maximized and your pipeline kept active with well-paced ongoing dialog and direct communication.
Lead nurturing means:
- Staying in front of your prospects with new developments and offerings
- Connections will be deepened with relevant decision makers
- New sales opportunities will be identified
- Your sales pipeline is up-to-date and always active
Brian Carroll, founder and CEO of InTouch says, “Imagine your marketplace is like a field of banana trees. Your marketing people are those who nurture and pick the bananas. Bananas are harvested when they are green, and they turn yellow as they ripen. Fully 95 percent of your leads are like harvested green bananas, and, off the top, your sales team needs only the other 5 percent, those that are ripe.”
It’s those 95 percent that need to be nurtured.
Account Mapping and Expansion
Sometimes the easiest way to increase your sales is to leverage your current customers and grow these accounts organically so they meet their full potential.
- Identify new contacts and decision makers
- Discover new projects and programs
- Understand the needs of your customers
- Identify other locations or divisions to replicate success
Imagine breaking into a territory for a new product launch with a full week of appointments. Whether you are looking for face-to-face or phone-based appointments, your telemarketing group should help your sales team keep their calendars full- not just hand over leads for future follow-up, but work directly with your team to coordinate next steps. Ensure that you:
- Maximize your sales team’s time while out in the field
- Increase ROI for sales travel costs
- Leverage investments in trade shows or conferences
So, confession time- all of the best-in-class core competencies I listed above are things that we offer here at Connects Marketing Group. In fact, I’m confident in saying that we are experts in all of these areas. I try to keep the blog here non-“salesy,” but I’ll make an exception with this one.
In my previous life as a Marketing Communications Manager, I worked with Connects Marketing Group for six years, so I have the benefit of having partnered with CMG before I actually worked for them. Basically, I’m telling you this piece is not just me toeing the party line.
During those six years that we used CMG, we used all of the services listed above and then some. We saw an ROI that far outpaced all of our other sales and marketing activities.
“In my term at Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, we were able to sustain double digit, year over year, growth for over seven years. Connects Marketing Group was an essential part of that growth performance. They were able to connect our sales professionals with key decision makers or product specifiers with pre-meeting knowledge of our offerings, improving our sales meeting effectiveness. I always considered them to be our ‘secret weapon’ for growth.”
– Tim Callison, President Marketing Americas, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions