In my last blog article, I explained how Focus is the Key to Telemarketing Success but I left the definition of success purposely vague because organizations and programs will have different standards for defining success. Regardless of your definition, improving B2B telemarketing performance is something that all needs continuous attention.
As with all telemarketing programs, list quality, call guides and promotional offers play an important role in achieving success. The type of team you build is also critical. Your team is the muscle to make things happen and their focus and attitude is vital because they are normally the first point of contact for your sales activities.
Keeping them motivated and on task is more than their supervisor’s responsibility. It’s incumbent on the organization to stress the importance of what they do and give them feedback on a difficult job done well. This is done through regular feedback, clearly established expectations and the communication of how their contribution improves the performance of the organization.
To understand why this is important, consider the daily lives of the B2B telemarketing professional. Depending on the complexity of the program, they may make 100 to 500 calls for every one lead they develop. That’s numerous conversations with people that go nowhere, a healthy percentage of calls that start promising but ultimately wither away, and at least a few rude or downright offensive rejections.
Add to this, the constant repetition of the process and a sales team that is hovering over them asking why they are not producing more leads and you can understand the potential lack of motivation.
The Keys to Improving B2B Telemarketing Performance
To overcome these issues, organizations need to be proactive in their approach to improving B2B telemarketing performance. Regular feedback should come in the form of recognition of accomplishments. This is particularly true for long-term, complex sales opportunities. When a deal closes, sales teams are quick to take credit for closing the sale but often fail to share any of the credit with the person who identified and qualified the initial opportunity.
Isolation is another challenge to B2B telemarketing performance. Call center teams are significantly more productive than individuals. As a result, companies that have one to three team members assigned to the task of outbound calling are less likely to be successful than their counterparts in larger groups. This is true even when each of those individuals is calling on a different campaign. The motivating factor is the share experience of a group that is working toward the same goal, even if they are working on different projects.
Closely related to this is the importance of peer recognition. Having team members to bounce ideas or share horror stories is essential to overcoming negativity and moving forward to find that next lead. Even more important is the ability to share successes among team members as they a happen. Wins need to be recognized and celebrated to ensure that all members of the team understand that success can be achieved even facing long odds.
Finally, feedback also needs to be collected from your call center reps as to how the program is performing and how it can be improved. Encouraging them to take ownership of the program is first and foremost motivating, but it also allows you to be more responsive and overcome programs challenges before they sap away the productivity of your team. Remember, these are the people on the front lines of the sales battle and their experience can help you understand what is working and what is not more quickly than theoretical analysis. Leverage their individual and collective experience and see how easy improving your B2B telemarketing programs can be.