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TeleNet walks the talk

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Objective: After advising clients on lead nurturing, TeleNet Marketing Solutions finally tweaked its own approach to new business acquisition two years ago.

An expert in telemarketing, Bogart-Ga.-based TeleNet realized an ongoing conversation following the initial contact was necessary to turn prospects into buyers, said Kathy Rizzo, VP-marketing at TeleNet.

Strategy: The new strategy stipulates that once TeleNet qualifies a potential client on the phone, it continues that dialogue using “well-timed phone calls and one-to-one e-mails with relevant content,” Rizzo said. Depending on the client, this content might include articles, white papers or stories of TeleNet’s success with customers in the prospect’s same industry.

“The goal was to deliver the content that speaks to our prospects,” Rizzo said in an e-mail.

TeleNet also created a telemarketing best practices blog featuring subjects such as e-mail integration, script writing and CBI (critical business issue) voice mails. The blog soon developed into a weekly newsletter written by a rotating group of TeleNet program managers, account executives and supervisors.

In addition to expanding its lead-nurturing efforts, TeleNet sought to integrate its sales and marketing initiatives.

“Lead generation typically does not work well when marketing is acting in a silo and not engaging the sales team,” Rizzo said.

To avoid such problems, the company began holding weekly combined meetings of its sales and marketing teams to discuss best practices, worst practices and issues in the marketplace that might affect potential clients.

“Ultimately, we want to be sure that the leads the marketing team are developing are leads that the sales team can actually close,” Rizzo said.

For example, current economic conditions have prospects increasingly focused on return on investment rather than the number of leads generated. The sales team noticed this trend and communicated it to marketers at their weekly meeting. The result? Direct marketing literature and telemarketing scripts focused on ROI.

Results: Walking the talk has proved advantageous for TeleNet. It has seen a significant increase in marketing ROI, and 60% of new business acquired in 2008 can be directly attributed to TeleNet’s lead-nurturing program.

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