ARTICLE #1 IN A 6 ARTICLE SERIES
HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR DATABASE
If you read “6 Steps to Implementing a Telemarketing Campaign” (see “6 Steps to Implement a Telemarketing Campaign”) and want more detailed information, you have come to the right spot. The first step to a successful telemarketing campaign, especially when making cold calls, is to identify your database.
In building a new prospect database for an appointment setting or lead generation campaign, it is very important to think through and identify key demographics. Consider your thought process initially around how you would classify your “A-List” prospects. In most cases, you will be able to identify these companies. If you are not able to define an “A-List”, consider analyzing your existing customer base; one idea might be to mirror similar types of companies.
The following are common criteria used when building a telemarketing database:
- Geography – this can be as specific as zip code, radius, city, county, state, and beyond
- Industry type – this can be done by using SIC or NAICS codes, which allow you to specifically or generally select the type of businesses you want to reach
- Annualized revenue – this allows you to select revenue ranges/categories of the size of businesses that are the best fit for your company
- Employee count – as with #3, this allows you to select ranges/categories of employee numbers that are the best fit for your company (it is common to incorporate revenue and employee count to work in unison with each other)
- Facility type – this allows you to select corporate headquarters, single location, subsidiary, and/or branch location
There are a variety of other selection options; however, these are the five most commonly used for successful telemarketing results.
When using most web-based data tools, you can also gain access to the top executive name and title. Some tools allow you to select other contact names; but it is common to find these options fairly incomplete and not always updated. Having these names can help make a cold call feel more like a warm call. It will expedite the time it takes to reach your end goal, whether it is appointment setting, lead generation, or general business development.
If this is your first prospect database list, you might not be concerned about duplicate records. However, if you are building a list and you also have existing prospect lists, it is common to suppress your newly defined list against your current list; therefore, minimizing duplicate records. This is an important step if your existing list has been maintained and updated. Suppression steps are common when you are trying to expand your prospect database.
Depending upon your business, record count can vary. If there is a high record count, I recommend being more specific on criteria to become more exact on your “A-List”. This will allow you to purchase fewer records initially. You can always obtain the additional records later on. There is no need to purchase records today that you will not get around to calling for a period of time.
What do you do after you identify the database? You write a script. Scripts are another critical aspect of an effective telemarketing campaign. Check out our next article, “Writing a Script for a Telemarketing Campaign” , which details the process of script writing.