Whether you are a FTSE 100 company mapping out a new target market or an SME looking to launch an innovation into your market, the rules are the same, and so are the reasons of the frustration.
Are your sales teams chasing the wrong leads? Wasting time going to appointments with the wrong decision makers? Or, maybe, going to the sales appointments without the necessary intelligence which would allow them to close the deal? Do you often find your competitors have beaten you on timing?
A completely different scenario.
Gone are the days of having one person that decides to purchase a product or service, when you could pick up a phone and talk to the right person almost effortlessly; recent studies show there are on average 5.4 people involved in a purchasing decision. Of those 5.4 people, there will be multiple buyers, Technical, Economic, User Buyer and of course a coach. Identifying the right buyers and building a relationship with a senior prospect may take days, weeks, even months. You need to surround your prospects with relevant, topical information, talk to them in a language they will understand; find their needs and make them see how your solutions can solve their problems.
Be proactive, not reactive.
Doing this enables you to identify high value new business opportunities at key times in their sales process. Whether it be an upcoming tender opportunity or review of their current service, the days of being reactive are over, you must be proactive to secure well qualified meetings with C level decision makers.
According to the Chartered Institute of Marketing, telemarketing is one of the most cost effective direct marketing techniques and it’s only getting better. When telemarketing is done properly it is one of the few channels to market that pays for itself.
In today’s market-place customers have more choices, access to information, and higher expectations of service and availability than ever before. It has always been so, but with the internet it is vital that your offer shows value and quality first. A steady, lifetime customer revenue stream could hinge upon a single interaction that quickly informs a potential customer’s perception. When a salesperson or website fails to deliver expected information or slows in the transaction process, the customer looks elsewhere.
Why it matters
Due to the current financial climate keeping and old client happy is just as valuable as finding a new client. No matter what happens within your business: if this sales process stops it is only a matter of time until your revenue starts to contract, which could lead to potential failure.
In our experience, the nature of a competitive environment means you have to have a sales function. The need for streamlining your overheads means that your sales team might be on the list of extra expenses which needs to be reduced, and this can be detrimental to your company.
So if you decide to outsource telemarketing, we have a few reasons why we think the answer should be yes; and the answer is simple….. It makes good business sense to do so!
An outsourcing partnership with a ‘good’ lead generation supplier is more effective at getting the quality and quantity of leads you need. In the long run, it costs considerably less than doing it in house, and here’s why:
Can your own sales team deliver the results?
The truth is prospecting is the least likable aspect of the sales process. Sales teams are not motivated to cold call and this,coupled with time constraints and lack of training means they are less effective. Lead generation is not as enjoyable as negotiating or closing a deal; this is a sweeping generalisation but it holds true in many organisations. By outsourcing you are assured of a steady stream of new prospects.
Turning a fixed cost into a variable cost
Handling your own telemarketing means building and maintaining your own telemarketing team with the human, financial and technical capabilities needed to do the job properly. This brings with it a high fixed cost in terms of time and money. By outsourcing you turn this fixed cost into a variable and scalable cost. You pay only for hours worked on your campaign (no vacation, holidays, sick days) and you can easily increase or decrease activity.
Removing the opportunity cost of activity that is not ‘core’ to your business.
If running a lead generation telemarketing team is not your core business, the real and intangible costs may be the most decisive expense. You will be diverting key personnel and capital to the establishment, maintenance and management of this part of your business. This will dilute their contribution to the core business and your product or service will suffer.
Removing the people management issues.
Advertising, interviewing, hiring and managing an in-house lead generation team takes time and money. You have to recruit, train and manage this team. If you outsource telemarketing, you will remove these issues and you don’t have to worry about staff turnover. Losing a trained team member can impact the effectiveness of your entire campaign and cost you greatly in missed opportunities. If you outsource telemarketing, you won’t jeopardise your campaign, or incur the cost of retraining.
No business is ‘too’ complex to outsource!
Many companies argue that their business is too complex to outsource. They fear that an outsourced partner will not understand their business well enough to deliver a complex sales message. An effective outsourced partner will build trust by spending time and energy on training their team to understand your business. They will ensure that you have the necessary reassurance over quality control. The outsourced lead generation team effectively becomes an extension of your sales team.
So, how do you begin to outsource Telemarketing?
What exactly are you looking for?
To merely outsource a ‘process’, or for a business partner that can use telemarketing as just one part of a toolkit to support you, and give visibility of a quantifiable sales pipeline, of a short, medium and long-term sales pipeline?
Sure – the process of telemarketing is a chore – so why not outsource it? We might suggest this is entirely the wrong mindset. If you are just looking to hustle some new leads – any leads perhaps, then find a call centre to blast out a standard message against a long list of contacts. Have you thought this might be a triumph of short-termism that lay your sales foundation in the sand?
What results are you expecting? A solid pipeline? Quality leads? Good appointments for your sales team?
It’s certainly tempting if you’re under pressure, to be able to report back that you’ve had thousands of calls hammered out on your behalf. Makes you feel good, right? Perhaps take a deep breath and think again; is this giving you quality results or just a massive number of calls?
Do you want a generalist or a specialist telemarketing company?
If you search the web for telemarketing company, you will find millions of results; among those, there will be call centers who will sell you a script-led approach. We don’t believe in a scripted approach; prospects want to be treated like humans and not numbers. If someone calls you, you want to feel they are talking to you; that they have made their research on you and it is you they want to talk to; not just another phone call.
Find a company which has specialists among their team with many years of experience in their sectors. There are not many around, but there are some very good ones: just make sure you bring up this point when you interview them. Sector experts will be able to tailor your strategy exactly to suit your needs and objectives and, ultimately, give you the quality that your business needs and your investment deserves.