When it comes to the art of sales and marketing, there is an almost gravitational level pull towards the theory that more equals better. More data, more contacts, more emails, and more calls must OBVIOUSLY mean more leads and more business!
After all, sales is at the sharp end with targets to hit and bonuses to be won, so it’s imperative to give your sales folk the best possible chances to succeed. After all, the more the merrier… right?
In our view, no. When the sales process is technical and/or highly involved as is often the case in the manufacturing industry, it’s far better to take a targeted approach to deliver results.
Here are our top five tips to consider when collaborating with your in-house telemarketing team or working with an agency.
Breakdown your data into manageable, highly focused subsets. It’s tempting to think that one manufacturer will be facing the same issues as the next, but one size definitely does not fit all, so this is a step worth taking.
Doing your research into industry trends and issues and honing in on what matters will enable operators to really drill into the specific context facing your prospects. That knowledge will then influence messaging and will greatly enhance the ability to understand and overcome objections.
Take this a stage further by preparing collateral and content for specific situations and adjust as you have conversations that unearth new knowledge. This all helps to build rapport and increase engagement. And that leads to positive calls and positive outcomes!
It’s something of a mantra here at Bollin Green to ensure that we don’t overlook quick-win opportunities. And this should be part of your data preparation too.
Whether that’s lapsed opportunities, lost business recalls or contacts that are already in your sales funnel, prospects that are pre-engaged should take priority.
This sounds like an absolute no-brainer, but it’s surprising how often we hear of campaigns being carried out where the operators don’t know what they’re selling.
Overcoming this is simple enough, it just requires time. Get your operators and the people who sell and work with your products/solutions together. Have the sales team sell to your operators so they can experience the sales framework and how that might translate to a call structure.
At Bollin Green we carry out an in-depth discovery session involving both clients and operators actually making the calls. This provides the confidence to talk knowledgeably about the product/solution and we’re often told that operators essentially become part of the client’s team.
Next, delve into customer personas. Ensure your agents really know who is buying from you and what makes them tick. Look at the top three personas and work through each one in turn so you have multiple conversational paths to choose from when talking to people on the phone.
Finally, find out what key information should be collected in a call, what information would help in developing a pipeline, what actually constitutes a lead, and what signs or information would make a prospect out of scope. After all, there’s no point in wasting time and effort on someone who is never going to buy from you.
It’s all too easy to think that telemarketing is a fairly linear process with simple inputs and outputs. You make calls, you get leads. Job done.
In practice that’s rarely the case. What’s required is a clearly defined process for managing callbacks to be able to move prospects forward and down the funnel. This is particularly important when the sale cycle is long and/or complicated.
This also ties in neatly with tip 2 on this list. Warm leads perform better so good process is critical to ensuring you stay on top of pending actions.
The final step in the process is handing over a lead from an operator to the sales team and again, while this sounds simple enough, the definition of a lead means different things to different people – even within the same business.
It’s therefore important to agree on what a lead means in your own situation and how to hand that over. What information should (and needs to be) included? Who receives the information and what are their next steps. All parties have to understand what the lead represents in terms of an opportunity.
And on the occasions when a lead is not deemed suitable, it’s vitally important to understand why. Only that way can your processes become more robust.
Our manufacturing industry knowledge means we’re perfectly placed help you generate leads, set appointments and manage sales pipelines. We’d love to talk to you about how we can help
your manufacturing business. To arrange an introductory conversation, click here, or call 01625 626209 today.