How to find your perfect data/lead supplier

If you run a busy outbound call centre, your supply of fresh, quality data is just about the most important thing to get right. Even the best dialler in the world (Blue Telecoms, cough…) won’t function without good data/leads – leaving your entire business at risk.

So how do you find quality data? There are some extremely good vendors out there, many which we’ve been lucky to work with in the past; however, there are more poor quality vendors than ever – typically lurking on social media.

Here are out top tips on obtaining good data or leads:

1. Decide exactly what you need.

Leads and data aren’t a one size fits all solution. What works in one vertical, just won’t fly at all if you apply the same ideas elsewhere.

In general, there are a few different types of data/leads:

  • B2C – Consumer data on people/households.
  • B2B – Business data, often with details about the main decision maker within the company.
  • HotKey – “Hot to trot” leads that have been previously warmed by a telemarketing/sales company. These are typically live transferred into your contact centre.
  • Web Leads – Leads driven by the internet that can take many forms, with differing quality.

The type of data you require, depends much on what you’re trying to achieve:

  • Leg-work, are you focusing on end of sales funnel conversions, or the beginning? Or are you attempting to vertically integrate your whole sales funnel?
    Are you a cold calling centre? Or do your agents focus mainly on inbound/warmed outbound leads.
  • Cost, some companies may not have the budget/experience to create their own web-leads or hotkeys.
  • Our advice, is to think carefully about where your business fits into the customer journey. One you understand this, the type of data you require will become clear.

2. Vetting data/leadgen companies.

Reputable leadgen/data companies will abide by the law and any regulations, GDPR being a recent example. To spot these companies is easy, once you understand what to look for:

  • Ask colleagues/staff who have experience within the area.
  • Look for companies that have existed for years (Domain Registration Age, Companies House, Better Business Bureau).
  • Look for positive reviews/experience of the company on social media. LinkedIn being a good example.
  • Look for examples the company have invested in the business (A good quality website, NGN service numbers, Business email).
  • If you’re a current client of Blue Telecoms, we can help you discover your perfect data provider through our range of contacts.

3. Assessing quality and avoiding pitfalls.

It’s always worth checking the quality of data/leads your supplier brings in. The world of leads isn’t static, meaning that a supplier who was formerly great – can loose their way over time.

The main warning signs to look out for are:

  • Old data packaged up as fresh data. In these instances your agents will come across deceased prospects or people no longer at the address. If your agent begin to notice incorrect details feedback, it’s a sure sign your data isn’t as fresh as it should be.
  • Overnight web leads packaged as daytime hot leads. It’s almost always cheaper to bid on PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns during the night, rather than during the day. For these reasons, some supplier will look to bulk leads out by obtaining them during the early hours of the morning. Unfortunately, these leads will be stone cold by the morning. To combat this, look out for a flurry of web leads in the opening hour of each day. Many of these leads won’t answer and/or the person can’t remember putting the lead through.

If you are looking for an outbound dialler, or want to chat about data – Get In Touch with the team today!

Telesales campaigns: How to avoid a negative brand impression

Once your company has acquired a negative impression, it’s extremely hard to recover from. This is even more damaging when that first impression is with a potential client. Telesales professionals are usually the first point of contact with prospective clients, so ensuring your team understands how to avoid negative impressions will be a be huge help to your marketing goals.

Being too pushy

If there’s one aspect of sales that business owners hate more than anything, it’s pushy agents. Simply diving into the pitch without any groundwork or rapport building with your prospect is going to grate many people straight away. Even just a minute or two getting to know the prospect will go along way to create a positive impression of your brand.

Lack of knowledge

The decision maker within a company is always busy, so if they believe your sales staff are wasting their time – they’ll quickly form the opinion of your entire business model as “time wasting”. To prevent this is easy, ensure your agents understand the product, where it fits into the industry and how it can genuinely help the prospect.

Lack of questioning

Asking questions and genuinely trying to understand a prospects business is a great way to build a good impression. If your telesales team isn’t attempting to engage prospects in two-way conversation, sales will suffer as a result.

It’s not just about creating a good impression either. By asking questions, you may come across opportunities to solve an issue for your prospect and/or an opportunity to up-sell. This demonstrates that the agent genuinely wants to help the prospect, improving the lead outcomes of your telesales campaigns.

To achieve this, think about why you’re calling your company list. Once you understand why, you can communicate exactly how your product will help.

Pushing for a sale, instead of letting it happen

Prospects rarely become clients after a short period of time, especially within the B2B arena. It usually takes a number of interactions between a prospect and seller before a sale occurs – the relationship warming with every conversation.

Many sales people focus on the imminent sales volume they have to provide, rather than longer term goals. This can sometimes lead to a genuine sale being cast asside, as the sales person identifies a sale won’t occur quickly.

At Blue Telecoms, we often have clients that are known of for a number of months before purchasing. Every conversation or interaction with our brand warms the lead up until they’re ready to take the plunge!

This is completely normal behaviour in B2B sales and something to be nurtured!

Unknowledgeable telemarketers

Telesales agents need to be able to answer any questions thrown at them. There’s nothing more frustrating for a decision maker, than being on the phone to someone who’s trained to sell, rather than in the product range they offer. Ideally, agents should be knowledgable about the product, the industry they work within and what key competitors look like. Even just a small amount of knowledge can go along way with decision makers, helping them identify that you’re not there to waste time.

Looking for a predictive, power and manual dialler system? See how our call centre dialler could help you increase your productivity.

Effective closing technique during B2B telesales calls.

In B2B marketing, using old fashioned techniques like ‘the puppy dog’, ‘good cop, bad cop’ and ‘impending doom’ is frowned upon. Your decision maker probably knows of these techniques and will be frustrated that they can’t have a good conversation with you.

Hopefully, the ground work has already been done before the final close. The decision maker understands exactly what the USP of your product is and understands exactly how it’s going to benefit their business. If you need a more reliable and professional way of finishing your calls, here are some top tips from the Blue Telecoms team.

 

 

 

 

Rely on quality

Your first role as a telesales agent, is to understand your product intimately. The more you understand your product and its place in the market, the easier it will be to handle any objections. Those who run the sales floor, effective training in telemarketing techniques and your product will make your tram more capable of closing out calls professionally.

The Sum up

A really good way of rounding off a sales call, is to simple run over all the points covered during the discussion. You can use this chance to run over the objections the decision make has and the solutions your business has come up with the solve them.

You can also run over any cost advantages, or ways in which the product is about to make their life easier.

End with a question

Ending with a question is a great way of closing off a conversation. Simply ask if your prospect has anything else they would like to know, or even simply what they think about the product. Asking questions shows you’re genuinely interested in solving problems and also gives you an opportunity to resolve any further objections.

Being honest

In many cases, especially during B2B calls you’ll be dealing with someone who’s already busy. Instead of closing a call slowly, being honest and stating that you’ve taken up enough of their time and you’d like to know if they’re interested in what you’ve discussed.

Most decision makers have a lengthy list of issues they need to solve. If you’re lucky, your product may actually suit one of those tasks – in which case a completed lead/sales is likely. B2B sales often take longer than B2C, yet if you just happen to make contact at the right time – you’ll complete far quicker.

For an experienced telesales agent, they’ll spot the signs that being honest and quick is the way forward.

Why Telesales is still your most potent marketing tool

Since the new Millennium, the internet has grown to dominate B2B and B2C marketing. Between Pay Per Click, Social Media and Email, online marketing is responsible for millions of converted sales around the world. Incredibly powerful, virtually ubiquitous and versatile, the internet has transformed sales strategies forever.

Even so, there’s still one old school method of driving sales that cannot be beaten: the humble telephone. The telephone is a tried and tested part of the sales toolkit and a great way to canvass clients during the early part of the sales journey. It’s also a great way to maintain a strong relationship with clients going forward.

If you’re still not convinced of the power of the telephone, here are a few reasons why this established sales tool is still the best there is.

Building Relationships

In B2B sales, developing strong relationships are everything. Even in large companies, it’s almost always a small number of individuals that make the final decision on acquiring new services or products. Even in the business world, people are far more likely to purchase goods or services that they already know of. Most B2B sales occur after a period of time has passed – enough time for a relationship to have formed between the two companies.

To help form these relationships, the telephone is king. It’s much easier to get to know a person via the phone and gauge personality than by email. Even more, telephone conversations can expand and contract, covering more ground in quicker time than email.

Developing Trust

When we speak to someone over the phone, we automatically analyse everything they say, the subtleties of their tone of voice, as well as the words they actually use, to decide exactly what the person we’re speaking to means and to decide whether or not they’re trustworthy. The more we speak to someone, the more trustworthy we’re likely to believe they are. Companies that trust a supplier are much more likely to do business with them, both initially and in the long term.

Showing commitment

Emails are easy to type and send off to prospects; however, they’re also far easier to ignore – the average Click Through Rate being a woeful 1-4%. In comparison, telephone calls take more effort and are harder to ignore. That’s not to say that telephone calls don’t have their own issues with gatekeepers, TPS or anti spam apps, but once you find the correct person, it shows a commitment to your on going business relationship and demonstrates your company values the personal touch.

Personal, professional and direct, the telephone is a confident and powerful sales tool. To find out how out range of VOIP and dialler products could fit into your sales strategy – give our team a call today.

4 Steps steps for hiring the best telemarketing staff

Like most businesses, your staff are the most important part of running a telemarketing campaign. Talented staff, who want to perform well can make a huge difference to the success of a project. Not only do good staff sell better, they’ll help you formulate your message to keep increasing your conversion rate long term.

However, finding good staff is not an easy task. It takes time and a solid plan to discover people that will help propel your business forward. With this in mind, here are the top tips we use to fill telemarketing vacancies.

1. Don’t look for sellers at first, focus on carers.

The most important part of telesales, is understanding the needs of the people you canvass. By employing people who focus only on sales targets or bonuses, you’ll end up with staff who want to create leads, rather than paying customers. The first warning sign that this is happening, comes when the lead to sale conversion rate drops dramatically. By employing staff who care, you’ll find that more leads will convert to fully fledged sales, as your lead generators will actively want to help their clients – rather than add another tick to the daily sales sheet!

Tip: Sellers will sell you a leads, Carers will help nurture a fully converted sale.

2. Ask the right questions at the start.

Asking the right questions of your candidate at the beginning of your hiring process will boost recruitment. At Blue Telecoms, we use situational questions to try and reveal a little of the candidates own personality. By leaving a question open, such as “Tell me about a time you needed to make sales”, you can allow your candidate to open up about their unique talents and achievements.

What we would always steer away from, is asking questions that will result in a rehearsed response. “Tell me how you achieve sales targets”, is likely to result in a well rehearsed and used answer.

Tip: Think about asking questions that will let your candidate open up about themselves.

3. Look for those who can last the course.

Telemarketing, is a hugely tiring role. To be successful, agents need to maintain a high speed whilst ensuring their prospects are looked after. By looking for staff who have a track record in staying at telemarketing roles for a period of time, you’ll discover staff who can give each and every call 100% – regardless of the time of day.

Tip: Telesales is a tiring job! Always look for the candidates who’ll last the course!

4. Personality and passion for the job

People with personality, passion and persistence will stand out immediately at the interview, filling the space with their confidence and charisma. These people tend to lift entire teams, helping your sales floor maintain momentum throughout the week.

If you can find people who are naturally positive, engaging and enthusiastic, and who enjoy being part of a team, you’ll be well on your way to building an unbeatable telemarketing force.

Tip: Personality and passion will always perform better!

Telefundraising – 5 Important Tips

Telemarketing for non-profits/charities is something of an art form. Sure, you need to raise as much money as you can; however, you can’t be as pushy in comparison to traditional B2C or B2B products. If you make the wrong move when carrying out your fundraising plans, you can risk loosing donors completely – even damaging your charities good name in the process.

With these important things in mind, here are our tips for telefundraising the correct way – keeping your supporters happy!

Don’t Call The Same Person At The Same Time Every Day

Our first rule is one that should be employed by all telemarketing services. Nobody wants to be pestered at the same time each day with the same pitch. When it comes to telefundraising, some prior thought and a little empathy should be used.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try your best to maximise the value derived from each donor; however, it’s also important to realise when you’ve overcooked your efforts. When you spot situations like this, it’s always better to switch up your routine and also consider letting donors “cool down” before attempting any further canvassing.

Don’t Use A Bland Telephone Fundraising Script

Telemarketing agents who sound like they’re reading from a script are the worst – even more so when it’s regarding an important issue such as charitable work! At best, the phonecalls are boring to listen to – at their worst it sounds like your charity is going through the motions!

For this reason, ensuring your scripts are matched specifically to the type of people you’re trying to convert is important. Your agents should also be able to match their tone and speach to the person they’re talking to, helping to nurture a connection between two people who care about the charity and its work.

Don’t forget to tell your supporters exactly how their donation is going to help.

Don’t Forget To Tell Them Exactly What Their Money Will Be Doing

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” This phrase comes from a famous Simon Sinek TED Talk and marketers have used it as their dogma for years. The same principle applies towards nonprofit fundraising.

When people donate, it’s usually because they have a personal connection to the work being carried out. Whether it’s a dog shelter, or a large mission to provide help to a displaced people – your donors will always want to know:

  • Who – Who are they helping.
  • What – What the charity wants to achieve.
  • Why – What problems are happening right now.
  • When – Is this a long term project? Or is it a short term project to solve an immediate issue.

Just by thinking about the who, what, where and why, you can make a huge difference to your pitch. It lets your donors feel good about their donations, as well as adding some authenticity to your work.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” – A famous Simon Sinek quote that’s important for third sector fundraisers.

Don’t Only Ask For Money

People donate for all sorts of reasons, yet by only asking them for cash with each interaction – you could easily disenchant them with your organisation.

The important goal with fundraising, is to help your donors understand how their money has helped out in the past – whilst keeping them motivated to help in the future. Many charities try to foster a community around their brand, by sending out mailers detailing the work they’ve been carrying out and/or some of the real wins they’ve achieved.

Guide Dogs UK keep their supporter base frequently updated.

One charity that gets this perfectly, is Guide Dogs UK. They frequently send supporters “pupdates”, which let them know about the people they’ve helped. The UK Green Party is also extremely good at this too – letting their members know about times they’ve been able to alter government policy for the better.

Don’t Forget To Thank Them

All your supporters want to feel appreciated. Just by thanking your donors with each interaction, you’ll show how grateful you are for each donation. It’s shocking that some charities don’t even consider this; those who do standing out from the crowd!

To achieve this, you can send an automated thank-you email to each supporter who comes on board, or increases their support. The Blue Telecoms Dialler can achieve this easily – we can even send specific content depending on what’s important to your supporter base.

To find out more please Get in Touch.

Fixing Common Habits When Cold Calling

Understanding how to conduct a cold calling campaign is a huge part of telemarketing. As one of the most challenging parts of the job, learning how to get better at cold calling will often bring great results and drive your business towards its goals. For most businesses, cold calling is a great way to jumpstart your outreach and grow your your brand recognition.

Learning exactly what to say during your calls, and how to come across to potential clients will directly improve your telesales performance. To get you started, here are our tips on getting off on the right path.

  1. Don’t Announce Your Call

One thing that people do when starting their career as a telesales agent, is to announce yourself and the company to everyone who answers the call. In some cases, this comes from a place of “not wanting the inconvinience people”. The best way to approach the early part of your call, is to ask for the specific person you need to speak to – you can introduce yourself and the company later.

Announcing who you represent straight away, can sometimes give an impression of pushy sales tactics too. This is a tactic well known to receptionists or gatekeepers, who will use the information you provide to shut down the conversation before it’s started.

The less information you give during the early parts of your call, the more likely it is that you’ll be passed to the relevant person to pitch to.

  1. Assume The Right To Speak To The Decision Maker

Gatekeepers are highly skilled in giving telemarketers the boot; spotting any lack of confidence you might have during the early parts of your call. By approaching a cold call by believing you’re a nuisance, you’re automatically going to be percieved as such by any receptionist.

By assuming that you not only have a divine right to call the client, but also have a great product that’s crying out to be talked about – you’ll feel more confident about cold calling. In these cases, you’re more likely to pass through any objections.

  1. Expect To Succeed

Sales is as much of a mental pursuit as a physical one. Thinking positively, your tone of voice and conversation will come across in a far more positive way. Prospects will almost always respond more positively to this – even if they’re not quite ready to close now.

Overview

All the above tips are based around positive mental attitude. Half the battle with telesales, is approaching the game with the right mindset – and a willingness to learn. Everything else will come naturally.

Why do B2B buyers say no? And what can we do to fix it?

If your business operates in the B2B world, you’ll have heard the word “no” more than you’d ever like to during your career. Of course, “no” is almost never a hard objection; just a sign that your prospect isn’t quite ready to take the plunge with your service.

At the start, potential clients are concerned about the product, service or even the way it’s being presented. An experienced salesperson understands this, and is constantly tweaking their pitch to help push the product forward as best as they can. In all these circumstances, it pays to understand why the prospect doesn’t want to move forward – and help them feel more confident in doing so.

For the good salesperson, asking the right questions in the first place is a priority. By the time they get to the close, they understand enough about what the prospect needs; dealing with any objections they may have too. Sales qualification is a hugely powerful tool, taking some time to understand your prospects pains, fears and wishes – before you even get to the crunch!

For companies who seem to be getting nowhere, here’s our guide to objections no company should receive. If you’re still getting these, you need to tweak your sales processes.

Call Centre Staff
  1. “We can’t afford it.”

As always, pricing is a common theme you’ll need to deal with in order to close a deal. According to experts, the ideal time to mention pricing, is about 10 – 15 minutes into a sales call – or about 60% of the way through. They also discovered that pricing should be touched upon 3 to 4 times during an average sales call.

  1. “I need to consult my boss.”

At first glance, this can appear like the perfect objection; however, in the B2B world, purchasing decisions are rarely the product of one persons work. The average number of people involved in decision making within a business has climbed steadily over the years – to about 8 in 2018. Frequently, these 8 people can come from all areas of a business – with different roles and levels to boot.

What this means in reality, is that “I need to consult my boss”, is more of an opportunity to discover the real decision makers within a business. You can easily role this into your early questioning to discover who the key players are – ensuring that the later stages of your discusion are with those who genuinely can close the deal for you.

  1. “I’m happy with things the way they are.”

Sometimes, this is used as a blanket “cover all” objection to avoid dealing with you outright – due to budget, authority or percieved need. This isn’t always true though, sometimes pointing towards a message that doesn’t really ring true with your client base. One of the most important things to have in B2B marketing, is a solid overview of the issues affecting your clients, and what steps could be taken to make your product serve those needs.

Sometimes, your product may actually be the perfect solution to your cients needs; however, if the sales message doesn’t accurately reflect this, your prospects may never realise how much they could benefit. How do you discover this? It’s easy, you just need to ask the right questions, and ensure that you’re collecting that data so you can draw inferences – tweaking your pitch and product ver time.

Are You Talking to the Right People?

By using the tips above, and also thinking about how your clients interact with your business, you can make huge improvements to your sale conversions. If you’re considering making your first moves into the B2B world and need a dialler you can trust – give Blue Telecoms a call today.

Loss & Gain, Understanding customer factors when buying

There are two huge factors when people make a buying decision: the want to gain something, and also the fear of loosing out. When making a purchase, people mostly look to weigh up any benefits they might gain from a product, with anything that might cost them in terms of money, time or anything else they feel is important at the time.

If you want to boost your sales, it’s vitally important that you realise this process of weighing up gains and losses.

Call Centre Staff

The Fear Of Loss

Most sales people agree that tapping into fear of loss is one of the biggest psycological plays they can make during a sale. For most humans, the worry of loosing something important, completely outweighs the joy of gaining something new.

There are a couple of ways this can work:

  • Fear of loosing out on a great deal.
  • Fear of loosing financially (Redundancy, Getting a poor deal, Missing out due to a timeframe).
  • Fear of loosing something important personally (Family, Friends).

The way you use this during the sales process can work in two ways. Either you need to reassure a prospect that any sale will lead to a possitibe outcome for them (Always gaining) – or alternatively, you can point out the losses that could arrise from not taking a deal (Lack of insurance, Loosing out on a great offer).

You’ll almost certainly come across objections during this process, but focusing on the positive outcomes that you product provides is the most powerful way to push your product and close the sale.

Call Centre Dialler

The Desire To Gain

The first thing to realise about gain, is that it can take many forms. Some decision makers might focus entirely on the price/benefits, whilst others might focus on other issues – like brand identity or the status ownership of a product might have. With products such as mortgages or insurance, security is also a tangible gain that customers will get.

To sell a gain, you need to approach each prospect seperately, understanding what gains are most important to them. Once you have this information, you can continue to emphasis these benefits to try and mitigate any fear of loss they might have.

Understanding Motivation

To make good use of fear/loss as a sale technique, your telesales staff need to quickly understand what a prospect views as important early on. By building rapport with a client, they’ll soon figure out what’s important, what’s not and how they can tailor their pitch to match.

By making a few tweaks, your staff can improve the quality of their calls hugely – hopefully giving their overall conversion rate a boost too.

Choosing hold music that won’t drive your clients mad!

Hold music is one oh those annoying parts of modern life. Everyone has had experience of listening to awful hold music – all whilst wondering just how long they’re going to be kept waiting for! It’s a daily occurrence that fills most people with dread!

Studies have shown that the type of hold music you deploy, can have a huge impact on your customers mood by the time they reach and agent. Some experts have even started to suggest that poor quality hold music is an example of bad service.

Why do companies get on-hold music so wrong?

So Why Are Companies Getting It So Wrong?

Given the importance that customers place on holding music, why are so many companies so slow to get it right? Some companies, obsessively try to push “cool” music as part of their hold function – mobile phone and tech companies are particularly guilty of this; however, there’s one thing they all tend to miss.

Even if you manage to implement a system that plays a mix of old and new songs, lovingly curated to keep your customers entertained – the sound quality of most phones will likely result in a horrible experience for the end user.

Telephones Are Not Radios

The main issue with hold music, is that phones aren’t designed to playback with the same audio quality as MP3’s, CD’s or even radio. To ensure everyones conversations can travel through the phone network, the audio quality will inevitably be lowered to keep everything running smoothly.

Compare this to a service like Skype, where the audio quality is crystal clear and you could genuinely play a record – hearing every part of the song as the musician intended.

For normal phone calls, this drop in quality isn’t important. Most phone conversations occur within a standard frequency range – anything outside of this isn’t important – and this is exactly what gets cut.

Hold Music, Done The Right Way

To deploy your hold music the right way, there are a couple of simple rules to follow. If you keep in mind the limitations of phone lines, and stick to simplicity – you’ll soon make holding for an agent as pain free as possible.

  1. Keep it simple – Try to use simple pieces of electronic or acoustic music inside your hold function. Try to avoid overly loud pieces or singing, as this can cause an issue known as clipping. Try to listen to an entire song all the way through before choosing it, listening carefully for loud endings or choruses.
  2. Keep it licensed – The last thing you need as a business owner is to be hit with a large bill for copyright infringement. If you do use a piece of music, always license it and/or gain the permission of the artists behind it. You can check the status of songs by visiting the PRS Website.
  3. Listen to the song – And by listen to it, we mean all the way to the end. Some songs will be particularly loud in certain sections – leading to the clipping issues noted above.
  4. Don’t make assumptions – No, classical pieces don’t always sound sophisticated, and modern pop music won’t always make your brand appear cool too!

Lengthy Hold Times Aren’t Great Anyway!

At the end of the day, lengthy hold times won’t make for happy customers – regardless of the song they listen to. There are plenty of ways to ensure your customers get through to the correct agent for their needs, such as IVR systems or inbound routing.

Another interesting piece of technology, and something that comes as standard with the Blue Telecoms dialler, is a messaging system that lets your customers know exactly where they are in the queue. A customer is far less likely to drop if they know they’re 2nd in the queue.

If you’re not 100% certain what’s achievable with regard to hold music and inbound routing, give our friendly team a call – we’ll be happy to assist you.