The starting point when considering any telemarketing or new business development activity should be the return on investment you want to achieve. Most people measure ROI in financial terms, but an equally important factor is return on TIME investment.
Making people busy is a relatively easy thing to do, but often not very useful in terms of achieving your sales and new business objectives. What is much harder to do is ensure people are busy working on the right things – and this is what I mean by return on TIME investment. There is nothing worse than dead or lost time, particularly in the life of a salesperson. Preparing for, traveling too and enduring meetings that have little to no prospect of leading to a positive conclusion is such a drain on productivity it should be avoided at all costs.
Lots of sales managers focus on the wrong things in my opinion. They could be managing an internal sales team, an external sales team or they could be outsourcing the early stage development work to a telemarketing company. Regardless, I think focusing too heavily on call volumes and the number of meetings attended is the wrong approach.
Of course, there is a time and place for these measurements. If you’re only making five calls per day, it’s going to seriously hinder your ability to engage decision makers. Likewise, if you only attend one new business meeting per week it will reduce the amount of new opportunities you are actively progressing and, therefore, negatively impact your sales performance.
Results is a specialist telemarketing and new business development company working exclusively within the construction, built environment and industrial sectors. Whenever we start working with a new client, our induction meeting is initially focused on defining the brief and this is where we really start to focus in on the ROI objectives – from both a TIME and FINANCIAL perspective.
It might seem like a strange thing to say, but our client doesn’t pay us to make telephone calls. They pay us to identify and develop high-quality new business opportunities on their behalf. Sure, the output we achieve is delivered on the back of making said telephone calls, but our whole approach is to build and deliver a project that is properly conceived and intelligently delivered – and this starts by ensuring the brief is perfectly aligned to the objectives they want to achieve.
As a client, if you’re going to spend £10,000 on something to drive new business, the logical starting point is what you want this investment to deliver as a return. If for instance, you want a minimum of £250,000 in revenue, or £50,000 of profit, you then need to determine what this looks like in terms of new work. There are numerous contributors to this such as profit margin, average order value, sales cycle, conversion rate and how quickly you need to see the return – all of which should influence the proposition you take to market, the actual target sectors and, most likely, the specific route to market you take.
However, if you work through the process properly you should be able to determine the type of opportunity you need to identify and the volume thereof, and this should form the basis of any activity you undertake to drive new business, regardless of whether you self deliver or outsource the process.
By approaching the strategy development process in this way, you not only increase the chances of generating the right level of financial return, but you’ll also improve the return on the TIME investment of your sales team by ensuring they are meeting with the right people, in the right organisations, at the right time in the sales process.