Outbound marketing via the telephone is enjoying a resurgence unparalleled in recent memory. The reasons are two-fold: 1) an evolving consensus on industry-wide best practices and 2) recognition that these best practices drive measurably stronger performance.
What it's called—telemarketing, teleservices or teleprospecting—is less important than how it functions and what it delivers. When the right resources use the telephone to do best-practice lead generation, qualification and nurturing, reps close more deals and drive more revenue.
For example, advisory services firm SiriusDecisions, differentiating between average and best-in-class companies, notes the latter are outperforming the former by a margin of five to one. That is, given the same target universe of 1,000 prospects, best-in-class companies close just over fourteen deals while those applying average processes close just under three. Plus, best-in-class companies are growing both year-over-year revenues and profits.
Successful employing outbound marketing via the phone is grounded in the following nine best practices.
1. Sales and Marketing Alignment
Full marketing and sales alignment is a prerequisite. When the two groups can't or won't work out a solution, a single person will need to take point on the alignment initiative.
Written service level agreements (SLA) need to be implemented so that all participants have clearly defined responsibilities and accountabilities at each step. The SLA will define a lead, the target market, the offer, lead management processes and measurement metrics.
2. Precise Market Definition, Segmentation and Testing
When a working target market is defined in a too broad, too narrow or non-prioritized manner, go-to-market strategies end the same way: Resources and dollars are wasted, prospects are missed, and deals are lost to competitors.
The answer: a micro targeting approach characterized by precise market definition, segmentation and testing. For example, a 5 percent lead rate achieved from qualifying 1,000 companies is actually an average of segments with lower and higher lead rates. Five segments may have 200 companies each with lead rates of 9 percent, 7 percent, 5 percent, 3 percent and 1 percent that, in total, average a 5 percent lead rate. Testing identifies the subgroups most likely to buy.