Tag : sales

4Jan
Call CampaignB2B Cold Calling Can Work, and Here’s How

B2B Cold Calling Can Work, and Here’s How

“Cold calling is expensive and doesn’t yield a great ROI.” Unfortunately, we’ve heard this claim from business owners more times than we can count. In reality, cold calling done right can raise the profile of a business, connect sales reps with qualified, interested prospects, and help convert cold leads into happy customers. However, there’s a reason why so many throw in the towel when it comes to cold calling: because it’s easy to make a very expensive mess of a calling campaign. On the other hand, when businesses follow the right formula, cold calling can be exactly the right kind of cost-effective tactic to warm up new prospects in their industry.

Why Traditional Cold Calling Campaigns Fail

It comes down to quality and getting what you pay for. Too many businesses throw together a calling campaign with no real strategy, a poorly vetted list, and an ineffective script because they’re worried about spending a lot of money on a tactic that might not work. To make things worse, a burned-out or overburdened sales team member is often placed at the helm to manage it all.

Everything from script writing to the cold calling itself takes a high level of skill, time, and energy in order to pull off. When you haven’t invested in the guidance of cold calling experts, it’s virtually inevitable that a business will spend a lot of money on a brand damaging venture with next to zero ROI. This is just one of many examples for why cutting corners in marketing is more expensive and less effective in the long run.

This doesn’t mean we’re suggesting that a business can simply outsource their calling campaigns to self-proclaimed experts and expect measurable rates of success from any service provider. Another common mistake business owners make is relying on underpriced telemarketing companies to run their cold calling campaigns. These agencies often use inexperienced calling talent who can’t connect well with prospects, and are more likely to do brand damage than serve as effective brand ambassadors.

As with any type of marketing, an ineffectively executed tactic will result in a waste of resources. With calling campaigns, enviable ROIs don’t just happen – you have to work for them.

Modern Cold Calling Campaigns Done Right

First things first: a successful cold calling campaign begins with a strategy and a high quality list, which should include direct mail addresses, company names, the names and titles of individuals at those companies. Narrow down your target market with appropriate demographic information like SIC codes and revenue stats. Using a more narrow, targeted list prevents you from spending resources on lists dominated by unqualified leads and helps your callers make the most of the time they spend reaching out to prospects.

Be cautious when attempting to utilize email in conjunction with a calling campaign. Most email automation services won’t even allow you to upload or email a purchased list. Work with an expert of using email ethically and responsibly.

The next step is writing a script that aligns with your overall strategy using tried and true script writing styles. A quality script provides answers for all likely contingencies and customer responses to prevent the conversation from actually feeling scripted. This requires writing scripts for leaving a message on an answering machine, for speaking with a skeptical customer, and working your way past skilled gatekeepers. The primary focus of an effective cold calling script should always be on the needs of the potential customer first, while providing just enough information at the right intervals to keep a lead engaged without overselling. With the aforementioned components finessed throughout a script by professional script writers, a cold caller can actually start to build relationships out of cold leads and prime them for later conversations with your sales talent.

However, even with a professionally written script, an inexperienced caller is set up to fail at a cold calling campaign. Professional calling talent dedicate all of their time to working around rude, angry, or disinterested individuals on the phone and won’t get discouraged or timid after being turned down a few times. Using professional cold callers also allows your sales team to maintain their enthusiasm and put their skills and energies towards nurturing qualified leads and actually closing sales.

If all of that information seems like a lot to digest, there’s no need to worry. Our team of marketing experts, script writers, and calling campaign developers is here to provide additional guidance whenever you need it. To get in touch, visit our Contact page here.

Read More
28Jan
falling-off-the-ladderAre Your customers Falling off the Ladder?

Are Your customers Falling off the Ladder?

Are Your Customers Falling Off the Ladder? Every business owner must ask this critical question regularly.  Your customer loyalty ladder profile can say a lot about the health of your business.  One of the primary reasons small businesses and startups fail is a lack of marketing activities directed at customer loyalty.  This failure rate is exaggerated during a struggling economy as customers hunker down with the businesses that they already have established a solid relationship with.  This customer ladder is the path your customers take from the first moment they hear about your business to the final level of interaction in which they choose to engage your business.

Beyond just looking at how customers fit into your ladder we need to look at how your budget is allocated across it.  Where in the ladder will we obtain the greatest return on investment (ROI)? Various experts have identified several different versions of this ladder, some with 5 rungs and some with a few more depending on the level of granularity desired to describe the customer.  Take a close look at your customers and identify what percentage of your sales comes from each of the following classifications.  Then look at where you spend your marketing dollars.

The Suspect – a person or business that has heard or been exposed to your business or advertising.

The Prospect – a person or business that has responded by showing interest in your message.  We can add granularity by identifying a rung for those who merely showing interest from those who are beginning to negotiate how they want to buy.  These would be your buyers or shoppers.

The Customer – a person or business that has purchased your goods or services once.

The Client or Member – a person or business that has made multiple purchases.  These are your loyal customers.

The Advocate – a person or business that refers prospects to your business.  Let us note that a referral will skip the expense of moving from the suspect rung to prospect.  The cost of moving a referral from prospect to customer is significantly lower than new prospects coming through your suspect phase.

The Raving Fan – a person or business that can’t help themselves from selling your goods or  services for you.  An advocate will make referrals but a raving fan is part of your team. A healthy business will spend 30 percent of their marketing dollars on activities that move customers up to the top portion of the ladder.  They will spend 70 percent of their marketing dollars on advertising seeking new customers.  Many struggling businesses I have come into contact with are allocating their marketing dollars in a 5/95 split, consuming most of their budget frantically seeking new customers.  They need this because they are losing customers after a single purchase.  Their customers are falling off the ladder.  They have made a critical mistake of not building a relationship with the customer to increase their loyalty. To bring a suspect up your ladder to the customer level through traditional advertising can cost four times the expense of attracting a repeat customer.  In addition it can take 30 to 50 times the advertising dollars to bring a suspect up to the customer level versus having an advocate refer the prospect. This illustration depicts just how important it is to never lose sight of marketing to your existing customer base.  Loyal customers can be your anchor through the ebbs and flows of a business cycle, and the passion of advocates and raving fans can be more effective than an in-house sales team at bringing highly qualified prospects to your business, all due to the power of a referral.

Read More