At some point in a business’s lifetime someone has got to pick up the phone or knock on the door of potential businesses.
However, whilst many people don’t enjoy that aspect of business, The Lively Crew sales team loves to talk and more importantly convert those conversations into potential new leads, even if you don’t.
Whilst much maligned by those who don’t enjoy picking up the phone, telemarketing remains one of the key ways to promote and drive business, providing cost-effective and measurable results. Successful use of the telephone to prospect and generate leads for your business requires a little bit of planning before you pick up the phone, and adherence to some basic rules once you do.
There are a number of individual elements that together contribute towards maximising the results of a telemarketing campaign, below is a guide to some of the most important:1# Target the Right Prospects
Before you speak to anyone, work out who it is you want to be speaking to. It sounds obvious but focus on companies that are most likely to be interested in your solution. Before you pick up the phone think about the kind and type of businesses you want to target then structure your prospects by industry, size and location, putting those you think you will have most success with first. It is here that The Lively Crew’s access to over 11,000 businesses across Norfolk
through the BOLD Online Business Directories,
comes into its own. We have access to the data, in an easy to sort format and can provide you with the contacts you want, listed in the order you need them. Our data gets you straight in front of the decision maker, saving you hours of calls to a friendly but ultimately unhelpful receptionist.2# Structure your call
Put the phone down! Now you have your contacts sorted, think about what messages you want to get across. During this process it is helpful to imagine that you’re the prospect receiving the call - you probably get lots of calls each day. In order to stand out it is therefore vital that the seller grabs your attention and engages with you within the first 30 seconds of the call. If they don’t, you’ll cut them short and end the call.
Furthermore if you know the structure of the call before you dial, you will be better prepared for steering the call towards your intended destination – making the sale or securing the lead.
As a guide the below is a professional and positive way to structure your call:
- Introduce yourself and where you are calling from
- Highlight the relevance of your call, for example how your call will benefit the person you’re speaking to or your experience in their sector
- Explain in simple and concise terms the benefit, but not the features at this stage, of how your solution or product will help them – this is known as `The Hook`. Keep it short, clear and precise.
- Qualify their interest and gain their consent to discuss the reason for your call in more in detail.
This process should take an absolute maximum of 30 seconds. Once you have qualified they are interested in learning more you will be able to have a more detailed conversation without needing to rush through your pitch, or agree a time that is convenient to have the conversation.
If you rush into complicated details too quickly, you are likely to confuse, or worse, irritate the person on the other end of the phone. Keep it short, sweet and leave them wanting more.3# Be Clear on Your Call Objectives
Many B2B prospecting telemarketing cycles follow a similar pattern:
- Identify the Decision Maker within the business you are calling
- Engage & qualify
- Send literature (email or hard copy)
- Re-engage, re-qualify and progress to a meeting
Once you have delivered your pitch you need close the conversation by gaining the prospects consent to move to the next stage of the process. This can mean obtaining the correct address to send literature to, or just a more convenient time to call back to discuss the reason for your call with the appropriate person within the business. Successful telesales relies on not just one intense call but on building a relationship with the prospect. So before you call be clear on whether your primary call objective is to arrange a meeting, to qualify their requirements or to simply gain the prospect's consent for you to send some literature and follow up and structure the conversation accordingly. 4# Set Achievable Targets and Measure Your Performance
Productive telephone prospecting is a discipline. You should be making a minimum of 30 calls per hour and within this you should be reaching 5 decision makers and advancing the process to the next stage of the telemarketing process.
To help you achieve this set goals covering your key metrics that you need to achieve each week, such as:
- Total number of calls made
- Decision Maker contacts reached
- Literature requests sent
- Conversations to meetings/quotes
So for example, within your business, or to reach your goals within your telemarketing budget, you may need to speak to 25 Decision Makers to find one, fully-qualified prospect, who is interested in your solution. Therefore, if you can reach 5 Decisions Makers per hour by phone, you need to commit 5 hours productive calling time (coffee, toilet & cigarette breaks don’t count) in order to generate a one good lead (5 x 5 = 25 = 1). So if you want to achieve 10 good leads per week of telemarketing activity, you'd need to commit 50 hours per week to prospecting otherwise your sales targets will be missed.What are the alternatives?1. Give up, get out of the business…
As we said at the start, at some point in the life of every business, somebody is going to have to pick up the phone and let people know you are there. So option 1 isn’t really an option at all. If you are in business, you will need to be on the telephone.2. Find another way to generate leads.
As a full-service marketing agency, we know there are lots of alternatives to telemarketing. However, as we tell everybody we speak to, a successful and cost-effective marketing plan needs to involve an integrated approach, across a variety of techniques and platforms. Remember, not everybody reads the news, not everyone uses the internet, not everybody watches TV or listens to the radio. It is therefore vital you speak to people where they can and will listen. Also remember if successful marketing was easy everyone would be doing it… However all is not lost!3. Get some expert help
. At The Lively Crew we have over 30 years marketing experience working throughout the UK. We are a competent and proven team of qualified marketing and sales professionals with a no nonsense approach to delivering measurable results for businesses of all sizes with tailor made planning and execution and always to budget.