What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
In the end, they did a great job, winning us many high-quality connections. I looked through how many hits and phone calls they would get.
Outside of the niche markets that my previous company served, they weren’t well-known. Strategic Sales & Marketing made thousands of calls on the company’s behalf, so we received a branding value out of it as well. The business also won good new programs as a result of the leads.
Another reason why I liked working with them was that they had in-house telemarketers, whereas others I spoke to would outsource that work. Al has his team under one roof, and he remained hands-on. I also liked how they provided the contact lists, while other firms had that as an extra charge.
How did Strategic Sales & Marketing perform from a project management standpoint?
From a project management standpoint, they were very good. Al would always answer my calls. If he was tied up, he called right back. He was my project manager. Their CRM helped me see everything in real-time. I knew when they would be on the phone, and I could see their success and the connections they were making. It was a highly visible program.
What did you find most impressive about them?
For me, it’s always honesty, integrity, and transparency when working with a company that’s the most important. The team at Strategic Sales & Marketing is easy to work with. Because of them, we were able to convert several new customers with promising programs.
I felt from the start that Al was an honest person with high integrity. It wasn’t a situation where I would be cheated. I knew that Al would put in his best effort. With Al and his business, I knew I could trust him right from the start. Beyond that, they were always open to suggestions and responded well to feedback.
Are there any areas they could improve?
I can’t think of one thing. When work is being pitched to a business that’s never worked in the industry, there are always growing pains. We had the initial growing pains in the beginning. In an ideal world, there would be staff members that understood each industry implicitly, but I think that’s unfair to ask for. In terms of getting value for the money, reporting, and turning over good leads, I can’t think of anything they can do better.
I’ve done this several times through hiring an internal resource or hiring a third-party. The advantage of hiring someone as an employee is that they can learn your business, but there is a lot of cost and risk when hiring someone. Hiring an outside party means dealing with some growing pains at the start.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
Over the past couple of years, I’ve given them a few references. They’re a great outside resource for this type of work. If you don’t put anything into an engagement and just think you’re going to get good results if you turn your back, you’re kidding yourself.
Pay close attention, provide feedback, work hard on the script, and choose target markets wisely. When Al sends a list of 6,500 contacts, be willing to take the time to go through the whole thing so you’re not wasting dollars on calling a company that you have no chance with. What I’ve told everyone is that you’re treating them like an in-house team and put a lot of time into it. The better you do that, the better the results.