In the world of tech and SaaS, successful B2B lead generation is of key importance to draw in quality leads that can be easily converted to quantifiable sales, and is an important part of your business development. Your sales representatives are only as good as the leads that are generated for them in the first instance. That’s not to say cold calling doesn’t work — it certainly did 30 or 40 years ago and some long-established businesses have cold-calling to thank for their banks of repeat customers today. But for you, upscaling your company and moving with the times means there’s always something new and updated. We continuously see that tech businesses are more likely to build sales on a foundation of successful outbound lead generation.
Telesales is an old-fashioned and generally unused term, one tends to think of it in the same vein as facsimile and dial-up internet. Telesales is the act of selling a product or a service by telephone. Sometimes the term telesales is used for telemarketing but really they are different things. Telemarketing is a form of direct marketing with the aim of building and increasing sales but with the emphasis on first building solid international sales leads. Telemarketing is all about the product or service offered. It allows the marketeer to bring that product or service to the fore, generate interest in it and to let prospective buyers know all about it. Then the sales representative will pick up the baton and persuade the customer that they need it.
Cold calling is the old-fashioned foot in the door. An eager sales agents with smooth patter soliciting customers — often whether they are potentially interested or even not. No prior relationship, and maybe even no prior communication, both are so important in today’s world. The hope is to ultimately get that foot in through the door and lay the groundwork for the next stage of the hard-sell, be it a meeting, a demo or jumping right in to close a sale. Sometimes this is done over the phone with a script of how the conversation will go, or actual door-to-door marketing minus the appointment but with the hopeful smile.
Does cold calling still work? Is it dead and forgotten or is it alive and well, asks Vanguard, in an attempt to address the business case for cold calling in these uncertain times and beyond. That depends. It can still be considered a viable marketing option, but only if it is brought up to date, and it doesn’t suit every industry.
Today, all a customer has to do is open a tab on their browser and compare services and prices with no hard-sell at all. The competition is always just one tab away. So cold calling should also be updated for the digital era. Instead of telesales and those meaningless scripts, you can leverage cold emails or unsolicited messages via social media platforms such as to your LinkedIn connections. These may lead to deeper conversations and your chance to introduce your product or service. Answering website questions and getting involved with comments promptly is a form of cold selling that may reap substantial rewards. You can track who has visited the website and at what times they browsed. It’s all useful marketing information. At the very least, it will be a chance to build a relationship with a prospective customer. People will see your website is active and that you are interactive.
However, there are pitfalls with this approach. Making a list of prospective customers and reaching out to connect on LinkedIn, XING or Viadeo (the German and French equivalent platforms, respectively, used by international sales representatives) is one thing. Immediately spamming them with news of your service or product is another. That’s taking it right back to the unwelcome foot in the door.
Instead, there are better ways to bring cold calling up to date.
Indeed, awareness of cultural differences in different countries will probably dictate how your international sales representatives make that crucial next move.
It’s the difference between making a stab in the dark and intelligent research. Using the services of an outsourced sales agency for successful outbound lead generation will ensure you are putting the right potential customers into your funnel. Cold calling telesales is a maybe/maybe not approach. Outsourcing is more definitive. It will provide your business with experienced, qualified B2B lead generation. And if you are scaling up to a foreign market you need to move fast. Really, do you have time to waste on hiring employees only capable of cold calling or telesales?
A ready to go and highly qualified outbound lead generation team will be just that — getting your product or service in front of new prospects sooner.
Successful outbound lead generation uses a multichannel approach. Calling is just one option. You need to move far and beyond a telephone sales pitch or scripted call. Instead, allow your outsourced B2B lead generation team craft creative and original content and SEO focused blogs for your website, making targeted messages pushed out to a receptive audience. By following up with an informed and thought-out outbound call after a potential customer shows interest through an interaction, you’re able to ensure you are communicating and spending valuable time going out to people who have an affinity for your service and a requirement for what you are selling. Drive customers to your vertical in a proactive and positive manner ready for the outsourced sales representatives to move in and close.
Outbound lead generation will also booster and build on brand awareness, reaching wider audiences and getting your reputation out there, and that’s helpful in a new or unknown market, and they will prequalify leads for sales. You will strategically move the prospect towards a purchase decision through a process that might include field sales representative follow-ups, maybe to distribute free samples and demos, coordinate final negotiations, and close sales.
The main difference between successful outbound lead generation versus cold calling telesales is it’s all about THEM, the customers, and not about YOU. This reversal in focus right from the beginning ensures customers who are already interested in you believe that you have their best interests at heart and the solution they need. And trust is built, then reputation, and of course, return on investment and success for you and for your growing business.