Sales alignment and integrated approach boost lead generation for MHR during COVID-19
MHR International Group is a global software and consultancy company specialising in HR, payroll, employee engagement, learning, analytics, and artificial intelligence services. Our product portfolio includes People First, iTrent, and MHR Analytics. More than 1,000 companies from SMEs to large multi-national corporates, across public and private sectors work with us to help them maximise employee engagement, generate better insights from their data and improve efficiencies.
Campaign objective and project background
MHR’s Telemarketing team were managing a mix of inbound and outbound priorities and due to the growing number of interested prospects, they required a telemarketing agency to provide skilled and dedicated resource to support their lead generation efforts. The objective was to expand sales of the People First platform for businesses with between 100-400 employees.
The goal was to set appointments with HR and payroll managers/directors, as well as finance directors. Given this is typically a demanding audience when it comes to selecting the right solutions, it was important that the chosen agency demonstrate a solid track record calling these senior decision-maker contacts (DMCs) to promote HR and payroll-related propositions. The selection process focused heavily on qualifying the depth and breadth of experience in this sector and, after a lengthy evaluation, The Telemarketing Company (TTMC) was chosen.
TTMC set about sourcing a qualified cross-industry list of contacts and organisations in the target profile. Three agents with relevant skills and experience were assigned so that various styles and approaches could be tested, and cover provided in the case of holiday or absence. A briefing took place to train the agency on the People First platform and the broader MHR portfolio including iTrent, an integrated solution combining both HR and Payroll for larger more complex businesses or those requiring a customised solution.
It was important that TTMC’s efforts aligned with MHR’s in-house activities and call outcomes and sales stages were defined accordingly within TTMC’s calling platform. Templates were set up to standardise processes, formats and naming conventions so that MHR could easily bulk upload data and leads into their Salesforce CRM. This alignment would allow leads to flow into the correct category within the Salesforce platform, either to receive marketing nurtures, a scheduled discovery call or product demonstration from the sales team. MHR also had visibility of the TTMC pipeline via an online portal which allowed them to self-serve with real-time access to call outcomes, data downloads and programme performance. Standardisation would give the client clear visibility of the agency’s performance and the programme’s return on investment.
A secondary objective of calling was to build intelligence around prospect needs and requirements as well as current usage that could benefit the sales team when handling leads. Profiling questions secured valuable information including current provider, due dates on contract renewal, requirements for new systems and implementation timeframes. TTMC also gathered competitive intelligence and captured reasons why prospects might not be interested in a follow up from sales.
As calling took place during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was important that the schedule took account of the fact that many prospects were working remotely and harder to reach and that calls were sensitive to businesses under extreme pressure. Close data management ensured ‘available’ pots were not overworked but also that segments that had been ‘rested’ were revisited as the first lockdown eased.
The MHR team worked closely with TTMC on a day-to-day basis providing guidance to help the agents get up to speed quickly on the proposition and hone their knowledge and skills. Call recordings were shared to allow coaching in several areas, for example how to match individual needs to specific benefits to increase conversion. With focus on refining the approach in the early stages and close collaboration between client and agency, the campaign quickly gained traction and began to deliver results.
After the initial 12 week engagement, MHR undertook a thorough review of the pipeline generated by the programme. TTMC’s client portal and Salesforce analytics provided detailed insight into the overall status including the quantity and quality of leads generated and the rate of conversion to opportunity. Reporting showed that data management had been effective in maintaining DMC reach rates and the volume of DMC conversations despite the COVID-19 situation.
Further information: mhrglobal.com
Based on the quality of results and the strong partnership that developed, MHR has extended the engagement on a three-month cycle. They now have a flexible resource working in tangent with the in-house team providing a regular feed of leads, allowing their sales team to focus on high-value opportunities. The strategy has been refined to target specific industries including manufacturing and professional services so that TTMC can deliver a more targeted message and sector-specific examples of where the platform adds value. In addition, going forward the agency will be working on more targeted activities, integrating the voice channel within MHR’s multichannel strategy.