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Volkart May - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

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5 Reasons to Execute an Outbound Calling Campaign

Since there are so many effective marketing and sales channels available to organizations today, it’s important to take an integrated approach in order to improve brand exposure across multiple touchpoints. Selecting only a few channels is often too limiting, and a mix of both “new” and “traditional” approaches is best. In the “traditional” category is the old standby – the telephone call. A live, two-way conversation remains one of the most productive marketing and sales tactics today, which is why it’s in an organization’s best interest to invest in an outbound calling campaign. Here are 5 of the top reasons to do so:

To gather target audience insights

The more that a company knows about its target audience, the better they will be able to market to them, connect with them, and ultimately sell to them. An outbound calling campaign can be executed to conduct market research that will unveil target audience behaviors and needs. Having conversations with target audience members can uncover insights that might not have been found otherwise. These insights can be used to improve upon sales and marketing messaging in addition to informing product/service development.

To improve brand awareness and recall

When approached the right way, a phone conversation can be a great introduction to a company/organization/brand. A phone conversation is much more personal than other outreach methods.

To maintain a current sales database

In the sales world, the sales database is everything. When the sales database is accurate, it provides sales professionals with current information that can be used to craft a personalized sales pitch. An outdated sales database can result in uninformed sales pitches that come off as unprofessional. An outbound calling campaign can be executed to gather the most recent information and ensure that the sales database is accurate.

To generate leads

The phone call remains an important lead generation tool. Unlike other outreach efforts, it establishes a personal connection with the representative on the other end of the line which can go a long way towards generating a lead. The conversation can flow naturally and speak directly to the needs of the prospect.

To sell

Once a prospect becomes a lead and moves further through the sales funnel the goal of an outbound calling campaign shifts to selling. At this point, the most experienced inside sales professionals take over and utilize all of the knowledge gained throughout the entire sales lifecycle.

Outbound calling campaigns do work and they play an important role in the overall inside sales process.

Source: http://www.volkartmay.com/call-center/execute-outbound-calling/

Publish Date: August 16, 2017 5:00 AM


Warm Calling: Who Teleprospectors Should be Contacting

Cold calling is an essential function of the B2B contact center because it allows callers to build an accurate lead database that can be used during future calling campaigns. However, it’s not the only responsibility of a teleprospector. In fact, the majority of their time is actually spent on warm calling, or reaching out to contacts that the company already has a relationship with in order to update files and ideally, turn a potential prospect into a qualified lead. During a warm calling campaign, these are the groups of people that prospectors should be contacting:

Marketing generated leads

Marketing generated leads have expressed interest by getting in touch via lead form, email, phone call, etc. after receiving marketing messaging via a marketing touchpoint. No matter how targeted a B2B marketing campaign may be, not every marketing generated lead is going to be sales-ready. One purpose of a warm calling campaign is to have an initial insight gathering conversation with these leads in order to determine the quality of the leads and whether they should be passed on to the sales team or further nurtured.

Leads that have gone cold

When a lead doesn’t make an initial purchase and loses touch, it has gone cold. However, since there was interest initially, that interest can return when the timing is right. A warm calling campaign ensures that these cold leads aren’t ignored entirely, keeps the lines of communication open, and helps to keep a company top of mind.

Past customers

Companies change service/product providers for many reasons, it’s not always because they weren’t satisfied. Sometimes the reasons are internal, such as departmental budget cuts. Because a past customer could become a customer again in the future, a warm calling campaign helps to maintain this relationship and the teleprospector can mention new products or services that might be appealing to them.

Current customers

It’s common sales knowledge that it is less expensive to retain current customers than it is to acquire new customers, which is why it’s important to tap into additional revenue opportunities from existing customers when it makes sense to do so. A warm calling campaign can reach out to current customers to ensure their satisfaction and advise them about new or enhanced products or services that complement what they are currently using.

Warm calling campaigns are an essential function of B2B inside sales. Since the relationship is already established, the teleprospector has more data to work with and can craft messaging to speak to a prospect’s individual needs.

Source: http://www.volkartmay.com/inside-sales/warm-calling/

Publish Date: August 8, 2017 5:00 AM


Set a B2B Calling Campaign Goal to Achieve a Desired Outcome

In order to be successful in sales, it’s necessary to take a strategic approach to B2B calling campaigns. There are many different B2B sales goals which means that they must each be accompanied by different types of calling campaigns. Before placing a call, the first step is to determine what the specific goal of the call is and then craft a focused calling approach in order to achieve the desired outcome. Trying to do too many things all at once (asking too many questions, keeping the prospect on the phone for too long, etc.) can be a turnoff and result in losing the opportunity altogether. Here are a few of the most common B2B calling campaign goals and how to guide the conversation towards the desired outcome:

Building a sales database

At the very top of the sales funnel is one of the most important steps in the entire B2B sales process: building up an accurate sales database that can be used in the future. Doing so can take time, especially when targeting a new audience or entering a new market. During initial outreach, a caller should keep the conversation short and focus on obtaining only the most relevant information such as email addresses and phone numbers of decision makers.

Lead qualification

In a perfect world, every lead is going to be a good fit for the products or services offered and turn into a sale. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Some leads will turn into sales, others will have the potential to turn into sales, and there will always be a percentage of leads that will never convert. Because you don’t want your sales team spending valuable time chasing leads that won’t go anywhere, a lead qualification calling campaign should be in place. Business Development Specialists can contact leads and ask questions that will determine what should happen next; if the lead should be passed on to sales, if they require further nurturing, or if they don’t have any value at the present time.

Appointment setting

Since appointments require time and dedication from the sales team, it’s necessary to determine if and when an appointment should be set up with a lead. A Business Development Specialist can have a conversation that will determine whether there is an active need and if there is, set up a phone appointment, face to face meeting, or web demonstration with a sales rep.

Where a lead is in the sales funnel and what the sales team is in need of at any given time will help determine what a B2B calling campaign goal should be. Once a goal has been established, it’s easier to determine what the calling approach should be and craft messaging that will help to achieve whatever the desired outcome of the call may be.

Source: http://www.volkartmay.com/call-center/b2b-calling-campaign-goal/

Publish Date: July 18, 2017 5:00 AM


Improve Marketing Efforts with an Outbound Calling Campaign

In the B2B sector, the primary responsibility of the marketing department is to generate quality leads that can be passed on to the sales team. In most cases, it can take time for prospects to become leads and it requires multiple marketing touchpoints both online (business website, banner ads, social media profiles, etc.) and offline (events, print materials, TV/radio/print ads, etc.). These marketing efforts don’t come cheap, especially in competitive niches, and it’s necessary to be as efficient as possible. An important way to get the most out of the investment is to execute an outbound calling campaign which can improve marketing efforts in the following ways:

Market research

The best marketing campaigns are based on target audience research. Once marketers know exactly who target audience members are and what they want and need, they can craft a message that resonates and speaks directly to these wants and needs. An outbound calling campaign remains a relevant way to gather this market research data from prospects. Agents can ask questions and gather answers that are useful when creating marketing campaigns.

Database clean up

Database information can come from a variety of sources. Over time this information can become outdated which is why an outbound calling campaign should be executed to ensure that all contact information is accurate. This ensures that time and money spent on direct mail, email, and calling campaigns aren’t going to waste.

Inquiry follow up

Once a lead is generated from marketing efforts, it’s important to follow up in a timely manner. If seasoned sales professionals are busy with leads that are further through the sales funnel, closer to conversion, it’s advisable to outsource the work to ensure it’s being done. Timely, initial outreach tells the lead that their potential business is important, which can result in a lasting positive impression.

Qualify marketing efforts

Not every lead that comes in is going to be a good one. An outbound calling campaign can qualify leads, and in turn, qualify marketing efforts. The lead information gathered during an initial outbound calling campaign gives the marketing department detailed information about who the marketing campaigns are attracting and whether any changes should be made.

Outbound calling as part of a marketing strategy doesn’t only mean cold calling. There are plenty of ways that an outbound calling campaign can improve B2B marketing efforts.

Source: http://www.volkartmay.com/call-center/marketing-outbound-calling/

Publish Date: May 30, 2017 5:00 AM


Leave These Sales Functions to an Outsourced Calling Partner

The B2B sales cycle is often long and complex. Even if you have an in-house sales team, sales efforts can benefit from the help of an experienced outsourced calling partner. That’s because the in-house sales team’s time is best spent selling; working with leads that are further through the sales cycle. An outsourced calling partner can augment efforts by working the top of the sales funnel, ensuring that only the best leads are passed on to sales. Here are 3 sales functions an outsourced calling partner can help with, giving the in-house sales team more time to work with leads that are closer to conversion:

Lead generation

The in-house sales team should be closing sales, not spending time trying to generate new leads. An outsourced calling partner can do the up-front work, working through lead lists obtained via marketing efforts or purchased lists. Outsourcing lead generation calling especially makes sense for businesses in which the sales cycle varies due to seasonality. Lead generation calling efforts can be scaled up or down depending on seasonal needs without impacting in-house sales staffing.

Lead qualification

Once a lead is generated, it must be qualified. An outsourced calling partner can spend time conducting research; determining who the decision maker is and point of contact should be at an organization, what their current level of interest in the product or service is, if they’re a good fit and have the potential to actually make a purchase, and whether or not they are ready to buy. In some cases, a lead isn’t quite sales-ready but could be in the future. These leads should be further nurtured until the timing is right.

Current customer/client outreach

In order to grow, a company must bring in new leads and business, but it’s equally important to keep current customers and clients happy and aim to generate additional revenue from them when it makes sense to do so. An outsourced calling partner can call current customers or clients to inform them of new products or services offered that complement or enhance what they’re currently using or inform them about warranty changes or recalls. It’s likely they will appreciate the phone call, as opposed to receiving an email or snail mail letter with the information.

When an in-house sales team is required to execute all sales functions, from initial lead generation to selling, to customer/client outreach, their time becomes strained and it’s more likely that opportunities will be missed. Outsourcing some up-front sales functions to an outsourced calling partner frees up more of their time and ensures that it’s being used where it’s needed most; for actual selling.

Source: http://www.volkartmay.com/outsourcing/sales-outsourced-calling/

Publish Date: May 18, 2017 5:00 AM


Keep Prospects on the Line by Following These Sales Call Tips

Business decision makers typically receive numerous sales calls throughout the workweek. Since their time is limited, it’s unlikely that they have a productive conversation with each sales representative who calls. In some cases, they’ll try to end the call as quickly as they can. As an inside sales professional, it’s important to be mindful of the decision maker’s time and make it worth their while to stay on the line and engage in a beneficial two-way dialogue. Here are 4 sales call tips to follow to keep prospects on the line:

Take a balanced approach

Sales professionals can occasionally make one of two mistakes. Either they take a far too casual approach to their sales calls and speak as if they’re talking to close friends or family, or they go in the complete opposite direction and come off as overly formal or stuffy. Both are turn offs to a prospect. The key is to strike a balanced approach. Be genuine and speak to the prospect as a respected business peer.

Craft an appealing opening statement

An inside sales professional should never begin a conversation with a broad, meaningless question such as “how are you?” or a trite comment about the weather. Respect a prospect’s time and do your research in order to craft a captivating opening statement that speaks directly to their needs and encourages them to keep listening.

Avoid excessive sales speak

Sales speak and industry jargon is best saved for marketing literature and advertisements. The goal of an inside sales call is to establish a rapport with a prospect which requires a personal touch. Generic sales terms such as “limited time offer” or “act now” aren’t appealing to a prospect, especially if they’re at the top of the sales funnel. Instead, be specific in the approach and let the prospect know how you can help.

Engage in a two-way dialogue

In order for an inside sales call to be productive, both parties on the line should be talking. If the sales representative is merely talking at the prospect, the prospect will likely lose interest. The key is to ask the prospect thoughtful questions to get them talking about their needs and to actually listen to their responses. What they say will help you determine if they’re a good fit for the products/services offered and how the sales team can approach their pitch or if they should be further nurtured.

By following these tips and making a concentrated effort to be personable and genuine on an inside sales call, sales professionals will be more likely to keep prospects on the line and move them further through the sales funnel toward conversion.

Source: http://www.volkartmay.com/inside-sales/prospects-sales-call-tips/

Publish Date: May 2, 2017 5:00 AM


Key Points to Mention Upfront During an Inside Sales Call

Inside sales representatives only have so much time during a prospect call to pique the prospect’s interest. The goal is to engage in a productive two-way conversation that turns the prospect into a qualified lead and moves them further through the sales funnel. That’s only going to happen if the prospect quickly understands the value of the conversation and stays on the line. Here are some key points to mention upfront during an inside sales call to keep prospects interested:

Prior touchpoints

If the prospect has interacted with your company/brand in some way in the past, it’s important to mention this at the beginning of the conversation. Prior touchpoints could include downloading a whitepaper, meeting company representatives at an industry event, receiving email newsletters, or even speaking with sales representatives in the past. Once the prospect recognizes the company name and remembers a previous interaction, they’ll be more likely to continue the conversation.

Why you’re calling

During a prospect call, it’s important to get right to the point. Prospects are busy and you want to respect their time. After a brief introduction, explain why you’re calling and get the conversation rolling by asking specific questions that will determine if your product/solution is a good fit for their needs.

What’s in it for them

Taking a broad approach to prospect calls isn’t enough to grab their attention and can be a big waste of time since it can result in a quick “No thank you.” Ultimately, the only thing that a prospect cares about is how your product or service can help them solve a challenge that they have. This is why it’s so important to do your research before calling a prospect in order to take a targeted approach to the call and customize the conversation to the unique needs of each prospect you call. Taking this approach will result in a more targeted lead list to pass on to the sales team.

Prospects can be wary of sales calls which is why the first few moments during a call is so critical. If you can capture their attention and gain their trust in those first few moments, they’ll be more likely to stay on the line, speak candidly about their challenges, and be receptive of what you have to say and the products/services you offer.

Source: http://www.volkartmay.com/inside-sales/inside-sales-call-points/

Publish Date: April 10, 2017 5:00 AM


Want a Callback? Follow These Inside Sales Voicemail Tips

Inside sales professionals have many communication tools in their arsenal today, but the traditional phone conversation remains an integral part of the lead generation and lead qualification process. A two-way dialogue helps to establish a connection on a more personal level, which can go a long way towards moving a prospect through the sales funnel. The caller can ask questions that uncover what the prospect needs which can ultimately help the sales team craft a personalized pitch and close a sale. Of course, this can only be achieved if a phone conversation actually takes place. The first step is to get the prospect on the phone, which more often than not doesn’t happen on the first try. Inside sales professionals often end up leaving voicemail messages with decision makers, and how that voicemail is crafted can determine whether a future conversation happens. Here are 5 inside sales voicemail tips that will increase the chances of earning a callback:

Be concise

Decision makers are busy people. They don’t want to spend their time listening to long winded voicemails. Keep the message short and concise.

Personalize the message

A caller only has a few seconds to entice the listener when they leave a voicemail. If they’re not interested they might hit the delete button without even listening to the whole thing. Callers should do some preliminary research before leaving the voicemail and provide some specific details about the product or service offered that resonate with the prospect, giving them reason to return the call and learn more.

Outline next steps

A voicemail should include a call to action. Speak clearly and outline all of the important information the prospect needs in order to call back including phone number, name, and the best times to call.

Send an email

Voicemail messages aren’t always listened to in a timely manner. Prospects are much more likely to be paying close attention to their email throughout the business day. After leaving a voicemail, send an email too. Inside sales reps should include the same information (personalized message, name, phone number, etc.) that was included in the voicemail and mention that they can be reached via email, too.

Answer callbacks

If you give prospects a timeframe that is best for a return call, make every effort to actually be available during that time frame in order to answer the call. Only a fraction of prospects will call back, which is why it’s so important to capture as many callbacks as possible.

Not every voicemail will be responded to, or even listened to. However, it’s still important to leave inside sales voicemails because there are still plenty of people who will respond. Voicemails are also a must when following up on inquiries, to let the contact know that you’ve tried to get in touch.

Source: http://www.volkartmay.com/inside-sales/sales-voicemail-tips/

Publish Date: March 27, 2017 5:00 AM


4 Ways to Build a Positive Call Center Culture

A top priority of a call center that provides customer service and inside sales services is to provide customers, prospects, and leads with a positive company experience. A positive experience with an agent goes a long way towards keeping current customers happy and turning prospects and leads into sales. While customer, prospect, and lead happiness is obviously important, so too is keeping those on the other end of the line happy: your inside sales and call center agents. Call center employee turnover is notoriously high, which is why call centers must do all that they can to build a positive call center culture and retain valuable employees. Here are 4 ways to do so:

Offer employee development and learning opportunities

When an inside sales or customer service rep becomes too comfortable in their position, it can lead to boredom, and eventually to looking elsewhere for employment. That’s why it’s so important to continue to challenge employees and provide them with ongoing training and learning opportunities to expand their knowledge. These opportunities allow employees to grow and keeps them engaged in their positions.

Strive towards improvement

The same way of doing things isn’t necessarily the best way of doing things. When inside sales and customer service reps are stuck executing stale processes, it can lead to attrition. A call center should always strive towards improvement and look for better, more efficient ways of conducting business that will also keep the calling team motivated and focused.

Offer incentives

Employees appreciate being recognized for their hard work and incentive programs can be a great motivator. If the budget is tight, money isn’t the only incentive option, either. Other employee incentive ideas include recognition among peers, casual days, vacation time, company lunches, and awards. The incentive can be catered to what each employee values the most.

Value employee opinion

Inside sales and customer service representatives are on the front lines, engaging with customers and prospects on a daily basis. They know what they need and want and what’s working and what’s not. Representatives’ input should be taken seriously. Taking the time to speak to representatives and gather their insights tells them that their opinion is valued, which contributes towards their job satisfaction.

Customer and prospect satisfaction is a top priority, but employees need to be taken care of as well. They are the foundation of a good customer service and inside sales strategy and when the overall call center culture is a positive one, it translates into quality work performance, which translates into sales.

Source: http://www.volkartmay.com/call-center/call-center-culture/

Publish Date: March 16, 2017 5:00 AM


Keys to a Successful Relationship with an Outsourced Inside Sales Company

There are many reasons for a company to outsource the inside sales function. First, doing so is much more economical than hiring a full team of inside sales professionals to work in house. Outsourcing eliminates salary, training, management, and other employee costs. Second, outsourcing ensures that the client company is being represented by an experienced, professional staff since an outsourced inside sales company specializes strictly in the inside sales function and has the experience necessary to hire and train the right people.

While the benefits of hiring an outsourced inside sales company are many, the inside sales campaign itself will only be as successful as the relationship between the client company and the outsourced partner. Here are 3 important keys to a successful relationship with an outsourced inside sales company:

Collaboration

Once a client company hires an outsourced inside sales firm to work with, it doesn’t mean that their work is done. A successful relationship requires collaboration between the two parties since they each have different strengths that contribute to the inside sales campaign as a whole. While the outsourced inside sales company specializes in having lead generation, lead qualification, and sales conversations with prospects, it’s the client company that is the expert on the product/service offered. In order to be successful, outsourced inside sales professionals need access to the client company’s vast level of knowledge.

Ongoing communication

Communication between the two parties is typically at its peak at the onset of a campaign and tends to decrease as both parties become more confident in each other. However, that doesn’t mean that communication should ever stop completely. An outsourced inside sales partner needs to be kept in the loop about everything going on within the client company so that they can perform their jobs at the highest level. Product and service offerings and the company goals can change over time to keep up with consumer demand and even a small change can affect the sales approach and messaging. To ensure that lines aren’t crossed and important communications aren’t missed, there should be one or two point people assigned at the client company and at the outsourced inside sales company that are responsible for communication and relaying information to their respective teams.

Trust

An outsourced inside sales firm is going to perform at its best when the client can be transparent and share as much information as possible. Without access to company data, background information, product specs, and other crucial information, the inside sales campaign won’t be as efficient as it should be. If their level of trust with their outsourced partner is lacking, they are probably working with the wrong firm.

Hiring an outsourced inside sales company can be very beneficial to a client company that has limited internal sales resources, however not all client company/outsourced firm relationships are created equal. Relationships that are based on collaboration, communication, and trust have the most potential for success.

Source: http://www.volkartmay.com/inside-sales/relationship-outsourced-inside-sales/

Publish Date: February 27, 2017 5:00 AM


Inside Sales Call Guidelines to Follow

During an inside sales conversation, it’s helpful for a sales representative to have a set of guidelines to follow that will steer the conversation in the right direction. Different from a sales script, which includes what to say word for word, the guidelines allow the agent to speak freely and use their own words to convey their point, but ensure that the conversation stays on track.

Here are 3 important guidelines for sales representatives to follow when conducting inside sales calls:

Address specific challenges

It’s not uncommon for sales representatives to make the mistake of crafting a sales message that is too broad in an effort to try and be “everything to everyone.” This is impossible and results in a message that is less likely to resonate with the prospect. Prospects are much more receptive to messaging that speaks directly to their specific needs and challenges. Don’t waste time with filler dialogue. Cut right to the chase and explain how your product/service/solution will help the person with whom you are speaking.

Get to the point

One of the most important things to keep in mind when conducting inside sales calls is that your prospects are busy people. If they are receptive to a conversation, make it worth their while and respect their time by being direct. Eliminate lengthy introductions or company background information that the prospect can research or ask about at a later time, if they wish. Instead, focus on the prospect’s needs and ask questions that will determine whether or not they are a good fit for the product/service/solution offered.

Allow for authentic dialogue

One of the biggest complaints about call center scripts is that sales representatives end up sounding like pre-programmed robots, not actual humans that can engage in a productive two-way dialogue. When this happens, the prospect on the other line is more likely to check out of the conversation. A properly trained sales representative should be allowed the freedom to have a genuine conversation with the prospect.

Following these sales call guidelines will help keep sales representatives focused on moving the prospect through the sales funnel. They can be used to create a sales call guide that serves as an outline during conversations.

Source: http://www.volkartmay.com/inside-sales/call-guidelines/

Publish Date: February 9, 2017 5:00 AM


The Benefits of Conducting B2B Lead Gen Calls on a Regular Basis

One of the biggest mistakes B2B sales representatives make during the lead generation process is giving up on a potential prospect too early. In fact, according to InsideSales.com, the average rep only makes between 1.7 and 2.1 contact attempts before they move on. This is a stark contrast from their research that shows that 8-12 contact attempts is the optimal strategy to maximize the value of every lead.

There are many reasons why a potential prospect might not answer the phone or be open to a discussion on the first or second try. It could just be that the timing is bad or they are too busy to speak at that moment. It doesn’t always mean that they don’t have any interest in learning more about your products or services, which is why inside sales representatives should continue to call potential prospects on a regular basis. There are many benefits to be gained from taking a consistent and regular lead generation calling campaign approach including:

A full sales funnel

The strength of the sales funnel correlates with an ongoing calling campaign. If the calling campaign tapers off at any point, it will be reflected with a dry sales funnel a few months later. When the calling campaign is consistent and regular, it ensures that leads are always coming in and the sales team always has qualified opportunities.

Access to prospect information

Every prospect has a unique set of challenges and needs, which is why the most successful sales pitches are personalized and address these challenges and needs directly. If you’re only calling a potential prospect a few times, you aren’t really getting to know them. When executing a regular calling campaign over a period of time, it allows the representative to learn more about the prospect, their buying habits, and their market. Each call becomes more personalized and representatives can mention specific things that are relevant to the prospect’s needs, increasing the odds of a more successful calling effort. When calling over time, provide something of value each time you reach out; this can be as simple as an update on something new your company offers since the last time you spoke or a link to industry information they may find helpful such as stats or tips.

Eventually reaching prospects

If you only reach out to prospects a handful of times without success, it could simply be a matter of bad timing. For example, it could be their peak season and they aren’t able to have a discussion. By continuing calling efforts, there’s a better chance that eventually the timing will be right and they will be more open to a discussion.

Disqualifying potential prospects too quickly can result in many lost sales opportunities. A few contact attempts isn’t nearly enough. Instead, stay in touch on a regular basis in order to keep your company top of mind for when the timing is better.

Source: http://www.volkartmay.com/lead-generation/benefits-lead-gen/

Publish Date: February 7, 2017 5:00 AM


5 Goals of an Outbound Calling Campaign

There are many ways to market and sell a company and its products and services today. The best marketing and sales campaigns are integrated and take advantage of many channels, both offline and online. One of the most important sales channels to utilize is the old standby, the live telephone conversation. Picking up the phone to place a call and connect with a live, human being on the other end of the line can establish that initial connection. While the long-term goal of any sales campaign is to generate business, it isn’t necessarily the short-term goal of an outbound calling campaign.

Here are 5 possible goals of an outbound calling campaign:

To conduct research

The best sales and marketing campaigns are based on research. In order to properly market and sell to a target audience, it’s necessary to understand exactly who they are and what their needs are. The best way to understand target audience needs, pain points, and buying behaviors is to engage in a conversation. The insights gained from initial research conversations can help craft marketing and sales messaging that is more likely to encourage target audience members to move through the funnel and ultimately convert.

To raise awareness

Not every target audience member is going to be aware of your company and the products/services offered. A phone call is a great first step towards brand awareness and entering the consideration set when target audience members are in the market for what you offer.

To update the sales database

The quality of a sales database directly correlates with the quality of sales outreach efforts. An outdated sales database can result in wasted marketing and sales dollars. Contact information of target audience members is constantly changing. An outbound calling campaign can be executed in order to gather and update decision maker information over the phone.

To generate leads

The advantage a phone conversation has over other outreach efforts is that the dialogue establishes a human connection that can go a long way towards generating leads. A phone conversation builds rapport and as the conversation flows, the messaging can be tailored towards specific needs.

To make a sale

As prospects move further through the sales funnel the goal of an outbound calling campaign shifts towards making a sale. At this point in the process the reigns are often passed to the most experienced inside sales professionals.

While it might seem outdated to some, an outbound calling campaign can accomplish a lot. An initial phone call can establish a connection that can eventually result in closing a sale.

Source: http://www.volkartmay.com/call-center/goals-outbound-calling/

Publish Date: January 26, 2017 5:00 AM


Candidates for Warm Teleprospecting Calls

Most people are familiar with cold calling, or working off of a list to build a database that can be used in the future. While cold calling plays an important role in B2B lead generation and qualification, it isn’t the only function of a teleprospector. In fact, teleprospectors spend a significant amount of their time on warm calling, or contacting the people that the company has a pre-existing relationship with in order to gather more information from them. Access to this information allows the teleprospector to better qualify the lead and determine whether it is ready to be passed on to the sales team. The following groups of potential clients or customers are ideal candidates for warm teleprospecting calls:

Marketing leads

The purpose of B2B marketing is to generate awareness and interest in a product or service that will result in inbound leads. However, not every lead that is generated via marketing efforts is going to be sales-team ready. In fact, some of these leads might not be qualified at all. In order to determine the quality of the lead, teleprospectors place phone calls to these leads and engage them in conversation. The insights gathered from the call determine if they should be passed on to sales or if they are a better fit for further nurturing.

Cold leads

In some cases, a lead might be qualified, but they don’t make a purchase right away. When this happens the lead “goes cold.” Understandably, the sales team doesn’t want to spend their time engaging with a lead that isn’t ready to convert, but that doesn’t mean that the company as a whole should ignore these leads. A teleprospector can place calls in order to keep the lines of communication open and the company top of mind for when the lead determines that it’s the right time to buy.

Past customers

There are many reasons why a company might decide it no longer needs the products or services offered. It’s not always because they weren’t satisfied. The needs of past customers are likely to evolve over time and there’s a possibility that they might be in need of the products or services again in the future. Or, if there are new products or services that could appeal to them, it’s worth reaching out and maintaining that relationship.

Current customers

Teleprospectors can advise current customers about new or enhanced products or services that complement the products or services they are currently using.

While warm teleprospecting can be time consuming, it’s a necessary function of the sales and lead nurturing process. If the sales team isn’t able to engage with these leads, outsourcing to an experienced teleprospecting team is worthwhile.

Source: http://www.volkartmay.com/lead-qualification/warm-teleprospecting/

Publish Date: January 6, 2017 5:00 AM


B2B Calling Campaign Goals Should Guide the Conversation

There are many possible goals of a B2B outbound calling campaign which means that there are many types of conversations that can take place. The key to getting the desired outcome is to keep the call as focused as possible. Trying to extract too much information or keeping the prospect on the line for longer than is needed can be a turnoff, meaning that the call essentially doesn’t accomplish anything. Instead, determine what the goal of the conversation is and the most important information to share and/or questions to ask in order to reach a positive outcome.

Here’s how to guide the conversation for each of the following B2B calling campaign goals:

To set up an appointment

Since an appointment requires sufficient time and dedication from the sales team, it’s important to determine whether the decision maker has an active need or is truly interested in learning more about your solution. Business Development Specialists can ask about upcoming projects and buying patterns to determine if and when an appointment should be set up. Appointment no-shows are frustrating and waste time, which is why phone appointments, face to face meetings, and web demonstrations should only be set up where there is a qualified opportunity.

To qualify a lead

Not every lead that calls or comes in from a web based lead form is going to be a good fit for the products and/or services offered. Since you don’t want your sales team to chase leads that ultimately won’t go anywhere, it’s recommended to invest in a lead qualification calling campaign. A Business Development Specialist can ask questions that will determine whether the lead is valuable or not.

To build a sales database

A sales database is one of the most important assets to any organization. Building up a quality database takes time, especially if the organization is targeting a new audience or entering a new market. When building a database, Business Development Specialists can establish an initial relationship and obtain necessary contact information including email addresses and phone numbers of decision makers.

B2B calling campaigns can have very different goals, depending on what the sales team might be in need of at any given time. Determining what the goal is and what the approach should be increases the success rate of a calling campaign.

Source: http://www.volkartmay.com/call-center/b2b-calling-goals/

Publish Date: November 29, 2016 5:00 AM

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