B-to-B: Make the Call
If you've been playing Buzzword Bingo at any time during the past 12 months, you know you can score the easy win with "social media," "digital marketing" or even "tweet." If social media is so wonderful, why would B-to-B marketers want to continue with the more traditional model of making outbound telephone calls? Is outbound telemarketing still a viable option for driving business marketing success?
While it might seem an easy fix to cut a more expensive channel such as outbound telemarketing, the intrinsic value and potential for ROI continues to make it an effective choice for B-to-B marketers today.
Nothing Nurtures Like Talking
The typical buying cycle consists of four phases: awareness, evaluation, choice and then purchase. The process of identifying leads, creating the awareness, and then allowing for the relationship to grow is considered today to be the key element of the nurturing process.
According to industry research firm Sirius Decisions, only about 53 percent to 68 percent of qualified leads are accepted by the sales work force. Of the leads accepted, only about 50 percent to 75 percent can be deemed opportunities. The rest fall out of the funnel for lack of attention. As a field sales force is rewarded for purchase, it becomes frustrated with the time and effort needed to build relationships with leads who are not ready to sign today.
So why use outbound telemarketing to nurture leads? Calling enables a marketer to not only start the sales process, but also establish a timeline for the entire cycle. The process of calling a prospect—as opposed to sending direct mail or email—serves to seamlessly move that prospect from the initial stage of being aware of what is offered to a natural evaluation of the offering. Through human intervention, or nurturing, the prospect can be more smoothly transitioned into a selection and eventual purchase.