Develop a Strategy to Handle B-to-B Leads
One perception among marketers is that they feel that their target customer is too hard to reach by phone, but contact rates as high as 70 percent are achieved regularly. Others believe that a company's individual marketing needs require high-level, strategic interaction, too far beyond a call center representative's capability. Again, results show that opportunity identification rarely requires an exhaustive knowledge of a particular product or service.
How to make b-to-b telemarketing work
To promote products and services in the most cost-effective manner, outbound lead generation should combine skilled telemarketing representatives with a database. Typically the data originates from a purchased list or is derived from a company's own standard response management activities such as inbound calls, trade show leads or advertising responses. Ideally, outbound lead generation is part of an integrated marketing campaign, but can be used as a stand-alone effort, too.
Both product and service companies are finding success with outbound lead generation. Sometimes the reason a company puts a program in place is that it does not have enough leads and needs to generate them; for others, the reason is an abundance of leads that must be qualified and prioritized.
Inhouse or outsource?
Some marketers may believe it would be cheaper to handle telemarketing lead generation in house. This could be the case if you have an existing in-house call center, and need only to invest in training.
If you want to avoid investments in technology and training, outsourcing is the way to fill a pipeline with new prospects. Outsourced solutions enable a marketer to avoid the costs of hiring, training, equipping, housing, motivating, coaching and managing telemarketing managers and representatives. By amortizing these expenses over many projects, your outsourcing partner is able to lower your costs.
Terry Arnold is vice president of outbound teleservices at Harte-Hanks, a worldwide direct and interactive marketing services company based in San Antonio, TX. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or (512) 434-1120 in the Austin, TX area office.