The 7 capital mistakes of telephone prospecting
Some B2B salespeople apprehend telephone prospecting campaigns and are even reluctant to initiate them. However, provided they are carried out well, they generate new contacts and qualified meetings. But, if they are so dreaded, it is because they do not produce the expected benefits. What are the reasons for this lack of results? What mistakes are made during phoning operations?
1 / Carry out cold calling telephone prospecting campaigns
It is certainly possible to make completely cold phone calls, cold calling, without upstream digital marketing, but it is quite inefficient. Very random, this blind prospecting takes longer to generate results. You find yourself calling prospects who don’t know your brand or your services and have no interest in what you’re offering.
It is much more effective to think of supporting a B2B telephone prospecting action with inbound and outbound marketing campaigns and even social selling operations. This allows you to focus your efforts on the contacts who reacted to your marketing campaigns.
By combining phoning and web marketing operations, your prospect already knows your brand before your call. He has already heard of your solutions or services. His reaction to your marketing campaign shows that he is already showing signs of interest in your offers.
When running marketing campaigns, don’t make the mistake of separating them from your telephone prospecting operations, don’t work in silos. The 2 approaches must be closely associated to enrich each other and create synergies. The new generation of marketing agencies can offer you marketing campaigns (inbound and outbound) related to smart phoning operations.
2 / Banning email from your strategy
It is not because you are carrying out a telephone prospecting operation that you should exclusively use your telephone. Email is also essential.
Identifying a project and obtaining a qualified appointment are generally done in 2 or 3 stages. It is sometimes necessary to send an email to your interlocutor before you can reach him by phone. This email must then be extremely personalized and impactful. It is essential to convince your contact to take time for a telephone conversation.
In other cases, you will have initial telephone contact with your prospect. Then, he will want to know more about your offer and your business. You will therefore discuss by email and sometimes even finalize and conclude the meeting by email.
It is clear then that the telephone and the email are complementary. As a result, the BDR (Business development representative) must be comfortable both orally and in writing.
3 / Carry out a disorganized telephone prospecting
B2B phoning is not an easy task that only takes an hour or two before moving on to another activity. If you do this work as a dilettante, it won’t work. To be successful, you must prospect conscientiously, sufficiently, and systematically within the framework of a structured long-term approach.
It is a job that must be daily. You must be organized to be able to establish precise tracking of your prospects. These are rarely available when you contact them. Also, you must organize your availability to be able to call back your contacts at the right time.
It is your talent on the phone, but also your organization and consistency, and perseverance that will allow you to obtain results.
4 / Not having any information about your prospect
It is essential not to launch your telephone prospecting without first obtaining information on your prospect. Seek background information before approaching your interlocutor.
The more you will be able to have precise and relevant information about your interlocutor and his company, the easier it will be to make contact. Highlight your knowledge of its company, its organization, and its news. Do not hesitate to name the names of people who work with him.
During your call, show that you have documented yourself and that you follow their activity on social networks. Bounce on their LinkedIn posts. Be careful, however, not to rely solely on LinkedIn elements, because you are not the only one using this means.
Finally, don’t underestimate the impact of the recommendations. Know how to highlight your network and use your relationships to reach your prospects more easily.
5 / Abandon phoning at the slightest objection
Refusal is preferable to indifference in B2B telephone prospecting campaigns. It allows you to establish the first contact and shows that your interlocutor is devoting time to you. Also, don’t give up on the slightest objection. It is important to understand the reasons for this. Is it justified by the person you’re talking to or are you just calling at the wrong time?
If the refusal is formalized by your contact, it represents an opportunity to be seized. You have to understand it and show the other person that you know how to listen. You will then see the prospect slack off. You can then continue the discussion in a more informal tone.
From this moment, you will be able to ask questions to understand the context, the environment, and the history of the strategic decisions taken in the company. This information will allow you to bounce back tactfully and identify a potential project. If there is one, you will be able to set an appointment.
6 / Only interest you in the final decision-maker
Do not target only high-level interlocutors in your telephone prospecting. You will have a hard time reaching them. For example, you will have difficulty reaching the CIO, because it must manage more than 2,000 people.
It is very rare to have a single decision-maker on a B2B project. Often there is a multitude of people involved in the decision cycle. In your investigation, you can start by contacting 1st level people. They are much easier to reach because they are much less in demand and there is no secretary barrier.
With this type of interlocutor, you will be able to obtain a large amount of information: on the account, the existence of a problem, the opportunity of a project, the various decision-makers, and their respective roles,… With this first information, you will then be able to go back to other more important interlocutors.
Have you learned the Top-Down strategy to access the right interlocutor? That’s good, but don’t hesitate to apply the bottom-up tactic to break into more difficult-to-access accounts.
7 / Do the same telephone prospecting as the competition
It is important to distinguish yourself from your competition by deploying unique, daring, and impactful telephone prospecting. Be innovative without being in the making of promises that you will not be able to keep.
You have to master your subject and find the axis that will make the difference. Upstream of your B2B campaign, it is important to think carefully about this phase, because it is crucial in the success of your operation. Also, take the time to develop a strategy and a message that will hit home with your targets. You have to have several moves in advance even before launching the assault.
Most importantly, be direct and concise. Avoid beating around the bush. Your interlocutor has little time for you. You must at all costs avoid the flowing, insipid and worthless speeches that your interlocutors will never listen to until the end.
Telephone prospecting is a crucial step in any marketing and sales strategy. It will participate in boosting the growth of your business by generating new leads to acquiring customers. By correcting errors made in phoning operations, you optimize the ROI of your insurance campaigns by improving the performance of your teams.