Morning buzz meetings – demotivating or motivating?

Motivation can be difficult to achieve in an office environment; hard work can often go unnoticed and the constant pressures of a competitive environment can begin to wear employees down. Research has shown, each day, 10% of employees are absent in call centres due to the lack of appreciation felt in the workplace. This research alone highlights the need, especially in my industry, for touchpoints which allow managers to show their appreciation to their staff, highlight individual achievements and deliver motivational objectives. In this blog post, I will share my experience and tips for achieving the above in one morning meeting.

 

So, how do you maximise your morning buzz meetings to encourage individuals and create high performing sales teams?

 

  1. Strategise

43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week, however, employee reviews should be happening more often and take less time.

There’s nothing worse than a long-winded ‘motivational’ meeting that is set to demotivate from the offset. It’s therefore important that you plan and prepare; effective buzz meetings should be concise and last no longer than 15 minutes, be armed with your objectives, focus on team wins and pinpoint your collective areas of learning.

 

  1. Set the tone

Our physical behaviour influences our mental and emotional approach to the day.

Think of ways to get your team moving, have a walking meeting, introduce a quick-fire game or play uplifting music to get the blood pumping. Increased blood flow creates a positive mood, resulting in employees being more equipped to handle objections, take on new challenges and meet personal milestones.

 

  1. Spotlight success

69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognised.

This is the perfect opportunity to feature the activity which you want to encourage. Celebrate your teams wins, even if they don’t lead to a direct sale and avoid focusing on losses. Recognising individual and team achievements has become my common practise, as I know this makes the individuals in my team feel more confident and in turn, pushes them to set bigger targets.

 

  1. Support and encourage

41% of companies that encourage colleagues to support one another experienced a significant increase in customer satisfaction.

If you want to create a great support network and boost team morale, encourage employees to praise fellow team members, this assures no one’s hard work slips past management and brings the team closer together. If your team is feeling positive it will show in their client conversations, resulting in better relationship building, more sales and higher ROI for the company.

 

  1. Strengthen from learnings

92% of employees agree that negative feedback, if delivered appropriately, is effective at improving performance.

Remember, the key for creating a great buzz meeting is positivity. Take negative feedback from the day before and turn it into takeaways and learnings for the team to overcome together. If a client isn’t happy with an element of your team’s performance, encourage your team to think of tactics that will better engage them and the people they are selling to.

 

  1. State the day’s focus

90% of business leaders believe that an engagement strategy could positively impact their business, yet only 25% of them have a strategy in place. It’s therefore no surprise that only 40% of employees are well informed of their company’s goals, strategy, and tactics.

It’s time to hit the reset button and introduce a new action plan for the day. Ask each individual team member, “what do you want to achieve today?” I have found that when the whole team acknowledges personal targets, that individual immediately feels more accountability to meet their goal, success is more likely to be achieved and goals are more likely to align to the company’s bigger picture.

At Air Marketing Group we have experienced great success from our initiative to focus on our internal company culture. Achieving £18 for every £1 our clients invest, we are performing higher than the industry’s £11 average. I personally believe this success is down to the time we take out of selling to promote appreciation, individual achievements and team objectives. The culture at Air is one that I haven’t experienced anywhere else, our team’s positive and supportive nature is infectious, thanks to our daily buzz meetings we continue to deliver fantastic results for the companies we support.

 

Opinion Piece by Annie Blundell, Account Director, Air Marketing Group

It wasn’t always a piece of cake – The history of telemarketing

When we think about telemarketing and telesales our minds predominantly envisage a masculine environment where characters from Wolf of Wall Street relish in their ego fuelled boiler rooms. Aggressive cold-calling practices, fraudsters, scam artists and relentless robocalls have made our history stand out. However, the industry started very differently and has overtime grown into one of the most transparent and profitable means of marketing used by sales professionals today.

Once upon a time, there were no high-powered men to see here!

Despite the stereotype that’s been created for us, telemarketing came from humble beginnings and was first achieved by a group of women. The women, who were originally housewives, came together with a shared interest in baking and a desire to make their own money.

At this stage no one was a ‘professional’, but not so dissimilar from today, the ladies trialled different conversation techniques to sell.

Overall, this approach proved a success and the women continued to bake, using telemarketing techniques to make connections and build their fortunes.

Thanks to the worlds love of baking, telemarketing was born, and success tasted sweet to those who began utilising it!

In the 1900’s the first ‘lead list’ promoted more ‘quantity’ over ‘quality’

Today marketeers understand the importance of gathering quality data which is going to produce a return on investment for their clients. In the early 1900’s, when the Multi-Mailing Co. started compiling and selling lists from local phone directories, its first ‘lead list’ consisted of 600,000 numbers which spread across multiple cities. At that time, the newly developed telephone system gave the callers access to richer members of the community. These people were considered ‘quality’ prospects, this was mainly due to their worth, regardless of their need or interest in making an investment.

In 1957 the first telemarketing firm dialled out

The first call centre, DialAmerica, began operating with only two calling stations, one inbound station and one outbound station, resembling something similar to traditional telemarketing.

For them, success came in the booming post-war economy. Today, DialAmerica is one of the largest operating call centres globally, making a 100 million calls a year and on average delivering 100,000 phone hours a week.

 

The switchboard 60’s

In the 1960’s Private Manual Branch Exchanges (PMBX) were invented. These giant switchboards were operated by receptionists who manually connected calls to the correct extension.

The switchboards were used by companies to bring communications in-house and save money rather than outsourcing to third-parties.

At this time the industry was still heavily populated by women, thought to be due to their warm approach, likable nature and cheaper wage.

The 1960’s also introduced the Bell Telephone, a computer system which could dial numbers using tones instead of a rotary dial. It was this invention which paved the road to Interactive Voice Response (IVR), the automated service that was about to fuel the rage of a nation.

 

The 1970’s and the year of the robot

During the early 1970’s telemarketing began enjoying mainstream success, however even the most experienced sellers were only dialling an average of 100 numbers a day, in comparison to today’s average of 200 plus.

With the growth of sophisticated technologies, the need for operators to manually transfer calls was eliminated. IVR was deployed and the automated service was taking off, despite its complications, expenses and limited computer vocabulary which started to trigger the public’s distaste for telemarketing.

Telemarketing, as it has come to be known, began in the 80’s

In 1981, total business expenditures for telemarketing exceeded the spend on direct-mail advertising for the first time.

In this decade several trends continued to contribute to the growth of telemarketing. These included:

  • High cost personal sales calls, making telemarketing more attractive in this show off B2B era
  • Advances in telecommunications, computers and database management, decreasing costs and increased efficiency
  • Consumer acceptance of 0800 numbers
  • The growing success of inbound and outbound telemarketing campaigns which encouraged more companies to try the phone as a sales tool

 

Scam artists in the shape of sales agents

Despite the industries progress, by the late 1990’s it looked like the end was near for outbound telemarketing. Annual fraud costs exploded, prompting the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission and Watchdog organisations to strengthen regulations to protect customers.

The DMA telephone name removal list grew from 900,000 to 2.5 million names in less than a year and by 2000, the number had increased to 3.2 million.

In 2003, the National Do Not Call Registry was launched by the Federal Trade Commission and had more than 50 million phone numbers registered before the start date.

A time of transparency and professionalism

An industry once deemed annoying to those it came into contact with has turned itself around, with business managers now agreeing B2B telesales calls are the least annoying form of advertising.

Today, the telemarketing industry is more transparent than ever before. In the EU, new GDPR regulations monitor the way personal data is held, used and shared, whilst the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) gives corporate subscribers the right to be added to the Central Opt-Out Register. This means they have the right to choose not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls to all their organisation’s telephone numbers, or to selected numbers.

The industry revolves around being personable and a telemarketer’s ability to build strong, honest relationships.  Scripts are used to help remind sellers of USPs but also that there’s no room for sales robots in this industry. Every sales agent must have initiative to get past the gate keeper, identify pain points and deliver personal conversations that position them as the expert in each individual client’s product / service.

Telemarketing is an extremely lucrative industry which requires a lot of skill if your agency wants to match the industries average return of £11 for every £1 a client invests, at Air we proudly return £18 for every £1 spent.

 

To find out more about the campaigns Air Marketing Group run and the companies we help, contact us on 0345 241 3038 or contact@air-marketing.co.uk

Integration is a current buzzword, but what does it actually mean for your sales and marketing team?

Sales and marketing both share a common goal – revenue. Yet, often there is a whole host of squabbling that goes on between the two in order to find a way to bring revenue in. This is an age old rivalry, a misalignment that costs B2B companies 10% or more of revenue per year.

Once sales and marketing teams have decided on an idea to run with, they often quickly unravel. 60-70% of B2B content created is never used, often because the marketing team lack the intimate buyer knowledge that sales teams are party too. Even more frustratingly, 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales because they aren’t passed on at all, they aren’t properly followed up or the leads aren’t validated before being sent across.

It’s seemingly obvious then that it is about time that Sales and Marketing teams joined together in a merry dance of integration – businesses with aligned sales and marketing teams achieve 207% higher revenue compared to those which are disjointed and out of touch.

The solution:

  1. Make sure that your sales and marketing teams are working together

For every client, both sides should be able to offer their expert advice as each can bring different skills to the table. Your sales team will often have personable skills, giving them the upper hand when it comes to actually closing leads. However, your marketing team are there to entice those leads in to begin with, using targeted marketing based on their in-depth market research. It is important that teams are on the same page and share an awareness of the client’s needs.

  1. Be transparent

Make sure that each team has access to, or a clear awareness of all that will be happening during a client’s campaign. Have your marketing team share social plans or ask the sales team to proof read blog posts, for example – they may have suggestions on how to keep clients interested during the nurturing process. And vice versa, share call scripts with your marketeers, they may be able to offer more engaging conversation suggestions.

  1. Evaluate results together

Learn from what each team has done well and what you can collectively improve on. Using data from past campaigns will allow you to best assess this. If a referral scheme didn’t work on a previous campaign, why was this and is it a good idea to use it on a similar one in the future or should both teams look at alternative messaging or ways in which the referral scheme is presented? At the end of the day, both teams are here to make money, so each team should have input on how best to do it.

  1. Get to know each other

It sounds almost too easy but how can a team be successful and integrated if none of them know anything about the other? In talking, each team will find out how the other works and who is best to go to for certain tasks. If you allow your teams the opportunity to share common ground and build working relationships and friendships, they are more likely to be motivated and produce work of a high quality.

At Air Marketing Group, we understand the importance of integrating sales and marketing. Within the group we have two brands, Air specialising in business development and inside sales alongside Roots to Market who specialise in Marketing and Demand Generation services.

If you’re looking for a fully integrated sales and marketing experience then get in touch, call: 0345 241 3038, or email: contact@air-marketing.co.uk

 

You’ve got a pipeline, but can you convert?

Managing your sales pipeline effectively is a sure-fire way to ensure success for your business, however according to Vantage Point whilst 72% of sales managers hold sales pipeline review meetings, 63% say that their companies do a bad job of managing their sales pipelines.

A strong sales pipeline won’t build itself overnight, but if well managed it will be worth your time and energy.

When developing your sales pipeline, it is essential that you have a definitive sales process. A few basic steps to follow when implementing a sales pipeline are:

  • Clearly outline the stages your sales process will follow
  • Define the number of leads that you require to reach your sales target, from that work out your average conversion rate which will then allow you to outline how many leads you need to generate to enter this process
  • Analyse what all of the converting leads have in common – how were they generated and converted which includes the activities of your marketing team, the actions your sales reps take and the feedback from your prospects.

Implisit analysed the sales pipelines of hundreds of companies and found that the average length from lead to close is 102 days – this is broken into the average time from lead to opportunity being 84 days and opportunity to close being 18 days. This will of course vary from business to business but demonstrates the need to continuously manage and feed your sales pipeline in order to make the most out of it.

So, who is managing your sales pipeline and how are you doing this?

This may be down to a dedicated Business Development Manager or it may be a whole sales team focused on selling, building relationships and developing pipelines. It’s a big task and needs experienced individuals to be carried out as successfully as possible.

We find that creating a multi-touchpoint experience for prospects improves pipeline management and ultimately conversion. Yes of course we are advocates of lead generation via telephone, but our expertise stretches across the whole sales cycle taking prospects on a journey. This incorporates touchpoints such as email, social media, lead generation, follow-up pipeline calls, and even inside sales closing calls.

Could your pipeline improve your sales? Let’s talk, call: 01392 796 702 or email: contact@roots2market.co.uk.