The short answer is yes, telemarketing lead generation can be effective but it depends upon how unique the product or service is.
The IT sector is pretty much the most competitive sector there is in B2B sales and marketing. The buyers here – from CTO down – are bombarded daily with calls, emails, online ads and social media telling them of new technologies, products and services. This is why many of them hide behind voicemail or are contactable only via a generic email.
To be honest, you can’t blame them. There is often very little to differentiate one supplier or their products and services from another. Also, ICT providers don’t do much to help themselves. How many IT websites actually say what the company really does? Much verbiage is dedicated to buzz words and “helping our clients embrace today’s possibilities” or “enabling the enterprise” that it seems that suppliers are afraid of being too specific about what they do in case they miss an opportunity that they might be able to grab. Well, in my opinion, they are probably missing more than they are getting. If I want software to help schedule telemarketers’ time across campaigns, I want scheduling software; I don’t want to enable my business in the cloud! Cloud is just some equipment that is somewhere else. In the 1990s, even the 1980s, data communications people drew X25 or frame relay networks (look them up in a history book!) as a cloud. In the early internet days (the 90s again) we had hosted solutions – the cloud again.
As the founders and directors of IT companies visualise their journey from start-up to IPO and the life-changing wealth that will no doubt follow – come on, be honest, we all have that dream – they need to think about real life problems and solving them for their potential clients. I am often amazed at how little research is done before launching a product that has very little to differentiate it from plenty of others that are already out there. I have spoken with a number of potential clients who have burned their redundancy money whilst they work on their big software package or app that turns out already to be available for free or at very little cost.
Some products are, by definition, similar to many others that are available. Examples of this include IT support, telecoms services and most ICT hardware. Large players – the sort who provide services to the major corporates – have scale as a differentiator. But what if you are a small player aiming at SME’s? You are best served by networking and getting your face known amongst local business – people buy from people, as the old adage goes.
We recently ran an outbound telemarketing campaign as part of an appointment setting service where we were making 100 calls to reach one decision maker, but we then converted 1 in 2 of those decision maker calls to an appointment as the proposition was good and relatively unique. This shows that even in IT, a cold calling campaign can still be effective, but it depends on the differentiation your company has against its competitors.
If you would like to know more about our lead generation and appointment setting services, please contact us today.