3D2B - 3D2B - Blog http://3d2b.com Mon, 22 May 2017 15:32:02 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb How to Craft Outbound Calls for Account-Based Marketing http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/account-based-marketing-phone-calls.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/account-based-marketing-phone-calls.html How to Craft Outbound Calls for Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing is becoming a go-to strategy for B2B marketers who want to take control of their outreach (rather than waiting to see who finds them) and shorten their sales cycles. What may be receiving less acclaim, however, is the starring role outbound calls play in executing account-based marketing strategies.

If you’ve done your research correctly and know who to contact, when you make an outbound call, there are two possible results. One, you connect with a decision maker. Two, you end up in voicemail. You need a plan to make the most out of either situation.

Here’s how to craft your message for live calls and voicemails. 

  1. Situation One: Connection Made

    A business development representative has made a connection. Now what?

    Make sure reps are prepared. That doesn’t mean handing them a script that they read word for word. On the other hand, you don’t want to leave reps to sink or swim on their own.

    Give your representatives a call guide that ensures they’ll grab the prospect’s attention and get to the point rapidly. It should include guidance on openings as well as questions to ask. After all, this is a rare opportunity for two-way communication. You can gain information from your prospect which will help you build rapport and to tailor your future outreach.

    Here’s a formula for your opening: Start with something personal, a customized approach for the account and contact you are calling, and quickly let them know how they’re going to benefit. Also, establish a reason for continuing the dialog, perhaps by sending some helpful information. Finally, ask a couple of questions and ask for a commitment to a follow-up call or some other action.

    Here’s an example.

    REP: “Hello Chris, I learned that your hospital is working on a data center migration project. I have some information on how leaders in the healthcare industry are tackling such projects, and I was wondering if I could send it to you?”

    CHRIS: “Yes, that would be interesting.”

    Great. You got a “yes.” That’s your foot in the door to start building a relationship. Ask some more questions that help you understand the prospect’s pain points.

    REP: “I’ll send that out to you. I was also wondering if you could share with me the biggest challenge you’re facing today with data center migration.”

    CHRIS: “Well, it’s taking way longer than I had anticipated to put together an inventory of all our technical assets.”

    REP: “You’ll learn about a simple way to do that in the white paper I’m sending to you. Also, I believe one of our technical experts can help you. Can I set up an appointment for you to talk with one of them next week?”

    The key is not to push too far in the first contact. Treat it as one step along the way. The goals are to share something of value, connect in a human way and to put the next stepping stone in place.

  2. Situation Two: Voicemail

    While people rarely respond to voicemail messages from unknown contacts, they can still help you to reach your objectives. After all, because it’s personal, a real human voice is powerful. It raises the likelihood that a prospect will respond to a future email or pick up the phone the next time they see your company’s name on the caller ID. In fact, it often helps to pair your voicemail with an immediate email follow-up.

    Your voicemail’s structure is similar to the phone call where you make contact except that you cannot have the two-way conversation. Once again, you want to personalize your introduction, offer something of value and ask for a commitment. Of course, your reps should tailor whatever they say to the person with whom they are talking.

    It may go something like this:

    REP “I saw in a press release that your company will be merging with Healthy Medical at the end of the month and thought you might be interested in our e-book “How to Plan System Integration During Mergers and Acquisitions.”I’ll send you an email. Just reply to let me know you’d like to receive it.

    If you don’t get a response to the voicemail the first time, don’t give up. Try again, but to keep it fresh add a new twist. Build on what you’ve said before.

If you use it right, the phone can amplify the power of your account-based marketing program. It’s all a matter of establishing the objective for each call, crafting personal messages, providing value and asking the prospect to take action.

Call us at +1 718-709-0900 (US) or +39 06 978446 60 (EMEA), or contact us online to learn how to incorporate phone calls into your account-based marketing tactics and ramp up results.

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wolfram.vanwezel@3d2b.com (Wolfram van Wezel) Tele-Services Wed, 10 May 2017 00:00:00 +0000
How to Use Business Developers to Execute Account Based Marketing Tactics Successfully http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/account-based-marketing-tactics.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/account-based-marketing-tactics.html How to Use Business Developers to Execute Account Based Marketing Tactics Successfully

“If you want to go upmarket, which you absolutely must to grow, you have to go outbound. Winning large customers is much more about causing sale, not just catching one.”— Ken Krogue, President and Founder, InsideSales.com

Account-based marketing is quickly gaining popularity. It’s a strategy that aligns sales, business development and marketing around the potential deals that can have the most impact on a company’s future revenues. To execute account-based marketing tactics, you will likely need to transform the approach of your business developers.

The Role of the Business Developer in Account-Based Marketing

How do the account-based business developer’s activities differ from those of typical telesales representatives?

The job of the account-based business developer is to open doors at the big accounts that matter most. So, rather than simply qualifying inbound leads, they use outbound tactics — phone, email and social selling — to stir up sales opportunities with high-value prospects. Based on in-depth research, reps contact prospects in a personalized way that provides value. The emphasis is on long-term gains, not quick hits. 

Even though the sales, marketing and business development people work together to plan and implement account-based marketing tactics, the business development reps are the first to connect with prospects. And that connection is person-to-person.

The Preconditions for Account-Based Marketing Success

This human way of marketing and selling works well if you have the foundation in place, which includes:

  • An accurate profile of your ideal customer
  • Agreement between marketing and sales that account-based marketing is the right strategy and a readiness to march forward in lockstep

Select Accounts You’d Love to Land

Before your reps can do anything, you need to select your target accounts. Start by determining the firmographics of your best accounts and those companies you would like to add to your roster of customers. You want to target companies whose firmographics match this profile.

The catch, however, is that not all of them are in the market for what you sell. So you need to add a dose of predictive marketing — analytics of online activities that can predict buyer intent. By bumping your ideal customer profile up against data that tells you who is in the market, you’ll come up with a list of organizations that are worth a dogged pursuit.

Build Your Database

Next, determine who you want your reps connecting with at each account. It’s not one person. You need to reach out to the entire web of individuals involved in the buying process — buyers, influencers, decision makers, users and gatekeepers. To increase the chance of a favorable deal, your reps must build relationships with as many of these individuals as possible.

Build up your database with contacts at your targeted accounts who you suspect are members of the buying team. You can gather some of this information using online tools. Supplement it when you start talking with people at the company. Don’t put this sleuthing task on the shoulders of your sales people. You pay them too well for such a time-consuming activity. Plus, it’s not what they do best. Business developers and marketing personnel can piece together the data you need.

Also, remember that mapping the lay of the land inside a company is not a one-and-done task. You’re dealing with a live organism. People move onward and upward. So update your information as necessary.

Reach Out and Convert Large Accounts

When your business development reps reach out, they need to do so in a way that provides value, showing they understand the challenges facing a particular business and industry and providing insights that help. So they should research the companies before they pick up the phone to understand their problems.

They can make initial contact using the phone, a personal email or via social media. All prospects are different, so you never know which method works best until you try it out. However, in general, you’ll get best results by employing two or three channels.

Of all the channels, however, the phone is probably most important. That’s because it’s the most personal medium for developing a relationship. Also, it allows for a two-way conversation in which you can gather intelligence that enables you to provide greater value in your future communications. Also, you’ll likely learn that each division and department within a large enterprise has different needs, budget levels, buying processes and timelines to make their decision. Gaining this information enables you to customize your approach further and stand out from your competitors.

Of course, you won’t always reach the people you call. Don’t give up though. Make friends with voicemail. Even though most business people will not return the call, they will listen to it. Treat it as a stepping stone. If the contact likes what a rep has to say, they may be more likely to respond later to an email or pick up the phone the next time the rep calls. For the voicemail to make such an impact, it must be positive, tailored and provide value. If the contact can quickly answer what’s in it for them, he or she is more likely to respond.

Call us at +1 718-709-0900 (US) or +39 06 978446 60 (EMEA), or contact us online to learn about how 3D2B can help you with account-based marketing tactics for business development. 

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sabrina.ferraioli@3d2b.com (Sabrina Ferraioli) Tele-Services Wed, 19 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0000
What You Can Learn from Win/Loss Analysis http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/win-loss-analysis/learn-from-win-loss-analysis.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/win-loss-analysis/learn-from-win-loss-analysis.html What You Can Learn from Win/Loss Analysis

Do you simply tally up your wins and losses, then look to see whether the trends are going in the right direction? If so, you’re like many other companies. Some will go a little further and ask the sales reps why the sale was lost. Most likely they’ll tell you it was the price or some other failing of your offering.  

Those companies, however, that take a systematic approach to win/loss analyses gain a wealth of information. Ultimately, it enables them to improve their relationship with prospects and customers as well as the products, services or solutions that they sell.

Win/loss analysis is the systematic process of interviewing new clients and prospects who fell by the wayside to find out why they chose one path or the other. And that’s precisely the information you need to make steps toward ensuring the right prospects choose the path to becoming one of your customers.

So here’s what you can learn.

There are multiple reasons why some people choose to do business with you and others don’t.

  1. Your Product Doesn’t Hit the Mark

    Some center on the products you offer and their features and benefits. You may learn that you are missing key attributes. Alternatively, your product may be over-engineered and overpriced. Most people don’t need a self-operating napkin, which Rube Goldberg depicted to demonstrate over-engineering. Perhaps you need fewer features or lower quality materials at a reduced price. After all, it’s about what provides value to the customer and finding out what you can omit is as important as determining the must-haves.

    Rube Goldbergs -Self-Operating Napkin- cropped

  2. You’re Targeting the Wrong Customers

    The truth is you don’t want every customer. Some just are not a good fit for your business, and it’s better to find this out before you waste time to court them. By talking to representatives from companies who chose your competitors, you may find a common thread. Perhaps they’re large enterprises looking for “safe” well-known companies, but your company is an agile start-up. The timing may not be right to go after these businesses.  If you understand the problem, however, you can create strategies to increase brand awareness and gradually climb the ladder and gain respect from larger organizations.

  3. You Need to Refine Your Message

    When you talk with customers and prospects, you learn the language they use to express their issues and concerns. You discover the emotions behind their decision making. Your marketing team can use this information to sharpen your messaging.

  4. How Buyers Buy

    Do you know who is involved in the buying decisions about your product? According to the Harvard Business Review, the average buying group includes 5.4 people and the more people involved, the more likely a deal will die. You need to know who participates in the purchase decision, what’s important to each of them, how they go about making a decision and their role in the buying process. You can learn about this by talking with customers and former prospects.

  5. How Your Sales Team Really Performs

    You can look at your sales people’s results to see who is doing well and who is not. But sometimes it’s hard to determine the magic that separates the winners from the also-rans. You want to harness the star performer’s tactics and share them with reps who are struggling. Win/loss analysis can provide these insights from the customer’s point of view.

    Do your sales people understand customers’ needs and play a consultative role or are they simply out there reciting a list of product benefits? How important is the product’s price in the final decision versus their relationship with your rep?

If you do win/loss analyses on a consistent basis, you will learn what customers and prospects think of your company and your competitors. With this knowledge, you can further develop your strengths and shore up your weakness, ultimately becoming more customer centric. And when you operate the way customers want you to, you’ll find the question, “We just lost a huge sale. What went wrong?” crops up less frequently. Instead, you can celebrate and build on your successes.

To gain the most value out of win/loss analyses, a third party should conduct the interviews. That’s because your customers want to maintain a healthy relationship with you. If you interview them, they may be a little too kind. They don’t realize that they’re not helping you. After all, only the truth can help you. Even those who walked away may feel awkward telling you the real reasons they chose a competitor. If a neutral party calls them, however, it’s they’re more likely to feel at ease and provide the straight scoop.

For information about how 3D2B can help you with win/loss analysis, call +1 718-709-0900 or +39 06 978 446 60 (EMEA) or contact us online.

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jeff.kalter@3d2b.com (Jeff Kalter) Win / Loss Analysis Tue, 28 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000
Why B2B Phone Calls Are Popular in 2017 http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/b2b-phone-calls.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/b2b-phone-calls.html Why B2B Phone Calls Are Popular in 2017

B2B companies are increasingly selling from remote locations over the phone. Perhaps a decade ago, most people would not have predicted this turn of events. After all, that’s when marketing leaders eagerly sought out the new promise of inbound marketing to produce leads and revenues.

For many years, we’ve seen arguments favoring inbound over outbound marketing. Marketers are now starting to realize, however, that they may have swung the balance too far in one direction. There’s no reason to choose between inbound and outbound tactics. Today’s effective marketing is “all-bound.” That’s because there’s synergy between inbound marketing and outreach in the form of emails, social selling and phone calls.

It’s not only the marketing departments that are reallocating their dollars to reach out directly to prospects and customers. The sales organization is also on board. Companies are hiring fewer field sales representatives. Instead, they’re investing in inside reps who nurture leads and close business using the phone, email and social outreach.  In fact, according to an MIT Lead Management Study, there are 15 inside sales reps for each field rep.

The phone calls are not the scripted calls of yesteryear or like those that interrupt you at dinnertime at home. These inside sales people have conversations to help solve customer problems. They discuss technology, software and other complex B2B products. It’s not a numbers game. It’s a strategic process that often requires multiple touches to several members of a buying team prior to closing a sale.

The momentum is moving toward inside sales because:

  1. It Costs Less

    Bottom line improvements always guide business decisions. And it’s not surprising that inside sales costs less than outside sales. After all, cost reductions come from eliminating travel, increasing efficiency and the ability to hire inside reps at lower salaries than field reps. The net result, according to Josiane Feigon, author of Smart Sales Manager, is that the average B2B field sales call costs $215-$400 while and inside sales call typically runs between $25 and $75.

  2. Customers Don’t Want to See You

    The idea that customers might not want the in-person sales treatment goes against traditional thinking. However, a study of 12,500 buyers by SBI proved this to be true. They discovered that 75 percent of the time buyers prefer not to meet face to face. This reality has even led to many field salespeople spending a lot of their time on the phone rather than up close and personal with customers.

  3. Phone Calls Enable Instant Response

    Inbound leads are hottest at the moment you receive them. By responding to them within five minutes, you can increase your marketing qualified leads by 2000%. Even when a rep is sitting by a phone in front of a computer, achieving such a fast response rate is difficult. But to do so in person is physically impossible. Despite the challenge, inside sales people with the right processes and technology can attain almost instant response and the associated increase in qualified leads.

  4. Inside Sales Reps Have Easy Access to Technology

    Let’s talk a little more about technology, today’s central enabler. Whether it’s marketing automation, a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, or easy access to LinkedIn for researching leads, reps need these tools at their fingertips. With them, they can increase both efficiency and effectiveness. So inside sales people gain the technology edge.

    Plus, tools like web conferencing platforms that make it easy for them to share information with prospects help level the playing field with outside reps.

  5. Administration Fits Easily Into the Day

    Field sales reps are generally not the masters of paperwork. They often consider it as secondary to meeting with prospects and clients. However, sales people need to log call results, collaborate with internal staff, research contacts, create proposals and more. The reluctance to take care of such administrative duties is partially due to sales people’s preferences, but it’s also because tackling these to-dos on the road is not easy. On the other hand, inside sales people can handle them easily, which is good because they are a foundation for success.  
  6. Given the advantages of inside sales, if you’re building your sales organization, you might consider starting from the inside and working out. Build your inside sales team and see what they can achieve. Then, add field reps to handle technical issues onsite or group presentations to internal teams as necessary.

    If you already have an entrenched field sales team, supplement their efforts with an inside sales force to see if it boosts results. You don’t have to build an inside sales team just to test it out. Because it offers tremendous benefits, outsourcing has become a popular option. Professional B2B telemarketing organizations:

    • Hire experienced business development reps who can talk peer-to-peer with managers and executives

    • Make sure reps stay focused on their calls by keeping them in quiet spaces, away from other departments

    • Use tools to clean up databases and provide quality information to the reps who make the calls, enabling them to be as efficient as possible

    • Craft robust call guides that enable sales people to have two-way conversations with prospects rather than talking at them from robotic scripts

    • Scale up easily to your needs when you have requirements and back down when there is less activity, thus, optimizing your cost effectiveness

    • Provide flexible hours, so you can match up your calling times with those when your prospects are able to converse

    • Are cost-effective because they have incorporated economies of scale involved in infrastructure, management, processes, systems and reporting

    To learn more about outsourcing, read “8 Sure Signs You Should Outsource Your Telemarketing.”

    So don’t stick with the outside sales model because you’re accustomed to it. Make sure you create a sales organization that meets your company’s need most efficiently and effectively. After all, you have to compete with other companies that are doing just that.

    Call us at +1 718-709-0900 (US) or +39 06 978446 60 (EMEA), or contact us online to learn how you can outsource your inside sales and get rapid results.

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    jeff.kalter@3d2b.com (Jeff Kalter) Tele-Services Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 +0000
    Scaling Inside Sales for New Product Introductions or Market Expansion http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/scaling-inside-sales.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/scaling-inside-sales.html Scaling Inside Sales for New Product Introductions or Market Expansion

    Challenges that are part and parcel of new market expansion and product introductions include executing in-depth market research, filling distribution gaps, honing marketing tactics and building internal resources to support the initiative.

    Given that leaders are juggling multiple priorities, it’s not surprising that they sometimes fall flat when attempting to scale inside sales to meet expansion goals. After all, there’s a lot involved — creating a sales process, hiring and training sales people, and ensuring they have the tools they need to do their jobs efficiently and successfully.

    Let’s take a quick look at each of these challenges and how to tackle them. 

    1. Outline Your Sales Process

      Because your sales process has implications on who you hire and the technology you select, start by defining it.

      Today, there are a couple of approaches to B2B sales — traditional lead generation and, a methodology that’s becoming increasingly popular, account based sales development. Whether you choose lead generation, account-based sales development or both, you need to define your sales process.

      If you’re using lead generation, the process begins when you receive contact information from someone who is interested in your content, product or solution. Your sales team needs a coordinated, step-by-step approach to responding to a lead, nurturing and qualifying it.

      Even before you have a lead, the sales cycle starts with generating awareness. As a result, you capture a lead. Then you go through the qualification stage, defining which leads are marketing qualified. These are ripe for nurturing and turning into leads that are ready for a sales call. What follows is presentations, proposals, and finally customers.

      With account based sales development, your sales and marketing team focus on creating sales opportunities at accounts that can have the greatest impact on your business by reaching out to them via phone, email and social networks.

      The account-based sales process starts with identifying the companies you want to bring into your fold, and the key targets within them based on their relationships to each other. Then business development reps become consultants to chosen accounts, orchestrating a series of personalized steps to move those accounts toward a closed sale.

      This approach recognizes that B2B sales are often not straightforward, especially at large companies. Usually, there are buying teams with an average of more than five people who you have to convince to buy. It embodies the human touch, incorporating phone calls, personal emails and one-on-one social outreach.

    2. Recruit and Train New Reps

      If you’re looking for reps to work in a traditional lead-based environment, they’ll be responsible for following up on leads to qualify and nurture them. You need educated, goal-oriented individuals who can talk peer-to-peer. They know how to ask the right questions and listen to the answers, so they have the information they need to qualify and nurture leads and deliver sales opportunities.

      Account based sales development reps need all the qualities of those in a lead-based environment plus they must be able to take a strategic approach. They let research guide them to the right people at the right accounts, take a collaborative approach, are good at understanding relationships within organizations and have a natural curiosity about business. Look for seasoned self-starters with strong project management skills. After all, they’re not relying on leads to trigger a phone call.

      You may be able to find reps internally in other areas of your organization. It’s always good to motivate employees with new opportunities. If not, check out LinkedIn where you can learn a lot about people quickly, use your own network or contact a headhunter.

      Once on board, train your reps about your sales process, products and solutions. Training, however, is not a ‘once and done’ thing. Monitor behaviors, provide feedback and improve performance continuously. That’ll motivate reps and improve results.

    3. Get the Tools

      Once you understand your sales and marketing process, you’ll know what tools you need to support you. Account based marketing relies on technology for predictive analytics, contact data, targeted advertising and website personalization. For lead based marketing, you need a marketing automation tool. For both, you’ll need a robust CRM system that empowers salespeople to track their to-dos, minimize paperwork and measure results.
    4. There are, of course, a lot of other priorities when entering new markets and introducing new products besides scaling your inside sales team. Some companies find they don’t have the time or resources to define sales processes, hire sales people, and select the technology to support them. Instead, they decide to outsource the marketing and sales process to a company that is 100 percent focused on customer acquisition for B2B clients.

      Call us at +1 718-709-0900 (US) or +39 06 978446 60 (EMEA), or contact us online to learn how to scale inside sales rapidly and get more out of your sales and marketing initiatives.

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      sabrina.ferraioli@3d2b.com (Sabrina Ferraioli) Tele-Services Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000
      Customer Centric Selling: The #1 B2B Sales and Marketing Trend in 2017 http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/win-loss-analysis/customer-centric-selling.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/win-loss-analysis/customer-centric-selling.html Customer Centric Selling: The #1 B2B Sales and Marketing Trend in 2017

      “The purpose of any business is to create and keep a customer”—Theodore Levitt

      Customer-Centric Businesses Will Win

      Customer centricity started in the 60s with direct marketing. Since then, the omnipresence of the Internet has increased opportunities for companies and customers to interact. Customers became more connected and empowered and their expectations rose. At the same time, they turned into the main force driving the success (and failure) of businesses.

      For instance, it’s now easy for prospects to learn about your products from their peers. Online reviews, LinkedIn discussions and tweets are all at their fingertips.

      As a result, organizations that have a laser-like focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences will be tomorrow’s winners. They will align their operations with market needs so they can build products and offer services customers love, deliver them with ease and provide seamless support. In doing so, they will build enduring relationships. 

      Businesses Struggle to Deliver

      Despite all the talk about putting customers first, a Gallup report revealed 71% of B2B are either indifferent towards their vendors or actively disengaged. Translation?  The vast majority of B2B companies’ customers could easily stray from the fold at any moment, which suggests that many have not fully realized the goal of customer centricity.

      While it’s easy to say “We want to be customer-centric,” it’s harder to realize the vision. How do you make it happen?

      How to Build Your Understanding of Customers

      Making customers the center of your universe and how you sell to them starts with talking to them to gain a better understanding of their needs, desires and expectations. There are a few ways to gather data to help in building your customer knowledge. These include:

      • Buyer Personas

        First, you need to develop buyer personas. While B2B buyer persona research touches on demographics, or more precisely, firmographics, it needs to go further. What’s most important is to understand the problems customers face and how they go about solving them. What is the buying process? Who do they talk to and what information do they seek out? Within their organization, who are the influencers and decision makers? What do they consider when making the final buying decision?

        Buyer personas are not a once and done thing. Markets change. Technologies change. How people buy changes. And there’s always more to learn. So make buyer persona research part of your ongoing feedback system, just like customer satisfaction studies. This will enable you to learn continuously, create rich profiles and be on the forefront of market changes.

      • Win/Loss Analyses

        Another good source of data is win/loss sales analyses. Look through your database to find customers you recently lost and prospects who either decided not to buy or defected to the competition. Also, find some deals you’ve just landed. Interview them to discover why they came aboard or chose another direction.

        Don’t cut corners and rely on salespeople for this information. When they’re focused on winning a sale, it’s easy for them to lose sight of potential flaws in the sales process. You need to understand what blocked a sale and the ingredients that moved another across the finish line.

        To gain such insights, you need an external researcher to interview your customers and prospects. They’re more likely to put your customers at ease than a professional they dealt with in the buying process. Also, because they don’t have an emotional investment in the sale, they’re more inclined to ask the right questions and extract the real story.

      • Marketing and Sales Technology

        Top off qualitative research with insights about customers from your CRM and marketing automation technology.

      This research and data mining effort will inform you about what customers value most, where you excel and what you need to improve. You’re likely to discover that buyers expect to have a partnership with you as their vendor. They value business partners who work with them in a consultative way, helping them to solve their problems. That means being involved from the beginning, before they’ve even fully defined their issue and helping them to structure a solution. It also means staying with them once they become a customer and remaining vested in their success.

      Use your findings to develop a customer-centric strategy that enables you to move on a path to continuous improvement, deepen your relationships and consistently raise the quality of your customers’ experiences.

      Call us at +1 718-709-0900 (US) or +39 06 978446 60 (EMEA), or contact usonline to learn how we can help you build stronger relationships with your customers.

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      sabrina.ferraioli@3d2b.com (Sabrina Ferraioli) Win / Loss Analysis Wed, 01 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000
      The Traits and Habits of Successful Business Development Pros http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/successful-business-development.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/successful-business-development.html The Traits and Habits of Successful Business Development Pros

      Having worked with hundreds of business development professionals, I’ve noticed that those who generate the lion’s share of revenues share certain habits and traits. The top sales people:

                      • Are Not Too Extraverted or Introverted

                        Contrary to popular opinion, the extroverted, talkative business development rep does not always rise to the top. Instead, according to a study published in Psychological Science, it’s the ambiverts— those who cluster in the middle of the introvert to extrovert spectrum — who close the most sales. They are comfortable enough with other people to engage with them but do not feel the need to dominate conversations. Because they are curious about others, they naturally ask questions and listen to the answers.
      • Are Judicious with Their Time

        While it’s evident in sales that the more you do, the more you achieve, being busy does not equate to being efficient. Reps must use their time to do the right things. Here’s what the best salespeople do to make sure they use their time wisely.

        They start to qualify their leads immediately by asking the right questions—those that help determine whether they can help their prospects and they have the authority and budget to make a purchase. Because it helps them to map out the sales process and to customize the solution they offer, superstar reps are particularly interested in the prospect’s needs and decision-making process.

        Also, they use technology wherever possible to save time and increase their effectiveness. This includes CRM, email, and social platforms such as LinkedIn, which enable them to reach out and engage with potential buyers.

        CSO Insights reports that only 33% of inside sales rep’s time is spent actively selling. Perhaps that’s not surprising when you consider the number of tasks competing for their attention. They range from admin work to sales emails and phone calls. The revenue generators understand the importance of prioritizing their to-do lists. While sales people can tackle prioritization manually, technology can help here too. A study determined that sales reps using prioritization technology averaged 88% more talk time and improved sales conversion rates by 178%. 

      • Conquer with Empathy

        According to research by David Mayer and Herbert Greenberg, while sales people need to have an ego that drives them forward to win the deal and the acclaim that goes with it, they also must be empathetic. That means they need to have the ability to understand the prospect’s problems and what they want to achieve. At the same time, they keep their goal in mind: to close sales. With this synergistic approach, they can negotiate more win-win sales.

      • Keep an Eye on the Future

        We tend to think of salespeople as being focused on the sale they are going to close today. Many of them do just that. But those that excel look to the future. They know the power of the sales pipeline. It starts with making new connections and building relationships, continues with nurturing them, and one day, those that are qualified and treated right during the buying cycle will turn into sales.

      • Understand the Value of Persistence

        According to studies, 44 % of salespeople follow up once on a lead. Then they give up. That’s despite evidence that shows 80% of sales occur after five follow-ups. Whether following ups by phone or email, persistence pays off. The best business development reps stay in touch with leads that are not ready to buy yet knowing that someday some of them will become customers.

      If you want to maximize your revenues, look for business development reps who are ambiverts, use their time well, balance their need to achieve with empathy for customers, don’t sacrifice tomorrow in a scramble for today’s sale, and persist until they get the job done.

      Call us at +1 718-709-0900 (US) or +39 06 978446 60 (EMEA), or contact us online to learn how you can get more out of your sales and marketing initiatives.

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      jeff.kalter@3d2b.com (Jeff Kalter) Tele-Services Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000
      How to Turn Customer Support Calls into Revenue http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/customer-support-calls.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/customer-support-calls.html How to Turn Customer Support Calls into Revenue

      The Focus on Customer Acquisition

      If you ever call a company’s customer support department and then call their sales department, you’ll likely notice a difference in the level of service you receive in each situation. Frequently, it seems you are more liable to spend time on hold when you are seeking service than when you are calling to make a purchase.

      That’s a sad statement on how many companies perceive the value of existing versus new customers. They place more emphasis on bringing new clients into the fold than on retaining and growing existing accounts.

      An eye-opening Gallup study revealed that 71% of B2B customers are either indifferent or actively disengaged with their vendors. In other words, they are likely to end the relationship at any time. Perhaps there’s good reason for this. The vendor has also disengaged from these customers. While companies risk losing these customers, they can achieve 50% higher sales and 34% more profitability with customers who are engaged with them. 

      How Customer Support Can Boost Retention and Growth

      Clearly, the sales game’s goal should not be strictly acquiring new customers. It should also be retention and growth. Given this reality, companies should no longer view customer support as a cost center. It can generate revenues and profits if companies approach it in a more customer-centric way.

      When customers call in for support, for example, the goal is not to get them off the phone as quickly as possible. There’s a fine line between problems and opportunities and any interaction with the customer should be viewed as a chance to learn about them, develop the relationship and foster growth. Here’s how reps should handle these calls.

      • Resolve the Problem
        First, of course, you need to help customers resolve the problem about which they called. So your representative must ask open-ended questions and listen carefully to the customer’s responses. Although the rep may be able to address the issue without selling more products or services, don’t rule out the possibility of an additional sale or upgrade.
         
        For example, Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions are available in different packages, such as Basic, Professional and Enterprise. The customer who has a basic marketing automation solution may call because they are finding email marketing consumes too much time. They can resolve this issue by moving up to the Professional package which includes sophisticated lead nurturing.

        Often, there are several ways to address an issue. If so, you can discuss each of the alternatives with the customer and the pros and cons. Having options puts them in the driver’s seat, with a choice as to the next step.

      • Seek to Offer Increased Value

        Now the rep is the hero because they’ve resolved the customer’s problem. So they can take the call a step further. The rep should talk with the customer about challenges they face in their business. To make this conversation as productive as possible, train your reps to play a consultative role, enabling them to provide valuable solutions.

        The consultative role starts with asking questions and listening actively. A good way to ensure reps are listening (rather than thinking about the next thing they’re going to say) is to have them take notes. They should respond in a way that shows they are listening, perhaps by paraphrasing what the customer said. In this way, they ensure they understood the customer’s challenges and can provide feedback.

        Now they have the information they need to upsell and cross-sell the customer on complementary products and services. When they talk about their recommendations, they can do so with more credibility because they can state the reasons for their suggestions. In the process, they can evoke interest, and are likely to be able to motivate the customer to buy without being pushy.

        Perhaps the rep discovers that the client is losing track of their leads once they hand them over to sales. Learning this might provide an opportunity for cross-selling a customer relationship management (CRM) package.

        If it’s not appropriate for the support representative to delve too deeply into a product sale, another option is to set up an appointment for a sales professional to discuss it further.

      As they focus on pursuing new leads, marketers cannot afford to take existing customers for granted. They need to change their attitude toward their customer service and support centers. When customers call, it’s an opportunity to deepen the relationship and foster retention. Approached correctly, a support call may also be an opening for new sales and revenues.

      Call us at +1 718-709-0900 (US) or +39 06 978446 60 (EMEA), or contact us online to learn how you can turn your customer support calls into revenues.

      ]]>
      sabrina.ferraioli@3d2b.com (Sabrina Ferraioli) Tele-Services Mon, 19 Dec 2016 00:00:00 +0000
      The Cure for the Common Cold Call: LinkedIn Warm Calling http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/cold-calling/linkedin-warm-calling.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-generation/cold-calling/linkedin-warm-calling.html

      You purchased a list, and John Smith is now in your database. He has not, however, expressed to your company any interest in your products or services. As such, he falls into the category of “suspect.”

      A call to John is cold.

      And, understandably, whether they are the initiator or recipient of such a call, most people prefer not to engage in this activity. Luckily, today you can use LinkedIn to warm up the call and make the experience more pleasant and fruitful to both parties. Here are some tips to get started. 

      Check Out the Individual’s Profile

      To discover what’s important to John, read his LinkedIn Summary and information about his current position. This helps you determine how you might be able to help him and the best angle for your approach.

      For instance, if one of our business development specialists discovered that John Smith’s primary concern is building relationships with resellers to increase his software company’s sales, she could then tailor her communications around helping to solve channel recruitment and management challenges.

      Another area to look is published posts. If John has articles on LinkedIn, they can give you a window into his thinking and provide a launching point for a conversation.

      Also, scroll to the bottom of the profile to find his interests. Perhaps you both enjoy skiing or are dedicated to animal rescue. Such insights help you find common ground. Even if your interests don’t intersect, understanding that he enjoys hunting and fishing may give you clues for personalizing your approach.

      And, don’t forget to look at their employment history. You may know or have things in common by the companies they worked at.

      Discover More about Their Company

      Once you have a feel for the person, learn more about the company for which they work. For most people, you can click from their current experience section to their LinkedIn company page where you’ll find their business’ statistics, such as the number of employees, plus the latest news.

      Has the company introduced a new product? Are they merging with another organization? Are there any changes that make the timing ripe for the organization to benefit from your products or services?

      Go for the Intro

      Back to the profile. On the right-hand side, you’ll see “How You’re Connected.” If you have a connection in common, try to get an introduction. Here’s how you do it:

      Dear Sue:

      I hope everything is going well with your new business.

      I see you’re connected with John Smith, Marketing VP at Ability Software. I believe we could help them to analyze the market and reach out to new partners that mirror the characteristics of their current top performers.

      Would you be able to introduce us? If not, I’d appreciate any insights you could give me before I reach out to him.

      Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you.

      See how it’s worded so you don’t put your connection in an awkward position? You don’t expect an introduction…they can just give you some insights.

      Asking for the introduction may seem like extra work, but in the long run, this practice will increase your efficiency. Here’s the proof. If anyone knows the ins and outs of LinkedIn, it’s the professionals at LinkedIn. They also sell, and their data tells the tale. LinkedIn’s biggest source of leads in 2015 was warm introductions (32%). This was followed closely by marketing leads (28%) and InMail (25%). The remaining leads came from emails, calls and events.

      But here’s the really big news … drumroll, please. LinkedIn was not only 37% more likely to win a deal with a warm introduction, but also deal sizes were 23% larger than the average of all the other lead sources.

      LinkedIn Image4Blog

      Opt for InMail

      Sometimes there’s no one to introduce you. Your next option for an initial outreach before calling is LinkedIn InMail. If you have a premium package on LinkedIn, you can use a limited number of InMails to reach out to people you don’t know. And the results from InMails aren’t too shabby either. A study conducted by InsideSales.com found that when they put the same content in an InMail as they did in an email, they achieved a 700 percent boost in response rates!

      Be Visible

      You don’t always have to reach out directly to be noticed.

      If you can find groups where people are interacting with each other, it’s a good place to get to know people.

      Another excellent option is to publish articles on LinkedIn. Your connections and followers will see it. Also, it goes into the newsfeed of professionals who like and share it, spreading your influence further. And if you create a post that gets featured on Pulse, it will be distributed to an even larger audience.

      The value of this visibility is that a wide group of professionals may start to know, like and trust you.

      Make the Warm Call

      Ideally, your prospect may have read some of your articles or those written by other members of your organization. You’ve also been introduced by a mutual connection and sent an InMail to set an appointment.

      Now you’re ready to make a warm call. It might go something like this:

      “Hello John, this is Jeff with 3D2B. I appreciate that Sue was able to connect us. The reason I wanted to talk was that I noticed you’re responsible for building relationships with resellers. We offer channel recruitment and management services that have helped other software companies identify new partners and expand their businesses. I was wondering what challenges you face in building strong sales partnerships….”

      Doesn’t that seem a lot easier and more productive than calling someone out of the blue without knowing what is relevant to them and how you can help them?

      Call us at +1 718-709-0900 (US) or +39 06 978446 60 (EMEA), or contact us online to learn how you can respond to leads faster and pass more qualified leads to your sales team.

      ]]>
      jeff.kalter@3d2b.com (Jeff Kalter) Cold Calling Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 +0000
      How to Build Rapport on a B2B Sales Call http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/b2b-sales-call.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/b2b-sales-call.html How to Build Rapport on a B2B Sales Call

      Seven seconds. That’s how quickly busy executives can form an impression about you and the reason for your call. For you, it’s the difference between a successful B2B sales call and a hang up.

      If you’re cold calling and connect with a decision maker, and don’t want to be left listening to the dial tone, you’ll make every second—and every sentence—count. Open your call with a powerful, succinct message designed to intrigue and hint at the value you have to share.

      Professional telemarketing agents will tell you, it’s not the slick pitch that closes the deal. And there’s no magical trick or gimmick to opening doors. Whether you’re inviting executives to your next seminar or scheduling a face-to-face meeting, it all comes down to how you present yourself, the way you set the tone for the call and how effectively you capture a prospect’s interest.

      This seven-step blueprint will help you open your next B2B sales call on just the right note and build rapport rapidly: 

      1. Introduce Yourself

        “Good morning, Mr. Wilson, I’m Mary French with __________.”

        As you tell prospects who you are, adopt a tone that sounds friendly and approachable while establishing that you’re speaking as one professional to another.

      2. Make a Connection

        “I hope you’re doing well and that your customers were enthusiastic about the introduction of ________ at last month’s annual user’s conference.”

        The success of your call hinges on your ability to make a positive emotional connection. Personalizing your message tells prospects that you’ve taken the time to know something about their business.

      3. Connect Personally

        “I’m calling today because your customer ________ is also a good customer of mine. Working with us, she’s increased company-wide productivity by 25% since last year, and she thinks we can do the same for you.”

        Cement your personal rapport by introducing a meaningful connection. Mention by name a mutual contact or customer. If you don’t have that, use a recent newsworthy event that connects your product or service to their business.

      4. State Your Purpose

        “________ just named us the New Generation Sales Intelligence Company of the Year for our ability to level the playing field for early-stage businesses. Our clients are growing their customer base at twice the rate of their competition. And we can help you to do the same.”

        In a sentence or two, state the reason for your call and the competitive advantage you offer. You’ll intrigue a prospect by suggesting how your success can become their success.

      5. Get a Yes

        “I know you’re busy, but if you can give me just five minutes, I’ll explain how you can use ________ to begin boosting your sales productivity in as little as two weeks.”

        You’ve made your opening pitch. Now give prospects an opportunity to consider what you’ve said and to give you the green light to continue. Their affirmation sends a positive message to the brain and makes it easier to say yes again when you get to the end of your sales call and present the call to action.

      6. Verify that You’re Speaking with the Senior Decision Maker

        “I understand that you’re [company’s name] Chief Revenue Officer. Is that right? Do you also authorize purchasing decisions for sales productivity technology?”

        By confirming the prospect’s title and purchasing authority, you’re also setting up another opportunity to get a yes.

      7. Transition Your Call into a Dialogue

        “Tell me how you’re handling _______ today.”

        As you transition out of your opener, you’re taking the conversation to a new level by signaling to prospects that their needs are important. You can listen without asking a lot of questions while still maintaining control and setting expectations for the call.

      Getting Past the Gatekeeper

      When reaching out to senior executives, you’re often faced with talking first to their gatekeepers—the administrative assistants who shield their bosses from unscheduled cold calls. While you often need to think on your feet and assess the conversation as it unfolds, you can prepare yourself with a few techniques:

      • Never try to sell the gatekeeper.
      • Be friendly but confident—after all you have the solution that the decision maker needs.
      • Introduce yourself with authority—as one professional calling to speak to another professional.
      • Remember, less is more. You don’t want to give the gatekeeper enough information to make a judgment call on behalf of the boss.
      • If you need to engage the gatekeeper and get him or her on your side, verify that you’re calling the right decision maker.

      Getting Your Prospects to Yes

      When enlisting the services of professional telemarketing agents, you can be confident that they are skilled at making B2B sales calls, presenting a strong opener and getting decision makers to say yes.

      That said, even the best agents require your help. You need to provide the raw materials they can use to develop their opening lines and engage your prospects in conversation. In addition to the contact records, you’ll need to arm them with target market and audience insight, product information and the specific call to action/outcome you want.

      With the right tools, experienced agents can express themselves naturally while establishing a conversational tone that comes across as genuine and intriguing. And they’ll never have to call a prospect and say, “Hi, I just wanted to call to see if there’s anything you need.” That’s an invitation for your prospect to hang up.

      Call us at +1 718-709-0900 (US) or +39 06 978446 60 (EMEA), or contact us online to learn how you can get more out of your sales and marketing initiatives.

      ]]>
      jeff.kalter@3d2b.com (Jeff Kalter) Tele-Services Wed, 23 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000