B2B Telemarketing: How much is not too much?

B2B TelemarketingI recently had a series of meetings with clients who want to implement telemarketing campaigns. These companies have difficulty deciding if they should hire a professional telemarketing services company or do it internally. Most of them are not comfortable paying telemarketing company’s fees and were leaning towards the idea of building internal call centres. They were in need of consultation to support their plans and justify the investment. They wanted to know what would be the real cost to run a call centre and what will the ROI be on their investment.

The first part of the assignment is very easy- the daily cost of running an outbound operation consisting of 10 inside business development reps plus a sales manager plus the technology cost would be approximately $2500 (the human resources plus basic cloud-based dialer and crm) per day, which is a cost equal to what a professional telemarketing agency would charge for approximately 80 hours of telemarketing services.

The most difficult part was to figure the ROI. When will the project break even? Is it going to be profitable?
During my 15 years experience in sales and marketing I’ve come across many managers coming out with perfectly laid-down formulas, such as “if you make 100 calls, you will get 25 conversations, and you are going to sell 5 deals/contracts.” Sounds logical, right? But in reality, it never works that way. In today’s market, the time between first contact and the moment you get the cheque takes weeks, months and often years. So, ROI might be delayed. Sad, isn’t it? How many managers were disgruntled and lost their jobs over this type of corporate sales culture?  It keeps happening over and over again.

So, what’s the solution? The answer is to combine these two strategies. Whether you  use a small b2b telemarketing agency to test the market and generate qualified business leads locally  or a national multifunctional outbound call centre with capacity to execute large volume b2b and b2c campaigns  you will be able to provide a great volume of qualified leads to your inbound or outbound sales team.  Give these leads to your best sales people to nurture and follow up. The results will be there for many months and years to come.

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