B2B Marketing Strategy Stats in 2016 to Guide you this 2017         

With 2016 concluded, begin planning for your B2B marketing strategy for that another lap around the sun with these relevant data.

  • The three most common lead generation strategies are email, event and content marketing. (DM News)
  • Inbound organizations are 4 times as likely to rate their marketing strategy as effective. (HubSpot)
  • Just 61% of marketers believe their marketing strategy is effective. (HubSpot)
  • 72% of organizations that calculate ROI say their marketing strategy is effective. (HubSpot)
  • More than eight out of ten (81%) of companies rate their digital marketing strategy successful to some extent at achieving their important goals, with 12% rating it “very successful”. (Ascend2)
  • More than two thirds of companies report struggling with lead generation. (Lattice Engines)
  • Lead generation strategies were only successful for 13% of business in accomplishing their main objectives. (PureB2B)
  • Amazingly 68% of B2B companies have not identified their sales funnel. (Marketing Sherpa)
  • When sales and marketing teams are in sync, companies become 67% better at closing deals. (Marketo)
  • Companies with aligned sales and marketing generated 208% more revenue from their marketing. (Marketing Profs)
  • B2B companies who don’t align sales marketing teams cost themselves upwards of 10% revenue each year. (IDC)
  • B2B organisations that aligned their sales and marketing operations achieved 24%. faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit. (Sirius Decisions)
  • Only 44% of companies are using any kind of lead scoring tree. (Decision Tree)
  • 57% of B2B organisations identify that converting qualified leads into paying customers is a top funnel priority. (Marketing Sherpa)
  • Only 19% of CMOs identify that improving database hygiene as a top strategic priority for lead generation activity. (Marketing Sherpa)
  • 46% of marketers say photography is critical to their current marketing and storytelling (CMO Council)
  • The top information used by marketers to inform paid optimization strategies is analytics (27%), followed by conversion rates (20%) and A/B testing (17%). (Formstack)

B2B Appointment Setting:  Simple Techniques in Doing Follow-ups

Merely securing an appointment with your B2B prospects per se doesn’t guarantee that the appointment is going to happen. Things can turn out badly from the minute you hang up to the scheduled appointment. One of the most important things to do to reduce the chances of appointments not materializing is doing the right follow-ups. Here are some simple but effective techniques in carrying out follow-ups in B2B appointment setting.

  • Take after the ’24-hour Rule’. The 24-hour rule alludes to the perfect interim for doing follow-ups with your B2B prospects. The initial follow-up must be made in no more than 24 hours after the appointment is arranged, while the second should be done 24 hours before the actual appointment itself.
  • Forward an email confirmation. Together with telephone calls, email correspondences works great in arranging and following up appointments. One approach to successfully utilize this channel is to forward email invitations to your B2B prospects that automatically fill in their timetables (which is a typical email feature).
  • Have numerous reminders. This technique is a must especially in the case of long time intervals (i.e. almost two weeks or more) between the day the appointment is set and the scheduled appointment. However, don’t overdo it. It is important to be strategical so that you won’t come across as nagging and bother your B2B prospect.
  • Obtain every information you require. When you set an appointment and make your follow-ups, make sure to get hold of all the necessary information for the appointment. Basically, follow-ups function as a way to confirm the authenticity of the initially gathered information and feed your B2B prospect of the appointment details.
  • Be receptive to reschedule. Changes and reschedules are inevitable . So, it is important to get ready for it. Be flexible by having backup plans. This is generally a good work attitude that is not just limited to B2B appointment setting.

Whether your business is the one doing the B2B appointment setting or is employing a third party provider, make sure to work on doing the best practices possible and evaluate your performance in order to achieve the primary objective of appointment setting, to have the appointment happen.

Regulations in Telemarketing You Should Know

The idea of calling to sell services or products might be an easy job for some people who does not know the workings behind telemarketing, but to telemarketers, it is not just ‘call all you can’ or ‘call till you drop’ to get leads. They have to be wary of certain restrictions and rules before engaging in a conversation. By being aware of this, both callers and customers can carry out their rights, and a spontaneous contract is automatically produced. This contract is called “Unsolicited Consumer Agreements.”

It is stipulated there that a telemarketing sale is unsolicited if:

  • Caller called consumer without an invitation
  • There is an agreement whose worth is unknown.

In lieu to this unsolicited telemarketing calls, a caller must abide by particular protocols. These protocols which callers should strictly follow revolve on:

The Contact Hours – On weekdays, callers are only allowed to contact customers after 9 am and before 8 pm. While on Saturdays, callers are only allowed to contact customers after 9 am and before 5 pm. Whereas, NO calls shall be made on Sundays and holidays.

The Disclosure – This pertains to what a caller should say. The caller must introduce her or his business name, directly clarify the intention of the call and inform the customer his or her cooling-off rights.

The Contract – In the case of an agreement between a telemarketer and customer, a written copy or a copy sent online must be given to the latter by the former accordingly. The customer should receive it within five business days or (or longer if customer concedes). The contract must be in plain language, legible and clear and must be signed by both parties. Moreover, it should be stipulated in the contract the termination process (cooling-off rights), the full terms of the agreement, the total price payable or how this will be computed, any postal or delivery charges and contact details.

The Cooling-off Period – By the law, a customer has the right to rethink about the contract (Unsolicited Consumer Agreement) in 10 business days. The commencement of these business days is marked at the time the customer received the contract. Within this mentioned period, a customer can cancel without penalty. This cooling-off period can be extended up to 6 months if there is a failure on:

  • The provision of the information about the cooling-off period; or
  • The compliance of requirements for Unsolicited Consumer Agreements (such as failing to issue a copy of the agreement, not including necessary information in the agreement, or providing goods or services during the cooling-off period).

The Feeding of Information – Customer, should be consistently supplied with relevant information regarding the provided services or products.

It does not do good to be lenient in following these regulations. Remember that in any telemarketing industry; those mentioned above must be observed to operate legally.

B2B Telemarketing: What to Do When Your B2B Prospects Do These…

The following are the three common problems, telemarketers experiences from B2B prospects during telemarketing campaigns and here’s how to tackle them.

Ignore your Calls

You’ve been reaching to a B2B prospect for how many times now. But, to no avail. Apparently, your calls are being ignored. The best thing to do in this scenario is to incorporate other method/s. Send your B2B prospect a personalized email or physical mail. These methods might bode well especially for B2B prospects who prefer email or other means of communication than telephone calls. If you still aren’t able to get a respond after doing this, set another follow-up call for a few months out and attempt again.

Hung up on your Calls

Even if it seems like your B2B prospect is just having an awful day or has a serious attitude problem, you should not dismiss the possibility that you might also be the one to blame. How many times would you say are you trying to reach this prospect? Is it accurate to say that you are constantly polite on the telephone? In this case, being assertive may aggravate the situation. You need to lay off this B2B prospect because you were off to a bad start. Go after another person inside that company instead and this time, employ a low-pressure strategy like sending brochures or postcards. Or, you can simply direct your efforts somewhere else.

Badmouths you

Mean prospects are sure to burst your bubble. However, don’t fight fire with fire. Contemplate first. It might have something to do with you than them. Take for example, calling at a bad time. Such times often draws out the bad in people and you’ve just subjected yourself as a person they can vent off of their negativity. With this, you should genuinely apologize and acknowledge that you have been intrusive. This often gets the tension loose. Since it’s clearly not a good time to talk, ask if it’s okay to call when the time is already convenient. If the B2B prospects concede, that’s a good sign. Set up another schedule you can ring them up. If they not and you certainly had gotten on the prospect’s bad side, it’s either you let that prospect go, or you can pass it on to your colleague (because someone might have better luck).

 

12 B2B Appointment Setting Reminders (Part 3)

Don’t Be Passive-Aggressive in Asking for a Meeting

The simplest yet often forgotten technique in appointment setting; after your pitch, don’t ask your prospects if they’d like an appointment with your sales. Proceed to giving out politely the date and time your sales representative can talk to the prospect and ask whether they’re free on that schedule. Doing this would display that you’re eager to discuss and do business with them as soon as possible. After all, if the prospect isn’t really interested, they will decline or if they aren’t available with the arrangement you’ve given, they’ll say so and might give you a schedule they prefer.

Be Sensible

When giving out the date and time your sales representative can talk to the prospect (as mentioned above), provide sets of it that are likely convenient for the latter. By doing this, you’re giving them options and will eliminate you from sounding like you’re trying to force a schedule that they may not be available. As a matter of fact, whatever will be decided all boils down to the prospects’ preference. Prioritizing them as much as possible is an imperative aspect in appointment setting.

Be Flexible

Though appointment setting typically occurs over the phone, there are other ways to reach your prospects. Exploit emails, live chat, mobile texts, and the social media. Even appointments per se don’t have to be over the phone. It can be a face to face meeting or through online. The bottom line is, be flexible. Tread the places where you can contact them and make sure you make back up arrangements in case a situation arise that requires the use of one (e.g. time conflicts, venue issues, technical problems, etc.)

Remind Without Nagging

Once you have already successfully made an appointment with the prospect. It’s given that you need to remind them afterward so they wouldn’t forget. However, don’t overdo it. Constant reminding might bother them and cancel the appointment. You can try calling or emailing them a day before the appointment. Confirm whether they’re still able to attend. Or, you can ask them after you’ve made an appointment confirmation when is the best time to call them for a reminder.

B2B appointment setting should be deliberate and skilfully done to ensure proper engagement and connection with prospects.

12 B2B Appointment Setting Reminders (Part 2)

Always Ask if It’s a Good Time to Talk

If you’re able to reach the prospect, don’t get too hasty in proceeding to your pitch. You might have called at a bad time. Being interrupted does not bode well for many people particularly those in the field of business. So it’s only polite to ask whether it’s a good time to talk. If the prospect grants you the time, that’s good. You can fire away. If they refuse because they’re not free at the moment, grab this as an opportunity to set another schedule at their convenience.

Don’t Hang Up

We’re bound to get that dreadful “I’m not interested” line from prospects. However, you can use this as another opening. Ask why they’re not interested. You might make something out of their response that can pave the way for you to offer other services from your business.

Know Your Prospect

If you want to do business with another business, it is expected that you are well acquainted with things about them. More than just impressing them with your knowledge, it’s more on aligning your offers to their needs and giving them the impression you’re committed. How humiliating it is to phone a prospect, proudly offer your product or service and go sounding the crickets when you can’t answer their questions about what’s in it for them or how would it be relevant to their business.

Apply Mirroring

In Psychology, Mirroring pertains to the behavior in which a person subconsciously imitates the gesture, speech pattern, or attitude of another. It follows that the individual who is being mirrored can easily establish rapport with the person exhibiting the mirrored behavior, as the similarities in gesture, speech pattern, or attitude allow the former to feel more connected with the latter. This interesting notion has been leveraged and regarded as one of the most proven methods in appointment setting, well, in the business world as a matter of fact. For appointment setters who occasionally meet their prospects face to face, this seem to be a challenge but it’s not impossible. Mirroring can be done via telephone, even in emails. If the prospect is a fast or slow talker, match up to him/her and use words he or she likely understands and would use. Though it is mentioned earlier that Mirroring is subconsciously done, skilled appointment setters can harness it otherwise.

Telemarketing Tips: Scram from that Scam (Part 2)

Along with the list of common telemarketing scams that victimized a lot of people presented previously, FTC (Federal Trade Commission) also provided the red flags that would help detect it and self-evaluation questions to assist in deciding whether a call is really a scam or not.
The rest of the lucky populace who haven’t experienced it should be able to recognize the harbinger words that leads to this crime. Like the flame that fascinates the moth with its light, scammers tries to entice you with talks such as:

“You’ve been particularly chosen for this offer.”
“You’ll get a free reward if you purchase our item.”
“You’ve won one of our five grand prizes.”
“You’ve won a whopping amount of cash in a foreign lottery.”
“This venture is low risk and gives a higher return than anywhere else.”
“You need to decide immediately.”
“You believe me, don’t you?”
“You don’t have to verify our company with anybody.”
“We’ll simply put the delivery and handling of charges on your credit card.”

In the event of getting a call that is presumed to be a scam, putting forth the following inquiries below to oneself helps in figuring out if or not the call is a scam

Who is calling, and why? The law obliges telemarketers to notify you that it is a business call, the name of the caller, and what they are offering before they make their pitch. The caller didn’t tell you any of this? Drop the call.
What’s the hurry? Authentic businesses let you take your time in deciding and will give you written information about an offer before you confer. Scammers utilize high-pressure tactics to make you commit immediately.
 If it’s free, why are they asking me to pay? How come that it’s free if you have to pay? It’s a purchase then. Always address any expenses you need to pay to recover something.
 Why am I confirming my account information, or giving it out? Spammers may have obtained a billing information before calling. They will attempt to get confirmation so they can guarantee you affirmed a charge.
 What time is it? Telemarketers are permitted by law to call between 8 am and 9 pm on weekdays and between 8 am and 5 pm on Saturdays. No calls on Sundays and holidays. If this is overlooked, just hang up.

FTC suggests registering your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry if you don’t want a certain number to call you again. Remember to be always vigilant in answering calls. In this way, you are helping not only yourself and other people from being deceived by this abusive crime but also legitimate businesses that genuinely offers honest telemarketing services.

Telemarketing Tips: Scram from that Scam (Part 1)

Businesses who operates legit telemarketing are losing large sum of revenues to scams every year. What is worse is that legitimate telemarketers bear the brunt as people are becoming more and more skeptic and resistant to trust any telemarketing calls in the fear that it is fraud.

    Scammers exploit their victims through baiting them with exaggerated prizes, products or services. Due to the prevalence of these too good to be true calls, it is important to be well-informed of the different types of telemarketing scams and see the warning signs that heads to this crime.

        These are the following common types of telemarketing scams as enumerated by the Federal Trade Commission (or FTC).

  • Travel packages. The suppose promoters alert you that you have been chosen to avail a “free” or “low-cost” trip to somewhere. Turns out, this end up having a couple of pricey hidden charges. Incredulously, even after you paid, this trip doesn’t happen.
  • Credit and loans. This type of scam pertains to the ploy involving advance fee loans, payday loans, credit card protection and low credit card interest rates. Usually takes place when the economy is suffering a setback.
  • Sham or exaggerated business and investment opportunities. One of the telemarketing scams that made millions of dollars. Victims are offered low risk but high ROI. Scammers depend on the fact that most people do not research on the complexity of business and investments and pressure them to commit right there and then.
  • Charitable causes. Scammers urge you to donate right away for a recent disaster relief effort.
  • High-stakes foreign lotteries. You can say that this is the most obvious fraud since there is a prohibition of cross-border sale or purchase of lottery tickets stipulated in the law. Victims are notified to have won a large sum of money in a foreign lottery which they can only claim if they pay the processing fees and taxes. Where is that ticket anyway?
  • Extended car warranties. This time, scammers pretend to be a car dealer or manufacturer representatives. They make it a point to know profiles about your car such as what kind of car it is or when and where did you buy it so they can persuade you to sign up on overpriced extended car warranty plans.
  • “Free” trial offers. Some companies suggest that you sign up for the free trials of their product (“products” in some cases) and when you sign up, things becomes shady because they start charging you until you cancel.

 

Why Should You Include Telephone Survey in Your Business?

Businesses that are starting up, launching a new product or service or assessing their customer service are bound to do a market research. Of which, the results are ultimately used to respond to the needs and preferences of the target market. Information is the main ingredient in a market research and marketers have been using different methods of getting such (e.g. online surveys, mobile surveys, face to face interview, etc.). Among these methods is telephone survey. It maybe is traditional, but it’s still popular. Its response rate is also high compared to any survey methods in market research. Aside from these facts, here are more reasons why you need to include telephone survey.

  • Large scale accessibility. With telemarketing survey, reaching a wide geographical range is possible even for small businesses. Establishments and almost all households in the United States has a land-line phone. This fact makes it viable to talk to any customer in any market, virtually.
  • Ensures respondents’ anonymity. Reluctance in engaging to sensitive topics is inevitable especially in the case of people who highly regard confidentiality. However, telephone surveys provide a high level of anonymity. Thus, permitting respondents to be more open and honest with their answers.
  • Personal. When you take the time to contact and talk to customers, you give them the impression that your business cares about hearing their feedback. Another thing is, you’re also giving them the opportunity get answers straight from an administrator in case they have queries regarding your product or service.
  • Facilitate better response. In self-administration surveys, respondents tend to skip questions particularly those that they don’t understand or are confusing them. But in telephone surveys, the order of the presentation of items can be controlled, and the caller can immediately correct misinterpreted ones. Also, compare to the type of survey mentioned above, open-ended questions are likely to be answered exhaustively by the respondents in a telephone survey.
  • Cost and time-efficient. Save yourself from allotting postal, travel or catering costs. Minutes of phone call costs little with most phone plans. Moreover, when you call your respondents, it usually compels them to give you time for the survey right there and then. Or if they wouldn’t grant you the time, your callers could simply move over to another contact. Unlike web or mail survey, respondents can easily choose to ignore it or take them some time before answering it. If you’re reaching a particular time-bounded quota, the latter type of surveys can significantly inconvenience you (and a whole lot of it couple with Internet connectivity issues and instructions on returning physical mails).

When you integrate a correct approach, unique style, perfect choice of words and genuine intention, telephone survey could be just the right method in understanding your market.

5 Words You Should and Should Not Include in Your B2B Telemarketing Pitch

Words have the power to both compel and drive prospects away. In B2B telemarketing, using certain word or phrases can have an impact on the call. Wrong words or phrases can leave a bad taste in the prospect’s mouth but the right ones can certainly earn you their good side. Let us a take a look at the 5 words that got prospects cringing and the other 5 that got them engaging.

1. Honestly

Your motive may be entirely positive when using this word but it would actually have the opposite effect to your prospects. If you have to tell them that you’re being honest at a particular part of the conversation then that can imply that what you say beforehand isn’t truthful. You’ll be  having them do a double take of what you said, be suspicious of you instead of trusting you.

2. Quality

Ironically, this word has been mostly used by companies who offer poor service than those who really do render a quality service. So you can’t expect this word to be welcome with so much enthusiasm.

3. Sign/Signature

Bringing up signs or signature is like being anxious to get to the topic of prices and figures and your prospect handing over their money.

4. Perhaps/Maybe

It’s going to be difficult for the prospects to commit to you when you seem to be unsure of what you are saying. These words are evasive and wouldn’t guarantee anything to your prospects.

5. Cheap

Indeed, you may have the cheapest price in the market. However, using this term can backfire because this degrades the value of your product or service.

 

1. You

According to research, this word (along with our names) trigger specific responses in the brain that appeals directly to our sense of identity. It’s also among the top power words in the English language. Given this, it’s often used to make a connection with prospects (even in email marketing). Well, it’s always about the prospects and what’s in it for them, is it? Not for your company.

2. Do

You want to give off the feeling of confidence and competency to your prospects to make them say yes. But remember, it is not something you can make them perceive if you keep on saying that you would just try instead of giving them assurance that you would actually do it. What’s the use of proposing your help to them in the first place anyway?

3. Or

Give your prospects options when offering a proposal. Constraining them to a single choice may mean inflexibility on your part and can turn them off.

4. We

Instead of saying “you should”, start off with “should we…?”. This way, you avoid sounding demanding and more of suggesting in presenting your proposal.  It might grind your prospects gears being told what to do.

5. Value

Another case of WIIFM. You can talk about how impressive your product or service to the prospects until your blue in the face but if you can’t make them see sense why they need it, don’t even bother.

Be wary. Avoid those words that are killing your B2B telemarketing and retain those that are boosting it.