Telemarketing channel delivers solid ROI, brand awareness and valuable market insight for Exizent
Founded in 2019, Exizent is an innovative, UK-based, technology company whose sole aim is to make the bereavement process easier for all involved. Their platform dramatically improves the productivity and profitability of estate administration, making the work of probate teams easier and improving the experience for the bereaved. The company’s mission is to transform the probate industry with a specialist online platform that automates and streamlines the probate process and provides seamless, real-time connectivity between lawyers, financial institutions and executors.
Campaign objective and project background
Following the launch of the business, Exizent had made significant marketing investments but, given the finite nature of their potential universe, felt a more targeted, direct approach could help the business achieve its full potential. They had not used an outsourced telemarketing agency before and were looking for reassurance of an external team’s ability to deliver value, position their proposition effectively and sensitively represent the brand they had worked hard to establish. Having created the business as a result of their own personal experience and the belief that the administrative tasks facing families after the death of a loved one should be easier, it was critical for the founders that anyone representing them was credible and aligned to their brand values.
Exizent received a referral to The Telemarketing Company (TTMC) from another business that had recently engaged with the agency. Exizent agreed an eight-week pilot to establish an evidence-based proof of concept both for the agency and the channel. The goal was to generate demo appointments with senior decision makers and key influencers in the probate department of legal services firms. TTMC needed to feed high-quality, sales-ready leads to the internal sales team who would deliver the platform demonstrations and convert prospects to active customers. Secondary goals of the campaign were to gather feedback to inform the Exizent message and proposition, and build brand awareness within a well-qualified and profiled audience.
A full briefing took place to educate the team on the benefits of the technology platform and the alternative tools and processes that might be in place. The client provided a list of several thousand probate firms which TTMC was tasked to validate in terms of the size of requirement and number of probate cases handled. There were a range of customer persona within the target audience, each with differing pain points and needs. Pre-call research would establish firms where probate was a significant focus and identify qualified decision makers, including Heads of Probate, Estate Administrators, Senior Solicitors and Paralegal, depending on the type and size of business. Pre-qualification of prospects would not only create an up-to-date, profiled list to support the telemarketing effort, it would help agents build rapport, and personalise each conversation with knowledge or information gleaned from the prospect’s own website or news feeds.
Working with a segmented and prioritised set of data that was Telephone Preference Service (TPS) screened by TTMC as part of the service, agents were able to quickly reach qualified decision makers. However, as fee earners for their business, time away from their work had an associated cost for these prospects, so agents had a limited window in which to identify specific needs and pain points, marry these to the relevant benefits and secure a firm commitment to a demo appointment.
Whilst widely accepted within the sector that probate processes are very antiquated and disjointed, it required some navigation to reach the ‘sweet spot’ of those prospects with the authority, budget and need to consider transitioning to a new platform. Whilst acknowledging the need for a more streamlined, technology-based approach, many practices had legacy systems and established ways of working either through case management tools or even manual processes. As calling progressed, it was established that brand recognition was low amongst the audience so agents also had to introduce the brand, educate prospects around the proposition, handle objections and present a compelling case to overcome any existing inertia.
The client was keen to support the pilot and committed fully to providing regular coaching and feedback, checking in daily in the early stages, sharing additional information and providing ongoing support to TTMC’s team. On their side TTMC mobilised all resources, including involving senior management, to identify ways to optimise performance. The Account Manager proactively managed the schedule, regularly communicated progress and, supported by shared call recordings and real-time reporting, collaborated closely with the client to identify opportunities and address barriers encountered.
Efforts were focused on perfecting the call structure and refining the message so that it consistently hit home and, with commitment from both parties, agents moved steadily up the learning curve, honed their agility around the proposition and results started to flow. Internal team changes presented the opportunity for TTMC to try a different agent on the campaign. A new agent who was felt to have the right style of approach and experience was identified and assigned to the programme. This agent proved to be an excellent fit, immediately adding momentum and driving exponential growth in the number of results.
The client and agency’s close collaboration has optimised performance and created a strong foundation for a future partnership. The programme has now been extended and currently generates one appointment for every eight hours of calling, exceeding the original target of one in every ten hours, and the previous average across the whole campaign of one in every fifteen hours.
In addition to qualitative feedback around the brand proposition and message, valuable customer and market insight has been gathered from an important customer segment. Calling has also reinforced brand awareness and established significant potential to grow market presence, despite initial perceptions.
Exizent has built real confidence and trust in TTMC’s team and early reservations around the channel have been overcome as they have seen the quality of outcomes, reinforced brand reputation and valuable insight to inform future strategy. A demo to sale conversion of 50% has been achieved, plus a pipeline with a potential value of £300,000. In addition to ROI, calling has generated a clean, profiled database to support future marketing efforts and a solid opportunity pipeline. A true partnership has evolved and discussions are now underway to extend calling to Northern Ireland and Scotland, where probate laws differ from the rest of the UK, and to target new market segments including accountancy firms.
The client further commented:
"We selected TTMC based on their B2B calling expertise and what we felt was a good fit to both our culture and brand.
We were looking for collaborative conversations. We are professionals, selling to busy professionals and wanting their businesses to succeed whilst enabling them to provide excellent client service at a time that will be difficult for their clients. So it was important to us to have professional communicators listening properly to potential customers, to help establish whether our platform was likely to add value for them.
I was impressed with the overall management of the initial pilot, the collaboration we achieved to iterate approach and the way honest feedback was used both ways."
Co-Founder and COO, Exizent