Accoa, based in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, grew out of Kando Business Coaching founded in 2005, and has specialised since 2013 in bespoke coaching for accountancy practices. It provides a BlackBelt coaching programme for practice partners, which helps them to leverage their team, scale their systems and accelerate their practice growth.
The target audience for the business is partners of practices (1 partner to 10 partners) ranging in turnover size from £300K-£10M. When they approach Accoa, business practice partners are typically frustrated with where they are at with their business and looking to improve work-life balance, develop their team, accelerate business growth, and improve cash flow and bottom line profits.
Campaign objective and Project background
In May 2016 Accoa was ready to undertake the next phase of its business expansion and approached The Telemarketing Company to execute a campaign calling into practices with 2-5 partners, to book a twenty minute telephone strategy session with Rudi Jansen, Business Coach and Chartered Accountant. During the strategy session Rudi would offer 2-3 tips on how a prospect could improve their practice and decide whether or not Accoa could help them further. If so, then Rudi would arrange a subsequent call.
Accoa had used telemarketing previously, as its preferred marketing channel needed to be flexible and personal to support a tailored proposition built around the unique skills of its small team. Accoa therefore approached several telemarketing agencies and quickly appointed the Telemarketing Company based on a strong initial impression and highly consultative approach.
In addition to the core dataset provided, Accoa was also able to offer a small number of warm leads acquired through its monthly webinar nurture programme, regular thought leadership webinars hosted by Rudi for a small number of newsletter subscribers.
The initial briefing session took place remotely with a number of agents to cover the diverse set of pain points and associated benefits that might be presented during calls with practice partners. The complex and also subtle nature of the business coaching proposition would require callers to have quite in-depth discussions around a varied set of business issues. Call messaging and more significantly the opening, was even more important on this campaign than others. The Telemarketing Company needed a concise way of getting past a gatekeeper which gave enough away to open the door, but not too much so that they were shut down.
The Telemarketing Company worked hard with Rudi on numerous phone calls to develop this approach, using call recordings to critique and subsequently work on a smoother flow. Once the gatekeeper was successfully navigated, the decision maker needed careful vetting to ensure that the strategy session was useful for both parties. Rudi provided guidance on the significant pain points these partners would most likely be experiencing and how to tease them out. The approach was tailored to minimise impact on the partner’s time and to sound credible and empathetic using language common to the accountancy industry.
Each successful call was sent over for feedback, alongside some unsuccessful attempts. A lead agent, with previous experience in the professional services sector, was appointed based on strong initial results, and a close working relationship developed. Given the geographical distance of the client remote coaching and regular role-play took place over the phone ensuring continuous improvement of campaign results.
The calling was spread over ten weeks to ensure data could be nurtured to build a strong pipeline. Based on previous campaigns, Accoa’s target was 1 result every 18 hours but the campaign delivered 1 result every 14 hours. Whilst it will take time to evaluate the full ROI, two clients signed up within less than a month of the campaign completing, which already covered the campaign cost. In addition, over 200 live conversations with Decision Makers took place and Accoa benefited from an updated database - 1480 updates were made, including email addresses, contact names and job titles captured or updated.
Accoa has worked with other telemarketing companies but found The Telemarketing Company to be the best and most professional based on a customer oriented, partnership approach tailored to each client’s strategy.
"I was highly impressed with their professionalism, their commitment to get the messaging and the campaign absolutely spot on. They were open to receiving feedback from every single recorded call that was booked and to learn from it. I’d go so far as to say that it is a real “Kaizen” approach. Having had my own telesales team members in the past within my business as well as having outsourced this function to numerous telesales companies over the years, these guys stand head and shoulders above the rest. Every single step of the way. I’m very happy with the results we’ve obtained and have no hesitation in recommending them."
Founder and Head Coach, Accoa