Kicking off a new outbound teleprospecting campaign requires careful preparation and a proactive, yet adaptable, outlook. Below are some of the intangibles and physical assets you should be mindful of within the first two weeks of a new campaign:
Secure a targeted list: Whether you build this internally, or attain a new list from a vendor, makes sure you have a targeted approach by company. Think about who your ideal company is; employee size, industry, annual revenue, location. You may also have a clear picture of who your decision makers are based upon title, but if not, attain a few key contacts that reside within your target departments (Marketing, IT, Sales, etc).
Create strategic messaging: Try your best not to dump every benefit and technical feature in your emails and voicemails. Keep them high-level with a few bulleted highlights that conveys why you think it would be worth speaking for a few minutes. Also, have a very short referral email handy – this can be used as a 1st contact if you’re unsure of your target audience within the company, or, in situations where your data is not reliable.
Have your ‘Battle’ card ready: A ‘Battle’ card or ‘Sales’ card is a handy one or two-page cheat sheet that overviews all your talking points for live conversations, as well as common objection handling and competition overview. These are great to get you comfortable talking with prospects in the initial phases of a kick-off campaign.
A “Kick-off” mass email: I’ve always been a fan of starting off a campaign with a high-level introduction email that clarifies in a couple sentences what your company/solution does and why you’re looking to speak with the person who oversees that area of operation. This helps streamline quicker pipeline or incoming referrals and provides the Business Development Rep(s) a more efficient launching pad.
Analyze your “Kick-off” email: Flag all accounts that had bad emails that bounced (some programs can automate this). Analyze your open rates and click-through rates (website clicks); if you’re over a 10% open rate, that is pretty good. Manage your follow ups based on who clicked-through the website and then on to the people who opened the email message multiple times (3+ should be the priority bucket). Of course, all incoming emails and calls should be the top focus, as those are active prospects that you need to connect with to see if they can be qualified.
Make any necessary tweaks: You may find that a certain range of prospects with particular titles have been responding more than others, or, your referrals keep leading toward another position that wasn’t even a listed target originally. Try and diagnose as to whether or not the messaging should be tweaked based upon new findings. Keep in close contact with the reps on the projects to understand if the voice and email messaging is resonating and, if for some reason the results are dry and minimal, that would be the time to change the messaging and attempt a new approach.
Call Shadow: The first two weeks are critical for a trainer or manager to listen in on calls – either an hour of cold-call follow ups or a scheduled call with an interested prospect. This is the best way to understand how the prospects from your target accounts are responding to your messaging and scripting. Some of the best changes can come from these strategic sessions.
With 2013 fast approaching, there’s no doubt that endless amounts of Marketing and Sales departments are preparing for their own unique teleprospecting campaigns to kick things off effectively. As you look through this list, is there anything you have done differently or anything that rings true for you?
Mike Ricciardelli, a Director of Client Operations for AG Salesworks, has been working here since 2009. He is responsible for managing client relationships, daily reporting and project analytics, strategic marketing campaigns and ongoing training for Business Development Reps. Read his articles here. For more information on Mike Ricciardelli, see here.