One of the things we're finding in the current economic climate is the need to recalibrate success metrics for telemarketing campaigns. Essentially, we need to re-think the number and type of meetings that can be delivered for a given number of days effort.Posted by: David Regler @
Some of this is sector specific and some of it holds true across all sectors.
Generally, if you'd asked any seasoned telemarketer at the beginning of 2008 how many meetings they could book in a day it would roughly equate to 1 per day.
A "deal a day" has been the unofficial benchmark for B2B telemarketing.
And, for clarification, I'm talking about senior level, well qualified meetings, not just a 15-minute coffee that's been squeezed out of a prospect and has a 100% chance of being bounced.
So, what's changed since early 2008?
Actually, you know what's changed; we've entered one of the most severe recessions experienced for decades.
What this means from a telemarketing perspective is that it's become harder to get meetings but, ironically, the meetings are much better quality.
Think about it. When times are good, budgets are plump, people are generally more open to looking at new ideas and exploring new relationships. Bringing in a new agency, consultancy or vendor to pitch their credentials is the norm.
However, when budgets have been cut off at the knees and you're wondering whether you've still got a job (or a business) in the next 3 months, you're going to restrict your time to things that have both a short-term impact or are critically aligned with the business agenda.
This means two things:
Firstly, it's essential that your pitch hits those hot buttons. OK, the time-line may vary depending how strategic your proposition is, but unless it cuts directly to what's on the business agenda right now, it's going to fall on deaf ears.
Secondly, if they are interested, you can bet it's hot one.
People just won't meet you to shoot the breeze at the moment. If they've agreed to see you it's because they need your help.
We're finding that businesses which hit those hot buttons and can deliver a rapid return-on-investment without large capital investment are still getting traction.
Sure, the "one deal a day" rule could now be more like one deal every two or even three days, but if the trade-off is high conversions, shorter-lead times, etc then telemarketing can still be one of the best direct marketing mediums for high-end B2B lead generation.