Sometimes, the determinative factor of a project’s success is not hard skills and professional background but a set of communicative abilities. Having impressive expertise, some companies lack an understanding that their clients are just ordinary people, and each of them requires personal attention and humanity. This is what sets Belkins apart from other lead gen agencies according to Mariya Valtina, Belkins AM. Persuasion, friendliness, and honesty – these factors are only the tip of the iceberg in a complex matter of communication. In this article, she shares her expert view on client communication importance and gives 3 stories from her experience when this factor was crucial for projects’ full fruition.
|Mariya Valtina joined Belkins’s team as an SDR. Now, after 1,5 years in the company, she occupies the account manager’s position and has worked on almost 30 exciting projects. Her specialization includes healthcare, marketing, and cybersecurity businesses. Though this list is pretty diverse, Mariya has accumulated ultimate knowledge in these 3 sectors, making the most out of it to devise new creative approaches for each customer.|
Tell more about the industries you specialize in. What is the most challenging and interesting in each?
I think all businesses I’ve worked with (as those with whom I expect to collaborate) have specific challenges, making my everyday work more exciting. For instance, it was always a pleasure to work with services and products for the healthcare industry. As a rule, the sales process in this market is extended, so the main challenge for me as an AM was to streamline our inner processes and find opportunities to shorten the sales cycle.
Speaking of software development or marketing & advertising services, it’s always a hurdle. The market is oversaturated, and hyper-competitive, and finding ways to help clients stand out from the crowd is a fun challenge as much as it is arduous.
Finally, taking the cybersecurity companies I had a chance to work with, I can say their services are usually very complicated and require a solid tech background. I had to figure out new technical terms and research unknown, contiguous industries and technologies.
Learning new things and being better than you were yesterday are the two main components we stand for at Belkins. While it’s all been a rewarding experience, more is yet to come.
Tell about projects where communication saved the day
I would like to share some details about the differences in collaborating with small and large businesses.
Let’s start with X3 Marketing Group. Here persuading the client was a hard nut to crack. X3 Marketing Group is a niche marketing agency that promotes small local businesses in Colorado: roofers, cleaners, and movers. Such narrow expertise allowed the company to know every inch of its target market and provide exceptional services.
But we realized that such a limited ICP would cause sales stagnation sooner or later. So our task was to assure the client they would unlikely get traction leveraging this strategy. We offered to expand the list of targeted companies using the same local approach. Our communication and persuasion skills prevailed. Did it result in success? Absolutely: up to 60% email open rate, 10% reply rate, and 10 deals closed in 5 months.
Another project I worked with is Talkatoo, a small company that provides a desktop dictation application for veterinarians. Belkins has been successfully setting appointments for them for almost a year, but the beginning of the partnership wasn’t so bright.
Initially, we targeted doctors themselves, but it didn’t bring much traction. We realized clinic assistants and receptionists were low-hanging fruit, and reaching out to them would bring better results since they are less busy. We went above and beyond to gain the client’s trust from the start, so persuading them to adjust contact personas wasn’t a tough row to hoe.
|Find out more about Talkatoo and Belkins collab in our case study — 87 Appointments and 8 Deals for Talkatoo in 8 Months. Belkins Fuels Sales For a Veterinarian Dictation Startup. Here you'll find the client's main challenges, the ways of their salvation, the Belkins approaches, and results.|
In these two cases, we dealt with small companies whose communication process was quite plain and straightforward. In enterprise-sized companies like OutSystems, a software company for which I led a project, it was delayed.
We decided to target the Asian market and launch native-language cold outreach. Each idea underwent numerous approval rounds, and all our templates were double- and triple-checked by the client’s reps. I should have always been available and stayed in touch to prevent protracting the project even more.
Undoubtedly, it affected the speed of our delivery, but such waiting was worth it. The strategy of sending emails in the native languages of Asian prospects hit the mark. Our team set 50+ appointments in just 3 months.
This case is one of the most exciting in my career, so I recommend reading more about it in our case study — 26 Appointments in the First Month — Becoming a Reliable Outbound Sales Partner for OutSystems.
Why do large companies engage outsourced appointment-setting teams if they have a full-fledged sales department?
Companies like OutSystems reach out to agencies like Belkins to test new approaches. They want to try new strategies like writing new templates or examining new markets’ potential. So they delegate these tasks to third-party companies while their in-house team can work on honing their processes and closing deals.
Is there a secret to success when working with clients?
Yes! I’m convinced that communication is a cornerstone of a fruitful business partnership. How you build your communication with your client influences the outcome as a whole.
For me, it’s important to become friends with customers, understand their concerns, pick the most effective methods to address them, and share new ideas.
I would also like to outline that clients value this too. It signals professionalism when you try to discover as much as possible about their market, products, value, target audience, pain points, achievements, and failures. This strategy allows Belkins to integrate with clients’ in-house teams more effectively and avoid mistargeting or estimation errors in the first steps of collaboration.
What does a typical AM’s working day look like?
As an account manager, I have to take everything under control within each project I supervise. So here is what my regular day looks like:
- It all starts with checking tasks in the morning;
- Then I hold recap calls with my team;
- Set template writing tasks to the content team;
- Look for extra leads;
- Sometimes, I check on SDRs’ inboxes to see how they’re doing;
- In the afternoon, I start a session of client calls;
- Finally, I end my day setting tasks for the team based on the client’s wishes.
Of course, some exceptions always happen. There are days when you don’t notice how the day turns the night. The team does everything possible in such moments to deliver the best result.
So why choose Belkins? What sets us apart?
- Transparency is one of our most important Belkins values contributing to trust in our client relationships. We are always honest with our partners because there’s no point in hiding something from them. Clients see everything: templates, reports, and deals. And we don’t play for time to make more money. If something does not work as expected, we speak right away and offer ideas on how to improve.
- Flexibility is another feature that helps us beat the competition. Belkins has built its processes this way so we can re-arrange our approach at the snap of a finger. And we never stick to one strategy used to bring results to a specific project. Belkins team considers each client’s case in detail and comes up with a plan only after detailed research.
- Finally, all our success wouldn’t be possible without our seasoned, result-oriented team. Belkins has an eye for great specialists. We select professionals with relevant knowledge and aspire to attract people with as many different backgrounds as possible. This way, we can provide exceptional expertise to each and every client.