The Test of Timing: How Your Team Can Adjust to Unexpected Challenges
Editor’s Note: This article was conceived prior to the corona virus outbreak and its nationwide impact on businesses. We’ve decided to publish it out of our belief that companies throughout the United States will eventually reopen and our insights will once again be relevant.
What do you do when you’re in the midst of a lead gen campaign and suddenly realize that you won’t reach any of your prospects?
One of VSA’s clients recently found themselves in that exact situation. This client was a commercial security services company eager to break into the entertainment industry. They asked VSA’s team to reach out to decision makers at a variety of sports arenas, theaters, concert venues, and dance clubs.
Soon after beginning this project, we encountered a serious issue: since most of the events at these venues take place during the evening, there usually wasn’t anyone on-site before 5pm to pick up the phone.
As you can imagine, this might be an insurmountable challenge for a typical 9-to-5 call center. VSA, however, was able to pivot quickly and find a solution.
How do we overcome such challenges of timing? While the answer varies with circumstance, it always comes down to flexibility, attention to detail, strategic thinking, and the right technology systems. These aren’t just skills that we pull out suddenly on an as-needed basis, though—they’re attributes that are actually built into our program model and standard lead generation procedures.
Here are 5 examples of how VSA’s approach to lead generation enables us to reach prospects at exactly the right time, regardless of when they’re typically available:
- Flexible scheduling. Because all of our BDRs work part-time, flexible hours, it’s relatively easy to shift these hours around when needed. While any one person might have limited availability, there’s usually one or two team members who are willing to work evenings or early mornings—in fact, some prefer it. And that leads directly into example #2:
- Team based calling. Instead of being the sole responsibility of one or two individuals, each of our programs are handled by a team of several BDRs working together. As previously suggested, that means our programs don’t have to confirm to any single person’s schedule. If a BDR calls out sick or has to leave work early, the calls continue. There’s always someone who can follow up on a prospect’s desired day and time.
- Knowledge sharing. Each of our calling teams meet together for an hour on a weekly basis. During these meetings, team members share whatever information they’ve learned about prospect availability. These meetings are key to keeping everyone on the same page and, if needed, allowing us to change our call strategy on the fly.
- Close listening and asking good questions. Our BDR training emphasizes the importance of paying attention to detail. As a result, our team members become experts at asking the right questions and listening closely to discern when a prospect might be available—and capturing all relevant information on the record. We’re able to do this because of the next item on the list:
- Sophisticated activity-based calling technology. Depending on the project, VSA uses a mix of custom dialers and proprietary CRM tools. Each of these tools allows us to automatically disposition callbacks for a specific day of week or time of day. Our BDRs can then follow up with each individual prospect at the exact time that works for them—without having to spend a lot of time and effort on queueing and reorganizing the list.
In the case of our commercial security client, our team used all 5 of these tools and practices to turn on a dime—and turn the program around. Through great notetaking and team meetings, we identified the exact problem (that theaters weren’t typically open when we were calling). Then, we were able to utilize our scheduling and team-based model to find one or two team members who were able to make calls in the early evening. Throughout this process, our technology tools allowed us to keep track of all the details and schedule callbacks for exactly the right time.
The result? We started getting through to decision makers and were able to gather valuable information for our client. We were even able to set a few sales appointments for them in this brand-new market!
This is just one example of how a flexible, strategic program model can add a ton of value to a lead gen campaign. By building in the right features, we’re able to reach almost every prospect with a casual, professional conversation—no matter what time they work.