OK, so first of all I'd like to enter the "stating the blindingly obvious" competition. Here is my entry:
Your telemarketing and telesales team's core selling time/hours should be maximised in order to generate the most amount of sales revenue.
Yes, of course you're all saying, that is stating the obvious. More calls will lead to more conversations, sales opportunities, sales appointments and ultimately more sales.
So why is it then that in so many businesses and sales offices up and down the country this isn't the case. Well, interestingly, the way in which contact data is being sourced has got a lot to do with it.
Here are my top 3 mistakes businesses make when sourcing marketing data and why they cost both time and money.
Not having a clear target market:
To give your sales people the very best chance to generate profitable opportunities, its so important that a lot of thought goes into answering this question: "Who specifically, are our ideal prospects?" As much detail as possible is needed here. Geographically, size of company by employees and/or turnover, market sectors, sub sectors, type of site, decision maker roles/job titles.
Without a razor sharp focus on who your prospects are, your sales team will be burning time speaking with people who are not a fit.
A good marketing data Company will be able to really drill down into your target market and help you to make sure that your time is being spent in the right areas.
Sourcing contacts from ad hoc places:
I'm all for a bit of research. However, sales people should be doing what they're good at. Prospecting and selling. Not going through the internet, trade directories, or any other ad hoc source for hours on end under the umbrella of "research" trying to find prospects to call. Apart from the fact that sourcing data that way contravenes just about every piece of marketing legislation going, the fact is that time spent doing anything other than speaking with potential customers is time that isn't being maximised. Time as we all know is........(inset your answer here!)
Now before anyone gets upset, I'm not saying that there isn't a place for key account research, or using other excellent tools like LinkedIn to find out more about the people you're talking to, as well as engaging in the finer points of what is now being referred to as "social selling". I'm talking specifically about situations where a sales team or business owner needs to have a decent sized pool of initial contacts to talk to in order to do the first part of the sales process which is to identify qualified opportunities. After all, prospecting is not selling, it's filtering, qualifying, sorting. To do that efficiently you need enough data, and it needs to be in a workable format-not written down on bits of paper, printed off word documents, or the back of a fag packet.
A good marketing data Company will provide your data in a format that will easily import into any sales CRM system. I don't have space in this post to talk about CRM, but suffice to say that if you haven't got one you should have one, and in the meantime at the very least have your prospecting data in Excel format.
By sourcing your data from a specialist data provider will also ensure that your data meets all the latest marketing legislation.
Quality Versus Price:
Having made the decision to source marketing data from specialist companies, some people are not out of the woods yet-and that's because they miss the point that there is a correlation between data price and data quality.
The point is that you can either have good quality, compliant, and responsive data or you can have cheap data-but you can't have them both.
There are some very good reasons why any decent marketing data Company can't and won't supply you ridiculous amounts of data for an equally ridiculous price. Not least because good quality data is sourced through a rigorous process to ensure that quality, and all of that needs to be paid for.
Yes you can buy a cheap list, but it will cost you a lot more in the long run.
So, just a few thoughts on some of the mistakes people make when sourcing marketing data. Hope that's been useful to you.
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Robbie Stepney - MD Data That Counts
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