It makes sense for enterprise IT ISVs to use direct marketing, and, specifically, telemarketing in their lead generation efforts. We have written extensively on the topic of telemarketing and a variant of telemarketing — teleprospecting — in this blog. Telemarketing can also be used for selling. Nevertheless, when telemarketing is used for lead generation the call script should include some presentation of the product/service/integrated solution offered.
Much has been written over the last several years about best sales practices for software to enterprise customers. Most of these practices include product presentation rather late in the sales cycle, after a complete picture of a customer’s needs has been assembled. But generating leads is a wholly separate process from sales. Where the objective is to produce leads that may develop into sales opportunities, products/services/integrated solutions should be at least mentioned in the initial call to contacts. Outbound telemarketing calls to unqualified prospects cannot produce meaningful results without some confirmation that prospects have an interest in the specific offerings of enterprise IT ISVs.
There is no substitute for including a short presentation of an offer for this type of telemarketing activity. By injecting a brief presentation, upon which a contact expresses an interest, a telemarketer can produce a useful lead. We define a “useful lead” as a qualified contact who is interested not only in a subject of discussion, but, further, in learning more about a specific offer. It is much easier to start with useful leads than to spend lots of time engaging with contacts along the periphery of a market topic without ever venturing in for a closer look at specific products, services and/or solutions. In contrast, once a telemarketer obtains confirmation from a contact that a product is of interest, he or she should start to collect answers to who/what/where/how/why questions.
The best method of injecting presentation into these first outbound calls is to include a sentence on the topic within an introduction of the business. For example:
- “My name is John Smith, I am calling you from Acme Enterprise Software. We offer a scalable customer relationship management system, either on premise, or in the cloud. Would you care to hear further?”
This simple 3 sentence introduction (which must only follow obtaining a contact’s permission to proceed with a discussion. Telemarketers must be instructed not to make any introduction unless/until a contact grants permission to proceed) provides the following product specific information:
- the general category of software — customer relationship management
- the fact that the software is scalable, and, therefore, specifically targeted for enterprise organizations with different classes of users and applications
- and, finally, that the product is available either on premise, or as a software as a service (SaaS) delivered over the Internet and accessed with web browsers (cloud)
In the next post to this blog we will examine the impact of including a short presentation in an opening call to contacts on other aspects of generating enterprise IT software leads with telemarketers.
IMB Enterprises, Inc. works with enterprise IT ISVs that lack internal marketing management resources. We can serve very well as a temporary marketing communications function. Please either telephone us at +1 631-673-2929 or complete the contact us form on our web site. We will be happy to reach out to you to learn more about your needs.
© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved