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Why you should be Cold Calling 2.0 upon website visitors
Written by the Engago Team
Date: 7 December 2007
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Engago Technologies Ltd. has been formed with the aim to provide web services solutions (SaaS) for companies and enterprises, active in both B2B and B2C businesses. Instead of following the herd into the web 2.0 hype of social websites, we focus on business opportunities in Enterprise 2.0. The company is strongly committed towards the development of new applications using the proprietary Appmetrx technology. This technology has been developed from the experiences as developers of Java and C++ software solutions in different web projects. Our development team's expertise comprises many years of developing and supporting secure and enterprise applications in the field. Our ambition is to provide organizations with the web services they require to take full advantage of the new technology of the digital age and to provide solutions for increasing or improving revenue and operating income for our customers. Engago Technologies Ltd. is based in the UK and privately owned.
Date: 7 December 2007
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Executive summary Introduction Problem Statement Intermediate solution Previous Option Proposed Solution One combined solution Conclusion Proposition 3 4 5 6 7 8 12 14 14
Executive Summary Introduction
Cold calling has been practiced since ever; as it gives the opportunity to have a conversation to someone the salesman doesn’t know.
Problem Statement: It doesn’t work
Many objections and reasons have been given why Cold calling wouldn’t work. It is true that cold calling consumes much time.
Intermediate solution: Call centers
Instead of Salespeople calling, inquiry about interest or obtaining contact details of decision makers can be done at a much lower cost by Tele-operators.
Previous Option: Email as pathfinder
Instead of having people calling by telephone, the email is being used to find out if people are interested or not, thus saving money and time.
Solution: Calling website Visitors
Interested parties are visiting the company website. If one could call upon them a much higher success rate would be obtained. However in order to be able to call upon them, they need to be identified
• • • Get more leads, opportunities. Have more concise and appropriate communication messages. Be more efficient in Cold Calling by only calling upon the visiting companies. Convert more visitors into leads into sales. Lower your lead generation and sales costs significantly. Cold call with the appropriate message No more fear for the Cold call
• • • •
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Introduction: Cold calling is since ever
Cold calling is the process of approaching prospective customers or clients, via telephone, who were not expecting such an interaction. A cold call gives the salesperson a chance to make a remote personal visit over the telephone to somebody he doesn't know. The main goal is to have a contact with someone from an organization. In case it is not the person responsible for the products or services offered, then the goal is to obtain the name and contact details of the person who is in charge. Cold calling has been used since telephony systems got widely spread and accepted. Before the telephone, Cold calling was done physically by going from door to door. The telephone eliminated the travel and lodging costs, and the salesman was reachable at his office. As the face to face contact was lost by calling, additional methods and other qualities of the Salesman were needed, in order to get the message or the benefits of the proposition communicated to the called person. Many books have been written and many methods have been defined in order to optimize Cold calling. Still Sales people do use cold calls and this method of lead generation has probably a reasonable Return on Investment (ROI).
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The problem: Why Cold calling doesn’t pay
Many reasons have been given and objections have been made why Cold calling wouldn’t be effective and even a waste of time. Cold calling: • Provides zero value to the people called: It is highly likely the Cold call is not interesting for the called person and thus brings no value to him. • Strictly limits your income by time: Calling all of your potential customers would take forever, thus not selling. • Misses the face to face contact of a real visit: No face to face contact makes it easier for the called person to avoid telling the truth. Whereas for the Salesman it is more difficult to get an exact picture or impression of the situation or circumstances, as he receives only the signals of approval or disapproval by voice over a telephone connection. • Is waste of time for sales: All of the time spend on calling, could be used to call existing customers or ex-customers or missed customers. These are interested parties, thus more effective calling and higher probability of success. • Lacks honesty and integrity The Cold caller has no reason for his call but to sell. All the reasons he mentions for the call are fake or just lies. • Should not be ignorant, as this is no longer accepted: With all the data currently available, a Cold caller should be informed about the company and the person he is calling. • Is less effective, due to the fear of being rejected: The chance of being successful with Cold calling is reduced by the fear of being rejected. Fear kills.
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Intermediate solution: Using Tele-operators in Call centre: Tele-marketing
The idea is simple: instead of the salesman wasting his expensive time on the phone, telephone operators can call too at a much lower cost. The Tele-operators get a script written by the experienced Salesman, containing a sequence of questions or a decision tree of questions in order to simulate a Sales rep call. All the expertise should be in the script, which should be written by an experienced person, else the Cold calls will not be effective. The big difference using a script is: a Sales rep can change his conversation and his questions during a call, in order to match the next questions to the answers given. This will adjust the conversation to the situation or set of mind of the called person in the company. A Tele-operator just follows the script: no real conversation, due to no real interaction. In most cases the Tele-operators are only used to: • Have an indication for the level of interest in a product or service • Find the name of the Decision-maker(s) and the Gate-keeper(s) • Have a first impression or rough lead qualification. In order to organize the data about the massive amounts of people called, the Tele-operator teams are orchestrated by automated systems for follow-up on non answered calls in order not to miss any one on the listings. Form the data gathered by the Tele-operators, different actions are possible ranging from sending leaflets and product sheets to calling the Decision-maker and Gate-keepers by the Sales reps. In this way time and money can be saved, however much of the success depends on the script and the selection of the to-be called people.
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Previous option: Using Email marketing to be the pathfinder
In order to counter some of the Cold calling objections, companies have opted for using Email Marketing as their pathfinder or automated spider. The email sent is used as a spider to find out if one could be interested or not. Afterwards only parties who have responded by clicking on the website link in the email, need to be called. Thus the number of the ‘to be called’ people is much lower than calling everybody on the email list. This has been called “Cold calling 2.0”. In most cases companies address a specialized company, having email lists. A selection is made from a data base, and the selected list is then rented or in some cases bought When the addressee clicks on the tagged link in the email, the system will recognize the visitor and is tagged on the listing. During this visit and all the following visits, the visitor is traced and the pages visited are recorded. Afterwards these interested parties can be ‘Cold Called’. The Probability calculation: The likelihood of sending an email to someone with an appropriate message at the appropriate time is about multiplying probabilities: For instance (in case all of the email addresses are correct): • Probability the email messages passes the ISP: 90% • Probability the email message passes the company firewall and the spam-filter: 85%. • Probability of addressee related to your proposition: 45% • Probability of having right title and top part for the preview plane (get attention): 80% • Probability of appropriate message (addressee is interested): 15% • Probability of timing (now instead of next year or later): 10% The calculated probability becomes: 0.90 times 0.85 times 0.45 times 0.90 times 0.80 times 0.15 times 0.10 = 0.00413 almost 0.4% Normally this will be much lower, as several emails will bounce or arrive in mailboxes of nonexistent employees, as people have changed company. Meaning in order to get one interested person, you have to send out 242 emails. So if you want 10 possible “Raw Leads”, you need to send out 2420 emails. Real Cold calling has much better success rates: up to 5% or even more. These “Raw Leads” still need to be qualified, thus your Return on Emails” will be even lower. Note: these numbers are just an example and are different case by case. Usefulness of email system: Of course this email spider method will work, but at the cost of thousands of emails. The costs involved are not only the required renting of email addresses, the writing of the email content and the cost for the email tracking system, but also the possible penalty of getting listed as company who is spamming. Effectiveness is lower As this is a one way communication, the sender has little information to rely upon. As basically this method pushes or even lures people to visit the landing page or website, not all visitors are equally interested parties. For a large part, the calls will still be a waste of time.
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Proposed solution: Using website visitors to call upon
The real Cold calling 2.0 solution is using pull not push. As we are Web 2.0 this more appropriate. Pushing is not longer suited in the Web 2.0 world. Leveraging marketing The goal is to leverage all of the efforts in Marketing, SEO, PR’s and articles published, and who pull the visitors to your website. These visitors are interested, as they come freely, by their own decision. This method will bring a serious increase in ROI for your website: making use of the visitors. Once they have reached your website, the system should identify them with all possible methods available. After the visitors being identified by company, contacts need to be found to start the Cold calling process. This can be a longer process than the push method, but the companies have already shown interest.
Benefits of calling upon website visitors: • Because of their interests in the products or services • Really interested: they have been pulled onto the website instead of being pushed • Qualification can be done before calling as there is ample data about their visit(s). These requirements eliminate web analytic solutions: Web analytic solutions don’t provide this information, as they are limited to aggregating data of the website itself. Not aggregating on the company or the visitor. There is no object “Company” in web analytics. Web analytics are perfect to learn how many potential buyers are passing by, and for example to calculate the rate of visitors who have submitted their contact details over the total number of visitors. What is needed is a solution revealing the company name and aggregating data on company.
The trails and traces on the website: During the visit trails and traces are left behind on your website: • Unique visitor attribution • Company name • Language • Location by country and city • World location by office time zone (in case the company is a multi national) • Search terms used • Pages visited: o Different pages o Click path o Time on pages o Multiple visits of certain to pages • Frequency of visits: returning visitors • Number of unique visitors by Company: more unique visitors indicate more importance.
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Additional information from the Internet: people to be contacted By knowing the company name, more information can be found using Internet Data Mining on the company for financial data, products or services and their vision or direction During this Internet Data Mining process, it is possible to find contact details of decision makers within the company, sometimes even with their email addresses. In order to increase the usefulness of a solution, these searches should be automated for the user convenience as there is ample data from different sources to be queried.
Origin or search terms used and pages visited: Sometimes people originate form a page using a link, this gives some indication of their interest sphere (marketing, technical, financial, …) The search terms used are valuable information source, as they express the visitors’ first intention. • In order to further indicate the main interests, the visitors’ click path can be displayed and sorted chronological, longest viewed or most viewed. By combining these ‘interest’ indicators a decent and valuable indication for the products or services is available. •
Qualification of visitors: As many people from different companies will visit your website, not all companies can be closely followed up, thus a qualification is required. After every visit this qualification can be done. Or the decision can be made after several visits from the same company, by the same or different visitors. This qualification is based upon the nature of the company, the number of unique visitors, the pages visited, the time spend on the pages, the frequency of returning visits over a certain time frame. It is a subjective decision by the Sales man, using metrics provided by the solution.
Converting visitors into leads: All the above is for discovering the company, visitor and interest and providing your sales with enough information for starting the “hunt”. Although it will be rare, but it can happen: the company takes the initiative and contacts your sales team directly. However in most cases, it will be your sales team who need to proceed into the next phases for converting the visitor into a lead and into a prospect by communicating messages or conversations.
The preparation of the communication message: In these times of abundant information, people expect you to be knowledgeable about their company. Moreover if your message isn’t suited to their needs, you would be wasting their time as you are just acting as if you were Cold calling blindfolded as in the “Good old days”.
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From all the available sources, like the website information and the Internet information on both company and contact, the salesman should be able to draft a clear picture of both the company and the visitor(s). This is needed for understanding and imagining their environment or their view of the “world, allowing you to craft the communication message. This message has to contain the best suited features and functions of your solution and the matching benefits (tangible and intangible) for their purpose or requirements. The better you prepare the higher the chance of getting into a conversation with the called person. Whether this is by telephone of by email
Timing: Timing is important as a message can be sent too early or too late. As your communication actions are triggered by the visits, the timing in the buying process is probably right, if not perfect. In order to define the time during the day for calling, this “best” time can be derived from the time of the visits of the company, as this indicates when people are normally in their office. Or when the visitor is known, his presence can be indicated when he is on the website.
Communicate by sending the message: The communication channel needs to be chosen, depending on the company to be addressed. This can be by telephone, by email, by letter or even fax. As the message, communication channel and timing is known, nothing else is needed to send out the message.
Matching website visitors and contacts: Whenever people are contacted, some will react immediately through the same channel: on the telephone or replying the email send. In many cases there will be no response, but their reaction can be remarked by the induced website visits. Especially as these companies have interest in the products or services provided, the communication message is likely to generate website visit(s) from the addressee. Thus by analyzing the visits after a communication, the possibility exists to match the visitor with a contact by not communicating all contacts on the same moment. Additionally, as the contacts or visitors are interested in the products, chances are high the typical methods of capturing contact details using a white paper download can be successfully applied.
Adjusting the message: As more visits are generated by your communications, the aggregated company data will even better reveal more precisely the interest by search terms used and pages visited. This will allow for adjusting the message to their interests.
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Acquiring the lead: From all of these conversations, interactions and website visits, finally a lead can be acquired and lead qualification can be done. Then the process of lead nurturing can be started.
Perceived benefit for the customer: The potential customer will feel you understand his problem better and as you interact with him in a much better than your competitors (if they don’t have such a solution). Your communication messages are relevant to his situation or problem or opportunity. It likely your sales team will be winning more deals.
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The one combined solution: How the Cold calls are no longer cold
As the website visitors visit incognito on the website, the trails and clues they leave behind on your website need to be exploited to picture and identify the visitor and his origin. The solution is required for the Salesman to be able to: • Obtain company information • Find possible contacts • Interpreting the behavior of the visitors and to estimate their drivers • Understand the drivers or benefits for every potential customer • Treat individual customers differently • Allow for timely communications using appropriate messages, triggered by the visits The goal is to have a method for efficiently getting the sales, together with the best customer satisfaction possible. This leads to more revenue and higher profits for your company, at the same time having satisfied customers. They will become returning customers.
Website visitor tracking and CRM: All of this information and interpretations will provide a framework for wiring a ‘web’ for your visitor by the communications of the adjusted messages to his interest, and instant actions upon the reactions from the potential company or visitor. This complete solution goes beyond two separate solutions: a website visitor analytics package and a CRM, integrated by an application exchange. If the CRM and the website visitor tracking or tracing is not within the same environment, all of this tracking and tracing of interactions is not possible, even not with the best application exchange interface. Moreover keeping 2 separate data base systems up-to-date all of the time, in both directions, without inconsistency in the two data bases, is imposing expensive technology, more costly than the separate solutions themselves. Moreover such a solution is likely to fail one day, resulting in inconsistent data of the two data bases. What is needed is one powerful system to convert your website visitors into leads into prospects and eventually into sales. Solely a solution able of capturing the website visits by company and combining this with the Marketing and Sales efforts and communications to the visitors will be able to achieve the above mentioned goal. In order to handle the Sales and Marketing efforts, a CRM is required.
Thus website visitor identification solution needs to be one unified and merged solution with the CRM, having the interaction of the communications of Marketing and Sales, combined with the induced website visits, for supporting the continuous inflow of data for immediate analysis.
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The integrated CRM and website visitor identification The benefit of having one integrated application is in the continuous data inflow from the website visits into the CRM, allowing to: 1) Analyze visually: It is known that any communication (email, telephone, and letter) to an interested party is likely to generate a website visit. The visual analysis of the sales and marketing actions and communications with the induced visits can be used for: • Adjusting even better your message to the potential customer • Lead scoring: Select the companies to pursue and those to forget about . • Neglected companies: In case a company gets neglected by Sales, the Company can be remarked or retrieved by the number of visits without any or little communication events. 2) Aggregated company data: • Search terms used by all of the visitors of the company: thus aggregated by company • Most popular visited pages by all of the visitors of the company: aggregated by company 3) Matching visitors and contacts: It is highly probable, in case a communication to one specific person immediately induces a visit on the website: it very likely this contact is visiting. 4) Alerts when a company visits again: As the visitor returns, it is time to take action for communications
The Cold call will be no longer “cold”: As the Salesman will have gathered ample and precise information about the company and the person to be called, he almost starts to ‘knows’ him. The information ranges from company wide information to specific personal information found on the Internet. Above all: the interests, the behavior, the environment the company vision,… Combining all of the available information, the Salesman can pose the appropriate questions and bring the best suited solution.
The business benefits of such a solution are: • Get more leads • Be more concise, precise and appropriate in your communication messages • More efficient Cold Calling by only calling upon the visiting companies • Convert more visitors into leads into sales. • Get Sales a reason to call, email or send information by post • Maintaining relations with customers and ex-customers more efficiently • Have more effective prospecting by visitor and leads scoring • Lower your lead generation and sales costs significantly • Set-up conversations based upon visiting data.
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The conclusion: Cold calling upon website visitors: a leap forward
Cold calling upon website visitors is not possible as no data is present, as in most cases the visitors on the website stay unknown, thus Sales and Marketing have no possibility to communicate or interact with the visitors. By using the combined visitor identification and CRM solution, it is possible to reveal enough information to start Cold calling efficiently on the visiting companies. The goal of this solution is not solely to identify visitors, but also to understand the drivers or desired benefits for every potential customer and to treat every prospect differently by their appropriate communication messages, having starting a dialogue as goal. All this information makes the Cold call less cold, as one will be calling upon interested parties, from who the salesman has a clear picture, and almost “knows” the person. He is aware of the needs and requirements of this person and the company. This method will lead to more revenue and higher profits for your company together with satisfied customers, who will be returning.
The proposition: LEADSexplorer
LEADSExplorer is a web service, using the same method for capturing the website visitor data as web analytics. This is done by a java script line inserted in the pages of the website or the header page of the website. Thus this is a widely known method of implementation, requiring little html knowledge and little effort. All data is processed on the servers and the Salesman will consult and work on the information by the using any web browser. This allows access and operations from any Internet enabled work station (even an Internet enabled mobile phone). The goals of LEADSExplorer are to: • Effective and efficient Cold calling • No more fear for the Cold call, as this is no longer a real Cold call. • Cold calling using a personalized and appropriate communication message. • Enable salespersons to differentiate from competition. • Provide information about company • Provide possible contacts and related information about contacts • Provide information for communications and conversations with potential buyers. • Qualification: select potential buyers with highest level of interest. • Deliver just-in-time messaging. • Track all messaging and communications. • Minimize salesperson data entry. • Track and monitor each opportunity. • Start a conversation, a dialogue. For further information, please visit: www.leadsexplorer.com
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