Qualifying leads as part of your marketing campaign might sound challenging in a time when there is an influx of inquiries coming in about your product or service. While it's possible to do cold calling for the B2B industry, your lead gen efforts are of the utmost importance seeing as cold calling homes can lead to fines and being placed on the Do Not Call list.
What this means is that the newer the lead, the closer you are to converting them into an opportunity. You can use a call center to follow-up on leads, also known as warm calls, for outbound calling as a way to find out how your prospects reacted to your marketing content.
Let's take a look at how this works without becoming like a telemarketing operation.
Featured: A couple of Outbound Agents Erick (left) and lead Josh (right) enjoying their 4th of July work luncheon
How Warm Calls are Different From Cold Calls
Unlike handling inbound calls, the world of telemarketing is all about cold calling people to qualify leads you know have the best shot at converting. Nowadays, it is important to obtain permission before soliciting your services. It's completely possible to use the phone for lead generation without cold calling when approached in the right way. Much of this starts with your on-site SEO guru who likely created numerous online submission forms to attract the attention of visitors.
Using SEO principles, you can create multiple submission forms allowing you to gather information about your prospects. As a result, you'll be able to gather more than you think for use in lead generation by phone later.
Basic web submission forms are a standard on most websites where you take a visitor's name and email address. Sometimes these are registration forms where visitors provide their name and email to receive a digital newsletter.
Other options might include checkout forms where the customer provides some optional personal information (like their phone number) when buying something on your eCommerce site.
Creating White Papers
The B2B industry often uses white papers to convince visitors to hand over information used for follow-up calls later. With a white paper, you'll provide reliable technical information about a B2B product so a business can make up their mind on a purchase.
Typically, the white paper is going to tell the business customer how they can solve a particular problem. To allow a free download of these, though, you'll want to request some key pieces of information.
Your marketing department could set it up so visitors fill out a quick survey on the form to gain as much information as possible.
Nevertheless, just asking for a phone number and a name is enough to help take it to the next level with a call.
Creating an e-Book
You'll find e-books are another great way to gather information since customers will have to provide some basic info to download it. If you're offering various e-books for a particular business situation, you can again provide a survey to find out what the business really needs.
Knowing what a business owner's true pain points are will make a follow-up call all the more important. With this alone, you have a good starting point for hiring a call center to handle the generation of new leads.
Avoid Automatic Dialers
Once you find a quality call center to start the next phase of lead generation, the best approach is to not use an auto dialer. The best call center services have real operators doing cold calls to B2B businesses or warm calls to residential customers.
The point is to take the phone number found from the above forms and physically call the prospect and see if they're still interested in the products you offer. Sometimes these calls might be current or previous customers of your business. Having them fill out form submissions is just as important if they've been dormant for long periods of time.
Warm calls to residential customers can also take place for lead generation if you obtained permission for their contact.
Outsourcing these duties to a call center is going to help immensely if working on a budget. Otherwise, you'd have to hire and keep a team of phone agents on your payroll.
Building Relationships Rather Than Selling
As you start moving into your outbound calling campaign, it's important that you encourage the caller to build relationships with B2B and residential prospects on your behalf rather than attempt selling techniques. Despite your success with inbound marketing practices, you should know immediate selling to prospects is a big turn-off.
On social media, the key to building relationships is to start conversations rather than selling them on a product. Most leads are quick to catch on to selling techniques to a point where they'll cut off further discussions if you give off a sales vibe.
It's no different with your call center. Their first follow-up call isn't to sell but to just ask if the prospect read your content. When you or your call center is creating a phone script, you want to do so in a way that encourages the caller to set up an appointment. The discussion around what's in the content and providing further information can do much to start building a relationship.
Any further information imparted should become exclusive and spoken with proven expertise. In other words, building a sense of trust is everything. The startup call asks to borrow a couple minutes of a prospect's time to ask for more of their time to schedule a demo for a large purchase, an appointment, or even a webinar.
Calling Leads While Armed With Knowledge
Converting a lead into opportunities through phone calls is only going to work if your phone agents have as much information as possible. So you may need more than just a name and phone number before starting a real conversation.
One reason for this is the prospect may ask specific questions about your products that the phone agent may not initially know. If your call center of choice allows, take some time to get to know their agents by offering a class so that they can get a feel for your brand. The more confident the agent feels in your product, the better they can demonstrate their expertise.
Now you know why training is such an important element of call centers. Training can become a big hassle when you hire all your phone agents by yourself.
Outsourcing ensures you'll have the basics of proper training already out of the way so that you can focus on helping agents understand everything about what your business offers.
Finding a Great Outsourced Call Center
At Westpark Communications, we offer outsourced call center duties for product business companies to help them with the essential elements of lead generation and qualifying leads.
We believe in the process of using a call center for warm calls to help with lead generation. You can trust the expertise of our company in using real call center agents to help develop the relationships you need to nurture.