Quick Blitz Utilizing Telemarketing

Telemarketing, Prospecting, and a Smart Business Trip

When was the last time you had a spur of the moment thought that required immediate implementation, otherwise the thought was useless? In today’s business climate, this scenario happens more and more frequently. Dunlap Marketing has the ability to execute large, quick blitz projects with immediacy.

Quick Blitz Case Study

Late Monday, Dunlap received a very specific appointment setting request from a Regional Sales Manager of one of our largest customers.

I’ll be in the Seattle market this week. If you guys have anything for me in this area, or anything you’re working on there, please let me know. It will be great to fill my free time making sales calls if you can set some up for me.

 

On Tuesday morning, Mike, owner of Dunlap Marketing, replied, confirming action. With the size of this customer’s database, Dunlap Marketing quickly turned on this targeted blitz project. The beauty of blitz call campaigns is being able to touch a large quantity of prospect opportunities in a short period of time.

We can zero in on the Seattle and Bellevue areas for a couple days in hopes of setting appointments for you this week.  Realistically, calls today and tomorrow will probably yield events for Thursday or Friday. Does this work for you? – Mike

The Quick Blitz Process

The setup and programming moved swiftly. On Tuesday morning, after action was confirmed by the client, Dunlap set filters inside our CRM that allowed our staff to only make calls in the specific markets around Seattle. Next, a call script / message was developed and a few key staff members were trained. Within a few hours, calls were going live.

Not only were calls being made, but appointments were being set.

By the end of Tuesday, Dunlap had scheduled appointments for the Regional Sales Manager and sent them off to him. The efficiency of our internal telephony systems and staff members trained on blitz projects were vital in the success of this request.

We just secured a 9:00 AM PT phone appointment for you to talk to a Seattle prospect about scheduling a face-to-face appointment while you’re there. Details to follow. – Kaitlin 

 

With the additional appointments scheduled, the Regional Sales Manager maximized his time in Seattle and spoke with more target prospects. On Friday afternoon, we received the following email from the Regional Sales Manager:

Thanks for the great leads this week. I spoke to the appointment prospect and there is a good opportunity with them. Please tell your team thank you for their quick response for me this week.

 

One of the many benefits of telemarketing as an appointment setting and/or lead generation tool is the ability to quickly direct your efforts to a very specific market. In instances like this, timing is everything!

The Difference Between Qualified Leads

As a sales professional, the origin of a lead is important to know, especially when establishing expectation for a lead. Lead generation is not a cookie-cutter process and because of this, all leads are not equal. Understanding the difference between qualified leads helps to properly layout your sales strategy for each individual opportunity as you advance it through the sales process.

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The Origin of Leads

First, let’s look at common ways leads come to life:

  1. Referral/word-of-mouth
  2. Online research (i.e.: website, SEO, PPC)
  3. Social media
  4. Self-generated (i.e.: cold calling, telemarketing, email or mail campaigns)

Commonly, sales people will look at each of these avenues of lead generation as equal, or very similar. Therefore, a sales person will subconsciously assign the same level of expectation and approach to all leads, no matter its origin.  With this mindset, some leads will fall short of expectation, no matter how good they are. Additionally, leads run the risk of dying if opportunities are not properly planned and nurtured.

The Difference Between Qualified Leads

How are leads different?  In the broadest perspective, there are two forms of lead generation:

  1. Buyer-generated: Created by the potential buyer, reaching out in an effort to find a solution
  2. Seller-generated: Created by the seller, reaching out to identify potential buyers

Buyer-Generated Leads

Selling opportunities created by the buyer are usually the most qualified and advance through the sales cycle faster than seller-generated leads. This can be attributed to the fact that the buyer has a need and is looking for a solution; the need is creating enough pain that the buyer starts actively looking for a company who can solve the problem.  Not much legwork, such as cold calling and other telemarketing efforts, is required of the sales person up to this point.  From a typical sales person’s expectation, these are the best kind of leads to receive.

However, downsides exist. Commonly, there are not enough buyer-generated leads to satisfy sales quotas and sales people have little control on generating a volume of them (referral or word-of-mouth). Also, they can become expensive to produce (online and social media advertising).  Ultimately, in most business-to-business situations, there are not enough of these leads to fully distribute to and satisfy a whole sales team – certainly not enough to achieve overall company sales success.

Seller-Generated Leads

Selling opportunities created through seller-generation usually occur when a sales person initiates activity that stimulates conversation (i.e.: cold calling, telemarketing, email or mail campaigns) with a prospective company. Conversation usually starts with probing-type questions.  If you are lucky and the timing is right, good questions become the start of a new lead opportunity. In this situation, similarly to buyer-generated leads, your Q&A session will coincide with an existing pain the prospect might be dealing with; however, this is the exception, not the rule.

Read more about how to write a telemarketing script.

More frequently, you will stimulate a level of interest. But, timing is dependent upon many less controllable factors such as being inside an existing agreement term, the need for the prospect to research new solutions, or the prospect having to decide if making a change to your solution is worth the effort.

The Journey

It is important to recognize the point in a prospect’s journey where you, as the seller, get involved. With seller-generated leads, the journey begins when the prospect expresses a level of pain associated with their current solution.  With buyer-generated leads, the journey is well underway by the time the sales person gets involved.  Understanding your point of entry will help guide you into setting proper time lines, expectations, and upcoming sales strategy.

A seller-generated lead can feel colder early on because the buyer is at an earlier stage in the journey; however, when properly nurtured, the selling opportunity becomes more valuable.  During this development, you start building a relationship with the prospect, which ultimately becomes an advantage for you.  Frequently, seller-generated leads have fewer competitors involved.

In Summary

Expressing a level of pain by the prospect and the action you take to resolve this pain can take time and sales skill to advance.  Because of this, it is important to apply a fair expectation on each, as the value of each opportunity is different and the amount of time and work involved with each opportunity varies.  The close rate of buyer-generated leads is higher than seller-generated leads; however, there is a finite number of buyer-generated leads available and that number is not enough to satisfy company sales goals in most business-to-business environments.  This is the point where it becomes important to realize the value of seller-generated lead generation.  In most organizations, sales professionals should also maintain an adequate number of these leads inside the sales funnel.

In almost any instance, a proper balance of buyer-generated and seller-generated leads are required for a company to be successful and exceed sales goals. With both types of leads inside the sales funnel, always remember the difference between qualified leads.

For more information on this topic, please contact Mike Dunlap at miked@dunlapmarketing.com.

 

Summer 2016 Internship Program

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This summer, Dunlap Marketing hosted three college interns. They worked on selected, entry-level projects and did exceptionally well. When asked to describe her experience with the internship, Meredith, University of Texas, said, “It has been great – I’ve had the chance to see a side of business and marketing that usually goes on behind the scenes. I’ve gained so much knowledge from it!” Lydia, University of Texas, agreed and added, “I learned how to deliver a message in an effective and understandable way during a phone conversation. Over time, I became very comfortable and really enjoyed getting prospects to cooperate. I had a great time at Dunlap Marketing and really enjoyed all of the people here.”

The interns worked a fulltime schedule and even put in their fair share of overtime. “This job has taught me patience and tactful persistence,” said Grace, Texas A&M University. “It can be tiring trying to get to the decision maker, but having a positive attitude can go a long way. The person on the other end of the phone can tell a difference when you speak in a happy tone and they’re more likely to help or listen to what you’re saying.”

Each of the interns agreed that saving time is the biggest value Dunlap Marketing’s services provide to its customers. “Instead of spending time on setting appointments, sales reps can focus on their expertise and actually sell,” said Grace. Meredith added, “We [Dunlap Marketing] are the middle man between our client and their prospect. Dunlap Marketing reports back with details gathered from prospecting calls and the client can use that information to advance the sales process.”

Meredith summed up her experience by saying, “I have definitely improved and gained confidence in speaking with individuals as well as businesses on the phone. It’s a great skill to have in general, but even more important to me because I’m majoring in business. It’s essential to have these skills.”

Dunlap Marketing kicked off its internship program in the summer of 2015. It was a great success for the interns, Dunlap Marketing, and Dunlap’s clients. “The internship was extremely rewarding as well as eye opening,” said 2015 intern, Matt, University of Texas. “The program has proved to be a win-win for both our customers as well as business men and women in the making. Our client campaigns that staff interns flourish with the added enthusiasm. Additionally, these upcoming business leaders gain valuable, real-life knowledge and skills,” said president, Mike Dunlap. With such a fantastic experience for both the interns and clients, Dunlap Marketing will continue with the program. Please email Kaitlin, kaitlind@dunlapmarketing.com, for more information.

Start The New Year Smart – Sell More Business

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HOW TO IMPLEMENT A SIMPLE PLAN TO SELL MORE BUSINESS – APPOINTMENT SETTING AND LEAD GENERATION

How do you eat an elephant? What a silly question! Adult elephants range from 6,000 – 12,000 pounds – eating all of that would be a very large and daunting task (no pun intended). But, hypothetically speaking, if you were to eat an elephant, how would you accomplish that?

One bite at a time, of course.

By the way, how does eating an elephant have anything to do with telemarketing?

Generating 70+ new leads in 2016 might seem like an unrealistic goal, similar to eating an elephant. However, if you break it down into “one bite” increments, you will see how generating 70+ new leads is, in fact, a very obtainable goal.

To start, keep in mind that the mentality behind “one bite at a time” is to keep the task at hand, in this case, generating 70+ qualified leads in 12 months, simple and manageable. With this mind frame, you will be able to see the simplistic impact this method can have on your lead generation and appointment setting efforts. Here is how you do it:

January 2016:
200 Start with 200 target prospect records (Don’t know how to build a prospect database? We can help with that – “Identifying Your Database for a Telemarketing Campaign”)
3 Make 3 call attempts into each record on average
8 Calling hours required each week to make 3 calls into 200 records (32 hours per month) – this is equivalent to 1.6 calling hours each business day, or 20% of your day
6 Lead opportunities identified in January (generally speaking)
February 2016:
100 Add 100 fresh, new prospect records (300 cumulative prospect records for the year)
+ 100 Existing/prioritized prospect records that justify continued calling (assuming that 50% of January’s 200 do not warrant additional calls this month)
= 200 Total February prospect records
3 Call attempts into each record on average
8 Calling hours required each week (1.6 hours per day)
6 Lead opportunities identified in February
12 Cumulative lead opportunities identified YTD
March 2016:
100 Add 100 fresh, new prospect records (400 cumulative prospect records)
+ 100 Existing/prioritized prospect records that justify continued calling (assuming that 50% of February’s 200 do not warrant additional calls this month)
= 200 Total March prospect records
3 Call attempts into each record on average
8 Calling hours required each week (1.6 hours per day)
6 Lead opportunities identified in March
18 Cumulative lead opportunities identified YTD

Do you get the gist? …We thought so. If you continue this discipline for April, May, June, July, August, September, October, and November, your December will look like this:

December 2016:
100 Add 100 fresh, new prospect records added (1,300 cumulative prospect records)
+ 100 Existing/prioritized prospect records that justify continued calling (assuming that 50% of November’s 200 do not warrant additional calls this month)
= 200 Total December prospect records
3 Call attempts into each record on average
8 Calling hours required each week (1.6 hours per day)
6 Lead opportunities identified in December
72 Cumulative lead opportunities identified YTD

There you have it, the results of a disciplined approach to 2016 – 72 leads in 12 months and now you are a sales pro! Obviously, some of these will not ultimately work out, but certainty, a good amount of them will convert into proposals, then become new customers for you. Additionally, you will have developed a great database (pipeline) of future opportunities.

Lead generation and appointment setting isn’t as bad as you might have thought. By the way, how did that elephant taste?

Kaitlin Dunlap – kaitlind@dunlapmarketing.com – 281.496.9870 x180