It is important to note that only a very small percentage of B2B customers will make decisions based solely on social media content, seminars, or events. At some point, a dialogue must occur for a customer to take action. Relying on customers to change vendors on their own with no guidance is unlikely and can result in lost market share. For this reason, B2B outbound customer engagement will remain a critical component of the overall demand generation engine.

B2B outbound customer engagement will remain a critical component of the overall demand generation engine.

The Reality

Most telemarketing-produced BANT leads and appointments are generated based on a “dialing for dollars” approach that involves surveying customers with aggressive product pitches in the hopes of stumbling across a funded project or product need. This traditional marketing approach is costing technology companies millions with no clear ROI. Non sales-ready leads and appointments are a source of frustration for both sales and marketing organizations responsible for meeting quotas.

The majority of telemarketing executed for the technology industry, is handled by traditional call centers. Many of these centers rely on low-cost student labor and/or 1099 temporary workers. Some even utilize convicts in US prisons. The high level of turnover at a traditional call center makes it economically unviable to invest in significant product training. Most training is focused on how to operate the telemarketing telephony systems.

The typical result is a poor customer experience that involves being surveyed with ineffective questions that spoon feed a list of canned answer options. If you are in sales, ask to review the telemarketing call scripts that have been used to generate your marketing leads. You may be shocked by the low quality of closed-ended survey questions that your prospective customers are facing.

Most call centers lack the resources and operational processes to generate truly sales ready opportunities.


Ask to review the call scripts that are being used by the 3rd party call centers to engage your customers. You will be shocked at what customers are being put through.


The following are actual questions taken from a call script that a large call center that supports a major high technology OEM put prospects through:

Do you have skilled professionals to help protect your data?
[Yes] [No]

Are you experiencing data loss?
[Yes] [No]

Would you like to reduce the amount of time spent backing up your data?
[Yes] [No]

What is your company size, please? (number of employees)
[]<100 [] 100-250 [] 250-350 [] 350-500 [] 500-750 [] 750-1000 [] 1,000-1,400 []1,400-2,000 [] 2,000-3,500 [] 3,500-5,000- [] 5,000-7,500 [] 7,500-15,000 [] >15,000 [] Unknown

Imagine the responses of an IT decision maker in the midst of dealing with a critical technical issue who answers a telemarketing call and is asked these ineffective questions.

So how do these survey results end up in the queue for sales?

Many traditional call centers have creative writers who take the survey results and write a highlight story that makes it appear as though the respondant actually had an engaging dialogue with the telemarketer. Take the above survey as an example. A creative writer will write the following:

“Susan, the director of IT, has 15 people in her department. She was not sure how many people work for XYZ Corporation. Susan said that they do have skilled professionals responsible for their data protection and have not experienced any data loss as far as she knows. However, they are looking at ways to reduce the time spent backing up their data. They have an IT budget for this quarter.”

The Poor Customer Experience

Salespeople often receive survey responses as ‘BANT qualified leads’, only to find them a complete waste of time. This adds to the frustration of sales as they work to retire quota.

Some sales organizations include all their customers on their internal DNC (Do-not-Call) list to shield them from this type of survey madness.

Positive customer experiences are critical. Please consider this fact: the working environments within some call centers can be very toxic. Students and temps often work in a meat grinding environment in which turnover is very high and people are usually not there long enough to learn each other’s names.

Websites like provide visibility into the state of the call center vendor from their employee’s perspective. You get the inside track as to the toxic levels of that workplace. Why is this important? You can be sure that your customers who are being called by these tele-reps are being exposed to that toxic situation. 

Do yourself and your organization a favor and take 2 minutes and visit and run a quick search on your telemarketing vendors..

Websites like provide excellent visibility into the state of the call center vendor from their employee’s perspective. You get the inside track as to the toxic levels of that workplace.

vs Leads

Some people believe that subscribing to higher cost appointment setting program will shield them from the pitfalls of low caliber leads. However, both leads and appointments generally go through the same process. With appointment setting the telemarketer convinces the prospect to accept a meeting time.

The truth about appointment setting is that typically one out of four BANT qualified leads will accept an appointment request made by a telemarketer. Appointments cost more than leads. Subscribers are actually paying for the production of four BANT leads. Unfortunately, they will only gain access to the one prospect who agreed to an appointment time.

Each prospect’s reason for accepting an appointment request will vary. For the most part it is not because they have truly aligned their needs to your offering. At least not yet. This is the reason for the poor ROI from traditional appointment setting programs.

Both leads and appointments generally go through the same process with the exception that at the latter part of the conversation the telemarketer tries to convince the prospect to accept a meeting time.
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