Should telemarketing be part of lead generation?

Should telemarketing be part of your lead generation strategy? Cold calling isn't working anymore, but this doesn’t mean you need to bin it altogether.

Picture of Jack Williams Jack Williams

Published: 28 Jun 2018

5 minutes read

Should telemarketing be part of lead generation?

Cold calling is not working anymore, but this doesn’t mean you need to bin telemarketing altogether... 

If you think about human nature, it’s easy to pin down why cold calling no longer works solely on its own when it comes B2B lead generation. We like to be in control – or at least under the illusion that we are – and there’s something about someone calling you and telling you about “the latest product that’s missing in your life” that feels like… very much the opposite.

Instead, when we make decisions, we like to research and narrow down the options ourselves. With the advent of the web, this is easier than ever. The buyer journey doesn’t start with a cold call anymore; it starts with the customer finding you first.

So, the answer is to utilise telemarketing, but not in the traditional sense – today, it needs to start with your online presence. Get this right, and your salespeople will have customers lined up at the door.

Here, we explain how to incorporate telemarketing within your lead generation strategy. 

The steps: combining telemarketing and inbound marketing

The key here is to build your marketing strategy around the notion that you want to draw your customers to you. This will bring leads to the table that are closer to the bottom of the buyer journey and ready to convert, so that when you do implement telemarketing, it’s much more likely to result in a sale.

1. Understand inbound marketing

For your customers to come to you, you have to put things on the internet that will allow them to find you. This will mean creating content that speaks to their goals and challenges, and educates them. Most importantly, it’ll provide them with a solution .

The idea of reigning in prospects in this way is called inbound marketing. Research it, understand it, and use it.

2. Create buyer personas

Before you can begin creating targeting content, you must underpin who exactly it is that you’re trying to sell to. If you’re rolling your eyes right now, you shouldn’t be – we’ve seen time and time that businesses don’t actually understand their audiences as well as they think.

Your buyers are complex, and you’ll want to speak to them in the language that they’ll understand and respond to. Too simple and you’ll miss the mark, too complicated and it won't make sense.

You should know your customers so well that you know what their typical weekend looks like. Sound creepy? Maybe it is a bit, but understanding their downtime and how they use it will allow you to figure out the kind of content to send them (infographic, a quick video or a long article) and when.

optimise-website3. Optimise your website

Inbound marketing is about your entire web presence, not just a single blog post. You need great content across your entire website and you must optimise it with targeted keywords that adhere to SEO best practices.

4. Automate as much as possible

The ability to automate processes will go a long way.

Of course – how much you can achieve this will depend on the software that you’re using. We highly recommend the HubSpot tool, which encompasses content management, analytics, SEO, automation and more all from a singular platform. It allows you to create nifty things called “workflows” which are an automated set of actions that get triggered when a lead does something. So, for example, if a lead has visited your website twice and they’ve viewed your “contact us” page, you can set a trigger that will then send an email out to them. Easy peasy!

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5. Research your leads

Once you’ve got your inbound marketing strategy nailed down, you’re creating educational content and your prospects begin to engage – hold fire. Since you already have their details, you have a unique window of opportunity where you can research them and find out as much about them as you can.

According to research by HubSpot, 66% of people would not find it creepy if salespeople looked at their LinkedIn profile before they called them, and 64% would actually prefer it. So, find their LinkedIn profiles, look at the groups they belong to, what they’re interested in and read the content they post. This way, when you call them, it won’t be a faceless voice down the line, but someone who you have grounds to build up an immediate connection with. 

6. Make your warm call

Finally, call your prospect. The magic of the inbound process is that this will no longer be a cold call. At this stage, they will probably already know who you are and be expecting the call. There’s a big difference between a stranger calling you, to someone who has taken the time to understand you and your goals – as a result, your customers are much more likely to buy from you.

How to identify a good telemarketing agency

  • If they only ask after your product literature, they’re no good. If they’re interested in your customers and your customer’s drivers, however, it’ll demonstrate that they care about sending out the right message and targeting the right people.
  • They’re interested in your content marketing strategy and when/how you're publishing and distributing new content
  • They are highly IT literate in the way they operate, and enquire about your CRM systems and your marketing system, and how the two are going to integrate together.
  • They’ve got heaps of knowledge and experience in your sector, and they’ve worked with similar clients before.

In summary, telemarketing should definitely feature in your inbound marketing toolkit. However, the way you do it has to be strategic and part of a wider inbound marketing strategy. Taking heed from the advice above will certainly assist you in bringing it all together.

Thirsty for more knowledge on how to generate leads in your sector? Download our free guide below:

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How to generate more and better quality leads online - a guide for IT resellers.