Lead Nurturing and Telesales – Working Together to Change Cold Calling into Hot Calling

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Posted: July 21, 2010 | Sales

Often when we think of lead nurturing, we think of inbound prospects that are interested in receiving regular communication from our company because they have found value in previous content. However, nurturing can also help ‘warm up’ a prospect that might be unaware of content relevant to their job or industry.

Instead of waiting for prospects to come to the website and opt-in, you should verbally opt-in prospects during phone calls. Ask if they would like to receive thought leadership relevant to their organization, including tips and tricks, best practices and buying guides. Getting approval to receive an email will be much easier than asking for a meeting or a demo. After you receive approval, start nurturing, waiting until the prospect interacts with content. From there, use the content they consumed as a way to reintroduce your company via telesales.

Here is an example:
A company sells a product that lengthens the life of manufacturing equipment. They have a large list of prospects, however, the telesales team is having difficulty getting prospects to commit to appointments or demos. During their calls, the telesales group gets a verbal email opt-in and then sends an email to confirm the verbal opt-in. An email nurturing program is then deployed, which discusses the issues manufacturing managers face, including ideas about staffing to doing more with less budget, equipment ratings, etc.  After the prospect reads or downloads some of this content, telesales reaches out again. The prospect will now be more likely to take the call because they believe the company understands their problems and provides useful information.

Although this example was relevant to manufacturing, it can be applied to almost any industry. The key is to focus on high-value content in the email nurturing program that will relieve some of the pain the prospect struggles with every day. Company-specific promotional materials, such as fact sheets, product briefs, etc. will still be used by the sales team when the prospects need more information about your company later on in the sales cycle.

Don't let this happen to you- warm leads up first!

A nurturing program like this will generate warmer calls, improve telesales results and improve the quality of conversation within the first calls to your customer. The conversation will be more detailed because your prospect is now familiar with your company, plus the prospect will be further into the sales cycle when the telesales team does engage – a win for both your company and your prospects.

For more best practices, check out an excerpt about Cold Calling 2.0 in Aaron Ross’s new book, Build a Better Sales Machine.

Related Resources

  • http://www.televerde.com Larry Fleischman

    Hi Maria. The idea of warming up opportunities through a human touch is sensible. There’s no question that relevancy is the key to making the dialog worthwhile for the prospect, just like relevancy is critical to the digital nurturing process. And using the conversation as an opportunity to gain permission for future outreach is a terrific leverage. It’s important that sales reps understand that truly optimizing a new sales opportunity is not just a function of putting the prospect into an online nurturing platform and waiting to see what happens – or what doesn’t happen. The ideal approach is to create a nurturing strategy comprised of the right balance of both digital and dialog-based touches at the right time with the right information and questions.

  • http://www.televerde.com Donna Kent

    On the practical side, lead quantity and quality demands the balance between automated and human touch deamnd creation. Companies cannot afford to get leads thru the human touch alone. Cold lead calling produces 80-90% lead leakage on the best campaigns. The demand on the data to produce leads, and the wear and tear on the targeted prospect, can create a negative hit on the brand overtime. The qantity and the quality of new leads in various stages; not-withstanding those that get recycled from the sales team nd go back into a relevance que; can produce a steady stream of opportunities without fatigueing the prospect, while producing lead maturity. The sheer number of what is needed to meet the expected new business revenue goals, put integrated nurture as a top priority for sales and marketing.

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  • http://www.virtualappoint.com Ron Davis

    Enjoyed the article, thanks, Maria. Probably sounds obvious, but I’ve found that it’s typically easier and more effective to prospect when you actually don’t need the business. When you don’t need the business, your communication tends to be more consultative and doesn’t come off as “desperate”, for lack of a better word. Any good salesperson knows that prospecting is a never ending process and it’s always important to be warming your leads, so that when the time comes to make that call, it’s barely a cold call.

Maria specializes in Inbound Marketing for Marketo, leading efforts in adoption of social media channels for brand awareness and demand generation. She has worked in marketing for over ten years, and specifically in online marketing including social media, search marketing, and lead generation and nurturing for the past six.

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