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What is the single biggest threat to any marketing campaign?
Is it time, money or the quality of the end result?
Time, Cost and Quality is a delicate balance – you can’t change one without changing the other. That’s why, when planning your campaign it makes sense to set expectations at the outset.
In an ideal world we all want the best results for the lowest cost and we want it yesterday. In order to achieve this, would it be sensible to just set our expectations lower?
Well, don’t lower the bar just yet! The key is to set expectations within your team at the very start and then have an agreed strategy that everybody has bought into on how to deal with problems as and when they arise.
Whether you manage all your marketing activity in-house or you work with an external agency, these fundamental principles of setting expectations should apply. What often complicates the marketing and sales process is the number of stakeholders involved in the mix, all with different expectations. The quality and frequency of sales leads will always be a bone of contention for sales people and sales management whereas finance teams and senior managers will be more concerned with the cost of sales and getting a good ROI. This is why communication and the management of expectation are so important in the marketing and sales environment. Without this coherence, strategies can soon go adrift and targets missed.
Take the scenario of a telemarketing appointment-setting campaign whereby telemarketers are making appointments for a team of sales people who operate in the field. It’s crucial that expectations should be established between the senior management team, the sales team and its marketing department/agency before the campaign launches. In the very first meeting, the following items should definitely be on the campaign management part of the agenda:
What is the budget for the campaign, what are the timescales and what are the objectives?
How will leads be qualified?
What is the average revenue that is expected to be generated from each lead that converts into business? How will conversion data be passed from sales to marketing to determine success?
What will the process for feedback between sales and marketing look like?
How many leads will need to be generated to ensure a successful ROI?
Is this volume of lead generation feasible given the remits of the campaign?
How will intelligence about customers be captured and used in the future?
If you start to obtain answers to these questions from the outset of your campaign then expectations of all the stakeholders can be managed effectively.
Managing Time, Cost and Quality
After setting marketing and sales expectations you shouldn’t expect to hit them over night. What’s important at the start of a campaign is that you’re measuring results, identifying improvements, and forging best practice. Once the campaign is in full swing you can start to hone in on what steps need to be taken to meet the objectives, and achieve the ROI you are looking for.
Time, cost and quality can be managed but it takes time, good communication and everybody who is involved in the process being on board with the game plan. That is why if you are thinking about outsourcing your marketing to an external agency you should find one that understands these issues and speaks the same sales and marketing language that you do.Posted in Blog | B2B Marketing Comments Off July 23, 2015
Some direct marketing campaign ideas look great on paper but when translated into reality, they fall some distance from the target. It doesn’t matter how clever and uncomplicated your solution is, if you can’t explain it in the right context for your target audience then you’re not going to have the conversions you’re looking for.
We’ve seen some disastrous examples where businesses have what they think is the perfect pitch to solve an obvious problem; however, when they pitch it, it’s all too much for the poor prospect and many of the key features and benefits are lost in the urgency of trying to generate a lead or secure an appointment. This leads to confusion from the prospect and the opposite of the desired effect – no sales lead and no appointments!
Slowly But Surely Wins the Race
This applies to all aspects of digital marketing as it affects both the language and the imagery you use to generate interest and build engagement. We have found that rather than rushing in with your pitch, all guns blazing, trying to amaze your prospects with your dazzling ideas, it’s slowly but surely that wins the race. It’s the classic hare and tortoise scenario. By slowly drip feeding your prospects information you nurture them taking them through awareness, consideration and evaluation of your proposition until they are ready to engage either via a phone call or face to face appointment.
Lead generation takes patience, persistence and a good degree of targeting. The development of a prospect into a customer will vary greatly depending on where they are in their sales cycle, that’s why nurturing your prospects with relevant and personalised content to engage their interest will keep you in front of mind when they are ready to buy.
From initial awareness of your sales proposition, to the careful delivery of informative material putting it in the right context for your prospect, you can start to build a relationship and influence the decision-making process from an early stage.
Nurturing your Prospects
In an increasingly competitive environment, nurturing your prospects is more important than ever. By adding value, simplifying your messages and tailoring your proposition to the needs of your prospects you can reinforce your company’s value and make sure that your pitch is heard and understood.
When the prospect is ready to speak to you in earnest about your proposition, you then have the opportunity to break it down further. By putting yourself in the customer’s shoes you can fully realise the ‘what’s in it for them?’ question and provide answers that don’t get lost in translation; securing a win/win situation for both parties.Posted in Info | Direct Marketing Comments Off July 16, 2015
Consider the Role of the Telemarketer
In a very brief space of time their role is to explain why they’re calling, engage interest and provoke enough intrigue for the person on the other end to keep listening. It’s pretty much the analogy of an ‘elevator pitch’ where in the time it takes for an elevator (or as we Brits call a lift!) to travel its distance, you need to have explained your proposition and gained interest from an often busy decision maker. A telemarketer has roughly 30 seconds to get their point across and if they fail, the opportunity will have gone.
Now consider having to do this 20 or more times a day, with people you’ve never spoken to before, trying to sound human every time and not coming across as a ‘typical salesperson’. Being able to achieve this is no mean feat and the much maligned telemarketer has to be able to step up to the plate every time and deliver their best. Now, we’re not looking for any sympathy here. When you become a telemarketer you know exactly what you’re getting into and it’s how you can hone your skills to become better at your 30 second pitch that is so important when it comes to getting those conversions. This is why successful telemarketers do so much preparation.
To master their pitch, telemarketer’s have to:
Know Their Audience – through a process of segmentation, profiling and customer insight, telemarketers do their homework first to find out about the company they’re ringing, who the decision-maker is, and how their proposition will fit their needs. When it comes to telemarketing, knowledge really is power. The more you know about the business you’re ringing, the more you can relate, adapt your approach and align the message.
Know Your Subject and Throw Away the Script – none of the above can be achieved with a script. Every customer is different and if you try to stick to a script, you will come across as stilted, unnatural, forced and insincere. Good telemarketers, who have done their homework, know all about the product and service they are talking about and how to think on their feet, be conversational and strike a rapport. For any telemarketer who is involved in B2B telemarketing, they know that to create a meaningful dialogue with a new prospect you have to be a good listener as well as a speaker. You have to pick up on what the customer is really saying and be able to adapt your style and approach accordingly to elicit the best response.
Add Value and Set Priorities – successful lead generation will often need more than a simple phone call. It will most likely involve a degree of warming up the prospect with content, listening to the prospect carefully so that you can follow up with further content via email and provide them with added value information. Your timing has to be right too. Hitting your prospects at the right time in their buying cycle and sending them information that will enable the decision-making process is all part of having a good strategy to nurture your prospects. Getting past the gatekeeper is a key part of this. Being blocked by receptionists and PAs is the bane of many a telemarketer’s life but with the right strategies and an ability to get them on your side, good telemarketers know how to bypass gatekeepers and speak to the person who can actually make the decisions.
What makes an Outstanding Telemarketer?
No telemarketer has ever learnt the above skills overnight. Good telemarketers can get leads or appointments, but outstanding telemarketers get more! Outstanding telemarketers work really hard and are supported with expert training which has helped them to hone their technique through role plays and to improve their performance through listening to recordings of their phone calls. An outstanding telemarketer will know the importance of immersing themselves in the company they are appointment setting for and making sure that they have a comprehensive understanding of their products, services and ethos. Outstanding telemarketers will always learn from the feedback they’re given and be able to take on board best practice approaches and new ideas. An outstanding telemarketer will know that an opportunity can be gone in 29.99 seconds, and they will always do their level best to make sure this doesn’t happen!
Just so you know GCL Direct only employ outstanding telemarketers (#justsaying).Posted in Blog, Info | telemarketing Comments Off ← Older posts