Tag Archives: professional telemarketers

Inbound Telemarketing – There Is Still A Need For The Human Element

Telemarketing, B2B Leads, Sales LeadsContrary to popular opinion, telemarketing only continues to improve with the advancement of new technologies. In outbound marketing it sees integrated use with email, website, and social media. And just last week, CNNMoney has reported that creators of Apple’s Siri are now creating a similar voice application that offers integrated support for customer service call centers.

The application has been dubbed “Nina” and comes with features that not only assists customers troubleshoot their own problems, it will assist customer support agents in resolving the more complicated ones. These same agents still use telemarketing, as hinted below.

The software can also check balances, transfer money, and troubleshoot problems, among other tasks. Nuance said the idea is to make Nina smart and fast enough to encourage users to go to the app first, before dialing a human customer service representative.

If a customer’s issue needs to be handled by a human being, Nina comes with a neat trick: The software can call a rep and provide the company with all the details of what the customer has been trying to accomplish. That means no more sorting through an endless series of call center menus and then having to explain the problem again when you finally get a human being on the other end of the line.

Nina also comes with an analytics engine that informs companies about how customers are using their apps.

‘People will ask their phone different things than they would a representative on the phone,’ said Robert Gary, general manager of Nuance’s mobile care unit. ‘Knowing what people ask Nina will help them determine what should be automated and what shouldn’t.’”

Reading that last paragraph, it’s also implied that this new type of technology has much potential even outside customer support. For instance, it can improve the ways that businesses receive feedback. And as you’re well aware, the power of market feedback can really shape the whole of your software company. Knowing what and what not to automate is just the beginning. It can also tell you what B2B market wants your software to handle and produce. This can direct the whole of your next campaign to generate software leads.

However, you also shouldn’t forget that all these improvements are still for the sake of the human element. It should not be solely bent on being a replacement for it. Aside from customer support, professional telemarketers can also use similar data-gathering technologies used by Nina to deliver more accurate assessments on current customers as well as prospects. For example, if you’re a cloud-based solution provider, you can study the way your software is being used and then have marketers use their insight to determine new demands. Some might think even experienced marketers and salespeople are unable to process large volumes of information but neither can a machine really reach the same level of insight as they can. If anything, the limits of applications like Nina are only an indication.

Thus, both human and technological elements should compliment each other instead of trying to compete. Telemarketing needs to continue improve and not just cursed to die. People never know when the improvements will give far better results than just replacements.

Customer Support And Generating Medical Software Leads For Mobile

B2B Leads, Software Lead Generation, Lead Generator, appointment setting, telemarketing, call centerClosely behind cloud computing trend, you now also have software geared towards mobile. And according to a report by MobiHealth News, the number of medical software applications is just going to keep rising:

 

Based on growth trends, by August 2012 there will be more than 13,000 iPhone health apps available for consumers.”

 

Take note, this not only includes medical software for patients and consumers but also for doctors and other medical professionals. This means that vendors in this new industry need to know who to target for medical software leads.

 

On the other hand, a popular criticism against this new trend is that it gives users a false sense of empowerment. As far as consumers go at least, some experts insist that no mobile application is a replacement for the care and expertise of certified medical professionals.

 

Logically, it makes sense. Reaching the level of a qualified physician is no mean feat. And while developers can create software that delivers accurate information like measurements and statistics, the advanced medical knowledge required to gain deeper insight from that data can take years of schooling and experience.

 

Instead of contesting the role of empowering patients, perhaps it would be best to focus on empowering the physicians first. Given that, vendors of B2B mobile medical applications need to execute proper B2B marketing strategies as well as adequate customer support in order attract enough interest from them.

 

Marketing

 

  • Healthcare Events – You don’t necessarily have to organize one yourself. You can also join any upcoming convention or trade show to demonstrate your applications live. Events can be a nice way to meet with potential prospects in person. Be sure to make a good impression and prepare any necessary marketing materials beforehand.

 

  • Telemarketing – You don’t necessarily have to try and sell directly over the phone (far from it). One of the advantages of telemarketing is that you can actually control the length of your message in relation to a prospect’s interest. Ask first a question pertaining to mobile and if the response is positive, point them to your website. Think of it as another way to direct traffic.

 

  • Email Marketing – If you don’t like to be too disruptive, you can try email marketing to direct traffic instead. Make sure the subject line isn’t too cut-and-dry and avoid being marked by spam filters. Content should also be informative but a light read at the same time.

 

Customer Support

 

  • Call Center – Since doctors can be busy people and applications can be virtually acquired from anywhere, you need to make sure they can contact you quickly and generate a response quickly. Telephone calls still allow for both.

 

  • Ticket Systems – Some people feel that a problem needs to be explained in detail and in text. Details are good though and reviewing the online tickets filed by customers can help get a more in-depth look at the problem if something goes wrong.

 

  • Appointment Setting – Appointments can scheduled for various purposes beyond software lead generation and making sales. You can use it to meet with current clients to discuss more complicated problems. You can even use it to discuss specific customizations that they’d been wanting to add.

 

At this point, it should be noted that customer service and marketing are both interconnected. The mediums used in one is most often also used by the other. Marketing raises expectations for customer service while customer service will affect your image for future marketing. This means thatboth should be considered if you want to generate and maintain interest in the relatively new market of mobile medical technology.

ERP Software – Not All Customers Need To Know You’re Expanding

B2B Sales LeadsExpansion occurs in different forms but it’s always seen as a good sign. Setting up a factory could mean that you’ve increased production. Developing new features for your ERP software can be a mark of innovation. Even just an increase in business size (and profits) looks promising enough. In any case, they all indicate one thing: growth.

 

It’s natural to see that business growth is a mark of success. Your ERP software business is making more and more money as you serve more and more businesses. Why wouldn’t you celebrate it?

 

However, your current customers may not always be willing to ‘share’ in the celebration.

 

What does this mean? Well, you know those moments where you try to tell them that you’ve successfully expanded in any of the different ways mentioned above?

 

Here’s the bad news: they don’t always care about that.

 

You might think that putting up a new factory or office somewhere might mean something to you. The doesn’t mean the same thing to your prospect if the location isn’t all that relevant.

 

You might think that adding new features or developing specialized versions of enterprise solutions might improve the overall quality of your business. On the other hand, your clients might wonder how that matters if none of those features cater to any need they have at the moment.

 

You might think having more employees and more profits is something everyone needs to know. But the truth is, they’ll only care if an increase in employees includes a bigger and better customer service department.

 

So, why do you need to be aware of this?

 

You have to be if announcing these successful expansions is your way of getting your foot in the door and testing to see which among your current clients can make for new software leads. While making leads out of your current (or even past) clients is a classical marketing strategy, it’s still prone to some of the same mistakes businesses make when approaching entirely new prospects.

 

The key to avoiding these mistakes is to see things from the prospect’s perspective. If you want some ideas, go back to the different ways you can expand your business and see why marketing them may not matter to particular clients.

 

  • More Production? – Recall the reasons why you chose to increase production. Can any of these give your clients an advantage of their own? For example, will it lower costs? Does the actual location enable you to reach out to businesses nearby?
  • New Features? – Do these features address the needs of your client? What drove the innovations in the first place? If you did a survey which indicated the demand for these features, maybe you should start with the clients who participated in it instead of all of them at once.
  • Bigger Business? – More likely, only your stakeholders and investors will care about this more compared to your customers. Then again, this is ERP. Maybe some (if not all) your customers can be considered stakeholders as well. But like all stakeholders, you need to tell them how it directly affects their own business.

 

In summary, expansion is good but it’s also good by itself. You don’t necessarily have to announce it to the whole world. Maybe you just need to limit the announcements to those who also think such expansions help their own business and can see the reason to celebrate.

How To Integrate Telemarketing With Other B2B Lead Generation Methods – #1: E-mail

B2B Lead Generation

With so many new means of communication, you can’t possible think that only one is needed to successfully connect (and stay connected) with clients. Today, more B2B marketing professionals are starting to see that relying on a single medium for contacting prospects is inconvenient and counterproductive to the whole process. The best solution is no longer based on rejection but integration. What methods can you use besides the one you just tried?

 

But before that, you’re probably wondering: why is it so counterproductive? Many people are often in favor of one method over another. In fact, lead generation companies have a natural tendency to defend the method with which they use to serve their own clients. Who is to be believed?

 

The problem is just that. They’re not comfortable discussing the shortcomings of their methods. You can be a direct mail, email, or even telemarketing company and still this would be something you all would have in common. There are flaws to each, singular approach but instead of thinking outside the box, they resort to defensiveness and business apologetics.

 

Speaking of which, consider telemarketing as the main example because it’s one of the oldest yet still common means of contacting business owners and decision makers. However, it’s not without its limitations. Gatekeepers pose as one of the major obstacles to telemarketers. It takes a lot of skill and preparation to know the right words that will convince them to let you through. If not gatekeepers, voice mail also poses as a problem because that too is being monitored (be it by the decision makers or one of their secretaries).

 

Now there’s another method which has been gaining increasing support ever since the internet has begun impacting the way businesses engage with their market: email.

 

Granted, there have been signs indicating the email isn’t all that new anymore either. Regardless, it’s the type of message that’s more likely to bypass the gatekeeper. It’s fast too and you don’t have to wait too long with the handset to your ear before hanging up (or rehearsing a message to leave in voice mail). You’re just leaving the message directly at their online doorstep. If the prospect replies, there can be plenty of room for a very detailed discussion.

 

And yet, just like telemarketing, it has its own flaws. Where telemarketers have gatekeepers, email marketers have spam filters. And even in the event that you managed to bypass it, you have to be careful with how you word everything from the subject line to the content. When you think about it, that’s hardly any different from rehearsing a script to make it not sound like a sales pitch.

 

At this point, this is where you should consider integration. Combine the two methods so that you can bypass both their obstacles. In the following, you will find several ways this can be done:

 

  • You can send an email to announce the call. Even if the message wasn’t read, you can tell the gatekeeper about it. If it was sent successfully, you have a really high chance of being let through.
  • If you’re not really eager to disturb, simply make the call first and tell them you’ll send an email later. Just to be safe, you might want to give this message directly to the decision maker.
  • When a prospect responds, there’s also the wise option of asking them how they’d like to continue. Decision makers are still people too and they have preferences on how they’d like to communicate.

Don’t Waste Time When Setting Up Software Appointments!

Software Appoitments

Business intelligence software appeals only to people who are really high up. And if there’s one thing they all have in common, it’s how they value their time. With that in mind, it’s important to make sure that your marketing and B2B lead generation methods take up as little amount of that time as possible. In the following, you will find several methods that need to be tailored or avoided altogether because they take too much of that time otherwise:

 

  • Web pages – This is not necessarily a bad idea. A good web page that is well-optimized with keywords can attract those who are searching for a software solution. This in turn already establishes a need or else they wouldn’t be searching in the first place. However, the danger is having too much text and listing too many technical features that would surely eat up their time. In fact, you’re lucky they managed to spare a few minutes just to search. Make sure your website doesn’t bombard them with too many details and give them an option to learn more at their own pace.
  • Banner advertisements – Even in B2C businesses, the value of banner ads is still suspect because the conversion rate seems poor. On the other hand, there are plenty of really creative banners out there. The thing is though, you’re better off not trying this at all. The best banner ads are those that really appeal to people who spend a lot of time on the internet. These banners usually contain quirky little features, marketing stunts, and mini-games. A CEO hardly has the time to play around with these things.
  • Telemarketing – While you may have heard or read enough about it from people who say it’s fast, that depends on how fast your own people can use it. Professional telemarketers aren’t as easy to hire as you think. It takes years of experience to become one, learn the right mix of words, timing, and there’s also the additional investment in terms of equipment as well as information.
  • Email marketing – You can consider this the online version of telemarketing. But at the same time though, the rules stated regarding web pages also apply. Your subject line should not signal any red flags but at the same time, it has to signal the needs and interests of the reader.

 

The above methods are just the first step. You still have to keep the amount of time you spend while engaging the prospect. Chances are, they might not like talking too long even more than you. That’s where the appointments come in. Meanwhile, those same appointments must be carefully qualified before hand and scheduled at the appropriate date so that your prospect doesn’t waste too much time then either.

 

These people are very critical and very sharp when it comes to measuring the amount of time any activity would use. Just one look and they’ll either stick with you or start walking away. This scrutiny doesn’t end even after the appointment is set and the deal is made. They’ll be keeping an eye on the clock every step of the way so don’t do anything that will spend too much of that time!

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