How to Increase B2B Outbound Telemarketing Lead Conversion with Predictive Analytics

The predictive analytics sector is certainly gaining traction but it’s far from mature. Many, if not most, businesses are still unsure what best practice implementation looks like.

We’ve discussed the possible routes to market for predictive before, and one case in particular deserves elaboration: outbound telesales and telemarketing.

For businesses with a strong outbound element, proper integration through these departments is the key to maximum ROI. Here’s why.

Tele-outbound has inefficiency at its core

Tele-outbound focuses on quantity over quality. Your telesales and telemarketing people are sifters, responsible for filtering a vast list of largely irrelevant prospects to secure conversion.

That works, but traditionally it works badly.

Tele-outbound conversion rates can be as low as 1%. That’s thanks to one major unanswerable question: who should we call? Even the best outbound tele-professionals suffer a low conversion rate because it’s impossible to know where to spend time. Conversion beyond first touch can leap considerably – 70%+ of qualified leads might convert – but first touch is hobbled by poor prospect profiling.

“The biggest issue hampering tele-outbound conversion: we don’t know who to call”

Often, the result is an overexposed market, damaged brand reputation and diminishing returns. Plus a secondary result of a frustrated, less productive team, which contributes to the legendary churn rate most tele-teams experience.

In all, the traditional tele-outbound model isn’t ideal for businesses, tele-professionals or call recipients. Various solutions have been proffered.

Legal restrictions

Increasingly strict telemarketing and telesales rules aim to legally restrict spam calling. This doesn’t solve the issue at heart though, which stems from this inability to know which prospects are worth calling. Spam is only spam when the prospect doesn’t want what you’re offering, after all.

CRM systems

 CRM was touted as a solution too, allowing tele-professionals to leverage relationship insights to improve calls. Most tele-professionals will testify that CRM hasn’t quite followed through on those claims. In reality, your CRM is only as effective as the data your people input, which often falls short.

Plus, even if your CRM were up to scratch, you’re still not solving the real issue – deciding which prospects to call at first touch. Your CRM is descriptive, telling you what’s already happened with that prospect. That information can play a valuable role in prospect nurturing, but it doesn’t tell you who to call in the first instance.

Lookalike prospecting

A slightly more advanced answer comes by calculating lookalikes. Many organisations rely on the lookalike method to generate call lists for their telesales and telemarketing teams, assuming prospects similar to existing customers are most likely to become customers themselves.

In principle, this isn’t a bad idea. In practice though, similarity is much more complex than ‘similar industry’, ‘similar products’, ‘similar size’ and so on. Actual similarity consists of many factors joined up to create buying signals, many of which aren’t obvious on the surface. Extensive research from your best tele-professionals can still fall flat in face of this truth.

“Stricter legislation, CRM systems and lookalike prospecting aspire to the same thing. To ensure outbound tele-professionals call the right people”

What’s needed is a way to reliably identify which prospects are most likely to buy, so we’d know where it’s most valuable to spend time. Tele-professionals would get smaller lists of more-likely-to-convert prospects, so they’d be more efficient and enjoy higher conversion rates.

The market wouldn’t become oversaturated. Your brand reputation wouldn’t suffer, because you’d rarely call people who weren’t interested in your proposition. Your tele-team would be happier, more engaged and more productive, and employee retention would improve.

In all, your telesales and telemarketing teams could play a bigger role in driving business growth.

There is an answer. Predictive analytics.

Predictive analytics tells you which prospects are most likely to buy, essentially. It takes your internal data from your ERP or accounting system, CRM, web analytics, marketing automation tools, etc., and enriches it with external data like buyer intent, web classification and financials to create a single customer view.

From this, predictive platforms predict how your prospects will behave – whether they’ll buy, where your cross- and up-sell opportunities are, and their Customer Lifetime Value.

Predictive platforms empower you to leverage the value that’s already in your customer data.  Your CRM, for instance, stops lurking in the background and becomes genuinely useful, delivering insights your tele-teams can leverage to become more efficient and effective.

Whatever you use tele-outbound for – delegate sales or demand generation or anything in between – predictive analytics helps your people do their jobs better. You send better call lists and prioritised prospect profiles direct through your CRM or call centre software, so they can invest time in the right places. And not waste time and money in the wrong places.

The beauty is how easy this is to validate.

If you want to increase successful output from your tele-outbound team you have two options. You can either hire more people, or you can make your existing people more effective.

Say you have 10 tele-outbound people at an average of £30K per head. If we increase their conversion rate by 20%, the additional results you’ll get are roughly equivalent to hiring 2 additional people – but without the £70K+ in recruitment fees and management overheads. Based on typical BrightTarget costs, that gives you an 100% ROI in year one.

And that’s a conservative estimate on conversion increase. The BrightTarget acquisition solution typically gains an average of 100% increase in suspect-to-prospect conversion and 66% increase in SQL-to-sales conversion.

Some examples.

  • BrightTarget helped a leading global events company achieve 180% delegate conversion uplift and 2.8x increased conversion rate by telesales, compared to a controlled data set thanks to better prospect profiling.
  • Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC enjoyed a 34% reduction in sales activity and a 12% increase in lead conversion rate thanks to BrightTarget.
  • BrightTarget helped leading high-tech manufacturer benefit from a 105% increase on suspect-to-prospect conversion rate, a 66% increase in prospect-to-opportunity conversion rate, and 3.3x revenue increase from marketing generated leads.
BrightTarget Predictive Analytics Sales Funnel

And acquisition is only the tip of the iceberg. Predictive analytics gives valuable insight across the customer lifecycle, into areas like product recommendations and customer retention management.

As Forrester observe in their Q2 2017 Predictive Marketing Analytics Report, “PMA adopters are seeing their efforts turn into real, measurable results”; “Today’s PMA solutions convincingly help B2B marketers”.

Download the full report today to explore the predictive marketing analytics landscape in more depth, and identify the best solution for your business.

To discover how predictive analytics could work for your organisation consider the BrightTarget predictive marketing accelerator. This fixed-cost opportunity assessment is designed to prove the ROI potential of predictive, using your own data and business model, so you can start putting predictive into action.

Forrester Wave™ Report:

Predictive Marketing Analytics For B2B Marketers

The report contains:

  • Complete vendor evaluations, including current offering, strategy and market presence

  • An overview of PMA trends and client feedback

  • Detailed analysis of how PMA solutions help B2B Marketers

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