Marketing and Sales

May 18, 2006

Skype & (Tele)Marketing

Filed under: Company Information,Marketing,Tips and Hints — Philippe Mesritz @ 5:13 pm

I actually just wrote an email to a discussion group that I'm a member of, but then thought that I should post it here as well. The information is relevant to the topic that I try to stay on here, so … here goes!


Skype is a great tool for keeping up with your network and making sure that you can get a hold of your friends, family and professional associates around the world. I'm sure that almost everyone here agrees with that. With the new release of Skype's free calls within the US and Canada to both landlines and mobile phones until the end of the year, it makes sense to look at the technology from a marketing standpoint. The ability to make free calls anywhere within the US — a free pass out of your long distance phone bill for the next six months or so!

Even the smallest business can gain better market share by optimizing their use of this new capability. Anyone who can work remotely in the slightest can now contact strong leads across the United States for almost nothing; no more than the cost of the leads themselves if you don't have a list of your own (www.salesgenie.com, BTW, offers a great tool for this – $300 per month for unlimited leads [per person]).My company, New Direction Marketing, is partnered with telemarketing software company to help deliver technology that can help optimize the telemarketing. Its a great value and is currently priced at 60% to break into the US market. The product has been actively developed and used in the UK for a number of years now. One big advantage that it has is that it HELPS you manage your telemarketing needs AND has a direct capability to interact with SKYPE to maximize your call times. What else could you ask for?I know that this is, in part, a pitch as well as simply a 'think about using Skype for marketing' reminder. Too many people think about VOIP or other new technologies without looking at the outside capabilities that it may have. If you're interested in the software, drop me a line and we can discuss it further. Else, I hope your day goes well and discuss the concepts of Skype and how to use it best for marketing!


As you can tell, I'm a proponent for the above mentioned software as well as the use of new technologies where possible. The difference between this software and for example, SalesForce.com, is significant. Salesforce.com doesn't allow the management of different campaigns or different sections of your organization. This is HUGE. Its the perfect way for a single company selling the same product to identify which sales pitches work, which special offers increase success rates, and other capabilities. Plus, there's often different offers for different 'types' of people. In the mortgage industry, for example, there's refinancing interest only loans, refinancing from a different company, and refinancing from within your current customers, just to name a few. Perhaps you want to call new clients and give them a 10% off on their first invoice and would like to call existing customers and give them a 10% credit for their past order on new business … in a 'Sales' CRM, this wouldn't be possible generally. With this software, you can do both!There's a lot of other things and I'm getting off the topic of "Skype and Telemarketing". Skype is a product that's become proven over time. One of its biggest drawbacks has always been the cost to use "SkypeOut", or call out of Skype's network. With their current release of FREE, you can't really beat it for calling within the United States and Canada. Even calling overseas isn't bad ($0.02 per minute to the UK, for example).

May 11, 2006

New Direction Marketing, Inc Website

Filed under: Company Information — Philippe Mesritz @ 1:48 pm

As of the 4th, we've released our new website look. Please feel free to travel on over and leave feedback. 

Qualified vs Not Qualified

Filed under: Company Information,Marketing,Tips and Hints — Philippe Mesritz @ 8:16 am

Any prospects that you contact can be considered either qualified or not qualified. Depending on where the information was gained or how you received their contact information, an individual or company could have gone through a level of identification that would make them a good match for your product or services (called product from here on out). This would make them a qualified lead, a type of company or individual that could use your business in direct order rather than in some nebulous future time-frame. An unqualified lead are those companies that may not have a time-frame to purchase your product, may have no interest in your product or service at this time, or perhaps simply have never even heard of you before.

What, exactly, is the difference and how do we get them?

In theory, an "incoming referral" should always be qualified. Someone that has been sent to you by a current customer because your loyal customer felt that the referral could use your product is an excellent prospect — someone that obviously has a need, certainly is interested, and has proactively contacted you. A little less qualified, but certainly still falling within the 'qualified' realm is a referral given to you to contact. These are people that a current user felt could be contacted because they would likely have use for what you have to offer.

Unqualified leads are, all too often, "not qualified" leads. Cold calling is a technique that requires significant effort and knowledge. An untrained cold caller, one who has never done it before, is obviously not as experienced as one who has being doing it longer. The response rates for straight cold calling vary drastically, but even organizations who have specialized in cold calling for decades, such as the Direct Marketing Association, do not exceed an average success rate on cold calls of more than about 8.25% to simply generate leads! This means that almost 92 out of 100 calls made to unqualified leads are "not qualified". Generally, your sales force will become frustrated with numbers such as this — they're trained in your product and have just spent about 5 hours (*) trying to talk to people not interested. Their time is better spent talking to qualified referrals.

The biggest question has always been "where can I get these qualified referrals"? Most people intrinsically realize, even without statistical numbers to back their belief, that companies succeed upon word of mouth and referrals. This is especially true in the small to medium size businesses that do not have millions of dollars to spend on advertising and generating a 'buzz'. As I have said before, the best place to find referrals has been, and most likely always will be, your existing customers. By keeping them happy and ensuring that you hold a high level of service, they will gladly refer other companies to you for your product. For those companies that do not generate enough business through their own processes or clients, generating qualified referrals can be done by using "lead generating" or "referral generating" companies. Through the use of these organizations, your sales team is provided with a list (daily or weekly, usually) of companies or individuals (depending on your product) that have been contacted and shown interest in finding out more. These are not as strong as true referrals from existing customers as you will, generally, still need to 'make a sale', yet the success rate of prospects that have already gone through a first round of qualification should be significantly greater than 1 every 5 hours! I say should be as it does depend on the company that you are receiving business through. Personally, I suggest New Direction Marketing (**)!

(*) Assumption: Approximately 18 calls per hour to allow for both interested parties, hold time, and notes.
(**) Disclaimer: New Direction Marketing is my company :)

April 12, 2006

Introduction

Filed under: Company Information,Marketing — Philippe Mesritz @ 8:31 am

My name is Philippe Mesritz and I am the president for New Direction Marketing, Inc. I started this blog to give ideas to companies on how to put leads, whether internally or externally generated, to use and to emphasis a co-operative working environment. It is my hope that some of the information given will help put into perspective what can be done with leads that have been qualified and quantified for your business.

I will be trying to post a new tip or post weekly. These tips may include information on the current telemarketing industries, documented studies, or ways to optimize leads.

Please feel free to contact me at any time with questions. The blog is also open to comments for those who wish to leave them. I do, however, require an email address for comments simply to prevent certain levels of spam.

Sincerely,
Philippe

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