By Tracey McInnes, CEO, Procom Connections Limited
How do you make a delegate sales team effective? DATA, DATA, DATA, DATA, DATA!
You may have guessed that data is my soap-box subject but no matter how many times, I scream “data will make or break a telesales project”, marketers still provide out of date and untargeted databases and expect us to make it work.
Our clients are predominantly top conference and exhibition producers who rely heavily on telesales and telemarketing to populate B2B and consumer events. We work with these clients to provide a combination of outsourced telemarketing and help with their internal sales teams.
No matter the client, their sales people will always moan about the quality of the data and marketing will swear that they have the absolute best data at hand. They are both right in most cases. Marketers would get it if they had to call through the data that they provide, even if they spent a day or two sitting with their sales teams to understand their challenges.
Sales teams need qualified and targeted data to call if they are to be effective with their time while marketing people believe creating an endless database is the best use of their time and budget. Of course a large database is good if you are using email marketing or digital channels, as it does not cost too much.
In an ideal world a data qualification project should be conducted at the outset of the marketing cycle, before email marketing or anything else is executed. This will ensure that you are actually communicating with relevant people who are still in their roles/working at the company and with a valid email address and will make all forms of marketing more effective, especially telesales.
By the time the telesales team gets to call the data, they will find that the right contacts have been warmed up and are aware of the event and they are not going in completely cold and having to spend weeks building their pipeline.
All data should contain information about the company and contact and their relevance to your event. What does the company do? What is the person function/decision-making level? Country and region of the world is also very helpful when calling globally.
Data should then be flagged with priority levels to focus in on the best people to call first.
To be more effective, data should also be flowing seamlessly from digital campaigns to the sales teams and giving them a way of prioritising their data based on perhaps lead scores.
The combination of an outsourced resource and automated telesales/marketing technology is bringing many benefits to our clients. In some cases, we have provided the technology and consultancy to in-house sales teams along with our telesales agents who work with the internal team onsite initially. Once the internal team is utilising the software agents are up to speed on product knowledge, we bring them back into the office to be managed and monitored.
Ultimately if you makes more calls to more contacts, you will make more sales than those who are doing less, even when they are the slickest or smoothest sales people.
You just need good data, joined up data flow, excellent monitoring tools, well-motivated sales people calling the best data and, of course, some talent.