How can you be sure your telemarketers are calling the right prospects? Tom Gatten, Growth Intelligence’s CEO, explains how data science can improve the efficiency of your telemarketing campaigns.

Imagine if your telemarketing agents knew there was a statistical likelihood that the companies they were about to call had a genuine requirement for what they were selling. What a great motivator!

One of the toughest challenges in telemarketing is knowing who to call. Businesses typically try to find more companies that look similar to their current customer base. Companies in the same sector, or offering similar products.

But the real defining characteristic of your best customers is unlikely to be so clean cut.

Whatever it is that makes a company similar to your best customers, it’s going to be hard to see, harder to measure and nigh on impossible to segment on. Because, despite what some data vendors may tell you, that kind of structured information about companies just doesn’t exist.

The lack of accurate, up-to-date, detailed company information is a huge problem. It’s a key reason why well-researched sales calls can come across as cold and annoying.

Businesses waste huge amounts of money targeting people who are never going to buy from them. Because there’s simply no way of knowing who’s going to be interested before you contact them. Or is there?

Almost every company has an online presence in the form of text-based data about them. Advances in processing power have made it possible to collect and mine that unstructured data for specific buying signals. If you know what the signals are and who’s exhibiting them, you can start targeting those companies – and ignoring the rest.

This may sound like a lot of work (it is), but predictive marketing tools can help.

Businesses such as American Express, BT and FedEx are using predictive marketing to surface buying signals and identify high-converting prospects. And they’ve all achieved a minimum 1,000% return on their investment.

With that kind of RoI, predictive marketing may be something you should consider too.

This article was originally published in the ebook ‘KPIs, Remuneration & Retention for B2B Telemarketers‘.