Post Brexit-winter is coming...why you need to take a long hard look at your own sales appointment team | DMA

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Post Brexit-winter is coming...why you need to take a long hard look at your own sales appointment team


As one of the vast number of UK SMEs, we too were fearful on June 24th that predictions of slower growth, volatility in the currency market and a political elite grappling with the new reality would see the economy contract sharply with definite consequences for our business. Interestingly, and despite these fears, we have not only seen our weekly numbers of enquiries increase, they have done so against the backdrop of the summer months, typically, a slower period.

That said, we have seen a shift in the tenor of some of those enquiries which seems to be a result of businesses taking a long hard look at the effectiveness of their sales channels. And, more specifically the teams tasked with generating appointments and leads for internal sales people up the food chain. In almost every case they cite two factors:

1. the amount of time and management focus it takes to run a team of this type, disproportionate to its size; and associated headaches with recruitment and retention.

2. the tendency of this team to be easily distracted from its main task of setting qualified appointments

Sound familiar? This article sets out why you might consider talking to a specialist outsourced telemarketing company, as a number of organisations have done with us since Brexit.


Let’s deal with the elephant in the room first: on paper it looks more expensive to have an outsourcer run this team for you than to run it yourself. But, before the ink dries, let’s add a few more things into the calculation.

Have you factored in all your management costs? Obviously, there is the direct cost of someone running this team, but what about the time (and money) invested in recruitment and training?

Overhead costs: software licences, CRM set ups, physical hardware of desks, phones etc. expensive rented space that could be better utilised?

Management Information: do you have a system that is really telling you what you need to know about the performance of your telemarketing team and indeed your customers, or just a couple of brute numbers round results? Is the absence of that insight costing you money in chasing pointless prospects and targets?

Flexibility: you are paying for people on a full time basis, wouldn’t it be great if you could dial that resource up or down at peak times or in holiday seasons, or when you suddenly have less field sales resource through absence, sickness or holiday? Lower your annual overheads - how does it look now?

Skills: can you guarantee to get someone with experience in this area, as you would with most other jobs, or are you having to take on people younger and less experienced than you would like?

But, the real argument should not be about cost but about value. If you have a sales team capable of attending 40 appointments per month and your team is only delivering 30, you are losing 25% of your sales potential, which is the most important calculation you should make. If you have a telemarketing team of 3 people, and you lose your best person, what is the effect of not filling that vacancy for several weeks? And then the time to bring the new person up to speed? And if you are being entirely honest in your appraisal, of the people you recruit, how many stay the course to become successful and consistent telemarketers?

How does outsourcing answer these problems?

Firstly, in our model, all your costs are contained in one hourly charge: no extras, no surprises, no IT charges. There are no recruitment or training costs, those departments are free to focus on more strategic priorities.

Management Information: our systems are designed to deliver a degree of insight into the progress of any record or prospect in the system such that you can understand a ‘pipeline’ that shows how many prospects have requested information, how many have a firm commitment to talk again, how many are talking to colleagues and, more than that, why prospects are not engaging.

Flexibility: with over 170 staff, your campaign will always be fully staffed. We train more people than is required to also cover for holidays and absences-we are delivering results, not people and that means that an appropriate trained resource always has to be on hand. With access to a large specialist team, you can scale your campaign up and down to accommodate your needs in a way that is not possible with a fixed internal resource.

Skills: Our people have made telemarketing their job; they are typically in their late 30’s with an average of 3 years’ experience in the role within our business (and often many more years in previous businesses). We also train all of our agents using the ISMM telesales framework, so their skill base is unparalleled. And the people who are managing them each have over 8 years in role, and experience of at least 100 campaigns. More often than not, we can also align you to an account manager who is working or has worked previously in your sector.

Value: we always work to a target, and in general try and build a financial-based ROI model with our clients. Continuity, professional management, specialised technologies, and developing insight all lead to a model that can be managed for continuous improvement; we don’t just say this, we put our money where our mouth is with flexible contracts that ensure our eye is always on the ball.

The real value of our solution will be the 10 extra appointments that you have per month and the revenue you generate from them. Outsourcing may start to look like a very inexpensive option, when that calculation is made.

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