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How to Evaluate and Select a B2B Teleprospecting Partner

by Kathy Rizzo  |  
March 13, 2013

Many marketing organizations are placing an emphasis on the role of teleprospecting as a component of their business-to-business lead generation strategy.

Perhaps one of the reasons behind that emphasis is the endorsement that teleprospecting has received from SiriusDecisions, a leading sales and marketing research and advisory firm, when it added teleprospecting to its new Demand Waterfall model.

As a result, many organizations are turning to third-party teleservice vendors for the first time. Navigating the dense outsourcing market of providers can be overwhelming even for the most experienced marketer, however.

The following are seven steps that can help you locate, evaluate, and select the right teleprospecting partner for your organization.

1. Define what services you need

Before you set out on your evaluation, it is critical to assess your needs.

Marketing and Sales management should jointly discuss your organization's teleprospecting requirements. For example, organizations may need account profiling expertise, assistance qualifying leads and setting appointments, or help with nurturing long-term leads.

All of those can fall under the umbrella term of "teleprospecting," so if you do not properly define your team's needs, you may waste time with vendors ill-suited for the task.

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Kathy Rizzo is vice-president of sales and marketing at TeleNet Marketing Solutions, a lead generation and lead nurturing company.

LinkedIn: Kathy Rizzo

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  • by Amber Thu Mar 14, 2013 via web

    This is a great list. Before signing up with anyone, make a list of what you want then look for a company that can deliver them. Also, learn as much as you can about the company.

  • by Greg Dunne, CEO Mansfield Sales Partners Thu Mar 14, 2013 via web

    Very thought provoking article. Although the list is extensive, there are still some missing items that, in my experience, are critical. These are:

    - Management. One of the biggest obstacles to the success of these programs is the creation and execution of a management plan for the outsourced provider.
    - Goals. The stated goals for the program should never be limited to activity based metrics (number of calls, number of meetings etc.).
    - List development. The quality of the lead lists is critical to the success of the program.

  • by Sheldon Sachs Fri Mar 15, 2013 via web

    This article makes a great many valid points and, for the most part, I agree with the criteria Kathy suggests as useful for selecting a tele-prospecting partner. But choosing a partner is very different from choosing a vendor. Vendors provide commodities; partners have far greater value and import to your business.

    So I can understand why you might use an RFP to obtain a commodity, but I can't imagine why you'd want to use an RFP for selecting a valued, mission critical partner. The qualities you're looking for simply can't be scored or measured in the same way. There are too many intangibles and, most importantly, the most vital criterion is trust - your trust in the value that partner brings to your sales process.

    Mike Falkson, the CEO of my company, eti Sales Support, blogged on this topic a while back ( Mike referred to a prior blog by Seth Godin in which Seth said “A resume is an excuse to reject you. Once you send me your resume, I can say, 'oh, they’re missing this or they’re missing that,' and boom, you’re out.”

    Mike draws a parallel between resumes and RFPs by pointing out that most of the qualities you would use to "qualify" a b2b sales partner can't be reduced to a spreadsheet for comparison purposes. He says that an RFP is "just an excuse to pigeonhole you as another commodity." And he continues to quote from Godin's blog to point out : “Great jobs, world class jobs, jobs people kill for… those jobs don’t get filled by people emailing in resumes. Ever.”

    The same goes for selecting a new service provider. Rarely are great solutions delivered by those who present well written responses to RFP’s. Offer and execution are not the same.

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