With recent Eloqua enhancements, the legacy Cloud Connector/Cloud Components App framework is being sunset. This can only mean one thing… forward motion is in play. Immediately after the acquisition of Eloqua by Oracle, we saw little changes within the Oracle Eloqua Platform. Fast forward to now, and the changes are starting to take hold. Here are a few highlights of the Applications platform within Oracle Eloqua:
As an Eloqua User
As a user, there are two critical dates related to the decommissioning that you should be aware of:
For example, if you are currently using the “Send to Cloud Connector” step in your campaigns via the Canvas, or Cloud Components on E10 Landing Pages, it is recommended that you start to update the apps in use within your existing campaigns and landing pages as soon as possible.
To begin the transition, identify which Apps are currently being used in your campaigns, and check out this Eloqua Apps Cheat Sheet to find out what’s new and what’s being discontinued. If the App you use has an updated version on the new framework, go ahead and replace it. It can be a little confusing as not every new App is available yet, and others are being discontinued forever. The good news is that you have at least until the end of the year before they no longer function properly. That should give you plenty of time to either scout out a replacement App or put a plan in place to completely phase out the discontinued App. For more information on how to manage your Apps moving forward, visit the Apps section on the Oracle Eloqua Help Center.
Remember, you can find the most up-to-date version of your favorite Apps at the Oracle Cloud Marketplace.
If you are worried about your Cloud Connectors in Program Builder, don’t be. As of right now, the use of Cloud Connectors within Program Builder remains the same. However, there are big changes ahead with the upcoming release of the new Program Canvas, which will feature more flexible options and the new types of AppCloud apps. In a near future post, we will do a deep dive into the features that the new Program Canvas will support.
As an App Provider
Oracle Eloqua is moving forward with the decommissioning of the E10 platform extension points, Cloud Components and Cloud Connectors.
With the release of the AppCloud Developer framework, developers will have access to enhanced features not previously available. This will provide developers with a more simplified installation process, enhanced security features and ability to test Apps in Eloqua prior to releasing to the public.
IMPORTANT: After December 31st, 2016, campaigns or landing pages still containing these features will be cease to function. Additional information can be found on the Oracle Eloqua developer Help Site, found here AppCloud Development Framework.
As always, share your questions with us by tweeting @televerde, or comment on our LinkedIn page. To get in touch with one of our certified Eloqua consultants, contact us today.
Publish Date: April 13, 2016 5:00 AM
The growing demand in telemarketing services for lead qualification has many companies recognizing its potential to achieve results. When used properly, it is a powerful tool for increasing sales. However, when incorrect tactics are used, it can lead to annoyed customers and missed sales opportunities. Whether your company chooses to outsource or do its own B2B teleservices, it helps to be aware of common mistakes and best practices. Check out our list of telemarketing services do’s and don’ts to make sure your company is set up for success!
Prior to your call, you should have extensive knowledge of your prospective customer, the problem they’re looking to solve and possible objections. This will help you figure out how to best position your product or service as well as prepare to overcome any opposition.
Don’t make the mistake of calling a previous customer…and not ‘know’ that they were a previous customer in your database. It will be a short phone call! Know your prospect’s role in the company and how they’ve interacted with you or your company (if at all) in the past. If you are utilizing marketing automation technology, it should be integrated into your CRM platform to help streamline this process. Want to take it one step further? Best practice is to ensure your data is clean and accurate so you are set up to have a successful conversation. There are plenty of information sources out there with the advent of big data, so no excuses! Get a partner like Televerde to help or dedicate the time needed to get prepared.
Don’t: Pitch products you don’t understand
No matter how much training you’ve received, if you don’t understand the product inside and out, it will be difficult to succeed. While you may be able to fool a prospective customer in the early stages, the lack of knowledge will become more transparent as you progress through the sales cycle. Avoid this by investing the time necessary in training to fully learn about your product or service and effective conversation strategies. Go deep! This way you will feel confident and prepared to answer any questions that may come up throughout the process.
Do: Pick the right time to call
Telemarketers used to try to call prospects during lunchtime, early morning or late afternoon in order to avoid any gatekeepers. While calling outside of peak business hours may increase the chance of your call being answered, it is not the only strategy you should consider.
A study from Dr. James Oldroyd showed that the average lead response time of B2B companies was 42 hours. While this doesn’t seem like a long time, it doesn’t take long for a lead to become cold. Respond to a lead as soon as possible with your telemarketing services so you catch them while they are actively researching their future purchase. Reaching a contact when a need is relevant and fresh drives up your contact rates. The internet has changed consumer expectations and customers expect more, and fast, which makes it crucial for telemarketers to pay close attention to when leads come in and to schedule calls accordingly.
Don’t: Get distracted
During calls with prospective customers, it is important to keep your focus. You will be getting information about what they need, who to contact next, and how to contact them. While it is easy to multitask in this day and age, being distracted during this stage can result in receiving inaccurate information, which could prevent you from making a sale later on.
Do: Listen and ask questions
Now that you know all about what you’re selling and who you’re selling it to, you might be tempted to immediately offer a detailed description of your product or service and its benefits. Instead, you need to get the customer to tell you what his or her wants and needs are, and then explain how you can help.
They should feel like you are fulfilling their need, not making a sales pitch. Moreover, leave room for pauses and allow them to gather their thoughts and speak. If you monopolize the phone call and don’t give them a chance to talk, it will be impossible to know what they’re looking for.
Don’t: Be overly pushy
While enthusiasm is necessary in telemarketing services for lead generation, customers should never feel pressured into making a decision. B2B products and services are often complex, leading to longer decision cycles and pushback along the way. When put in these situations, telemarketers must find the right balance between being too pushy and being persistent. It can be tempting to try to get prospects to commit to as much as possible, but in the long run this will lead to lack of trust, bad relationships and fewer sales.
What does your company do to increase telemarketing lead generation? Let us know by tweeting @televerde or commenting on our LinkedIn page. For more information on B2B teleservices and how our agents can help you, contact us today.
Publish Date: April 7, 2016 5:00 AM
The attendees of B2B Content2Conversion are a dedicated bunch. Even with the warm weather and resort pools calling their names, they delved into some of the hottest topics that are impacting marketing professionals. Here are some of the take-a-ways from the Televerde team attending.
1. The Marketing Technology Ecosystem — and how to get it all to work together to drive revenue
Everyone is struggling getting the most of the technology solutions that they’ve purchased. In most cases, they’ve underestimated the human element needed to make the technology work for them. They get excited from a strategic marketing standpoint of what the technology will enable, but when the rubber meets the road of administering the execution, integrated the sales development outbound calls, and driving consistent reporting across their platforms… things get complicated. Our Marketing Technology Services and Demand Gen teleservices continue to expand to fill this need in the market. ~ Ray Kemper, CMO
It’s clear you can’t buy the tools without highly specialized people to manage individual pieces of an integrated tech stack. The more this evolves my concern will be your team can’t survive unless it is staffed with experts in every tool, with a knowledge of how tools outside of their roles and responsibilities work together. If I were looking to start a business, it would be a Martech University that is vendor agnostic that could train teams on how to become proficient in common tech stacks so there is a central admin and individual specialists on the apps, (BI, MAT, CMS, CRM, Social Monitoring and distribution, PPC, SEO, SEM, etc.) ~ Mark Evertz, Director of Demand Gen and Content Services
Content wrapping with interactive visualization and performance metrics built-in plus integration with major Marketing Automation tools are quickly becoming must-haves versus eye candy. Customers and likely their bosses clearly said … OK I’ll do this but how do I know if it’s actually giving me a solid return on investment. The tech of companies like LookBookHQ, UberFlip, SnapApp are arming users with that information and looking cool doing it. ~ Mark Evertz, Director Demand Gen and Content Services
2. ABM is everywhere!
Account based marketing is hot. In one aspect, it’s always been around, but there are new technologies that are helping to enable and make the execution at scale. At Televerde, we’ve been doing account-based selling for years for our clients with our integrated teleservices and strategic engagement planning…but we’re revamping and repackaging the services for our clients to make our offering even more powerful. ~ Ray Kemper, CMO
3. Digging Deeper
The marketers attending are asking the tough questions to the “experts”. Everyone is moving past the theoretical to let’s get this done! (Using my resources, timeframes and budgets – of course.) ~ Laura Crutcher, Marketing Manager
4. SEO and Content must have intent.
Lee Odden made some good points as we look to keep your SEO strategy aligned with your content strategy. Remember to employ a customer centric SEO strategy and Google isn’t paying the bills so create content for your customers. Overall, be the best answer for your buyers. Go deep on a narrow range of topics, and don’t try to be all things to all people. ~ Martina Ward, Client Success Manager
5. Not Using Stock
Well, it is posed, but this is really the Televerde team. Thanks for a great event, and remember we are always here in sunny Scottsdale. From Left to Right: Justin Vogel (Strategic Accounts Director), Mark Evertz (Director of Demand Generation), Ray Kemper (CMO), Martina Ward (Client Success Manager) and Brady Nelson(Strategic Accounts Director)
Publish Date: February 22, 2016 5:00 AM
As marketers, we invest a ton of time and money in lead generation…and it can be difficult to see the return on the investment and marketing efforts. Converting leads into sales with varying sales cycles and evolving buyer’s journeys is a modern marketer’s daily challenge. In fact, an alarming 79% of leads are never converted into sales (MarketingSherpa). How can you increase that conversion rate, get the sales team to love you and avoid missing opportunities? Lead qualification services can help you maximize your marketing efforts and ensure that the right leads are being sent to your sales teams. Combined with effective lead nurturing services, you can remain top-of-mind to your leads no matter where they are within the buyer’s journey. Follow these strategies to create integrated campaigns that will get you the most out of your efforts and boost your sales.
Define and Instrument Your Sales Funnel
Converting leads into sales doesn’t just happen – it takes a strong strategy, time and unwavering persistence to guide the lead through the buyer’s journey from start to finish. To have a successful sales funnel your company needs to create a repeatable formula that can be adapted, personalized and customized for the various types of clients and personas you encounter. This will help your marketing and sales teams have a common understanding of the strategic actions that need to be taken during lead qualification, lead nurturing, and the sales handoff…paving the way to converting a new client.
Lead nurturing is an integral part of converting leads. This involves determining the best channels for lead follow-up, the time frame you are guaranteed to do it in, and what types of value offers you will provide to compel action. These value offers are crucial to stay top-of-mind with your lead, build the business relationship, and ultimately capture their interest in your product or service. Sophisticated lead nurturing services through marketing automation technology can simplify and instrument this process by ensuring you are reaching your lead at the right time, right place and with the right message.
Next, you will need to define a process for qualifying your leads. During this stage you will find different metrics that your company will uniformly use to determine where a lead is in the decision cycle. It’s very important to clearly define your lead qualification levels so that both marketing and sales are talking the same language. Since many leads require multiple follow-ups before making a decision, lead qualification will work in tandem with lead nurturing to ensure your prospective customers are getting the attention needed along their journey.
Lastly, you need to determine an efficient way to seamlessly transfer the qualified lead to the sales team. This involves making sure your sales team has all of the background information on your lead and knows everything about the relationship your marketing team has been building with them during their nurturing cycle.
Respond Quickly to Leads
Research has shown that the speed at which you respond to a lead directly impacts your conversion rate. According to a study from Dr. James Oldroyd, contacting leads within 5 minutes increases their chance of entering the sales process by 21 times, versus contacting them within 30 minutes.
This is why it is crucial to ensure you have the right team in place to handle your inbound leads and provide them with that outstanding service that will keep them coming back. It is important for your company to set a standard for your response time and stick to it. While it may not seem like a huge deal if you respond slower every now and then, it can damage your reputation and prevent future customers from contacting you.
Align Sales & Marketing Teams
There is no marketing without sales, and there are no sales without marketing. In today’s digital landscape, companies can’t afford to keep their departments in separate silos, and open communication is critical to success. Businesses who align their teams are 67% better at closing deals and show 20% growth in annual revenue. Your company can achieve alignment by creating a shared definition of a qualified lead, layering in an expert lead generation service to qualify your leads, integrating marketing automation and CRM software, and keeping your communication open and transparent.
Televerde is a gold sponsor of the B2B Content2Conversion event February 15-17 in Scottsdale, Arizona. We’ll be hosting a workshop called “From Contact to Close: Integrating the Digital, Nurture and the Human Touch.” We will be at booth 34. Come join us! http://www.content2conversion.com/workshops/from-contact-to-close-ramping-up-database-acquisition-and-marketing-workshop-d/.
How does your team use lead qualification services and lead nurturing services to its advantage? Share with us by tweeting @televerde, or comment on our LinkedIn page. To get in touch with one of our experts, contact us today.
Publish Date: February 9, 2016 5:00 AM
Welcome to my nightmare!
You’ve all seen this #MarTech Nascar slide and probably said what I did when I first saw it.
Not only is it mind-numbingly dense and uninformative as a visual, it unleashes a sense of dread and self-loathing that makes us all want to rethink our chosen career paths.
“Oh my God! I’m so behind or technically ignorant at my job. I should quit while I still have my sanity and reputation.”
My advice to all of you as you head to this year’s B2B Content2Conversion Conference on February 15-17, be ready and eager to make sure the technology works for you and not the other way around.
That Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) you feel is a key ingredient to what IDC suggested will be a $32 Billion industry by 2018. Without FUD, there is no urgency to purchase and without that urgency there is no purchase.
Before you subject yourself to anymore digital self-flagellation, recognize that you and I and the rest of our fellow humans are the only ones who can actually make this technical gumbo work – or call it out for the false promises that it delivers.
In my front row seat to this over the last decade, I’ve seen and participated in our manic rush to automate, predict, model and measure marketing and sales operations cause a startling absence of two things that cause major heartburn for marketing and sales leaders.
A strategy and the human resources to execute on it in a way that justifies the technology purchase.
At Televerde, I routinely get pulled into discussions with some of the most intelligent B2B marketers in our business who made the purchase of one or more martech or salestech solutions that promise smooth sailing for demand generation, content creation, lead generation and sales optimization. More often than not, these bright minds don’t have a clear path to bring the technology together or the in-house talent to swiftly implement and use it.
My call to arms for all marketing and sales people in 2016 is to stop doing that to yourselves. It really is a self-inflicted wound that can cause sleepless nights, job loss, hair loss, nausea and vomiting.
I’ve written about this previously, but the same holds true today. Here’s a path I recommend to people just like you who get stuck in the “Tech Before Strategy” spiral.
Before you cut the check to automate with the latest cool gadget ask yourself this series of questions.
You’ll note above that many of these questions relate to a human being in this sea of apps. Actually, several humans.
It should come as no surprise to any of you that I’m going to be waxing on this very subject in a workshop at#C2C16 titled: “From Contact To Close: Integrating Digital, Nurture and the Human Touch”
Come listen, learn or heckle from the back row. Regardless, find me at the show and let’s talk live. Another place you can find me is here: @MarkAEvertz on twitter to talk shop, ask for event materials if you weren’t able to make it this year, or to swap new music playlists.
I look forward to connecting soon!
Publish Date: February 2, 2016 5:00 AM
The demand for inside sales services is growing rapidly, as businesses need an effective, flexible sales team to remain competitive. Whether you are building your team internally or using outsourced inside sales, it is important to know the common mistakes and how to avoid them. Check out our list to keep your team from hindering your bottom line with these easily avoidable inside sales mishaps.
Mistake #1: You blew the first impression
According to Business Insider, you have 7 seconds to make a good first impression, which can be more challenging over the phone than in person. You will be judged based on your voice, tone, phone etiquette, and, obviously, what you have to say. This means you need to be able to speak confidently, stay focused, have a plan, and make a powerful opening statement. If you make a poor first impression, it will be much harder to recover and progress with the deal.
Mistake #2: You’re talking, not listening
Talking too much is one of the most common mistakes inside sales reps make. Reps call a prospect and launch into a description of their product and value propositions, without listening to the prospect or understanding what they need or want. Finding out exactly what your customer is looking for, and more importantly what their objectives are, allows you to offer relevant solutions and resolve any pushback. Get the customer talking and they will tell you what they need—it’s that simple.
Mistake #3: You’re not being optimistic
According to psychologist Shawn Achor, 75% of success at work is predicted in part by optimism levels. If you don’t believe you will make a sale, you likely won’t. Managers should help instill confidence and optimism in sales reps and create a healthy team environment. Additionally, companies need to hire motivated and dedicated employees.
Mistake #4: You’re going after the wrong people
Identifying the prospects you want is certainly an important part of inside sales, but so is identifying the prospects you don’t want. If your prospect doesn’t have the budget, isn’t the right size, isn’t ready to purchase, or isn’t engaging with your content, you should probably move on. Using marketing automation technology to qualify and nurture leads is hugely important. The expertise needed in this area is why many companies are turning to marketing automation specialists to fully integrate campaigns across multiple channels and ensure the right leads are sent to sales at the right time.
Mistake #5: You didn’t follow-up
80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls, but 44% of salespeople give up after only one follow-up (Marketing Donut). There is no excuse for losing out on business because you didn’t take the time to call a second (third, or fourth) time. However, just like the initial call, a follow-up can go over well or poorly. When you follow-up with a prospect, be sure to remind he or she of why your previous conversation was important. Don’t assume they will recall your conversation easily. You need to remember details about what the prospect said and what the prospect wants to add value to the next call.
Mistake #6: You overpromised and under delivered
This mistake is the worst offender on our list and is often made in attempt to close a challenging deal. While it can be tempting to promise customers whatever they ask for, not delivering these promises will result in disaster. The situation will leave your company’s reputation tarnished and the customer disappointed. Instead, you should be honest about your limitations and offer solutions within your capacity. This will be valuable to your company in the long run because your customers will have clear expectations and you won’t be struggling to provide services out of scope.
How has your company successfully dealt with inside sales mistakes? Let us know by commenting on our LinkedIn page or tweeting @televerde. For more information about our inside sales services, contact us!
Publish Date: January 18, 2016 5:00 AM
There is a common misconception that lead generation automatically results in lead conversion. While lead generation is undoubtedly important, the steps that follow play a crucial role in the conversion process. Before you close those deals, deploying lead nurturing services to lead qualification services are very important to turn a lead into a customer.
The first stage following generation is lead nurturing, where the trust and relationship needed for conversion is built. Following this comes qualification, where they are evaluated to determine where they are in the decision cycle. During this stage leads are typically identified as a marketing qualified lead or a sales qualified (sales accepted) lead. Sales qualified leads will move onto the next stage, while marketing qualified leads will continue to be nurtured until they are sales-ready. Once a lead is determined to be sales-ready it will be passed onto the sales team where the transaction will take place.
All of these stages work together to turn leads into customers and generate sales for your company. Are you still having difficulties navigating the steps that follow lead generation? Check out our infographic for an overview of the lifecycle of a lead!
Are you an expert in navigating the stages of the lead lifecycle? Share your tips with us by tweeting @televerde. For more information on lead nurturing services and lead qualification services, get in touch with one of our experts today.
Publish Date: December 7, 2015 5:00 AM
The demand for inside sales services is booming, especially in the B2B market. Thanks to our growing reliance on the internet and sophisticated sales enablement services, businesses are moving away from a traditional outside sales approach. This has many businesses wondering what the future of their sales team is going to look like. How should they be utilizing inside sales services in their business? When is it appropriate to use outside sales? Check out our predictions for the future of sales and how to leverage both strategies for your business!
First of all, what is “inside sales”?
For decades, businesses have been employing salespeople to conduct face-to-face meetings with prospects to close deals. These individuals spend the majority of their time traveling locally, and in some cases internationally, to meet with their clients. This method has been highly successful, but has also become quite costly, which is why there has been a rise in inside sales. With inside sales, reps spend their time in the office where they are dealing with marketing-qualified leads and gathering data on prospects to customize their communication to them via telephone and email. A common misconception regarding inside sales is that it is essentially telemarketing, but this is not the case! Inside sales reps are not cold-calling or dealing with unqualified leads. Inside sales teams are given leads that are generated through demand gen campaigns, scored and qualified and passed on to them to close!
Most companies agree that human contact and great conversations are necessities when it comes to talking with potential clients. However, the nature of personal interactions has begun to change, and as a result, so has selling. With advances in technology, we now have video conferencing that enables us to communicate virtually, as if we were in person. This has given customers the power to decide when and how they want to interact with sellers. For some this may mean taking a phone call while on-the-go and for others it may mean setting up a face-to-face meeting. Regardless of the medium, buyers have made it clear that they want to meet on their own time, when it’s most convenient for them.
Benefits of Inside Sales
Lower Costs: According to the Harvard Business Review, inside sales costs 40-90% less to bring in new customers than field sales. When traveling to meet customers you have to pay for transportation, meals and sometimes hotels, which can add up quickly! Inside sales eliminates these costs, while still driving the sales your company desires.
Efficient Use of Time: By eliminating travel time and using online technology, inside sales reps are able to reach more customers in a variety of locations, which ultimately results in higher sales and ROI for your business.
Increased Collaboration: Working inside your office with managers and peers has many benefits. Inside sales reps benefit from managerial supervision and an atmosphere of teamwork. In addition to not reaping the benefits of collaboration, outside sales reps often find themselves feeling isolated.
More attention to “lower priority “customers: An outside sales rep might not have time to visit a low-level client, or it might not be cost-effective to do so. Inside sales reps can simply give them a call, meaning businesses can keep a wide range of different clients satisfied.
It is important to realize that outside sales has advantages as well. Many argue that focusing solely on inside sales is not effective because you lose the value of a face-to-face conversation. When you travel to meet a client in person, you are better able to build the customer relationship and trust, show them they are important to you, and most importantly, articulate how important your product is to them. This is why many businesses are integrating both inside and outside techniques into their strategy.
So Which One Should I Use and When?
Some situations are more suited to inside sales than others. For example, transactional selling can usually be accomplished remotely. While larger, complex deals that involve multiple players, benefit greatly from an in-person meeting. Larger companies can afford to send outside sales reps to their client base they have already built up, but it may be more cost-effective for newer companies to use inside sales to rapidly grow their network.
Your buyer’s current stage in the sales pipeline also plays a role in deciding which strategy to use. When first interacting with a buyer, reaching out via phone or email can be extremely effective. However, when it comes to closing large deals, face-to-face interactions may be a necessity. Since each strategy has its strengths, it’s important for companies to leverage both in order to achieve success.
Will Outside Sales Disappear?
According to a study from MIT, inside sales is growing at a rate 15 times faster than that of outside sales. While complex products and sales cycles will always need the power of outside sales, many companies are choosing to switch to remote sales when able to. Most businesses seem to agree that face-to-face conversations do add value to a transaction, but is that enough to cover the costs of sending a representative to talk to someone? The huge trend towards insides sales services seems to suggest that, increasingly, the answer to that question is no.
Has your business transitioned from outside to inside sales? Let us know by tweeting @televerde, or commenting on our LinkedIn page. For more information about inside sales services and sales enablement services, contact one of our experts.
Publish Date: November 23, 2015 5:00 AM
Televerde announced that it has signed a term sheet to purchase a substantial interest in SalesTalk Technologies, an innovative sales enablement software platform. Televerde will replace its current proprietary contact center technology with SalesTalk and believes the investment will enable it to continue delivering industry leading client results and high customer satisfaction for years to come.
Publish Date: November 19, 2015 5:00 AM
Global B2B commerce requires international coordination of sales and marketing activities. Though the Internet is a global network, it doesn’t mean companies have an easy time connecting with prospects and customers across the planet.
Creating a global framework for managing digital and human interactions is critical to driving your international pipeline. Prospect connections should be local, relevant, and in the native language. The call center, for example, requires specific competencies for local languages, training, Quality Assurance (QA) and call review processes.
Integrated teleservices need to engage along the buyer journey to share personalized expertise with the buyer and distribute the relevant content at the best time to the right audience. Ideally, you want to reach out and assist within an hour as opposed to days or weeks later. Opportunities aren’t just sales leads. They can be opportunities to consult, discover needs, do favors, and answer questions – things that occur frequently in long sales cycles.
New European Office for Televerde
Televerde is announcing our new capabilities to support integrated global demand generation activities. We are opening a new office and teleservices center in Europe which will expand our footprint to meet our client’s global campaign needs to 3 continents: North America, South America and now Europe.
“Our European office will be staffed with 175 employees, including 131 multilingual call center agents,” said Televerde CEO James Hooker. “We have narrowed our location alternatives to a handful of communities with the intent to open in early 2016.” The announcement of the European expansion comes on the heels of the spring 2015 opening of Televerde’s first Latin American office in Cordoba, Argentina, which offers call center services in Spanish, Portuguese, German and French. The European office will include additional language capabilities in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese as well as Eastern European and Nordic languages.
Small and large enterprises, like Microsoft, General Electric and Pulse Secure, use our demand generation & inside sales solutions to drive big improvements in sales efficiency and greatly enhanced lead conversion rates.
“For more than 20 years, Televerde has delivered pipeline strategies and insights, faster sales cycles, more prospects and a solid ROI for our clients,” said Ray Kemper, Chief Marketing Officer at Televerde. “We’re looking forward to providing this same level of expertise in the European market.”
Combining marketing technology, strategic engagement planning and highly-trained integrated teleservices is Televerde’s core competency. “When you look at the data coming from these complex lead funnel reports,” explained Kemper, “sales conversions spike dramatically when you mix in a personal touch and move the sales process along by having detailed relevant conversations. People need personal contact, especially with longer sales cycles that include committee decision making.”
Publish Date: October 19, 2015 5:00 AM
Recent research has shown the importance of pairing digital with human touch in marketing. The two work together to keep processes efficient, but still personalized for the customer. This powerful combination is what has led to a resurgence in telemarketing lead generation, which leverages technology while still building the trust necessary for conversion. But what would happen if that conversation didn’t go well? You would likely be left with an unhappy customer and unable to convert a lead into a sale.
The need for well-trained sales reps has never been greater, and is why many companies are turning to lead development and inside sales outsourcing. At Televerde, our team of highly qualified telemarketing agents work to generate high conversion rates for our clients. Want to know their secret to success? Check out our foolproof formula for great conversations that are bound to lead to conversions!
Initial Conditions: Focus on the Buyer
Traditionally B2B sales have been focused on the company. While this is still a crucial part of the equation, it is now more important than ever to focus on the buyer. Before beginning, it is vital to understand your buyer’s persona. A persona is comprised of many elements, but some of the most important to understand are the buyers’ goals, buying team, and purchasing process. Understanding their goals will allow you to decide which of your products or services will be most beneficial to them. Knowing how their buying team operates will help you evaluate stakeholders and approval processes. Lastly, understanding their purchasing processes will allow you to align your nurturing to their buying cycle. Having this information beforehand will enable you to pair them with a sales rep who is equipped to meet their needs. However, without it, any conversation you have with them will most likely be futile.
Next, you need to have an understanding of the company. Find out how many employees they have, what their products are and who they are selling to. Not doing your research can make you seem unprepared and make your prospective client less likely to do business with you. According to Forrester, 77% of executive buyers claim salespeople don’t understand buyers’ problems or what they can do to help buyers. Knowing this information beforehand will not only impress your client, but allow you to design effective and custom solutions for them.
According to a recent survey by SAP, 80% of B2B buyers said they find overly forced, vanilla sales approaches with no value or relevance extremely off-putting. How can you make sure you aren’t part of this statistic? The simple, yet often ignored, answer is to show genuine curiosity about them!
When conversing with a lead, your sales reps should ask them questions to uncover their needs and what they are not satisfied with. A sales rep should take the time to build the relationship, gain the client’s trust and then explain the relevant benefits your product or service will offer them. B2B buyers don’t want to feel like they’re being convinced to buy something they don’t need. Instead, they want to feel that they are in control of their decision, and that your product will solve a problem they have. Showing genuine interest and asking these questions will make your buyer more open to your suggestions, and most importantly, more likely to convert.
Subtract: A Script
Companies should develop a repeatable process that serves as a guideline for reps making sales calls. However, they should never be told to stick to a strict script. Each lead has individual concerns and reps need to be able to respond to these without hesitation. This requires in-depth knowledge of the product or service they are selling and awareness of a lead’s possible objections (and how to convince them otherwise).
In addition to being inflexible, scripts can come off as aggressive. There has long been a stigma around salespeople, and telemarketers specifically, of being too pushy. In a recent survey by SAP, it was found that 48% of B2B buyers find salespeople to be too aggressive. Losing the script and making it more conversational will keep the buyer at ease, while you build trust in a more natural way.
Accelerate: Response Time
As the Harvard Business Review reported, companies that try to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving queries are nearly 7 times as likely to have meaningful conversations with key decision makers compared to companies that try to contact prospects even an hour later (HubSpot). Why is this the case? We live in a digitized age where information is readily available to us at all times. This has caused sales to happen faster while our attention spans get shorter. Responding within an hour not only shows that your company can keep up with them, but places you at top-of-mind for your buyer.
Solve: Push Back
It’s not unusual for potential buyers to have concerns, it’s how your sales reps respond that matters. Reps should look at the situation from the buyers’ perspective when trying to find a solution and address their objections without being dismissive. Taking the time to analyze why buyers are questioning their purchase will give your reps the opportunity to genuinely present how your product can help.
Preparation in this stage is just as important as it was in the beginning! You should have several options ready to present to your buyers to assure them that you will fit their needs. In the end, a confident delivery and great conversation are likely to lead to a successful conversion.
As you can see, there is a lot that goes into creating a successful lead conversation, and at the core of it all is a well-trained team of sales reps. Whether you are looking to build your sales team or use inside sales outsourcing, following these steps will set you up for success!
How does your company ensure success in telemarketing lead generation and inside sales conversations? Let us know by commenting on our LinkedIn page or tweeting us @televerde. For more information about inside sales outsourcing and other Televerde services, contact one of our experts.
Publish Date: October 6, 2015 5:00 AM
As we become more and more digitally connected, it is easier for people to forget the importance of human connection. But when it comes to deploying effective demand generation solutions and campaigns, human touch is as important as it ever was! SiriusDecisions recently debunked the myth that 67% of the buyer’s journey occurs digitally before talking with a sales rep. According to Jennifer Ross, Senior Research Director, CMO Strategies at SiriusDecisions, “B2B buyers interact with providers in a variety of ways throughout every phase of the decision-making process,” (Demand Gen Report). In addition to that, it was found that human-to-human interactions are more frequent in higher cost scenarios.
At Televerde, we know digital is incredibly important in raising brand awareness and expanding online reach. You want to provide prospects with a consistent diet of your brand’s name and messages, so digital can act as a supplement to the human conversation. However, blending digital and human touch is easier said than done.
It isn’t a secret that B2B buyers are some of the most complex to sell to. Due to the power of digital, buyers often have a working knowledge of the products or services you are offering, making it vital that you pair them with a sales rep that has equal knowledge. Incorrect pairings happen more often than you would think. According to a 2015 SAP study, 75% of B2B buyers said they felt they were ahead of the salesperson who was supposed to be helping them. In this fast-paced digital world, we know these buyers don’t want to feel like their time is wasted.
Then how can you create an effective combination of the two? Check out three strategies we use to create the perfect marriage digital and human touch.
Marketing automation can be used to enhance your b2b lead generation services by improving lead management and streamlining the marketing and sales process. If you effectively use your marketing automation platform to collect accurate data of your current and prospective customers in order to deploy personalized campaigns, you will be able to move a larger volume of higher quality buyers through the pipeline faster. At Televerde, we maximize marketing automation platforms by setting up effective lead scoring, segmentation and nurturing programs to do just that.
While marketing automation platforms are active evolving tools to increase engagement and communications with your customer, they do not eliminate the need for human contact. Utilizing marketing automation to notify a sales rep to reach out to a lead at the right time with the right message is just one example of its power in shortening the sales cycle and increasing ROI.
In order to enable your sales teams with the best quality leads, you need to ensure you have lead qualification teams in place to truly marry digital campaigns and human interactions. You need to determine the stage which a marketing-qualified lead is passed on to sales and successfully use phone-based qualification resources to ask those qualifying questions during the interim.
With 88% of B2B buyers saying they want to feel good about their purchase decision based on guidance and trust they have with their vendor, it is important these conversations are present and go well (2015 SAP study). During this process, lead qualification teams can discover a buyer’s needs, establish a relationship, and most importantly, build trust. This will increase the number of “sales-ready” leads that are passed on to sales teams for advancement to prevent clogging your pipeline with unqualified leads and an overinflated sales forecast.
The last part of this perfect marriage is lead nurturing. We love lead nurturing at Televerde and understand the vital role it should play during the buyer’s journey. According to MarketingSherpa, 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. This makes us sad because lack of lead nurturing tends to be common in this poor performance!
When combining marketing automation and human-to-human interactions, you can create powerful lead nurturing campaigns that effectively guide your customer through each stage of the buyer’s journey to close. From personalized emails to perfectly-timed sales calls, lead nurturing allows you to stay present and ahead of competition in this digitally-connected world.
The more digitally interconnected we become, don’t make the mistake of forgetting about the importance of real human connection. The digital side of marketing is undeniably important, but no matter how sophisticated technology becomes, nothing beats genuine human contact.
How does your company balance digital and human interactions? Let us know by tweeting @televerde or commenting on our LinkedIn. To learn more about demand generation solutions for your business, contact our experts.
Publish Date: August 24, 2015 5:00 AM