How to select, and recycle, b2b telemarketing data
A telemarketing campaign thrives - or fails - largely because of data. This is especially true in B2B telemarketing, where the focus is particularly sharp on targeting and getting high-value appointments for sales teams. Poor data can affect conversion rates, quality of appointments, and even the morale of the telemarketer! So here's how to select - and recycle - your telemarketing data.
Always use your own in-house data
You can buy data in - and many companies do - but your own prospecting data is always going to be better from a telemarketing viewpoint. This is partly because data lists that are bought in have been bought by other companies, too. The contacts on those data lists may be suffering from telemarketer fatigue, and will often put up significant roadblocks.
Therefore, keeping and maintaining your own CRM (customer relationship management) database, is a fundamental step, and the investment will pay off over time in increased conversion rates and improved quality of appointments.
Keep your data fresh
It's a fact that people move jobs - some more regularly than others! It's essential, therefore, that you keep your list fresh. There are a number of ways of doing this.
- Ensure that everyone in the business is a "data stakeholder" - and that they update client or prospect details at every opportunity
- Send your data to an external provider and ask them to "fill in the gaps" or refresh gone-aways / new hires
- Run a data cleansing telemarketing campaign - set data cleansing goals beforehand to ensure that you end up with a quality list
Segment and use short data lists
One of the most frustrating aspects of taking a call from a telemarketer is a lack of knowledge - the lack of background to the call. You can reduce this by segmenting your data heavily - down to industry, job role, previous contact levels, etc. Anything that will help you refine the data list and craft a more compelling, accurate message that will have an impact. Going out there with a blanket approach has never worked in telemarketing, but by using short, segmented data lists, you give your telemarketers a greater chance of success.
Understand your retained data needs
If you're going to get one appointment per day, from 80 dials and an estimated 8 to 10 conversations (of course, these metrics vary greatly from industry to industry), then 70% to 90% of conversations will not lead to an appointment. They will, however, reveal a wealth of information, so it's crucial to understand beforehand which data items you want to retain, so that you can use that information at a later date.
For example, you may want to know when the contact will next be reviewing suppliers, or when a contract is set to lapse. You may want to increase your contact data for that organisation - perhaps getting the name of superiors or hierarchical information. You may also want to retain some information on challenges the business is facing, so that when you do make that next call to the company, you're fully briefed with key business information.
Decide what the data fields are, build them into your CRM, and ensure that they get populated by the telemarketer during the conversation - or at the very least, that the telemarketers' notes are not left festering on a spreadsheet somewhere - they are actively used.
Embargo prospecting until the right moment
When you tell a telemarketer that you don't want to be contacted for 6 months, that means 6 months. Not 6 weeks, when a sales rep decides to give you a call, not knowing that a previous call was made. An embargo has to be placed on data that says "do not contact until...". And this has to be visible to everyone who prospects within the organisation - and outside it (i.e. the telemarketer, if you're outsourcing).
While telemarketers have the gift of being able to convince prospects that they need your services at any moment, the 'sweet spot' is still prospects who are ready to buy, and interested, at the right time. Building that data list and ensuring that it is kept fresh, up to date, and segmented, is one thing - but ensuring that you build up a pipeline of contacts who are ready to move, well... that's telemarketing gold.