Social media can be used for a lot of things.
Most of the time people use social media, for just that, to be social.
Businesses do a great job at using it for customer service issues as well as a platform to distinguish their voice and connect with customers and clients.
It makes sense why businesses do this. Social media comes in handy when there’s an issue going on at your company, for an example an outage. This is a quick and easy way to let customers and clients know the issue is being resolved and that you are aware of the situation.
Here at QCSS, we took the time to develop a SlideShare so that you can better understand the customer service side of social media.
Flip through the presentation we created to learn about customer service on social media, the different platforms that many businesses use, how to use social media as a customer service tool, and how not to use social media as a customer service tool.
Using social media as a customer service tool can be extremely effective and convenient for your company.
Feel free to share this with your team so that they can have a better understanding of how social media is being used to benefit businesses.
Written by: Amy Schiller
Have you come to a dead end with lead generation?
We’ve all been there.
Prospects aren’t interested in your product or service or even taking your calls. It’s hard enough to be on the phones every day making phone calls – and harder having every person turn you down.
Well, there’s good news: Generating leads doesn’t have to be that difficult. With the right team and strategy at your disposal, you could easily be following up on leads and engaging with interested prospects.
We’ll walk you through different ways that you can generate leads for your team. When we’re done you’ll know exactly how to convert qualified generated leads in your pipeline. Ready? Let’s dive in.
6 Ways to Generate New Leads for Your Sales Team
Before you start diving into generating leads, you need to understand how the process works. Just like you would outline a blog post before writing, you want to establish the three or four main takeaways of your lead generation campaign, and make sure you have a team to help you. Then, you can start talking about how you are going to generate your leads.
Now, let’s talk about the 6 different ways that you can generate new leads for your team!
1. Social Media
Social media is a great way to generate new leads. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are just a couple platforms that businesses use for lead generation.
Twitter and Instagram allow for direct messages, which makes it easy to reach out to people in specific industries.
To use Facebook for lead generation, you may have to invest in advertising. The good news is that there are experts who do Facebook advertising for a living.
Social media platforms are an amazing way to generate leads but you have to be willing to reach out to people and be social – hence social media.
2. Optimizing Content
When you use content that is relevant and appealing you will capture the correct audience. No matter what industry you are in, you are the expert!
Highlight what you do best and share inside knowledge to show the information you’re sharing is reliable.
Yes, LinkedIn is a social media platform. It’s just so important for lead generation that we gave it its own number.
Publishing posts and articles on LinkedIn is a great way to get noticed by other companies. LinkedIn also makes it easy to establish yourself as an industry leader.
Add people on LinkedIn who you want to be in your network. Be sure to add a note so that when they see your invite, they will know why you want to be connected with them.
If you’re looking to take LinkedIn lead generation extremely seriously be sure to:
- Participate in discussions
- Publish posts and articles
- Comment on other posts
- Stay active
- Use it as a social network – be social!
4. Email Marketing
Do you have an email list?
If not, you may want to start working towards developing one.
And no, buying email lists is not the answer to your problem.
Get people who are interested in your business to sign up for your email list. How? By distributing amazing content that people can’t say no to and want to be notified when you’ve published something new.
Email marketing is never going to go out of style.
5. Public Relations
Joining a podcast, live video, radio show, or video chat in your industry is a great way to generate new leads. This will help people get to know you on a different platform, and not just as your usual business self.
It also helps you become more relatable which will encourage people to reach out and talk to about what you do.
6. The telephone
Start a campaign with a telemarketing company and develop a lead generation campaign.
Are you trying to set appointments for your sales team or up-sell / cross-sell services?
A telemarketing campaign is a great way to increase sales and profits, the number of qualified leads, and the number of appointments.
There actually are a lot more benefits than those, check them out here.
We’ve covered 6 different ways that you can develop leads.
If you want more information on this subject feel free to call us at 888.229.7046.
We’re the people who make and take the calls. Lead generation is just one of our many specialties.
Written by: Amy Schiller
Great energy, positive vibes, and the best inbound calling customer service that you'll ever get
1. Add value
First, put yourself into your customers shoes. Consider what’s important and how your product or service will benefit them. If you’re having trouble with this part, that’s ok. There are many solutions to this. One is to get feedback from your target market through surveys. This could be online, or it could be on the phone.
During the first phase, think: start helping, stop selling.
Once you have figured out how you can add value to your customers, pick up the phone and call them. Let them know about special deals and discounts.
Another way to add value to your customers or clients is to offer a whitepaper or any type of free resource. This will give your target market insight into the industry and provide them with information that they didn’t already know. It will make it more difficult for them to leave for a competitor.
2. Build a better customer experience
If you’re looking for more positive online reviews, word-of-mouth referrals, and higher retention rates then it’s time to develop a memorable customer experience.
This will allow you to develop a relationship with your customers, potentially recover lost customers, engage existing customers, improve customer satisfaction, and add a competitive advantage to your company.
Improving the customer experience is something that is easy to do and provides your company a lot of benefits.
3. Design a customer outreach strategy and stick to it
The purpose of customer outreach is to introduce something awesome to your customers. This can be the white paper or it can be a new amazing service. It should be something that will get your customers excited and again, add value.
QCSS worked with a client in the healthcare industry who was losing their own customers and market share due to aggressive acquisition tactics of a competitor. That’s when QCSS helped design and implement a customer outreach strategy that allowed the client to provide more customized, high touch relationships with their clients.
In the end, QCSS reduced customer churn for the company.
QCSS Case Study
The client produces compliance publications for billing and coding departments within hospitals, private practices, and home health facilities.
This company was losing their own customers and market share due to the aggressive acquisition tactics of a competitor owned by a multi-billion-dollar healthcare company.
QCSS helped design and implement a customer outreach strategy that allowed the client to provide more customized, high touch relationships with their clients.
QCSS reduced customer churn.
There’s a huge myth out there right now that a lot of people are believing… The myth is that social and digital outreach alone will bring qualified leads into your sales pipeline. It’s part of the reason that people believe picking up the phone and calling someone is no longer necessary..
This is far from the truth and Tony J. Hughes (THE sales guru) wrote an entire book about this very hot topic.
His new book is called COMBO prospecting and in a recent interview with John Smibert he explains the importance of digital and social as well as the phone to build a quality sales pipeline for your business.
If you don’t have time to read or watch the interview, here are a couple of takeaways.
You need the right combinations of activity, done the right way and at the right time if you want to succeed.
The 3 key combinations are:
The right value narrative
The right mindset
The right combinations
You need the combination of digital and social as well as the phone.
If you want to build a quality sales pipeline you must… jab, jab, jab with email & social… and then knock them out with the phone.
A silent sales floor is dangerous
Scared to make cold calls? It’s easy to make calls warm and you can do that with social. You need human-to-human interaction. The chances of you landing a sale just from chatting with someone over LinkedIn is very rare. Pick up the phone and call.
Everybody should be selling
The CEO, CFO and all the salespeople.
No salesperson can get enough qualified leads into the pipeline from marketing. Inside sales or sales development reps are never going to provide enough leads either. There’s always going to be some gap and salespeople have to be good at creating their own personal pipeline.
The boxing metaphor
In boxing, you’re constantly jabbing away with your left hand. You should also be jabbing away in social. By this Tony means, using LinkedIn, Twitter, text messages and email as your jabs. Then, the right hook is a phone call. The thing that will knock the person out (not literally, don’t worry).
“Social Phone” is the key to success
Every prospect you’re working with has a mobile phone or a cell phone, and that phone is also their personal digital assistant. That is where they can look at social and they can take a phone call. Social and phone is the only way to go and be successful.
Bringing it all together
The key message from Tony was that using social and phone together will completely change your pipeline. Also, make sure your sales floors aren’t silent, you have to be talking to the customers and outbound with the phone.
There’s a lot of work to do, COMBO type work.
If you want to know more, just look for COMBO prospecting in bookstores or buy it on Amazon.
Here's some quick, simple advice from the coolest call center you know!
Making inside sales calls can be intimidating. You prepare. You sit down at the phone, and then all of a sudden, there is a fleeting moment of reluctance. It can happen to even the most experienced sales reps.
Why does this happen?
Well, it’s because the moment you pick up the phone, anything is possible. You can prepare for the likely outcomes, but you probably are not able to anticipate everything that the person on the other end will say or do.
How do you overcome this?
In that moment it’s important to remember your purpose, and maintain as much control of the situation as possible.
Great sales reps prepare, and are able to adjust accordingly to whatever the situation may call for. They also understand when and when not to rely on the call script.
How to make inside sales calls successfully:
Like any other skill or vocation, training is essential. This is where sales reps become versed with the company and its products and services. They can familiarize themselves with the necessary script components, goals and expectations and client interaction etiquette.
This is the point that callers will learn their target contact person. They may also role play phone calls to become more comfortable with the multitude of directions that a live phone call may take them.
Making inside sales calls is kind of like the first time you drive a car or use a power tool. The preparation is key, but there will be a certain amount of nerves until you take control of the machine.
Sometimes it is important to act, without overanalyzing. Remember to stay calm, but direct. Inside sales calls can go in a multitude of directions, but it is important to remain calm, and bring the conversation back to your central purpose.
It is important not to be intimidated by the prospect on the phone. It might be a good idea to do a little background research on the prospect before the phone call to better relate. LinkedIn is a great research tool for individuals in the B2B industry.
Once you make the phone call, you only have a few seconds to truly grab someone’s attention, so the most important thing to remember is to be direct with them.
Just like you, your prospect is a busy person. Make sure you are addressing their pain point within the first 30 seconds of the phone call so that they don’t think you are wasting their time.
Hiring a telemarketing company
It may be better option for you to outsource your inside sales call needs in order to allow your sales staff to focus on their core set of responsibilities.
The right telemarketing company will cause your leads and sales to spike. It can be a revenue-generating decision for your business. Telemarketing companies also have experienced callers versed in a variety of scenarios, with a successful track record of generating leads and sales.
Are you looking for that extra sales push? If your business is truly looking to cash in on a proven way to reach prospects, contact us and we can help determine the right strategy for you.
Sometimes the technologies that last the longest are still the most effective when it comes to generating leads and sales. Most businesses understand that even in a technologically advanced society, the telephone is still a great way to generate interest in their product or service.
Telesales can be an incredibly efficient way for businesses to increase sales with both old and new customers. It is often a term used interchangeably with telemarketing, but they are a little different. Telemarketing can be used to generate future sales, but it is a way for businesses to create interest in their products and services over a given amount of time.
Telesales As a Revenue Generator
In telesales, products and services are sold over the phone with no future contact is necessary. The entire transaction including the payment can be processed from start to finish in one phone call. This method can be used to increase sales with both new and existing customers.
Telesales can save you time, money and resources—making it an efficient way to reach people. What’s great about telesales is that there is no need to involve outside sales, meet prospects in person, or conduct any travel. It’s a terrific way for your business to increase their operational efficiency, while cutting down on unnecessary expenses.
Strong Sales Force
Of course, selling on the telephone is not quite as personable as selling face-to-face.
For example, it is impossible to tell body language the way that you could if the prospect was sitting across the table from you. Telesales representatives do not have the ability to look a prospect in the eye to build trust and rapport. These challenges must be overcome for an effective telesales campaign.
- Speak slowly and annunciate in a way that the prospect will easily be able to understand their message.
- Refrain from becoming rude or obnoxious. Many prospects will be formulating their response to the caller within the first few seconds of the call, so a professional demeanor remains crucial.
- Have strong verbal skills. They need to sound confident on the phone.
- Be resilient and upbeat as they continue with their calls. It’s important to remain positive about the company’s products and services.
A Flawless Ending
Callers need to be efficient at closing the sale. This requires the caller to understand when the prospect is ready to commit to the sale, in order to refrain from becoming too pushy or obnoxious.
It requires a good amount of practice and skill to become effective at telephone selling. Customers will give off various signals that can help prompt the next response from the caller.
Telesales remains an effective and efficient way for businesses to boost their bottom line. If telesales is something your business is interested in trying to increase sales, contact QCSS today so that we can have a conversation about how it will help.
Written by: Amy Schiller
We once knew someone who personally used to drive 80,000 miles a year visiting clients and prospects. They now run a successful inside sales team and barely leave the office.
Face-to-face interaction is always going to be necessary. In fact, at QCSS we have clients and prospects come into the office all the time to see what we do and how we do it. But it’s also true that most companies generate a lot of growth through inside sales.
An “inside sales team” doesn’t mean everyone on the team literally works inside the office. A company can combine permanent staff with an outsourced call center.
Here’s how to make it work.
Set goals, roles and responsibilities
So, first you need to know what you’re doing. Are you generating leads? Booking appointments? Are you a sales support or customer service team? Lastly, who is doing what?
Once you have this figured out, it’s time to put together a team that you know will produce and help you hit your goals. Cold calls done the right way can accelerate any business. However, if it is done the wrong way, there can be a lot that goes wrong.
After finding a team, you should delegate roles according to strengths. Make sure that you hold every individual accountable for their actions.
For large-scale lead generation, it’s hard to beat the volume and efficiency of an outsourced call center. A call center can also be a big asset for inbound roles like technical support, but you’ll probably want your staff to handle the more complex issues.
Define your sales process
Most successful inside sales teams operate within a defined sales process, or DSP.
What is a Defined Sales Process, you ask?
Really, it’s just a fancy way of saying you know what steps a successful sale takes. You should definitely make sure that everyone on your team knows those steps, because it takes ten or more touches to turn a lead into a sale.
Your process may evolve over time, and may change with each product or service you’re selling.
A top call center will make sure your calling agents follow the exact same process as your in-house reps. It’s important for everyone to be on the same page so that your customers and clients get the best service possible.
Train thoroughly, and work from strong scripts
Some people don’t think that a call script is necessary. Let us just tell you, it is and it better be a strong one too.
Your team needs to practice your sales process until it becomes second nature. And your scripts should be customized to engage the busy people on the other end of the call, with detailed answers to Frequently Asked Questions and prompts for overcoming likely objections.
Don’t think that an outsourced call center can handle this? A lot of people have their doubts and that’s just a natural instinct. These people are well-trained professionals.
Record your calls
Recording every call, inbound and outbound, is the flipside of all that training. Most top call centers routinely record their calls—along with daily live agent monitoring—for training and quality control purposes.
Your representatives won’t get any better if you aren’t recording their calls. This is how they learn and it’s how you learn too. If they don’t hear what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong, how will they know where to improve?
Choose the right metrics, and monitor them closely
What numbers accurately reflect success for your team? Leads? Appointments? Revenue? Every business is different, but few inside sales teams succeed without tracking their metrics.
Once you’ve defined yours, make sure you establish baseline numbers and attainable benchmarks. Then everyone—in-house and outsourced—gets held to the same standard, reinforced by daily and weekly reports.
Numbers tell the story. Metrics are important because they tell you what’s working and what isn’t working. Everything else is just noise.
Ask us how an outsourced call center can be the cornerstone of your successful inside sales team.
Written by: Amy Schiller
Not too long ago, we had a conversation with a prospect who was contemplating an outsourced call center because their sales staff was spending too much time on the phone.
We asked, “Are they handling mostly inbound or outbound calls?”
They didn’t know. In fact, they weren’t even clear on the difference!
Many people like you are using telemarketing as a reliable service to introduce their business to prospects or to handle call overflow. In general, inbound calls are about safeguarding the business you already have, while outbound calls are about growing that business.
Before deciding which one is appropriate for your business needs, it’s important to know that there’s more to inbound and outbound calls than the direction of the call.
Inbound Calls: Listening, Helping and Building Trust
When someone calls your business, it’s a commitment of their time. Cleary, they are interested in what you have to offer. A superior inbound call center will use this as an opportunity to listen, help and build trust between the caller and your business.
Some key roles your inbound call center should fulfill:
· Customer service Around 50% of all inbound calls concerns customer service from simple questions to complex troubleshooting. Make sure they get what they need because satisfied customers are your number one source of new leads!
· Direct advertising response When someone responds to your ads, you need well-trained inbound specialists to answer their questions and convert that lead into a sale.
· Professional answering service Routing inbound calls to the correct department will help your operation run smoothly and saves potential customers from the annoyance of being stuck on hold or transferred over and over.
· Lead qualification and upselling People don’t always know what they want, even if they think they do! Well-trained inbound specialists help convert leads into sales, and sales into bigger sales.
Your inbound call center should help callers feel that their time and concerns matter to your business. Answering their questions, solving their concerns and fulfilling their requests builds that trust.
Outbound Calls: Lead Generation, Sales, and Research
A call from your company may be the first time an outsider ever hears from you. A top outbound call center will make that first contact count by generating leads, converting leads into sales, and gathering the information your business thrives on.
Some key roles your outbound call center fulfills:
· Lead generation A well-trained outbound call campaign is a seamless extension of your sales team, executing up to 100 targeted dials per hour and pitching as many as 15 of them—quadruple what an average person can do. And you should always get full daily and weekly reports with the results.
· Sales Reach out to prospects and customers with custom-scripted outbound calls. Convert leads into sales, upsell, cross-sell and make sure everyone gets the information they request.
· Database maintenance Your lists are only as good as their most current information. Keep your CRM updated with outbound calling and data entry.
· Market research Why rely on the same research everyone else is using? Stay on top of the latest trends affecting your business—and compile your own, proprietary data—with custom outbound surveys.
Knowing the difference between inbound and outbound calls is critical to keeping your customers satisfied and helping your sales team hit their potential. Ask us how call centers help grow your business.
Post written by: Amy Schiller