Frankly speaking, any investment in B2B marketing should be carefully considered. Organisations need to strike a balance between investing for sustained growth, and keeping costs under control to maintain the corporate bottom line. There is a bewildering choice of channels and marketing options. One route to market that remains popular is the use of telemarketing. But, is this method a quick fix? In this article, we explore why B2B Companies should take a long-term view of telemarketing, and for business development in general.
An Effective Way to Drive Sales
B2B telemarketing campaigns can be a highly efficient way for businesses to generate leads, nurture relationships, and, ultimately, to drive sales. However, many companies make the mistake of taking a short-term view of their business development efforts, focusing only on the pressure to generate immediate results. Whilst, mostly, this is driven by corporate necessity, this means that they fail to recognise the long-term value of a well-executed campaign and often turn the tap off too soon.
To truly maximise the ROI of your lead generation campaigns, it’s essential to adopt a long-term perspective. Success rarely happens overnight. That’s especially the case where you want to land a big fish. This means focusing not just on the immediate urgency to generate leads, but also on the whole process from initial audience definition and segmentation, through to developing messaging and genuinely compelling calls to action, through to nurturing relationships over time, in order to build a strong sales pipeline.
The Importance of Nurturing for Larger Contracts
One key factor to consider is the value of the sale. While it may be tempting to focus on trying to generate quick wins, it’s important to remember that larger, more complex sales are harder to identify, involve more decision-makers, and usually require a longer sales cycle. There may be multiple points of entry. Reaching the right person is hard. Market penetration can require significant research and groundwork before a door is unlocked.
Marketers talk about the need for multiple touchpoints. They point to the fact that it’s rare that a high-value prospect will simply shout hallelujah after the very first contact. Hence, multiple attempts to reach decision-makers tends to be the norm rather than the exception. That necessitates regular reach-outs, building relationships, and nurturing leads over time. This is generally how organisations win larger, more valuable contracts.
When to Measure Payback
While the immediate cost of any marketing campaign may be a concern, it’s important to remember that the return on investment can be significant, particularly over the lifetime value of a client. By allowing campaigns the time to ramp up and work, companies can develop a robust pipeline and stream of fresh leads that convert at different times.
Some leads will inevitably fall by the wayside. Quality will vary. Yet, by generating a steady stream of qualified opportunities, you can ensure a regular flow of new business. This results in achieving a much higher ROI than you would with a short-term, quick-fix approach that can fill the funnel with poor quality prospects due to the urgency to see results. .
Leads Emerge at Different Speeds
Profiling and segmentation are at the heart of any successful business development strategy. Target audiences can be fresh prospects in new sectors, They can include reviving lapsed customers, to exploring cross-selling and upselling opportunities with existing clients.
Opportunities may also come from inbound leads generated from advertising, social media, email or LinkedIn campaigns, where prospects express interest by requesting information or downloading a white paper. Equally, events can be a good source. Each type will have its own gestation period and will require different amounts of effort to get them over the line.
Building the Sales Funnel
By taking a long-term approach to generating and managing these opportunities, you can ensure that this pipeline is managed effectively, and remains healthy. One of the most important drivers of success for most sales teams is the value of the pipeline. The ultimate goal for most marketing campaigns is to generate high-quality leads that can be converted into sales either remotely or via a team of experienced sales professionals.
However, generating leads is just the first step in the sales process. It’s crucial to nurture those leads as they move through the sales funnel. This is where a long-term approach to business development must come into play. By taking the time to build relationships with prospects, companies can increase the chances of converting them into customers. This process of lead nurturing requires a consistent ongoing effort, since it may take some time to see results.
Relationships that Lead to Sales
Should companies focus more broadly on business development rather than simply chasing sales? It’s perhaps easy to say, especially when you aren’t under pressure to meet revenue targets. Yet, it is, to some extent, a mindset. Account-based marketing is a common approach these days, especially within larger organisations.
While closing sales is undoubtedly the endgame, it is equally important to recognise that big ticket sales require a more consistent approach that takes into account the long-term goals of the company. By adopting this perspective, companies can focus on building relationships with clients and prospects, learning more about their needs and preferences, and developing a deeper understanding of the market. This can ultimately lead to a more efficient use of resources. But, it isn’t a short-term fix.
Building Reputation Takes Time
In addition, when it comes to a long-term approach to lead nurturing, telemarketing can help companies build a strong reputation in the marketplace. Peer to peer outreach, and one to one personalisation means a deeper engagement is possible compared to other channels. Supplementing direct tactics such as telemarketing with content creation and distribution, webinars and other knowledge-based activity makes sense. These enhance awareness and boost credibility. And, opportunities that arise from inbound activity are, after all, generally more likely to convert quicker than pure cold outreach.
By consistently delivering value to clients and prospects, companies can establish themselves as a trusted and reliable partner in their respective industries. When the time is right, this can help to attract new customers, and ultimately increase the value of those sales since there is less resistance in the early stages of the sales process.
Consistency Manages Peaks and Troughs
Unfortunately, companies can often take a stop-start approach to business development. Yet, filling the sales funnel isn’t as easy as flipping a switch. And, it’s dangerous to leave it too late since efforts to generate valuable sales opportunities often take time to come to fruition. Hence, a consistent approach is needed. That’s a valid argument regardless of the channel you use.
Having someone regularly reaching out to prospects and customers helps companies to weather the ups and downs of the market through having a bigger pool to fish in. To achieve that, it’s sensible to adopt an integrated approach using LinkedIn, email and phone to ensure that you maximise the value of every interaction.
You don’t know when a prospect may be in the market for your goods and services. But, you’ll never know if you don’t contact them in the first place. You need to be visible and credible. Consistency in marketing helps provide a more stable lead and revenue stream, and a higher ROI over the long term.
Telemarketing is not the only option. However, it has been shown to be a valuable tool for some of the world’s largest companies (alongside smaller businesses) looking to generate leads, close sales, and build strong client relationships. Nevertheless, it is important to play the long game in order to maximise the value of campaigns. By focusing on ROI, and the lifetime value of sales, companies can build a more effective and sustainable strategy that delivers long-term results.