The Power of Effective Teleprospecting in B2B Sales

While having a review call with the Sales Manager of a  Fortune 100 client this week, I was humbled by his overall feedback of how Dunlap Marketing is moving the needle forward for his team.

The main reason for our call was to review recent appointments that Dunlap Marketing had produced for the sales team.  After reviewing the sequence of events on a particular prospect, the Sales Manager told me how happy his team was with Dunlap Marketing. I thanked him and then asked why the team felt this way.

He went on to share with me that the teleprospecting services Dunlap Marketing has provided them over the last 8 years has been top notch.  He reminded me that we are not perfect, but we are great.  My ears were burning, I had to know more, so I asked him to explain. Here’s a summary of what he said:

  • 1st – Your quality control process is gutsy, but you seem to filter out events that are probably not yet ready for the sales team to go after – this keeps from wasting the time of my team
  • 2nd – You stand behind your services and you are always available to brainstorm and discuss challenging situations
  • 3rd – You know how to identify the best type of companies that need our services
  • 4th – Your team understands what we do and is therefore better at properly qualifying opportunities prior to scheduling meetings
  • 5th – We receive close to real time delivery and your team provides a detailed explanation of the reason for the meeting
  • 6th – Prospects almost always accept our calendar invitations and they attend the scheduled meeting
  • 7th (and possibly my favorite) – There have been plenty of times that you have scheduled an appointment with companies that we have been struggling to get into, this leading to a quote from one of his sales team members:

“…….after your team set meetings with both companies, I was able to close them.  Both are now platinum accounts.  I had been following up with these companies but was unable to get an appointment.  I am sharing this because I want Dunlap Marketing to get proper credit.”

Regional Sales Manager, 8-year-client

My take away from the conversation – telephone based cold calling is still effective and complements other methods of advertising.  It stands unique because it is a human-to-human conversation and it often penetrates a segment of prospects that do not always participate in other mediums.

For more information on ways to get your own prospecting campaign up and running, read THIS article, 7 Steps to Implementing a Smart Calling Program

Contact Mike Dunlap,, with questions and inquiries. 

Call-Based Appointment Setting

Properly Identifying Your Best Prospects

Last week both of these emails were sent to me by Dunlap Marketing customers. 

“I just wanted to give your team a quick shout out. I just got off a call with the TMRS and they are a perfect fit for our platform, the appointment was set by your team. I know your guys are working hard and I want them to know how much we appreciate the help. Keep up the good work and thanks for everything!”
Account Executive – Texas

“Great one Mike! Thank you. We looking forward to connecting with this prospect.  They are exactly the type of company we want to call on.”
Global Manager

Both messages were the result of properly planning call campaigns in advance of implementation.

While there are many elements of properly planning a call campaign, there are three worth reflecting on:

1st – Knowing Who To Call

To have a successful call campaign, we have to know who the best companies are that need to be called. This is the only way for there to be a “perfect fit”.  With a 15-minute Q&A session between you and us, we can typically determine this answer.  If we can’t, we will model companies that you say are great customers, and we will build a profile of like-minded companies.  As part of this process, we usually factor in annual revenue ranges, employee count ranges, geography, and industry classifications.

2nd – Knowing What To Say

After we identify who to call, we hone in on what to say. This looks like crafting a call message that efficiently communicates your services. This often is a “to the point” approach, using as few words as possible. It includes knowing who the decision maker is, or identifying who this person is.

A common strategy is writing a message where we ask high-quality probing questions, and when favorable answers are given, we do not try to be the expert with follow-up responses. Rather, we ask to schedule a meeting so the prospects can talk to you, the expert.

3rd – Proper Training

Once we have a list and a call message, we train and prepare our staff to professionally represent you while making prospecting phone calls.  These are employees who work inside our West Houston office and who have experience making B2B phone calls.  A unique skill we foster within our team is the ability to be tactfully persistent, while calling with a smile.


The second half of 2023 seems to be taking shape as challenging for business development. With high interest rates, inflation, global conflict, and political parties that have difficulty working tighter, this might become a time when going back to the basics is healthy.

Maintaining or growing our businesses is necessary, going back to the basics and fundamentals of adding new customers might be the best game plan for the balance of this year.

We are happy to brainstorm ways to do this with your sales team.  Feel free to let us know if you have an interest in talking.

Mike Dunlap – President

Phone: (281) 496-9870 x140


How COVID Has Impacted Connecting With Decision Makers

Thoughts from Mike Dunlap, President of Dunlap Marketing

Though very necessary, we all know that hunting for new business is challenging.  And, it became more challenging with the pandemic.  One of the biggest obstacles is the added dynamic based on remote working.  Often with prospecting, getting past the gatekeeper or auto-attendant and to the correct decision-maker is the first big step.  However, with the pandemic, we now frequently find out that the decision-maker is working from home.  Some phone systems are advanced enough to transfer the call to a cellphone or house office; however, other systems are not capable of doing the transfer.

If you agree that prospecting is important and it needs to continue, how do you handle this new layer of challenge?  In our office, we have learned that when you learn the decision-maker is working remotely, about 80% of the time when you ask, you are given a way to connect with the person.  The key is, you have to ask. Yes, it takes more legwork, more time, and a few more call attempts are added to the process. But ultimately, you are able to establish a conversation.

We have also learned that about 50% of the time, we are unaware of being transferred to a remote office.  With all calls we make, one-third of the time the decision-maker is remote, the company is unwilling to provide us with contact information.  In these instances, we become more reliant on voicemail and email communications.  During the pandemic, we find ourselves using voice mail and email as a way to at least get our clients’ names in front of prospects.  The good news is since COVID, we have seen an improvement in prospects responding to voicemails and emails.

Success Story

Two months ago, an account representative for one of our clients sold an account that represents more than 50% of his yearly quota.  It was a huge success.  In reviewing the history of the prospect that included multiple years of tracking, we learned that the decision-maker was working remotely because of COVID.  The best we were able to do was leave voicemail messages for her.  We also followed up with periodic emails. Then, she finally took our call.  The timing became right for her, the appointment was set, and within 45 days the account was sold.

Applying Salesmanship 101 Principles

Updated – December 2019

Since this article was originally posted in March 2017, much remains the same with our five-year client. The program has continued to grow in the United States – Dunlap Marketing also has the pleasure of supporting the Canadian team now. The process is unchanged, but has been further refined and additional database files have been built and added to the program.

Defining your target marketing, tactfully and respectfully reaching out to them, then making appropriate follow-up steps are the epitome of salesmanship 101 principles. Nothing fancy, just effective.

Original Article – March 2017

An international oil and gas company, and two-year Dunlap Marketing client, has proven when it comes to selling, salesmanship 101 principals still remain. Dunlap Marketing provides an integral function of making prospecting telephone calls into businesses around the US that have large and medium fleets of vehicles. The objective is to schedule phone or face-to-face appointments with interested prospects and our client’s regional sales managers.

“You guys are on fire in my area! Two proposals went out this week from your leads.” – Mid-states region


  • Before calling began, Dunlap researched and built a national database consisting of our client’s target prospects, based on industry-type and fleet size
  • Once the database was built, Dunlap called to identify the person responsible for decisions relating to fuel card programs
  • Through tactful persistence, Dunlap makes ongoing telephone calls to communicate with this person – the goal being to learn how their company’s current fuel card program works and identifying potential interest in meeting with our client’s regional sales managers
  • Upon request of the prospect, the Dunlap team will email additional information about the program to prospects who want to learn more before scheduling an appointment
  • Throughout the course of calling, Dunlap adds additional database records to the master list. New records can come from either our client’s CRM or through additional research
  • The ultimate goal continues to be scheduling appointments, with a major focus on new business development

“Thanks for the leads Mike. I sang your company’s praises last week at our national sales meeting. I think your staff does a great job.” – Southeast region

Additional Value-Adds:

  • Maintaining CRM application to properly track/manage appointments we set
  • Blitz programs isolating certain events or markets that include a targeted initiative around selling more fleet fuel card programs
  • Internal, weekly product training for continuous education of the Dunlap staff

“Our sales manager was able to speak with all of the calls scheduled! AND one of them is likely to close a deal with us! Nice job! – Marketing Manager

The success of this campaign is based on applying basic salesmanship 101 tactics. Proper planning, messaging, cold calling, strategic follow up calls, and use of email correspondence are the building blocks of selling.

For questions or inquiries, contact us online. Or, reach out to Mike Dunlap at, 281.496.9870 x 140 or Kaitlin Dunlap Cuevas at, 281.496.9870 x 180.