Octopus, based in Holborn, London, is one of the UK’s fastest-growing fund management companies, with around 500 employees, more than £5 billion in assets under management, and over 50,000 investors. Working closely with financial advisers, Octopus creates investment solutions that combine expertise in smaller company investing, with government approved tax reliefs, to offer solutions that focus on capital growth, income generation or capital preservation. With a company ethos centred on customer service, the company has built market-leading positions in tax-efficient investment, smaller company financing, renewable energy and healthcare.
Campaign objective and Project background
Since its foundation in 2000, Octopus had grown steadily and developed a network of around 4800 Financial Advisers. Despite healthy growth, the company was aware of significant untapped potential within the total universe of around 24,000 Advisers in the UK. In 2016, therefore, it launched an initiative to scope the opportunity within the current market, establish existing levels of penetration and identify new opportunities for Octopus products.
With a large team of Business Development Managers, Octopus considered an in-house approach, but decided in favour of an outsourced option to minimise management overhead, and free up the in-house team to focus on converting the pipeline of leads generated. An existing Octopus employee who had previously worked with the agency at another financial services provider, recommended The Telemarketing Company for the project, and they were invited, with one other agency, to present a proposal to support the initiative.
Following an evaluation period, The Telemarketing Company was engaged in August 2016 for an initial six week proof of concept trial.
Prior to calling, a briefing took place in early September at the agency offices in Brighton, so that the client could meet the team and provide training on the company, its proposition, features and benefits.
Data to support the campaign was sourced from a specialist database of Financial Advisers, which included a mix of profiles - from one man bands to larger firms with many regulated individuals. Data was filtered to remove Advisers – those associated with banks, nationals and networks – that were not able to advise on Octopus products. As the data still included multiple types of Adviser, each with a variety of clients, areas of interest could vary significantly and calling needed to include careful qualification so that the proposition could be tailored accordingly. Callers used open questions to understand pain points and present corresponding benefits, and to identify clients particularly receptive to the Octopus portfolio, including high income tax payers and those with tax issues including inheritance tax.
With a database of nearly 13,000 records, it was important to retain and report insight that would inform future initiatives. Data and insight gleaned during calling needed to be captured in a specific format to ensure it could be easily filtered and incorporated into the client CRM for future use.
In addition to insight, another goal of the campaign was opportunity generation. Working as an extension of the Octopus team, callers were tasked to create leads via hotkey transfers to the in-house team. Having established initial interest, Advisers would be transferred during the live call direct to Octopus product experts, to discuss requirements in more detail and receive more in-depth product information. Where Advisors were not yet ready to speak to a specialist, callers would forward a lead across to the Octopus team so that additional information could be provided via email to gently nurture interest and build future pipeline.
The initial six week pilot provided the perfect opportunity to review the approach, test assumptions, analyse results, and implement changes based on client feedback and, following its success, the campaign was extended to a six month engagement. By outsourcing the initiative, Octopus benefitted from regular bespoke reporting, call recordings and proactive account management, freeing their team up to focus on pipeline conversion and provide feedback to enhance the campaign. At the start of the calling process, a member of the Octopus team spent the day at the agency offices, listening to live calls and providing feedback and advice. This close collaboration continued on an ongoing basis for the duration of the campaign, with the client working closely with the agency, listening to call recordings and helping coach agents.
Using hotkey transfers ensured leads were prioritised and passed immediately to an in-house Octopus product expert during a live call, and significantly, over 50% of results were generated from a first call. In addition, live transfers ensured leads were qualified and responsive at the point they reached the Octopus team. At the end of the six month campaign, performance had exceeded the agreed target of 1 result every 4 hours and over 450 results in total were generated.
In addition, in the course of the campaign, over 4500 live conversations were held with decision maker contacts, and data and insight from each conversation supplied for import into the Octopus CRM to feed future initiatives. Over 16,000 changes were made to the original database including 11601 contact names, 283 job titles captured or amended, as well as 975 email addresses to support future marketing efforts. Data output at the end of the campaign included a pipeline of warm leads for future nurture.
Following the success of their first outsourced telemarketing campaign, Octopus Investments is looking at future initiatives and The Telemarketing Company is in discussion with other divisions of the business to discuss potential new projects.