Quality Control is Important with Telemarketing / Teleprospecting

For our clients, appointment setting phone calls are recorded and saved. Dunlap Marketing has found that because of this process, we gain more client renewals. As a result, there are a number of benefits.

Client Benefits:

  • Dunlap management is able to verify that a proper appointment has been set, and that all necessary qualifying questions have been asked and answered before we distribute the appointment to a client
  • Our clients are able to properly plan and prepare for the upcoming conversation with the prospect
  • Maximizes the time of our clients and their sales team
  • Dunlap is able to establish a “trusting” relationship with our clients

Dunlap Marketing Benefits:

  • The practice is a necessary step in maintaining a quality control process and it’s a great tool to hold our staff accountable to following campaign requirements
  • It is a great coaching tool used to develop and provide advanced training with our staff – both individually and as a team
  • It allows productive 2-way communication with our clients when the need is present to brainstorm specific prospect opportunities or strategies

Appointment setting and telemarketing (teleprospecting) are very productive methods of developing new customers.  Often these new customers are not currently on our clients’ radar as potential opportunities.  For this reason, these new customers represent growth that was not expected.

In summary, the best benefit of all is client renewals.  Our clients renew our services because they receive value in the appointments set and the qualified leads that we produce.  Dunlap Marketing benefits because we enjoy the relationship with repeat business.

For more information, please contact Mike Dunlap or Kaitlin Cuevas.

Mike Dunlap – miked@dunlapmarketing.com – 281.496.9870 x 140

Kaitlin Cuevas – kaitlind@dunlapmarketing.com – 281.496.9870 x 180

Why is Cold Calling Important?

Cold calling has a very specific purpose, and often, its purpose is forgotten. It’s not forgotten because it’s unimportant – it’s forgotten because most sales people don’t like doing it. As a matter of fact, telemarketing and cold calling remains an import discipline to apply to any sales role. In many business-to-business sales organizations, old school “door knocking” might be unproductive, especially with large territory assignments. However, prospecting via phone calls remains a great compliment to your overall appointment setting and lead generation activities.

As discussed in The Difference Between Qualified Leads, leads can be broken down into two categories – buyer-generated and seller-generated. Buyer-generated leads generally advance through the sales cycles more quickly because a potential buyer is actively searching for your product or service. However, there are a finite number of buyer-generated leads. This is when the importance of seller-generated leads is presented. Telemarketing is a tried and true method of seller-generated lead generation.

When you can clearly define and identify who your prospects are, cold call telemarketing is a great way to hustle for new business opportunities. It becomes even more effective when advertising and marketing budgets limit or prohibit other forms of lead generation. Cold calling remains a cost-effective lead generation method, giving you control over growing your business, while not depending upon inbound generation methods.

Customer Testimonial – Proof of Cold Calling Success

Recently, Dunlap Marketing scheduled an appointment for a software technology client.  The telemarketing call was made inside a targeted database of potential users.  It was a successful call, and likely an opportunity that would not have surfaced unless a cold call had been made.

Listen to what the prospect said about the cold call.

Get Cold Calling To Work For You

Cold calling is a tool that can be used to continuously add new prospects to your pipeline of selling opportunities. Typically, cold-call-generated-prospects are not the ones you find through inbound methods; because of this, they compliment other lead generation strategies.

Having a plan of how to execute a cold call campaign is the first step in implementation. For more information, check out our 6 Steps to Implement a Telemarketing Campaign series.

Contact – Mike Dunlap, miked@dunlapmarketing.com  (281) 496-9870 x140

A Simple Way to Increase the Number of Appointments Honored by Prospects

 

Are you trying to get your foot in the door with new selling opportunities, but the door gets slammed in your face when your prospects don’t honor the meeting time you both agreed to? It’s frustrating when this happens, and unfortunately, it happens to all sales people. You might find yourself wondering if there’s a trick is to increase the number of appointments honored by prospects? The good news is the solution is simple – calendar invites.

Increase the Number of Appointments Honored by Prospects

Calendar invites are an easy, yet effective way to increase the number of appointments honored by prospects. There are a few keys to being successful with calendar invites.

  1. Timely follow up
  2. Jog your prospect’s memory
  3. Be on time
  4. Attempt to reschedule when necessary

Timely Follow Up

Timely follow up is a fundamental aspect of the sales cycle. With calendar invites, timely follow up achieves two things:

  1. It earns you trust from your prospects
  2. It gives you the best chance at your prospect remembering why they committed to meeting with you

Remind Your Prospect Why They Committed To Meeting

Although you will follow up timely, it’s important to remember that your prospect has 100 other things on his/her plate. In your calendar invite, it’s helpful to mention something to jog their memory. It can be as simple as:

“Thank you for speaking with me today. I’m looking forward to discussing your interest in {product/service your company offers} and how {your company’s name} can be an asset to you and your team.”

Be On Time

For a phone meeting, if the prospect either confirms or does not respond to your calendar invite, make sure you are on time for the appointment. It’s important to show your prospect you respect their time and appreciate their willingness to accept an appointment.

For a face-to-face meeting, if the prospect does not respond to your calendar invite, you have a few options, depending on how important the opportunity is to you. If the opportunity is of high importance, show up on time for the appointment. However, if it’s a less important opportunity or a lot of travel is required, attempt to reconnect via phone or email before attending the appointment.

Attempt To Reschedule If Prospect Declines Invite

If your prospect declines the calendar invite, don’t worry. Respect the fact that something unexpected might have come up on their end and send them a message suggesting a few dates/times for rescheduling the appointment.  

At the end of the day, calendar invites are a simple way to increase the number of appointments honored by prospects. Not only does it remind them of their commitment, but it also shows them that you are on the ball.

For more information, contact Mike (miked@dunlapmarketing.com) or Kaitlin (kaitlind@dunlapmarketing.com).

The Difference Between Qualified Leads

As a sales professional, the origin of a lead is important to know, especially when establishing expectation for a lead. Lead generation is not a cookie-cutter process and because of this, all leads are not equal. Understanding the difference between qualified leads helps to properly layout your sales strategy for each individual opportunity as you advance it through the sales process.

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The Origin of Leads

First, let’s look at common ways leads come to life:

  1. Referral/word-of-mouth
  2. Online research (i.e.: website, SEO, PPC)
  3. Social media
  4. Self-generated (i.e.: cold calling, telemarketing, email or mail campaigns)

Commonly, sales people will look at each of these avenues of lead generation as equal, or very similar. Therefore, a sales person will subconsciously assign the same level of expectation and approach to all leads, no matter its origin.  With this mindset, some leads will fall short of expectation, no matter how good they are. Additionally, leads run the risk of dying if opportunities are not properly planned and nurtured.

The Difference Between Qualified Leads

How are leads different?  In the broadest perspective, there are two forms of lead generation:

  1. Buyer-generated: Created by the potential buyer, reaching out in an effort to find a solution
  2. Seller-generated: Created by the seller, reaching out to identify potential buyers

Buyer-Generated Leads

Selling opportunities created by the buyer are usually the most qualified and advance through the sales cycle faster than seller-generated leads. This can be attributed to the fact that the buyer has a need and is looking for a solution; the need is creating enough pain that the buyer starts actively looking for a company who can solve the problem.  Not much legwork, such as cold calling and other telemarketing efforts, is required of the sales person up to this point.  From a typical sales person’s expectation, these are the best kind of leads to receive.

However, downsides exist. Commonly, there are not enough buyer-generated leads to satisfy sales quotas and sales people have little control on generating a volume of them (referral or word-of-mouth). Also, they can become expensive to produce (online and social media advertising).  Ultimately, in most business-to-business situations, there are not enough of these leads to fully distribute to and satisfy a whole sales team – certainly not enough to achieve overall company sales success.

Seller-Generated Leads

Selling opportunities created through seller-generation usually occur when a sales person initiates activity that stimulates conversation (i.e.: cold calling, telemarketing, email or mail campaigns) with a prospective company. Conversation usually starts with probing-type questions.  If you are lucky and the timing is right, good questions become the start of a new lead opportunity. In this situation, similarly to buyer-generated leads, your Q&A session will coincide with an existing pain the prospect might be dealing with; however, this is the exception, not the rule.

Read more about how to write a telemarketing script.

More frequently, you will stimulate a level of interest. But, timing is dependent upon many less controllable factors such as being inside an existing agreement term, the need for the prospect to research new solutions, or the prospect having to decide if making a change to your solution is worth the effort.

The Journey

It is important to recognize the point in a prospect’s journey where you, as the seller, get involved. With seller-generated leads, the journey begins when the prospect expresses a level of pain associated with their current solution.  With buyer-generated leads, the journey is well underway by the time the sales person gets involved.  Understanding your point of entry will help guide you into setting proper time lines, expectations, and upcoming sales strategy.

A seller-generated lead can feel colder early on because the buyer is at an earlier stage in the journey; however, when properly nurtured, the selling opportunity becomes more valuable.  During this development, you start building a relationship with the prospect, which ultimately becomes an advantage for you.  Frequently, seller-generated leads have fewer competitors involved.

In Summary

Expressing a level of pain by the prospect and the action you take to resolve this pain can take time and sales skill to advance.  Because of this, it is important to apply a fair expectation on each, as the value of each opportunity is different and the amount of time and work involved with each opportunity varies.  The close rate of buyer-generated leads is higher than seller-generated leads; however, there is a finite number of buyer-generated leads available and that number is not enough to satisfy company sales goals in most business-to-business environments.  This is the point where it becomes important to realize the value of seller-generated lead generation.  In most organizations, sales professionals should also maintain an adequate number of these leads inside the sales funnel.

In almost any instance, a proper balance of buyer-generated and seller-generated leads are required for a company to be successful and exceed sales goals. With both types of leads inside the sales funnel, always remember the difference between qualified leads.

For more information on this topic, please contact Mike Dunlap at miked@dunlapmarketing.com.