BitWise Completes Test, Rolls Out Telemarketing

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After a six-month telemarketing test gauged obvious interest in DocSTAR, its electronic filing product, BitWise Designs this month will roll out a full-scale telemarketing lead generation program. Inking a $1.5 million deal with Colwell & Salmon Communications, Inc., Albany, NY, a provider of telemarketing and marketing research services, the company hopes to generate thousands of new customers for 50 selected dealers within its nationwide network.

Based on a high conversion of leads to sales and positive feedback from dealers, BitWise, a Schenectady, NY-based manufacturer and distributor of computer-related products, expects success to continue with its national roll-out.

"Though it's hard to compile exact figures," said Jack Matyka, vice president of marketing for BitWise Designs, "many dealers who were not successful became so." Dealers on the list are typically companies who sell copiers and fax machines.

During the test, 15 reps completed 20,000 calls per month with a 10 percent conversion rate.

"If you can get a 10 percent conversion rate for such a hi-tech product, you are doing well," said Wayne Colwell, vice president and partner for Colwell & Salmon. Good conversion rates, according to telemarketing consultants, range from 6 percent to 25 percent, depending on the complexity of the product.

The company expects to have 25-30 dedicated reps working on the phones to determine business owners' interest in an electronic filing alternative. Paper-intensive companies, such as insurance brokers and medical institutions, are the best responders.

"We hope to create at least 100 high quality leads a quarter for each dealer," said Matyka.

Reps identify decision makers and ask them qualifying questions to determine need. Once need is established, reps tout the features and benefits of the product including the systems ease-of-use, cost effectiveness and efficiency, said Matyka. "Once installed, document retrieval is completed within seconds," he said.

Reps end the conversation with a call to action convincing prospects to set up appointments with local dealers who will provide a demonstration of the product.

"Business owners either want a back file conversion, where all paper files are inputted via a scanning system, or they want to leave old files alone and start from this point forward," said Matyka. Each disk holds up to 14,000 documents, equivalent to two file drawers.

Colwell & Salmon provides a daily list to dealers who distribute it to their respective field sales people. A full analysis is provided including a logged account of reasons some companies were not interested.

Training is extensive, said Colwell. Seasoned reps, who are already accustomed to selling high tech products, go to the BitWise location for specific product training. In addition to the full day of training, follow-up meetings take place daily or weekly.

An average of 5 to 10 percent of calls are monitored daily. BitWise also remote monitors a varying percentage of calls each week. Before leads are sent to dealers, data control coordinators review each lead for accuracy and completeness.

Colwell uses the Goldmine contact management software system where calls, call backs, call outcomes and completed calls are tracked. The system enables the agency to collect relevant data, attach it to a prospect's file, and create a database which is automatically printed for the various dealers who receive daily qualified leads via fax.

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