Steps to Avoid a Failed Pilot and Set Long-term Success

Steps to Avoid a Failed Pilot and Set Long-term Success

As we approach the new year, business leaders focus on setting new goals while critiquing existing ones. As part of this process, B2B marketers and sales executives may investigate whether an outsource prospecting and appointment-setting partner can help meet their new objectives. While there’s always some risk when adding a new marketing vendor, starting with a pilot engagement is a great way to help ensure long-term success. 

TeleNet Marketing has launched hundreds of lead generation pilots in our twenty-three years in business, and occasionally a pilot will fail. However, learning from these failures has allowed us to be proactive when sketching a strategic outreach campaign. This experience helps to ensure the venture will benefit our new clients and lead to long-term engagements. Here are just a few of the steps we encourage.

Step 1 – Collaborate! 

A breakdown between marketing and sales will be a hindrance to a successful effort, but you can avoid the fallout by following these guidelines: 

  • Gain input from sales management during the development of the pilot, specifically on the lead criteria definition and the “need to know” vs. “nice to know” details.
  • Make introductions, so your sales team knows your new outsource partner and their role. Make sure your sales representatives know what to expect on each lead and provide a point of contact for all their questions.
  • Create a feedback loop, both qualitative and quantitative, to modify and optimize. 

Step 2 – Proactively modify

The best-laid plans and strategies include regular review and occasional adjustments. Stay on track with your goals by using a proactive approach.

  • Listen to your market
  • Calibrate with your lead development reps
  • Analyze results by source, persona, and industry
  • Pursue feedback
  • Seek to improve & optimize

Most adjustments are minor but don’t shy away from intensive adjustments if results are falling flat. Some examples of significant adjustments include: changing the target audience or the data source, considerable changes to the lead criteria or sales engagement, or substantial messaging revamping to better resonate with the market. When extensive changes are necessary to ensure success, TeleNet pauses outreach temporarily to safeguard your investment. 

Step 3 – Be forward-thinking

Preparedness to shift goals to align with market feedback, collaborate, and capitalize on the intelligence gained from nurture-ready prospects will drive long-term success. “Failure” is avoided by applying the learnings and leveraging the output towards planning and future strategies. For example, feedback from the market may show that prospects lack product awareness or require use-case development, which requires a shift in goals toward prospect-based education. While the results could align differently than anticipated, the pilot undoubtedly provides nurture-ready prospects and the next steps for long-term success. 

If you’re interested in learning our recommendations for your unique 2023 goals, contact a dedicated account executive who will create a detailed pilot sketch for you.