First established in 2010, Energy Renewals provides independent energy management consultancy and procurement advice to a wide range of businesses, from SMEs to large corporations, public sector organisations and charities. Through their industry knowledge, relationships and expertise the company helps businesses better manage their energy requirements, monitor usage, identify where efficiencies can be made and access the most competitive market rates.
With a finger on the pulse of the energy market, an understanding of technology changes and trends, as well as the latest government policy and environmental regulations, Energy Renewals provides valuable insights that shape its clients’ energy strategies.
Campaign objective and project background
The Telemarketing Company (TTMC) was engaged by Energy Renewals to deliver face to face appointments as part of a new business initiative. Previous experience in the energy and utilities sector, both in energy efficiency and procurement/brokerage, gave TTMC a good understanding of the service and associated benefits, and made the agency a natural fit for the campaign.
With a number of innovative services and different strands to the client proposition, it was important to isolate an offer that was sufficiently unique and compelling to get and keep the attention of prospects over the phone. The competitive nature of the sector, the number of energy providers, consultants and other third party intermediaries active in the market made a strong USP critical to the success of the project. Client and agency worked together to discuss various options from pricing offers and grants, reduced carbon footprint, to the support and service offering. It was felt that energy efficiency gains and potential cost savings would provide the most distinct message with which to lead the campaign. It would also provide a platform for further discussion around procurement.
The aim was to target organisations using >240,000 kW of energy (or £20K) per annum that would most benefit from the offer and potential cost savings. Schools, with often limited budgets, were considered a strong target segment and a database of around 6000 independent, free, state and special needs schools was therefore sourced. The call objective was to qualify schools that met the required criteria, identify target decision makers - Bursars, Heads and Deputy Heads, Facility and Estates Managers - and then set up face to face appointments with a consultant to discuss energy efficiency strategies.
Following recommendations from the agency, it was agreed that appointments would be grouped geographically, targeting and securing appointments at larger sites first, before focusing on smaller surrounding sites to minimise travel time for the sales team and maximise ROI for the client.
Callers were assigned based on skills and experience, and their ability to adopt a consultative approach using a series of qualifying questions to capture insight into energy usage and more general information such as replacement dates. The early stage of each call would focus on discovery, quickly identifying opportunities for significant efficiency savings in each school including large open areas such as halls or gyms, or heavy usage areas such as swimming pools or kitchens. Callers were briefed on common pain points and potential objections and given training on key benefits such as short and long-term savings, a lower carbon footprint, and increased efficiencies. With this knowledge they would tailor their response and highlight the relevant benefits based on client feedback and insight shared on live calls.
A proactive approach was essential, given the highly competitive nature of this particular market, especially in the early ‘hot phase’ of the campaign. A review involving the client and all senior members of the TTMC team took place after two days and ongoing reviews, on-line reporting/analytics and call recordings for each outcome provided complete visibility of pipeline status as calling progressed.
Robust qualification of all appointments ensured any immediate opportunities were identified quickly and flagged as priority. The collaborative approach adopted ensured client feedback was captured and incorporated, and areas for improvement addressed promptly. For example, the client was initially introduced as ‘Energy Renewals’ but this was met with resistance from gatekeepers assuming the call was from an energy company, after their energy contract. Working with the client, therefore, TTMC agreed that callers would use another of the company’s names – “ER Consulting” and this change significantly improved the rate of success getting past gatekeepers and reaching the decision-makers. In addition, changing the focus of the message to reducing carbon footprint and costs, as opposed to Energy Management, which was the client’s original brief, also dramatically improved call outcomes.
After 140 hours of calling, the project has exceeded target and generated 23 appointments and 7 sales leads, with an estimated pipeline value of £75K. A thorough quality control process has ensured appointments meet required criteria so that consultants spend time with qualified, interested, budget-holding decision makers. The valuable insight provided via detailed lead sheets and call recordings also arms them with intelligence that increases the likelihood of conversion.