Devon McDonald from Open View Partners helps clients that her company invests in build effective business development teams. She recently wrote:

“Outbound lead generation is a key component of any B2B company’s marketing strategy, helping it to identify highly qualified prospects in target segments and ultimately build the sales funnel.

“The problem, however, particularly for expansion-stage companies, is that they fail to appreciate everything it takes to build a successful lead gen team. From defining your revenue expectations and understanding your buyer persona(s) to assembling the right tools, hiring the right people, and managing the team effectively, launching a lead gen team is no small feat.”

This type of business development activity is reasonably well established as a method of lead generation in B2B marketing companies. A Forrester Research Survey of 250 B2B marketing companies indicated that 65% of them used inside sales/telemarketing. Interestingly, however, only 34% of them found it effective.

Part of the reason for the poor performance of outbound phone calling is lack of preparation. If inside sales is one of the “moments of truth” when buyers and sellers engage person to person then it is far too important a moment to ‘wing it’.

The ability to have an insightful conversation in the first moments of a phone call is something that can be taught and prepared for.

Providing your inside phone calling team with materials, training, environment, mentoring and metrics to be successful can mean the difference between high effectiveness and poor performance.

Example: Leaders should demonstrate the behaviour and attitude that they wish to instil in their team. They will learn more from watching you in action than from anything else.

Materials: Attention grabbers, conversation guides, competitor repositioning statements, customer insights, email templates, objection responses and persona guides will all drive performance.

Training: Your team need to be experts both in what you do and in managing leads through your process.

Environment: They need the freedom not to feel they are disrupting everyone else so think hard about where they sit.

Mentoring: Getting on calls with you team and reviewing how it could be improved on a weekly basis is essential.

Metrics: Accurate and relevant metrics published daily is critical to mainlining meaningful momentum.

The bottom line is that effective inbound marketing, matched with high performance outbound calling, is a recipe for explosive sales growth.