Effective B2B sales and lead generation is a skill. It is a communication and marketing tactic which requires a reactive approach, an attentive listener and a hunger for success. It takes a special kind of person.
Like any other business, at JMB we too are a prospect and a target for new business. So it’s no surprise we receive telemarketing and lead generation calls. We’re no different. What does make us different is that fact that lead generation is our business. So we often find ourselves critiquing and wincing at those ‘bad telemarketing’ and sales calls that give the industry and the skill of effective lead generation a bad rep.
So to vent our outsourced sales frustrations, the JMB Partnership Team is standing up to those who give professional telemarketing a bad name and highlight our top irritations and examples of bad B2B telemarketing.
One of my favourite questions, “Do you know what we do?” then comes the silence…. An unprepared sales person is like a lamb to the wolves. Not only does it demonstrate a lack of understanding of your prospect’s business, sector and operational needs, but it’s careless. What happened to their brief? A quick flick to their website should immediately indicate whether a manufacturer, farmer or developer. In short, if you don’t know what your prospects do, how can you possible present an offering to them that will resonate or will be relevant.
Tone of Voice.
How can you expect your audience to be engaged your sales rep’s aren’t? Lead generation consultants should be engaged, enthusiastic and professional. Now, I’m not suggesting we burst into song, however your outsourced telesales teams should be an extension of your internal staff, which begs the question ‘would you employ someone directly who wasn’t passionate out your offering or engaged with your business?’
Listen First Respond Later.
Effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job. The higher the listening skill, the higher the quality of conversation and ultimately lead handover. Why is this so important? Because when the lead generation consultant has listened, they will have understood and interpreted the prospects business needs so that the offering and response can be highly relevant and will ultimately resonate with them.
Remember the B2B telemarketing conversations you are having with your prospects should be relevant, informative and fluid – not a mini lecture.
“We don’t have an email address…”.
Sorry? No Email Accounts?. We live in a digital age. One of the challenges of increasing your market share is the ability to effectively build credibility with your client-based, not only through proof of concept, but by accessibly and visibility. If you are unable to provide your sales prospects with a simple email or additional information you will be falling at the first hurdle.
“We only meet in person”.
Agreed, face-2-face meeting is one of the most powerful relationship building tools – we are human after all. However, we operate in an age where decision makers are time lean and a face-2-face meeting is an investment. ‘Time is money’. The option to have an initial conference call shouldn’t be deemed as a failure, yet viewed as a stage of the lead nurturing cycle prior to the prospect investing in both resource and financially.
If you refuse to accommodate or provide the option of a conference call you could potentially be losing a lead.
Experience is priceless.
Would you send your intern into a pitch alone with a CEO? I’m guessing the answer’s no. So why is it ok to have inexperienced telemarketers reaching out to your most valuable prospects?
Understanding the industry landscape, jargon, the processes and pain points – this knowledge only comes from sector specific experience, but is fundamental when making early engagements with potential prospects. And will ensure your brand is conveyed in a professional, credible fashion.
Now I’m not suggesting you need to a recruit a telemarketing team with PHDs. But selecting an outsource sales team or internal team, that have experience of the market is invaluable. It means the sales team understand how and what your prospects will engage with, meaning greater cut-though and high quality dialogue. Quite simply, your telemarketing team will be speaking your prospect’s language.
Refusing to reveal yourself.
A telemarketing caller that fails to introduce or reveal themselves is really up there. If telemarketing to senior decision makers or enterprise organisations, it is highly unlikely your call will land directly the desired DM. You may reach their PA or colleague. Failing to introduce yourself is not only rude, but misses an opportunity to gain free information which has the potential to enhance the efficiency of your telemarketing campaign and gain prospect insight, but also to gain a rapport with a potential stakeholder or advocate. Every call should count.
The barefaced lie.
“I spoke to you earlier in the week”… a little bit pantomime, but “Oh no you didn’t”.
Outsourced sales and lead generation a fundamental to the success of your sales strategy. But the point is it should never be perceived as outsourced. The dialogue should be seamless, the engagement high and representation professional.
These are just a few of our telemarketing frustrations. But let’s not be negative, the JMB Team have plenty of great examples of how to conduct a compelling and highly effective telemarketing campaign. So next time you are looking for outsourced sales, we would love to talk and show you what great telemarketing looks like.