Idea Factor Blog

No Need to Toot Your Own Horn When . . .

A new customer that we have recently partnered with reached out to one of their resellers last week to introduce them to our services, not knowing that this particular reseller has been our existing direct customer for over 10 years.

After listening to the service offering, touted results, and ROI potential, the reseller questioned: “Are you talking about Idea Factor?” When they answered yes, the reseller went on to explain that they had worked with us for years and had experienced consistent collaboration and results, including a $200,000 account that they landed from the last campaign we ran with them.

Not trying to pop our collar on this one, but it is an AWESOME feeling when your customers advocate on your behalf. It made my day!

ABOUT IDEA FACTOR

Idea Factor provides a full suite of marketing services including B2B lead generation (gathering qualified sales leads), surveys, data mapping, event tele-boosting, trade show follow up, in-bound and out-bound omni-channel call center services, data cleansing, list cleaning, customer retention and loyalty programs.

Our commitment to excellence in customer service has awarded us repeat business for more than 25 years, from both our global and community clients. To find out more go to http://www.idea-factor.com or look at our Services here.

How Old are Your Contact Lists?

Robot sweeping binary characters data cleansing

When last have you refreshed your data? Data cleansing was an important practice for any business prior to the pandemic, but has become even more so during these times.

During a recent list cleanse we were able to determine that 37% of that database were no longer in business. There are a variety of reasons behind this. Some businesses have not been able to survive the financial strain of the forced closures they have been subjected to. Other companies have had to re-invent themselves and revise their product/service lines to survive. Others still have had to fast-track their move to an e-Commerce solution to move inventory and meet sales requirements during the pandemic and do not have the customer support mechanism to support and drive sales in this manner.

The bottom line is that your sales team might be chasing previously viable prospects that have now gone out of business or have re-tooled their business and are no longer a viable prospect for you. This would frustrate the efforts of your sales team as well as management and waste valuable resources and time.

There is a way to minimize wasted resources, time, and money. CLEANSE YOUR DATA!!!

Call both your dormant customer base as well as your active prospecting list to ensure that :

  1. They are still in business
  2. They are still offering the products, services, and/or programs that make them viable for business with your company
  3. (Dormant customers), Thank them for their business and let them know that you are there to help in any way you can

This will ensure that all sales and marketing efforts levied against this data are real opportunities.

ABOUT IDEA FACTOR

Idea Factor provides a full suite of marketing services including B2B lead generation (gathering qualified sales leads), surveys, data mapping, event tele-boosting, trade show follow up, in-bound and out-bound omni-channel call center services, data cleansing, list cleaning, customer retention and loyalty programs.

Our commitment to excellence in customer service has awarded us repeat business for more than 25 years, from both our global and community clients. To find out more go to http://www.idea-factor.com or look at our Services here.

Mentoring

Image of adult teaching child to fish which illustrates an example of mentoring

There are many who reach their career goals without a mentor.

That can be especially difficult for first generation immigrant professionals, for whom the personal and professional transition presents additional challenges.

As a first generation professional from an immigrant family, I have found that the quickest way to gain the knowledge and skills to close those gaps is through effective mentorship. By welcoming a different way to look at things, I have been able to adjust my thinking — allowing me to get closer to my goals.

First, the mentor needs to be willing to share the intimate details of their journey to success, including setbacks and failures. They also need to have the patience and bandwidth to commit the time and energy to this relationship. Strong trust, implicit honesty and respect for this relationship will ensure you thrive and produce results.

It’s easy to share positive comments and not so easy to share the negative ones. However, the negative comments are the ones that truly allow us to grow.

A mentor must be invested in the success of their mentee.

Ready to help them to set and achieve goals by actively listening, periodically nurturing, and providing constructive feedback and encouragement. Providing opportunities to tweak or make changes in areas where success is stalled or stagnant. 

Mentoring is a great tool to achieve your goals in a shorter timeframe while ensuring that you are not missing or burning opportunities that might present themselves throughout your career.

If you are in the winter of your professional career, and are not quite ready for retirement, I challenge you to consider mentoring a young professional in which you see promise. The rewards of helping another person achieve their career goals can be the cherry on the icing of your retirement cake!

ABOUT IDEA FACTOR

Idea Factor provides a full suite of marketing services including B2B lead generation (gathering qualified sales leads), surveys, data mapping, event tele-boosting, trade show follow up, in-bound and out-bound omni-channel call center services, data cleansing, list cleaning, customer retention and loyalty programs.

Our commitment to excellence in customer service has awarded us repeat business for more than 25 years, from both our global and community clients. To find out more go to http://www.idea-factor.com or look at our Services here.

How to Bring in New Business by Nurturing Leads

Next month we thought that we would emphasize the Lead Nurturing message to our Business Development Agents (BDA) in a manner that was fun, meaningful, and relevant.  We are buying each team member a small plant. 

WHY? Because in the same way you have to water, prune, ensure sunlight and repeat the process to care for a plant, lead nurturing requires all the same diligence and repetition to blossom into new business and bear fruit.  Once a team member has converted a nurturing prospect to a lead, they receive a little flagpole that they can stick in the bottom of their plant! Whoever has the most flagpoles at year end receives a bonus.

Our Simple Lead Nurturing Process

  • MAKE DETAILED NOTES of the lead generation conversation with the prospect in our CRM.  Note the correct name and title of the contact that the BDA spoke to.  Capture the products/services that were of interest to the prospect and why.  Take note the date that they would like the BDA to reconnect with them and the preferred method(s) of contact. Write down all personal details of the conversation, engagement, marriage, birth of a child, a new pet, as they are a great segue back to the sales opportunity.
  • TAG the data for follow up so that several people have a line of sight when the first nurturing touchpoint is due.
  • Follow up with the prospect WHEN the BDA was asked to, not before, to annoy them, not way after to disappoint them or get there too late.
  • If the BDA has their prospects’ mailing address, send them a direct mail piece advising that the BDA is looking forward to reconnecting with them.
  • Follow up with the prospect in the WAY the BDA was asked to, if they asked the BDA to call… don’t email or text, and make sure the BDA leaves a message if you don’t get them live, THEN the BDA can follow up with an email.
  • If the prospect has been replaced by a new contact that has not been apprised of the details of the BDA’s outreach, send the file back into the lead generation process.

In addition to having a little fun and trying to instill the process, the additional benefits of a plant for the team members are that they beautify any space, clean the air, and even help to increase their sense of well-being and creativity.  

Always interested in hearing about other Lead Nurturing Strategies… What’s yours?

About Idea Factor

Idea Factor provides a full suite of marketing services including B2B lead generation (gathering qualified sales leads), surveys, data mapping, event tele-boosting, trade show follow up, in-bound and out-bound omni-channel call center services, data cleansing, list cleaning, customer retention and loyalty programs.

Our commitment to excellence in customer service has awarded us repeat business for more than 25 years, from both our global and community clients. To find out more go to http://www.idea-factor.com or look at our Services here.

Treat your Vendors Like Family

A support network of exceptional vendors is crucial to the survival and success of any business.  They help to keep your business running smoothly, remain protected, and offer a cost effective service that is constantly evolving to stay in step with ever changing business environments.

At Idea Factor, our vendors are dear to us and share our philosophy of a WIN, WIN, WIN experience.  There are a few key factors to a great supplier/ vendor relationship.  The first is to source vendors that shares a similar culture to your own.  If the core culture of your vendor does not align with your own, you will often find yourself in conflict with them, and unsuccessful in trying to achieve mutual goals.  The outcome is usually costly, and frustrating for you and your team as the results are not there.  The second key factor is collaboration.  When there is a spirit of collaboration, information flows easily and frequently between you and your vendor. They listen to your objectives and ask the right questions.  Everyone is laser focused on a goal that has been clearly defined, and everyone knows what role they play in achieving that common goal.  The third factor is testing and measurement.  If you test and measure you can identify gaps and shore them up. A vendor that puts something in place without
testing or measurement only knows that something is wrong when there is a
failure in production, delivery or service…. Which means there has already been a negative impact to your customers or consumers.  Testing and measurement allow you to proactively insulate your business from as many scenarios as possible that might let your customers or consumers down.

These are the reasons why we treat our vendors like family!  They are a precious resource to the function, growth and success of our business.  How do you treat your vendors?

Finally, and this is the hard part, if a vendor is missing the mark on any or all of the three key factors mentioned, as painful and difficult as it may be, you need to make a change.

Idea Factor provides a full suite of marketing services including B2B lead generation (gathering qualified sales leads), surveys, data mapping, event tele-boosting, trade show follow up, in-bound and out-bound omni-channel call center services, data cleansing, list cleaning, customer retention and loyalty programs.

Our commitment to excellence in customer service has awarded us repeat business for more than 25 years, from both our global and community clients. To find out more go to www.idea-factor.com or look at our list of services here.

Absenteeism and the Pandemic

Absenteeism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Absenteeism… is a problem that plagues many companies, large and small. Our company was no different….until this year.

Based on a briefing done by Sunlife Financial Group called Absenteeism Trends in Canadian Organizations Missing in Action  the rate of absenteeism for a full-time employee in 2001 was 9.3 days per year costing the Canadian economy $16.6 billion dollars in 2012.  Happy to say that we have not contributed much to that 2021 equation!

For the first time in my 25+ year tenure with Idea Factor, absenteeism in the company across all departments has fallen to almost 0.  At first, we were extremely perplexed, but then we delved into the reasons why.

With employees running the gamut between remote schooling and daycare issues, managing family healthcare, spouses being laid off or having work hours reduced, and all the other stressful Covid induced events that have taken place over the last 8+ months, employee attendance and KPI’s have actually greatly improved.

Here’s why.  Like most, we struggled with how to re-open and make everyone feel safe, maintain full, un-interrupted services to our customers, and meet all provincial legislation around opening.  So, we came up with the following:

We split our staff, including management, into Alternating Teams, Team A and Team B.  Week 1 Team A works onsite, and Team B is remote, the next week Team B is onsite, and Team A is remote.  This checked all our boxes and ensured business continuity for our clients should an incident of Covid occur at our physical location or someone in either group test positive.

What we did not plan or expect, was the residual benefits.  Employees are better able to manage the everyday items that crop up during their home week, still meet the full responsibility of their position, and were much happier and emotionally fulfilled.  This resulted in better KPI scores across the board.  Things like setting up doctors or dentist appointments, getting your car serviced, communicating with your child’s teacher, prepping dinner, or just managing the anxiety from the pandemic or everyday life is easily managed when you are able to work at home two weeks out of four in a month.  Giving our employees the cadence needed to manage their familial, personal and emotional lives benefitted everyone. Who knew?

Idea Factor provides a full suite of marketing services including B2B lead generation (gathering qualified sales leads), surveys, data mapping, event tele-boosting, trade show follow up, in-bound and out-bound omni-channel call center services, data cleansing, list cleaning, customer retention and loyalty programs.

Our commitment to excellence in customer service has awarded us repeat business for more than 25 years, from both our global and community clients. To find out more go to www.idea-factor.com or look at our list of services here.

Charity in the Workplace

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Charity may begin at home…. but should extend to the workplace.  Here’s why….

We instinctively teach charity to children as they grow. This helps them acquire a sense of empathy for the less fortunate, and it hopefully becomes a lifetime habit. We help them develop an understanding that what they have and might take for granted, is not readily available for everyone.  My children had a hard time grasping the fact that a home, food and clothing are things that millions of people, including children, even in a first world country, go without.  As a parent, that was my lesson to teach…. Read More

Can Conflict be Healthy?

Conflict

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Definitely!

We all avoid conflict in our personal lives as much as possible and tend to follow the same track in business.  Instead, seek out those that have a different point of view, culture or methodology.  Engage in an authentic conversation. Listen and learn from the challenges and experiences of others.  The world around us is constantly evolving, and so should the way we work and interact.  So, an honest assessment of any differences in process or culture might support what you are currently doing, or serve as a roadmap to making a few modifications.

Constantly challenging yourself on the way you work, and finding new synergies or elements for improvement is ALWAYS positive.  The evolution of your process does not make you inconsistent, it helps you to maintain relevance.  When someone with a conflicting opinion is engaged in a constructive and respectful manner, it can be a catalyst for creativity and help to alter your perception and perspective.

Conflict also helps you to hone analytical and problem solving skills that can help you navigate difficult conversations or circumstances.  When exercised correctly, it can lead to clarity and growth.  So, be a work in progress and keep striving for something better!

Idea Factor provides a full suite of marketing services including B2B lead generation (gathering qualified sales leads), surveys, data mapping, event tele-boosting, trade show follow up, in-bound and out-bound omni-channel call center services, data cleansing, list cleaning, customer retention and loyalty programs.

Our commitment to excellence in customer service has awarded us repeat business for more than 25 years, from both our global and community clients. To find out more go to www.idea-factor.com

 

Customer Service Encounters are Opportunities to WIN advocates

Coco

My husband, son and I went to Montreal this weekend to visit with family and on our drive back home on Tuesday, about an hour and a half out, we received a few pictures from my daughter in addition to a panicked call.

Our 10 year old Husky/Bullmastiff, (Coco), was sick and dispensing it from both ends….  The initial deposit was made in the living room, after which she walked in it, trailed it over the tiles through the kitchen, down the hall across the front mats, threw up in the rubber shoe tray at the front and then proceeded to walk up the carpeted stairs to the upper hallway where she made her second deposit and laid down in it …. completely spent at this point!

From what I saw in the pictures my daughter had sent, we knew that a one day carpet cleaner rental would not do the trick.   I called a large retailer in our city to ask if they sold any carpet cleaners that could handle the job.

The store’s customer service agent answered, I asked if they had any heavy duty carpet cleaning machines in stock, and without a word, I was put on hold. Read More

Corporate Culture: Are You Having Any FUN?

A young, intelligent nerd explores the depths of electricity.

CORPORATE CULTURE – Why FUN is so important, especially during a pandemic

Prior to the pandemic, we encouraged a culture and atmosphere of camaraderie & fun throughout the company.  During these times, when the stress and fear for small businesses and workers are greater than ever.  Social distancing measures and rules are in place and the instinct and indirect result might be to socially as well as physically distance yourself from your colleagues.

Our advice?

Do the opposite. Read More