Everyone wants more high-quality leads, but many businesses neglect teledemand as a marketing channel due to preconceived notions and difficulty converting. For the majority of organizations, ignoring this channel is a mistake. Done right, telemarketing is a great way to capture high-quality leads and learn more about what your potential customers are looking for. We’ve put together this guide to help you learn more about how you can ensure your teledemand leads actually convert.
Converting teledemand leads
- Dispelling myths about teledemand
- Telemarketing challenges
- Best practices for following up on teledemand leads
- How TechnologyAdvice can help
Dispelling myths about teledemand
Teledemand gets a bad rap in the marketing industry. Some tech vendors won’t use it, thinking it’s an outdated or ineffective form of marketing that won’t convert well. Other vendors have been concerned that, with the rise in remote work, it would be difficult to reach prospects. At TechnologyAdvice, however, we haven’t seen much dropoff. The truth is, telemarketing just requires a solid strategy for follow-up and outreach.
Myth #1: just keep talking
Most people think that if you just keep talking, eventually your prospects will give in and listen. That’s not even remotely the case, and it can actually turn buyers away from a product that might actually fit their needs. Instead, make your outreach about the consumer and listen to their needs before recommending products or services to them.
Myth #2: be aggressive
When you’re aggressive during a sales call, especially one the buyer didn’t ask for, it can quickly alienate the prospect and leave them with negative feelings about your product. If buyers object, don’t go for the hard sell. Open up a discussion about what they’re actually looking for. If your product can help, great! But if not, don’t push it on them. This will make them more likely to come back to you if they do need you in the future.
Myth #3: anyone can make cold calls
As much as we wish this was the case, not just anyone can make cold calls. Telemarketing can be intimidating, especially because you really never know who you’re going to get on the other end of the line. People who really excel in cold calling are patient and have good listening skills. They are empathetic to their prospects’ needs and challenges and focus on being a resource rather than a complete solution.
Overall, the B2B software and SaaS industry had a 1.1 percent conversion rate in 2020. However, in a case study TechnologyAdvice performed, we were able to achieve a conversion rate of 4.79 percent with just our teledemand strategy. So, how were we able to convert leads over four times better than the overall industry average? Let’s first examine some of the challenges of teledemand.
As a marketing channel, telemarketing presents some unique challenges that can make it difficult to convert leads.
Large buying committees
The average buying committee for any given company includes about 7 people, but they can include as many as 25. You can only call one at a time, and you likely won’t ever talk to the entire committee. Members collect information independently and then spend about 15 percent of the buying process comparing and prioritizing the research they’ve gathered. To combat this, you have to be able to anticipate the needs of your prospect’s buying committee and address those concerns proactively.
Getting in touch with the right person
While buying committees are getting larger, you still have to get in touch with the right person to have any chance of closing the sale. Your contact has to have purchasing authority or influence on the buying committee. You don’t want to pitch to a gatekeeper because they might make a decision that wasn’t theirs to make. Leveraging LinkedIn and 10-K reports to build organization chart maps can help you determine who you should be trying to connect with.
In general, teledemand and other third-party leads have longer conversion times because prospects are very early in the process of looking for solutions. The good news is that they likely don’t have a shortlist or preferred vendor, giving you the opportunity to make your pitch. For 74.6 percent of new customers, the typical sales cycle takes over three months, with teledemand leads taking longer than organic. The best way to speed this up is to focus on buyer pain points and ensure you’re not pushing products that the prospect doesn’t need.
Best practices for following up on teledemand leads
Now that you know more about the challenges of telemarketing, let’s look at some best practices for increasing your conversion rate.
Treat leads from different sources differently
Organic leads (i.e., leads that come through inbound marketing) will always out-perform third-party content syndication, but that doesn’t mean you should treat them the same way. Organic leads may only require one or two follow-ups since the prospect has been actively looking for your products or services.
While teledemand leads naturally don’t convert as often, you can improve the conversion rate by finding the right frequency and channels for outreach and follow-up. The way you connect with prospects will depend on their preferences; you may need to try a combination of phone, email attempts, and personal outreach videos (using tools like Drift, Vidyard, or Loom) to find what works for them. You could end up making at least 20 touchpoints before putting the prospect in your nurture campaigns and moving on to other opportunities. This number may even be higher if your inside sales team has helpful tools, like Salesloft.
Establish trust as quickly as possible
Prospects are often skeptical at first when it comes to telemarketing. They want to know who’s calling them and why. To gain their trust, you need to show expertise based on addressing prospects’ needs and challenges. TechnologyAdvice has been able to capitalize on our expertise through dynamic scripting. With this method, we aren’t just pitching the same products regardless of the buyer’s needs. Instead, we plug in the information they give us and make recommendations based on what they tell us.
Focus on buyer pain points and needs
Don’t push products the buyer doesn’t need or want. Dynamic scripting allows callers to focus on what the prospect needs rather than who the vendor wants to reach, improving the overall call experience for the buyer.
Let’s say you’re talking to a controller about a new ERP system. It’s probably a safe bet that the CFO is going to be a part of that buying committee, even if they’ll never talk to a vendor. However, you still need to make an impact on them, and you can do so by addressing concerns they might have about things like cost, time to implementation, and reporting capabilities.
Know when to recycle your leads
Now, this doesn’t mean you stop contacting the lead completely. However, if it’s clear someone needs longer than about six months to make a decision, stop following up with active engagement and put them into your nurture campaigns. This way, you’ll stay top of mind with the prospect, and when they’re ready for what you’re offering, they’ll be more likely to come to you first.
How TechnologyAdvice can help
Teledemand leads are tricky to gather and even trickier to close. TechnologyAdvice can set your business up for success by doing a lot of the pre-qualifying legwork for you. We’re experienced in content syndication and know how to engage and qualify prospects before sending the leads off to your company.
We use US-based call centers, improving the uptime you can expect. Many overseas call centers aren’t equipped for remote work, which means they can run into major problems during shutdowns. Additionally, our dynamic scripting program improves the prospect’s engagement during the calls because our representatives focus on buyers’ needs rather than pushing products.
Learn how you can generate leads that actually convert through our lead generation programs. We have over 50 million verified contacts and take into account your specific marketing challenges to recommend the program that’s right for you.