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Hewlett-Packard division uses outbound telemarketing for lead generation

COMPLEMENTARY METHODS

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Outbound telephone marketing at HP is complemented with other methods. When the target is primarily larger companies, Guerrero said, the company incorporates small face-to-face events with groups of 20 to 30 participants, with strategic discussions around storage and networking, as well as customer outcomes. For midsize prospects, e-marketing and direct mail work well, he said, driving visitors to a landing page offering white papers, webinars or podcasts.

For the cold-calling campaigns and nurturing of leads, he employed Telenet Marketing Solutions, which specializes in the high-tech product arena.

“Telemarketing can complement these other ways of nurturing,” said Kathy Rizzo, VP-marketing with Telenet. “Companies typically will evaluate prospects with analytics, and when a certain score is reached they're turned over to telemarketing to add in the human element. Even then, only a relatively small percentage are ready for sales attention.”

Rizzo said prospects may tolerate, and even welcome, far more numerous telephone calls than have usually been believed.

After examining more than 1 million b-to-b telemarketing calls logged, Telenet found that the average number of calls required for a completed conversation to take place was 5.07 and the average number of calls that can be placed to a lead before the daily production rate drops was 7.2 attempts. If the target market is comprised of C-level executives, those statistics nearly double, she said.

“You don't want to give up too soon,” Rizzo said.

But you also don't want to become a pest, Guerrero added. His HP unit has a policy of contacting large-company prospects no more than four times a month via all channels (eight times a month for smaller companies), unless some action is taken. Then, contact follows quickly, regardless of the number of recent touches.

Guerrero said that since implementing the telemarketing portion of his division's marketing efforts, qualified leads have increased 30% to 40%, compared with the same period the year before when telemarketing was not part of the mix.

“The economy helped,” he said. “People hadn't been going to events as much as in the past and were getting less clear communications in the IT environment. They had become hungry for information.”

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