What’s the difference between hiring a Lead Generation Expert or hiring a Call Centre? If you want to make a decent Return On Investment – let me explain the difference…
Lead Generation Expert – “It’s the hard-rubs of the world that make a man shine”
I’ve been working in Sales, Marketing & Business Development my entire life. I’m not far short of the big Five-0. So I’ve probably made more sales than many people have eaten hot dinners. I’ve sold Cable TV and Double-Glazing as a young man. I’ve sold everything else as a seasoned professional, from highly complex software to small Power Stations. I’ve been a Director of a number of SMEs – so I know what it’s like to sit in the driving seat and make those difficult decisions.
So I guess the first matter that sorts out the men from the boys is ‘experience’. The average age of someone in an outbound Call Centre is less than 30. The vast majority of people who work in telemarketing call centres have never actually made a sale. Most have never run a business, never been a buyer for a company, and never passed ‘rookie’-level in their profession. So why is this important?
On a recent project, an agency asked if I could help with a high-value client, to gain market penetration, spot sales opportunities and if possible generate appointments. Their client is a high-tech solution provider for the Automotive and Aviation industries. The offering is highly complex and buyers at companies like Aston Martin are less than easy to make contact with – let alone persuade them to meet up with a sales-person.
Yet when one has been around the block a few times, experience pays dividends. Circa 18 months ago, I arranged a meeting for myself and one of my clients to visit Bentley Motors. After an entire tour of the factory and the production line, I began to gain a keen understanding of what it takes to make a luxury motor car. So when I was asked to spearhead a lead generation campaign for my client in to the automotive market, I had a very good idea how to pitch this correctly.
The result was a plethora of interested Automotive Giants in the UK and a very happy client. The client laughed and pointed out that there was no way on this planet that a call centre could have achieved the same results. After all, how many people can get their head around a multi-spatial geo-positioning tagging system and the associated benefits?
Lead Generation Expert – The Complex Offering
I always do my best to give anyone who calls me a fair chance to try and make a sale. Call it professional courtesy perhaps. Yet I can count on one hand the number of times that someone has called me before I rapidly lost interest.
My favourite recent calls to me are those that start with “Please could you tell me who looks after the energy bills for your business?” Or translated in telemarketing terms, this means that whoever was making the call couldn’t be bothered to build a database with the right buyers. Given that I work from home, why on Earth were they targeting me anyway considering my energy bills are so small?
Those call centres who’s telemarketing is a little more polished generally have my name and ask for me. This always endears me towards the seller. The moment where they lose the plot is where I start getting interested, but they appear to be very vague about the offering.
The best recent example was a call centre telemarketing person trying to sell me Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). They knew my name, they knew my websites and they were asking all the right questions. They were doing ever so well until I asked them to, “Briefly explain how they undertook the SEO and whether I would have full visibility?” Then everything just fell to pieces in their pitch to me….
Now at this point, the telemarketing person should have nailed-down an appointment with me. I’ve told them that I’m interested, I’ve told them I have a budget, all I wanted at this point was to know that the company could deliver if I spoke with their sales-closer. Unfortunately, this is where the telemarketing person revealed that they had zero product knowledge. I tried to help them out and threw them a rope, asking them, “OK, just tell me what makes your company different from anyone else?” The only answer I got was complete silence for 5 seconds then a strange “Uuuuh” noise at the other end of the phone. After another 5 seconds of complete silence I hung up.
In conclusion, if you have a complex offering and a sophisticated buyer – choose a Lead Generation Expert to help you, not your average ‘rookie’-filled call centre.