One of the biggest concerns that our clients raise before working with us is the risk of brand damage through poor quality telemarketing calls. It is true that if you blow it when talking to the Finance Director of Tesco, you are unlikely to get a second chance. Having the right person on the phone is critical. After all, it may be the first interaction your important senior decision maker has with your company. So, why should companies use telemarketing when targeting big companies?
Typically, large companies have lots of layers and filters to go through before you reach the decision maker you need. They are well guarded by defensive gatekeepers. Their voicemail is on and they are often in meetings. These are important considerations when embarking on an outbound telemarketing campaign into blue-chip companies. That, along with the cost of the time that it takes and the risks above might put companies off. However, that shouldn’t be the case.
In the past 12 months, we have made senior level new business appointments with, amongst others, The Prime Minister’s Press Office, BMW, Eurotunnel, Crossrail. The Department of Health, GlaxoSmithkline, Aviva, Bayer PLC, Jaguar, Lego and many more. From these, our clients have won significant business.
So, when should companies use telemarketing to target big businesses? We believe there are a number of situations or criteria that lend themselves to such a telemarketing campaign.
- The value of sale warrants telemarketing lead generation – we advise our clients that any annual value of sale under £5000 would seriously question whether the cost – benefit equation will be workable. Typically, this may be self selecting since large companies generally have bigger budgets but this is a factor since they are more difficult to reach and often take longer to convert to business.
- The target market is clearly defined and the decision maker job role is known – the worst situation in telemarketing is where any number of decision makers might make the decision to purchase your services. In these cases, the caller bounces around the organisation to find the correct person absorbing time and cost, only to find that decisions are made in Switzerland or this type of company would never use your type of services. The more defined the target market and buyer, the better the ROI.
- Know the name of the decision maker. If you don’t, there is a big risk that you won’t be put through since large companies often have no-name policies. It also cuts down again on time wastage and costs. The quicker you reach the decision maker the quicker you will get the results.
- Have a solid reason for a meeting – it is fair to say that if Tesco is a prime target for your business today, they will also be a target in 6 or 12 months if you dont succeed now. It is also reasonably certain that they will already have an incumbent supplier of your services and probably under contract. Hence, any change might involve significant upheaval. Therefore, you need to be prepared to have initially speculative meetings even if there is no immediate need. To achieve this, you need a good reason (proposition) for the buyer at Tesco to see you despite their apparent lack of immediate need. Without this, it will take longer to convince decision makers, you will receive much higher rejection levels and an meeting will feel contrived and forced and may do more damage than good. So, identify compelling reasons for the buyer to see you and to see you now as opposed to some time nearer the review of current suppliers.
- Match the calibre of the prospect with the quality of the caller – senior buyers in big organisations don’t respond well to inexperienced callers using scripted calls without a compelling message (does anyone respond well to that type of call?). Therefore, you should not risk brand damage. Make sure the callers understand the marketplace at a high level at least. They should understand why the buyer needs the services and what their current issues are. They need to understand what they are selling and also have conviction and passion in delivery. a sound briefing process is crucial in this. Without the above, the call is unlikely to succeed and, worse, may lock the door to future approaches.
Telemarketing into large companies is a valid route to market. If the factors above are aligned, you can deliver good success and very significant revenue. We have generated appointments with organisations that have generated six figure incomes for our clients. They entrust their reputation to us and we ensure that they are represented appropriately.