Firstly, I hope this message finds you, your family and colleagues well and safe.
Despite being operationally ‘business as usual’ (albeit from home) throughout these unprecedented times, we are pleased to announce that from Monday 22nd we will be phasing our team back to the office and looking forward to offering exceptional telemarketing services in what will be the new “normal”.
Our team of expert telemarketers have done a fantastic job during these difficult times ensuring that all of our clients current and new have received the professional, expert & seamless service that they are used to!
During these times we have invested time, effort and money into improving and developing the business as a whole.
• We have rolled out our bespoke CRM system, which is a game changer! o Providing a cleaner reporting functionality and in time will allow our clients to have live access to review all aspects of their campaign.
• We have invested further resource into cleansing & expanding our in-house data base of a UK wide companies, all of which are multiple target audiences within construction industry & built environment.
• We have streamlined the processes to allow current clients to pivot their call campaigns within minimal notice times.
All of this we believe will provide Advance with a further edge on the competitions and allow us to continue to deliver against our core values, ensuring Advance are the company of choice when it comes to outsourced telemarketing & lead generation.
If you would like to discuss any of the above or our services in general, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Firstly, as always, I would just like to thank you for taking the time to read this article.
You may have seen some of our post’s on LinkedIn either from me, my fellow directors, our team or if you follow our company page then the posts on there, all around ‘Quality’.
This article will hopefully put some context behind what quality means to us, from the early days of when it all began to what it means to us moving forward through 2020 and beyond.
In the beginning…
So, if you haven’t heard our story or met Simon and I to discuss Advance, you may not know the narrative behind us setting up Advance Group and wanting to go into business for ourselves.
It began at one of our former employers, I received a less than happy call from a client to advise they had travelled from Liverpool to Brighton to be at a site meeting for 9am with a principal contractor. The meeting, however, could not take place as when they arrived the site was an empty field, with the development having not yet begun. Obviously, you can imagine the frustration from the client at the whole situation, with the waste of time, resource, money & not to mention the unnecessary early start at 3am!
When looking into the matter further and discussing this with the account manager responsible for scheduling the appointment, to understand what went had led to this outcome, I was shocked to hear the answer, that they were more concerned about hitting the 30 different metrics (maybe a slight exaggeration, but you get the picture) for their personal bonus rather than what the clients was looking for as ROI from the meeting and for the campaign.
You can look at this a couple of different ways;
This could just be 1 bad apple who was not concerned about client retention and only interested in trying to line their own pockets and achieve an unrealistic bonus.
Or that they were in fact a product of their environment and if you have an unachievable bonus with unnecessary metrics that it is human nature, they will try to hit them all.
By now you may be asking yourself the question “What has this got to do with why Simon and I set up Advance and more to the point, what does Quality mean to Advance Group?”!
Well I will tell you; it was this example that led us to choosing Quality as one of our core values underpinning our very business and using quality to drive the right behaviour from our team.
Needless to say, when we set up Advance the company in question then became one of our 1st customers and the relationship went from strength to strength as they were soon receiving hundreds of thousands of pounds in return for their investment.
When we created Advance, we wanted to be different from the run of the mill telemarketing companies, we wanted to apply an intelligent approach to construction telemarketing and have our team focusing on delivering ROI for our clients rather than trying to hit 50 different internal targets (it’s gone up, I know) that meant nothing to our clients.
We apply the same level of thought and quality to every aspect of our business and every process within it, whether it be the business development calls we make for ourselves, the training the team receive or the projects we undertake, holding each other accountable within his or her role.
How is quality applied today?
During the course of the last 4 years we have had to evolve and adapt to changes within the business to enable the growth & success without compromising on the quality along the way, you will understand the saying ‘what got you here won’t get you there’.
So, how does our business look now moving into 2020 and beyond?
New Starter induction training
Any new member of our team joining the business will receive up to 4 weeks training, 2 weeks none calling making followed by a further 2 weeks undergoing training calls.
They will be assigned a mentor selected from our senior account managers.
Introduction of a Quality Review Team
This is managed by our very 1st team member Lisa Duvall-Brown, who has been with us since 2016, we couldn’t think of anyone better to manage this area of the business.
This new aspect of the company adds a greater level of quality assurance for our clients and partners giving them the peace of mind that all appointments scheduled, CPD’s booked and enquiries to price from our lead generation all meets these superior standards.
Advance – CRM
This is our new bespoke CRM system, this is an investment for the company and will enable the team to be even more efficient than they currently are, it will provide more detailed quality reporting to our clients, drilling down to the important information in a clear and understandable way.
In the months and years to come as we grow and build on Advance CRM it will also include live access and campaign trackers allowing for a completely transparent view on each campaign, via web and mobile app access.
Core Values that we stick to
It is true that quality is harder to manage with more people, however, not impossible.
Yes, we have changed (or as we like to call it ‘evolved’) as a business since 2016 and we have grown from a team of 4 to that of a team of 20 plus, but for the better and we have not compromised in our beliefs of ‘quality over quantity’. This has always been led by us wanting to continually be better at what we do and feedback from our clients during this period has been pivotal. “Quality” means something a little different to each client and certainly the end goals and return from our campaigns come in many ways. We make sure we take the time to listen and implement this for each campaign.
So, when you ask us what does Quality mean to Advance, it means everything!
If you would like to discuss any our quality driven call campaigns, please feel free to drop me a line on 0151 357 2166 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org
As always thank you for taking the time to read this brief article, it has been a little while since I last put together a blog / article and a lot of changes have gone on in that time one of note I have recently moved into the position of Managing Director and I’ve been thinking back about how I got here.
It’s felt a little like a rollercoaster 6 years since I started working within the Construction Industry, the direction my career has taken in such a short space of time is something I could have never predicted. I’ve no doubt anything I class as successful during this period is mostly from the support and advice of my peers and mentors.
Starting within Account Management and Business Development, learning as much as I could from as many people as I could, applying everything that suited my personality, using the best of everyone to continually better myself. I by no means ever classed myself as the best, far from it. I just wanted to keep learning and improving.
From here myself and Mike Whitfield co-founded Advance Group. Mike’s experience and work ethic made him a great fit for the role of Managing Director. Mike being one of the people that had previously trained and guided me during the early days.
So, I slotted in with the natural progression of Sales & Marketing Director, looking to engage with potential clients and generate work for our new business. Again, learning as much as I could. This was a successful period for Advance Group, we sacrificed as much as we were able and started building our team, we worked with and continue to work with some amazing people.
The more we grew as a business it was becoming clear that the weight of work Mike was responsible for required individual focuses, short of Mike increasing his working day by 3 or 4 hours, which I’m entirely sure he would have been happy to do, but would have only left him a solid 42 minutes for sleep per night.
Following the recent capture of Guy Statham as our new Sales Director in October of last year, which has turned out to be invaluable, his knowledge of the construction industry and ability have made him a perfect fit! He’s become the end product that had previously been missing from our business development efforts. This timing was unplanned but a stroke of masterful luck. With Guy now directing the new business sales, retention, and profitability of the overall sales, I moved into the role of Managing Director and Mike, still responsible for everything but with more dedicated support is now the CEO.
I think it’s easy to get carried away with titles sometimes and to be proud of what you’re able to call yourself, certainly as a business owner. When we restructured our business and I was able to move into the position I felt like I have done every time I made a step up in my career, which is a feeling of “Right, now the real work starts”, how can I use everything I’ve learned and improve what I’ve been given?
The business now has directorship and a management structure, which will be needed as we gear up for some pretty ambitious goals for 2020 and beyond. We still work with amazing people, a lot of whom have been with us for years! Fully imbedded and representing our values daily. We’ll continue to do what we can to make this a place everyone is proud to be a part of.
If you would like to discuss any of our campaign offerings please contact me on 0151 357 2166 or email me on email@example.com and keep up to date with our journey into the next and exciting chapter via social media by liking, following or connecting to our pages.
So, strange opening for an article, however, I wanted to tell my story of how it has now become possible to say, “it’s Guy Statham from Advance Group” and what this means to me.
The story begins nearly 4 years ago when a former colleague and good friend called me on the morning of Sunday 27th March 2016, asking if I wanted to meet up for lunch, me as always keen for a lunch agree, so, I met up with Mike Whitfield & Simon Weise and we discussed our current work and personal situations of which was a re-visited conversation and idea we has previously discussed 2 years prior, about starting a telemarketing business and what that could mean to us, as the idea grew over the coming days/weeks Advance Group was born!
In the next few months my personal circumstances and unfortunate timing meant that I could not be part of the inception of Advance. I have full custody of my eldest daughter Skye, who was born 3 and a half months premature resulting in a diagnosis of cerebral diplegia, and right around this time and required numerous surgeries of which were planned for proceeding 24-36 months.
This left me with an easy decision to make at the time, however, meant professional sacrifice, to follow my dreams of being a part of Advance knowing that I was not in a position to 100% commit to a new business or stay with a company that offered stability and security when I needed most and also were aware of my impending situation with regards to the surgery that would be required for Skye. Following further discussions between Mike, Simon and I, we accepted timing was against the idea, for now!
The friendship has never differed and throughout the proceeding 3 to 4 years we remained close, I have always been one of Advances biggest advocates and our professional paths would forever be entwined during the 1st years, so much so, I have been on most staff parties with Advance and always felt immense pride in both Mike & Si for what they went on to achieve, from literally nothing! At almost every one of the nights out, over a cocktail or 2, it was discussed that when the time was right, I would become part of Advance Group.
Well October 2019 the time was right, and it has been by far the best decision of my career!
I love it, some of the best colleagues & clients that I could ever wish for. As sales director within Advance it leans on my experience of selling direct to the construction industry, my knowledge of sales / pipeline building, data, timing and getting the best from all of these we have had a great start to 2020.
If you would like to discuss any or all of our services, please do not hesitate to contact me on 07544 767916 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure you follow us on social media to keep up to date with Advance
New year new decade: What’s new in the Advance offices as we move into 2020?
Firstly, as always, I would just like to thank you for taking the time to read this article.
So, at the end of 2019 I opened up a little on the fact that last year was a tough one, not from the perspective of generating revenue etc, more from the challenges that came with the year as a whole and external factor’s creeping into the equation moving some of our attention away, splitting our focus.
As always, Simon and I look inwards, from an analytical point of view to see what we could do differently as leaders to influence change within the team and business as a whole. Here is a list of changes that we have introduced moving forward into 2020;
·We recruited great people to add to our team of ‘experts’ – one of the key additions was a new sales director (Guy Statham) to lead our Business Development team. He has an exceptional background in business development and fantastic knowledge of the Construction Industry with over 14 years’ experience in generating new leads and cultivating existing relationships, as the Steve jobs saying goes…
“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do”.
·We reviewed all our internal processes and implemented some fundamental back office changes, these are to ensure that we pull together as a team and move forward in the same direction, understanding each other’s roles.
·Introduction of a quality review team managed by our 1st team member Lisa Duvall-Brown, who has been with us since 2016, we couldn’t think of anyone better to manage this area of the business. This new aspect of the company adds a great level of quality assurance for our clients and partners giving them the piece of mind that all appointments scheduled, CPD’s booked and enquiries to price from our lead generation all meets these superior standards.
·Project: Advance – CRM; this is our new bespoke CRM system, this will enable the team to be even more efficient than they currently are, it will provide more detailed reporting to our clients, drilling down to the important information in a clear and understandable way. In the months and years to come as we grow and build on Advance CRM it will also include live access and campaign trackers for a completely transparent view on each campaign, via web and mobile app access.
So, after these 4 key changes it will be interesting to look back on the coming year in 12 months’ time to see how it has played out.
One thing for sure is that it is important to remember that Advance Group was created not to be better than the competition, but to be different. With this philosophy at the heart of what we do and driving the way we do it we are set apart from the competition and with a focus on quality over quantity it has enabled us to grow year on year since our creation.
It is staying true to this belief that will see our company through thick and thin.
One of my family’s favourite quotes is “We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”. Walt Disney.
Let’s have a fantastic 2020 everyone, good luck to you all.
Generating quality construction leads on projects like these.
Our latest newsletter has been sent out this morning. Discussing appointments/enquiries made on construction projects, the latest at Advance Group and sharing a few of our industry related posts.Firstly, as always, I would just like to thank you for taking the time to read this article as the age old saying goes time is money!
So, we are now into our 4th year (approaching our 5th) of trading for Advance TM Group, how can I sum up 2019 in one word? Tough!
We are still expecting to hit a fantastic growth figure of 42.6% for our yearly turnover! This has been tough to achieve for reasoning I will explain below.
Statistically the first 2 years should be the toughest, with 20% of small businesses failing in their first year and 30% failing in their second. So, that’s half of business that fail within the first 2 years. For Advance our first 3 years were relatively smooth sailing, of course there were still tough times, difficult decisions and a lot to learn. Maybe it was all the hard work? or luck? I would like to think it was the teamwork with every one of us all pulling in the same direction.
So, looking back on 2019 to understand why it feels like it has been a tough year and to learn from the experiences we have had. What has happened during the year?
Two big impactors to our business this year have been staff and clients.
Good staff are hard to come by and 2019 has seen a lot of changes to the team, comings and goings. We’re extremely grateful to be working with some fantastic people and have the foundations of a strong team. Our clients with the market uncertainty with the dreaded ‘Brexit’ scenario taking its toll, I would be lying if I said the rippling effects haven’t impacted our business too.
These two factors were accounted for in our business plan for 2019 as best they could be, so what else has been going on this year?
Simon and I were looking at other business opportunities outside of Advance for potential opportunities, at 1 point during the year we had 5 business we were part of, so I think spreading ourselves pretty thinly to say the least. Outside of work Simon and I have been going through the process of buying new homes, this too has taken up some of our focus. Rightly or wrongly this has crept into the 9-5 hours, what can we say we are only human.
Moving forward into 2020 what changes have we made?
·We sat down with our team during a couple of focus groups and asked them what changes would they like to see? They came up with some great suggestions of which we have implemented above two thirds of them.
·We have introduced new procedures to insure higher standards are maintained throughout the year, meaning an even greater ROI for our clients.
·We have restructured our business with some key strategic changes to our operation and also recruited a sales director to drive a massive year of growth.
·We have scaled back our business interests, ending some stressful & less fruitful ventures, putting Advance 1st.
We believe with these changes that we have implemented we are hopefully on for a fantastic 2020/21.
So here is to looking inward, reflecting on what has been and gone, to learn from our mistakes and to changing our futures, good luck to you and yours for the new year and beyond.
Formed by Michael Whitfield and Simon Weise, Advance TM Group are the partners of choice for multiple organisations across a range of Material and Service Providers within the construction sector and built environment.
While there are a number of companies around who offer various telemarketing services, we believe we are different. Not only in the way we listen and collaborate to provide a great return on investment, but also by having our values, employee engagement and development as our top priorities.
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0151 357 2166
Office 5 Venture Point Business Park Stanney Mill Road Ellesmere Port Cheshire CH2 4GY