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B2B marketing Part 2: Why outbound is not enough in 2018

B2B telemarketing (the traditional outbound approach to direct marketing) is experiencing a renaissance.  And rightly so.  There’s never been so much information freely available on the internet, to help your Business Development Reps (BDRs) research and take an “intelligent approach” to prospecting.

For many years it’s been the B2B market “banker”, delivering the kind of well qualified leads, that can only come from extensive two-way conversations with your prospective client.

Used correctly, it can be a highly effective weapon in the armoury for B2B lead generation, enabling you to target your prospects with pinpoint accuracy.

‘Outbound disruptive marketing is still a relevant and necessary part of the marketing mix in 2018’ according to Norman Bowe, Managing Director of B2B outbound specialists IZEN. ‘It’s often the first step to creating brand awareness in communities who have never heard of you; helping to identify who and where the buyers are, uncovering short-term sales qualified opportunities and starting the process of developing long term relationships.

But outbound calling doesn't work in isolation.  Here’s why...

Scenario 1: Your website is out of synch

Your BDR has a great conversation with a prospect. They tell them about an upcoming project and you position your solution to meet their needs.  The BDR positions a call back in a couple of weeks and identifies it as a Marketing Qualified Lead.

What happens next?

The prospect goes straight to your website.  They look for reassurance that your offering is indeed a solution to their problem. Where’s the evidence?  Where are the case studies and testimonials that back this up? They Google the problem area and the solution.  They come across one of your competitors that offers a whole set of content to support a similar proposition. They sign up to download a white paper and start to investigate further…

Scenario 2: You're not following up 

It’s a couple of weeks down track.  In the meantime your prospect has been investigating the solution area.  Since downloading the white paper, the prospect has received a series of high-value communications from your competitor, helping them to shape the problem and see the value of your/their solution. They provide a business case framework and a template presentation to help position the solution to the c-suite.

The BDR calls back and engages with the prospect. They tell them they are in the process of getting a business case signed off at board level, and ask for a few more weeks.  You upgrade to a sales qualified lead. Have you done enough work to nurture your lead or will your competitor snatch the lead because they have gone that extra mile?  Is it worth the risk?

Content is key

High value content isn’t just about increasing inbound traffic. It’s about equipping your BDRs and sales team with the best ammunition you can give them to support their activities.  It’s about giving them a range of tools at their fingertips to engage prospects and give them a reason to stay in touch throughout that vital nurturing phase.

Telemarketing done well can work well.  But in isolation, you’ll be working a lot harder than you need to and potentially opening up doors for your competitors to walk through.  Worth the risk?  We don’t think so!

Telemarketing fits neatly into today’s modern marketing practices. The best example is around marketing automation vendors. You only have to look at how quickly you’re ‘nurtured’ by phone when you engage with Hubspot or Marketo – showing us we all still value interacting with a real person and not simply a piece of software.

See also B2B marketing Part 1: Why inbound is not enough

If you found this interesting, you can discover more about inbound marketing on our B2B Inbound Resource Hub.


Visit the inbound resource hub