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Prepare your sales team for the unexpected

How to keep your lead generation goals on track

Cathy Schmid
Cathy Schmid
EVP Business Development/Partner

If the last two years have taught us anything, it’s the need for resilience in the face of challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a number of unexpected circumstances that required marketing and sales teams to adapt quickly—or else, risk missing crucial lead generation and sales targets.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to prepare in advance and lessen the impact of potential business disruptions on your B2B or medtech sales pipeline.

Working with an outsourced lead generation call center is one of the smartest. Partnering with an experienced professional contact center like Volkart May arms your medtech or B2B business with talented resources who can add capacity, help you scale up quickly and prevent disruptions from derailing your sales prospecting efforts.

Mitigate risk with a ‘Plan B’ for lead generation

Having a “Plan B” for inside sales and lead generation is always a good idea, and never more necessary than in the current environment.

Right now, many issues can impact your inside sales efforts, including:

  • Keeping your outbound calling team staffed during the Great Resignation
  • Motivating remote teams in a virtual selling environment
  • Managing through supply chain backups that can impede your sales and delivery cycles
  • Combatting the ongoing effects of COVID-19 among staff and customers

Thinking through these and other potential challenges upfront can help mitigate risk for your organization. A proactive strategy gives you more ways to respond so you’re less likely to be caught off-guard by abrupt changes in the marketplace or at your organization.

Increase resilience and protect your brand from disruptions

As you consider the weeks and months ahead for your brand, thinking through these items can help you improve resilience and decrease risk in your lead generation efforts.

Staffing. People are crucial to all aspects of lead generation and inside sales, but recruiting, onboarding and training new business development reps and outbound callers takes time and energy, especially in tight labor markets like the current environment. It’s important to make motivating and engaging your current team a priority. At the same time, identify backup resources who can provide continuity and support during peak periods, illnesses or other challenges.

Consider:

  • How well do your organization’s compensation and retention strategies compare to other opportunities in the market?
  • What relationships exist to add new talent quickly for short- and long-term projects?

Technology. Flexibility is key to navigating today’s sales and lead generation challenges. That means investing in systems and tools that work in office or work-from-home conditions, to give your frontline callers and your stakeholders the support they need to succeed.

Consider:

  • How quickly can you provide equipment and systems to new outbound callers?
  • How well do your current virtual tools support remote workers and facilitate collaboration with customers and prospects?

Communication. When unforeseen conditions force your business (or your customers) to pivot, strong and transparent communications are essential. Even when you don’t know all the answers, acknowledging the situation and sharing truthful updates helps.

Consider:

  • What messages are important to communicate to staff, customers and other stakeholders?
  • What templates, lists and systems are available to disseminate updates quickly and reliably?

Training. Every medtech or B2B company creates its own procedures for sales prospecting, lead generation, reporting and other inside sales activities. However, few organizations take time to document these core routines of doing business. That can create sizable knowledge gaps when staff take time off, new hires arrive or key sales reps leave.

Consider:

  • Which sales procedures and best practices need to be documented and shared?
  • Who provides training so new business development reps come up to speed quickly on sales systems and tools?

Add capacity with an outsourced lead generation team

Navigating the unexpected means preparing your internal team, and at the same time, making sure to align with additional resources outside the organization.

A lead generation firm like Volkart May can quickly bridge the gaps when you need extra capacity or continuity across your lead generation efforts.

Our trained conversationalists excel at navigating through gatekeepers and engaging busy decision-makers; it’s a far cry from the rote script readers and robo-dialers of yesterday’s telemarketing. We pride ourselves on our transparency, professionalism and collaboration, which over the past 31 years has earned the trust of many leading Fortune 500 brands.

If you’re curious about the benefits of outsourcing and what’s involved, review our outsourcing checklist and then connect with us to discuss your specific needs.

Keep issues in perspective

Finally, it’s important to realize that while COVID-19 continues to derail plans, setbacks and unplanned events will always be a part of business. Staying positive and keeping potential disruptions in perspective helps. Where possible, diversify your marketing and sales efforts, line up a number of backup options, and try and maintain a balanced approach.

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