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Business to business telemarking is commonly associated with rigorous, aggressive sales campaigns; carried out by poorly trained, scripted call centre agents, mass-producing calls in the hopes of maximising lead generation and sales output.

All too often, these campaigns come across as crass, annoying and can –if not properly implemented and managed- actually be counterproductive, and even unprofitable for many companies.

Company image is extremely important in today’s business market, and nobody wants their business to be associated with the frustrating bombardment of cold calls. It only serves to sever the relationship between the business and their target market.

How then can we make B2B telemarketing cost-effective, whilst simultaneously helping to build long term customer relationships and improving company image?

There are many pitfalls to avoid when creating a B2B Telemarketing campaign; first and foremost, it’s absolutely essential that the agents are properly trained, properly managed and indeed, knowledgeable.

Often companies will outsource their telemarketing campaigns to call centres which will try to generate as much profit as possible with a minimum of input. The agents are paid poorly, and the managers and trainers will often do very little to ensure that their staff actually know enough about the product or service itself, instead putting too much impetus on the act of selling itself.

Whilst the ability to sell is certainly a skill within itself, it is amplified magnanimously by the level of knowledge that the agent themselves has. There is nothing worse than trying to sell a product or service and being unable to answer questions about the product itself.

For this reason, it’s of parmount importance that B2B telemarketing campaigns are carried out by competent, well-trained agents with a wealth of knowledge about the product itself. In order to keep the campaign successful, middle management must ensure that each agent is properly paid, incentivised, and that employee turnover is at a minimum. The campaign must be viewed and co-ordinated within the wider context of the companies overarching aims, whether they be to simply sell, generate long-term customer relationships, or improve company image.

Often in call centres, there is far too much pressure put on the hard sell, capitalising on sales today, which tends to have only a short-term benefit to the company, and in the long term can hinder them massively.

In order to generate long term business relationships and maximise on sales in both the short term and the long term, it’s important to hire agents with a wealth of experience in the industry your campaign relates to directly, not just people who can ‘sell snow to an Eskimo’. Empathy is also a very important quality which is often overlooked when agents are speaking to customers. Telemarketers can become annoying because they tend be pushy and interruptive. Remember, speaking directly to customers (or potential customers) is an excellent opportunity to do some primary market research. An empathetic telemarketer will take note of their clients’ concerns, comments, criticisms and observations, and –not just try to negotiate around them- but raise them with their manager, who in turn can effect a change in the product or service itself.

Companies such as Prospect solutions provide lead generation and appointment setting services; they differ from many other companies, as they do not simply apply the industrial model of maximum input at minimal cost to try to effect maximum short-term profits. They use highly experienced business professionals with over a decade of experience in the industry in order to create and nurture new business opportunities. take the time to understand their clients’ long-term needs within the marketing framework, helping to avoid the sales-driven pitfalls which can be detrimental to a company in the long term.