2019 Review

2019 Review - Advance TM Group

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.

September Newsletter

September Newsletter - Advance TM Group

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.

August was yet another busy month for Advance Group. The team has been growing steadily over the year and we’ve continued to see great results for our clients by the account managers. 

Head to our latest newsletter to find out more about August at Advance and make sure you subscribe to keep up to date with future emails.

As you may be aware, Advance Group are construction specific telemarketing and lead generation experts. Providing quality construction leads, pricing enquiries, appointments and CPD scheduling plus bespoke packages for our clients.

Make sure you follow us on social media to keep up to date with Advance Group and our partners.

Why construction companies don’t use outsourced telemarketing and why they should start considering it.

Why construction companies don’t use outsourced telemarketing and why they should start considering it.

A couple of months ago we carried out some research on the construction industry and their thoughts on outsourcing telemarketing and lead generation to a construction specific business.

We took to social media to ask companies what they thought about telemarketing, whether they had used lead generation tools in the past and what their reasoning was/or is behind their answers.

Advance Group have put together the results in an infographic and we’ve also decided to share the reasons and what the realities could be if construction companies were to consider outsourcing their telemarketing and lead generation to a construction specific company.

First off, we go through the stats brought to light from the questions we asked regarding new business and lead generation.

70% rely on social media and/or marketing to generate leads, which may come as a surprise to you due to the current impression that the construction industry is behind when it comes to digitalisation.

Surprisingly, only 50% of those that took part use an internal sales team, 40% use or have used lead generation tools in the past, 30% would be willing to consider using outsourced telemarketing and a small proportion (10%) of companies involved in the survey have actually used, or currently use outsourced telemarketing and lead generation companies. 

Here are the results from our recent survey detailing why companies don’t use outsourced telemarketing:

REASON #1 – COST

REASON #2 – PREFER TO USE AN INHOUSE SALES TEAM

REASON #3 – CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS

REASON #4 – “DON’T NEED TO”

REASON #5 – RELY ON REFERRALS

As you can see there are some good reasons for companies not outsourcing their telemarketing. Whatever the reason may be, what needs to be a consideration is that outsourced telemarketing may be the right option for you, yet you have never considered it viable for the above rational.  

If you read our post on the power of outsourced lead generation and telemarketing, you’ll know that construction specific telemarketing can also be of huge benefit to construction companies across the industry.

We’ve also covered how to choose your construction telemarketing partner in a previous post, worth giving that post a read for advice on whether you should consider outsourcing your telemarketing and lead generation or continue as you are.

Last of all, if you would like to increase your sales in 2019 then check out our blog post from April 2019. Get in touch with Advance Group if you’d like to discuss how we can generate leads through construction specific telemarketing for your business.

Want to increase your sales in 2019?

Want to increase your sales in 2019?

A key issue within the construction industry is timing. Mostly a case of right time, right place, right contact. It is essential for every business to proactively promote their brand, raise awareness, drive demand and educate potential customers.

Yes, a dedicated sales team is vital to the company’s growth plans however, having the team working on the right opportunities, engaging with decision makers in the right way at the right time is often overlooked.

With the amount of data available to the construction Industry it is becoming increasingly unrealistic to expect a dedicated sales team to cover lead generation, sales and post-sale relationships/support, without one or more of these processes taking a hit. Now is a good time to consider lead generation and sales as two separate areas of business development.

Taking lead generation and giving it a dedicated place within business development allows you to maximise every opportunity, not miss out on key projects but more importantly it frees your sales team from hours of office-based telephony work and puts them in qualified meetings, face to face with key contacts with genuine opportunities to win work.

Advance TM Group are the partners of choice for many companies within the construction industry and built environment. Whether you are a product manufacturer, supplier, service provider or a main contractor we have the knowledge and experience to run an effective telemarketing campaign for you.

Highly recommended by our clients due to our quality over quantity beliefs, experience in the construction sector and our focus to ensure that companies receive a return on investment.

Here are a few of the services that we can offer to support your business this year and assist with increasing your sales in 2019.

·        Appointment scheduling – with our team of experts we aim to book you quality appointments with the right people.

·     CPD Scheduling – Using our extensive list of CPD coordinators within architectural practices throughout the UK, our team can schedule your CPD’s quickly, within the right practices.

·       Lead & Enquiry Generation – Get your sales team in front of key decision makers on live projects at the right time.

·    Market Research – We can assist with your market research, data building and provide your business with valuable information to assist with your sales process.

·      Supply Chain & PQQ support – As you’ll be all too aware, many construction companies use preferred supplier lists and frameworks. Our team of experts can help with securing relevant documents and information to get in front of the right people.

·      Event support – If you’re attending an event and would like to meet with key decision makers for companies attending. Or you have just exhibited at an event and would like to contact the visitors who engaged with you on the day, further developing those relationships. Allow our professionals to get you in the right place, at the right time with full support.

If you would like to find out more about how we can assist your business with any construction lead generation or telemarketing needs, please contact us today on 0151 357 2166 or feel free to email on info@advance-tm.co.uk and we will be in touch. 

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Choosing your construction telemarketing partner.

Choosing your construction telemarketing partner.

Choosing to outsource your telemarketing and lead generation can be a tough decision to make. A lot of businesses believe that they can do this themselves and utilise their staff to perform to key performance indicators, pressure and unachievable sales targets.

The benefits of outsourcing your construction telemarketing needs can be huge. With a dedicated team of construction industry experts and a specific focus on the built environment. Advance Group can provide return on investment, quality appointments and generate qualified construction leads.

When you reach the decision to outsource your needs, we’ve put together some tips on how to choose your construction telemarketing partner. Here are five things to look out for when meeting with potential partners.

Quality

Quality is an important reason when considering who to choose as your business’s telemarketing partner. A company that prides itself on providing quality over quantity is a company that understands proven results and doesn’t practice outdated key performance indicators. There is so much more to a highly qualified appointment, then a fully exhausted spreadsheet and no clear results at the end of the telemarketing campaign.

Experience

It’s also important to think about the experience of the business. There are plenty of companies out there willing to offer similar services. However, there are some questions to think about, are they construction specific? Do they have staff that have worked within the construction industry exclusively for over ten years? Do they take the time to train their staff on the construction process? Allowing for each member of the team to have the skills and relevant knowledge to carry out campaigns for construction companies.

Values

We believe that company values are an essential part of the workplace. Here at Advance Group we are incredibly proud of our values. They underpin who we are and what we do as a business. Working together, collaborating, sharing our knowledge and expertise to deliver the best solutions. Plus making sure that as a business we treat others with respect. Being clear, open and working with full transparency to our clients and respecting both our clients and our employees fully.

Recommendations

It’s also important to recognise those with success stories. Speak with similar businesses and see how they’ve got on with a construction telemarketing company. When meeting with a potential lead generation partner ask for testimonials and examples with proven results. As a business we are proud of the results we have achieved for past and existing clients. As mentioned in above we also offer full transparency so are happy to provide recommendations, testimonials and case studies with the work we can do during our meeting.  

Between these four tips you should be able to work out whether your potential construction telemarketing partner is the right one for you.

At Advance Group we are a construction specific telemarketing and lead generation company with the industry knowledge, company values, experience and proven results.

If you would like to know more about how we can support your business please get in touch with us on 0151 357 2166 or alternatively send an email to info@advance-tm.co.uk

 

The importance of construction events like Futurebuild.

The Importance of Construction Events like Futurebuild.

The leading built environment event for professionals to meet and learn, be inspired and do business.

Futurebuild has been around for a while now. Although originally under the name of Ecobuild, the event is the number one destination for challenging the construction industry and inspiring us to take on the biggest issues that are impacting the environment.

Now named Futurebuild for 2019 the event is back and better than ever. With one week to go we’re gearing up for an exciting time. Here’s what you can expect from the industries most important construction events in the UK right now.

Apart from the impressive guest list, speakers and conferences. You’ll have the chance to meet with hundreds of businesses across the built environment that are all looking at tackling the same challenges within the construction industry and beyond.

The popular Ecobuild conference promises a host of guests discussing the current climate including Anne Godfrey, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, Mike Pitts, Innovate UK and Ben Derbyshire, RIBA and is sure to be a hit with both construction companies and those involved in the sector.

The challenge is on to ensure that the world has a sustainable future.

The Ecobuild conference will ensure that the architects, designers and constructors, across both the public and private sector clients are informed of how to tackle the most pressing challenges within the build environment today.

Head over to the Futurebuild website to find out more about the conference, how you can attend and take part in the conferences and seminars available.

There are several different zones and hubs at this years Futurebuild. Whether you are looking at inspiring new construction materials, how businesses are taking on sustainable issues or interested in the new off-site craze in the construction industry, there is something for everyone at this years’ leading construction event. 

The zones/hubs this year include waste, offsite, urban infrastructure, materials, energy, interiors and buildings.

Each of the areas have an abundance of interesting exhibitors, conferences, workshops and seminars that those attending can take advantage of, and they’re all CPD accredited too.

If you fancy something different take a trip through the city walk, pay a visit to the Clean Growth Café or take a moment in the innovation zone. 

Looking to the future. 

Essentially Futurebuild is the platform for the industry, where the freshest thinking, latest innovations and leading partnerships and exhibitors will meet under one roof.

Industry experts, academics and community leaders come together to debate and explore innovative ideas that could potentially solve the world’s most critical environmental and construction issues.

Advance Group will be attending Futurebuild this year as guests and we’re hoping to discuss how we can support businesses within the construction industry. Through proven construction telemarketing campaigns, construction lead generation and even CPD scheduling for those looking to lunch and learn within the built environment. 

Feel free to get in touch to arrange a chat, discuss how we can support your business development needs or assist with scheduling appointments for your sales staff with construction companies or construction project sites in the UK.

Motivation

Motivation

You have achieved your monthly, quarterly or year-end goals, everything is going remarkably well, then you ask yourself, how do I achieve this time and time again? But more importantly, WHY? Why do I want to continue to achieve, what drives me?

I couldn’t imagine anything worse than waking up every morning, 5 snooze buttons deep thinking, ‘oh great, I have to go to work and its only Tuesday’. Keeping yourself motivated is one thing, but when it comes to leading a team and delivering as a business area motivation is one of the fundamental drivers for success. So, how do you keep yourself and more importantly your team motivated?

Knowing your team

When I first joined Advance TM Group, I looked at my new team and wanted to get to know everyone before assuming I knew how to manage and work with them effectively. I looked to understand their individual strengths, weaknesses, who they are as a person and more importantly the drivers behind why they do what they do.

 

How do you bring out the best in your team?

Knowing someone well enough to understand what motivates them is one thing, now implement it! It was my responsibility to create personal development plans for our team. Now granted PDP’s all look a little similar at the start, but when you get to know someone it’s so important to use the information you have. It’s too easy to “revert to type” and tar everyone with the, they’ll love money brush. It’s called a “personal development plan” for a reason, make it personal, make it fit them, make it something they’re motivated to achieve against.

There is nothing worse than trying to bring out the best in a person but giving them a goal that they have no interest in achieving.

Think of this analogy, you have a football team, a team full of individual skill and talent but you don’t know the players motivation. It would be pointless motivating a striker against a clean sheet, how could they possibly control this? And if they tried to, then you would have a great goal scorer dropping back. Granted you may keep that clean sheet, but you’re not likely to score either! This is the same within an office team, knowing your team and their motivation will ensure you get results and achieve targets.

 

What keeps me going?

For me, my motivation comes from working with, looking after and training a team. There is nothing more rewarding than giving someone the confidence, belief and knowledge to do an amazing job, watching them make it their own and then motivating them to continually achieve and improve.

By keeping myself and our team motivated. By working together and maintaining the desire to consistently achieve we’re able to deliver amazing results for our clients, deliver against company targets and enjoy ourselves whilst we do it.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

Rich Bowden

Advance TM Group Team Leader

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The power of outsourced lead generation and telemarketing

The power of outsourced lead generation and telemarketing

Firstly thank you for taking the time to read this article as the age old saying goes time is money!

Why did we do this?

So you have had your latest sales meeting and it has been discussed that your sales team need more opportunities & face to face meetings. Whether it’s with specifiers, main / sub-contractors or end users, getting time in front of key decision makers is a fundamental requirement for your business, its future and its strategic long-term goals. This is not an uncommon dilemma that companies come up against within the construction sector and built environment, in fact we hear this all the time.

It is vital for every business to proactively promote their brand by raising awareness, driving demand and educating their customers, continuously creating new opportunities.

Having a dedicated sales team is an essential part to achieving this, however you have to ask yourself where do your sales teams’ skills lie?

Question?

Did you & your company advertise, recruit and train your sales team in order for them to spend exhaustive hours researching opportunities, trawling through endless reams of data and countless hours on the phone attempting to create leads? Most likely they are receiving significant salaries, in exchange you expect them to be closing key deals.

Therefore, setting lines of demarcation between lead generation and field sales and providing your sales team with cohesive support is vital for your business to grow. Let your sales people sell, they know your business & your products better than most, their skills lie in closing sales from face to face meetings.

So what’s the solution?

Option 1: Carry on as normal

Sit on your hands; turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to legitimate complaints from your beleaguered sales team that they don’t have the time. But let’s face it; if you are a professional operation, to remain stagnant is a sure fire way for failure, in this competitive industry you can be sure that the competition will not be choosing this option.

Option 2: Recruit internal Lead Generators / Telemarketers

Undoubtedly this will alleviate some pressure on your sales team and eventually create some leads. However, between the recruitment process and agency fees, it can prove both time-consuming and expensive. The person/people you hire will inevitably have to undergo some form of training and will take time to learn the processes and culture of your workplace. What’s more, they will need to be managed. Structures such as a comprehensive call management systems will have to put in place to evaluate and analyse their performance. The list goes on;

  • Contingency plans for when an employee is sick or on annual leave
  • What if they quit unexpectedly
  • What if they want promotion and no longer want to be on the phone
  • What if there was a more straight forward plan?

Option 3: The Power of Outsourcing

Traditionally most medium or large organisations have little to no problem with outsourcing certain elements of their day to day operations to specialist companies or agencies. This should be seen as an investment in the services of dedicated professionals that have in-depth industry knowledge and a track record of delivering high quality results.

However despite this, when it comes to elements of lead generation, telemarketing & business development, there is often internal resistance to outsourcing this aspect of the business. Whether it is from sales teams feeling threatened or from marketing or sales directors wanting to keep it “in house”. Outsourced lead generation should be looked at no differently, it is dedicated specialists helping deliver growth within existing sales strategies. Under the right circumstances, this is a very effective option.

Choosing the right partner

There are a multitude of B2B telemarketing agencies that can provide outsourced support for your lead generation efforts; How do you identify the one that is right for your business?

Hiring a generic B2B telemarketing agency has no guarantee of success. In fact, it may even be counterproductive. This is especially true if they have been trained in the regressive, out-dated philosophy such as Always Be Closing (ABC) or rely heavily on following generic scripts.

Probably the most vital consideration and most significant deterrent to employing the services of a generic B2B telemarketing agency is the inherent lack of specialised industry knowledge.

Every sector operates in a nuanced manner that may not be obvious or rational to those on the outside and this is especially true within the construction industry. Generic B2B telemarketers will not understand the subtleties of the industry;

  • Who the decision makers are
  • What are the drivers behind making certain decisions
  • What the route to market is for the products, stages, sub-sector or given situation

These variables are not static; they constantly shift depending on the context of the project, company and sub-sector. For example, it is worthless securing an appointment with a main contractor if the final decision lies with the architect.

What is required, is genuine market intelligence, knowledge / understanding and a want to listen to the clients, YOU.

This is where the merit of hiring a strategic, intelligent, industry-specific lead generator / telemarketing partner lies. You are not hiring someone to endlessly bash phones with no insight and they are not starting at ‘ground zero’ when it comes to understanding the markets you operate in. Rather, you are investing in vast expertise, consultancy on routes to market, valuable data and resources that cannot be replicated by generic telemarketers.

Why choose Advance?

Advance TM Group are the chosen partner for many companies within the construction sector and built environment, we have dedicated teams with an in depth understanding and years of experience scheduling high quality appointments day in day out. The simple fact of the matter is if we do not produce a return on investment our clients won’t continue to use our services, however we build long lasting relationships because we deliver on our commitments.

Once again thank you for your time, if this article has been useful and of relevance to you and your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you wish to discuss this in more detail, contact our office on 0151 357 2166.

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Why Outsourcing Works

Why Outsourcing works

Outsourcing is fantastic! A very “straight to the point” way to start a blog I know, but it is! Let me explain why…

I have been fortunate enough to Co-found Advance TM Group, this has been one of the more difficult, yet rewarding decisions I have ever made. Venturing into the unknown of a Directorship, risking everything on the belief that my Business Partner and I could create a company that would not only survive, but that could grow enough to not only sustain our livelihoods, but those of future colleagues, bringing together the best parts of our previous professional experiences.

Could we have done that using only our combined knowledge and skill sets? I’m happy to say we didn’t have to find out. We quickly outsourced areas of work to experts in their fields; Accountants, Solicitors, HR Advisors, Website designers and IT Support.

Why did we do this?

Well firstly because we couldn’t facilitate the above ourselves to level required of our business, difficult to admit but it was unrealistic to think 2 people would be experts in all the above fields and more. Out sourcing has allowed my business partner and I to focus on what we’re great at, growing our business and building an exceptional team, knowing that the equally important and essential above areas of our business are being facilitated by industry experts.

Secondly, because it is extremely cost efficient, each area we outsource doesn’t form enough work to create a full time or even part time job. Outsourcing has enabled us to pay for exactly what we need, when we need it. Even as we grow to a company of 13 strong we continue to outsource a wide range of projects and business areas.

Thirdly, because we offer an outsourced service ourselves, in the form of “Lead Generation, Telemarketing & Business Development to Suppliers, Manufacturers and Service providers within the construction industry and built environment. We have seen first-hand the benefits of outsourcing to our business and the Return on Investment our services yields for our clients.

So again, outsourcing is fantastic! We keep our overheads down, have our needs met and exceeded by industry experts and we can focus our efforts more on our stellar team and our happy clients. Let our experts help facilitate your growth.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, if this is something you would like to discuss in more detail please feel free to contact me on 0151 357 2166 or 0797 283 2719, alternatively drop me an email on simon@advance-tm.co.uk.

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The importance of a great team

The importance of a great team

Throughout my professional career I have always understood the importance of good team work and the value of the people that make the team. People are fundamental to the success of any organisation. Having always been part of an existing company with a different set of beliefs, it has been difficult to implement this ethos, however obviously important and crucial it appears.

When Simon and I embarked on our adventure over 18 months ago, we knew it wouldn’t be easy and that there would be trials and tribulations along the way. We knew we wanted to create something better – something that put our team at the heart of what we do. Something that amalgamated all our experiences; good, bad, or indifferent, from leadership and past employee’s alike. This was even the case before we had a team. It was a bit of an ongoing joke between Simon and myself, I remember seeing Simon researching the requirements to become ‘Investors in people’ before we had people to invest in! I loved the enthusiasm of the idea even if it was a little premature.

We carry these thoughts into every decision we make, considering the repercussions to the team and how this may affect our business and our long-term strategies. Ultimately, if we don’t have a team then we won’t retain the clients and therefore we no longer have a business! I am sure we can all draw on bad experiences with previous employers or companies. A memory that stands out for me, one I will never forget hearing the words “Mike, everyone is replaceable, ultimately they are all just a bum on a seat”. When I first heard this, I was shocked at how little my employer valued his team, then the realisation hit – that included me too, with all of us having been fundamental to the success and quadrupling his turnover, this left a lasting impression of him with me.

That’s why here at Advance TM Group we believe in treating all our colleagues with;

  • Respect
  • Appreciation
  • Value
  • Empathy
  • Inclusivity
  • Fairness
The first picture my wife bought me for the office was that of a Richard Branson quote – something we have adopted as a mantra;

“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients”.

Richard Branson

This is so true. At Advance we have very loyal clients, and this is purely down to the equally loyal team we have working with us every single day. The sooner employers realise that great people are hard to come by and are not easily replaceable, the better their business will become.

Moving forward Simon and I will constantly be looking for ways to improve our business for everyone we’re lucky enough to work with, never becoming satisfied or complacent employers – this is what will keep our business growing from strength to strength and hopefully make us a great company to be a part of.

I would like to dedicate this blog to the team of Advance TM Group, well done and thank you.

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About Us

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.

Get In Touch

  • 0151 357 2166
  • info@advance-tm.co.uk

Office 5
Venture Point Business Park
Stanney Mill Road
Ellesmere Port
Cheshire
CH2 4GY

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