Now whether you’re outsourcing lead generation services or hiring professional telemarketers to seek out potential clients for you, there’s something you need to be careful about when your representatives finally get in touch with a decision maker.
That thing is when they start asking questions, relevant questions, and they end up giving too much that they are confused. This must not happen. Decision makers are arguably even more objective than regular consumers when it comes to considering a deal. CRM deals in handling a very sensitive but vital connection between the company and the customers that they serve. With that said, it’s likely that they’ll have very specific questions and whoever is standing in for your company on your end should learn to pay very close attention. The questions they ask may seem common but put together, they pain a different picture of a different potential client each time. They also have plenty of ties with the ongoing tends in the B2B software world. Here are just some of them:
- What’s your deliver model? Are you cloud based or on-premise?
- Does it carry support for their particular industry?
- Does your pricing put your software in range of their budget?
These questions alone give a nod to some of the buzz that has been going on among B2B software companies. The question of cloud computing and SaaS relates to the on-going discussions of where the industry is going. The question of support deals in the debate of whether or not CRM software should adjust to the company or the other way around. And of course, the subject of price relates to the economic climate and how willing everyone as whole is willing to buy something.
The question of whether or not telemarketing still has a place is often one that is quickly answered but not thoroughly meditated upon. Normally consumers would automatically throw slurs at the method but those with more experience in the business world might feel less inclined to join in. If your business is in a B2B industry (like CRM software), it might be best for you to heed the latter.
Now it’s probably natural (and even right) for consumers to feel the way they do about telemarketers. It seems both intrusive and cheesy for a stranger to call you at home only to hear them trying to sell you something like infomercial-style cooking ware or holiday vacation packages. Worse, some calls could in fact be covers for scams designed to steal money and other sensitive financial information from people.
That’s usually what the image of telemarketing has devolved into in the eyes of the public.
However, plenty of professional telemarketers find their perception too one-sided and even laughable. More than half of them these days would even tell you that they’ve never tried selling a vacuum cleaner over the phone throughout their entire career.
This is because a lot of them use telemarketing for things far beyond selling bizarre home appliances.
It’s not just them either. As stated before, businesses who market B2B products like ERP systems are more likely to depend on telemarketers to get information on software leads. They don’t even ask them to sell anything! The process is far more complex and intricate but if you’re one such firm and aren’t aware of this then you’d better at least outsource to them and see for yourself.
On the subject of telemarketing, the outbound variety is usually discussed more than the inbound. There’s a lot more that inbound telemarketing can do besides customer service. In fact, it’s that same form of customer service which can be turned into a lead generation campaign in of itself!
Take ERP software for example. Suppose you finally managed to develop a very powerful, upgraded version of your past product that fixes certain bugs which have been brought to your attention. However, like with every new product, your next step is to actively generate leads for it. And like all ERP leads, it could take a while if you’re starting from scratch. Most of all though, is that this version is likely to have a long implementation period. You’ll need to find a way to work your schedule so that you’ll have new leads even whilst you’re still in the midst of a current project.
You can save yourself that trouble if you look up your past clients and have telemarketers announce the upgrade to them. The ones who are interested then give a call, set an appointment, and you end up with all the work (and sales) that you need.
Still, perhaps you already had a tough time just getting new leads before. Why not this time, you just outsource to lead generation services? With the prospect of such a packed schedule, you would want to focus all of your company efforts on making success out of every date. Chances are, you’ll even provide better quality for inbound prospects with real, professional telemarketers than with a hastily assembled in-house team.
There are just some times when it seems better to be less active in going after prospects and would rather have prospects come to you. In the medical software industry, that can happen a little more frequently because the very nature of its products can make it unprofessional to eagerly seek out outbound medical leads.
After all, the field of health care tends to be a little less on the business side and really more on the side of human welfare. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up on lead generation in its entirety. There is still a need to spread word of your product (especially if you think it’s the latest and can cover for dangerous flaws in older types).
Take telemarketing for instance. Believe it or not, there are in fact two types of it and only one of them actually comes off as intrusive and unprofessional. Inbound telemarketing on the other hand is arguably easier on both yourself and your target prospects.
Here’s how it goes. Instead of an eager outbound lead generation campaign, you do something simpler like making a website or putting out a few advertisements to attract visitors. Then, when those visitors have a genuine interest, put up a form that gives them the option to have a live phone conversation to learn more. This allows both you (or your representative) and that person to control the information exchange. And with the right words, you can steer the prospect to set an appointment and look forward to making the sale.
Of course, learning these right words can be tricky so you can always outsource to professional telemarketers today if you really don’t feel up to snuff and would rather focus on what you do best.
Public opinion often makes the mistake that when you resort to cold calling and telemarketing, you’ve automatically stooped to the level of pushy phone salesmen who are only obsessed with making outbound sales.
However, step back for a moment. Is the same public who forms this opinion even aware of the term ‘outbound sales’, let alone know its definition? You’ll find that outside the business world, your understanding of it may not carry out. The blunt truth is people don’t like telemarketing because they just don’t like getting calls from persistent people trying to make a fast buck out of them.
The truth though is that’s only an insignificant, if not amateur and unprofessional, facet of the telemarketing industry. You may have already heard it time and again but there’s more to using the phone for business besides sales.
As an example, look at the CRM software groups. Companies like that are expected to know a thing or two about how to handle clients or they wouldn’t be providing/developing software centered around that area of business management. As such, it’s not much a stretch either to guess that they also use that same knowledge to try a more inbound-style of getting CRM leads.
See, unlike outbound, inbound is arguable easier because the prospects coming do so of their own will and interest, which by itself already qualifies them to a certain degree. Do take note though, that’s not an excuse to not put some effort in the qualification stage. Inbound telemarketing specifically, has a certain flexibility in that area which makes it a popular tool for getting B2B leads in this manner. Still, it’ll only be as good if you specifically outsource professionals with experience.