A situation where one business makes a commercial transaction with other businesses is termed as B2B (business-to-business). Telemarketing is a strategy to reach out to prospects or existing customers through phone or webinars.
Fusing these two terms we get what is called B2B telemarketing that is the use of calls as a medium for one business to connect with another business for a commercial transaction, either to sell or build a rapport between companies.
Here are a few features of telemarketing one must be aware of:
Assists in brand awareness
Traditional method, yet consider highly cost-efficient
Very reliable as the interaction involves human involvement
Quick filtration of leads that are worth converting
Strengthens the bond with existing partners
Before enclosing what makes B2B telemarketing so effective, here are a few statistics that will tilt your attention towards ‘what makes it better’
71% of B2B sales were found to involve some form of human involvement such as telemarketing. Since long it has been observed that customers find it better to respond when a human factor is involved rather than responding to any other form of digital marketing.
A survey of business managers shows that they find B2B telemarketing at work the least annoying when compared to other forms of advertising.
More than 50% of sales made by any other source of advertising are closed only when the final interaction is through a call or webinar.
70% of b2b sales due to the involvement of human interaction, 56% of which started with telemarketing.
Digital, social, email and content marketing still hold their place in B2B marketing, but telemarketing which involves human interaction still remains the most trusted medium to close a deal with a B2B prospect. The majority of sales completed in the B2B arena is after face-to-face meetings. Telemarketing can be highly effective if implemented correctly, so keep in mind the following:
Ensure you are reaching out the right person: The B2B leads are either purchased or collected after a lot of research and past relationships. Before investing your time and energy on a lead ensure you are reaching out to the right person. Validate the contact number of the user with a proper phone validation tool, reconfirm the profile details and ensure you reach out the correct decision maker.
Don’t be pushy: As a customer you must have faced Intrusive calls at home, recorded calls or completely irrelevant calls at work or on mobile. It’s irritating right? While calling a prospect keep in mind the points that would irritate you as a customer and just avoid committing them.
Develop an emotional connect: Buyers, whether B2B or B2C, are human beings and their business decisions are highly influenced by emotions, social factors and their objective. The base of a successful B2B marketing is to build an understanding and relation with a buyer. With my personal experience I can proudly say that if you show a genuine concern, keep them informed, personalise the interaction they will register the support in their mind and will even let go any unintentional error on your part. The telemarketer should possess significant interpersonal skills keeping professionalism, relevance and understanding equally paramount.
Right tone and Inflection: A gentle, warm and respectful tone of voice is always welcomed and holds the power of a positive influence from the very beginning. Smart telemarketers use a tone that is confident but neither aggressive nor overly apologetic for the imposition of the buyer’s time. A sharp presence of mind is the quality of a good telemarketer. In face-to-face situations the voice and expressions of the prospect needs to be understood to frame up the replies accordingly. Will you be describing your product to a customer with a face saying ‘why on earth are you wasting my time? Just go!’ The sooner you leave the better atleast you will not be losing a prospect permanently.
Language & words: Avoid keeping sale as a goal in your head. Focus on knowing the customer, their needs and deeds. This will automatically avoid use on any language that will pressurise the prospect.
Listen, understand and advice: It is possible to start the conversation on the right foot with well researched customer data. But at times even the in-depth research might not be enough to understand the needs of the prospect and the organisation, which makes careful listening a priority. Just imagine you are blabbering out the features of your detergent though the prospect mentioned he prefers dry-cleaning. You missed it because you were to busy speaking. Any point of taking the conversation ahead? The Telemarketer should reflect back the information that is provided by the buyer, understand the needs and advice accordingly.
Demonstrating curiosity and interest: Why will anyone pay attention to you when you yourself sound low & bored! Show some curiosity in your words, interest in knowing the customer, adding a bit of humour, being juvenile at certain points adds on to the interest of the prospect. Even if the conversion doesn’t take place for some reason, you definitely get registered in the mind of the prospect, who will come running to you whenever the need of the product is generated.
Conclusion: The human factor is the biggest asset of B2B telemarketing only if used wisely. If your company is unable to fetch any good results from it probably you are going wrong somewhere. Take up an audit of the whole process, the details of the business being reached out, the validity of the contact information, the interaction of the telemarketer, the follow up procedure used and focus on the point lacking in the strategy. Whether conducted in-house or outsourced, a well-planned and well-timed telemarketing strategy has proven to be highly successful.