Dave Green

B2B Lead Generation: 4 ways to use teleprospecting in your next pilot (and 2 ways to measure it)

July 7th, 2011
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While digital marketing and social media are all the rage (and rightly so), there are a number of reasons for B2B marketers to use teleprospecting as a foundational element of their lead generation strategy.  In fact, for those marketers who don’t own the teleprospecting function, here are nine reasons you should.

If you are trying to reach prospects who won’t spend more than $10k to $15k per year for your products or services, then using the phone for lead generation will probably not prove economically viable. You need to use lead scoring and route those leads to an inside sales team or your indirect channel.

If you have higher value deals, teleprospecting can be a valuable tool.

It is especially useful for pilots. Consider these four ways you can use teleprospecting in a pilot scenario:

  1. Conduct end-to-end lead generation. Teleprospecting can function as an end-to-end lead generation capability. That is, you can generate demand and then qualify and nurture leads all within the teleprospecting function. That means there are fewer moving parts. For those marketers that need to demonstrate the potential of lead generation, fewer moving parts simplifies measurement and coordination issues.
  2. Leverage small sample sizes. The conversion rates are usually much higher with teleprospecting than with other forms of contact so the sample size can be much smaller. This factor is especially helpful if you want to focus on large accounts where the deal sizes are often large and the number of accounts to call is low.
  3. Gain valuable market feedback rapidly. You can get on-going quantitative and qualitative market feedback. If you have digital recording technology, you can even hear exactly what customers are saying. I love statistics. But sometimes, to more deeply understand market behaviors and attitudes, you must hear how potential customers respond to your value proposition. In fact, even if you can’t conduct a statistically valid test, you can use teleprospecting to get directional indicators and then leverage more scalable media.
  4. Experiment. Because of this depth of feedback, you can experiment extensively with targeting, messaging, cadence, and integration with other channels and then make rapid course corrections.   For example, you can test leaving voice mails or not, the timing of calls and emails for both lead follow up and for lead generation, the interplay between phone and email, and much much more. This is a factor that is inexplicably under leveraged by B2B marketers.

Measure the ROI

Let me add a final word about measurement in a pilot.  From an executive standpoint, there are two ways to measure the financial benefit of teleprospecting:

1. As a tool for qualifying and nurturing leads. The issue is whether the added cost is worth it.  The simple equation would be this:

ROI = (cost of generating inquiries + cost of teleprospecting + sales costs)/revenue from the qualified leads.

That will give you an expense-to-revenue ratio that your CFO will appreciate. The reason to include sales costs is because the quality of leads can either increase or decrease sales productivity.

2. As a demand-generation channel. In this case, you are looking at teleprospecting as one of many ways to generate demand and so you’re trying to see where it works best so that you can allocate sufficient budget to it relative to other choices.  The simple equation would be this:

ROI = (cost of teleprospecting + sales cost)/revenue from the qualified leads

If you were integrating outbound teleprospecting into other forms of outbound contact (e.g., following up a direct mail package with a phone call), then you would need to include the costs of all of the integrated demand generation channels.

You may need to estimate sales costs.  One way to do that is to set up a control group that gets leads and one that does not.  You can then get sales budget numbers for each group.   

Make sure the lead volume uses as much of the sales capacity of the test group as possible.  Then you can simply measure the revenue difference between the two groups.

The good news is, it’s not uncommon for teleprospecting to yield at least 20 dollars of revenue for every dollar of investment. So the ROI is often outstanding.

Related Resources

Lead Generation: 4 critical success factors to designing a pilot

Lead Generation: How to get funding to improve your lead gen

Lead Marketing: Cost-per-lead and lead nurturing ROI

B2B Lead Generation: Why teleprospecting is a bridge between sales and marketing

  1. As a tool for qualifying and nurturing leads. The issue is whether the added cost is worth it.  The simple equation would be this:

ROI = (cost of generating inquiries + cost of teleprospecting + sales costs)/revenue from the qualified leads.

That will give you an expense-to-revenue ratio that your CFO will appreciate. The reason to include sales costs is because the quality of leads can either increase or decrease sales productivity.

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  1. July 7th, 2011 at 13:39 | #1

    Another great article Dave! We find that it can work at a price point around $2k, but I’m sure we’re talking about two completely different models.

  2. July 7th, 2011 at 16:53 | #2

    @Sterling McMannis

    Sterling, thank you for the kind words. I’d be interested to learn more about the model you are referencing.

  3. July 12th, 2011 at 02:14 | #3

    Hi Dave,

    We seem to have been thinking along similar lines last week, yours being considerably more scientific and carefully considered than mine:
    http://www.reallyfinemedia.com/archives/104

    Kind regards

    Phil

  4. July 12th, 2011 at 09:32 | #4

    Hi Phil
    Thanks for the kind words. And good blog post. Thanks for the link.

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