Monthly Archives: February 2018

Why good data is queen and wears the trousers

Jonathan Perelman, VP of Agency Strategy at BuzzFeed once said; “Content is king, but distribution is queen, and she wears the pants.” I strongly agree with him although I am sure he means trousers. I would take it a step further and say that the quality of one’s data in specific is queen and wears the trousers.

You might wonder why good data is so important. Indeed, I see many companies with a great big database which they have compiled over the years.  The list is normally a mixture of current and former clients, prospects and various contacts who approached the company over the years. If this is your marketing list, I think you need to review it for the following reasons:

  • Much of the information is likely to be out of date: some companies will have closed and decision makers have moved on.
  • The list covers a mix of target markets: customers, suppliers and introducers. It makes creating a targeted message very hard.
  • The new GDPR rules mean that you will need to obtain consent from at least a part of the contacts on the list, in order to continue sending them marketing e-mails.

What do I suggest that you do instead? I would recommend buying a data list from a good source over any other method. Just before you rush into getting one, you should consider the following elements:

  • Identify your specific target markets’ industries
  • Identify your specific target companies’ size and employee numbers
  • Identify the relevant decision makers you would like to approach
  • Consider the appropriate geographic footprint
  • Consider the size of your list and allocate a budget

My recommendation would be to approach a list broker, who can research a number of optional lists and buy up to 2000 contacts, no more. Another important factor is to ensure that the data is GDPR compliant.

Buying a data list would mean that you can tick many boxes around obtaining specific data. However, I would recommend that you consider doing some further research of your list to make your marketing campaign more successful. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Connecting with all senior contacts on your list through LinkedIn. This will allow you to start a relationship and find out more about their current needs.
  • Finding additional contacts who may be involved in making the buying decision. Sending communications to a variety of contacts within an organisation, particularly a large one, increases your chances of getting a response.
  • Review the companies’ websites to identify additional key information such as new products, new projects, new recruitment drives, new senior appointments etc.

You will be absolutely right to say that doing this kind of research in large volumes is very time consuming. This is why I recommend that you buy a smaller list or prioritise specific companies within it to make the project more manageable. Another option is to outsource the data research to a third party.

Happy to speak in person about your data options. Click here to find out more about how we can help make your data better.

How many cold calls have you had this week?

In Barking Up the Wrong Tree, an excellent book about success, Eric Barker mentions some interesting research into insurance sales. The project concluded that sales people could actually be hired on their level of optimism alone. Apparently, agents who scored in the top 10% of optimism, sold 88% more than the most pessimistic tenth.

Reading this made me think about telesales consultants and how their job must require the biggest reserves of optimism compared with any other sales job. Considering what I sometimes say to some of them when they ask me yet again if I want to sell my business…. You must be very resilient, optimistic or desperate to be able to pick up the phone and do it all again.

Thinking back to that piece of research, I wonder if optimistic telesales consultants sell 88% more than their cynical colleagues. Moreover, considering the negativity that surrounds telephone sales I wonder if they sell anything at all. I don’t mean to be rude to telesales consultants, some of whom are very good at their job. At Your Business Development Team, we use telemarketing as an important tool in our operation. I also spend a lot of time talking to clients about the importance of picking up the phone and not hiding behind their computer screens.

What is the problem then you might ask, and what is the difference between telesales and telemarketing anyway? The best way to explain It, is to liken it to the difference between cold calling and warm calling. I believe cold calling is just another way to try and achieve a quick sale through cutting corners. It is often connected with a poor strategy and hasty action to try and pull quick results; now I am all for results and quick ones where possible but if you are looking for real results they often take time to achieve.

Consider your buying preferences; would you rather:

  1. Get some relevant information first, allowing you to engage with the company and consider its product then get a phone call following up to get your feedback and build a better picture of your needs?
  2. Have someone call you out of the blue asking you how you are today or telling you they are just conducting a survey…

No strategy is perfect or offers guaranteed results but I know which one I would prefer to be the receiver of.

As a business owner, a marketing manager or a sales director, it is important to consider this, particularly in the light of GDPR which is bound to bring about a surge in cold calling. I would hesitate a guess that many companies who used to spam you with loads of sales e-mails because it was easy will migrate to cold calls instead. So, even if it sounds really tempting, don’t go down this route, consider your target markets and how to contact them appropriately. Take the time to build an intelligent lead generation strategy and you will get real results much quicker.

As always, I will be happy to discuss your requirements in person. Click here for more information on setting up a telemarketing operation.