B2B Teleservices: Six Steps to Success
Chief Marketing Officer, DialAmerica
More Thought Leadership
Do more with less. Cut your marketing budgets for the
second half of the year. Hit your revenue targets. These are the daunting
challenges that sales and marketing executives face in today's
extraordinarily difficult marketplace.
In response, business-to-business companies are seeking new ways to address
their demand- and lead-generation strategies. Increasingly, they are taking
advantage of the proven sales building potential of teleservices campaigns.
Especially at a time of economic disruption, these programs can boost the
productivity and effectiveness of a company's sales force, ultimately
enabling it to close more deals!
In contrast to consumer teleservices campaigns, B2B programs typically focus
on prospecting vs. selling. Effective prospecting - i.e. identifying and
pre-qualifying leads -requires skills, techniques and time that many
salespeople lack. Furthermore, most successful sales agents simply dislike
cold calling and don't approach it in a disciplined, consistent way. In an
ideal B2B scenario, teleservices agents contact prospects, pre-qualify
leads, set appointments and then hand-off well vetted opportunities to
salespeople to manage the selling cycle and close the deal.
It's a highly productive process we call ThinSourcing, in which skilled
outside teleservices agents seamlessly interoperate with in-house sales
people. The ThinSourcing model addresses a paramount need all businesses
face: how to maximize the value and impact of their organization's internal
talent to achieve vital goals, while assigning related business activities
to a closely aligned partner.
At DialAmerica, we have identified six critical ThinSourcing steps that can
lead to highly successful B2B teleservices campaigns:
- Start with a Smart Strategy.
Each B2B teleservices campaign must be driven by the revenue requirements of
a well thought out sales strategy that clearly identifies the goals,
messages, implementation protocol, qualified lead criteria and expected
outcomes. As part of this strategy, product positioning, core customer
benefits, definition and attributes of 'qualified leads' should be clearly
defined and agreed upon.
- Scrub the Data.
Most B2B campaigns start with existing lists of customers and prospects to
be contacted. However, these names invariably need to be checked and updated
to verify titles, phone numbers, email addresses and decision-making
responsibilities. Importantly, they also need to be evaluated against a
strategic profile of the type of company that represents the best
- Don't be Rote.
In B2B teleservices programs, agents typically do not utilize scripted
pitches. Instead, drawing on their seasoned experience and product training,
they work from message tracks and call guides, engaging prospects in
conscious conversations with the goal of discovering issues, challenges and
opportunities, and setting up pre-qualified appointments for the sales
force. At the end of each call, teleservices professionals carefully record
notes and details that help sales professionals prepare and deliver a
targeted, prospect specific and effective engagement with a new prospect.
- Share the Platform.
Ideally, teleservices agents should operate on the same technology platform
as the salespeople and other executives involved in a B2B campaign.
Utilizing a shared CRM system facilitates communication, standardization of
data capture, timely reporting and ongoing evaluation of campaign success.
- Report, report, report. Analyze, analyze, analyze.
One of the great strengths of teleservices programs is the continuous flow
of data and insights from phone conversations between agents, prospects and
salespeople. What are the hot button issues? Which approach is working best?
And of course, how many qualified leads and appointments are being
generated; how many sales presentations are being made; and how many deals
are being closed? This information - promptly captured, reported and
discussed - is invaluable in continuously improving a B2B teleservices
- Be a 'problem detective'.
Occasionally while prospecting, a teleservices agent will interact with an
existing customer who has a prior complaint with a company's product or
service. Detecting, documenting and communicating it fully and promptly
should be standard operating procedure within all B2B campaigns. Experience
confirms that many concerns can be alleviated as the result of timely input
from alert teleservices agents.
As B2B marketers and sales managers look for efficient, effective ways to
build their businesses - with the added urgency of today's tough economic
times - they can benefit from teleservices campaigns that follow these six
steps to success!