Research, Data Cleansing and Preparation for Sales
Research is part and parcel of business, and indeed life. We’re always looking the best deal, and the competition in things like the insurance and the energy industries has been stemmed by price comparison websites. We enjoy price dumping of tickets for air, train and coach travel, the mobile phone industry is always competing for your money, and yet I’ve seen too many cases of sales people being under-prepared when they’re phoning leads, or when we are phoning for services.
I’m as guilty as anyone for this, as I made a phone call to try to get quotes for a product, and ended up ringing a company that does all BUT what we were looking for – whoops! But, in a more serious sense, this showed a) I hadn’t actually done my preparation when it came to making a phone call, and b) I assumed they provided the service I was after from a quick glance of their website. Not the best of ideas for a salesperson (good job I’m a marketing man!), but it does make my point that your research is just as important as anything else in the business.
Salespeople need to understand their product. That’s a given, and it’s how they (for example) can distinguish a blue 5 door hatchback from their ’12 plate 1.6 litre diesel Honda Civic. They’ll likely also have a bit of history on the model series, the company, and other such information. Our sales people also work hard to understand the products our clients want us to help them sell, and they do this very well. Other sources, I’m sure, also do a good job (can’t say from personal experience), but it’s no good if you understand your product or service inside and out if you’re selling to the wrong people.
Data cleansing, whilst not being the most interesting of tasks, is a seriously important part of telesales. Like anything in the profession, your sales aren’t going to be anywhere near as effective if you aren’t targeting your efforts towards more specialist and precise data. There are reasons why we hire people who are specialists in data cleansing, and that’s because they understand just as much I do that we have to focus our efforts on certain types of person. Much like we focus target certain demographics in Facebook adverts (that’s another blog for another time), the data we use is already very well focused, but with our team researching those closer to the product, we can bring you closer to the sales.
Often, I’ve seen people ring our business on sales calls (irony, but everything is a service!) and wanted to speak to Mr. X, because they’re listed as Y as their job role (if you know what you’re looking for you’ll know anyway.) A lot of the time, whilst it’s great to have Senior Decision Makers in as contacts, they are going to be busy, in meeting, or just don’t deal with these parts of the business. This is why we spend as much time as we do, and put in as much effort as we do, to data cleansing. We can clearly define points of contact with our researching tools, and this has been proven to make the difference between trying to call an SDM and reaching receptionist or PA, and meaningful conversation with DMs that can make the difference.
All in all, outsourcing your telesales is more than passing the power to someone on a phone. Prospect Connect, and others too, thrive on the detail, and data cleansing is just one small part that makes a rather significant difference between a discussion, and a deal.