Outsourcing the Key to Successful Cold Calling

Ask any salesperson, and chances are he or she will tell you that the task they most dread is cold calling. This is unfortunate given the importance cold calling plays in filling the sales funnel.

Many salespeople will put cold calls on the bottom of their to-do list for no other reason than they want to avoid making such calls. In order for companies to reap the many benefits of cold calling, it may be time to consider outsourcing this task to a telemarketing firm.

While keeping your sales team happy is certainly one reason to outsource your cold calling, understandably there needs to be more compelling ones to make the change. Here are some of the biggest advantages:

Cost: Salespeople pay for themselves when they are closing sales. When they are cold calling and appointment setting, they are not. It is as simple as that.

Productivity: When you outsource your cold calling, you will have representatives making calls as many hours a day as you require. This ensures that your pipeline will not slow down when you don’t have staff available to make calls.

Reliability: Does your cold calling schedule depend on the availability of staff, vacations or even illness? When you outsource there are no schedules to work around.

Speed: If you need to begin a cold calling campaign for a particular product or service, outsourcing allows you to roll out this campaign quickly. That includes everything from creating a list to perfecting the script.

Data: For every call made, data is recorded and can be analyzed. This allows you to refine things like your script in real time.

Accountability: If a member of your sales staff sets up an appointment with a non-qualified lead, that is time and money wasted. When you outsource your cold calling and a non-qualified lead is identified, steps will be taken to make sure this does not happen again. Sales people are certainly not going to tell you when they are responsible for identifying non-qualified leads. They will, however, report these problems when cold calling is being outsourced.

Quality Control: Want to know how your sales people are interacting with cold prospects? That can be difficult. When you outsource, however, all calls are monitored for quality and you can even go back and listen to calls to make sure you like what you hear.

Allowing your salespeople to do what they are paid to do, and what they want to do, is a good reason to outsource your cold calling. Add in the reasons listed above and it is difficult to justify NOT outsourcing these duties.

Follow-Up Calls Can Help Improve Direct Mail Results

Direct mail is an outstanding marketing tool for companies of all sizes. Unfortunately, many direct mail campaigns fail to yield the desired results because no follow-up occurs.

One of the simplest, and most effective, ways to improve the return on investment of any direct mail campaign is to pick up the phone and call your prospects after they have received your direct mail piece. That’s because even if a prospect did not respond to your call to action, that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in your product or service.

Many individuals, especially business owners, simply put things off because they are so busy. They may even have planned on responding to the direct mail piece but have not had the time.

While follow-up calls may seem intimidating because they feel like the dreaded cold call, they are not cold calls because you have already made a connection with the prospect. Therefore, you already have a purpose for your call-finding out if your direct mail piece was received.

Once you have determined that the prospect has received your mailing, you can ask them the following questions:

  • Do you have any questions regarding the letter, promotion or offer?
  • Do you currently use the referenced product or service?
  • If so, who provides you with that product or service?
  • Would you be willing to sit down and talk about how we can better serve you with our product or service?

Follow-up calls are an excellent way to personalize and reinforce your brand. After all, nothing helps to build trust like speaking one-on-one with a prospect. And when trust is developed, the chances of closing a deal are greatly increased.

Marketing experts will tell you that the more personalized your direct mail piece, the better response rate you can expert. It makes sense then that a personalized follow-up call also will increase response rates. It is important, however, that not too much time lapses between when the direct mail piece was received by the prospect and when the follow-up call is made.

Unfortunately, many businesses do not have the time or resources to make these follow-up calls in a timely manner. This is especially true if a large number of direct mail pieces were sent. In such cases, it makes sense to outsource these tasks to a telemarketing firm that specializes in business to business telemarketing services.

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Outbound Lead Generation Telemarketing Campaigns

In a perfect world, inbound lead generation would always keep your company’s sales funnel full. However, there are times when outbound calling is necessary to drive leads and identify new prospects.

A successful outbound telemarketing campaign is no easy endeavor and many companies simply don’t have the time, resources or expertise to undertake such a campaign. If you have attempted an outbound telemarketing campaign in the past and it wasn’t successful, or if you plan to execute one in the near future, you need to be aware of the many pitfalls of outbound telemarketing campaigns (listed below) and how to overcome them.

  • Absence of a realistic goal. If you aren’t completely sure what you are looking to accomplish with your outbound lead generation campaign you can be sure you won’t achieve it, either.
  • Improper training. It is important that anyone working on your telemarketing campaign knows exactly what they need to be doing, why they need to do it, and how to do it correctly.
  • Failure to understand your target audience. The right list is imperative so that you reach a decision maker. To get that list right, you will need to have clear lead criteria and scoring in place.
  • Failure to test your messaging. It is imperative that you test your message before you go wide so that you can be sure that your message connects with its intended targets.
  • Using price as the only criteria of a successful campaign. If you are looking to get your campaign launched by spending the least amount of time and money, you are practically guaranteed to fail.
  • Poor data quality. If you are not capturing the data you uncover in each and every call, you are forfeiting valuable information that could be entered into your sales database.
  • Inability to go off script when necessary. If you rely solely on scripting for every call, you are going to lose a substantial number of leads through the inability to respond to unexpected questions or comments. Anyone making cold calls must be able to respond to unique objections or you will lose those leads.
  • Disregarding the outcome. Even if you are pleased with the results of your telemarketing campaign, if you fail to analyze conversion rates and the return on investment, you will be leaving a lot of precious information behind.

Of course, overcoming these pitfalls can be practically impossible if you have limited resources or expertise. That is why many companies choose to contract with a business to business telemarketing services firm. By doing so you will get the results and data you need!

The Importance of Warm Calling

If you have considered a telemarketing firm to conduct your cold calling duties you are not alone. Each year, thousands of businesses of all sizes look to contract out these duties. In addition to cold calling, warm calling is another task that is often better left to a professional telemarketing firm.

Warm leads are ones that aren’t exactly cold, but still aren’t ready to be passed along to your sales team. In fact, if your sales team gets warm leads, they are unlikely to convert these leads into sales. Despite this fact, many marketers mistakenly pass along warm leads for no other reason than they aren’t cold.

To better understand why warm calls are necessary before passing along a lead to your sales team, here are some points to consider:

Warm calls determine if a potential lead is a good fit. A lead many be interested in your product or service but may not understand exactly what it is you have to offer. Before your sales team calls on a customer that doesn’t really understand your business model, it is important to determine if the lead is a good fit.

Warm calls heat up leads that have gone cold. Warm calling is ideal for leads that you haven’t been in touch with lately but still believe will eventually convert into sales. Warm calling will help to keep the lines of communication open without wasting a salesperson’s time.

Warm calls perform follow-up tasks. Many times a prospect will ask for a call back at a particular point in the future. For example, when a lead’s contract runs out with their current vendor. Calling these customers to touch base allows you to gage whether or not a lead is still considering your product or service.

Warm calls focus on all of your customers. It is easy to neglect current customers who seem to be on autopilot or past customers who you believe are gone for good. Warm calling is a way to check in with these customers. Further, this simple point of contact is often enough to keep current customers satisfied or, in the case of past customers, convince them that it is time to place another order.