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Archive for May, 2012

True innovators identify the spaces in between

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

By David Nachman

May 31, 2021 – Driving change that truly has an impact requires an objective look. Objectivity can be obtained in many ways, through data, through observation, through deep probing questions, by talking to someone outside your industry, but often true opportunity for change is in what isn’t being said and done.

I realized this truth in my tenure at a previous technology company at a day in the life visit with a client. We started the program with the idea that we could only learn so much from asking our customers what they needed. Our hypothesis was that through observation of their day-to-day workings we would learn better how they used our software or more importantly when they didn’t use our software.

All the visits were valuable, but one visit in particular shapped our software development direction drastically. The “aha” moment came when I walked into a customers office and saw sticky notes all around his computer screen. I asked him what the sticky notes were for and he mentioned that they were call back reminders, details on candidate status’, etc. As I observed him for a number of hours, I learned that he was using a combination of our software and the sticky notes to effectively do his job. Throughout the day a few sticky notes were taken down and more were added. It was through this observation that we realized that our software could truly replace this manual task of sticky note reminders with automated software.

Through this experience I learned that people don’t often know what they need, they just know what they want. After this epiphany moment, I begin to more actively listen and found that there is so much chatter in the world around us from mainstream media, social media, and casual interactions with co-workers, friends and family. What I noticed is everyone was saying the same thing, and that’s when I realized, finding what is missing, what is not being said in the conversation, is where the real value lies.

There is a message in this concept of the spaces in between for just about any business person. Most of our customers are in a sales role, and in a sales situation, listening to understand is such a critical part of the job. Inside sales associates often go from one conversation to the next, and get so stuck in a scripted conversation they can forget no one customer is the same. Truly asking probing questions and selling in a way that fits into what each unique customer knows they want but also what they might not even know they need, is the secret to successful selling.

About the author: David Nachman was recently appointed to Executive Vice President of Marketing, Product and Business Development. Nachman brings an impressive track record of successful ventures, with more than 20 years of experience executing effective growth strategies, both as a senior executive and as an advisor.

The importance of having allies: How Jenzabar complements Leads360’s offering for schools with continuing education programs

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

By Martin Lind

May 30, 2021 — As I write this, I’m on a plane flying to the popular annual conference of one of our partners, Jenzabar. I thought it would be an ideal time to take a closer look at how some of our education industry partnerships work and the role alliances play in the enrollment management software ecosystem.

At the 30,000 foot level (yes, pun intended - I am on a plane after all), Leads360 helps get the right student candidates connected to and engaged with the right people in the school’s admissions department. Jenzabar software helps keep those student engaged and successful while attending school and supports the student’s transition to a career once they graduate.

Positive interactions at each touch point
We’ve teamed up with Jenzabar to help meet the growing need for schools to quickly engage prospective students at the point of initial inquiry and effectively support them through the registration fulfillment process. This need has become much more critical with the proliferation of online, adult, professional, and continuing education programs in higher education. Leads360 is integrated with Jenzabar’s continuing education platform, Higher Reach, to help track and manage large volumes of prospects for certificate, workforce development and other continuing education programs whether online or campus-based. Colleges and universities are seeking proven solutions such as Leads360 to reach prospective students quickly and ensure positive interactions at each touch point.

Building a better mousetrap - together
Why are industry alliances like these so important? The tech sector is no different from any other industry – our products are based on intellectual property (IP) and the company that succeeds is the one that correctly anticipates what the market will need next, and then creates the IP and software solution to meet that need. In the enrollment management world, the winners are those who enable admission departments to successfully identify and enroll the right students. So, by partnering with complementary solution providers, we all can provide school decision makers with best-of-breed software.

At Leads360, we’ve always operated under the philosophy that the sum truly can be greater than the parts and that goes for alliances and intelligence. That is why we continually share with the industry our research based on a quantitative analysis of millions of records in our platform and a qualitative info that we learn from partners and customers about evolving trends each year. A good example is our annual Lead Industry Report [link].

Is your product a best-of-breed solution for EDU? Want to talk to us about how an alliance might be mutually beneficial or meet for an idea exchange on trends we’re seeing in enrollment management? I’ll be at JAM this week and at booth 519 at the APSCU conference. Let’s connect. education@leads360.com.

Leads360 Study Finds Dramatic Acceleration of Sales Effectiveness among Dial-IQ Users

Monday, May 21st, 2012

By Alyssa Trenkamp

May 21, 2021 — Leads360 released new research validating the effectiveness of its Dial-IQ users to reach more prospects in the optimal 5 minute window – when customer interest is at its peak. The research found that Dial-IQ and multi-line customers contact 92% more customers in the optimal five minute window, increase user productivity by as much as 106% and most impressive, and counter intuitive to predictive dialer beliefs, using multi-line actually decreased the number of calls made per conversion by 18%.

To download the study, click here.

Telephony, the most powerful yet misunderstood sales tool

Friday, May 18th, 2012

By Alyssa Trenkamp

May 18, 2021 — Is your sales organization making too many calls or giving up on a prospect too easily? Or are your sales reps trying to engage after a consumer has made their decision? These are some of the most common mistakes sales organizations make.

A phone call can indeed be a sales associate’s most powerful tool. When a sales call is timed just right and the associate is skilled to engage the prospect by providing relevant and helpful information, the consumer may even view the call similarly to getting a hand written letter instead of an email; however, creating the perfect harmony in call sequencing and timing is easier said than done.

Leads360’s approach to sales automation centers on speed and intelligence – our SaaS-based sales automation platform helps customer sales organizations optimize their processes, accelerate engagement, increase user productivity and maximize conversion rates. We do this through intelligent prioritization and distribution, skill-based routing and other intelligent tools that ensure you manage your sales pipeline with the highest level of effectiveness.

Below is an infographic based on Leads360 research. We benchmark much of our research off of the optimal call flow, which was derived by  analyzing more than 40 million leads managed through our system. With the recent introduction of multline we wanted to see how our customers improved performance against the optimal contact strategy and the results were staggering. See infographic below and download our new Dial-IQ research for more detail

Dial-IQ or Predictive Dialer: What’s the Right Fit for your Organization?

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

By Nick Hedges

May 8, 2021 — Last month we rolled out a new and improved Dial-IQ, the market’s first, full-featured intelligent dialer solution, fully integrated with a comprehensive sales lead management platform.

One of the biggest challenges we faced with Dial-IQ was balancing between high-quality consumer experiences and added sales productivity from multi-line dialing. We believe we have created the right harmony between speed and positive customer experience, without crossing the line into predictive dialer territory and its associated negatives.

Predictive dialers are one of the most misunderstood dialing technologies, probably because different companies label different dialer software features as being predictive.

A predictive dialer is a type of list dialing technology that dials through a list of leads assigned to it. A predictive dialer relies on the fact that most outbound calls do not end up connecting with a live person and thus for every successful call, one predicts that a certain percentage will be unsuccessful. Call centers using predictive dialers typically want as little down time as possible, which means their dialers call more numbers than there are available reps – sometimes as many as 10 calls for each sales rep. This ensures reps are always busy but also frustrates consumers.

Pros and cons of a predictive dialer

There are many benefits and disadvantages of a predictive dialer. Determining whether predictive dialing is the right thing for your company will largely be determined by your answer to these questions:

  • How big is your contact center, if less than 40, a predictive dialer might not be a good fit?
  • How good do you want the experience of your customers and prospects to be?
  • How costly are your leads and are you OK with abandoning 2-3% of your calls with every call attempt?

Leads360′s approach

Most of Leads360′s customers operate in a high velocity consumer sales environment and currently do not fall into the category of a good fit for predictive dialers. Usually our customers spend a considerable sum of money on leads, wish to drive as much value from each lead as possible, and sell products and services that typically require more than a one-call-close.

Leads360’s Dial-IQ brings dialing with intelligence into focus. Dial-IQ offers both a progressive dialer that calls one lead after another and a multi-line dialer that calls up to four lines per agent. Both solutions benefit from intelligent prioritization, lead distribution, contact strategy workflow, and scheduled follow-up capabilities, ensuring the highest level of efficiency in converting prospects into customers.

While traditional predictive dialers may increase call time, they also can cause drops when the statistical model used to calculate the number of outbound calls to make misfires. Usually this happens either as a operator error by loading incorrect seed data or jumbling together leads that are not similar to each other (different stages in the pipeline, timezones, etc.). Dial-IQ on the other hand allows administrators to tailor the dialing strategy to the leads they have in the pipeline. This ensures the highest level of real-time flexibility in tuning who you are going to call next, and how many calls you will be making at once. Dial-IQ in combination with Lead Manager ensures you are segmenting your leads according to the likelihood of them answering and reducing the number of concurrent calls made in accordance with how likely the lead is to pick up, thus reducing the number of dropped calls.

Bottom line –combining our prioritization and distribution engines in Lead Manager with our progressive dialer that never drops a call and our multi-line dialer that drives velocity; customers can maximize the hard-earned value of high quality leads, while also ensuring the highest level of efficiency with lower quality leads.