b2b telemarketingB2B telemarketing remains an indispensable tool in lead generation today, despite being labeled as an outdated marketing channel by some practitioners. Even with the arrival of social media and other inbound marketing tools, a significant portion of B2B marketers still think professional Out of 300 B2B marketers surveyed in March 2012, about 40% rated cold calling as their primary source of high-quality leads.

But why does B2B telemarketing receive such a negative view from some sectors? This is most likely a case of a few bad apples ruining the entire crate. Critics are probably citing only those telemarketing campaigns which have failed due to poor planning and may not be seeing the vast majority of other campaigns that deliver valuable results.

Marketing through the telephone, like any other marketing channel, requires careful planning and execution and, if you take away this essential component, you end up with a bad campaign – exactly like how social media and inbound marketing would fail without proper planning.

In order to ensure that your marketing campaign plan (in-house or outsourced) will withstand the challenges of today’s marketing environment, see to it that the approach contains all of the following characteristics.

1. Purpose-driven. This calling plan adopted by your own in-house team or by your chosen professional service provider should have a clear purpose to pursue. This purpose should align with your overall marketing plan and should be divided into specific goals and quantified into objectives.

2. Highly-targeted. Today, more than ever, there are more persons involved in the buying decision-making process. This highlights the need to focus and specialize on certain categories of buyers apart from the decision-makers themselves. Entities like influencers, end-users, and buyers, among others, are all important parts of a purchasing process.

3. Content-based. At present, customers and prospects control what, where, when, and how information is delivered by marketers. Because of this, a prospect-centered campaign should make use of content that their target contacts are demanding. This is one of the fundamental shifts in marketing control from the company to the target audience, and B2B telephone marketing should reflect this change.

4. Branding-focused. The product/service experience that you want your prospects to realize should also be extended to your cold calling efforts. Branding doesn’t only happen in other channels but takes place in the phone lines as well. Even if you’re outsourcing your campaign to another company, it’s still good practice to insist your brand gets reflected in the process.

5. Flexible. Having a static plan in a dynamic environment is like lighting a match in a dynamite factory – it just doesn’t make sense. The key to having a flexible plan is to anticipate probable scenarios and to outline the set of procedures to take in such cases.

6. Integrated. The vast majority of marketing campaigns today are multi-channel projects with at least 2 or 3 arms. This type of marketing, in-house or outsourced, should be seamlessly woven into the lead generation/nurturing tapestry and not as a disconnected thread.

7. Measurable. An effective marketing plan is one that clearly defines what “success” is and outlines the specific means to measure it. With a wide assortment of metrics and analytics flashing on the campaign dashboard, it’s very easy to get confused and overwhelmed. But, with precise descriptions and values, progress can be monitored more closely.

Now, take a look at your campaign plan. Does it meet all of the above criteria?