We all need new business and very few organizations can exist on current business and referrals alone. That’s definitely ideal but it’s not realistic for most. So, ongoing lead generation is a necessity for a large proportion of businesses. But too often, the approach is ill-conceived and expectations are unrealistic. You can’t expect miracles overnight.
Alignment Drives Success
Some campaigns fly high due to the mixture of a tightly defined target market and a great proposition. But even successful campaigns can take time. They don’t always generate immediate results. When targeting large organizations, and where the value of sales could be colossal, the gestation period is likely to be long. Quite probably, the senior decision-makers that we need to target are busy and well guarded by their PAs. They have no-name policies. Prospective customers have other priorities. Buying decisions need budget allocation, and usually a lengthy approval process. These big fish regularly have incumbent suppliers.
All of these circumstances inevitably mean that you need a good approach that is well thought through. Matching your proposition to the right size and type of business is essential. Identifying the most appropriate buyers, those with the pain, supports effective business development. The greater the alignment, the more swiftly you’ll see positive results.
Nurture Your Pipeline
Whilst the above is important, you also need to give your sales efforts time to bear fruit. Whilst you might get lucky early on, it’s likely that the period between initial contact and success may require a significant number of calls, possibly emails, and certainly meetings.
If you want to generate strong revenue from large companies, that’s a reality you have to face. So, you need to give the activity the breathing space to work for you. Evaluate frequently by all means, and make sure that you have KPIs in place. You’ll also want regular reporting so you can appraise success. We recommend that our clients undertake campaigns of no less than 3 months, more probably 6 months, and ideally 12 months so as to both build a pipeline of opportunities that delivers results.
Do the Maths
Let’s take the maths and look at the ROI. Whist I never advocate throwing good money after bad, I do recommend a systematic approach and a clear strategy that has time to work.
There are lots of factors that make or break telemarketing success but let’s take a look at a worst-case and a reasonable case ROI. In every case below, we have completely ignored the lifetime value of a customer. This is incorrect. Good customers provide revenue over many years and this revenue should be included in the sales value below to provide an even stronger argument.
Value of sale – £50,000
- Conversion rate from meeting to sale: 10% i.e. it requires 10 Meetings to achieve one sale of £50,000
- Number of days telemarketing to generate each meeting = 3
- So, 30 days calling and research = 1 sale
Clearly, the cost per calling day or cost per meeting is crucial here. However, there’s no reason why, over time, you can’t generate returns of 5 or 10 to one if not much more. And what if you only need 5 meetings to convert? And, what happens if the calling generates 1 valid lead every day? Then the ROI shoots up further even before considering future revenue.
What about Lower Values of Sale?
Of course, we have some clients where the value of sales is much lower. But we also have campaigns where we deliver several new business meetings each day, not one every 3 days as in the illustration above. And, in many cases, the revenue opportunity is significantly higher.
Whatever your view of the merits of this or other forms of marketing, one thing is for sure, senior-level telemarketing needs time to work. It definitely benefits from a clear strategy, good data, competent callers, and a clear proposition for a defined market sector. Support from other marketing activities also improves results.
However, it’s unlikely that you will see results overnight especially where you don’t have an alignment of message and target audience. But if you get the components right, you will see great results and you will almost certainly miss an opportunity if you don’t give your pipeline the time to build and for contract renewal dates to come around.
If you’d like to know how GSA Business Development can help generate growth for your business give us a call or use the form on this site to make an enquiry