Setting business development goals will help you win clients and influence your team

We all know how important sales are, without sales your business won’t grow, and without growth, your business will collapse. Therefore, it is essential to account for sales and business development within your company.

Whether you’re managing your business development in-house or outsourcing to an agency, implementing a thought-out strategy will help to win you clients and give you the ability to positively influence the individuals within your company.

 

8 tips that will help you implement a successful business development strategy.

 

  1. Identify long-term goals:

82% of B2B decision-makers think sales reps are unprepared.

However, have you ever questioned why this might be?

Tips:

  • Establish what success looks like for your business
  • Ask why you’re deploying a business development strategy. Have you experienced a drop in inbound enquiries, are you lacking qualified leads or are you aiming to make enquires more consistent?
  • Set clear milestones and incentives to achieve the changes needed to reach success and give your team something to work towards

 

  1. Measure your current performance:

65% of CEOs rated “inclusive growth” as a top-three strategic concern.

Today, businesses are no longer assessed on traditional metrics, instead their relationships with workers and their impact on society is just as important as financial growth and this, in turn, heavily affects success.

Tips:

  • Combine revenue growth and profit-making with the need to respect and support the people which make up your environment
  • Invest in a performance management tool. The Performance Climate System for example, is a management tool which can extract information on the current productivity, climate and perception gap between your team and the leaders
  • Allow your leaders to implement the changes needed for a more positive environment, a boost in team engagement are highly linked to an increase in sales

 

  1. Establish what clients you’re looking to win:

42% of start-ups failed in 2017 because there wasn’t a market for their offering.

Not everyone wants to buy what you’re selling, which is why it’s so important that you identify the needs of your target market.

Tips:

  • Think quality over quantity
  • Create a client profile to give you a clear indication of who needs your product or service, understand their pain points and what long term goals you can help them to achieve

If you’re looking for ‘The Ultimate Guide To B2B Sales Prospecting’, Air’s Group Director, Richard Forrest has all the tips in this world-class book.

 

  1. Hunt down your next opportunity:

80% of buyers are those which you must go out and find and it may take an average of 8 cold call attempts to reach them.

Tips:

  • Pick up the phone and be persistent in your efforts to build rapport.
  • Focus on your prospects need and be prepared to objection handle. For 3 killer ways to handle objections, take a read of our blog here.
  • Don’t become a sales robot, your priority is client satisfaction, so don’t let the relationship go cold.

 

  1. Make sure your new opportunities qualify:

Business Development Executives make between 100 and 500 calls for every lead they qualify.

Setting qualifying criteria is a way of making sure your business is concentrating on leads that can really benefit you.

Tips:

  • Be clear on the decision makers you need to be talking to and what makes a good meeting
  • Analyse your prospects BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timeframe)

Need more tips on the golden questions you should be asking to qualify leads? Read more here.

 

  1. Top ‘Sales Professionals’ don’t sell:

1 offline word of mouth impression drives sales 5x more than one paid impression, and as much as 100x more for higher-consideration categories.

Being a sales professional is not actually about selling, it’s about building relationships and solving problems.

Tips:

  • You must be out there, have a presence and be the expert. Offer guidance, regardless of whether it results in a sale or not. You can guarantee that the person you helped, with no immediate benefit to yourself, will come back or refer your next customer

 

  1. Use your marketing resources:

Only 54% of professionals across service industries said their marketing and business development activities were strongly aligned.

Lack of integration between the two can result in wasted efforts and lost opportunities.

Tips:

  • Partner with a marketing agency or department! Events, content and consistent company messages can really help nurture leads through your pipeline and close deals
  • Checkout our sister company, Roots to Market, who can offer a full-service approach to your marketing strategy or aid in bespoke projects such a nurture campaigns

 

  1. How do you know you’ve achieved success?

Business Development is a long-term investment.

Tips:

  • Remain realistic when visualising what your success looks like, how much you’re prepared to invest and how long success will take you
  • When you have reached your initial end goal, it’s time to start the process again, establish what success looks like now, set a more ambitions turnover, find new competitors, hunt for more rewarding opportunities and create new milestones in order to progress further up the ladder

Done well, Business Development has the potential to transform the dynamic of your business and get you working with more of the right clients. Whether in-house or outsourced, everyone who touches your Business Development Strategy needs to be fully engaged in your long-term ambitions and understand what needs to be achieved to get there.

 

Get in touch:

Need help with reaching your audience, increasing your client base and growing your business? Contact #TeamAir today on 03332 581394 or via contact@air-marketing.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Cold Calling Vs Social Selling – Let’s settle the debate.

There is a long-standing debate raging among sales professionals – which is more effective, social selling or cold calling? To me, the answer is simple.

Now, I am not going to bore you to death with stats which, depending on who you speak to, can be validated both ways. Instead, I’m going to give you some insight that I have gained as a Sales Professional who has sat on both sides of the fence, sometimes stuck in the middle, for over a decade.

So, my insight:

Logging into a webinar recently, I watched keenly as the debate in discussion swung from side to side, with each team offering their opinions. On one side, the UK’s top social seller and on the other, a Canadian based CMO from a well-known Sales Engagement Platform provider and advocate of cold calling. Both camps provided stats to back up their arguments, making it a close call. Although either could have come out on top, in my opinion, cold calling won this round. However, was this down to the geographical benefit of the stats, a more engaging presentation or more tangible evidence? I’m still unsure.

Since this debate, I’ve viewed multiple posts, blogs and podcasts to try and determine a winner for myself. I came across a recent Hubspot blog which appeared to settle the debate in favour of social selling, boldly stating that prospective customers and sales people alike “hate” cold calling. The blog consisted of impressive conversion figures, with the origins of these stats referenced, however, what is often left unclear is the industry, target, sales cycle, resource or end result of these stats origin. Without knowing the full picture, how can we possibly judge what is best for our businesses?

My background includes an enjoyable period as an Event Manager, assisting in the growth of the largest sales and marketing expo in Europe. At this event, exhibitors included direct sales people, cold callers and, what appeared to be, the more passive social sellers. All evidenced by the solutions which they were there to present. There has always been one impression that stuck with me after this event. Whilst the direct sellers had a constant sense of energy and approached any delegate who came within talking distance, the social sellers would wait to be approached – usually sat on their mobile phones. I’ll leave it to you to conclude whose stands were busier…

Now, it seems that these characteristics are commonplace, as shown to me by a recent experience. A well-known, international sales trainer recently posted on LinkedIn, “I have an associate looking for support in their telesales process.” The post had received dozens of comments and recommendations, however, with the benefit of having their phone number, I picked up the phone and introduced Air, asking how we could help. I was astounded to find out that from a 2-day old post requesting TELESALES SUPPORT I was the first person to pick up the phone and call. Now, yes, I was connected to and known by this person through social media, we’d swapped some niceties and a few messages which supported our conversation, but I was the only person to call and actually have a conversation! Whilst multiple people had attempted to social sell, guess what? The prospect wanted a conversation and, funnily enough, I was the only one introduced to their associate.

If this doesn’t settle the debate, I don’t know what will… it pays to use both!

Both cold calling and social selling have their place, it’s not really a matter of which one is better. When used together, they maximise the effectiveness, reach, efficiency and quality of your process. Each prospective client will buy in a different way and their more likely to notice your company if you get on their radar in 2 or 3 different ways. Any marketeer or sales professional worth their salt will tell you that a multi-channel, multi-touch approach will always maximise effectiveness.

Here at Air, we have multiple ways to win new business for ourselves and our clients. We run targeted email campaigns, sponsored LinkedIn mails, Facebook ads, engage traffic using IP trackers, networking events and referral channels. I will social sell, but I will still pick up the phone and cold call too. One shameless stat I will give you is that we’ve seen 257% growth in a year. We’re an award-winning company who are about to go through our second office move in less than 12 months due to increasing demand and our work with well-known household brands. And do you know why? Because wherever our clients and their customers are, and however they like to buy, we ensure we’re there too. Simple.

If you would like to discuss how we can help your business, give us a call: 0345 241 3038, or email: contact@air-marketing.co.uk.

Opinion Piece by Simon Murthwaite, Sales Director, Air Marketing Group

It Pays to be Patient

At Air, we pride ourselves on our honest and transparent approach towards our customers. We want those who we work with to succeed and so we keep nothing from you, you can have as much or as little involvement in your campaign as you would like. As one of Air’s Account Directors, I sit down with our prospective and retained clients, making sure to spend time with them in order to create the right strategy for their budget and business goals. But also, I want to ensure that clients understand that developing returns on their investment takes time. Markets are saturated with new businesses and whilst outsourcing telesales is a step in the right direction, clients shouldn’t expect a quick fix. The clients that I work with are often looking to invest in a long-term telemarketing campaigns, have long sales cycles and therefore need to understand that telemarketing does not instantly create ROI.

Despite this level of client engagement, when it comes to the end of the first month I sometimes find that clients have concerns if they haven’t yet closed a big deal or aren’t yet receiving high ROIs. Whilst I understand that clients put a lot into their businesses and obviously  want them to be a success, it seems that often people forget that success isn’t always instant. More often than not, it pays to be patient.

It is for this reason that, as part of our business proposals, myself and the other Account Directors at Air recommend a long-term commitment after the initial 3-month trial pilot period. During this pilot period, the outcomes teach us learning’s about the business’ message, the target audience, the objections and the sales cycle of a client. This time is essential for a business, it allows us to test the messaging of the campaign, the data we receive and actually get hold of the right people for the client – all of which takes time if done right.

We don’t want our clients to stress or be kept in the dark, which is why we have created our unique client portal, where they can have a clear view of their campaigns progress – our clients are able to follow the peaks and falls of their entire campaign and see the feedback or objections we receive. It is most important to listen to this information in the beginnings of a campaign and not be overly concerned if sales are slow to begin with, as brand and business development should be nurtured not rushed. By considering this information, we are then able to use it to adapt the campaign and help it develop with momentum in the long term to generate the client impressive ROIs. After all our average campaign ROI is £18 for every £1 spent, so your investment is in good hands.

Opinion Piece by Keryn Seal, Account Director, Air Marketing Group

We’ve been shortlisted for the BESMA Awards 2018

The British Excellence in Sales Management (BESMA) Awards are an annual event held by the Institute of Sales Management. With the purpose to recognise and reward the most successful companies and individuals in the sales industry.

 

We’re delighted to be shortlisted amongst some of the industry’s biggest players …

This time last week #TeamAir took to the bright lights of London to present in front of the BESMA panel. We demonstrated the success we’ve achieved over the past 2 years and how this has been made possible due to the hard work, commitment and passion our team continue to exhibit.

 

We’ve been shortlisted for the four following categories:

Best Telesales Team

Best Sales Employer

Best Rising Star – Marco Alfano-Rogers

Best Key Account Manager – Shaun Weston

 

We were excited to share the presenting stage with some of the biggest names in the country, companies which include:

Yell, Gamma Telecom, McAfee, PwC, Indeed and SSE Electricity Limited.

 

Reflecting on our growth …

Writing the BESMA Awards have truly allowed us to reflect on how much we’ve all achieved, not only in the last year but since our inception.

Having started with a modest fund of £25,000 in 2016, we first operated out of a boardroom within someone’s office with a total of 1 employee!

Now recognised as the fastest growing companies in Exeter, in the last 12 months’ #TeamAir have grown from 11 to over 50 employees and continue to acquire an increasing number of clients, and household brand names. We are currently operating out of two offices in Exeter’s city center and are soon to be moving into a new office with 100pax capacity.

We are extremely proud of our own growth and the growth we continue to achieve for our clients’. Our success is measured by the fact our team implements telemarketing campaigns that perform at twice the industry average. This allows our clients to achieve an average return of £18 for every £1 they spend with us.

 

What’s next …

With a strong team driving us forward we are confident that we will continue to evolve our company and elevate business for our clients.

Our office move comes with exciting new internal structures, new areas of expertise and even more possibilities for our clients.

BESMA’s well-deserved winners will be announced on 26th October 2018. Overwhelmed by the recognition our team has already received, winning the BESMA Awards would give solidarity to our team’s loyalty and hard work. It’s safe to say #TeamAir have every finger crossed.

If you would like to find out more about Air Marketing Group and how we can help you achieve your business goals visit our website: air-marketing.co.uk or call us on: 03332505686

 

Do you prioritise your customer journey?

How easy do you make it for your customer to purchase from you?

This may sound like a trick question, but it’s not! All businesses exist to attract customers, generate revenue, grow and make profit. Those are the basics to business survival and thriving.

But are you making the customer journey easy and enjoyable? Would you purchase from your company, if you were in your customers shoes?

So, if you are considering your customer journey, where do you start?

Identify gaps and pain points

To develop a successful customer journey map with coherent touchpoints you must first identify the gap between the current journey people would experience, and the journey that the customer would find most beneficial. Understanding how your customers currently feel about their relationship with you and the level of service you’re providing will allow you to identify the pain points in your customer journey.

Key pain points could include:

* Unclear or inconsistent messaging throughout the buying process and touchpoints

* The lack of personalised and relevant content

* The way your sales team approach building relationships and sales with your customers

Involve customer-facing employees in the journey

It’s important to keep in mind that every employee who interacts with your prospects and customers will have a direct impact on your customer journey. For this reason, it’s necessary to collaborate with all employees from all your customer-facing departments when mapping your customer journey and discussing relevant touchpoints. Making employees aware of their impact and giving them the voice to create positive touchpoints will motivate and allow your business to give recognition for outstanding customer service.

Clarify the touchpoints your business should be implementing

When starting your customer journey begin with clarifying touchpoints which everyone in your business can agree upon. Touchpoints include your collateral, brochures, website, social media channels, email nurturing, telemarketing, customer service, appointment setting, customer communications, contact process and telesales. Once your touchpoints

are outlined it’s time to refine the voice you want to convey across every point of customer interaction. This voice should create a coherent, integrated and professional feel throughout your customer journey.

So, is your customer journey good enough?

If you’re struggling to answer this question, then it’s likely that your customer journey could be improved. There are very few companies that have got their customer journey down to a T but giving it the attention and resource it deserves, will see return on that investment.

So how does Air come in?

At Air, we are able to offer outsourced expertise to generate leads, set appointments, and even use our qualified sales team to convert these leads into paying clients. The Air process for partnering with clients opens the conversation around your customer journey and touchpoints. Our aim is to get under the skin of your company so that when we speak to your leads or clients, the experience they receive is aligned to the rest of your customer journey adding to their experience.

Sound interesting? Want to find out more?

Get in touch and let’s discuss how we can help you achieve your goals. Find out more here www.air-marketing.co.uk or call us on 0333 270 6616.

Is lead nurturing worth the investment?

Leads are the lifeblood of any B2B business. Some businesses are extremely talented in generating sales leads, others have expertise in different areas so may outsource this to Business Development companies such as us at Air. Whichever method you use to generate these vital leads, what happens if they aren’t ready to engage with your product or service?

 

According to Brian Carroll, author of Lead Generation for the Complex Sale, up to 95% of qualified prospects on your website are there to research and are not yet ready to talk with a sales rep. Unfortunately, when many companies get a lead that is not ready to buy right away, the lead then tends to get forgotten about, this results in the 70% who would eventually buy from you finding their solution through one of your competitors.

 

It has become apparent that many marketers are wasting their lead generation efforts by failing to nurture leads which aren’t ready to purchase straight away. This is something that doesn’t make sense, as a marketer you are wasting resource in both time and money doing this.

 

Today, successful B2B marketers excel by implementing a lead nurturing strategy which grows and retains their business. This strategy is making it harder for your competitors to land the leads that you have worked so hard to generate. The reason behind lead nurturing is that you can’t force a prospect to buy on their first touchpoint, in fact, stats suggest 10 touchpoints are necessary before conversion, as you also can’t afford to lose your prospect from your funnel. Lead nurturing is an investment strategy in which you build a relationship with the leads you’ve generated – this is achieved through the creation of relevant and personalised communication which adds value to your lead.

 

Lead nurturing may sound like a long game, but the reward is worth the investment…

According to Forrester, CSO Insights, Marketo and many other big players:

  • Lead nurturing generates 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost per lead
  • Reducing the percent of marketing-generated leads being ignored by sales (from as high as 80% to as low as 25%)
  • Raises closings on marketing-generated leads (7% points higher) and reduce “no decisions” (6% points lower).
  • Allows more sales representatives to make their quota (9% higher) and decrease (by 10%) the ramp-up time for new reps

 

Have you tried lead nurturing for your business? If you like the sound of what this process could bring to your business, but you don’t have the capacity to fulfil the process in-house – talk to us!

We work with companies all over the UK and further afield to make the most of every single opportunity that is available to your business. From lead generation, lead nurturing, follow-up calls and inside sales closing calls – we can look after a section of the process or the whole process for you.

Get in touch today to find out how we can help your business – we look forward to speaking to you.

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

 

GDPR – opportunity for telemarketing

This May the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect across the European Union. The new legal requirements have been designed to improve transparency between businesses and their clients, strengthening the control individuals have over their personal data.

It’s safe to say that the new regulations have implemented a major change in the way marketers and sales teams approach their work and how organisations obtain, store, manage and process the personal data of their EU clients.

A couple of decades ago, data in digital marketing referred to simple things like demographics and response rates.

Today, living in an interconnected world, data enables marketers to predict customer behaviour, create targeted campaigns, build brands, and drive development and sales.

However, as GDPR came into place marketers immediately became concerned that they were going to become restricted in their ability to target individual customers based on personal data collection, slowing database growth therefore shaking up the digital landscape.

 

At Air we see GDPR differently

From our experience here at Air we are looking at GDPR differently, not as an issue but as an opportunity.  Instead asking the question, how can we better engage with those who share a legitimate business interest and make more of those who are looking for our services?

GDPR is pushing us to reassess how we perform market research and understand how we can help those who need our products and services.

As telemarketers we know person to person communication is the most effective method when understanding prospect needs, situation and pain points.

 

How Air telemarketing and GDPR can help build your database:

  • Building your pipeline by creating bespoke campaigns that really talk to your prospects.
  • Generating sales by using a tailored approach.
  • Increasing revenue by engaging the decision makers.

There are no restrictions in place that limit us contacting prospects who you share a legitimate business interest with. In fact, by avoiding contacting huge irrelevant mailing lists and focusing solely on contacting prospects that have a shared interest means we will be having more conversations of worth on your behalf and you will see better results from your telemarketing because of this.

GDPR is pushing all of us to be more transparent and personable, this can only build stronger relationships that grow your database and increase your revenue.

 

Apprehensive about telemarketing? It’s ok you’re not the only one

At Air we understand that you may feel apprehensive when investing in a telemarketing strategy, however with the new regulations in place we believe it’s one of the best ways to make the most of your relevant data and really engage with your prospects. As a company that already prides itself on transparency, we provide the following to keep you in the loop:

  • Live time reporting accessible at any time by clients
  • Involvement in strategy building and training by the clients directly
  • Regular feedback from your campaign manager
  • Direct contact with the team making calls
  • Digital call recordings requested as often and many as you would like

 

If you’d like to find out more information on how Air Marketing Group can help you post GDPR get in touch. GDPR isn’t an issue, it’s an opportunity!

Welcoming Roots to Market to the Air Marketing Group

Air Marketing Group are delighted to launch their new sister company, Roots to Market.

Air has seen exponential growth in the 2 years since their launch in 2016 and their ever-growing client base were often looking for other marketing services that could be provided to them within the group. Sensing a fantastic opportunity to help their clients with the full marketing and sales demand creation process, Roots to Market was created.

Verity Wootton, joined the team in January to head up the launch of this new company. Verity is a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and has worked in both agency and in-house marketing teams for recognisable brands. Verity strives on developing commercially savvy marketing strategies and campaigns and seeing the impact that they make on a business.

Roots to Market is a full service marketing partner, giving their clients access to a whole range of marketing services under one roof. Whether clients are looking for assistance and guidance from scratch or require help executing activity against a strategy – Roots to Market can help clients achieve their aims.

The Roots to Market team are focused on delivering scientifically devised marketing carried out creatively. As an outsourced marketing partner, they are able to offer client’s scalable flexibility, the ability to test new ideas, dive into data and really understand what works for customers, and much more.

“We are delighted to see Roots to Market officially launch. A number of our Air clients have already started working with Verity and her team and have been delighted that we are now able to offer these services all within one group. I am extremely excited about being able to offer full marketing and sales demand creation to our clients.” Owen Richards, MD of Air Marketing Group.

To find out more about Roots to Market take a look at their website or get in touch to find out how we could help you on 01392 796702.

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.