The influx of digital marketing strategies over the years may have you thinking if cold calling is still relevant. Without batting an eyelash, we’d say increasing your B2B telesales should still be a big priority, minus any reservations whatsoever.
Yes, telemarketing has had a bad rap for being a traditional and interruptive form of advertising, but that label is quite unfair. It doesn’t justify the vital role of sales reps as product experts or solution specialists who can guide your business prospects through the buying cycle.
Your business could benefit from telemarketing outsourcing services to help you generate leads and attract their attention amidst social distancing requirements and remote work setups in the current pandemic landscape.
In this resource-intensive guide, we will walk you through sales techniques and best practices that telemarketing services employ to drive your company’s success.
Facts and Figures on Telemarketing
- Telemarketing companies number to about 8,900 in the United States. (Small Business)
- The percentage of buyers in management and executive positions who prefer to be contacted by phone is as follows: 47% managers, 51% directors, and 57% VPs and C-suite officers. (RAIN Group)
- Among buyers, 57% may be encouraged to purchase if the salesperson isn’t pushy. (Invesp)
- Successful cold calls are where sales agents follow a 55:45 talk-listen ratio. (Crunchbase)
- It takes an average of 18 sales calls to reach a buyer with company authority. (Gartner)
- A sales agent’s tone comprises 86% of message delivery, while 14% comes from the words conveyed. (Trade Press Services)
10 Telesales Techniques to Successfully Close Leads
Even with the emergence of other digital channels, phone calls to prospects remains an effective strategy for sales teams. If you’re looking to improve your bottom line, it’s in your best interest to apply these handy telesales tips
1. Ensure you’re speaking to a qualified lead
Your telesales efforts have to work both ways. First, you must address your prospective client’s needs and goals and. At the same time, you must ensure that your prospect is a good fit for your business.
A simple yet effective way of qualifying leads involves using the BANT framework:
- Budget – The company has the funds needed to cover the costs of your products or services or, at least, the means to modify its budget when making a purchase.
- Authority – The right person to talk to is the one who has the final say on the deal, but it’s common to see an average of 7 stakeholders in the decision-making process. Seek an audience with each of them to determine how to address their priorities collectively.
- Need – The prospect can use your product or service to solve an existing problem.
- Timing – Ideally, the client’s purchasing timeline reflects the urgency of their need and their readiness to buy. Otherwise, it may be better to focus your attention on more qualified leads.
Pro tip: The first point of contact is rarely the company executives but a gatekeeper who filters incoming calls. Be ready to persuade the gatekeeper to forward your call to the decision-maker by being polite, honest, and concise in your spiel.
2. Lead with confidence
Telemarketing and telesales calls open up opportunities for conversations. Once sales reps get through the sales call appointment, they can guide their prospects through the buying process and influence their purchasing decision.
To get the ball rolling, agents must actively ask questions. Closed-ended questions may be used to qualify if the person on the other end is your ideal buyer, while open-ended ones can encourage your prospect to talk about their pain points, buying experience, or other relevant details that will allow you to highlight your offerings.
Most outbound call centres follow a script that supports your company’s marketing and sales campaigns. However, truly effective agents can phrase and adjust their responses based on how the call progresses.
3. Be prepared for objections
Sellers usually need to make six calls to close a sale. That means your prospect may reject your proposal, question your product, or ignore your calls altogether. The good news is objections can still lead to favourable outcomes as long as you identify them beforehand and plan for them.
For example, a common roadblock among buyers is a lack of funds. To counter this dilemma, you may come up with a suitable payment plan to move them through the next stage of the sales funnel.
4. Be prepared to back up your pitch with data/case studies
Statistics say 89% of customers use search engines in the initial stages of their buying journey. But although digital channels enable buyers to research information on their own, there’s still a window of opportunity to get them to engage with your sales reps.
B2B buyers spend anywhere from 5% to 17% of their time talking and meeting with potential providers, where you can still influence their purchasing decisions. Your marketing materials can be valuable in persuading potential clients about the benefits of doing business with you.
With their permission, offer to send your prospects testimonials, sales and performance reports, case studies, and other data-heavy content assets. The idea is to showcase the success not only of your business but also of your clients to validate your sales pitch.
5. Treat leads like humans
Telesales doesn’t need to be a hard sell, especially at the beginning of your pitch. A 2017 survey on businesses’ buying preferences reveals that customers place a premium on human interactions. The best sales agents know better than to over-sell to prospects without establishing rapport with them and forming a genuine understanding of their unique situation.
Another good practice would be to speak the language of your customers. By simplifying technical terms used by your business or industry, your telemarketers can sound more natural. Engaging in a relatable manner will improve brand-to-consumer interactions and bring about other notable benefits.
6. Listen to any concerns and follow-up questions
A 2018 research found that most organisations fail to train their staff in outbound prospecting, so sales professionals are unable to develop the necessary skills that can help them make connections with their prospects.
One of the top skills that characterise telemarketers from outbound call centre services is their ability to initiate a two-way conversation with potential clients.
They know when to talk about the benefits of the product they’re selling and when to pause and listen to address questions, issues, or concerns from the other party, careful not to cut the speaker in the middle of their speech. This approach keeps the conversation going, which helps build engagement and trust.
7. Take action immediately after the call
Honouring any promise you’ve given to your prospects is a reflection of your professional character. Conversely, failing to deliver what you said you would do conveys a lack of respect for the customer who set aside valuable time to accommodate your call.
In worst-case scenarios, they’ll discontinue engaging with you, avoid buying from you, and tell others about their negative experience. Consulting company Invesp[LMG1] offers promising data regarding the value of sales follow-ups:
- You’re more likely to qualify leads within an hour upon receiving a query from prospects instead of waiting for 24 hours or longer before contacting them.
- Forty-two percent (42%) of people would feel compelled to purchase if your sales rep called back at the specific agreed-upon time.
8. Set the right expectations
Customers appreciate honesty and sincerity and can tell when telemarketers are simply trying to close a sale. Instead of asserting yourself, it’s way better to educate prospects about the limitations of your product or service. Instead of setting unrealistic expectations, letting them know the possible workarounds will help you avoid disappointments or disputes in the future.
9. Recap important details
Buyers and sellers need to be on the same page, and this is possible if telemarketers keep on repeating important parts of the conversation. When applicable, agents can raise clarifications about the prospect’s preferences, expectations, and other relevant insights to enable them to put your offerings in a way that shifts the attention to the customer.
10. Inform the prospects of the next steps
Before ending the call, let the person on the other end of the line know what’s going to happen after you put your phones down.
Perhaps you’ll be arranging to send a prototype of your product that the prospect can use and evaluate before placing their order. Or suppose the sale has already been made; you may want to explain your after-sales process to assure the buyer you’ll still be available to provide service when they need it.
Telemarketing Lives On
Despite the emergence of social media and e-commerce platforms, telemarketing is very much alive to this day. Sales calls and sales reps continue to be formidable forces that drive success for many businesses. You, too, can reap multiple benefits from telemarketing—from nurturing leads, collecting information to guide your marketing strategies, and closing deals by educating customers about your business’s value proposition.
Let the telemarketing professionals at Select VoiceCom put your product forward for prospects to consider and, eventually, purchase. As Australia’s outsourcing partner in the Philippines, we provide superior outbound call centre services to enable our clients to reach their target market and close more deals. Contact us today to learn more!