Lead Management

Turn Telemarketing Teams into Communication Centers

Lead Nurturing via Telemarketing

By Bob Johnson, VP & Principal Analyst

Telemarketing is changing rapidly to stay relevant during the B2B purchase process. The often-used idea of turning a telemarketing team loose on a list of B2B names and phone numbers is less effective as prospects hide behind voicemail and are quick to hang up if the initial message burst they hear is not relevant. Telemarketing centers must get the message and evolve to a new model focused on:

  • Targeted communication with relevant offers of content
  • Conversations that are multi-point to nurture during the exploration and decision making process, and
  • Agents that apply specific skills to engage and nurture at multiple touch points

To provide a sense of how the role of telemarketers has changed, I ask for insight from John Moran, General Manager of IDG Direct communications center. His team of 120 individuals is based in Dublin, Ireland and covers some 50 countries with agents that speak over 30 languages. Use his ideas and tactics to help you evolve your telemarketing and inside sales efforts.

  1. BANT (Budget Authority, Need and Timing) opportunities have increased importance and often require nurturing or several agent-to-prospect conversations over a period of time. Success is greatest among those individuals who can build some type of rapport with the prospect.
  2. Rapport comes from using different conversational elements that are familiar to prospect. The key elements are:
    • Accent: A familiar, local or pleasant accent offers the strongest instant bond. For example, within Germany there are multiple accents and hearing one that is familiar builds an immediate level of comfort for the targeted contact. It is often hard to match accents with audiences so if a second method that can also have success is hiring call staffers that are accent neutral.
    • Phrases: The use of phrases can add certain informality to formal conversations so long as they are on topic or in some way relevant. For the listener, the use of phrases can be refreshing to hear especially when delivered at a comfortable pace.
    • Words and Tone: Agents need to avoid being apologetic in the words they use, for example saying “I know you are busy and am sorry to bother you” immediately puts what your agent has to say on the back burner. Rather, agents must show a sense of confidence and have sufficient passion in tone to convey that what they are about offer is valuable and will be helpful to the targeted contact as they move through the buyer’s journey. The bottom line is that you have to be engaging and turn each point of contact into a point of value.

The contact or telemarketing center is no longer a once and done operation. Leads are often now desired that match target accounts and are sales quality. That means it is all about communication excellence, a “communications center” that uses both telephone and online mediums including chats, blogs and social media communities. Both the approach of telemarketers and their delivery cuts through the competitive noise helps persuade an individual to participate in an active dialogue. If you are going to get the so called “hooks” into a prospect, rapport is a necessity. According to Moran, “you must pay attention to all three (accents, words and phrases) if you are going to nurture. By doing so, you can tap into emotional elements where the person understands you more easily, listens closely and becomes comfortable with a greater degree of engagement over time".

Contact John Moran for more information.


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Bob Johnson

VP & Principal Analyst, IDG Connect

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