Category Archives: Voicemail

Make your Voicemail Campaigns More Efficient

So I just noticed a post at selling2business.com about leaving good voicemails and its not the sort of thing that can pass me without a comment. Overall, good points of what to say in the message but I’d like to add two things:

1- Track your voicemails to see what’s working the best. To do that you need to be able to tell what message you left and who you left it to. This can be a real challenge when you’re leaving one-off messages all day long and it will be further complicated by the simple fact that consistent delivery of both the content and the tone is unlikely.

Voicemail campaigns are about the only way I can think of to be able to track and measure the effectiveness of different message/target combinations. Given the almost obsessive need in marketing and sales to measure just about anything else, I’m wondering how long it will be before the truly leading edge sales and marketing organizations get a handle on measuring the comparative impact of different messages.

2- Somewhere between the pure vanilla one-size-fits-all voicemail that sales reps used to be able to get away with and the Give-me-two-hours-between-calls-so-I-can-leave-the-perfect-message variation is the ideal message that will deliver the maximum value for the time spent. Once you figure it out and match it up to the right contact lists, you can ramp up your outbound volume to guarantee predictable metrics by using a service like Boxpilot to deliver more messages better, faster and cheaper than one-off calls.

By applying a balance of common sense and automation to calling, it too will become something you can accurately measure and manage.

Align Your Sales and Marketing Teams for Efficient Growth

One of the challenges that many companies appear to be facing is what to do to bring sales and marketing programs more into sync with each other. Eventually, the two departments have to find better ways to work together since, when it comes right down to it, both are trying to achieve the same final objective- more revenue, with higher profits.

What’s most interesting is that to generate leads, marketing teams are usually focused on “mass” messaging,  using emails for outreach and striking a balance between delivering the message and not wearing out their lists. At the same time sales is doing more one to one outreach, which is usually over the phone, but when they don’t have enough good leads to work with, these calls often have low response rates. Sales only alternative is to simply do what they have always done and “turn up the volume”. But there is a limit to what one person can do.

Oh yes, and there’s that wonderful issue of content creation, because astonishingly enough, when sales has to make cold calls because they don’t have the leads to work with, they need to be able to offer something of interest/value to the contacts. At the end of the day there just isn’t enough time to manage it all yourself.

One possible option is for both marketing and sales to work together to create combined email and telephone programs and perhaps extending these to also include direct mail.

They can – at least to some extent- combine the databases they’re working from as they are frequently different. Marketing can save the day with content creation and campaign management and sales can offer a new “marketing spokesperson” to help add variety to their message and reduce the wear-out on the lists.

Merging these teams and creating a mix of media will result in higher engagement and more effective lead nurturing campaigns. It has been shown that 70% of buyers are predisposed to choose the company that engages with them using a mix of email, notes, voice outreach, and other channels. All of which can be owned by both the marketing and sales teams to generate sales ready leads.

Learn how you can use Boxpilot to conquer deficiencies in your sales funnel by engaging in a mix of media and utilizing your sales and marketing teams in the best way possible. Our lead nurturing services will free up your sales team to do what they do best – close deals.

The Future of Voicemail: An Old Tool in a New Light

When it comes to B2B communications, voicemail – once the darling of leading edge technology- is almost charmingly old school. Right now it seems that online is where the action is and while there is a lot of new innovation happening right now, it’s also swamped with hype and uncertainty. There are many unanswered questions about what will actually be effective in generating B2B leads and sales.

But voicemail will stay around as long as it does its main job which is to communicate a one-to-one-message using one of history’s most effective communications tools ever – the human voice.

This is Not the End for Voicemail

I’ve talked to marketers and even sales reps who have lost confidence in voicemail, because most people don’t return calls anymore and I understand where they’re coming from. But these reps are missing a key point. Business people are NOT failing to respond to your message because your message is unimportant to them. They are failing to respond – to call, attend, write or even click, because most of them have fallen victim to the Tyranny of Urgency. Remember Stephen Covey’s four quadrants– Important-Not Important and Urgent-Not Urgent? The bottom line is that important or not, if it isn’t urgent to the person who needs to take action, it won’t get done. That’s the ONLY reason that voicemail messages don’t bring around a call back – it’s not an emergency, yet.

Change How you Use Voicemails to Deliver your Message

So it’s time to take that thinking into consideration and start using voicemail in a new way – and measuring it in a new way, too. Think for a minute about the tools available to you – as a marketer or sales rep – to reach out to universe of contacts and even if it’s just for a moment – hold their undivided attention. Guided voicemail campaigns are your best option in terms of measurable deliverability, cost and speed to get that connection. And the human voice is still one of the most effective ways to deliver a genuinely persuasive message.

Stop confining your thinking about how you can use voicemail to a simple transactional request like “Call me back” and start thinking about how you can break down points of resistance, clarify areas of confusion and insert persuasive new ideas into the thinking of all these people who voicemail has given you the opportunity to actually talk to.

Get a Response to Your Voicemails

So here’s what you can do. Instead of expecting one voicemail message to set your phones to ring off the hooks with every call getting returned, break down key points of interest that fit with the needs of your leads and current customers. Instead of relying on email alone to deliver any kind of progressive, persuasive message to your audience, slip in a few “personal” calls and let a name and a voice carve a spot for your company closer to that “top of mind” space where you would like your message to sit.

It’s an easy process to automate, which means that both your marketing and your sales teams can consistently and measurably integrate that higher level of personal contact into every one of your ongoing programs.

Learn more about our guided voicemail services and how you can use voicemails to make your sales team even more efficient.

The Annual Boxpilot Holiday Game – Enjoy!

Our holiday game is both fun and challenging. As you try to catch as many snowflakes as you can, imagine the stream of prospects that Boxpilot can generate for you in 2015. Also imagine Boxpilot nurturing prospects so no opportunities fall to the wayside (unlike in the game!). See how high a score you can get!

Happy Holidays from Boxpilot

What’s your score?

  • 1400+ – Great!
  • 1100-1300 – Good.
  • 900-1100 – Not bad… try again.
  • <900 – No more eggnog for you!

While playing, think about all the ways you can use Boxpilot next year – build pipeline by generating sales-ready leads and appointments, building attendance to events, and nurturing hand-raisers into purchasers. Renewal programs, sales calling programs and data quality programs.. or adding option to add voice touch with a keystroke to your marketing automation.

10 Tips: Ways Boxpilot can Generate Results for you in 2015

1) Attendance Builder: Boxpilot’s powerful “Attendance Builder” program uses our suite of services to integrate a mix of media, touches, and tools to create a complete event marketing solution for you – pay by the invitee, or by the attendee.

2) Sales-Ready Leads: Boxpilot can execute a mix of media plan to generate sales-ready leads for a flat fee-for-service price or a per sales-ready lead price – keeping your reps talking to a constant stream of leads.

3) Appointment/Demo Setting: With Boxpilot’s appointment setting solutions, we make sure that you are in the right place, at the right time, with the right decision makers–without taking your focus away from closing deals.

4) Lead Generation: We have worked hard to build best practices around using a mix of media that work together to achieve the most results for the least – an optimal blend of email, live voice, guided voicemail, direct mail, texting, social media and so forth in the B2B environment.

5) Lead Nurturing: Companies are potentially losing up to 70% of their prospects to competitors who are doing a better job of engaging them. Our lead nurturing programs keep prospects engaged and moving down the funnel.

6) Renewals: With a mix of media contacting plan sequenced to each customer’s lapse date, Boxpilot’s renewal solutions can help you improve and grow your revenue base by increasing renewal rate.

7) Sales Calling Programs: With Boxpilot’s sales rep multiplier program, up to 10x more accounts can be getting to know each of your reps, without hiring more reps.

8) Pipeline Builder: By plugging each rep into Boxpilot’s Pipeline Builder™, your sales team “turn on” the tap to consistently and predictably fill up their sales pipelines with sales-ready leads and opportunities.

9) Data Quality: Better data means higher ROI. Boxpilot can maintain data quality and track the changes within customer and prospect companies with a commitment to ongoing maintenance.

10) Marketing Triggers: Add one-off and sequenced B2B outbound live voice, voicemail, and text touches directly from your marketing automation software.

To learn more about how Boxpilot can generate results for you, please contact your account manager watch a video, or call or email us to schedule a demo.

 

Adding voice touches to your marketing automation workflows

No doubt everyone is aware of the growth of Marketing Automation software. Whether you are using one now, or are thinking about it, you know they’re designed for marketing departments to more effectively market, track and automate contacting plans.

Add Voice Touches

As it relates to the sales funnel, automation of course can fit in across all stages. Indeed, marketers use various programs and initiatives to generate leads, cultivate leads and ultimately hand them off to sales teams.

The Growth of Marketing Automation

Maybe it is an event invitation program, a white paper offer, an announcement, a testimonial designed to garner a response or ongoing sequenced touch nurture programs perhaps on behalf of your sales teams.  Marketing Automation gives you the ability to do all these things in an organized, timed, and measured manner, it really is great!

Email Overload

But what we’ve seen is that email has really become the primary method of communication coming out of Marketing Automation platforms.  In most cases, the platform essentially only enables you to trigger emails, so Marketing Automation users are tied to email, and in a way not even by choice.

With everyone thinking and using email in this way, we’ve seen some significant challenges emerge as a result of this over-reliance on email.

It’s totally understandable—-Companies have invested significant expense and time into setting up their Marketing Automation and they want to see return on investment.

But the sheer quantity of emails that people are getting today, plus the fact that your competitors are also over-relying on email, has really pushed email overload to an all time high.  Studies show that thousands of emails per day piling up on each other makes for clutter and receiver desensitization to the point that truly engaging prospects and making a genuine human connection with email alone has become very difficult, even with great content.

Email Clutter

Previously, we shared a recent Boxpilot white paper that goes a bit further on some of the statistics of email clutter.  Feel free to have a look to jog the memory.  To paraphrase: What has really come out of this is that we see that it is Human Connection that keeps prospects engaged.  Without it, you risk prospects become bored, losing interest, going stale, and ultimately flowing out of your funnel to your competitors.  There’s a McKinsey study that shows that companies are potentially losing up to 70% of their prospects to competitors who are doing a better job of engaging them.

White PaperSo this begs the question – how do we stop this loss to competitors, how do we get touches with higher levels of engagement than with email alone.

And the answer that we have seen emerge lies in utilizing a mix of media.  Alongside emails, we’re talking phone calls, voicemail, texts, among other methods. Everyone knows it takes more than popping out a few emails to really drive engagement

Human Connection – Breaks through Clutter

For one, there’s opportunity where clutter doesn’t exist and where touches actually get noticed: A call, a voicemail, a text, these are things that still stick out to us because we don’t get nearly as many as with emails.  On top of that, engaging with a real human voice, even if it’s just periodic, identifies you as a real person where a stronger relationship and trust can be built.  It really validates your past and future electronic communication.

Human Connection = Engagement

We’ve seen that it’s a mistake to leave making a human connection to the bottom of the funnel only. And it is a mistake to let your competitors be the ones engaging prospects more than you.

Actually, in a study called Dale’s Cone of Learning, we see that more engagement generates more recall.. people remember 10% of what they read alone, but as we go up in engagement, 50% of what we hear and see, a 5x improvement.

Engaged = More Sales

And so to bring it home, with this example workflow that has a mix of media embedded within it rather than email alone, referencing the McKinsey study earlier, if 70% of buyers are more predisposed to choose the company who engages them more rather than the company that uses email alone, it really means that doing a better job of engaging prospects can result in 2.3x more customers by virtue of not losing prospects from your funnel and having them choose your competitors.  So the opportunity is immense.

Mix of Media

Obstacles

But you might be thinking.. Yes that’s fine, I get that the more different touchpoints you make, the more engaged someone will be, the more sales that’ll translate into, but actually executing programs with a mix of media in this way isn’t easy.  And setting up email workflows, even decision-based, or action-based, is relatively easy—-and doesn’t require more staff, or more technology investment.

And, to date, integrating triggers into your existing Marketing Automation systems to actually enact multi channel touches just wasn’t possible.  So companies have tended to continue to rely solely on email, which has exacerbated the email overload problem.  But has created opportunity for those who see the value of enhancing engagement.

So the question becomes: How CAN you actually reach out and engage with voice touches, but have it integrated directly within your Marketing Automation system?

Making It Happen

Well, to answer the question, there are a few elements that need to be in the formula for it to work.

  • Firstly, there needs to be a way to link with any voice touch provider. This often comes in the form of APIs (i.e. a secure programmatic way to send data back and forth).
  • Another element that must exist is that you need to be able to trigger the voice touches based on various events.
  • And it has to be easy to add in the workflow, DIRECTLY from the MA platform itself
  • And with data being synchronized the last piece of the puzzle is designing voice touches such that voice itself can come from a person at your company.. maybe your sales rep for their territory, or specific individuals in your pre-sales department, or even your CEO for example.

Boxpilot Call Trigger

Enter Boxpilot.  Integrating either natively or by using various intermediary tools, Boxpilot can integrate with virtually any Marketing Automation platform. This gives you the benefits of automatic, virtually instant updates, visibility and program changes on the fly.

Marketing Automation Trigger

 

Essentially what happens is that a trigger is set up in your workflow such that if a particular event occurs, Boxpilot gets an alert to make either a live voice, guided voicemail or text reach out. It can also trigger an entire sequence that Boxpilot then enacts over time that is linked with your Marketing Automation, or CRM each step along the way. In any case, Boxpilot actions are reflected directly into your data.

Add Voice Touch

Some examples of triggers which we seen used to instigate a call are:

  • Web Form Submissions
  • Content Downloads
  • Click Throughs
  • Website Visits
  • Inbound Calls
  • Timed Sequence on a dynamic list.

Really anything you can build off of in your marketing automation platform.

Similarly the touches can be integrated into any workflow you’ve set up at any point.  For example, let’s say you want to make a simple voicemail touch to kick start the event you are promoting, this can be a task in your workflow that pushes qualified names to Boxpilot.  Or as another example, you are supporting your sales team with voice touches, in their voice, to expand their territory reach – where one call in their voice happens, and then it reverts back to email.

Just imagine Boxpilot services simply as another box in the workflow.

Same thing for Lead-gen and nurture programs, renewal programs, appointment setting or even data quality programs.  There’s no limit.

Example

Here’s a very basic example workflow in Eloqua.  And again, this can be done in any automation software.  The workflow example here shows two possible voice touches depending on whether an Intro Email is clicked on or not.  If it is clicked on, one particular voice message is delivered to the respondent from, say your top sales rep, and if it is not, then another voice message is delivered from, say, your pre-sales team.  There are no limits to the creativity you can inject into your workflows knowing that you can make live voice, voicemail or text touches with a click of the button.

Marketing Automation

(Add a simple drop-down in your marketing automation tool that gives you the option of adding voice touches directly from within your workflows. Watch video!)

Maybe it is a sequence of voice touches over time, maybe it is based on the sales rep territory, maybe voice touches are only used when lead score hits a certain number.  In all cases, we can work with you and provide consulting on where to best add voice or even design the workflows for you.

The Boxpilot Advantage

So what makes Boxpilot the right partner to handle this for you?  To answer the question, in short we’ve been set up to do exactly this.

And so what makes us different is that we have three core capabilities rolled into one.  We have the agency side where strategy, content and planning are done—-building off of a significant depth of expertise from having done more than 16,000 programs—-and here we can be of great assistance in best practices in the voice touches you integrate into your workflows.

Boxpilot Advantage

Secondly, Having a state of the art in-house North American contact center has enabled us to innovate methods of execution specifically for B2B, all with the benefits of in-house control,

Finally, and our Program Portal technology platform not only provides protocols needed for easy and fast seamless integration into your Marketing Automation system, but also allows us to manage background complexities in your triggered Boxpilot tasks, so that your user experience is a simple as possible.

Summary

So Big picture: the reality is that email clutter is at an all time high.  And, yes, it’s easy to send emails from marketing automation systems. But if that’s all you do, you’re losing prospects to competitors because prospect engagement is probably low.

Sales Growth

Instead, by adding voice touches directly into your marketing automation workflows in such a way that a live call, a voicemail or a text is triggered directly from within the MA, you gain the advantage of higher engagement which leads to less prospects fraying to competitors more leads for the sales team, a happier sales team, and more sales and profits as a result.

Next Steps

To learn more about adding a “voice touch” button to your marketing automation software, please contact your account manager watch our video, or call or email us to schedule a demo.

We can discuss your marketing automation and show you exactly step by step how you can add voice touch steps in your workflow interface. giving you the advantage of engaging prospects by voice, more than your competitors, in an automated fashion.

Adding Voice Touches Video

Email Alone Won’t Sustain Us Anymore (Episode 2 of 2)

In last week’s post we left you with the question: “how can one stop … loss to competitors, and how can one get touches with higher levels of engagement than with email alone?”.

The answer that we have seen emerge lies in utilizing a mix of media.  Alongside emails, we’re talking phone calls, voicemail, texts, notes, among other methods.

Everyone knows it takes more than popping out a few emails to really drive engagement, and that if your competitors are the ones who are really engaging prospects, they’re going to be the ones taking the sales.

Let’s look at some of reasons using a mix of media works.

Mix of Media: Keeps prospects in the funnel

For one, there’s opportunity where clutter doesn’t exist and where touches actually get noticed.  A call, a voicemail, a text, a handwritten note – these are things that still stick out to us because we don’t get nearly as many as with emails.

On top of that, engaging with a real human voice, even if it’s just periodic, identifies you as a real person where a stronger relationship and trust can be built.

We’ve seen that it’s a mistake to leave making a human connection to the bottom of the funnel only.  And it is a mistake to let your competitors be the ones engaging prospects more than you.

Actually, in a study called Dale’s Cone of Learning, we see that more engagement generates more recall – people remember 10% of what they read, but as we go up in engagement, 50% of what we hear and see, a 5x improvement.

Mix of Media: Better at qualifying prospects 

Another benefit is that you can’t truly qualify people without actually getting details about their situation.  And to get this info you have to actually have dialog with them.  And to talk in this
way, they need to be engaged.

Armed with reliable info, when you know that they’re not truly qualified, you can loop them back higher up in the funnel to let them simmer until their circumstances change.

And if they are in fact truly qualified, they can be pushed down the funnel faster to the sales team which in turn will grow more sales.  Either way using a mix of media is going to help get the engagement to enable this process.

More Engaged Means More Sales 

And so to bring it home, recall the McKinsey study earlier that echoed our results.  If 70% of buyers are more predisposed to choose the company who engages them more with a mix of thoughtfully integrated email, voice touches, texts, notes and so forth, rather than the company that uses email alone, it really means companies are potentially closing only up to 30% of their prospects.  This means that doing a better job of engaging prospects in this way can result in 2.3x more customers.  (Note: increasing share of sales from 30% of all prospects, to 100% of all prospects, is 2.3x more sales.)

Sales can be increased in this way by virtue of not losing prospects to competitors by having built stronger relationships with them, while at the same time keeping prospects more interested and engaged as a result of communicating with varied media.  And by making prospects feel like they are being treated well, their expectations of post‐sale service stay at a level that further supports their decision to buy from you rather than your competitors.

At the end of the day, companies today are adding a mix of media to their contacting plans, rather than relying on email alone, to generate sales‐ready leads because it works, increases prospect conversion, prevents loss to competitors, and generates more sales.

Email Alone Won’t Sustain Us Anymore (Episode 1 of 2)

Over the next two weeks we will look at how the use of email as a prospecting and nurturing tool has changed.  This week we will examine some of the challenges, and next week we will discuss some possible solutions.  So stay tuned, as I share what we’ve learned when looking at email closely.

Email Alone: The “go-to” tool (?)

You may have noticed in the past couple of years, especially with the adoption of many of the marketing automation platforms out there, email has really become the go‐to method to offer content and attempt to qualify.  It’s understandable, because companies have invested significant expense and time into setting up the CRM and marketing automation systems that essentially enable them to really only trigger emails right out of the platforms.  So in essence, they’re tied to email, in a way not even by choice.

But with everyone thinking and using email in this way, we’ve seen some significant challenges emerge as a result of this over‐reliance on email.

Email Alone: Holes in the funnel

The main problem is that over-reliance on email creates holes in the funnel.  The sheer quantity of emails that people are getting today, plus the fact that your competitors are also over-relying on email, has pushed email overload to an all-time high.  Thousands of emails per day piling up on each other makes for clutter and receiver desensitization to the point that truly engaging prospects and making a genuine connection with email alone has become very difficult, even with good content.

But it is precisely this needed connection that keeps prospects from becoming bored, losing interest, going stale, and ultimately flowing out of the funnel to your competitors

The Depth of the Email Overload Problem

The majority of all email traffic in the globe comes from the business, not consumer, world.  According to a recent study, more than 108.7 billion business emails are sent per day, growing to 139.4 billion per day in 2018 (Radicati).  The average business person is sifting through approximately 121 expected work emails per day, growing to 140 per day by 2018 (Radicati).  This is in addition to being bombarded with the mess of unsolicited or graymail emails each day that are not caught by filters. There’s been a 300% increase in newsletters year over year (Riparian) making more than 82% of the emails in our inbox simply a newsletter, social update or type of notification (Mashable).  Today, only 14% of emails in inboxes are considered by recipients as genuinely important (Mimecast), with the rest being considered trivial, non‐critical or insignificant.  But most disturbingly, as a result of all this clutter, 18% of important work emails are lost in the inbox and never even read (Riparian).
The above stats help to explain why engaging with email alone has become increasingly difficult.  The amount of clutter is overwhelming and to get through the day’s workload efficiently, employees have become desensitized to this massive influx.  Email efforts meant to capture a prospect’s attention are flying out the window and are either never seen or quickly forgotten. And although many companies think sending more and more emails is going to solve the problem of breaking through, with everyone thinking this way, it is just compounding the problem and increasing the difficulty in truly engaging prospects and customers with email alone.

Email Alone: Never truly qualified

Plus, even if someone consumes content and increases their lead score over time, it doesn’t mean they necessarily have the budget or the situation needed to purchase your product.  Too often sales reps are wasting time and money calling on someone who could never actually buy. What we’ve seen is that the key to properly qualifying is to engage prospects to the point that they are motivated to tell you specifics about their situation.  And relying solely on email and web forms often only gathers info that is partial or unreliable. So in summary, while of course there is an important place for email in the overall mix, over‐reliance on email doesn’t optimally engage or qualify, and as a result hurts sales.

Email Alone: Loss to competitors

Using email alone hurts sales because it sends prospects to competitors.  Let’s look at this example workflow that only uses emails to move prospects down the funnel:

Email Alone

As an illustration, maybe it is a white paper offer by email, and then if they click through, they get an invitation to an event by email, all by email, etc. We studied buying preferences in the face competition in one of our internal research reports.  With similar companies competing for a buyer’s business, we found that when one of them used just email to communicate, while the other used email
alongside other touches with higher levels of engagement, 70% of buyers were more predisposed to choose the company who engaged them more.  The reason is that they viewed it as an indicator that they cared more, and that customer service and support would be higher after the sale was made.  This supports a McKinsey study which shows that 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.

What this means is that companies are potentially losing up to 70% of their prospects to competitors who are doing a better job of engaging them!

So this prompts the question – how can one stop this loss to competitors, and how can one get touches with higher levels of engagement than with email alone?

…And on that cliffhanger, I encourage everyone to tune in next week for the exciting answer to this question and many more!

B2B – Back to Basics But Better

In its heyday outbound marketing even in B2B embraced a huge list of media options. In addition to email we had:

  • Direct mail – in regular letter, postcard and dimensional versions
  • Voicemail
  • Online Advertising
  • Newspaper, Business Magazine and even Outdoor Advertising
  • Telemarketing
  • Radio
  • TV

While not everyone could afford all the arrows in the outbound quiver, there was a widely used mix of options.

But, there were some big issues with B2B outbound marketing . Personally, I don’t consider that those issues were either that they were interruptive a.k.a. intrusive ( which used to be considered a good thing) or that they attempted to force the dreaded sales presence on not quite ready to buy prospects.  Rather, the issues were that Outbound was not well targeted and most of the options cost too much. Looking back, its easy to see that in many cases the issue of cost would have been easily addressed if we had done a better job targeting the messages.

But, that was the Heyday.

Right now, B2B Outbound is in a sorry state. In an effort to correct the problems of the past, and because the shiny new automation tools pushed us that way, we’ve thrown too many  eggs into one basket – email.

Let’s face it, email is (relatively speaking) cheap, fast and easy. It’s the darling child of the automation platforms and hence the darling child of social media, which in many areas is manipulated by the staff and content farms selling us inbound marketing and marketing automation software and services.

Oh yes……and it is brutally over used.

Check out this report. “The State of B2B Lead Nurturing” produced by Bizo (about to be aquired by LinkedIn) in association with Oracle Marketing Cloud. Two conclusions drawn in this report are:

1. “Email marketing is widely used, but does not reach a significant proportion of known contacts. On average, 79 percent of marketers say their email open rates don’t exceed 20 percent.”

So, in other words 79% of marketers who are actually measuring their opens know perfectly well that 80% of the people they need to message – aren’t reading their messages. Now, I ask you, “Does this sound like effective, affordable outbound?” Nope – I don’t think so either. So it’s pretty hard to disagree with the second conclusion.

“In order to help fill the sales pipeline, marketing must embrace a truly multi-channel lead nurturing strategy that goes beyond traditional email marketing strategies.”

It would seem like a good time to re-invent B2B outbound marketing and take advantage of the lessons we have learned.

Lesson # 1 – No more blasting out one size fits all messaging. Not only is it wasting your money, even worse, it’s wasting your influence. Even though many of you have databases that are in (kindly) a semi-sorry state, you can at least segment company and contact information to the extent that you can produce messaging that fits the priorities of the people you can talk to.

Lesson # 2 – Embrace a multi-media outbound lead nurturing strategy. You’re missing too many opportunities with email. For lead nurturing opt first for choices where you can target your messages.  Voicemail, live voice, text messaging, direct mail are choices that offer control, cost efficiency, speed of deployment, timeliness of messaging and a degree of automated delivery.

 

 

 

Bad execution means poor results

One thing that has always puzzled me in business is that once someone gets good at something, they probably stop doing it.

For instance, (while its not the best practice) successful sales people are often moved up to management where they don’t do any more selling.  Great buyers get promoted so they don’t have to do the buying anymore.

The higher up you move the more likely you are to plan and the less likely you are to actually “do” and while that might be just dandy for career tracking and personal development, it means that the dirty end of the stick- the work- the executions- are handled by the least experienced and sadly often least capable people.

Am I the only one who has a problem with that?

Selling a business service, we make sales calls, hold meetings and promise benefits to Directors and VP’s, but when push comes to shove the actual campaign work is most often executed by a comparatively junior person with precious little oversight.  And that’s what there needs to be more of, oversight and supervision on those seemingly insignificant, but truly deal breaking details.

Ideas are a dime a dozen guys. What separates brilliant from mediocre is all execution.

Attn B2B Sales – Pick Up The Phone!

Are are tired of reading about how a typical B2B sale is 50 -60-70% complete before the prospect engages with a sales rep?  I am.  And that’s because that “finding”  which might be true with some mature product/service categories does not apply to what I sell.

It doesn’t apply to what most of my clients sell either. But it seems that their marketing teams are too enamored with the content they’re finding online, which co-incidentally supports ever increasing expenditures on marketing automation software and just about every possible idea to find, nurture and score potential prospects without every actually talking to them. And this is insane, because –

There is NO substitute for a live conversation.None. Nadda. Zip. Zero. Zilch! (Did I make the point?)

But the whole trend towards online, email and demand driven content- which will move your potential sales along a predictable path of their own choosing, is also supported by two simple facts.

  • The first is that most people (and here I’m talking about anyone from a business owner who needs to drum up their own new customers to a seasoned sales executive) really don’t want to  make cold calls. Often they don’t even want to make warm calls either.
  • The second fact is that it’s so hard to reach people live on the phone that calling – while it might actually be the only reasonable alternative available to many companies- demands too much time, too much frustration and a level of dogged determination that’s a drain on most people.

Frankly, there’s another problem with cold calling, too and here – sigh- I speak from experience. When you make calls to countless prospects, and end up leaving voicemail after voicemail, that odd person who actually picks up their phone can stop you dead in you tracks.  You’ve repeated the same spiel so many times that your brain shuts down and you blow the call. This is not good. It kills the immediate opportunity and feeds call reluctance.

Then of course there is the issue of incomplete and/or out of date data – another huge time waster.

Then there’s following up each voicemail with an email message- which is necessary, but also the wrong kind of mental activity for a sales person who will normally be at their best when reaching outside of themselves to connect with another human being versus sending an email, updating a database or – dare I add- writing a post for the company blog 😉

But a sales conversation, a real dialogue with a potential customer can leapfrog over 6 months of marketing’ s measured lead generation or nurturing efforts. (hah- I’ll make a lot of friends with that comment!) But, that doesn’t change the fact that its true.

Voicemail messages are important. They will only rarely get a returned call, but are the best “Passive” means available to cut through all the clutter and start (repeat start) to build you case. And they’re the inevitable outcome of many of the dials that are made, so it stands to reason to make the most of the opportunity.

Email messages are important. They fill in information gaps, point people to useful information and offer an easier (more passive) means for a prospect to either tell you that they’re maybe a little interested, or ask you to get lost.

But nothing trumps a conversation. When want to make more sales- you need to have more conversations. (Do I really need to qualify here that you are having these conversations with the right people in the right kinds of companies???)

Here comes the sales message –

With this simple principle in mind, Boxpilot has put together a sales support service that utilizes our guided voicemail, synchronized email,  desk alert and database cleaning capabilities.  T understand how we can help you and/or your sales team have more live conversations with fewer dials, leave voicemail and email  messages that say the right things and clean up your data – just send a message to Sales@Boxpilot.com and we’ll get back to you.