Telemarketing is still a good way to sell goods and services and generate leads. Yet, what works well for companies selling to consumers isn’t going to work as well for companies selling complex products and services to businesses. Why? Because the buying processes for B-to-B and B-to-C Sales Lead Generation are completely different.
Why B-to-B sales lead generation is different.
B-to-B sales lead generation is complex. Not only do you have to consider selling to multiple decision makers, you must also take into account your prospects’ industry trends and forecasts, budgetary constraints, a sales cycle that can take up to a year or more, and a host of other issues.
When developing a B-to-B sales lead generation campaign, keep in mind the following:
- Good leads start with in-depth research. To sell effectively, you must know the competitive dynamics of your prospects’ industry and have the insight on how those dynamics influence purchasing decisions. Before starting any lead generation campaign, conduct detailed research into targeted companies’ subsidiaries and divisions to learn the current state of the business.
- Identify all decision makers and influencers. Unlike consumer products, which are usually purchased by an individual, high-tech products and services come with buying groups or teams made up of diverse individuals – all of whom have their own unique interests, needs and preferences. To close more sales, you must identify all decision makers, influencers and end-users of your product or service and then speak each person’s “language.” To ensure what you are saying resonates with each different decision maker, make sure when you speak with them that you address their specific point of pain, or why using your product or service would benefit them most. Talk with them about how the product or service will address their specific need.
- Conduct “peer-to-peer” conversations. If you outsource your lead generation function, this element is crucial. You must ensure call center representatives are highly skilled and highly trained. Your prospects, who may be CEOs, EVPs, IT managers and the like, expect to talk with people who know their industry, their company, and their products. Don’t let poorly paid TSRs (Telemarketing Sales Reps), who are under the gun to make 200 or more calls a day, represent your business. Take the time to research telemarketing firms to work with. Firms that will take the time to listen to you, assemble a team to work with you to understand your business, products and services, and what you are trying to accomplish usually make for the best partners. Additionally, a firm that provides references of its customers, and that will let you tour its office to see and hear live calls being placed are signs of a telemarketing firm that is focused on developing quality relationships with its customers.
- Nurture long-term prospects. In B-to-B, buying cycles can be long – sometimes up to a year or more. Sales people, who are naturally focused on prospects ready to buy, tend to neglect not-so-hot prospects, essentially leaving the door open for your competitors. To avoid this danger, develop strategies for long-term nurturing using the phone, direct mail and other methods.
- B-to-B lead generation is a complex process. Strategies that are effectively being used to increase sales for B-to-C don’t necessarily transfer over to B-to-B.
For expert insight and consultation into your lead generation process, contact Invenio today.