Some people are skeptical of the cost effectiveness of certain types of telemarketing especially in introducing Software Leads, and many B2B marketers feel it is most appropriate to dealings with existing prospects. But those who close their minds to wider opportunities risk missing out.
Wijnand Mes, Marketing Manager for IBM Software Group UK, is also unimpressed by the overall standard of telemarketing calls he receives:
‘Most are of poor quality by inexperienced individuals. I think telemarketing works best when supported by a personalised direct mailing as part of an integrated marketing communications process.’
Getting a good return from your telemarketing investment in introducing Software leads will require:
Planning: you need to consider your budget, your objectives for the volume/quality of data you want, and your in-house resources, in terms of manpower, skills and equipment, compared to the cost of using an outsource agency. Telemarketing rarely stands on its own; you need to establish how it integrates with your other sales and marketing activities.
Accurate data: as with all direct marketing methods, accurate data is the essential foundation for success. Naturally, successful targeting rests on speaking to the right decision makers – getting data that includes this information may cost more but the outcomes are consistently more profitable.
A good script: an effective telemarketing script is actually not a script at all but a guide for the discussion that steers the listener in the direction you want him/her to go. It must be tailored to the target audience, must grab the attention of the listener within a few seconds of the conversation, and must be highly interactive; long presentations of information can be frustrating for the listener who is then less likely to focus on the issue being presented. The guide/script should be refined in the early stages of a campaign according to quality of responses received.
Skilled telemarketers: no matter how well targeted the call is, nor how well thought out the script, a wooden and inflexible caller will not deliver the goods. To achieve the desired outcomes the telemarketer must have a good knowledge of the company and product/service they represent, be able to talk intelligently around the structure of the script without getting side tracked, absorb all the negative responses, and talk persuasively to people at all levels.