We recently celebrated our 30th anniversary here at Volkart May. That got us reflecting on what’s stayed the same and what’s changed in the world of outbound calling.
- What remains consistent is the power of human conversation—one-to-one telephone calls—in the B2B sales process. Digital marketing, chatbots and other automated tools are simply no substitute for injecting a personal touch and a warm relationship in the B2B sales process.
- What’s changed for the better are the tools and systems that support our efforts. In the last three decades we’ve adopted so many advanced solutions, it’s hard to remember that we started out dialing by hand and tracking progress in spreadsheets.
How effective are your lead generation systems?
The right systems provide an efficient and effective foundation for B2B lead generation. Having modern tools and platforms in place enhances collaboration between sales and marketing, increases team productivity and ultimately, fuels lead generation success.
Must-have technology for B2B marketing and sales includes:
- A customer relationship management (CRM) system to organize prospect lists and customer data. Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle NetSuite and HubSpot are perennial market leaders in this category.
- A marketing automation platform to distribute emails and intelligently nurture leads. Many enterprises rely on Marketo, Eloqua and Pardot.
- Account-based marketing (ABM) tools to deliver hyper-personalized content to key accounts. Demandbase, Engagio and 6Sense are among the options.
- Virtual meeting software for sales discussions, product demonstrations and collaboration. Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Skype and Zoom are popular alternatives.
Immediate access to information and insights are one of the biggest advantages of technology—particularly solutions that are cloud-based. Instead of cobbling together reports in spreadsheets or PowerPoints, which delays timeliness and often results in data entry errors, today’s modern platforms can easily generate a wide variety of details to track progress and guide strategic decisions.
Creating a 360-degree view of your sales process
When you work with an outbound calling partner or outsourced lead generation firm, their systems should also enhance your marketing and sales programs—especially when your call center can integrate those systems with your internal tools.
Technology is a cornerstone of our operations here at Volkart May. In every client engagement, we leverage a number of cutting-edge tools to monitor performance and create a seamless flow of information from our callers to our clients’ marketing and sales teams.
A few must-have call center tools include:
- An outbound calling platform to automate dialing, track progress and capture leads, appointments and requests for information. Our in-house platform provides sophisticated capabilities for these basic functions as well as many advanced features.
- Remote and in-house calling capabilities to flex capacity and assign the right resources to every client project. We operate on a hybrid model that keeps callers engaged and productive whether they’re in our Minnesota facility or working off-site.
- Digital recordings for collecting and sharing valuable information. We use digital recordings for quality assurance and training with our team, and share them with our clients. Hearing word-for-word from an interested prospect or a new B2B lead sets up a successful hand-off to the internal sales team.
- An email marketing system for follow-up communications. When a prospect responds to one of our lead generation phone calls, we can send digital appointments, meeting requests, follow up information and more, using templates formatted to our clients’ brands.
Expect direct integration with in-house systems
In addition to these basic systems, it’s also critical to integrate call center systems with the tools the sales and marketing teams use on a daily basis. After all, who wants to outsource, only to spend hours re-entering data or delaying follow-up communications?
Today’s tools make it relatively simple to feed updated contact information, new opt-in email addresses, hot leads and new appointments directly to in-house systems. In many cases, these transfers can happen in a matter of minutes, making it possible for an outsourced inside sales team or call center to operate like anextension of your B2B team. It’s the best of both worlds for staff and customers.
Dashboards and analytics are a final technology essential for B2B marketing and sales. Access to current data helps you make sound decisions to maximize your investment. Keeping tabs on your reach rates, conversions, leads, appointments and sales should all be a priority. Expect your lead generation partner to help you define the right campaign metrics, then share data on a regular basis.
Ready to move forward? Connect with us for an overview of our technology capabilities.