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Four must-haves for outbound calling success

Implement these best practices in your next lead generation campaign

Cathy Schmid
Cathy Schmid
EVP Sales and Client Services / Partner

Lead generation campaigns provide a powerful engine for B2B and medtech companies to achieve their sales and revenue goals. But, it’s a complex activity that requires ongoing coordination between the sales and marketing teams.

Add in outside resources like a professional call center or outsourced business development team, and strong collaboration becomes even more important. A lack of alignment can sabotage even the most effective lead generation campaigns.

Four must-haves for outbound calling success

As you set up your next lead generation campaign, follow these four best practices. They’ll put your efforts on track, whether you rely on internal business development professionals, a fully outsourced inside sales team or a hybrid approach that leverages both types of resources.

1. Executive decision-maker support

Few things create a positive dynamic in the workplace like a top-down show of support from senior leaders. Depending on your company’s size and structure, this could be heads of business units, heads of marketing and sales or in smaller organizations, the company president.

What’s important is setting the right expectations, working toward a common goal and establishing trust between teams so leads, data and feedback can flow smoothly. If you’re using outside resources for the first time, such as a lead generation company or an outbound call center, visible stakeholder support for the project is important to its success.

2. Sales force buy in

We’ve all experienced the frustrating debate over what makes a “qualified” lead. This is just one example of why sales force buy-in is critical to an effective medtech or B2B lead generation campaign.

Before applying time, budget and resources to a lead generation, lead nurturing or appointment-setting call campaign, get the sales team on board. We recommend involving sales leaders as early as possible, so marketing and sales can co-sponsor the effort. At a minimum, meet with the sales team few days before your lead generation program launches to brief everyone on goals, process and roles.

3. Follow-up process for leads

Qualified leads and sales-ready appointments should be solid gold for the sales force. However, too often miscommunications and poorly defined processes result in delays and inaction when it comes to follow through. There’s nothing worse than wasting money on a full pipeline of leads. Poor follow up also reflects badly on a company’s brand reputation and customer experience, making future efforts less effective in the market place.

For every B2B or medtech lead generation campaign, be clear on next steps once a customer or prospect says “yes, I’m interested!” A lead scoring system can reduce confusion. Service level metrics also help by providing clear expectations and timelines for how quickly sales reps need to respond to new leads.

If inquiries are cooler, such as those more than six months down the road, marketing may need to own the lead nurturing process by delivering a steady stream of qualified content with the occasional warm follow-up call.

4.Feedback loop to evaluate progress

One of the biggest benefits of outbound calling is its measurability. Stakeholders can analyze a number of metrics and use that data to finetune their programs. Anecdotal input from those directly involved, such as outbound callers, sales development reps and the internal sales team, is also powerful. These individuals can quickly spot keywords, buying triggers, common questions and nuances in prospect language that can boost results with minor tweaks.

Establishing a feedback loop makes sure these key points get the attention they deserve. It also ensures the best use of the marketing or sales budget and resources, through ongoing monitoring and measurements.

If you’re working with an outside provider, set up a recurring meeting for stakeholders. Look for regular reports and recommendations from your lead generation partner for how to overcome any issues.

At Volkart May, our thirty years of experience make collaboration, measurement and communication cornerstones of our success. Learn more about our process and connect with us to discuss your lead generation needs.

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