International B2B sales coach Anthony Iannarino says in his blog post, You Get What You Pay For. More or Less., “All things being equal, they’re right to choose price. But all things being unequal, buying on price alone is dangerously short-sighted and foolish.”
This is good wisdom when you’re considering partnering with a b-to-b lead generation firm, and you must choose between a ‘pay by the appointment’ pricing model, or a firm that operates on a retained, project basis.
When you look at the price tag, appointment-only options – positioned as ‘pay for performance’ – may appear to be the better business decision.
However, before you sign a contract, it’s critical to understand what you’re really paying for.
At JMS Elite, we carefully considered the option of offering the pay-for-appointment-only business development model. Tests and feedback from clients who had previous experience with appointment-only lead generation programs gave us a clear determination: the appointment-only model could not support our commitment to being a premier provider of lead generation services.
We found that following the appointment-only model requires significant compromise in key drivers of value for companies with complex B2B sales processes. Compromises we are unwilling to make.
Compensating for appointment setting kicks in a well-understood rule: you get the behavior you reward. There are many strategies for obtaining appointments that don’t necessarily include identifying the right decision maker and understanding where they are in the buying process.
Central to our ability at JMS Elite to deliver results for our clients, is our commitment to engaging executive prospects in meaningful interactions regarding their business needs and our clients’ solutions.
For exactly this reason, Jennifer Jawor, who first worked with us during her tenure at Initiate Systems, which was acquired by IBM in 2010, brought us into Merge Healthcare when she joined as their director of marketing.
“I was skeptical initially about engaging JMS Elite at Initiate. They appeared expensive, and I had not had good experiences with other telesales companies in the past,” stated Jawor.
“JMS Elite quickly gained my confidence by delivering results. They consistently demonstrate the ability to engage C-level decision makers in meaningful interactions and move them forward in the sales cycle.
“The talent and experience of the JMS Elite team is unparalleled in the industry − they are executives speaking with executives.” – Jennifer Jawor, Vice President Corporate Marketing, Merge Healthcare (formerly of Initiate Systems)
There is a reason that Jawor characterizes JMS Elite’s team as “executives speaking with executives”. We retain only experienced professionals. Our team members not only have previous inside sales or telesales experience, they must have significant general business experience to be considered for our team.
Attracting this level of talent – and rewarding them for executive interactions that produce sales-ready leads – requires a compensation program that cannot be supported by the economics of an appointment-only model.
Compromising on talent and compensation results in poorly qualified prospects and low quality data about those prospects. It also results in high staff turnover, initiating a contagion of inexperience and low quality.
Return on Investment
Transactional appointment setting can be accomplished with a clever, inexperienced team that has talent for ‘working the phones’, but you risk blasting through your hard-earned database with very little to show for it.
At Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology, we proved the value of focusing less on call volume and more on quality of interactions with prospects. Marketing Manager John Lewis tested JMS Elite head-to-head with other telesales providers.
While it took us longer to get through their lists, we were able to ultimately generate more sales-ready leads than our competition, thus achieving a lower cost per lead and higher return on their marketing investments.
“JMS Elite uses a much more thorough process as a lead generation firm; their professional telesales team has helped us to get in touch with prospects and our existing customers. JMS Elite provides an effective way to nurture leads and delivers an excellent ROI.” – John Lewis, Marketing Manager, Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology
We understand the temptation of companies to accept what appears to be a lower cost or lower risk offer for lead generation services with the appointment-only model.
Our job is to educate clients on the value of making the upfront investment to reap the results achieved only through uncompromising quality.
You Get What You Pay For in Lead Generation
What marketing executive hasn’t had a sales rep say, “Just get us appointments and we will turn them into sales,” only to have the appointment-setting campaign declared a disaster because the prospects were so poorly qualified that they may as well have been cold calls?
Now you understand why.
Outsourced lead generation works – if you know what you’re really paying for.