Recently I was searching for some awards to motivate my IT telemarketing staff because I know that giving out awards to workers that generate the most IT sales leads will help boast production. As I was thinking about where I could get some trophies, I remembered a store that wasn’t too far from our office. I drove to the store and as I was walking up I noticed that there were locks on the door and a sign that said, “Store closed by Land Lord.” I was really concerned because I didn’t want to order online and this was the only store I could remember. I quickly checked Google and was excited to learn that there was another Trophy Shop close by and so I headed there. When I located the other store and walked through the doors, I was surprised by the scene as compared to the closed shop, customers were coming and going, orders were being taken, orders were being picked up etc… What really aroused my curiosity about the stark difference between the two shows was that their inventory looked the exact same and the closed store even had a better location. What would cause one store to close while the other, with the exact same inventory and similar location, to prosper? What in the world does this question have to do with marketing IT services?
Process, Process, Process!
This issue was bugging me for a while and then when I sat down with my mastermind group, I brought this up for discussion. Many of the group members had a lot of good ideas about what might have been the downfall closed trophy shop. Some of the thoughts that were thrown around ranged from not spending enough on marketing to hiring the wrong customers service. One thought that was finally brought up was something that was more of an fundamental concept, Process! Really when we looked at each of the previous ideas we realized that having a good repeatable process would have eliminated that issue from becoming a problem.
A good example would be to consider how process could improve customer service. If the trophy shop had documented a process for training new employees that included ongoing checks, then that would have eliminated poor customer service as a problem that might have derailed this company. Really, process is the granular issue behind everything that a business does. Once you start thinking in terms of documenting a process so that it can be repeated the same way every time then you’re going to start rubbing shoulders with the giants of industry like McDonald’s.
In our mastermind group the genius behind McDonald’s success was mentioned in support of the theory that it was ultimately the trophy shops process or lack of process that sank them. Without telling the entire story of McDonald’s rise to success by the hands of Ray Kroc, let’s just consider Hamburger University… He created a training school to train all new franchise owners how to run a McDonald’s Ray’s way and doing it Ray’s way means doing the same thing, the exact same way, every time.
This mastermind session influenced to such a degree that I began to look at new processes that we could implement in our IT telemarketing business. The first thing that I was able to start was recording call confirmation from our IT lead generation agents. After we were able to listen to the calls and verify who our agents were setting the appointment with then we were able to ensure our computer services marketing clients were getting qualified leads. In addition I was able to develop a check list that our telemarketers were required to check off after every contact that made. This way it would reinforce to key points that we want to make on every call.
Are there new processes you can put in place in your computer business? Perhaps you can add new operational processes that will ensure quality and customer service. Sales and Marketing are also a good place to look and see if you can start to document the correct steps and then turn those into repeatable processes. This way you can guaranteed that all the sales presentation will meet you standards and ultimate allow you in increase your managed services revenue.
John Black is the Marketing Director at MSP Telemarketing and has over 10 years experience marketing for IT providers and var marketing to help them get more IT leads that turn into IT sales.