At Dreamforce’12, Groupon.com and K12.com joined me on stage to share how they’ve transformed their telesales** operations. The two operations could not be further apart. Groupon.com does automated outbound B2B dialing to merchants around the globe to enroll them for their daily deals business. K12.com, on the other hand, has an inbound B2C callcenter for selling K-through-12 home-schooling programs to parents (the fastest-growing form of education in USA per The Economist). Groupon.com relies on sophisticated number-crunching to optimize which merchant to call next, while K12.com relies on building a strong emotional bond with the customer during the sales process (this is obviously a very emotional decision for parents). Both businesses have successfully modeled their unique telesales processes on Salesforce – and become industry leaders at what they do. Amazing.
Here is the full 50-min YouTube video of the Dreamforce session (for K12.com presentation – skip to 21:20, for Groupon.com presentation skip to 39:00, for quick product demo – skip to 08:25):
**NOTE: I use the term “Telesales” loosely – it can be any kind of inbound or outbound phone operation for order taking, lead qualification, or lead nurturing in a B2C or B2B environment. “Telemarketing” and “Inside Sales” are other terms used to describe it.
Top Five Takeaways From Their Telesales Success
As I look back at the two presentations – here are my top five takeaways from their success and how they’ve leveraged Salesforce to achieve it:
Takeaway #1: The Need for A Solid Foundation
The biggest requirement to run an efficient telesales operation is a robust set of sales automation tools
A solid ‘nuts and bolts’ foundation in the five areas of campaign management, lead routing & assignment, pipeline management, forecasting and agent management is key to any telesales operation. That gives you the solid bedrock on which you can layer in your unique processes like Groupon.com and K12.com have done. Sales Cloud does a great job of giving you that foundation. You can additionally inject real-life social and business insights into the foundation with Marketing Cloud and Data Cloud.
If you need extensions beyond that – a great partner ecosystem in the relevant areas of telephony, marketing automation, order management, e-learning and ecommerce (to name a few) is available on AppExchange. [Read More…]