Ask a B2B marketer their recipe for filling the sales pipeline with qualified leads, and some regular ingredients will top the list: Email campaigns. Content marketing. Search engine optimization. Trade shows and conferences. What many B2B marketers omit is outbound calling. In our hyper-paced digital age, the phone doesn’t command the attention it used to. However, integrating the work of an inside sales team or professional contact center into your B2B marketing efforts yields significant—and measurable—results.
Here’s how an outbound calling campaign can enhance your B2B marketing efforts:
Digital campaigns form the backbone of most B2B communication strategies. But even with the strongest email campaigns, inquiries tend to trickle in, one or two at a time. It’s simply too difficult to cut through the clutter of the typical B2B inbox. Combining your digital campaigns with outbound calling is a surefire way to maximize results. Callers use the same messaging, for a consistent approach, and can even reference the email campaign during their calls.
Inbound leads and inquiries come in a variety of forms. A few B2B leads will be “hot,” with immediate sales potential. Another portion will never be a fit; unless you weed them out, sales and marketing will expend valuable energy and budget chasing dead ends. The rest will require further nurturing to make them truly sales-ready. Outbound calling gives you the information you need to qualify and respond to each lead properly. Armed with these insights, marketing can refine future campaigns and spend the budget wisely. Sales can put their effort where it matters most: working the hottest opportunities.
Accelerate lead follow-up
Studies show that the faster you respond to a B2B lead—especially inquiries from your website—the greater your chances of converting it to a sale. Yet seasoned outside sales professional are probably not the right resources for an initial call. As a result, interested potential buyers often languish, receiving only an automated email or a haphazard call. An ongoing calling program with a dedicated resource can make follow-up immediate, systematic and effective. Callers can ask qualifying questions, gauge interest and make a positive first impression on your important B2B prospects.
Maintain a current database
B2B data is only useful when it’s fresh, giving your sales and marketing teams accurate names, titles and opt-in email addresses for top prospects in each territory. Staying current takes a concerted effort. A B2B outbound calling campaign is a fast and efficient method to maintain the best possible CRM system or sales database. Callers can collect and update information, gather marketplace insights and ask questions to qualify leads or set appointments—all in a single call. It’s a great way to stretch each dollar and ensure future email, direct mail and sales efforts reach the right B2B buyers.
Conduct market research
A B2B marketing campaign is only effective when it resonates with your audience. But knowing which parts of your brand value proposition or product set are most appealing can be difficult to identify. An outbound calling campaign is a perfect way to test your brand messages, product features, pricing or other attributes, with near real-time results. Callers can conduct a market research engagement, or collect insights as part of a larger lead generation effort. And unlike static online surveys, a live conversation enables the caller to ask follow up questions and probe for more information, providing rich data.
While you may not initially think of outbound calling as part of your B2B marketing strategy, it’s a valuable tool. Nothing can substitute for the power of a one-to-one conversation in the B2B sales cycle.