Flexible, responsive approach during COVID-19 delivers lead generation success for Zehnder France.
Zehnder Clean Air Solutions provide solutions for environments with especially high dust levels in sectors such as logistics, manufacturing, food production, warehousing and recycling. The company produces high performance and energy efficient air filtration units which remove and control high dust concentrations by 60-80% within industrial applications.
Headquartered in Switzerland, the Zehnder brand is represented in some 20 countries worldwide and the group employs 3500 people globally. Zehnder has more than 500 employees in France where it sells solutions through three commercial brands synonymous with innovation, design and reliability: Acova, Runtal, and Zehnder.
Campaign objective and project background
The Telemarketing Company (TTMC) had provided high quality lead generation to Zehnder UK for a number of years and when Zehnder France experienced a drop off in leads as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency was introduced to the French country manager to discuss his requirements. With deep and broad experience managing pan-European and global programmes and a large, team of multilingual, native language agents, TTMC was well placed to help accelerate demand within the French market.
Due to COVID-19, the briefing session took place remotely and the client provided a database of target businesses from a range of sectors including logistics, food production and recycling. Experienced native French speakers were assigned from within TTMC’s in-house calling team and briefed by the client on Zehnder’s brand proposition and support provision, in addition to relevant technical aspects of the offering. Although the agency had represented the brand for many years, it was important to take account of any cultural differences and market variations, for example which competitors were active in the French territory and which objections might need to be handled as a result. In addition, agents were trained on industry-specific benefits and pain points and provided with success stories specific to the French market so they could tailor the proposition accordingly.
"My initial concern working with a foreign telemarketing agency was the language barrier. The caller had to be a native French speaker and I was quickly reassured regarding the ability of TTMC to deal with that constraint. Remote interviews took place with different candidates and the right person fitting with my initial expectations was identified quickly.”
Country Manager, France
The objective was to book high quality appointments where the prospect not only kept to the appointment time but was eager to discuss their needs and already aware of elements of the Zehnder solution that might address those needs.
The brief therefore was to adopt the SPIN selling model, which aligned well to the consultative sales approach in which all TTMC agents are trained. This would involve engaging the prospect in an open dialogue around four key areas (Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-payoff), allowing them to consider their own needs and pain points and gently creating interest in the Zehnder proposition. Guiding the prospect through each stage would enable them to recognise their needs, identify possible solutions, aligned to the Zehnder proposition, and whet their appetite to explore options further. The desired outcome for each call was to book an on-site visit for Zehnder specialists to further discuss customer requirements.
The process required TTMC agents to book diary appointments in both the prospect and Zehnder personnel calendars, then email an appointment confirmation to both parties. Where calls did not result in an appointment, agents were tasked to capture further intelligence, including reasons for any lack of interest, as well as general insight into issues faced or types of pollution experienced.
Given the backdrop of COVID-19, TTMC needed to be agile and responsive in order to navigate obstacles such as hard-to-reach decision-makers working remotely, as well as partial and country-wide lockdowns. Agents were persistent and thorough, making multiple calls to identify, qualify and reach contacts so that appointments were with well-qualified decision-makers. Regular catch-ups took place to ensure client and agency kept abreast of current conditions and could flex the calling schedule appropriately. Full transparency around campaign performance including calls made, reach rates, pipeline health and results achieved was accessible to the client in real time via TTMC Connect, the agency’s online reporting and analytics portal. Close communication such as daily check-ins and weekly catch-ups also facilitated collaboration and enabled agents to respond quickly to queries, liaising with the client to clarify technical points and escalate potential needs so that no opportunities were missed.
Calling was set up and implemented within a short period of time to address the immediate needs of Zehnder France. The first results started to come in one week after calling began. After an initial 12 week trial, the programme was extended and TTMC quickly on boarded a new agent so that no momentum was lost. The client has been very satisfied with the high quality of appointments set, particularly given the disruption during the calling period due to COVID-19.