Telemarketing is one of those “old school” marketing techniques. Worse, it’s probably one of the poster children for interruption marketing. No one is overly excited to get a call from a telemarketer. But, it is also an essential part of any integrated campaign focused on demand generation. It is especially important as a component in lead nurturing. More information on this can be found on Brian Carroll’s B2B Lead Generation BlogIf you’re a Cisco partner, you know that Cisco offers many marketing programs that are telemarketing based or have a telemarketing component. If you’re not utilizing these programs, you are likely doing some form of telemarketing whether it is a custom program you have set up with a vendor or with in-house resources, if you’re lucky enough to have people on staff. Regardless, of how you are doing telemarketing, it may be time to re-evaluate. The standard rule with telemarketing has been that three attempts to contact a prospect was sufficient. Any more than three times was thought to result in diminishing returns. Times change. Telenet Marketing analyzed 1,046,725 B2B telemarketing calls to IT decision makers (primarily) placed over the last year. Here’s what they found:• The average number of attempts required for a complete conversation to take place is now 5.07. • The average number of call attempts for daily production rates to drop to a point of diminishing returns has increased to 7.2 attempts.That’s a big jump from three attempts. But not necessarily unexpected. With the economic climate, sales cycles have generally been longer. People are more mobile now and handling multiple roles with increased responsibility as companies do more with fewer resources. Understandably, it will take more attempts to reach them and complete a meaningful conversation that can help you qualify an opportunity.So, if you find yourself limiting your telemarketing attempts because of budget constraints, here are some suggestions from Telenet that may help you:• Define your “sweet spot” i.e. the companies that meet your ideal customer profile• Focus your target list on these companies• Employ a higher telemarketing rate targeting these prospectsAs the French say, patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.