EMEA appointment setting pilot generates high quality pipeline leads for Aerotech sales engineers.
Founded in 1970, Aerotech is a leading provider of high-precision motion control and automation equipment that employs almost 500 people worldwide. Aerotech’s engineering, research and development, and manufacturing teams are headquartered in the US with full service subsidiaries in the UK, Germany, and throughout Asia supporting its global customer base.
Aerotech personifies an engineering culture. The business offers its clients impactful consultation throughout the buying and implementation process of its products and services. The automation equipment that it designs and builds solves its clients’ most challenging process engineering and manufacturing problems.
Campaign objective and project background
Aerotech had previously marketed their products and services through an internal marketing team using digital channels and events to generate leads. Their goal was to generate higher quality leads, SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads), rigorously qualified as having a need, budget and project within a 12 month timeframe. A secondary objective was to identify MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads), in-profile prospects without an immediate need for future nurture and where appropriate, gain email opt-ins to Aerotech’s monthly Education Content Network. As this function had not been outsourced previously, a priority for Aerotech in selecting a telemarketing agency was the ability to robustly and systematically qualify leads and align activity with the needs of the in-house sales team. Having evaluated multiple agencies and drawn up a short list of three on that basis, The Telemarketing Company (TTMC) was chosen to carry out a campaign to generate appointments for the sales and applications engineers across EMEA territories.
A briefing with three agents took place on-site at TTMC’s Brighton offices to ensure that different styles and approaches could be tested and to provide cover in the case of sickness or holiday. The client’s briefing was thorough given the technical nature of the proposition including the unique selling points for their equipment and engineering expertise, competitive positioning, pain points and benefits, as well as objections that might be raised. It was important that agents were trained not only to handle the technical complexity but also understand the unique elements of the proposition so they could position Aerotech correctly, as an expert value-add partner providing technically superior custom solutions and support for ‘hard-to-solve’ precision automation challenges.
Data was supplied by the client which spanned multiple manufacturing segments from laser process machinery, semiconductor equipment and medical device manufacturers to electronic, aerospace and defence manufacturers. Given the specialist nature of Aerotech’s products and services, its target universe is finite, a niche within a broad base of automation equipment users, specifically those with the hard to solve problems. Data management was therefore critical and it was important to segment and strategically target the right people, those with whom the message would resonate.
It was also important to position the relevant benefits appropriately with decision makers in different segments of the markets. For example, a different style and approach was needed when speaking with someone working in R&D in an academic organisation, to that used when speaking to a production director in the aerospace/defence sector. Aerotech wanted to create awareness of new and updated capabilities within their product range. With differing levels of awareness across audience segments, agents were also tasked to educate prospects around new features and benefits, where appropriate.
As calling progressed, the lead caller steadily gained traction and built skills and knowledge drawing on feedback from the Aerotech team, facilitated through shared call recordings and regular reviews. As a second stage to calling, TTMC was tasked to call a list of priority accounts which had been hand-selected by Aerotech’s team but which had not yet been approached due to limited in-house bandwidth. TTMC set up a systematic calling strategy, using tried and tested approaches to get past gatekeepers and engage with hard-to-reach prospects.
Trust grew as the engagement developed which fostered closer collaboration. The main point of contact for the campaign was the sales manager based in the UK who coordinated the campaign on behalf of the various territories. Performance was driven by clear and precise direction and guidance relating to lead definitions and the critical hand-off processes between in-house team and agency. Regular meetings and conference calls allowed processes to be tweaked as circumstance changed and to improve performance. Periodic reviews with the wider US and EMEA team to assess performance ensured the approach was calibrated in line with broader requirements.
Aerotech is delighted with what has proven to be a successful pilot that has opened up a channel for them to generate higher quality pipeline leads that are truly sales-qualified. This has freed up their valuable in-house resource to focus their skills on prioritising and converting their best opportunities rather than wading through volumes of less ripe leads.
The campaign to-date has generated 47 appointments, one in every nine hours of calling, against of target of one result in every eight hours, in addition to a solid pipeline of marketing qualified leads and future opportunities. The extended length of the Aerotech sales process means it is too early to be able to measure the return on investment so far, but feedback confirms that some very encouraging opportunities have been unearthed. In addition, TTMC was successful in reaching and engaging key decision-makers within the list of hand-selected accounts, which the in-house sales and applications engineers had not managed to connect with. The team was also effective in securing GDPR compliant opt-ins to the Educational Content Network, helping grow Aerotech’s presence in that sector.
Following the success of this initial engagement Aerotech is now considering how TTMC can support new initiatives, including upcoming new product launches.