Fri, June 28, 2013
Is outsourcing an option?
DINO FORTE propounds the merits of contracting out lead generation to keep your sales team on the road.
ONE OF THE BIGGEST challenges for you, as a sales leader, is how to maximise the pipe and ensure that your team is spending as much time as possible in front of customers. But with salespeople quite often reluctant to pick up the phone or complaining that they are distracted by other tasks, you may need to explore initiatives that will help keep appointment diaries full, so that less time is spent in the office and more on closing opportunities. It makes little or no sense to put your high earners on tasks that could be much better and more cheaply done by those whose job it is to do this day in day out. In contrast, in a telemarketing agency where high volumes of outbound calls are made on a daily basis, the atmosphere is more conducive to achieving higher levels of success. Equally the technology available to outsourced suppliers of telemarketing means that more potential contacts can be made in a shorter period of time. After all, it’s not unusual to have to make up to 10 calls to get through to a relevant decision-maker. You need to weigh up whether it is practical for your sales team to achieve these figures, or if their time could be re-allocated to attending appointments, preparing proposals and winning deals. On average, an outsourced lead generation campaign should be able to deliver twice the results of a conventional sales team. But it may not be right for every company. For instance in a smaller company the best person to sell on the phone could be the MD or company owner. Equally, if it is a highly complex product or service, then there is no substitute for experts with years of knowledge to draw on. Also, telemarketing is unlikely to pay off in B2C markets, which have simply become too saturated â€“ here, you need to encourage consumers to call you. Of course, if you are unsure, you can simply set up a trial without any long-term commitments. You might even want to test a new market before employing additional sales personnel. If you decide to outsource, the next challenge is to pick the right company. Ideally look for some industry experience, although it is the calibre of sales staff that will be the real differentiator. Like choosing any supplier, check credentials and look for evidence of results for similar campaigns. Once up and running the only way that you can measure their ability is to judge how well the lead is qualified â€“ is there a need identified and a propensity to buy? You cannot expect any more; the rest is up to the sales team to convert.