Ongoing outreach is an important part of the sales process, but it can be difficult to engage with B2B prospects or healthcare customers who have gone cold. Digital tools can be particularly ineffective. You may send dozens of emails and never see an open or a click, despite having an opt-in email address and earlier engagement with your content.
Motives behind this silence can vary: busy schedules, high volumes of email, possibly a new role in the organization with different responsibilities. But unless you conduct periodic outreach to optimize your marketing and sales lists, you’ll never know!
Outreach usually occurs only with accounts that have the potential for future sales. The best way to identify and re-activate these accounts is to pick up the phone and have meaningful conversations. That requires the right strategy.
Here’s a look at how you can improve outreach with relevant conversations:
What are relevant conversations?
According to Webster’s Dictionary, relevant is defined as “having significant and demonstrable bearing on the matter at hand.” Relevant conversations will make healthcare and B2B prospects receptive to your company, product or service. Say the right thing and they will welcome the contact and be open to becoming a paying customer. If the conversation isn’t meaningful to them, it will have the opposite effect.
What exactly makes a conversation relevant? There is a big distinction between hard selling, which prospects identify as being pushy and irrelevant, and in taking a needs-based approach that prospects interpret as relevant and positive. The former is one of the many reasons “telemarketing” gets a bad reputation, and why we work diligently to represent leading brands with effective inside sales techniques.
Relevant conversations come from working closely with our clients to develop a customized calling strategy. No one is reading a script. Instead, we start each call by asking a question that will really get the prospect to think about the areas where they need help or improvement. When presented with the opportunity to solve their problems, people are more likely to stay on the phone and interact with the caller.
Ask qualifying questions
Many healthcare leads or B2B customers who have gone cold will welcome the contact and a chance to get back in touch. The goal is to find those who want to become part of the pipeline again.
Rather than open with a sales pitch, ask qualifying questions to start the conversation. This will show that you have a genuine interest in their needs. In turn, their answers will help you assess how best to re-engage with them.
Some contacts will be open to a sales appointment, product demonstration or other lower funnel activity; others may need more top-of-the-funnel nurturing with targeted content and periodic follow-up calls. A third group will no longer meet your criteria for a qualified buyer. This, too, is valuable information to update your database and focus future marketing and sales efforts.
Here are some touchpoints that need to be addressed during this initial phase:
• What problems is business having?
• What would happen to this business if this problem isn’t solved?
• Have you tried to find a solution for this problem in the past?
• How big of a priority is solving this problem?
• Do you have the budget set aside in order to solve this problem?
Through these questions, you can easily assess if these prospects will become viable, warm sales leads. These questions could also form the beginning of a series of meaningful conversations with the prospect.
Personalize the outreach
In today’s environment, there are a wide variety of information sources available. Almost all organizations now conduct at least some initial research before company leadership contacts a sales professional. This means that if communications are insincere or lack relevancy, they won’t stand out from the noise in the market place.
Most senior healthcare and B2B decision-makers have already heard just about every sales pitch imaginable. It takes a skilled conversationalist to know that what really works is giving the conversation a personal touch.
This is the approach that we take when developing communications. We hire callers with an inside sales mentality, who can take a friendly and competent approach when making calls. We leverage call guides for natural conversations; there’s no script-reading or one-sided interactions. This establishes a structure that keeps the call on track, while still allowing the conversation to flow in a natural and effective way.
Hire a professional contact center
A final way to improve outreach is to work with a professional contact center that specializes in your industry, where experienced callers know exactly how to handle important conversations with key prospects and customers.
Periodic outbound calling is a cost-effective way to re-engage medtech prospects and B2B customers who may have fallen out of touch or be stagnating in the sales pipeline. Experienced call centers can efficiently identify the right opportunities for marketing and sales to focus their efforts.