There has been a lot in the press recently about the practice by some (not all) charities of using call centres to badger people into giving more money, made worst by reports of the effect this has on the elderly.
One of the lead items on the BBC this week was about charities that could face a fund raising ban for breaking the rules. Shooting themselves in the foot is phrase that comes to mind, almost as bad as Volkswagen rigging test results on their cars.
As individuals we don’t like to receive telephone sales calls, they are interruptive on our time, and not everyone is equipped to fend off relentless calls (Doesn't your heart sink when you pick up the phone and there is silence before the automated call centre system kicks in?).
So whilst we ensure we have brilliant gate keepers in our professional lives, why do some organisations still believe outbound telemarketing calls are a valid way of generating leads for their business?
Telemarketing calls are equally as disruptive to individuals at work as they are in personal lives, and whilst they may have been a sustainable way to engage buyers in the pre-internet days they no longer are credible in this modern age.
Today’s modern buyer has access to a vast bank of information to enable them to make informed decisions to solve their problems or meet their needs…starting with a web search means we can obtain information on our terms, not through an interruptive telephone call.
If we accept as business people and in our personal lives that we don’t like telemarketing calls, shouldn't we respect our target market in the same way? Is telemarketing lead generation really dead? What's the alternative?
Sales savvy B2B companies are now implementing Inbound Marketing techniques to directly meet their buyers where they are seeking out information: online! By creating a wealth of optimised content (how-to videos blogs,whitepapers, ebooks, and others) and distributing it across digital platforms, businesses can attract customers to their solution or service as they look around the web for information. Those with a detailed Inbound Marketing strategy then, not only avoid unnecessarily interrupting their buyers, but also build trust in their brand (by providing the knowledge buyers seek out) and more often than not successfully nurture those buyers to invest in their product, solution or service.
Technology companies, in particular, very often find themselves at the mercy of vendors who provide marketing development funds that are approved on the basis of campaigns using additional marketing techniques, such as telemarketing and email blasts. These techniques:
- are not effective
- do not develop trust and value between the buyer and seller.
- cost more in the long run
To see what techniques could be effective for your business, read our eBook 'Inbound Marketing Techniques for Technology Companies'.
One final thing … surely at some point you do need to actually speak to your prospects and that means picking up the phone? If your prospect has engaged with your company, downloaded and absorbed valuable relevant content, then a follow up call is a valid next step. Offering help and guidance is more readily accepted if you built that trust.