Outsourced vendor VS. outsourced partner

Outsourcing has become commonplace in businesses. If you do not have the capacity or resource in-house, then you are likely to look outside of your business for a solution. Whether that is to help you with your finances, your recruitment, you may need consultancy to help change management or operational changes or you’re looking to grow and need help with business development – which is where we help!

The term outsourcing is often used for any external business that you choose to engage with. But there is a very big difference between an outsourced vendor and an outsourced partner.

An outsourced vendor provides a service for an agreed fee. For that fee it is agreed what will be delivered and the vendor will ensure that it is delivered within the agreed timescale, to the agreed spec, for the agreed price. Whereas on the other hand, an outsourced partner will provide a service for an agreed fee, but this will go beyond simple briefing, fulfilment and delivery.

An outsourced partner works with you and has an interest in the company as a whole. A partner is interested in your business goals, objectives, the reasons behind why you are outsourcing and what can really be done to help you fulfil your requirements. You may approach a partner with a requirement and an idea of ‘how you feel it should be fulfilled’. However, a partner is likely to be the expert in what is required (hence why you are approaching them) and by partnering with them they will share their expertise and intelligence to guide your thinking. The right partner will not be motivated by the money they can make from your partnership, instead they will be focused on what they can do to help you grow your business as one team together.

It is very easy to work with an outsourced vendor on a one-off project to fulfil a requirement. However, a partnership is likely to be much more long term. Business culture, values and outlook become more important when establishing a long-term partnership. Working as one team with a like-minded partner will make the whole experience smoother and much more effective.

So, when you are next considering outsourcing a project or business requirement, stop and think. Are you looking for an outsourced partner to deliver more? Sourcing this partner could potentially make a far more positive impact to your business that you may expect.

Opinion piece by Shaun Weston, Account Director, Air Marketing Group. 

Sales and Business Tips – How to Present What You Do

Once you’ve worked hard to get in front of a decision maker, the next stage of introducing yourself and presenting what you do is really important. Don’t just talk about what ‘we’ do, how ‘we’ help, instead flip your language to talk about how we can help ‘you’, what we can do for ‘you’. Find out more tips for how to present what you do from our MD, Owen Richards.

Where does telemarketing fit into the sales cycle?

So, you’ve started considering telemarketing? Or maybe you haven’t yet started to consider it but, you have heard competitors within your market are doing telemarketing and a couple of your business contacts have talked about it too. Perhaps you recognise that there may be some value in looking into this avenue as part of your sales and marketing activity but you’re wondering where it fits in your sales cycle and how you can justify it?

Naturally, when sales and marketing activity is executed together as an integrated process you are likely to see an increase in leads, especially the highly relevant leads which are easier to convert. There are now opportunities to integrate telemarketing within the whole sales funnel; starting from the awareness stage, right through to the evaluation stage.

But where does it fit?

The awareness stage

At the very start of a sales cycle we need to scope out the market, starting with data and market research so you and your target market can become aware of each other. Telemarketing can play an important role in data cleansing; checking your data lists are accurate, up to date and receptive to your offering. This process is extremely helpful in helping you shape your offering, your marketing campaigns and your approach to these leads. Without getting this process right, your lead generation can be far more time consuming and far less successful.

Adding value stage

During the sales cycle telemarketing compliments the nurturing marketing activity as a very effective touch point. It can be argued that telemarketing is one of the fastest lead generation tactics to identify and close leads. Having that human conversation to understand where someone is in the buying cycle, how you can help them and being able to easily answer their questions is something that will set you apart. As all these conversations are likely to be recorded (we record all of our calls), this is all extra data that can be documented to profile your customers, helping both your marketing and sales teams.

Follow-up stage

Follow up calls are a final important aspect of your sales cycle, that for many businesses are not conducted because they are delighted to have won the business and they are now running off to chase the next win. But if we truly complete the cycle, our new customer is perfectly placed to give us feedback on the process they have just experienced. This helps us not only shape this experience for future customers, but it also adds further value to your customers experience as they have a platform to discuss any concerns, or issues they may have.

So, if you’re considering if telemarketing could help your sales cycle in some way, the likely answer is yes. It can help in so many different aspects of the sales cycle, we’d be surprised if it didn’t compliment your current sales or marketing activity.

Will we see you at the South West Business Expo?

We are looking forward to exhibiting again this year at the South West Business Expo, being held this Thursday (15th March) at Westpoint Exeter.

We really enjoy exhibiting at this expo as it opens up a perfect opportunity to catch up with our local business contacts and customers. We’ll be on stand 131 – and would love to see you!

This expo is the largest one day business show in the South West, attracting over 3,000 visitors. This unique expo is specifically tailored towards start-ups and SMEs looking to start or grow their business. The expo features a world-class speaker line-up, 12 inspirational seminars and interactive masterclasses, a whopping 260+ exhibitors, 3 speed networking session, live Cookery Kitchen and much much more. It has everything you need to gain the vital skills, knowledge and expertise you need to start or expand your business – plus, it’s completely free to register for tickets!

To top it off, Google Digital Garage will also be at the event, where you can receive free digital training from the world’s most influential business. They will be offering 1-2-1 training and showcasing a series of seminars on critical digital topics to help you become more visible online and generate more enquires to your business.

To find out more about the expo, take a look at the event website. If you’d like to arrange a coffee and chat with us whilst we are at the expo please get in touch.

Sales and Business Tips – How to Introduce Yourself?

How do you introduce yourself in a sales call? Are you straight to the point or do you start with a general question of ‘how are you?’ or talk about the weather. But do you feel you are doing it in the most effective way possible? Find out the tips for how to introduce yourself in a sales call from our MD, Owen Richards.

Focusing on quality is a winning formula

What do you think when you hear the term telemarketing or telesales?

The first thought that may come into your head; those PPI calls that the industry has been renowned for? ‘We understand you were recently involved in an accident?’. The process is simple for these organisations. They call large amounts of data, with the aim of getting the highest amount of ‘leads’ possible. This means you receive calls that are not relevant, you are called more than once – and you’re left feeling harassed.

But why?

Often the people making the calls will be incentivised with commission or bonus payments linked to the number of ‘leads’ they generate. Which is exactly why they are making so many calls to produce the highest amount of ‘leads’ possible.

But what does this actually achieve?

As we’ve seen from the example of PPI calls, this method of incentive may make your workforce produce a higher quantity of ‘leads’ but often at the expense of individuals you are calling and the brand you are representing. Focusing merely on quantity, may give the perception that you are extremely efficient at creating ‘leads’ and ‘opportunities’ for your brand or client – but bad quality, un-qualified individuals are unlikely to become customers in the short or long term.

The answer? Focus the incentive on quality.

Producing well qualified, high quality ‘leads’ and ‘opportunities’ for your brand will give you a much higher chance of converting that opportunity into a customer. And whilst this may mean a lower quantity, all you’re eliminating are those who would never have bought from you anyway, saving you time and energy on chasing shadows. Quality will also be what sets you apart from your competition – understanding your customer, being relevant and meeting their requirements or desires will make these conversations easier and make your brand the choice for them. This style of incentive still works for keeping your workforce motivated, we know because its exactly what we have always done.

Opinion piece by Owen Richards, Managing Director of Air Marketing Group. 

A Partnership begins between Chris Bentley and Team Air

Having left the Exeter Chiefs to join sales and marketing agency Smithkin Baker, Chris Bentley will be heading up support for Air Marketing in the new role of Client Relationship Director.

Chris is well known within the City after being part of the Exeter Chiefs, playing seven seasons and 125 senior games for the club. After retiring from the game, Chris transitioned into corporate life and fronted sales at the club through six seasons of continual growth. Having made the move to his own agency, Chris is looking forward to helping take Air through it’s next stage of growth.

Air Marketing Group is an outsourced business development agency specialising in B2B telemarketing and lead generation. Launching in Exeter in March 2016 we have grown exponentially, from a start-up to a team of 35 people. Behind this success lies our competitive nature and the delivery of outstanding results for clients; but also having firm company values such as our relentless positivity, and attitude to ‘saying yes’ and ‘finding a way’.

After a chance meeting, Owen Richards, (Managing Director of Air) and Chris knew that they wanted to find a way to work together. And so, this role was born. As Client Relationship Director, Chris will be helping Air to grow our market share and continue our rapid expansion. Chris will be helping businesses to implement a successful growth strategy, build their sales pipelines and shape an Air solution to fit their business development needs. As a face for the brand, Chris will most likely be seen at events representing Air locally too.

This partnership represents a huge step for Air Marketing Group and we are excited about the opportunities that this venture could bring.

Quote from Chris.

“I was bowled over by Owen’s passion for Air and the blueprint he has for the business. Over the course of the last few months we’ve had a fair few discussions about how we could help enhance and further build on his fantastic brand. I’m confident we’re there and can’t wait to get cracking!’

Quote from Owen.

“We’re delighted to have Chris join team ‘Air’. Chris is a well-known community face and he shares our drive and passion for all things sales. The ambitious nature of this partnership is one that excites us all.”