By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
What’s the difference between an outbound contact center and an inside sales team engaging in outbound outreach to build leads? Nothing, really, although the latter may not refer to itself as the former. Sales teams today are learning something that the contact center industry has known for decades: that inbound customer support can help drive outbound efforts, and vice-versa.
Today, companies are grappling with the reality of building demand generation, or leading customers to their products and services using a variety of media and vehicles. One of the best ways smart sales organizations are doing this is with inside sales teams picking up the phone in a smarter way, according to Mary Wallace writing for Business2Community. While inbound marketing techniques draw potential customers to an organization, outbound techniques go to where the customers are less likely to find a company’s products and services.
“Outbound demand gen techniques provide marketers with a much larger arsenal to generate leads,” wrote Wallace. “The vast audiences made available through paid media outlets – whether they are accessed directly via media buying tech (such as DSPs) or by leveraging the expertise of media partners – exponentially open up marketing’s reach.”
This isn’t to say that these techniques will make outbound sales any easier: it never has been and it probably never will be. Some of these activities, however, WILL make it more effective. By identifying the right audiences, engaging with them in a meaningful way, incorporating generated leads into your nurturing tracks, and measuring the whole process to determine how effective efforts are will ensure that outbound campaigns produce far more results than the effort put into them.
Wallace recommends that companies start with the right content so they can locate leads that are early in the buying process and interested in solving a problem.
“Grab their attention by selecting an asset that speaks to them and their challenge,” she wrote. “The type of asset is less important than the asset content (though specific personas often have asset preferences).”
The next step is to target the right buyers either manually or with a sales analytics solution. Next, determine which of your products and services will help those customers with their biggest pain points.
“Be on-point with your messages and content,” wrote Wallace. “Personalize what you have to say based on the lead’s needs. Communicating in a plain problem-solving voice makes it easy for the customer to see the value that your solution delivers.”
Finally, keep the communications open with leads and prospects. Many of them won’t be ready to buy today, but they might be ready next month or next year, and the relationship you will have cultivated with them through careful outbound demand generation will pay off.