Six Ways to Use Inbound Calls to Drive Sales Conversions

Six Ways to Use Inbound Calls to Drive Sales Conversions

If you own a business, inbound calls are an invaluable resource. Not only do inbound calls have extremely high conversation rates, they provide critical customer information that you are unlikely to get anywhere else.

Many inbound calls originate when people visit your website and then call for more information or make a purchase. But how can you glean information from these calls that will help you drive even more sales? Here are six important ways:

  1. Classify the lead. Decide if the caller a qualified or unqualified lead. By doing so you will know how to nurture that lead.
  2. Refine your message. What promotions or projects led to the most sales? Use those promotions in the future to drive even more sales.
  3. Check the competition. Do callers mention a particular competitor or a competitor’s product? If so, you need to figure out how to set yourself apart from the competition.
  4. Talk the talk. Listen for how customers or prospects talk about a product or service they are looking for. Try to use that same type of language in future scripts.
  5. Compare scripts. Use scripts that emphasize different product points, discounts or other incentives. Determine which scripts led to more sales and use that script for future calls.
  6. Identify keywords. When people ask about a product or service they found on your website, what words on your website do they use? By tracking keywords you can discover which ones resonated the most with callers and incorporate these words into future marketing materials.

Sales from inbound calls are great but the information gleaned from these calls can be just as, if not more, important. Telemarketing doesn’t exist in a vacuum so by monitoring what happens on calls you can improve your online and offline marketing techniques, business development efforts and drive sales conversions, as well.

Making data-driven marketing decisions involves connecting the dots between all customer interactions. Rather than guessing why a customer called or decided to make a purchase, analyze the data from that call and find out for sure. Even better, you will be able to parlay calls into more leads and a higher number of sales conversions.

The Importance of an Effective Business Development Strategy

Many small-and medium-sized businesses fail to implement a business development strategy. Often this is because they believe their strong base of loyal customers is all they need to ensure future success.

However, as almost every business learns, no matter how many customers you have today, it always pays to be looking for new ways to attract additional clients. If you are looking to implement a business development strategy for your business, the first thing you need to realize is that business development is not the same as sales. Business development extends across a variety of departments and allows these departments to work together for the good of the business. In other words, business development makes a business better. While this can include (and often does) increasing sales, it is much, much more.

Business development is the process of identifying and executing new areas of business. The goal of business development then is not just increasing sales but uncovering new markets, new channels of distribution and, in some cases, new products to bring to market. Here are some of the other tasks typically undertaken as part of a strong business development strategy:

  • Understanding your company’s current position and determining where your business is headed. This involves things like conducting market research and a competitive analysis as well as assessing relationships with current clients and reaching out to new clients through networking events, seminars and trade shows.
  • Enhancing your company’s image. How your business or brand is seen by different audiences is critical to its success. Your website and marketing materials-brochures, catalogs, press releases-must all reflect your brand image and place your business in the most flattering light possible. Your image also must properly represent who you are and what you do.
  • Increasing market exposure. It is imperative that have a strong online presence that is helping to grow your business and build (or maintain) its reputation as an industry leader. This involves monitoring all online activities and developing an active presence across a variety of social media platforms. It also involves employing the most effective SEO techniques to increase your online visibility.

Business development can be difficult to define and a challenge to implement. However, it is imperative that you put a strong emphasis on business development activities. Failing to do so will mean maintaining the long term value of your business or brand will be especially difficult.

Follow-Up Calls Can Help Improve Direct Mail Results

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

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!