Our next video from the sales and business tips series looks at networking when starting up a new business. Covering some key points on what to do when attending networking events, Air’s Managing Director, Owen Richards, looks at conversations, asking the right questions and more.
The telemarketing industry carries with it some pretty strong stereotypes, which is unfortunate for one of the most direct routes to market with a huge amount of results to back it up.
Additionally, and as a consequence of stereotyping, there are several negative myths which are associated with telemarketing. As a company that sees our clients get great results out of telemarketing campaigns, we’ve set out to debunk these and explore why they really are just myths.
Telemarketing calls always use scripts
Sticking to strict scripts does not result in conversations that are tailored to each and every individual on the phone.
Although there may be some structure to the calls, a strict script is not adhered to, enabling real conversations that adapt to the prospect’s needs.
There’s no emotion, each call is just a number
With no emotion, and with people on the phones that didn’t care, we wouldn’t get much done. Each call isn’t just a call; it’s a conversation which looks in to pain points and reasons why a service or product might help someone.
This therefore requires a deeper and emotional understanding that goes beyond statistics.
Complex products can’t be sold over the phone
This all comes down to training. We would agree that without the right training, no product can be sold over the phone.
If you’re looking to work with an outsourced telemarketing supplier, it’s important to understand that full training is carried out in order for telemarketers to be confident on what they’re talking about.
At Air, we work on a vast range of products, which means we have to be seriously clued up on the details of each and what they could potentially offer a prospect.
Inexperienced staff that don’t stick around
The phrase ‘call centre’ brings with it connotations which surround the idea of young and inexperienced staff members who leave not long before their seat is warm.
At Air, we have ex-directors, business owners and sales professionals from a variety of backgrounds, spanning a wide age range.
Dishonest or aggressive methods
Telemarketers hammer the phones, they’re aggressive and their practices are dishonest, with some assuming information about the prospect.
A powerful myth and again, one that is far from true. Before any campaign, we at Air ensure that our data is as clean as possible with the right information and that we adhere to any TPS registers.
Cold calling is dead
And this is the biggest myth of them all. There is an ongoing debate which is based on the concept that cold calling just doesn’t work anymore.
This simply isn’t true. What’s more, the results from both telemarketing and multi-channel marketing campaigns proving this ideology wrong every year.
In fact, our clients made an average return last year of £18 ROI for every £1 they spent.
Air Marketing Group – Nurturing prospects is a large part of what we do
We don’t throw mud at a wall and hope some of it sticks; we look to nurture leads to encourage conversions.
We’re passionate about the way we work with your business. We’ll ensure that any questions or uncertainties you may have surrounding a campaign with us are answered.
Air Marketing Group’s Client Portal means you have access to your campaign results, any time of day, on any device, through a simple login.
Your portal dashboard shows a campaign overview, allowing you to view your key campaign statistics including decision maker conversations, average conversion rates, calls per hour and the number of contacts who have been spoken to.
View a weekly breakdown of the statistics including hours worked and appointments generated, including the campaign total so far. This shows you a clear breakdown week on week, so you can not only get an overview, but compare your results over a specific time period.
Check out your conversion rate, showing you the percentage of decision makers and conversations that are converted to a sale, lead or appointment. You can check the conversation rate each week, as well as looking at the average total for your whole campaign.
You can see calls we’re making in live time in the ‘Activity Today’ tab. Check how many calls have been made, the amount of decision makers we’ve spoken to, no. of appointments made that day as well as stats on those who aren’t interested or do not qualify. Your daily activity reporting is updated constantly, so you are never behind on what’s going on in your campaign.
In the outcome summary area of the portal, you’ll also see all the reason breakdowns giving you feedback on your product or service where a prospect isn’t interested. This allows you to look into varied and constructive reasons for no interest, instead of just a yes or no.
By clicking on appointments in the header of your portal, you’ll see information on your booked meetings and any leads that have been generated. Additionally, the appointments tab gives you information on your booked prospects including call notes so you know all the relevant appointment details.
If you’ve got any questions, just click the campaign manager tab to get in touch. Your dedicated campaign manager will be happy to answer any queries you may have surrounding the portal or your campaign.
With live updates, Air Marketing Group’s easy-to-use client portal gives you transparent reporting so you know what’s going on at all times. The portal includes all the need-to-know statistics in one place. Get in touch today or call 0345 241 3038.
Any great sales professional will tell you that they would rather have one great appointment, than 10 terrible meetings.
There is the argument that it costs to generate those leads so each and every one should be attended to in the same way, regardless of the quality.
But, should we be spending even more time (and money) on B2B appointments that just aren’t worth it?
In our opinion, it’s best to choose quality over quantity every time.
There is a huge difference between obtaining a lead, and obtaining a good lead. It’s important for you to spend time focussing on the difference between what you would cast as a good lead for your company, and what isn’t.
You can ask quality questions to understand how much you really know about that lead, and whether the appointment is worth your sales agent spending time on.
These B2B quality checking questions can include:
– Is there a real need? – What makes this need important at this time? – Are we meeting with the right individuals? I.e. are they the decision maker? – What problem is our solution answering?
Know your criteria
On top of questions, set a criterion that adheres to your specific audience, or prospect criteria that tends to convert.
This could be down to a company size, a type of operation, industry type and more. The more in depth you are and the better the understanding you have of your ideal customer type, the better the quality checking will be when checking appointments against said criteria.
With these processes in place, you’ll have a sales diary full of well-qualified appointments that really are worth your sales agents’ time.
Air’s B2B Appointment Setting
Appointment setting campaigns with Air Marketing Group look to provide you with meetings that bring you together with your ideal target audience.
Our rigorous quality checking process ensures that every single appointment is suited to the criteria that you’ve set in your campaign strategy.
We say this time and time again; we won’t provide you with an appointment if it isn’t quality and does not present the potential opportunity to convert.
Want to find out more? Contact us today by getting in touch or calling 0345 241 3038.
I often ask people ‘how long is your sales cycle?’ and can honestly say that 90% of the time, the response is the same:
Do you know what that tells me…? It tells me that most people don’t actually know how long their average purchase takes, from the point of first contact to a converted sale.
Each and every industry has a varying sales cycle that is so dependent on the following:
• Getting in touch with prospects at the right time (a bit of luck and persistence)
• The state of the market (out of your control)
• Where your solutions fits in their priority list
…And sometimes the cycle of things, such as budgets.
The Coffee Story
Let’s look at an example. Around 3 months ago, we decided that we wanted a coffee machine for our office. We know we need it, but other priorities that come with a busy office have prevented us from taking action.
Cue a very timely telesales call from a company that sells coffee machines. After a good meeting and discussion about the options available, we were happy that they were a good fit for the coffee machine shaped gap in the kitchen.
3 months on, still no coffee machine.
Now, I was the right decision maker, they hit us at the right time and with the right product but has anything happened? No, it has not.
Although sometime soon I will get this organised, it sits lower down my to-do list than a lot of other things. One day soon, I will become a sale for that company.
That sale would have come as a result of their telemarketing campaigns, but not unlike many of you and despite best intentions, the process will have taken 3-6 months for my ‘sale’ to be completed.
Perfection isn’t Reality
Great relationships and sales cycles that produce an amazing ROI take time. Much like the coffee salesman, we can only influence our prospects, not guarantee a purchase even if they are at the right stage in the buying cycle.
Most sales processes take 3-6 months. However, some take 18 months, and some potential buyers won’t make a decision until years later.
There isn’t a perfect time to talk to someone and there isn’t the perfect campaign. But, there are actions you can take to make the most of a telesales campaign…
Follow up, Follow Up, Follow Up
There is a statistic I read many years ago that sticks with me. Apparently, in the B2B world it takes an average of 11 touch points before a sale is made. If you aren’t fresh in your prospects mind, you may as well forget the lead altogether.
So this is the key. Good follow up, patience, persistence and an acceptance that it does take time to close even the warmest leads. There are too many elements that you can’t control and the sooner you recognise this, the more comfortable you’ll be in accepting that follow up must be consistent and sustainable.
So how long should a good telesales campaign be run for, before you can measure its effectiveness?
Our trial phase (known as a pilot campaign) at Air Marketing Group is usually 12 weeks long. By this point we are generating leads consistently, and are fully competent in understanding your products, services and offer.
However, during months 7-9, our clients are often still closing sales with prospects we originally spoke to in months 1-3. With this in mind, we recommend trialling something for 12 weeks to prove the concept that good leads can be generated.
But, it’s good to go into any outbound sales and marketing with the expectation that you can only truly measure its effectiveness after 12 months.
Not only do we separate the warm leads from those that are not interested, we nurture and develop relationships with prospects to ensure we only pass over leads that are on the path to conversion.
Want to learn more? Contact us today by email or call us on 0345 241 3038.