PLANNING YOUR ANNUAL PROSPECTING STRATEGY TO BUSINESSES
Mon, 03/10/2014 - 22:48 — Brandon Steffek
Potential new customers these days need to be strategically touched through multiple communication channels and continuously educated on how tickets will benefit them before buying. Even with the constant evolution of digital marketing and social media, two of the oldest direct marketing channels working together are continuing to move the needle when prospecting to businesses that are proven through research to buy tickets. Through the course of this article you will learn how to strategically plan a years worth of prospecting to businesses through staggered direct mail and telemarketing follow-up.
One starting point is to evaluate which ticket packages need to be developed and the amount of sales representatives you have available to sell. It is important to determine how aggressive the reps need to be on the phone during the season versus the off-season to help forecast how many businesses you will be able to efficiently harvest throughout the year. Take into consideration that in combination with prospecting, ticket reps will be working on other sales duties like renewals, upsells, non-renewed accounts, etc., which will play into their everyday capacities. Once you consider these aspects it is time to figure out which package offers are going out through direct mail when, to whom, and what is the follow-up plan.
The full strategy will be to schedule a years worth of calculated touch points and package offers, not just the initial post card touch and 2 – 3 follow-up calls. Once you complete the initial phase of touch points to all your qualified prospects, get the leads that were not sold into another sequence with a different package offer. For example, if you are first looking to sell a season ticket package and are unsuccessful, on your second sequence push partial plans or if the business qualifies by employee size offer a corporate group package to continue the cycle. Depending on the scope of your campaign you can constantly have your prospects fitting into yearlong or multi-year sequences that will always keep your package benefits and offerings front of mind. This approach will allow you to spread out your touch points to not overwhelm your prospects in one particular medium and potentially hit when it is a better time for them to make a decision.
The next step is determining the amount of time between each staggered set of post cards hitting and how long it will take to thoroughly follow-up with every lead. For each set allow your reps one week to make the initial call and a second week to circle back through for a second and third attempt on those who were previously unreachable. While the reps are finishing off calls to each set of businesses, post cards to the new prospects will be in the mail to hit at the appropriate time to start the next phase. Every six weeks or three sets of prospects you should allow reps one week to make a final pass through the unreachable folks before firing up the next set of mailers. Following this schedule will allow reps the opportunity to stay on top of the most active deals, keep in touch with past proposals, attempt to dig up previous cold leads, along with permitting time to take care of other sales responsibilities.
Throughout this article you have learned how to utilize staggered direct mail and telemarketing touch points to strategically prospect to businesses for a full year. This approach will keep your sales representatives on a strict schedule of making calls while methodically keeping all your qualified business leads in a sales funnel that will continuously keep your brand in front of them. Revisit your full campaign each year to perform analytics on which business segments and package offers excelled so you can replicate those trends to maximize your sales moving forward.