Questions for Preparing the Telemarketing Plan

1. Goals and Objectives

If we know what your goals and objectives are, we will be better able to set up a program to achieve them. Please tell us about your near, intermediate, and long term goals, as well as any barriers you see to your success.

1.1 What are your goals for the near term? Please state your goals, if possible, in terms of revenue, unit sales, new customers, or market share (or perhaps something else). Feel free to put these goals in their proper context by mentioning other success criteria, such as effecting a turnaround, penetrating new markets, reducing costs, making quota, etc. Also, in what time frame do you need to achieve these objectives?
1.2 What are your specific goals for your business for the intermediate term (i.e. six months to one year)?
1.3 What are your specific goals for your business for the longer term (i.e. one to two years)?
1.4 What threats or limitations do you see in the achievement of any of these goals? By this, we're not talking about JV/M's ability to generate leads, but rather external barriers to success (e.g. competition, lack of market acceptance, lack of adequate funding, etc.)
1.5 What are your objectives with respect to this marketing/sales initiative (i.e. the telemarketing trial and/or any ongoing telemarketing effort)?

2. Background

This section will help us understand your business, help us come up-to-speed on your individual situation, and set the stage for developing an effective plan.

2.1 Please provide a brief background write-up on your company (history, mission, overview, etc.) For example, it would be extremely helpful if you could paste-in text from your company's Web site or corporate brochure here. 
2.2 What is your company's Web site URL?
2.3 What methods do you currently use (or have you used recently,) to generate leads, and how successful has it been? What has worked successfully, and what hasn't worked? Please include any metrics that you use such as number of leads per month, cost-per-lead, close rate, etc., that you would like to exceed with this program.
2.4 What is your sales process, and how is your sales team (if any,) structured?
2.5 Besides you, who are/would be the key contacts in your company for the approval, planning and implementation of the telemarketing trial and any ongoing campaign (including name, title, location, phone numbers, email address)?
2.6 What is your competitive environment and position? Who are your competitors, and how do you position your company against them?
2.7 How do you position your company and its offerings in the market? That is, how do you position your company to your customers?
2.8 What are the underlying needs (problems, pain, etc.,) that drive people to buy your products or services? What are the objectives of your customers when using your product or service? (The more detail you can provide here, the better!)

3. Products and Services

The central purpose of any telemarketing campaign is to generate qualified sales leads and appointments for you, which sets you up to go in and sell your company's products and/or services. The more we know about the features and benefits of your offerings -- in other words, why someone should buy them -- therefore, the better.

3.1 Please provide a description of the products and/or services, and their features and benefits, for which you would like to get leads. (You can paste-in sell sheets or other collateral material here, if available, and/or, of course, you can mail hard copies, or refer us to the appropriate pages on your Web site.)
3.2 What are the major advantages and benefits of your offering compared to your competitors' offerings, or other ways of solving the underlying needs?
3.3 Please provide any case histories that demonstrate how your customers used your products or services to solve specific problems and needs, and the benefits they gained from choosing your solution. While you do not need to attribute cases to any specific, named customer, examples with metrics (i.e. measureable benefits,) are extremely helpful in our (and the prospect's,) understanding of your value proposition.
3.4 When a prospect considers a solution to a problem, its economic advantage is often a driving force. What are the economic benefits of your offering? Can you demonstrate savings or other economics advantages in a simple spreadsheet? If you have such a spreadsheet, please paste it in, or email it separately.
3.5 What is your sales and marketing strategy (advertising, direct mail, trade shows, e-marketing, PR, field sales, WOM, etc.)? How do you go to market?
3.6 What is an average sale worth? And what is the average margin on a sale?

4. List Selection Criteria

Selecting a good list of targets can save you a lot of time and money. Please give some thought to the list selection parameters in answering the following questions

4.1 Can you provide a target list? If so, please describe the list you can provide (i.e. its format, source, etc.
4.2 Where and how do you look for new prospects today? Why?
4.3 What industries should be targeted? Who should we avoid? Feel free to use descriptions, SIC Codes or NAICS Codes.
4.4 What other parameters should be screened for (geography, company size, revenues, employees, industry, etc.)?

5. Lead Qualification Criteria

As you can imagine, it is very important that we understand what you would consider to be a good lead, so the more specific you can be in describing what a good lead looks like, the more likely we will be able to create them. From a practical perspective, a good lead is usually an appointment (either by telephone or face-to-face, with someone who is either a decision maker or strong influencer of the decision, who has a need -- either latent or current -- and who is willing -- based on our limited introduction of your capabilities -- to consider your solution. To be sure, it is rarely economical to have us actually close the sale. Rather, it is usually much more economical (for you,) for us to simply find or create qualified prospects and set up the appointments -- i.e. to generate the lead -- and then for us to move on to the next target, than it is for us to follow through and try to persuade the prospect to buy. Closing can usually be done by you far more economically. So in this section we would like to understand what a good lead is (i.e. not a closed sale!)

5.1 Using objective criteria such as the type of company, size, usage, location, structure, financial situation, job title, job function, existence of a particular application domain, etc., what characterizes a good prospect or lead for you?
5.2 Using subjective criteria such as economic or application issues, decision stage or process, intensity of the need or pain, attitude, etc., what constitute a good prospect or lead for you?
5.3 Just as it's important for us to know what characterizes a good lead, it is also helpful for us to know what to avoid. What characterizes bad prospects and leads for you?
5.4 What are the Job Titles or job descriptions/functions that should be targeted?

6. Probing Questions

The core of any good sales call (including a telemarketing call,) is asking good questions. While we understand that coming up with good questions is usually our job, you may be among the more sophisticated marketers who have already done work in this area, or use good questioning techniques to uncover needs and sell more effectively. Please provide as many examples of good questions as you can that might be used to qualify a prospect, and to generate interest, urgency and commitment.

6.1 What questions would you ask to qualify a prospect? (Examples might be to determine if they use a particular product, have a particular function at their company, buy a certain amount of something, have a certain number of employees, etc.)
6.2 What questions would you ask to uncover needs, problems and pain? Examples might be to ask if the prospect has a problem with a certain function, or an unmet goal, or has a concern about some area of his business?
6.3 What questions would you ask to get the prospect to see the negative consequences (overly high costs, sub-optimal customer satisfaction, increased risk, lower employee morale, etc.,) of continuing his current situation (e.g. of doing nothing, of continuing to use a competitor, etc.)?
6.4 What questions would you ask to get the prospect to recognize the benefits (increased revenues, lower costs, higher performance, less work, better customer satisfaction, lower risk, time savings, etc.,) of changing (i.e. of doing business with you)?

7. Objections

Any sales call, including a telemarketing call, can encounter objections, but good sales skills can usually overcome them, so we include responses into the plan when we write it.

7.1 What objections do you ordinarily hear, and what do you say in response? (It helps to elaborate here, and include as many objections as possible, since it gives us a chance to better understand your selling environment, your current operating strategy, and the market's response, in addition to creating good script material.)

8. Anything Else

8.1 Is there anything else (your concerns, market issues, things we should watch out for, etc.,) we should know in putting the program together?

JV/M, Inc. 1221 N. Church St. Suite 202 Moorestown, NJ 08057 Tel: 856-638-0399 Fax: 856-316-7465
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