Planning for 2022? These 4 Calling Strategies Can Help
The arrival of autumn means more than falling leaves, cooler temperatures, and pumpkin spice everything. For businesses, it also means it’s time to seriously start planning for the year ahead.
Unfortunately, for many companies, it’s definitely not business as usual.
With COVID-19 cases back on the rise in much of the country, companies still can’t rely heavily on trade shows or other traditional networking events as part of their marketing strategies. Channels that worked well two years ago are likely not working now, forcing companies to reallocate funds and search for new ways to engage with prospects.
One of the most effective means of achieving this goal is teaming with a lead generation and appointment-setting firm. Nothing is more pandemic-proof than the phone when it comes to generating and nurturing leads, and with the help of the right partner, there are multiple ways to put this powerful tool to use.
As you begin to budget for 2022, now is the perfect time to consider outsourcing your lead gen and appointment-setting to an experienced call center. Here are four of the ways VSA is helping our clients foster customer relationships and fill their sales pipelines:
1. Cold calling
Just the words “cold calling” can send shivers down the spines of even experienced salespeople. But we know it’s not something to be feared. Rather, we look at a cold call as an introduction between client and prospect—the first step on the road to a potential sale.
We’ve set thousands of appointments for clients via cold calls, not necessarily with hard sells or aggressive pitches, but with conversations. Cold calls allow you to ask questions, learn prospects’ needs, and address pain points. To paraphrase Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca,” they’re often the beginning of a beautiful business relationship.
Sure, cold calling can also be frustrating, which is why it helps to have a partner with the experience, expertise, and resilience to deal with all possible outcomes. The numbers prove it works, so we never give up when it comes to making cold calls—we’ve learned success is often the next call away.
2. Warm calling
It’s not enough just to find and reach out to new leads; you also need to engage with existing leads or risk watching them fade away. According to the research institute Marketing Sherpa, 79 percent of marketing leads never convert into sales, most commonly due to lack of nurturing.
We work hard to never let that happen, prioritizing leads when necessary and ensuring they are called back in a timely fashion. We partnered with a technology client recently that provided us with their marketing-qualified leads in need of near-immediate attention; we were flexible enough in our scheduling to shift our focus to these leads while they were hot, converting them into dozens of appointments in just a few months.
We also knew the steps prospects had taken to learn about our client’s services, but this knowledge is useless if you don’t incorporate it into your messaging. We always try to customize our conversations with warm prospects, acknowledging any past engagement they’ve had with our clients.
3. Surveys and database-building
With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on traditional marketing practices such as trade shows over the last year and a half, maintaining accurate and up-to-date databases has been a major challenge for businesses. This is another area where we can help, by gathering valuable marketing information via surveys and other fact-finding calls.
One recent healthcare client needed help sourcing new vendors in order to scale quickly, and they relied on us to conduct market research and line up new leads. We reached out to suppliers in markets across the country, warming up potential leads and passing them on to the client. The insights we provided proved invaluable in helping the client meet its goals for the year.
4. Lightening the load
Just because you already have an effective inhouse sales team doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from a little outside help. Maybe you’re launching a new program that requires additional hands. Maybe you’ve recently lost team members or promoted some of them to new roles. Whatever the situation, we’re always available to supplement your existing workforce—for far less money than the cost of hiring, training, and managing new staff.
We worked with a client recently who acknowledged his small business was growing too quickly for he and his sales team to keep up with the necessary outbound calling. VSA was able to fill that gap, essentially becoming an extension of his company.
With our help, the owner was freed up to focus on big-picture strategy and key relationship development. The necessary, but time-consuming, burden of reaching out to cold and lukewarm prospects was all but eliminated from his daily routine.
For businesses looking to up their game in 2022, partnering with a lead generation firm might be the perfect remedy, especially if they can address unique sales and marketing challenges. The best lead-gen companies customize campaigns to your specific needs and don’t limit themselves to one or two cookie-cutter calling strategies.
At VSA, we know there are multiple ways to use the telephone to generate sales opportunities, and we are always willing to collaborate to determine which methods align closest with your vision for the future. Consider us one-stop shopping for all your calling needs.
If you’re looking for new ways to expand in the new year, give us a call. We’d love to talk about ways we can help your company grow in 2022—and beyond.