For companies that do targeted outbound prospecting, the Dialer Initiatives tool has been designed to help sales managers answer two simple questions:
Research from the Harvard Business Review, Inc.com, Marketing Sherpa, and our own internal ResponseAudits consistently shows that companies don't respond fast enough to newly-generated marketing inquiries, don't make enough total contact attempts, and don't focus their efforts on the optimal times of day and days of the week to maximize their efforts.
And Dialer Initiatives can help organizations change this paradigm.
Many companies receive new sales leads every single day, varying in varying quality, source, and level of interest. Yet most companies don't properly prioritize their follow-up efforts to meet the results the Harvard Business Review data shows can happen when follow-up happens in minutes.
For companies that struggle with Lead Response Management, the Dialer Initiative tools can become a "secret weapon" for success. They provide sales managers with strategic, self-managed calling queues that automatically update to reflect what's happening with your company in real time.
Initiatives can be pre-programmed to include or exclude Leads (or Contacts) in a dialer queue, based on the time zone the lead resides in, how many times it has been dialed, the current status disposition, the original source of the lead, and much more.
At its core, a Dialer Initiative is essentially an advanced database engine that links to the outbound PowerDialer.
In the "old days," a "Lead" was typically a name written on a sheet of paper, and at a point in time they deemed appropriate, a sales manager would go out and divvy them up amongst the reps according to a system they had in place.
A Dialer Initiative essentially replicates that process, only does it smarter, and in real time.
Imagine that same manager, handing out paper Leads one by one to agents—but then being able to track and monitor thousands of calls each day, reviewing each call response, and determining instantly whether the Lead should be called again, discarded, or dropped into a different "bucket" to follow-up later.
Dialer Initiatives can all be accessed from the Dialer Initiatives link in the Admin tab of the LMP.
However, there are two basic types of initiatives, that are created by two different methods.
Dialer Initiatives come in two "flavors": static, and dynamic. Each type of initiative serves a similar purpose—to increase calling productivity and effectiveness—but work along different paradigms and strategies.
Static Initiatives are the simpler of the two, and are created from within the Leads object tab in the CRM. They typically designed to be surgical in nature—take a relatively small (a maximum of 300-400 records) cross-section of the database, put them into a single, sequential list to ensure that every one gets called, and do it rapidly.
Once created, the records contained within a Static Initiative never change. If a user finds out later that they missed some records that needed to be included in the Static Initiative, they'll have to disband their current list and construct a new one to account for it.
Dynamic Initiatives, on the other hand, are created directly in the Dialer Initiatives tool link in the Admin tab. They're considered "dynamic" because the names within them are constantly changing and updating. Every hour, the database cross-checks the criteria for names to be included in the Initiative. When the checkpoint happens, new records may be added to the queue to be called, and some records will be removed or discarded from the queue, based on previous activity.
Strategically, Dynamic Initiatives are designed for broad, holistic contacting and marketing strategies. They are meant to better integrate sales and marketing best practices into the prospecting process, helping sales reps and managers see more meaningful results from their work, while increasing the level of professionalism.
Both types of initiatives have parameters that can be edited to help users do their work—interface elements, the record layout, callback and security parameters, etc. However, when originally created, both types use a default set of parameters specified within the Default Initiative tool.
To save time, once you're more familiar with basic initiative concepts, we recommend going in and establishing the default initiative settings to fit your process going forward. Obviously you can go back and change Initiative settings after they get created, but a good set of default settings will help you save time.
This is particularly important if you're regularly using Static Initiatives. Most Static Initiatives are created by end users—and as a rule they don't have access to the Dialer Initiative admin tools. Thus, if the default initiative settings aren't well-designed, a basic user can't access the Dialer Initiatives tool to make changes.
Again, once you feel more comfortable with Initiative basics, go in and establish the default settings.