Lead generation 2.0: Technology-led telemarketing

Marketing is changing very rapidly.  Mediums used to communicate marketing messages are becoming predominantly digital.  40% of UK b2b marketing budgets are now spent on digital marketing* and in the US, online advertising spend has doubled in the last five years**.

The last 18 months, Prospect Research has seen big changes in terms of how we are approach telemarketing for clients and ourselves.   However, the one thing that hasn’t changed and I don’t envisage changing no matter how much we tweet, blog and email is the fact that we need to talk to people; people with attitudes, opinions, priorities and personalities that can only be uncovered in conversation.

There’s no denying that telemarketing needs to adapt to what the digital world brings.  However, if you can adapt, the digital age will simply enhance telemarketing and lead generation.

There is a spectrum of business leads, from the hottest enquiries you receive to totally cold prospects.  Leads from the entire spectrum can feed into your telemarketing pipeline.

The most exciting thing about digital marketing is that it gives you a new middle ground of warm leads.  These warm leads come from being able to identify prospects that have shown through their online behaviour evidence they may have an interest in your services.   This allows you to target more effectively and in turn be more efficient with your budgets.

Below are some ideas about how digital marketing methods can enhance your lead generation.

1.  Tracking visitors to your website

Software is available to give you the ability to identify the companies that have visited your website, as well as showing how long their visit was and what they were interested in.   To use this effectively, you need to establish rules to help you identify who the genuine prospects are, as you will find competitors, suppliers, clients and unsuitable prospects that will need filtering out.

The filtered leads can feed into your business development team’s call list, allowing them to tailor their sales message to reflect the web content the visitor was most interested in.

The software also allows you to track the source of the website visitors which can give you data to feed into your web strategy.

2.  White papers

Offering downloads of topical white papers, industry information and newsletters on your website shows expertise in your field.   You can also build a pot of prospects by recording the people who download it, and making follow-up calls to gauge their interest in your product/service.

3.  Business news feeds

Some of our clients subscribe to news feeds that give details about forthcoming projects.  This includes public tenders, building projects, new retail stores, office moves and lease expiry dates.

Telemarketing can be used to qualify details about contracts, the correct contacts to engage with, and how to get on preferred supplier lists.

Over last few years, this information has become more accurate and accessible.  However, again, you need to put rules in place to identify the best opportunities to pursue.

4.  E-marketing

Email software can track people who have read your marketing emails and also who have clicked through to your website.  This can indicate a level of interest although we have found on campaigns the most relevant leads come from people who have opened an email five or more times or have clicked through to your website.

5.  LinkedIn

Anyone who has used LinkedIn for direct lead generation is probably still nursing a slapped wrist as this is generally seen as going against accepted etiquette.  LinkedIn is primarily used for brand awareness, making contacts, nurturing relationships with contacts that your refer work and showing expertise.

However, it can still be used as a tool for telemarketing.  It is great for obtaining decision maker names as these are increasingly publicised on the web.  It is also good for profiling prospects as it allows you to see what they are saying about themselves.

If you spot sales opportunities, consider using methods outside of LinkedIn to contacts the prospects.

Conclusions

  • Companies need to adapt their telemarketing approach to sit alongside digital marketing.
  • There is a need for create effective rules and boundaries to use to identify the best prospects.
  • There is an impact on the calibre of telemarketers you employ as you need people who can adapt their approach as digital marketing throws out a wide variety of prospects.
  • The digital age has enhanced telemarketing’s filtering techniques.
  • Long gone are untargeted phone calls with a generic marketing message.
  • The two way conversation that telemarketing gives you with your prospects also allows you feedback their opinions into your overall marketing strategy.

To find out more about our work, visit www.prospectresearch.co.uk

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Sources

* Survey from B2B Barometer – www.b2bbarometer.co.uk

** Survey from emarketer.com – www.emarketer.com

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