Customization: The key to building a successful lead generation program
Starting a new outbound B2B lead generation program is not as simple as giving a phone book, a telephone and a script to a caller and letting her make calls. Actually, the preparation process is time consuming, and requires extremely strong planning and management skills.
No one wants to buy a tailored suit and find out it came right off the rack. Likewise, you don’t want to work with a lead generation firm who cannot design and customize a program for your unique needs. Most qualified teleprospecting firms like VSA will want to begin with a pilot – also known as a test – program. As the pilot develops, a proactive firm, like VSA, will fine-tune the program’s design, making adjustments with the goal of increasing success.
How does VSA make creating a customized lead generation program look easy when it really requires so much flexibility, preparedness and skill? Successful cold calling requires thoughtful attentiveness to detail, execution and results. From the outset, the script must be crafted to appropriately educate, convince, and encourage each prospect to say YES to an appointment. Then, as soon as the program is launched, script changes can develop quickly. The process of making changes and communicating these adjustments to callers is absolutely critical. Having a team of callers who can adjust easily to script changes is equally crucial. It’s often difficult to create a script you think is a winner, only to make adjustments 1 hour after calls start – but that’s how successful B2B campaigns evolve. A high-caliber calling firm will even ask their calling teams – who after all are on the front line – to report objections and questions immediately, so they can be addressed “real time.”
Just as with scripts, the lead generation firm must pay attention to calling lists, qualifying if the lists are accurate and being ready to change lists quickly, if necessary.
In the beginning of each program, the partnership between client and call center must be especially strong when providing feedback on the quality of the leads. Some calling firms can provide too many leads that are not fully qualified; other firms can over-qualify and therefore restrict the number of opportunities. Therefore a real partner, like VSA is with our clients, will welcome feedback and adjust the qualification criteria so the quality of the leads is on-target.
Paying close attention to the script, the list, and the qualification criteria are only three of the ways that VSA’s management works closely with our internal teams and our clients to optimize a customized campaign.
As you can imagine, this kind of customization costs time and money. Both our clients and VSA invest to create a process that works and is repeatable over time. Some companies balk at paying a preparation fee; we at VSA believe this is penny wise and pound foolish. Short-changing the upfront preparation work is ignoring all the details that must work together to create a successful campaign. Might as well hire a caller “off the streets,” and give her a telephone, phone book and script!