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How we generate qualified appointments and leads for your business

The intended outcome of most B2B telemarketing campaigns is to generate qualified appointments and leads for the relevant business, but if you have never embarked on such a campaign before, it can be unclear how your telesales agency goes about doing this.

At Toucan Telemarketing, we are always keen for our clients to understand the process we follow and will work closely with you to ensure that the campaign we carry out on your behalf is a fair reflection of what you hope to achieve, ensuring there is always an eye on driving positive return on investment.

For many clients, the first stage is to compile the call list, whether from your existing customer data and expressions of interest that you have yet to follow up on, or from our own expertise at identifying prospects within your area of business and geographical location.

We can also carry out data cleansing – cleaning up existing databases to make sure that all the contact details are up to date and that we are not placing calls to anyone who has clearly stated that they do not want us to.

This leaves a list of feasible prospects allowing our team to begin contacting each in turn and identifying those who are most likely to place an order, those who could possibly be converted with a few follow-up calls to nurture the relationship and those who are unlikely to ever be interested.

We only refer prospects to your own sales team when it is clear that they are ready to convert into a solid sales opportunity and this is when, having confirmed their interest and their ability to close the deal, we will refer them to your team as a qualified lead.

From there it should be a question of appointment setting and following up to close the deal, although of course there are also opportunities for upselling here, if the prospect is particularly interested in what you have to offer.

By handing back these qualified leads to your team for appointment setting, we can make sure that the last meeting is face to face with a representative from your own internal workforce, who is best placed to clarify any last questions and complete the deal on your behalf.

Get in contact with us today to discuss starting your campaign by calling us on 01260 294444 or filling out our online enquiry form here.

Does emotion have a place in B2B telesales?

Your idea of a professional B2B telesales agent probably doesn’t involve a great deal of emotion – and keeping a calm head is a crucial part of the job, especially when moving on from one call to the next or dealing with an impolite or even hostile prospect.

But there are ways in which positive emotion can help to make progress, even in the usually rational world of B2B telesales, and a study in the Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing highlights the interplay of rational and emotional factors specifically in B2B settings.

The research is based on a survey of buyers from 258 mechanical and plant engineering companies, again a sector where you might expect buying decisions to be more rational and less emotional.

Yet it found that only three factors – product quality, service quality and distribution quality – affect the rational purchase decision, whereas the emotional aspects include brand image, country of origin, advertising style and even the personality of the salesperson.

“All dimensions positively influence customer satisfaction and brand loyalty,” the authors write – a certain indication that working with a B2B telesales agency whose call agents are positive and have personality offers a competitive edge for your outsourced telemarketing campaigns.

Does appointment setting work as well in winter?

The New Year has already brought mixed weather conditions, with different parts of the UK facing warnings for wind, snow and even floods along the east coast – but that is no reason to ease up on appointment setting campaigns.

Appointment setting is one of the key outcomes of B2B telemarketing campaigns, and is generally the point at which we hand qualified leads back to your in-house sales team to meet in person with the prospect and close the deal.

Unsettled weather is no reason to stop doing that, as there are plenty of ways to work around even prolonged periods of poor weather.

You can of course simply schedule appointments for further into the future, when you expect the weather to have improved, but you might not want to delay a major deal.

Alternative options range from telephone calls to video conferencing, and if a face-to-face meeting is an absolute necessity, it’s very rare for the weather to be so bad that it is impossible to make the journey.

If you do want to delay appointment setting for the first few weeks of the year, it’s a good time to undertake some data cleansing instead, checking that the contact details on your call list are fully correct and up to date – and therefore saving time when it comes to calling those prospects to set an appointment later.

Lead generation companies get you running for 2017

With a new calendar year underway companies up and down the UK will be looking to maximise on optimistic sentiment for the coming 2017, and lead generation companies can help you to make sure you stay ahead of the crowd.

Some B2B lead generation campaigns will already be underway, meaning time is of the essence if you want to keep pace with your rivals, as well as supplying your in-house sales teams and account managers with the most lucrative prospects over the course of the coming year.

The new year is an especially good time to approach new prospects, with fewer people taking time off for holidays so soon after the Christmas and New Year break.

Many will have their own New Year’s resolutions for business aspirations, and if your pitch happens to align with their ambitions there is an excellent chance of making a sale.

Lead generation companies are specialists at reaching out to prospects old and new alike, and embarking on building rapport and reputation so that before 2017 is out of its infancy, your sales teams will have a steady flow of qualified leads to follow up, maximising your revenue in the 12 months to come.

Be ready to get B2B telesales campaigns underway in 2017

As the new year gets underway, it’s time to make a move on B2B telesales campaigns to stake your claim to the new annual budgets that will have become available to many B2B buyers up and down the country.

 Finding out when prospects’ budgets get renewed is one of the most useful steps you can take to time your sales pitches to coincide with their being most able to place a sizeable order.

 But in any competitive sector, you are likely to be up against B2B telesales campaigns from your rivals, and being the first to establish rapport with prospective customers can mean the difference between clinching the contract or being left behind by competitors.

 If you already have B2B telemarketing campaigns planned for 2017, be ready to put them into action, with prompt appointment setting to send your own sales team out for the final face-to-face meetings before an order is placed.

 And if you have been too busy dealing with Christmas to look ahead, use the usual lull in early January to catch up on making plans and scheduling B2B telemarketing campaigns to get underway as soon as possible, so as not to miss out on the opportunities the new year brings.

Taking B2B lead generation from retention to recovery in 2017

There are three main stages to any customer relationship – acquisition, retention and recovery from loss – and while B2B lead generation often focuses on the first two of these, there is a strong argument for including customer recovery in your campaigns, or even launching a separate campaign dedicated to regaining lost clients.

For a start, you should have contact information for anyone who has been a customer in the past, and it’s often easier to run through a data cleansing process to verify this existing information than it would be to compile a list of brand new prospects from scratch.

Once the data cleansing process is complete, you have a list of prospects who you know have been interested enough in your product or service in the past to place an order.

And yet, according to a recently published conference paper, B2B sales often focuses on gaining and retaining business opportunities, but neglects to consider regaining lost customers.

The paper by Annie Liu, Mark Leach and Lou Pelton is called ‘A Framework for B2B Customer Reacquisition: Evaluating Key Determinants to Win Back Lost Customers’ and has just appeared in print in late 2016.

It suggests applying different strategies depending on the type of ‘customer defection’, that is the reason why an existing client may have moved to a competitor – and by understanding and addressing this in B2B lead generation campaigns, your efforts in 2017 could soon win back happy customers from years gone by.

B2B lead generation ‘is the no.1 objective’

B2B lead generation is the primary objective of business marketing campaigns, ahead of other concerns like corporate communications and brand building, reports an article in MINIB.

The journal focuses on the marketing of scientific and research organisations, and recently published a piece titled ‘Lead Generation Strategy as a Multichannel Mechanism of Growth of a Modern Enterprise’.

Within the piece, the authors describe how B2B lead generation is about identifying potential clients and determining that they are likely to place an order, before an actual sales call is placed.

They summarise this as: “In short, it’s about motivating prospects to raise their hands.”

They go on to describe B2B lead generation as the primary aim of any B2B marketing efforts, in order to deliver a steady stream of qualified leads to the sales force.

“Other objectives, such as brand building, brand stewardship, public relations, and corporate communications are also on the list, to be sure,” they add.

Ultimately the end result of any marketing campaign should be to drive positive return on investment, but B2B lead generation is the first step towards this, converting prospects into qualified leads that sales teams can follow up.

What ROI can I expect from B2B telesales in 2017?

If you are planning to invest in B2B telesales in the New Year, it’s natural to want to know what kind of return on investment, or ROI, you can expect to see.

Of course it depends on what you’re selling, the duration of your B2B telesales campaign, and a few other factors, but the ROI can be substantial and reselling opportunities can multiply the benefits over the long term too.

For example, one recent Toucan Telemarketing campaign lasting for six months was used to promote the client’s services to B2B customers.

At a cost of £15,000, we were able to generate nearly £27,500 of revenue on existing quotes valued at around £72,000, with a massive £616,000 of annual opportunities.

If you’re selling a product instead of a service, one recent ten-month campaign generated nearly £40,000 of revenues on existing quotes of just under £165,000.

At a total cost of £25,000 this again represents a healthy rate of return – and we would always expect substantial positive ROI on any product or service B2B telesales campaign.

How we carry out appointment setting for B2B companies

We understand that outsourcing appointment setting services to can feel like losing control over your B2B telemarketing campaign, but with Toucan Telemarketing this is not the case.

Unlike some companies, we don’t carry out our B2B telemarketing in isolation from our clients, instead preferring a more integrated approach.

We work with you to establish parameters and targets for appointment setting, so that you know that outsourcing services to Toucan will support your sales. We make sure that we approach the appropriate markets at the right time to maximise results, in line with your objectives and business plan.

Once we begin, we will contact the most relevant prospects in your industry for the greatest chance of converting them into qualified leads, for us to set an appointment for you.

We confirm all prospects interest before setting an appointment that fits into your schedule. Just leaving you to attend the appointment set and close the deal to make the sale on your own terms.

Clients have previously commented on our services, saying: “The work was timely, well planned and very cost effective. In fact as a result of this exercise, our business gained a new contract last year worth over £500,000” – Mr. Brennand.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our appointment setting services, get in contact today on 01260 294444 or email paula@toucantelemarketing.co.uk.

What happens after B2B appointment setting?

In our previous blog, we looked at how our outsourced B2B appointment setting services can support your own in-house field sales team by generating new business leads that are highly relevant and, in most cases, ready to place an order or hear more about your product.

We conduct a B2B telemarketing campaign on your behalf, to our usual high standards and professionalism, before turning over any new business leads to your team to pursue.

But what happens after the B2B appointment setting phase is in your hands, allowing your in-house field sales team to pursue those leads as they see fit without being restricted by our campaign.

One thing we do try to do is to work closely with you as our client, to ensure that our campaign is conducted in a way that closely fits your own values and methods – making the transition from one of our calls to an in-person meeting with your team as seamless as possible.

We also make sure to generate new business leads in line with your own aims – whether you want high volume, or just the very most engaged of prospects to be directed back to you – ensuring that together, we drive the maximum ROI possible on your campaign.