Smart companies use inbound marketing and outbound activities to fill their sales funnels with leads, but these methods are seldom targeted at CEO's and other C-Suite executives. Inbound marketing invites the whole world in to read your blogs and white papers, while outbound marketing reaches a large number of people with hopes of interesting a few. B2B telesales, on the other hand, starts with a smaller, targeted list of well researched, high profile leads, each with a relatively high probability of converting to a sale. Instead of building a large, generalized pipeline, you are developing a focused group of potential customers and reaching out to them directly.
Why are inbound and outbound marketing so prevalent?
Marketing is especially useful for finding prospects that you can't find by any other means. By developing your brand and participating in both online and offline channels, you have the opportunity of spreading the word about your products and services by word of mouth, even going "viral" for the most compelling kinds of content, such as humorous videos on YouTube. But marketing is notoriously weak at finding high quality leads in certain domains, such as boardrooms and corner offices. C-Suite executives are hard to reach, since they often rely on assistants to "filter" their e-mail, direct mail and phone calls. Most CEO's have neither the time nor the interest in "hanging out" on Twitter and Facebook.
The advantages of B2B telesales
While no sales and marketing approach is guaranteed to get the attention of CEO's, B2B telesales has some unique advantages, if done right:
- B2B lead generation research should identify prospects with a specific need for your products and services
- Experienced telesales reps know how to "get in the door" to speak to a decision maker
- Well prepared telesales reps know exactly what to say to interest an executive and get them to commit to a sales appointment
- The telesales call is quick and to the point - doesn't require much time or follow-up.
- The successful telesales call makes the recipient feel closer to the solution to a real problem - something that marketing can never accomplish
- Once appointments are set, leads quickly become opportunities, avoiding the need to "nurture" a lead over a long period of time
Not all B2B telesales calls will be successful, but the conversion rates are typically higher than either inbound or outbound marketing due to the targeted nature of telesales campaigns and the direct communication between prospects and sales reps. The best approach is often to use both marketing and telesales, marketing to elevate brand awareness and reach "hidden" prospects, and telesales to capture the "low hanging fruit". In either case, your message must be strongly aligned across both sales and marketing, and you must find the best people to fill both roles.