Telesales Helps with New Product Launches
Good News. VSA is seeing increasingly more companies bring new B2B products and services to market. Because many of these offerings are so new, we’ve taken note of common challenges:
• Companies don’t always know who the exact decision makers are. Often they don’t know the size of the company, or department that will need the offering.
• Clients don’t know what kind of targets to set for results. (VSA’s response is always: “That’s why we do a pilot.”) Still businesses like to have some way of projecting results.
• Even more important, clients don’t know for sure if the telephone is a good way to introduce their services.
Whether VSA supports the effort or whether the companies do the work through inside sales – cold calling can help address these challenges.
Identify the Decision Maker
True story: VSA was working with a new client who had an amazing new offering. The firm was targeting banks. Any bank who purchases our client’s service would easily recoup the investment multi-fold.
However, the client’s inside sales team did not know its decision maker. VSA was therefore spending virtually all of our time navigating banks (and also using Internet tools) to find the decision makers.
Luckily, our client understood the challenge, and VSA provided excellent market intelligence on decision maker names, titles and contact information. Telephone calls, coupled with Internet research, is virtually the only way to identify decision makers.
Lesson for new product introductions: You may have to invest upfront in market intelligence and list updates before you can proceed with true telephone prospecting services. Make sure this additional effort is part of your budget.
Set Target Results
Another true story: A recent client launched a pilot for a relatively new Internet -based service. Neither VSA nor the client had a sense of how successful the campaign would be. We anticipated the product had potential, but doubted it would be a roaring success.
But, “That’s why we do a pilot.”
Our telesales team started calling and the results were astonishingly high. But, could they be sustained over time? The pilot would tell us. After completion of the pilot, VSA confirmed that results held virtually constant week after week. The Return on Investment was exceeded, and the client has continued.
Lesson for new product introductions: A best guess in advance of the pilot is often just that – a guess. Without any track record, a pilot is required to project results.
Determine if the Telephone is the Right Promotional Tool
A final true story: A recent client came in with a truly competitive offering, with direct and immediate benefits to any firm who wants to be found on the Internet. And, the offering was extremely affordable.
The client estimated the number of appointments needed to make the telephone pay off.
In the end, VSA just couldn’t set enough appointments through prospecting services. The new offering was a “better mousetrap” but didn’t address a perceived need within the target market.
A telesales pilot worked only to the extent that it ruled out this method of prospecting.
Lesson for new product introductions: Even if the product is excellent and affordable, it may not meet a current perceived need and the telephone will simply not be the best tool for your offering.
At VSA we love to help with new product introductions. However, New-to-Market offerings have unique challenges that established products don’t have. It’s best to know these challenges in advance.