Why International Agencies are Asking for “No Telemarketing” Lead Gen Campaigns

Bill Crowley
Bill Crowley

Executive Vice President, Data

no telemarketing lead generationIn the last few months, TechTarget Europe has received a rising number of lead generation briefs from savvy customers and agencies that say in big bold letters – “No Telemarketing.”  The top B2B tech agencies are passing along their clients’ requirements (no longer requests) for digital-only leads.

Where did this come from?

Online tactics are the only way that TechTarget generates leads.  If an IT Decision Maker (ITDM) replies to an email offering of content, their interest is real, because they took the action on their own.  We assumed that while generating online leads is hard, most publishers were doing the same.

I’ll suspend my shock that “online media” companies are using telemarketing to supply digital leads to customers. Instead let’s examine why tech companies tell us they are putting the No Telemarketing requirement on lead acquisition.

  • Purchasing intent data from telemarketing (at the lead acquisition stage) is poor. The phone number is good (as it should be). But when you ask a telemarketer (TM) to interpret an enterprise ITDM’s tech interests, it doesn’t work out. The TM is pushing a white paper and trying to fulfill a quota of leads as opposed to truly probing for pain points. In their defense, it is so hard if you don’t know the technology, the company or the white paper.
  • If your data about a prospect’s purchase intent or technology interest is off, that group of leads will distort your marketing metrics down the pipeline. In a worst case scenario, those telemarketing-produced prospects are not interested in your solution, so they don’t respond to your good pitches, and you think good marketing isn’t working, so you head in a different direction. In a less-worse scenario, you miss the exact topic they are interested in, so they don’t respond to your first or second waves of emails and calls.  This means it takes you longer to convert them and depresses your CTR and scoring metrics. It makes everything look bad and delays the time to their entry into the pipe.
  • Our customers tell us if they pass prospects to sales that aren’t interested in your solution, reps lose confidence in marketing’s ability to drive pipeline. This is the a damaging outcome. To make digital efforts drive pipe, sales must be on your side.

Telemarketing has an important/crucial place in pipeline development and digital campaigns have their own issues with conversion. But the path ahead is online, because that is where ITDMs are doing their research and are expecting engagement from their technology providers.

We want to hear more from smart marketers on where telemarketing fits into their overall marketing strategies and tactics. Feel free to leave a comment or connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

advertising agencies, international demand generation, international marketing, outsourced telemarketing, telemarketing, telemarketing lead acquisition

2 Responses to “Why International Agencies are Asking for “No Telemarketing” Lead Gen Campaigns”

  1. Avatar
    James Taylor

    Interesting. The issue is actually not the telemarketing component itself. It’s when DIGITAL agencies try to do telemarketing to generate responses that you have a problem. A tech savvy telemarketing agency delivering an alternative tele-led equivalent though is infinitely better than purely digital only. Every follow-up campaign I’ve ever seen following up digital-only leads has had worse ROI than pure cold calling activity! Follow-up to tele-generated responses when delivered by a pure tech TM agency has always beaten all other metrics.

  2. Bill Crowley
    Bill Crowley

    Thanks for commenting- The involvement of digital agencies in TM (assessing or doing it themselves) is puzzling. On TM for lead acquisition, blogs don’t leave space for subtlety. Some TM, with well-trained, callers can deliver good results, especially with long term vendor relations. Similarly, poorly targeted online using tricks (e.g. big incentives, title filters with no other option other than Director) will not deliver ROI either (although TM is guilty of similar tactics).

    However, the direction is clear. ITDMs are shifting their buying research online. No need to recite the many surveys showing that . What is changing is the reaction to TM – in large surveys, ITDMs report reluctance to pass along accurate data http://bit.ly/1NPw4vL. We also see fast growth tech companies putting most of their effort against online (inbound and outbound) because they see the purchase intent data quality in their pipeline.

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