B2B Calling Campaigns

B2B Cold Calling Can Work, and Here’s How

B2B Calling Campaigns

“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.

 

 


Connect With Your Target Audience

How To Connect With Your Target Audience

Connect With Your Target Audience

You know your business and your industry better than anyone, but to really maximize your marketing, it’s not enough to know your products and services inside and out. You have to know your customers inside and out. Effective marketing goes deep and gets inside the heads of your target audience, and speaks to their likes, dislikes, values, priorities, and lifestyles.

Learn How To Talk To Your Audience

Marketers figure out how to speak to a target audience by constructing Buyer Personas — a general description of what characteristics define your target audience. Though Buyer Personas won’t describe absolutely everyone in a target market, they’re useful for narrowing down the tone, content, and tactics used in the marketing campaigns we employ to reach the majority of those ideal customers.

We start building a Buyer Persona by asking basic questions about the demographics of a businesses’ target audience, like age, industry, geographical region, education and income level. If you could describe your customer, what types of clothing do they wear? What kind of car do they drive? A customer who goes to work in a fuel-efficient Prius and yoga attire will likely have different preferences, needs, and motivations than one who drives an extended cab pick-up truck and carries a Leatherman. Small details form a complete picture of your target and can help you understand how best to communicate with them. (Don’t forget, this should be based on actual customers you are attracting, not who you believe you should attract. For example, incorrect assumptions are often made about genders so make sure you educate yourself with articles such as this she-conomy.com which explains some common pitfalls and how to avoid them. Many marketing campaigns have fallen flat because advertisers missed the mark on who they appealed to.)

How To Start Connecting

When it comes to choosing between these marketing modalities, the purchasing behaviors of your target audience should dictate the tactic. A full analysis of your target audience provides the necessary insight into the shopping and buying behaviors of your ideal customers, and helps businesses make informed decisions when choosing between digital and traditional methods. Some examples include:

Social Media: Choose social media platforms your target audience is most likely to frequent. While younger age groups are particularly active on SnapChat and Instagram, a target audience of professionals in the prime of their career would more likely be found on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Traditional Media: Instead of focusing on platforms with the largest reach, focus on where your audience is. For example, a top 40 radio station may have the largest reach, but if your audience is listening to talk radio, that may be best platform. Likewise, newspapers with the largest reach may not be the same publications your audience reads cover to cover.

Content (White Papers, Case Studies, Blogs): Where long technical papers may be too detailed to catch the interest of a CEO, they could be perfect for an engineer who needs to know that your product meets his specific requirements. Some consumers may appreciate humor, memes, and hyperbole, where other demographics prefer you to get to the point.

No matter what method you choose, all language, imagery, and offerings should reflect the needs and desires of your target market. The better you know your ideal customer, the more effective your marketing will be.


Cultivate strategic alliances

Don't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em - Strategic Alliances

Cultivate strategic alliances

How do you reach more of your target demographic—the group beyond your current client base? One answer to this question is to form strategic alliances with other businesses.

Strategic alliances can appear in many forms— referrals, supply agreements, joint ventures, co-marketing, and shared production to name a few. Such partnerships benefit your business because they team you up with other businesses that target the same or similar demographics, but don’t offer the same services or products as your business. Strategic alliances open the door for opportunities to increase consumer awareness, gain new customers, and grow your business.

So how do you choose an alliance partner? Identifying a good fit can be difficult because there are several factors that come into play. Determine the appropriate alliance for your business, then seek the best partner or partners for you. For instance, if you make cakes, consider a bridal boutique or a wedding and event planner. If you’re a building contractor or home remodeler, think mortgage brokers and banks. Now that you have candidates for potential alliances, ask the following questions to help determine the best partners.

  • Are your businesses compatible?
  • Are you both going after the same market with a different product or service?
  • Do you share similar values and goals?
  • Is your potential strategic alliance partner someone you can trust?
  • Will you have equal or similar amounts of control in the relationship?
  • Are you capable of working together?

If the answers to these questions are ‘yes,’ you have most likely found a good alliance partner. You don’t have to completely open the gates and share your entire business and plans; maintaining identity, independence, and important trade secrets are vital to every business. Instead, for example begin to build a business relationship by starting out small with referrals. When you identify a client with a need your alliance partner can meet, refer that client to your alliance partner.

Continue to cultivate this relationship. Doing so puts you in front of more customers within your target. These are your partner’s customers—people that fit your ideal client criteria, but currently aren’t in your customer base. Because you and your partner do not offer the same products or services, you can feel comfortable continuing to refer business back and forth. This is a twofold benefit that grows the customer base for your business and your partner’s, while simultaneously providing those customers with trustworthy resources to meet multiple needs.

Once you’ve been working together for some time (strategic alliances can often take a year or more to build) and you’ve established a solid, trustworthy business relationship, you can continue building upon that foundation.

For example, strategic alliances create opportunities for some businesses and their partners to offer informational seminars. These seminars place you face-to-face with more of your combined customer base. Seminars also allow you to speak directly to a targeted, relevant group about what you offer, and the benefits your product or service can provide. Providing such valuable information establishes you as the expert in your field, making customers more likely to visit your business and refer others when needs for your services or products arise.

As with any relationship, it is important to evaluate your strategic alliances continually. Perhaps your alliance is only for the short term. If a long-term partnership is what you have in mind, open communication is important. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page, that your goals are in line, and that you still share the same values. Doing so will ensure you have a flourishing, lasting, and mutually beneficial strategic alliance.

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