How many people plan their B2B telesales with the big picture in mind? Probably not very many. Instead, they grab the phone with a vengeance, eat through precious data, on a single-minded mission to sell stuff. Is that bad? Yup, it’s pretty bad. Telesales in B2B needs to do more than simply box shift. In fact, there’s arguably no space in the world for box shifting telesales in consumer marketing now either, since transactional, one-off selling, has moved to cheaper forms of marketing such as online.
For B2B operations, selling has evolved hugely over the last decade. We no longer look for the cheapest, or fastest, when buying goods and services. Organisations are seeking the special attributes that make a supplier shine out. Corporate buyers especially, look at the whole business, so how a company treats its people, respects the environment, and their social responsibility, all matter now. Where companies used to buy the particular thing and move on, they now buy with a deeper relationship in mind. In turn, we as businesses don’t want to just sell anymore. We want a relationship. Our mission, therefore, as sellers, is to make sure our B2B telesales builds the big picture in the mind of the buyer. Who we are, what makes us worthy of not just one, but all the sales, needs to be present in our thinking and our sales story all the time.
The big picture in B2B telesales is all about the thinking, the history, the ethics, the principles, and the values that make your brand unique. It’s not enough to believe in our business, that belief has to seep through into our words, especially in B2B telesales, where often new connections are being made from cold.
Consulting firm McKinsey, describe this factor in their article More Than A Mission Statement. They created a framework that breaks down the mission or ‘purpose’ called the 5Ps – People, Process, Portfolio, Performance, and Position. They propose these 5Ps embed purpose and meaning into work making organisations more resilient and better at delivering value. “We’ve all seen it: companies that have the “it” factor, enthusiasm and passion that lights up employees, delights customers, and shines for investors. It’s not just the company’s warmer fleece, or more delicious ice cream, or even a breakthrough technology. And it’s so much more than just a mission statement. It’s purpose. Purpose answers the question, “What would the world lose if your company disappeared?” It defines a company’s core reason for being and its resulting positive impact on the world. Winning companies are driven by purpose, reach higher for it, and achieve more because of it. Competitors wonder where they can get some of that magic and how they might sprinkle it on.”
Key success factors
One way of sharing and embedding purpose in B2B telesales is to work on what McKinsey describe as the ‘it’ factor. Making sure your team can describe your business and your purpose in a way that captures the interest of buyers, and paints colourful, engaging pictures about how you can help them. Identifying and promoting the company’s Key Success Factors (KSFs) will help implant in the mind of your people, the things that differentiate you from the competition. Key success factors can be determined by asking three questions: What do customers want – analysis of demand. How does the organisation survive competition – analysis of market. Finally, what are the company’s specific success factors, based on the customer needs you can meet, in order to win relationships with them.
Scripts won’t help
Creating meaning and purpose in a B2B telesales operation relies on an organisation being able to embed their mission and KSFs into the minds of their people. This can’t be script driven, it just can’t. Scripts don’t afford your team the opportunity to speak from the heart, and if your message isn’t heartfelt, it won’t work. After all who ever heard of a relationship blossoming where there’s no heart.
Being clear about the difference your product or service makes to the life of buyers will help your B2B telesales team come across as passionate and expert. A clear purpose and mission will infect buyers with enthusiasm that what you deliver is aligned with their needs and can make a real difference.