Born and raised in New York City, Jeff Kalter graduated with a Bachelor of Science from New York Institute of Technology. Jeff began his professional career at Bruce Supply Corporation, a leading industrial supplies distributor in the United States. Thereafter, Jeff co-founded Central Foundries Inc., a global importer and manufacturer of cast iron and copper products.
In the late 90s Jeff moved his family to Munich, Germany, where he gained experience in the consumer market acting as Advertising Designer for companies such as ESCADA and Altmarkt Gallery.
Jeff was then recruited by a leading outsourced customer acquisition company responsible for global clients, including TOSHIBA, Cisco Systems and 3Com. His responsibilities included developing, implementing and driving customer acquisition programs with proven revenue of over 100 million USD.
In 2003 Jeff co-founded 3D2B in Rome, Italy. Today, Jeff is the CEO of 3D2B and resides between Rome and New York City.
Whether you’re a Fortune 500 wanting to expand your sales force without increasing the number of direct sales reps on staff, an early-stage company looking to reach new vertical markets and locations or a startup trying to avoid the overhead costs associated with an in-house sales force, channel partners can help. These independent, third-party businesses can bring added value to your business and increase your revenues while they grow their own businesses selling your products and services.
But what are you doing to add value to your channel partners’ efforts? The days of throwing some co-op advertising dollars and a logo sheet at your channel partners and leaving them to generate their own leads are long past.
Today, if you want to increase your revenues, you need to collaborate with your channel partners to make their jobs easier. After all, you’re in a battle for their time against all their other priorities.
Many salespeople shy away from B2B cold calls because they “don’t work.” Most of them don’t enjoy picking up the phone and talking with a stranger who is not expecting their call. So it’s not surprising that so many reps prefer to believe cold calls are ineffective. The truth, however, is that cold calls fail to achieve results because they’re poorly executed.
B2B cold calling can be highly effective. If you rule it out, you’re missing an opportunity.
So how do you increase your success rates, making cold calling a worthwhile activity that’s fun to do because you get results? Here are six tactics that can help you.
"Stop selling. Start helping." — Zig Ziglar
When you’re on the phone with a business prospect, you likely have a goal of creating a sales opportunity or making a sale. Since you have quotas to meet, it’s not surprising that you’re laser focused on selling.
The only way you’re going to sell anything to other business people, however, is to help them to solve a problem. So when you make a business phone call, imprint the wise words of Zig Ziglar on your brain. “Stop selling. Start helping.”
That’s the key to engagement.
That said, it’s easier said than done. You need to know the secrets to putting your prospect’s problem in the forefront. Here are six steps you can take during a business phone call to help your potential customer.
According to the Harvard Business Review, more and more sales organizations are shifting their resources from field to inside sales. That’s because inside sales is not only cost effective, but it is also delivering the goods.
This begs the question, “How do you get the most out of your inside sales initiative?”
Here are three inside sales techniques that put you in the driver’s seat, moving forward as fast as possible on the road to delivering increased sales.
It is possible to have too much of a good thing.
Scarfing up a whole box of chocolates at one time, for instance, might fall into that category. A more work-related example is when the phone starts to ring off the hook. It’s what you always dreamed of, so how could you possibly have too many phone calls? If you can’t keep up with answering them, however, you have too much of a good thing. Another frustrating situation is when leads pour in from your latest e-book, and you can’t respond rapidly enough to the interest you’ve generated.
When you can’t answer your calls or follow up on content downloads, it put the results of your marketing efforts at risk. That’s because you’re 21 times more likely to qualify a lead that you call within five minutes than let response time stretch to 30 minutes. Those statistics are stunning but true. They are based on actual data from six companies within the InsideSales.com system that had followed up on over 15,000 leads with 100,000 call attempts.
It follows that you need to set yourself up for success in response handling. To do so, you need to be capable of taking the following steps.
“If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you’re putting yourself out of business.” — Lee Kuan Yew
With today’s technology, work can be done anywhere, not just within the walls of your company. This new reality opens the door to many possibilities for achieving business goals. For one, you can outsource your telemarketing program. But how do you know if outsourcing is the right decision for you?
If you’re not sure, look for these signs. Any one of them could mean that you’d be better off outsourcing your telemarketing than trying to tackle the task internally.
There’s a misconception about inside sales that I believe is rooted in its name. And it’s hurting many businesses. It’s the “inside” that leads people astray. Too many people think that it must mean that the salespeople are within their company’s walls. This belief is understandable, but it’s not always true. Inside salespeople are simply the opposite of field salespeople. They are not road warriors. They sell remotely and work inside an office, however, that office doesn’t have to be within your company.
Why is the idea that inside sales must take place within the organization hurting some companies? Because inside sales is more important than ever and many companies don’t have the skills or resources to institute or support a robust inside sales department. So they either go without this valuable function, or they stitch one together and limp along.
In recent years, a tidal wave has overrun the B2B sales landscape, changing it forever.
Sales organizations have shifted resources from field sales to inside sales. That’s according to the Harvard Business Review (HBR). They conducted research with over 100 vice presidents of sales in high-tech and business services companies. While some are moving resources to field sales (21%), more than twice as many (46%) are moving in the other direction.
Other figures are even more startling. An InsideSales.com study of sales and marketing managers in 30 non-retail industries shows inside sales growing 300% faster than field sales.
What’s driving the change? It’s all about technology, competition, scalability and results.
Given the advantages, going without an inside sales team or using one that’s not up to par, can put your organization at a significant handicap.
So, should you build up your inside sales organization or outsource the function?
First, you’ll want to consider the costs. The investment in an inside sales organization goes beyond salaries, benefits and commissions for agents. You also have management, recruitment and training expenses. Then there’s the infrastructure: phone systems, CRM solutions, office space and computers.
It adds up.
But that’s just one side of the equation. You also have to think about the productivity of doing the job internally. After all, is inside sales a core competency of your organization? For companies that offer outsourced inside sales, it’s often their entire focus. They have the know-how and the systems in place to optimize results. This foundation enables them to make more calls and set more sales appointments. Also, since they qualify the leads better, the appointments are likely to result in higher sales close rates.
How about inside sales turnover! When an inside sales person leaves, you are left with a huge hole. That hole can be even greater if you have a team with multiple languages. If you lose an inside sales person who was responsible for a specific language, you are in trouble. This is mitigated when you outsource to a professional, international outsourced provider. They will have qualified replacements ready to jump in when needed. Scaling is not a problem, and you never lose the business intelligence.
When you crunch the numbers, you’ll discover that in many cases, outsourced telemarketing is less expensive and produces more closed sales, thus delivering a higher return on investment.
To learn more, get our free white paper, “Telemarketing Execution: In-House or Outsource?” Find out how to evaluate the cost and ROI of outsourcing inside sales.
“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished,” said Ben Franklin. And in a business world that seems to change more rapidly than ever, his words are still relevant.
What can you change today in your business that will help you with demand generation and ROI? Here are six ideas that can pay off. All you have to do is put them into action.
1. Clean Up Your Database
Sadly, there’s nothing glamorous or exciting about keeping your database clean. It’s a tedious job. Like cleaning your closet, it’s often a task that falls to the bottom of the priority list until there is absolutely nothing better to do.
But think about how you feel after cleaning your closet and ridding it of the clothes you no longer wear. Every day of the week, you save time because it’s easier to find what you need and get dressed. In the same way, when your database is not contaminated with bad data, you’ll increase efficiency.
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort,” Paul. J. Meyer, founder of the Success Motivation Institute
When you think of content marketing, do online tactics come to mind—e-books, white papers, emails and more? If so, it’s not surprising. That’s where a lot of the marketing action is today.
Given our focus on all things web-related, it may come as a surprise to discover that the number one content marketing tactic is good old-fashioned in-person events. That’s according to research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute and their partners. When they asked B2B marketers what their most effective content marketing tactics were, in-person events topped the list. Seventy-five percent of survey respondents said event marketing was the most effective form of content marketing.
While in-person events are impactful, they are also a significant investment. So, how do you ensure a positive return on investment?
In his newly debuting book, “The Human Brand,” Chris Malone and Susan Fiske talk about how human beings developed the split-second ability to judge people on their intentions and capabilities. It was a matter of survival for our ancestors. Today they write, we still judge people based on “these same two categories of social perception, which are known as warmth and competence.”
When someone exhibits both qualities, trust develops. If warmth is lacking, suspicions and envy take over. If competence is not evident, we feel sympathetic. In the worst case, when someone is neither warm nor capable, there’s little chance for a budding relationship.
The research presented in this book goes beyond the human-to-human relationship to the human-to-brand relationship. We judge brands by their warmth and competence too. Those perceived to have both attributes are more likely to develop deep, enduring relationships with their customers.
Now that’s something to aspire to.