“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort,” Paul. J. Meyer, founder of the Success Motivation Institute
When you think of content marketing, do online tactics come to mind—e-books, white papers, emails and more? If so, it’s not surprising. That’s where a lot of the marketing action is today.
Given our focus on all things web-related, it may come as a surprise to discover that the number one content marketing tactic is good old-fashioned in-person events. That’s according to research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute and their partners. When they asked B2B marketers what their most effective content marketing tactics were, in-person events topped the list. Seventy-five percent of survey respondents said event marketing was the most effective form of content marketing.
While in-person events are impactful, they are also a significant investment. So, how do you ensure a positive return on investment?
Outsourcing marketing tasks is a trend that’s here to stay. There are many reasons for this, including:
Because of the influence of technology and the web, marketing functions are changing more rapidly than ever before. It’s hard for an internal team to keep up with the shifting environment as well as their business and the markets it serves.
You need high-level leaders to craft your marketing strategy and guide its implementation. Also, executing digital marketing requires an array of specialists. These include web designers and developers, content and copywriters, graphic designers and videographers. In addition, you may need gurus of social media marketing, marketing automation, conversion optimization, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, digital display advertising, email marketing and more.
And digital is only part of the marketing equation. For B2B marketing, you have to add the human touch. For this, you’ll need trade show and conference organizers and inside sales people or telemarketers.
in-house talent may not offer all the skills and expertise they need.
This problem, however, doesn’t mean marketers should reshape strategies to reflect their internal capabilities. The opposite is true. They should design marketing strategies that promise to produce the highest growth, then determine how to implement them with company associates and external resources.
When you’re managing business-to-business telemarketing representatives, you can record their conversations and use them as learning opportunities. If one agent is particularly productive, you can listen to recordings of her phone calls to determine what sets her apart from the others. Also, if another is having difficulty meeting their goals, you can re-live their conversations and learn where they go off track.
Before doing anything, however, become aware oflocal and federal laws related to recording calls and ensure that you abide by them.
When you’re listening to recordings to find out why some representatives are successful and others struggle, pay attention to these areas.
Last September, the AA-ISP, an international association dedicated exclusively to advancing the profession of Inside Sales, released their 2014 Inside Sales Top Challenges. And they discovered that the number one challenge sales leaders are facing today is training inside sales people to perform well. In fact, many sales organizations complain about a high turnover of inside sales representatives as they don’t manage to bring them to the performance levels they expect in the calculated timeframes.
Why is training such a hot issue?
A 2013 study by InsideSales.com reports inside sales is growing 300% faster than field sales. This trend is expected to continue. That’s because inside sales:
· cuts costs
· is accepted by customers who have become comfortable learning about companies remotely via websites, social media, content downloads such as e-books and white papers, email and phone calls
In fact, many customers prefer the flexibility of phone calls to face-to-face meetings.
Due to the benefits of inside sales, the B2B sales model is changing. Inside sales representatives are taking over more sales duties, sometimes handling the complete sale by themselves rather than working hand in hand with a field sales person. Even if they are working with a field sales executive, they may be doing more up front to transform leads into qualified sales opportunities before passing the baton to the field sales person.
The growth in demand for inside sales people has resulted in a shortage of qualified reps on the market. That means companies now need to hire and train people who may not have a proven track record in inside sales.
You've decided it's time to use the power of the human touch and connect one-on-one with your prospects and customers. You're ready to nurture and qualify leads more effectively and maximize the use of your sales team's time.
Perhaps you've previously done some informal telemarketing. You've asked a few administrative assistants to make calls on an as-needed basis. However, this option may not have worked for you because you were not able to put the correct systems, training, people and processes in place. It ended up being expensive, time-consuming and ineffective.
So, now you're making a choice between setting up an inside sales function or outsourcing the task to a professional B2B telemarketing organization. Intuitively, it may seem like it would cost less to tackle telemarketing tasks at your company. However, you want to see the numbers in black and white.