Best Practices: Outbound Teleprospecting for Complex Products for Enterprise Business

As I have written earlier in this blog, a teleprospecting campaign can yield substantial results for sales of complex products targeted at enterprise business prospects. These substantial results can amount to high quality sales leads, depending on how successfully the campaign is managed. The key to quality, of course, is the level to which leads are correctly qualified for the specific product offering and the targeted market. But how to run such a campaign?

The best method of running a teleprospecting campaign as an outbound lead generator for complex products targeted to the enterprise business market is in some variation of a survey. Taking a survey is rarely perceived by participants as a sales effort. But if the survey questionnaire is crafted correctly, the information gathered can be very useful as the sales force “fills in the blanks” about the enterprise prospect. Don’t lose sight of the fact that the enterprise prospect is actually a complicated organization with a system for purchasing products and services that includes many individual participants and a set of required procedural milestones that must be properly completed or else there will be no sale.

For the subset of complex products targeted to enterprise business that will require a reorganization of processes across a customer’s business (should a decision to purchase be forthcoming), the need to compile information about important individuals, recent business history, etc is especially important in advance of a sale or even the overture of a sales effort. The fact is that the core purchase process may be broken and dysfunctional. Further, the participants may not play the perceived role and the agenda of priorities may be deceiving.

This latter characteristic of some complex products for enterprise business, that a reorganization of business processes will be required as the product is implemented by the customer, plays a powerful role within the sales effort. Janus-like this aspect of the product, as implemented, can be either a smile or a forlorn frown as the sales effort wends its way to success or failure. The way is especially volatile where the perceived value of the product within the marketplace is ambiguous. Truly intangibles, sometimes these products deliver substantial benefits and sometimes not. Examples of this type of product include solutions for Operational Risk Management, and Enterprise Risk Management. What is most vexing for the market is that such a product, within heavily regulated businesses like Financial Services (including Banks, Asset Managers, Brokers & Dealers, Insurers, etc), is required and mandated by regulators, but the “how to succeed” directions are no where to be found.

In the best of all worlds for the firm offering such a complex product (with unclear perceived value in the enterprise business market), formulating an outbound teleprospecting campaign within the shape of a survey is mandatory. The firms that can follow this script typically have lots of time and, generally, lots of capital to slowly and carefully sell into the market.

But what about other firms with less time and, typically, less capital to build a market? Is there a way to use teleprospecting to advantage in a less than perfect world? I will provide an answer in my next post.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2011 All Rights Reserved

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