For many years Russell co-ran a specialist call centre, carrying out call campaigns for global manufacturers of scientific equipment.
The manufacturers didn’t have the in-house resource to run phone campaigns, but they knew it was the best way to reach the decision-makers in the labs.
Russell developed a bespoke system that gave callers all the details on a single screen in front of them, and enabled them to log the outcome on the same screen. He found that making more information visible with less navigation led to more efficient calling and high-performing campaigns.
The system also produced real-time reports showing which records were proving most fruitful, and which weren’t yielding results. Whoever was managing the campaign could look at the reports and change the focus of the campaign as it progressed.
“That can totally change the level of success of a campaign, because you can see where opportunities exist and redirect your resources,” Russell explains.
It also had another powerful feature: Account-Based Marketing. The system’s database was organised by accounts - institutions, companies etc - so a caller could view all the prospects within the same account, and make a more informed approach when choosing which records to call. Again, the system gave callers a very clear picture of the entire team and provided optimum ways to ‘navigate’ and engage that team to achieve successful outcomes quickly.
However, it wasn’t until Russell’s mentor, a professor of computer sciences, visited the office and pointed out the commercial possibilities of the system that he realised how important it was to the success of the business.
“Over 15 years, we’d constantly refined the process and design,” Russell recalls, “but we gave little credit to the system itself as a key ingredient of our success”.