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Written by: Jeff Kalter

If like most B2B companies, upwards of 97% of your calls are going to voicemail, it’s probably time to talk about the critical role voicemail plays in your call strategy. We’ve written about voicemail before and suggested strategies for getting past an executive’s gatekeeper to leave a message. But there’s more to voicemail than simply dodging a roadblock and leaving a message.

Voicemail is more than a missed connection. It’s more than a mechanical process, “Hi, this is Jane Doe from Acme. Sorry I missed you. Please call me at…” Instead, it’s an opportunity to begin a conversation — even if you end up leaving several messages before actually speaking with a prospective customer.

Consider this: InsideSales.com reports that a carefully crafted voicemail can improve your response rates by as much as 22%. A well-crafted voicemail requires planning, preparation, and practice. Let’s get to work. 

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Written by: Aaron Biefeni

As a manager, your results depend on your team’s ability to perform to their full potential. You can enable them with processes and high-tech tools, but to eke out the best performance day-in and day-out you need to focus on engaging your team in their work and developing them to be the best they can be.

Here are seven tips for doing just that. 

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Written by: Giorgia Rosati

Between paid ads, blogging, email and social media marketing, cold calling and more, companies spend a lot of money trying to acquire new customers. However, many act as if the battle is won after the first sale. Not so! Companies that fail to invest in their existing customers are likely to lose their most significant assets. A survey by SAS and Loyalty 360 found that 68% of new business comes from current clients. And, since it can cost five to 25 times as much to attract a new customer as to keep an existing one, keeping your churn rate as low as possible will help you get more mileage out of your budget. 

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Written by: Sabrina Ferraioli

Not long ago, enabling customers to contact your business through multiple channels — voice, email, web forms, fax, chat and text messages — was on the cutting edge. In this way, customers were empowered to start conversations with companies through whichever communication means worked best for them. 

While companies pursing a multi-channel strategy had taken a giant step in the right direction, it turned out that they had not gone far enough. Unfortunately, each channel tended to operate in isolation, and because customers use multiple channels, that’s a problem. For instance, customers may start a conversation on chat, then call to talk with a live human being. When channels operate in silos, customers may need to repeat information they’ve already relayed, leading to disjointed and frustrating customer experiences.

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Written by: Sabrina Ferraioli

Imagine your company was suffering from a lack of sales appointments and your sales people were unproductive. It would be easy to overreact and look for a B2B telemarketing vendor that could solve the problem immediately.
However, you’re better off pausing to evaluate the situation holistically rather than rushing to find a one-time fix. That’s because your company may have several needs that a B2B telemarketing vendor can fulfill. So it pays to take the time to unearth a company that can take care of all your requirements and, thus, become your long-term sales and marketing partner. Here’s how to do that.

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Written by: Jeff Kalter

Business developers are like the farmers who plow the fields, then plant and nurture the seeds, thus creating opportunities for growth. When the time is right, the salespeople reap the harvest. Therefore, business development is essential to the future of your company. You want your team to perform at their full potential. Here are some tips to increase the success of your business development team. 

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Written by: Jeff Kalter

Is a lack of appointments putting your company’s growth on hold? Because B2B appointment setting is a challenging task, it’s an all-too-common problem. Here are some tips to help you increase your sales appointments.

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Written by: Jeff Kalter

Customer Acquisition or Retention?

When it comes to inside sales compensation plans, many companies fall into the trap of focusing squarely on customer acquisition. When they do so, however, customer retention may suffer. Because the cost of keeping a customer is one-fifth the cost of acquiring one, deciding whether to direct your efforts toward acquisition or retention is essential. In most cases, a business is more likely to shore up its long-term health by retaining and growing current customers. Thus, if their inside sales compensation plans prioritize customer retention, they are more likely to be successful. 

Let’s look at how two companies have addressed sales to existing customers in their compensation plans. 

Written by: Sabrina Ferraioli

It may feel like you have to run faster and faster to keep up on the treadmill of customer acquisition, growth and retention. To do so, you may need to establish a call center or expand an existing one. If so, should you go in-house or outsource your call center needs?
To help you with this decision, I compiled a list of the benefits of outsourcing your B2B call center as well as some concerns you need to address.

Written by: Sabrina Ferraioli

Do your reps faithfully follow up on the leads you generate? If you’re like most marketers, the sad answer is likely a “no.” Why do I say that? Because research shows that salespeople pass over 80% of marketing leads.
You can overcome this with a carrot, not a stick. In other words, you won’t get far by berating salespeople for their lack of follow-up. Instead, it’s better to provide leads they can’t wait to chase down.
Sounds good, you say, but how?
Well, you’ve heard it before, salespeople want leads that have the money and the authority to make a purchase, are looking for a solution to the problem that your product or service solves, and want to take action within the foreseeable future.
But how do you ferret out leads that meet these criteria? It’s not as simple as directly asking someone, for instance, “Do you have the budget to buy this product?”
Here’s a guide to questions you can ask that will help you find the leads your reps will love. 

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