For the purpose of this blog, I will use the term ‘telemarketing tips’ (it’s best for SEO), but I often use the phrase ‘voice marketing tips’. Why? Because it makes the channel sound sexy (and we all love a new buzzword), and because the advent of video calls make it a better description.

Let’s be honest, telemarketing has a poor reputation among marketing folk. You’ll never win an award for a successful telemarketing campaign and it won’t get you a new job. Yet it is still one of the most powerful tools in the digital age – especially B2B.

So here are 3 new telemarketing tips… I mean voice marketing, no telemarketing, oh damn, damn, damn!

1. It’s still telemarketing when it’s a video call

I’m surprised at the number of salespeople who fail to use proven telemarketing techniques when it’s a video call. Whether you are using a telephone or video, it’s still a two-way sales conversation.

Don’t forget the basics of a telemarketing call when you are on video; introduction, ask questions (discover pain/need/want), provide a solution, handle objections and end with a call to action or close.

Simply delivering a PowerPoint presentation and expecting that to get a sale just doesn’t always work.

2. Test, Test and Test again

Again, surprising marketing folk don’t do more telemarketing testing – we do it on all other channels.

I think there’s a great opportunity for testing on video calls. Not many people are doing it so you could get a competitive advantage.

How often do you test two different PowerPoint presentations and monitor which one gets the best result? Or testing different lengths of demo calls – is 30mins better than 60mins? Or having two salespeople on the call to inject some variety and make the call less monotone.

Just ensure your test results are statistically valid – don’t just test it on 10 potential customers and expect the results to be accurate or repeatable.

3. Use different techniques for different products

There are different types of selling. There’s the simple transactional sale, where you are asking someone to subscribe to a SaaS product for £10 per month. Then the complex sale where you are asking for investment in new machinery that costs thousands. And what about when a person downloads a report from your website? It’s not a sales enquiry, but there is interest in the subject and an indication of need, want or pain.

Each of these different types of selling (and there are many more) requires a different sales technique. One size does not fit all.

Sales Complexity Graph

Think about the process from the buyer’s point of view. Do they need nurturing or is that a waste of time? Should you try and close them early or will that cause them to back away?

Broadly speaking, there are two main types of selling; high-value complex sales, and low-value simple sales.

If the proposition is simple and the value low, it should be easy to get a Yes or No decision. The longer a simple sale remains uncompleted, the less likely it is to be won.

There also comes a point where the expense of pursuing a sale outweighs the lifetime value of the customer. It’s just not cost-effective to continue contacting the lead. The chart illustrates the likelihood of success over time; for simple sales, it’s a rapid rise, followed by an equally rapid fall.

On complex sales, the reverse is often true. It’s because complex sales often require approval from a buying team, sometimes at the Boardroom level, and getting all members of the team to say Yes can take time. The longer you are in the game, the more likely you are to win.

So adapt your telemarketing technique based on the type of sale.

Bonus tip: Role-play

Telemarketing cannot be easily taught from a book (although I have written one). The best way for your team to fine-tune their telemarketing skills is during live role-plays. But letting them practice on potential customers is not a great idea.

Do role-plays (lots of them). Where you are a potential customer and one of your salespeople sells to you via phone or video. Practice makes perfect. Repeating the message, handling objections and closing will sound a lot more natural/confident after repetition several times.

Extra Bonus: Check the follow-up

This is awkward. But I’ve discovered over the years that not all leads are followed-up.

I remember one instance where I delivered 198 webinar attendees to a salesperson. Two weeks later I asked how it was going, he said all 198 were a waste of time… “they were window shopping”.

I thought that was impossible given the webinar received a 4-star review and all 198 stayed for the full 30 minutes.

So I checked his company mobile phone records and direct line records to see how many of the 198 attendees he had called during the two week period. Answer? None. Not a single person.

Check your sales leads are being followed up. Research suggests that on average only 20% of leads are contacted by in-house sales teams. Frightening.

For more stats on telemarketing, you can buy my book on Amazon, it’s called ‘Telemarketing kills kittens‘. It’s not a guide on how to make successful telemarketing calls (although there is a small section on that), it’s more about providing real evidence on why telemarketing should be part of your B2B marketing mix.


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