What should stop you outsourcing your lead generation?

There are so many powerful arguments for outsourcing lead generation. It gives you back time and frees you up to concentrate on more strategic projects while safe in the knowledge that you can rely on a consistent and quality supply of leads. What’s not to like?

So when is outsourcing not the right decision?

The value of your product

It comes down to the value of your product. A good barometer is if your sales value is below the £5,000 mark (one off sale or annualised if you’re selling a monthly subscription model) then outsourced lead generation might not deliver the results you’re looking for. A good lead generation company is able to guide you on this and let you know the potential return on investment (ROI) they can deliver for your project.

Be realistic

Lead generation can deliver incredible results but it’s important to have realistic expectations at the outset. It’s not a magic bullet that can expertly cut through your sales cycle; the expertise is derived from the skill of the agent’s approach and their commitment to achieving results for your business. If it were easy, you’d simply expand your team and see immediate results.

It takes time

Lead generation campaigns need time to gain momentum, taking up to 6 months to prove their ROI. In the same way you wouldn’t expect a new employee to deliver sales on day one or even month 1, you cannot expect to see immediate results from a very limited trial or a very short campaign. It simply won’t be a meaningful reflection of what could be achieved with the proper time and investment in the project.

The foundations for partnership

Lead generation companies worth their salt will want to build a partnership and collaborate closely with you so they can learn how your business operates. Nobody knows your business and products better than you, so communicating your advice and experience is vital to success. Remember, they are experts in their field but they’re not experts in your business processes, so they will need time and support to get things right for you. This requires access, regular meetings and a level of involvement with your in-house team.  Things don’t always go to plan, it’s important to be able to have an honest and open conversation with your supplier. Work with them to find solutions and spend some time listening to their agents making calls. If a supplier isn’t prepared to let you listen to calls, or see how they train their agents, take them off your list at the supplier selection stage. The relationship works both ways and they need to be transparent about their processes to ensure your partnership thrives.

You have a different sales model

All businesses have quirks that are unique to them. If most of your sales come from referrals and you’ve experienced organic growth as a result, then it’s important to understand that leads generated from cold calls will have a much lower conversion rate, typically between 5% and 30% (dependent on product, price and relevance to the customer).

Know your numbers so you can set expectations

It is important to start outsourced lead generation programme with a clear understanding of what to expect.

Check out our video where Owen Richards, MD of Air Marketing and Richard Forrest, MD of Forrest Marketing Group in Australia, dive deeper into the topic discussing the impact of pricing models and perceptions of supplier collaboration on the success of lead generation initiatives.

At Air, we work with clients to create a tailored, blend of services that will deliver the best conversion rates in their desired market. If you’d like to hear more about how we can help your business grow or show you how we’ve helped businesses from all sectors achieve success, get in touch today or call us on 0345 241 3038. Hear more from our existing customers here.

Are you struggling to execute a rewarding telemarketing campaign?

We know there’s nothing better than building a healthy sales pipeline, and one of the most effective methods of doing that is by making calls and starting conversations with your key target market.

Implementing a successful telemarketing campaign is a process that many businesses struggle to achieve. A telemarketing campaign can often be seen as complex, time-consuming, or outdated. To eliminate this misconception, Air ensures all clients follow a campaign process which will lead your business through an achievable, step by step process, designed to deliver rewarding results for your business. Take a look at our Air process here

 

How well do you know your customers?

Know your customer has become quite a cliché in marketing. There has never been a business that didn’t start out fulfilling unmet needs for a very specific group of people.  

We suspect you probably know your customer  fairly well,  but let’s turn this question on its head and  instead ask: 

 How well do you know your prospects?  

 Leads-funnel

Air Marketing Group know that a lack of qualified prospects moving through your sales process today, can mean trouble for your business tomorrow. We understand that a strong sales pipeline is critical to attain revenue goals 6 – 12 months from now.  

So what steps should you take to build and sustain a healthy sales pipeline? 

Start with enough leads 

Sales is a numbers game and to develop a strong sales pipeline you must accumulate enough leads to drive through your marketing and sales engine. If you have a good understanding of the pipeline process you’ll know only a proportion of your targeted leads will become qualified, and a fraction will convert and be ready to buy at any given time.  

Qualify every lead  

Generating a list of qualifying questions to ask every interested lead will allow you to determine if there’s a real business opportunity or not.  

Ask: Has your prospect got a realistic need you can fill? 

  • What are their major challenges in this area? 
  • Have they tried to solve these issues? If so, how? 
  • How soon do they want to find a solution?  

Ask: Is the prospect an appropriate lead for the value and price point of your offering? 

  • What solutions would they consider? 
  • What is the budget to address this solution?  

Be careful of time wasters. If it appears there’s little budget for your solution, put this lead into your low-quality category and concentrate on higher priority prospects.  

Use lead quality for targeted marketing  

It’s important to use resulting lead quality data to develop more tailored campaigns. At Air Marketing all our campaigns use bespoke lead generation strategies and are tailored to meet individual business requirements. This strategy allows us to provide clients with quality sales leads that meet specified criteria.  

Nurture qualified prospects  

Not every qualified prospect will be ready to buy today. Once qualified leads have been identified you can leverage the use of content based email marketing, and follow up calls, to continue to nurture leads and identify interested prospects.  

Create a next step for every interested lead. Base this on need, interest and timing: 

  • Schedule a demo or follow up call to share additional insights. 
  • Send a follow up email that needs a response within  a requested time. 
  • Send an industry-related article every month to stay in  touch and keep educating them.  

Remaining in front of interested, qualified prospects will mean you are at the front of their mind  to assist when the time of their need arises.  

CRM systems 

A customer relationship management system (CRM) will improve your sales efficiencies, and allow you to track and report on sales opportunities, leads and prospects.  

Remember a healthy sales pipeline will have the following attributes: 

  • Many opportunities at every stage of the funnel. 
  • New opportunities coming into the top of the funnel regularly. 
  • New sales being converted  at the bottom of the sales funnel regularly . 

Here at Air Marketing Group, we pride ourselves on our ability to get under the skin of your business, speaking with your prospects and where possible and relevant warm the lead into a position where they can be converted into an opportunity. In addition to this, we  provide a transparent reporting service, and the delivery of each call recording to ensure our clients that  any leads we’ve secured will convert.  

If knowing your prospect is still an area you would like help with get in touch today to find out how we can help on 03452413038 or get in touch.

 

Where does your telemarketing campaign fit into the bigger picture?

We are often contacted by companies who reach out to us because they have (rightly) heard that direct telemarketing delivers very tangible ROI or they see us advertising that our average client receives £18 for every £1 invested.

But often telemarketing is viewed in isolation, companies engage with the pilot campaign to test the water and see how it delivers without taking into account the opportunity that lies in the bigger picture.

We know that telemarketing is an extremely effective channel for many companies, but we also know that combining telemarketing activity with other forms of marketing or looking at the campaign as a longer-term investment such as a 6 month or year long tactic to support other business objectives, can deliver even better results.

The set up of a telemarketing campaign can bring up a lot of questions such as:

  • Have you researched your product/service? Do you know how well it will be received by the market? Do you know your competitors? Will it deliver what we say it will?
  • How are we supporting this telemarketing campaign? Do we have a branded email that can be sent afterwards? Do you have a website that echoes the message we are giving? Have you created anything such as a brochure or flyers we can share with prospects?
  • Have you considered your own sales pitch? Is your sales pitch and our telemarketing pitch aligned? Are we both on brand? Will your sales pitch see conversions?
  • Is your data right for use? Do you need to purchase new data? What else can that data be used for?

As a Business Development Partner, it is not our ethos to deliver merely a ‘project’ within constraints that are agreed. Instead, we want to help you look at the bigger picture, understand what the strategy for your telemarketing or marketing in general is, consider all the angles that could be taken to best engage with your target market and really help you generate the right leads for your business.

The visibility and involvement that is available when working with Air, allows you to ensure that telemarketing is firmly set in the bigger picture. Feedback on data allows you to update your CRM systems and instigate actions if needed. Being able to come in and train the team allows you to shape what the tone of voice for your business, the sales techniques and known objections. And being able to monitor calls in live time means you are always on top of what is happening, planning for appointments, understanding objections and client feedback etc.

So, if you’re looking for a partner to work alongside you, guide you and deliver for you, speak to the team here at Air for more information on how we can help improve your business development. Call us on 0345 241 3038 or email us at contact@air-marketing.co.uk.

Let’s start with data

We live in a world where data is everywhere, it’s more widely available than it ever used to be, and we use it more than we’ve ever done before!

As telemarketer’s, data is invaluable to us. The simple truth is that we are only as effective as the data that we use. It is our job to understand who we are calling and to establish a need, all culminating together to create a lead or opportunity for our client. With the correct and clean data, we are able to do this in an efficient manner, understanding the target market, key message and target for our clients.

But, with bad data we struggle from the outset. Using out of date, irrelevant, or confusing data causes delays to our calling, meaning we call less relevant data and have less worthwhile conversations resulting in a worse return on investment for our clients.

Data changes quickly, especially if you are working with large quantities:

  • Staff change roles or leave companies
  • Companies change locations or details
  • Businesses close
  • Company mergers happen

And this can all change the data that you hold about that company.

Telemarketing is still proven to be an extremely effective method of business development when used correctly. Here at Air, we focus on the ROI that you receive when working with us, our average return is £18 for every £1 our clients invest. But to work as effectively as possible we rely heavily on working with the right data. For this reason, we have always partnered with high quality compliant data providers who we can rely on to deliver what we require to meet our clients needs.

With GDPR changes on their way in, data has never been so under the spot light. With this in mind, we’ve created our GDPR Readiness Statement, using plain English to explain how we have got ourselves ready, to give you confidence in our operation and to provide guidance for yours.

If you’re considering starting a telemarketing campaign, get in touch for a chat to find out how we can help you with your business development and data needs.

Sales and Business Tips – How Best to Question During the Conversation

Asking open questions develops a conversation with a prospect but when asking questions it is important to ensure  they are natural and you dig deep on certain points raised to make the most of the conversation to move into the close. Take a look at our latest video to find out more on this tip:

The 5 mistakes to avoid when doing telemarketing

When executed correctly, B2B telemarketing can be one of the most effective methods of speaking with your target audience and building your pipeline. As with all business development techniques it is vital to do the right research upfront and put a clear strategy into place before commencing. Telemarketing is also well suited to working alongside the other business development activity that you already have running such as email marketing, direct mail or social media marketing.

We’ve refined our telemarketing strategy over the years but have seen plenty of mistakes in that time also. Here are the 5 mistakes to avoid when conducting your telemarketing campaigns:

Inadequate preparation

You may think that telemarketing is all about being on the phone, making as many calls as possible and crossing your fingers a little. This simply isn’t the right approach to take.

Taking the time to prepare before a call, thoroughly understanding your company, the USP’s of the product/service you are selling, and the decision maker you want to talk to. This preparation may seem like its wasting your time or putting you behind – but this will make your call much more professional and efficient.

Having no freedom from the script

Nobody wants to be in a role where they are just reading from a script like a robot – and no prospect wants to have a conversation with someone who is defined by a script and lacking personality.

A script helps you cover some key aspects, but diallers should have the freedom to move the conversation wherever it requires. Not only will this give more enjoyment to the team making the calls, but it will also allow a much better personalised, intelligent and consultative conversation with the prospect.

Boring them with talk!

We’ve all had these sales calls – where instead of listening to what the caller is saying we are counting how long they’ve been talking without taking a breath, just wondering if they might pass out from exhaustion!

What does this achieve? Absolutely nothing. You cannot sell to someone if you haven’t identified their needs and whether your product/service may satisfy those needs. And how are you going to find out these needs? By asking questions and allowing the prospect to steer the conversation.

Unable to handle objections

Not every prospect is going to need your product/service or want to buy from you. So, when objections to your sales pitch do arise you need to be prepared for them.

This is all about training, ensuring you understand what objections you may receive and how you can best overcome this. The biggest mistakes to avoid are mumbling, changing the subject or continuing your sales piece talking over them.

Failure to close

You have called that prospect for a reason – you want to arrange a telephone appointment, a meeting or a sign up. So as the call is going well, you need to be able to recognise when to ask for the sale and close the deal.

Training and experience will teach you when to close this sale. But failure to identify this means a missed opportunity and time wasted on both sides.

If you’re looking for telemarketing guidance or sales training, Air can help you with this. We often run sales training workshops not only for our internal staff but also for clients and local business owners. Get in touch to find out more.

Where to start with direct marketing?

So, let’s start at the beginning, what is direct marketing?

Direct marketing is the opposite of inbound marketing. You may generate inbound interest and enquiries from having a website or publishing an advert, but you are not necessarily in control of who sees this and then enquires. Whereas direct marketing is exactly that – direct.

Direct marketing is aimed at a list of prospects who you wish to engage with and then you actively reach out to them either by phone, email or post. These prospects may be the business you really wish to work with, a focus on a certain industry sector, or a geographical area.

Why use direct marketing?

Direct marketing is a great method to use when targeting a specific prospect base. Allowing you to completely tailor your message and method of contact to what would suit those prospects. In a world with so much ‘noise’ and messages being shown to you every day, it’s proven that tailored relevant messaging is much more successful for converting than blanket messaging.

Direct marketing can also be a great medium to test campaigns to smaller amounts of recipients, allowing you to test and analyse this before rolling them out business wide.

How does telemarketing fit into direct marketing?

Telemarketing is one of the most personable methods of direct marketing, you really can’t beat picking up the phone and starting a conversation with your prospect. Not only does this open up the opportunity for you to convey your product/service benefits and measure their reaction, this method also allows the prospect to ask any questions there and then meaning you are adding value whilst giving your sales pitch. The other benefit of this method is the ability to spot when the lead is warm enough to convert – allowing you to complete the sales cycle.

Other methods such as email and direct mail certainly have their benefits. Email is a very cost effective method of reaching out to your prospects and warming them to your brand and service/products. Direct mail had become unfavourable as it was seen as ‘junk’ coming through the letterbox. However, this wave is now changing and we now receive more emails than letters, so to stand out direct mail is becoming more popular – it’s now a novelty for something to come through the letterbox at work.

As with most sales and marketing techniques, in order to be effective it’s advisable to come at it from a number of angles. Therefore, use a mixture of methods to reach your prospects. Warming your prospects using intelligent targeted email marketing or direct mail can be followed by picking up the phone to talk in more depth, answer questions and guide the prospect through the funnel.

We help business across the UK and the world with direct marketing techniques to help them reach the prospects they need to help their business grow. To find out more get in touch today.

Celebrating success in financial year 2017!

After a very successful financial year here at Air, we chose to treat our team to a well-deserved lunch and the afternoon off on Friday, which was made even better by the sun shining!

We achieved 357% growth in revenue in our 2nd year of trading, and we are looking to keep this level of momentum going to propel growth even further this year.

During the team lunch we celebrated 3 people who Team Air felt went above and beyond in the last quarter of financial year 2017. Voted by Team Air, we were pleased to celebrate Hannah Shearman, Richard Street and Ashley Heyworth, each receiving £100 in John Lewis/Waitrose gift cards as a thank you for their contributions.

A big thank you to Team Air for your continued commitment, results and drive. We simply couldn’t have done this without you. And a big thank you to all our clients and partners for working with us and trusting us with your brands.

We’ve been shortlisted for the Express and Echo Business Awards 2018

We are delighted to be shortlisted for three categories of the Express and Echo Business Awards.

Featuring in the categories of:

  • Best New Start-up Business
  • Business Growth of the Year 26+ employees
  • Owen Richards, our MD, is up for Entrepreneur of the Year

2017 has been a fantastic year for us, having achieved a 357% growth in revenue compared to the first year of trading and increasing the staff base from 11 team members to now nearly 40. This simply couldn’t be achieved without the hard work of the whole team and the vision of Owen, our Managing Director, leading the business.

Winning an award to recognise this hard work, would mean the world to Team Air – so everyone’s keeping their fingers firmly crossed.