This article is last in a three-part series "How to Win Leads and Influence Sales."
In part one of this series, I talked about how the phone is an essential tool for today’s business-to-business marketing and covered how you can use it to develop leads, lists and even channels. In part two I showed how telesales is effective for lead nurturing, qualification, appointment setting, and event management.
Now let's address how to use telesales to respond quickly to leads, as well as to do win/loss analysis and account profiling.
You have leads coming in from direct mail and your website every day. And yet, 78% of B2B marketers concede that qualifying leads is their greatest challenge. Leads go cold so rapidly that even minutes can make a difference.
According to Insidesales.com, companies that respond to web leads within the first five minutes are 100 times more likely to connect with the person who requested information than those that call 30 minutes later. Furthermore, they are 21 times more likely to qualify that lead.
When you work with professional telesales agents, they can help you set (and follow through on) response-time policies. Together, you can define what constitutes a qualified lead and craft the questions needed to qualify those leads.
Automated marketing responses--such as sending a follow-up email or delivering a requested white paper or video--can’t compete with the power of a phone call. It takes the human touch to qualify or keep hot leads fired up.
Your sales performance is not something that can be left to guesses or gut feelings. You need to know why one approach worked and another didn’t. Data alone can’t tell the story either. A follow-up phone call from a sales-savvy business development specialist will provide actionable insight from the prospect’s perspective.
Your salespeople will be able to refine their strategies, correct deficiencies, build on successful techniques, and even learn if certain companies and industries either are not a good fit for your products or services.
Maybe you need to augment your offering with a new feature or service or just do a better job of positioning what you have. If it’s a pricing problem, you need to know. Is a competitor better at positioning its offering? Or, are you leaving money on the table when you close deals? If you ask the right questions and understand the “whys,” sales is a journey of ever-improving tactics and strategies. Don’t wonder, understand.
Telesales agents can also be your account profilers. By calling and talking with decision makers, influencers and others they can give you invaluable market intelligence. It all starts with asking questions, knowing the players within a company and how they interact, recognizing their hot buttons, identifying upsell opportunities, and finding the person who should receive the first call.
Armed with this information, your account profiler can put together a blueprint for navigating the prospect company and getting to a decision and sale as quickly as possible. This is beyond lead qualifying; this is a strategy for winning. Telesales does more than turn up the volume on leads. It balances quantity with quality.
About the author
Jeff Kalter is CEO of 3D2B, a global business-to-business telemarketing company that bridges the divide between marketing and sales. He leads customer acquisition programs for Fortune 500 companies, and is passionate about building strong business relationships through professional phone conversations.