The Point Company has just turned 10 years old, so I thought I’d seize on this chance to reflect on what’s changed in our company’s lifetime, where we are now and where we’re going in the future. In doing so, it’s become clear to me that a decade is certainly a long time both in general terms and in the fast-paced world of IT telemarketing!
Way back in 2008…
… England didn’t qualify at all for Euro 2008, compared to this year’s glorious and unexpected run to the semi-final. The intervening years have also seen a whole raft of other changes from our favourite chocolate bars getting smaller (bad), computers and mobile devices getting progressively lighter (good), and cloud computing taking full flight (reader discretion…).
That same year England were watching the Euros from the side-lines, I founded Meeting Point from my garden shed. The mission was to provide a different kind of IT telemarketing to our clients. I wanted to move away from the “industry standard” of agencies of that time which consisted mainly of a “smash and grab” mentality, cracking through call sheets, coercing people into attending demos and meetings they had no real desire to, and providing their customers with an end product of dubious and mostly worthless leads. I felt that the simple formula of relationship-based calling and effective social marketing was the way forward.
As the business grew, the likes of Palo Alto and Outpost24 saw value in this fresh approach to lead generation, and that combined with their emerging technologies of the time meant that it was a match made in heaven (or my garden shed…). One result of this more patient and personable approach to lead generation was the shift of vendor and reseller revenue models from shipping tin and towards recurring license-based software contracts. Looking back, I feel that it was around this time that the industry truly began moving into the digital revolution as we now know it.
Shed loads of exciting changes…
Having taken the difficult but increasingly necessary decision to relocate from the shed in 2009, I left it to the lawnmower and garden gnomes and created a base in Kingston upon Thames which has now grown to a call centre of 35 staff and counting. This is because, over the years, I uncovered a significant pain in the neck for our clients is managing and motivating inside sales teams to consistently deliver results.
The passion I’ve always had for picking up the ‘phone and actually “speaking” to people has been developed as an intrinsic part of our training and management for our client facing teams. Unlike individuals that have to work alone, largely unmanaged and having to support a team of account managers, we offer a highly charged working environment with dedicated training and management support and a whole office of people doing the same job that can share highs and lows.
That’s not to say we’ve had our fair share of excuses over the years for staff not being able to turn up to work. Anything ranging from bad hair days, sick relatives, cats and dodgy Chinese takeaways after Glastonbury weekend, but that’s all in a day’s work for us and why our clients are delighted with the results we produce.
Changing times have seen our service offer extend to a full range of business development services including data provision, digital and online marketing services all on an outsourced basis. Our name “Meeting Point” became more of a product than the business so we re-branded to “The Point Company” in 2016 to better reflect the extended services we now offer.
Our core business is still quality lead generation, which we deliver on a funded head basis to enable our team to learn customers’ products and services inside out and build great working relationships. However, the results achieved by our tech-savvy staff when connected outreach services are taken improve significantly.
The crystal ball…
We’re always thinking ahead. Our vision for the next 10 years is to build on our achievements so far, keep our customers’ growth at the forefront of everything we do, and fine-tune our end-to-end portfolio of services to continue to deliver the very best results.
We’ll do this by continuing our investment in talented individuals, extract more and more value for our customers through big data analytics, stay ahead of the game with social selling, and let automation and artificial intelligence do their thing to enable our team to be as effective as possible.
Alongside this, we will also stay true to the roots that were planted back in the shed – while social selling, digital marketing and data-driven analytics are becoming more and more mainstream, we believe that they remain complimentary activities to the core of what we do – that is picking up the phone and working hard on building personal relationships with people.
And so to the beach…
One consistency throughout the last 10 years is that managing staff is such a big headache for our clients – and no matter what else changes, it probably always will be. Although sales people get singled out, it’s not always them – in truth sales AND marketing need to work hand in hand to deliver results in the highly competitive world we live in. Outsourcing can solve that problem and reduce overheads such as sick pay, pension schemes, holiday pay, admin costs, NI, healthcare, maternity/paternity pay. Businesses still stay in control, but get the jobs they need done for a fixed price, so they can relax on the beach (okay well maybe not literally, but you get the POINT!!)
Follow us on social media to find out more of the hilarious excuses we’ve had for people not showing up for work – there are some corkers especially on a Monday when people seem to be at their most creative!