B2B telemarketing is in a growth phase
If you rewind back 50 years and think about the marketing departments of the past, the favoured strategy tended to be a combination of TV, press, telemarketing and direct mail.
Fast-forward to the present day, and the digital revolution has eaten away at all of those budgets – the only one remaining unscathed being telemarketing – which is actually increasing in spend. As an agency, we’ve grown by 40 per cent in the last three years alone.
Why is this? What does telemarketing offer that other channels don’t?
The fallout from the credit crunch means marketers have been shifting away from non-measurable channels and focusing on those that give the best ROI. On average, B2B telemarketing generates £12 for every £1 spent. Many boards demanded sales and marketing switch budgets to the channels where return could be evidenced.
The rise of marketing automation
More than half of B2B companies are now using marketing automation (MA) tools. The difference between a marketing-qualified lead versus a sales-qualified lead is clearer than ever, and a by-product of this is multiple pools of warm data that need a human touch to convert them to leads.
Sales gets sophisticated
With the development of CRM and pipeline forecasting tools (e.g. Salesforce) enabling sales teams to track leads properly, it means one thing – they want more of them. Those hungry CRMs need feeding; leading to a change in how telemarketing is being managed, and an increasing amount of sales departments leading and managing the telemarketing function rather than marketing.
Micro-campaigns in/spamming out
The majority see spamming 100,000 prospects on an email as impersonal. Hence the ‘micro-campaign’, where a selection of approximately 500 prospects will be sent bespoke copy on email or a dimensional piece of direct mail. The creation and effective use of persona research enables campaigns to be focused on the needs and wants of each demographic. Telemarketers are able to use persona documents to personalise their approach, and be more understanding of individuals’ daily routines and responsibilities as well as gaining more awareness on industry news and how that may affect their prospect’s behaviour.
What next for B2B telemarketing?
Looking ahead to the next five to ten years, it’s going to be all about nurturing. Businesses will be required to learn how to manage longer sales cycles and much bigger decision-maker units. By 2025, almost all sales and marketing teams will be using MA tools, meaning more of the prospect’s journey will be taken digitally. Telemarketers will be empowered with much more scientific insight when speaking with decision-makers.
Telemarketing CRMs will be integrated with automation software, giving the telemarketer real-time information about what that person is interested in, the pages they have been reading on their website and showing them the products and services they are most likely to be interested in. They will be able to identify what content they have downloaded, enabling them to prepare before they make calls on focusing their conversation on that prospect’s evident pain points and challenges.
With the rise of digital, telemarketing could be seen by some as on its way out. On the contrary, the telemarketing industry is growing at a rapid pace. Agencies will take a hit if they are not able to align their services with the ever-growing digital products marketers are incorporating into their marketing mix.