3D2B - 3D2B - Lead Qualification http://3d2b.com Mon, 22 May 2017 15:33:16 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb The Essential Capabilities for Response Handling http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-qualification/response-handling-capabilities.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-qualification/response-handling-capabilities.html The Essential Capabilities for Response Handling

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.

6 Steps to Response Handling Success

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. 

  1. Qualify and Prioritize Inquiries
  2. To accelerate sales, you need to expedite the first-class leads, so you cannot afford to treat all inquiries the same way. After all, they are not all qualified leads. You must set up criteria that predetermine which ones fall into the marketing qualified lead (MQL) bucket. These are the ones on which it’s worth spending marketing time. Take a look at the data about the inquiry and determine whether it fits your buyers’ profile. Commonly, companies will look at variables such as industry, business size, title and location.

  3. Respond Rapidly

    Given the steep drop-off in qualification rates during the first few minutes after you receive an inquiry, you’re better off responding as quickly as possible. Remember, if you don’t get back to someone pronto, they’ll either reach out to your competitor or move on to some other priority.

    Five minutes may seem like an incredibly fast turnaround for a phone call that follows an e-book download, for example. It is, however, a turtle-like pace compared to responding to a live online chat or an inbound call. People who are using those communication channels expect a response NOW.

  4. Be Flexible

    Let’s face it, people are becoming more and more accustomed to 24/7/365 service. In the consumer world, we’ve even seen time-honored traditions such as the Thanksgiving holiday dissolve into shopping days. And increasingly, perhaps due to both the always-on work culture and global commerce, we see businesses are extending their contact hours.

    To be competitive today, you need to make your company representatives available when potential customers are seeking information. You want prospects to receive answers fast when their questions are top of mind. So, be flexible with your hours.

  5. Offer Online Chat

    You already know that chat participants expect an immediate response. It’s understandable if that causes you to want to shy away from this channel. But closing the communication doors in any way is a bad idea. That’s because people have different preferences for how they get in touch with businesses. Some feel more comfortable with online chat than other options. So you need to include it in your communication toolbox.

  6. Nurture the Relationship

    Handling the first response in a timely, efficient way is challenging. However, it’s just the beginning. You need to prepare for what happens next. This means setting up a nurturing sequence that may include both emails and telephone calls. The purpose is to develop a deeper relationship that enables prospects to get to know, like and trust your company in a more personal way.

  7. Handling the Sales Qualified Lead

    If all goes well, a large proportion of your MQLs will cross the threshold and become sales qualified leads (SQLs). Before they do, prepare for this transition by determining how you will distribute your leads between different channels and people. Which leads will go to field sales and which will you route to inside sales? Will you distribute SQLs, perhaps, based on territories, industries, geography or workload? Define the distribution criteria so leads reach their destinations almost automatically.

    Also, determine the data required for each lead for the recipient to work it as successfully as possible. This information will empower salespeople to hit the ground running when they receive new leads.

Clearly, handling responses successfully requires you to have a rigorous response management process as well as dedicated resources. It can, however, make the difference between marketing efforts that soar to success and those that take a nosedive. If you don’t believe you can handle responses well internally, it’s worth considering outsourcing your response handling needs.

]]>
jeff.kalter@3d2b.com (Jeff Kalter) Lead Qualification Wed, 22 Jun 2016 00:00:00 +0000
How to Improve Sales and Achieve Quota http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-qualification/how-to-improve-sales.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-qualification/how-to-improve-sales.html How to Improve Sales and Achieve Quota

“Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder,” Mason Cooley, an American writer.

It’s September. We’re almost into the fourth quarter (Q4) and John, the Vice President of Sales, is in a mild panic. It’s not surprising. After all, time’s running out to meet his quota and sales are soft.

How did he get into this position?

When he arrived at work at the beginning of January, he was full of optimism for the New Year and ready to tackle the sales challenges. Ahead of him stretched twelve long months to make it all happen. Plenty of time to fill the pipeline, nurture leads and convert them into sales. Or so he thought.

It seems like this missing link is made of gold. What are these sales lead management teams doing that is multiplying the number of ready-to-buy prospects while cutting marketing costs?

But things didn’t work out that way.

Each month sales fell just a little short. And John thought he could tweak a few things to catch up. It didn’t work. Now, he’s about 5% down year to date. Making up those lost sales in the last quarter will require some heroics.

Does this sound familiar?

Too often glass-half-full leaders fail to take strong actions to get sales back on track until they’re up against the wall. Time, their friend at the beginning of the year, zips along and turns into their enemy. And, as Cooley noted so wisely, procrastination makes hard things become harder.

How to Improve Sales

If you’re suffering the same predicament as John, you need to take action. Now. What should you do? Well, it depends on where you are today. So, first identify your exact problem, and then the solution.

  • Problem 1: You Have Leads, They’re Not Qualified
  • At least you have something in your pipeline. Now you need to transform unqualified leads into sales. Depending on the length of your sales cycle, it may be possible.

    First, whip your leads into shape. If you’re missing phone numbers or demographic information, such as industry type and company size, append the list. The demographic data will help you to segment the leads and prioritize who to call first. That’s essential because there’s no time to lose.

    Now, add the human touch. Get a team of professional telemarketers or inside sales people on the phone to qualify the leads as soon as possible.

    The team will gather the names and titles of everyone who’s involved in the buying decision and determine whether the lead is hot to buy or just researching. Also, they’ll dig into the potential client’s problem, gathering the information your sales people need to prepare a persuasive sale presentation.

    And, of course, they’ll make sure the lead can afford your product, service or solution. Your sales people can’t afford to call on people who can’t afford to buy.

    Your team has a lot of questions, but it’s not a one-way street. If it’s available, they also need to provide information to help the potential client move through the buying process.

    If the lead passes all your qualifying criteria, your business development representative can set up the appointment while they have the lead on the phone. This enables them to pass qualified appointments to your sales people, empowering them to make the best use of their time and close more sales.

    If you don’t have an internal team to take care of lead qualification, you can outsource the project to a team of professional B2B business development specialists.

  • Problem 2: The Sales Pipeline Has Dried Up
  • If there are no leads in the pipeline, your problem is more serious. You need to generate leads quickly. It’s too late for inbound marketing driven with content, which is a good strategy when you have time and can be patient.

    But does cold calling still work in 2015? Absolutely, with one caveat: you have to do it right. That takes a little more time upfront for planning, but it pays off.

    First, get a list based on your profile of your ideal customer’s demographics. Then, research each lead. Check out the company’s website and social media profiles. Find out the background of the person you’re calling, the business’ product offering, recent organizational changes and more.

    This information is food for your business development specialist’s conversation with the lead. It personalizes the conversation. Also, depending on what you find, it may help you eliminate some names for a more laser-targeted list.

    Now set the call objective. In your current situation, you likely want to go for the appointment. But make sure you qualify the leads before you set one up. Also, since you won’t be successful in setting an appointment with everyone you contact, have a secondary objective. That might simply be lead qualification and gathering more data.

    There’s just one more thing you need your reps to do before they pick up the phone. Make sure they can relate your value proposition and have a memory bank filled with success stories. To persuade people to take action as soon as possible, these must roll off their tongues.

Preventing Future Q4 Sales Troubles

Once you’ve surmounted today’s troubles and have sales back on track for this year, you’ll need to put a plan in place to avoid future Q4 sales sprints.

Create a strategic lead management process that you can monitor throughout the year. Define how you’re going to work with your leads from acquisition to qualification to close. Set up qualification criteria, and how you plan to filter and score leads, ensuring sales people focus their time on the golden nuggets.

Of course, it’s not all about the leads you send to sales. Many of your leads won’t be ready to buy day one, but most of those will want to buy down the road. If you don’t want them running off to the competition, you need to set up a plan for nurturing these leads until they’re ready to buy.

Also, determine how to track, measure and report on your lead pipeline. If you have clear visibility on where your leads stand in the pipeline and typical conversion rates, you can forecast future sales. If your sales forecast falls below your quota, you’ll know exactly where you need to turn up the volume, improve sales and achieve your goals.

Call us at +1 718-709-0900 (US) or +39 06 978446 60 (EMEA), or contact us online to learn how to improve sales.

]]>
sabrina.ferraioli@3d2b.com (Sabrina Ferraioli) Lead Qualification Wed, 02 Sep 2015 00:00:00 +0000
Turn Leads into Qualified Leads - How to Rock Sales Development in 2015 http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-qualification/how-to-rock-sales-development-2015.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-qualification/how-to-rock-sales-development-2015.html Turn Leads into Qualified Leads - How to Rock Sales Development in 2015

How to rock sales lead development? The quick answer…put a sales lead management team to work.

That of course, begs the question, “what is a sales lead management team?” It is, unfortunately, often the missing link between sales and marketing. It’s that gap between the two disciplines where leads are lost either because marketing doesn’t qualify them or sales doesn’t follow up on them. Conveniently, marketing points the finger at sales and sales points the finger at marketing.

If only there was a group in between marketing and sales that could take marketing leads and transform them into qualified sales opportunities.

That’s what a sales lead management team does via the phone, email, and more. And a Forrester Research study says that businesses which put a priority on lead qualification and nurturing have 50 percent more sales-ready prospects and reduce their cost-per-lead by 33%.

It seems like this missing link is made of gold. What are these sales lead management teams doing that is multiplying the number of ready-to-buy prospects while cutting marketing costs?

  • Consistent and cost effective follow up
  • It’s just not feasible for a field sales person to follow up in the same way as a sales lead management team. And, it’s not economical to have them dialing the phone and sorting through a hodgepodge of leads to find the ones that qualify. So, marketing leaders, don’t berate your sales force for not following up on leads. They feel like it’s a waste of their time … because it is.

    That doesn’t mean, however, that it’s not a valuable activity for the right team with the right tools.

  • Quick response
  • I’ve stated some amazing stats before about response times. If you follow up in 5 minutes, for example, you’re 21 times more likely to qualify a lead than if you wait just 30 minutes. Is your sales force capable of such rapid response? Probably not.

  • The human touch
  • The human touch is, of course, one of my favorite marketing tools. In fact, we wrote a white paper on the subject.

    Now we’re hearing about the big trends in marketing for 2015 and one of them is personalization. One to one marketing is growing. And what could be more personal than a one-on-one phone call where a sales associate works with the prospect to help them solve their problems? In doing so, the prospect develops a personalized relationship with the company.

  • Accurate data
  • The sales lead management teams are at their desks with easy access to your customer relationship management (CRM) system. With everything they need at their fingertips, it’s much more likely they’ll update data based on new information. It enables companies to track the flow of leads and conversion rates more precisely, gaining the insights necessary to improve sales processes and optimize conversions.

    To learn more about sales lead management, call us now at +1 718-709-0900 (Americas) / +39 06-978446-60 (EMEA).

    ]]>
    jeff.kalter@3d2b.com (Jeff Kalter) Lead Qualification Wed, 21 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0000
    How to Cut Your Marketing Cost-Per-Sale http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-qualification/how-to-cut-your-marketing-cost-per-sale.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-qualification/how-to-cut-your-marketing-cost-per-sale.html How to Cut Your Marketing Cost-Per-Sale

    Much attention is paid to the cost per lead in B2B lead generation. However, what’s more important is the cost per sale. After all, that’s the outcome you’re seeking.

     

    Let’s say a company sells technology solutions to operations managers. Its marketing and advertising efforts result in a list of 200 leads that costs it, for the sake of simplicity, $5,000. The company shares these leads with its sales people based on their territories. The sales people follow up and walk away with five closed sales. When you divide five into $5,000, you come up with the cost of $1,000 per sale.

    How to Get More Sales Out of Leads

    There are, of course, steps the company’s management could take to reduce the cost per lead by making better use of them.

     Instead of sending all the leads directly to their sales force, they could put some inside sales people on the phone to qualify the leads. If they don’t have their own team, they can outsource this task to a qualified tele-services company that makes calls like these every day.

    By talking with leads one-by-one, the tele-services agents may determine that 30 are qualified according to BANT criteria (budget, authority, need, and time to buy). So they only pass these qualified leads on to the sales people. The reps, excited to have qualified leads, charge forward and close 15 sales.

    Now they’ve closed 15 sales instead of five – how could that be? Aren’t they the same leads? The truth is that the sales people didn’t follow up on all 200 leads. They checked out a few of the leads, found some that weren’t interested or could not afford the sophisticated technology, and quickly moved on to something they considered to be more important.

    But that is not the end of it.

    The company’s tele-services team also found another 70 leads who are interested in the technology solutions, and have the budget and authority to buy. But given their multiple priorities, they were not ready for the solution then.

    They were not ready yet to move forward.

    Over time, the tele-services team worked with these people, calling them to offer advice and sending emails with offers of white papers, e-books, webinars, and case studies that could educate them and help to move them through the buying process. They developed deep relationships, and 40 of these leads matured into sales qualified leads, of which 20 turned into sales.

    Obviously the company added some costs for qualifying the leads and nurturing them, but now they’ve closed a total of 35 sales through lead qualification and nurturing instead of the original five. What’s more, the 20 sales leads that were nurtured led to larger sales. And those clients ended up remaining loyal for longer than the clients who did not go through the nurturing process. After all, that’s what typically happens when leads are nurtured with the human touch.

    To recalculate the cost-per-sale, company managers would have to add the costs of phone qualification and nurturing to the original marketing costs, but with 35 sales instead of five, they’ll most likely discover a much higher return on investment (ROI).

    For more information download our FREE e-book: Bridge the Divide Between Sales and Marketing.” 

    ]]>
    jeff.kalter@3d2b.com (Jeff Kalter) Lead Qualification Thu, 17 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0000
    How to Avoid the Black Hole of Sales Leads http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-qualification/lead-qualification-how-to-avoid-the-black-hole-of-sales-leads.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-qualification/lead-qualification-how-to-avoid-the-black-hole-of-sales-leads.html How to Avoid the Black Hole of Sales Leads

    Are Sales Driven by Numbers or Quality?

    If you follow the “sales is a numbers game” metaphor, you might think the salesperson who makes the most calls or follows up on 100 percent of the leads that cross his or her desk is the victor clutching all the spoils.

    Metaphors (and their literary cousins—proverbs and adages) are convenient ways to define situations clearly. But choose the wrong metaphor and you can be headed for trouble. In the case of playing a pure numbers game with marketing leads, you’re probably hovering on the edge of a black hole— and you know that’s a metaphor for disaster. 

    To quote physicist Brian Greene: “Black holes, we all know, are these regions where if an object falls in, it can't get out, but the puzzle that many struggled with over the decades is, what happens to the information that an object contains when it falls into a black hole. Is it simply lost?”

    Not “simply lost,” but lost forever…at least to you.

    Just as a black hole’s gravitational force sucks in all matter and light, so too in the B2B universe, our prospective sales disappear when we pass volumes of unqualified leads along to the sales force. Even more likely, they may end up in another dimension and maybe another universe…one controlled by your competition.

    Unqualified Leads Seldom Convert

    Let me put the metaphors aside for a minute and focus on something a little more concrete. In its 2012 B2B Benchmark Report, researchers at MarketingSherpa found that 73 percent of leads are unqualified when handed off to sales and will not readily convert into business. In spite of this, 61 percent of marketers pass all leads (qualified or unqualified) directly on to sales.

    Is it any wonder then that salespeople seldom follow up on marketing’s leads? As former Gartner researcher Claudio Marcus documented in his report, "Re-engineering Lead Management:"… more than 70 percent of leads are never acted on—typically because they do not reach the right person or organization at the right time.”

    Your salespeople’s primary objective is sales. ABC (Always Be Closing) is practically written into their DNA. And qualified leads are the means to that objective. A recent Forrester Research study confirms that companies that actively qualify and nurture leads will have 50 percent more prospects that are “sales-ready,” and their cost-per-lead will be 33% lower.

    So you can expect that your best salespeople will ignore unqualified marketing leads and cultivate their own— based on their years of experience and expertise. Meanwhile, the people who have provided their names, email addresses, and phone numbers to your company in good faith, who may not be sales-ready today, remain ignored. This lack of attention can sour potential customers on you and your products and services…permanently.

    Remember That Quality Trumps Quantity

    The adage reads, “Value is in the Worth, Not the Number,” and it comes from Aesop’s Fable, The Lioness. Today, we often just say “Quality over Quantity,” and it’s the perfect maxim for developing qualified sales leads. The fact is, finding and qualifying 10 hot leads in every 100 is a way to:

    1. Encourage your sales force to follow up on 100 percent of the leads you pass along and, ultimately
    2. Close more business

    But since sales people likely will not qualify any unqualified leads you’re passing along today, you need another resource to do the job, and it’s the perfect task for telemarketing. Whether your lead generation is inbound, outbound, or both, a professional and well-trained telemarketing team is invaluable.

    If lead qualification is a new step for you, it’s time to involve your sales force in the process of coming up with the right set of lead qualifiers. You’ll benefit by alerting them to this important change in your lead generation program and gain their buy-in – both of which are critical. Here are a few ideas to get you started as marketing and sales work together to develop a list of key qualifiers:

    1. Measure each prospect’s degree of interest in your products and/or services.
    2. Determine if your products and/or services are a good match for the prospect.
    3. Identify when the prospect will be most likely to buy.
    4. Verify that the prospect has an appropriate budget.
    5. Determine if the prospect is a decision maker with buying authority.

    You’ll Catch More Worms With This One

    As spring tries valiantly to push through and make the winter of 2013-2014 a bleak but distant memory, I see a solitary Robin pecking at a bare but still-brown patch of grass. I’m reminded the proverb: “The early bird catches the worm.” While I’m not sure that this brave little Robin is having great success today, as the ground is still frozen, this saying is a powerful metaphor for the need to move quickly on all leads. Don’t let them grow cold.

    And here’s the proof: Researchers at South Korea’s Sungkyunkwan University found and reported in the March 2011 issue of Harvard Business Review that, “Firms that tried to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving a query were nearly seven times as likely to qualify the lead.” Respond quickly, and you’ll be in rarified company as only 37 percent of the 2,241 U.S. businesses audited for this study respond within the first hour.

    So don’t put off until tomorrow … well, you know how the saying goes. Put your telemarketing company to work on lead qualification now. Let them do the work your salespeople are reluctant to do by finding the value among your leads and keeping your best prospects warm and well nurtured until your salespeople can work their magic.

    For more information download our FREE e-book: “Bridge the Divide Between Sales and Marketing.” 

    ]]>
    jeff.kalter@3d2b.com (Jeff Kalter) Lead Qualification Thu, 10 Apr 2014 09:21:18 +0000
    How to Increase Your B2B Marketing ROI http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-qualification/how-to-increase-your-b2b-marketing-roi.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-qualification/how-to-increase-your-b2b-marketing-roi.html How to Increase Your B2B Marketing ROI

    Companies that Measure Marketing ROI Increase Growth

    When it comes to B2B lead generation and determining the top producing marketing activities, ROI matters. A report by the Pedowitz Group says that “ The top-tier of highly effective and efficient marketers calculate ROI or similar financial measures to assess their marketing effectiveness (62% vs. 23% of all other marketers) and are more likely to indicate they are experiencing much greater growth than their competitors (55% vs. 13% of all others).” 

    A Case Where “Keep It Simple” Doesn’t Work

    Clearly ROI is the measure that marketers should use to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of their marketing initiatives. It’s not easy to do, however, because you have a mix of activities that go into generating one sale and they all need to be included in the marketing costs.  Also, complex B2B sales take a while to come to fruition, sometimes over a year, so you don’t want to measure results prematurely.

    For example, Techno Company sells technology solutions to operations managers. It goes to a tradeshow and generates a list of 200 leads. For the sake of simplicity let’s say the show costs $100,000. The company shares these leads with its sales people based on their territories. The sales people follow up and walk away with ten (10) closed sales averaging $50,000 each. The total sales are $500,000. Thus, the return on in investment is 400% or 20% cost of sale. 

    With this simplistic ROI calculation, the company might decide not to do the trade show again. But perhaps the marketing staff should instead be asking, “What else can we do to leverage these leads and increase our ROI?”

    Increase Marketing ROI With Lead Qualification and Nurturing

    Techno Company’s marketing leaders realize that instead of sending all the leads directly to their sales force, they could ask their tele-services company to put their business development specialists on the phone to qualify the leads.

    By talking with leads one-by-one, the business development specialists may determine that 40 are qualified according to BANT criteria (budget, authority, need, and time to buy). So they only pass these qualified leads on to the sales people. The reps, excited to have qualified leads, charge forward and close 20 sales, averaging $50,000 each again, resulting in total sales of $1,000,000. If the telemarketing campaign cost them $10,000, then their return on investment is now:

    ($1,000,000 - $110,000)/$110,000 = 809%

    Or, a cost of sale (COS) of: $110,000/$1,000,000 = 11%

    Now, you may be wondering how they closed 20 sales instead of ten.  How could that be? Aren’t they working with the same leads? The truth is that the sales people didn’t follow up on all 200 leads the first time. They checked out a few of the leads, found some that weren’t interested or could not afford the sophisticated technology, and quickly moved on to something they considered to be more important.

    But that is not the end of it.

    The diligent business development specialists also found another 70 leads who are interested in the technology solutions, and have the resources and authority to buy. But given their multiple priorities, they were not yet ready for a solution.

    Over time, the business development specialists worked with these people, calling them to offer advice and sending emails with offers of white papers, e-books, webinars, and case studies that could educate them and help to move them through the buying process. As well as occasional nurture calls to keep the human touch alive. They developed deep relationships, and 50 of these leads matured into sales qualified leads, of which 25 turned into sales

    The company added another $10,000 in costs for nurturing the leads, but now they’ve closed a total of 60 sales through lead qualification and nurturing instead of the original ten. What’s more, the 40 sales leads that were nurtured led to larger sales—an average of $55,000 instead of $50,000 each for initial sale. Now their ROI is:

    ($2,375,000-$120,000)/$120,000 = 1,879% or 5.05% COS

    And there’s one more calculation Techno Company’s marketers need to do.  Since nurtured prospects turn into clients that remain loyal for longer, this ROI will build over time.

    Calculating a marketing ROI that includes all expenses and sales over the long term makes sense because it shows how a little extra spending can have a powerful impact on sales.

    For more information download our FREE e-book: “Bridge the Divide Between Sales and Marketing.” 

    ]]>
    jeff.kalter@3d2b.com (Jeff Kalter) Lead Qualification Thu, 03 Apr 2014 12:44:36 +0000
    Is Your Teleservices Department Leaving Money on the Table? http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-qualification/teleservices-department-leaving-money-on-table.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-qualification/teleservices-department-leaving-money-on-table.html Is Your Teleservices Department Leaving Money on the Table?

    If you’ve put together an in-house team to make and receive phone calls as part of your sales and marketing process, you’re probably wondering if you’re getting your money’s worth. Is the program as cost effective as possible? Are you optimizing lead qualification efforts and maximizing your return on investment?

    The answer is: Probably not. Why?

    Because an in-house team will likely cost your company more than outsourced teleservices. And more often than not, in-house teams are not as effective. Let’s examine this in greater detail. 

    The Deception of Direct Costs

    When you look at direct costs, you’ll likely see that internal staff cost less per hour than outsourced teleservices. But the hourly cost of agents is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Those agents need space that’s comfortably heated or air conditioned. They need workstations, computers, and, of course, phones. Also, to assure remarkable results, you’ll want to support them with the latest marketing automation and customer relationship management systems.

    And those agents aren’t just going to materialize. You have to recruit, interview, hire, train, motivate and retain them. It isn’t easy to recruit the right B2B telesales agents—the ones who get results and remain loyal. That’s because when you’re selling a complex product that requires a consultative sale, you need educated agents who know how to listen and solve problems.

    In addition, you need someone to manage the department, and set up the processes and systems so it runs like clockwork, generating qualified leads and nurture relationships with clients.

    Ramping Up Takes Time and Expertise

    It may seem simple to set up a group of people and put them on the phone to call your prospects and clients. But there’s a learning curve to hiring, training, managing, and keeping agents positive even when they face rejection; setting up strategic campaigns; measuring results and refining tactics.

    Outsourcing is Quicker and More Profitable

    When you outsource your B2B teleservices, and pick the right company as your partner, you get up and running quickly.

    By finding a company that specializes in B2B teleservices, you can leverage their knowledge of teleservices and best practices in your industry. They already have educated, intelligent agents who can converse peer-to-peer with business managers. The company’s leadership knows how to train them, and the agents know the right questions to ask to come up to speed quickly on new products and solutions.

    The right company will offer you dedicated agents who work only on your company’s campaign. Essentially, they become an extension of your organization. They are so steeped in your offering that it’s easy for them to have free flowing conversations with your prospects and clients.

    And because processes and systems are already in place, you’ll get real-time reporting immediately. As your partner works to fulfill the objectives you’ve defined together, you’ll receive real-time reporting that shows you their progress, enables you to ask questions, and oversee their efforts as they refine your campaigns and accelerate your results.

    So if you’re not outsourcing your teleservices, you are probably leaving money on the table—in the form of increased costs or lukewarm results. Let the experts do the work—whether it’s lead generation, lead nurturing, lead qualification, appointment setting, response management, win/loss analysis, list development, or something else.

    For more information download our FREE e-book: “Bridge the Divide Between Sales and Marketing.” 

    ]]>
    jeff.kalter@3d2b.com (Jeff Kalter) Lead Qualification Fri, 21 Mar 2014 14:10:23 +0000
    A Holiday Wish List From Sales to Marketing http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-qualification/a-holiday-wish-list-from-sales-to-marketing.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-qualification/a-holiday-wish-list-from-sales-to-marketing.html A Holiday Wish List From Sales to Marketing

    Dear Marketing:

    Because the holiday season is all about giving, the sales team thought you’d like to know what we want this year. We all agreed that we don’t want fruitcake, chocolates, bottles of booze, ties, or scarves, or even Starbucks gift cards. We want gifts that keep on giving—the kind that can make us money year round. What we really want is business-to-business telemarketing.

    And we know that it’s better to give than receive. So we’re planning something special for you, too. We’re so excited about it that we’re breaking the news now. If you give us all the tools on our Holiday list, we’re going to work with you to achieve revenues beyond your wildest dreams.

    Interested? Good, because here are the details on what we want.

    Qualified Leads

    You may have guessed this one because we’ve actually told you about this once or twice before. But we think there might have been some confusion. It’s not your fault because we talk a different language sometimes. When we say “qualified,” we don’t mean people who’ve landed on our website and casually entered their contact information into one of your enticing landing pages to download the latest white paper.

    Why? I know it’s hard to believe, but a lot of those people aren’t interested in talking with us. They’re doing research. They’re checking out the competition. They might love what we’re offering, but they don’t have the money to pay for it. Or, perhaps they’re not authorized to make this kind of purchase. And, anyhow, they really don’t need our help for a few months.

    Lead Nurturing

    You’ve told us that some of these leads just need time. They need follow up and nurturing. In fact, we’ve heard that even though 95% of the people who visit a website are not interested in talking with us salespeople immediately, eventually 70% will buy from us or our competitors.

    Could you nurture these leads? Send them relevant content, like white papers and case studies, and call them once in awhile to learn more about their needs and see how we can help. We’ve heard they may need 5-8 touches from our company before they’re ready to talk with us.

    Do you really think we’re going coordinate and keep track of all that? We’re on-the-go people. We’re interested in the here and now. You guys in marketing live in the promise of the future. So we think you’d be much better at this task.

    Clear Picture of Needs

    While you build a relationship with these leads and transform them from initial suspects into eager prospects, you’re sure to learn a lot about them. Give us the scoop. That way we can design our sales presentations to their needs, showing them a value proposition that they can’t resist.

    Happy Holidays

    Your Sales Team

    P.S. All we want is business-to-business telemarketing and we’re your faithful team forever.

    To learn how to give your sales force the gift that keeps on giving, sign up for our FREE white paper: How B2B Telemarketing Increases Leads and Boosts Sales.

    ]]>
    jeff.kalter@3d2b.com (Jeff Kalter) Lead Qualification Tue, 07 Jan 2014 00:00:00 +0000
    Don’t Be a Marketing Grinch: 6 Steps to Lead Qualification http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-qualification/6-steps-to-lead-qualification.html http://3d2b.com/blog/tele-services/lead-qualification/6-steps-to-lead-qualification.html Don’t Be a Marketing Grinch: 6 Steps to Lead Qualification

    Have you seen what’s on your sales people’s holiday wish list? What do they really want from marketing? I took a peek. In big bold letters it said: LEAD QUALIFICATION.

    You don’t want to be a marketing Grinch, but you can’t take a quick trip to the department store and buy your sales people what they want. So what should you do?

     

    1. Pick Up the Phone

    Many marketers think their responsibility is simply to generate leads and pass them over to sales. Then it’s up to the sales people to make the most out of them.

    This is a lose-lose situation. Marketing loses because salespeople call a few of the leads they receive and discover they’re not qualified. At this point they decide not to waste any more time, and throw out the good leads with the “bad” leads.

    So how do you turn this into a win-win situation?

    Pick up the phone and start talking to the leads. When you talk with these people, determine if they have the budget, authority, need and timeframe to buy, and an understanding that your solution will work for them (BANT-S). If so, they are ready for your salespeople.

    2. Nurture Them

    Naturally some of your leads will not meet all of the BANT-S criteria. Many of the leads that fall into this bucket were the ones that disillusioned your sales force. But you don’t want to discard them automatically. Just because they are not qualified today doesn’t mean that they never will be.

    In many cases, especially in B2B marketing, leads have a long buying cycle. So determine what that buying cycle is and nurture the leads with a mix of relevant content and occasional phone calls.

    Build a pipeline of leads that your telemarketers call back when the leads are ready to talk with someone.

    3. Use the Right Phone People

    You need to have different people involved in lead qualification and tele-nurturing than you would for lead generation. That’s because the skills and personality traits to succeed in each of these roles are different. While lead generations are hunters who love the challenge of breaking through the corporate barricades to reach the right person, lead nurturing agents are farmers. They take care of prospects, working with them to help them achieve their objectives.

    4. More Isn’t Always Better

    Sales people are probably not asking for barrels full of leads, just a few leads that are highly likely to turn into sales. So if you don’t have well qualified leads, don’t send them to sales. It’s better to send them 10 qualified leads a month than 100 of unknown value.

    5. Score Your Leads

    By scoring your leads you can quickly see who the hottest prospects are based on their online interactions. But you still need to get on the phone and juxtapose your digital knowledge with human insights.

    6. Use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System

    A good CRM system can assure that leads don’t fall through the cracks, and are nurtured according to your best practices. And lead nurturing often results in lead qualification.

    To learn more sign up for our FREE white paper: How B2B Telemarketing Increases Leads and Boost Sales.

     

    ]]>
    jeff.kalter@3d2b.com (Jeff Kalter) Lead Qualification Tue, 03 Dec 2013 11:13:29 +0000