If you need help generating qualified sales leads, and growing your sales, one of the first things that will come to mind is to consider using a typical “brick and mortar” call center. Hiring a telemarketing company to prospect for you or sell your product or service can be a very effective solution if you don’t have the qualified staff to do so in house. However, you can also waste valuable time, money, and have the reputation of your company tarnished very quickly. There are a few good, professional, and legitimate service providers with solid business models and then there are those that do not. Here’s what they won’t tell you, and why.
According to the US Department of Labor, there are over 2.5 million telemarketers, just in the US – and millions more overseas. Literally hundreds, if not thousands, of people in every city and town are available to make phone calls for you, many paid as little as minimum wage. Many will claim to be able to make effective B2B calls, and dominate the staffs of call centers with a bill rate of $ 15-$ 25/hour or so without being qualified to complete your project with the right results. After the federal Do Not Call rules came into existence, many of these brick and mortar call center sweat shops had to switch their focus to B2B, since B2C business dried up. One day they were setting appointments for home improvements, and the next day they were calling CEOs and business owners. But how is that possible? B2C and B2B skill sets are completely different.
Only professional B2B service providers understand what skills are necessary in a qualified B2B telemarketer. For example, while being able to establish rapport is important, in B2B it’s even more important to be able to stimulate interest and to establish credibility within a short period of time. Business acumen is important, and, most of all, good questioning skills. Truly professional B2B service providers look for candidates who are experienced and really know how to handle a B2B call in the most professional manner. A much different animal than talking to consumers. One company asked of their candidates in an interview “You are assigned to get appointments with the CFOs of Fortune 100 companies, but call all of them without getting a lead. What do you do?” Over 90% of candidates said ask for another list,” despite the fact that there are only 100 companies in the Fortune 100. There simply isn’t another list. Burn through lists is the mentality of a B2C telemarketer who is using predictive dialers. This simply does not work in professional B2B telemarketing. The use of predictive dialers for B2B is highly unprofessional.
They found that after testing thousands of candidates, less than 5% of them actually knew the basic skills of B2B telemarketing. Most simply don’t know how to make an effective sales call. They only knew how to read a script, and script reading is not something that gains results in B2B telemarketing. Add in factors like availability, fit and experience, and staffing a “brick and mortar” call center with qualified professionals becomes a statistical impossibility.
So when considering outsourcing B2B telemarketing, make sure the company you do business with truly specializes in B2B services and they have a high level of integrity and professionalism. After all they will be representing your business. Simply put, Call Centers are NOT the same as Professional Business Development firms.