Then the really unexpected happened. Andy proposed that they call for our US seminars as well. My initial response was, "who outsources calling services from the US to the UK? Wouldn't that be logistically difficult and cost me more than what I could get in the states?" Andy assured me that he would be both logistically efficient and cost competitive.
That was eight months and dozens of calling campaigns ago, and Andy couldn't have been more right. The cost is right within line with what I would pay a US team to do their job, and the logistics are easier than I ever imagined. We decided that the most effective method of working together was to give the VSL team direct access to our marketing automation system (Act-on.com). Now Kate watches our email campaigns and calls me when we need their services! (I gave here the parameters of when I think a campaign needs phone help, and she watches for those parameters.) I give the go-ahead and she takes it from there, downloading the calling sheets directly from our system and managing the whole process from start to finish. All I have to do is set a budget and agree to pay them when they're done.
VSL is a core part of our team and essential to the success of our company."
W Curtis Preston CEO Truth in IT inc
"Working with Virtual Sales was a pleasure. Andy and his team took the time to understand our product, how it could appeal to clients and what our point of difference was. Having identified some broad client opportunities together we worked on fine tuning our targets. Our assigned VS contact then researched those, providing a list of client organisations. Having approved that they went on to contact them, find the decision maker and send information. Having reviewed the feedback from those calls I focussed on the best opportunities and VS arranged telephone/face to face meetings. The whole process was quick and very professionally managed. I would have no hesitation in recommending Virtual Sales for high quality and incisive lead generation."
Luke Ireland Managing Director HG Appstore
“Genesis Business were looking for a telemarketing agency to work our database and generate leads and appointments for our sales team. We simply didn’t have the bandwidth to make the calls and the data was rapidly going out of date so we needed to move quickly and effectively to maximise the results. We researched and contacted 4 companies and VSL were one of 3 companies we met with. Andy Dickens their CEO met with us and then submitted a proposal based on our discussion and after careful consideration we contracted with VSL initially to undertake a 10 day pilot campaign based on 2 days per week.
Virtual Sales Limited listened to our needs and worked closely with the sales team to contact the leads on the data list and pull out all the opportunities. In just a total of 25 days calling they achieved 55 opportunities and this has resulted in great results.
We now work with VSL on a regular basis to provide our outsourced lead generation. VSL understand our business and the caller has a great relationship with the sales team. This, coupled with their dynamic and flexible service allows us to focus on closing deals and trust that they will continue feeding the pipeline. I have no hesitation in recommending Virtual Sales Limited."
"Virtue Technologies were looking for a telemarketing company that could offer them a bespoke service rather than an off the shelf all fits all model. We sent an initial enquiry to Virtual Sales Ltd (VSL) along with several other telemarketing companies. VSL responded by return and offered a short call so that they could understand our business proposition and requirements and then submitted a proposal for our review. After careful consideration and a couple of calls with their owner Andy Dickens we decided to give them a shot and embarked on an initial 10 day pilot campaign in order that both parties could get acquainted and work out the key metrics for the calling campaign. VSL did not disappoint and duly delivered some quality leads and appointments and we have already closed deals as a result of their good work. We liked their approach and have constant contact both with the project manager and the caller and have a review call once a week with the whole team to discuss activities for week just gone and the week ahead. We have now moved the relationship to a longer term basis and I would recommend VSL to any business looking to drive quality leads and appointments for their sales team."
Phil McNair, Sales Manager Virtue Technologies
Eric Hughes, MD EMH Technology
“Finding good quality databases for the level of decision makes in the industries we target is just about impossible in the UK and Europe. We engaged Virtual Sales to conduct a telemarketing campaign to contact companies in our target sectors to identify the correct contacts and qualify their interest in our solution. The brief was about building a database not lead generation but we wanted contacts who had at least some idea of what we offered and qualified they were the correct contact. Virtual Sales were professional throughout, took the time to understand our offer and communicated this professionally – the campaign was a huge success with a high quality database of senior decision makers we can now target in the knowledge they not only exist but are aware of our product and interested in hearing more. I would not hesitate to recommend Virtual Sales.”
Sales Director - EMEA
Safari Books Online
"As a company that offers Outsourced Payroll we were naturally drawn to the services of bespoke telemarketing company Virtual Sales Limited. We did a thorough investigation and considered a number of sales outsourcing companies before we eventually chose VSL. We liked their approach to our requirements as they offered a very personal approach to our needs and were offering more than a call centre could with a very experienced team from the top down. Virtual Sales Limited have now been working with Trace for over 6 months and have generated a substantial pipeline and given us a great return on our investment. In fact, in December 2011 we closed a 2-year contract for our fully managed payroll service with a company who will be our biggest customer, the appointment was made in July 2011 in just the second month of calling. VSL are an important part of our sales team and we would have no hesitation in recommending for any company looking to feed their sales team with well qualified leads and appointments"
Sales and Marketing Director
Trace Payroll Services
"Since starting our Outbound Telemarketing campaign with VSL, we are now starting to see an improved level of appointments coming through for our Business Development Managers. To have a dedicated account manager and dedicated ‘Caller/Appointment setter’ who both understand our requirements fully and who we liaise with on a regular basis via Skype really sets VSL apart from the others in the market place”
Vines Group BMW & Mini
“VSL have worked with us over a period of 12 months and in that time they have provided us with a number of excellent opportunities with companies looking for various levels of e-Commerce and Online Marketing Services. We have found them to be continuously proactive and thorough in their work and this is reflected in the quality of the leads they have passed to us. VSL’s bespoke services have ensured that we have been able to adjust the intensity of calling to suit our capacity to follow up these leads. We have made some very dramatic structural changes to our business recently and VSL worked through this with us. We will continue to work with VSL in the future for our telemarketing campaigns as we are confident that they understand our business offering and the need to increase and decrease the calling days depending on our workload bandwidth. VSL have managed our telemarketing campaign with; a high level of professionalism, excellent communication and excellent strategic advice – we would gladly recommend them”
"Where do I start?
I came across Andy from Virtual Sales via a blog and at first I was a bit uncertain as to whether this was going to be the right thing for our business, however I was very wrong.
Working with Virtual Sales has been brilliant and the results are fanastic. They are not just cold calling but lead generation, every meeting I went to after their leads was absolutely spot on.
In a weird twist they have actually generated too much business for us meaning that we have had to ask them to stop temporarily just so we can get our thinking back.
I would highly recommend Kate at Virtual Sales, she has been a breath of fresh air to work with and has been very accomodating and would go over and above what was expected.
We will definately be using them again in the future to help grow our business further."
Mobile Generation Limited
“We evaluated seven telemarketing vendors and decided on Virtual Sales on the basis that they were easily scalable, professional and demonstrated a real passion and pride in their work. We completed three successful campaigns and will be using Virtual Sales again in the near future.”
Ian J Snead
Director of Sales
“VSL are the master of bespoke telemarketing campaigns. We have found that they are always prepared to go the extra mile and that they have excellent communication skills. Our own campaign was ad-hoc and low value to them, yet they treated us with the respect of a much larger contract. It is easy to recommend VSL as they are an outstanding company”
"Virtual Sales have worked as a partner to support the generation of new sales leads and ultimately new customers.
Using an approved database they have managed the process from initial contact through to appointment generation and follow-up.
The qualified leads and appointments generated to date have been of a good quality and have / will result in new and sustainable business."
Bela Electronic Designs Ltd
"As a small company with like many others ‘not enough hours in the day’ we found ourselves with a great opportunity where we needed to undertake a telephone marketing exercise quite quickly. After speaking with several Marketing companies we chose Virtual Sales after speaking with Andy who gave us the assurance of a company led from the top.
Our experience from ‘day 1’ was excellent and the level of professionalism and communication a refreshing change. Base on our experience we have no hesitation in referring and using Virtual sales in the future."
"Learning Consultancy Partnership was looking for a company to help them with their overall sales and marketing strategy and telemarketing to drive leads and awareness of their range of training and development services. After a comprehensive search of the marketplace we met with Andy Dickens the CEO of Virtual Sales Limited.
Andy came to see us and asked a number of questions so that he could find out as much about our business, our history, and goals for the future and what we were looking for in a partnership. He then explained about how VSL got started and the business model being different from other companies that we have spoken to about sales.
We engaged VSL on 2 fronts the first was a telemarketing campaign to follow up existing enquiries and also to contact organisations to look for new business opportunities.
In addition we also tapped into Andy’s knowledge base and hired him for some help and guidance on our overall sales and marketing strategy.
We have now finished our campaigns with VSL until after the summer, and we can wholeheartedly recommend them to any company looking to undertake lead generation campaigns."
Learning Consultancy Partnership
"I undertook a piece of work with Virtual Sales in 2008 whereby they worked from a mailing list I provided to book appointments for me with potential clients; this was pure cold calling. I found Andy Dickens and Jo Callaghan extremely professional. They met with me to ensure that they fully understood the assignment and my business. Jo worked diligently on the assignment and provided excellent feedback on a daily basis."
“Crystal Interactive provide interactive solutions for events and seminars and this summer were looking to see if an outsourced sales model could work for us in terms of generating leads. VSL came highly recommended by one of our staff who had used them in a previous company and along with a few suppliers were invited to tender for our lead generation services. Several companies responded against out Invitation to Tender Document. We then invited a selected number of suppliers including Virtual Sales to meet and discuss their proposals further. We liked VSL’s response to our requirements because they offered Crystal flexibility in terms of both payment options and also sales people to do the campaign. Initially we wanted to test whether telemarketing was viable for Crystal Interactive and ran a pilot campaign over the summer. We were very pleased with the results that VSL achieved for us and are now working with them to build a long term relationship and use them as our sales outsource partner of choice”
Chris Elmitt Managing Director http://www.crystal-interactive.co.uk/
"VSL did a great job, this was our first external campaign and it went really well. Jo got us some really good leads and the meeting to date have gone really well. It was very much a team effort and the reports back were very detailed and helped at meetings. We would definitely use VSL again as they were very professional and organised as well as easy to get on with. Thanks for a great job."
"All the meetings VSL has set up so far were of excellent quality, and there always was a real need in the companies. I even had one meeting where they were really disappointed that the caller was not with me.
So they have been excellent with calling, following up and then providing me with as much information before the meetings as possible so that I can walk in there feeling comfortably prepared.
It really has become great team work.
"Top notch! Virtual Sales Limited are a top notch telemarketing and new business development team, and I'm proud to work with them. If your business needs more leads, more appointments and more business, VSL are the people to do it!"
Internet Marketing Expert
"Kogo offer a professional IT Support service for small to medium companies in and around the South of England, and we were looking to grow our business in 2007. We approached VSL late in December 2006 and after a 1 day knowledge transfer meeting that included the setting up of Kogo email addresses and access to our company systems we let VSL loose on our prospect database.
We have been working with VSL for over 4 months now and we have regular phone meetings once a week to discuss progress and face to face once a quarter. This is paramount to the success of the project as we can very quickly overcome any objections that occur on a weekly basis.
VSL have been instrumental in building a pipeline of qualified opportunities and we have closed support contracts as a result of the work we have done together."
"Virtual Sales Ltd have been working with Express Metrix in Europe now for the past couple of years. In that time we have found them to be a very valuable sales resource so much so that we have now outsourced all our sales activity to them rather than employ direct sales people ourselves.
Their approach is to offer best of breed sales resources but on a part-time basis and I would have no hesitation in recommending them for similar activities with any IT based vendor."
VP Sales and Marketing
Express Metrix EMEA
"Virtual Sales Limited has been running a telesales campaign for us since October 2004. During this time we have seen a significant increase in sales of the product as well as improved CPE. I can honestly say the success of the campaign has been down the quality of knowledge from Virtual Sales and their consultants."
Visio Product Manager UK
"Microsoft Office Visio has a large portfolio of offerings for different customer segments. In some cases, it is more efficient and effective for us to outsource certain marketing and sales activities to a trusted third party than to ask our own local sales and marketing staff to take these on. Virtual Sales Limited is one of my outsource partners for Visio sales and marketing support in EMEA.
Virtual Sales staff and management have many years of experience working with Microsoft partners, many members of the team used to work for Visio Organization as well; they speak our language and understand when and how to communicate. This allows Virtual Sales to successfully manage important projects and communicate with different Microsoft and partner reps in all EMEA locations."
Product and Solution Marketing Manager
Microsoft EMEA HQ
"Microsoft Corporation has a large portfolio of software offerings in different stages of the product lifecycle. In some cases, it is more efficient and effective for us to outsource certain marketing and sales activities to a trusted third party than to ask our own local sales and marketing staff to take these on. Virtual Sales Limited is one of my product group's "go to partners" for sales and marketing support in Western Europe. Unlike most other channel sales and marketing companies, they are able to provide a unique blend of strategy and powerful execution with a solid reputation for getting the job done.
Because all Virtual Sales staff and management have many years of experience working as full-time employees for blue chip IT vendors, they speak our language and understand when and how to communicate. This allows Virtual Sales to successfully manage important projects despite working thousands of miles away and in a different time zone."
Group Product Manager
Microsoft MapPoint Business Unit
"Andy was responsible for building relationships on a pan-European basis with distribution partners in order that our products had a channel to market, this finally resulted in the recruitment of over 50 partners across EMEA. Andy thrives in a start-up environment and I would have no hesitation in recommending him for similar positions."
VP & General Manager
Red Hat Europe
"Scalado are a Swedish based software vendor and when we were looking to enter the UK market we turned to Virtual Sales Limited. As a Company based outside of the UK VSL offered us an attractive option of a "Virtual Office" concept complete with the infrastructure necessary to do business from day one. Not only were they able to have communications up and running very quickly such as phone and email they also offered us a quick entry point to the UK market.
VSL have built up a network of contacts in many areas such as PR where we were able to appoint an agency without the need to join the usual beauty parade of selecting a partner. This enabled Scalado to start communicating with the UK press very quickly and to build awareness of our Company and products. The other dimension that Virtual Sales offered us was in tapping into its network of channel partners. This is important when you are starting in a new territory such as the UK because we could not have hoped to develop these contacts from scratch and in such a short period of time."
"Digital Union are an IBM Premier Partner based in the UK and when we found ourselves without a Sales & Marketing Director we approached Virtual Sales to pitch for the role.
Rather than using the conventional approach of employing someone on a full-time basis we opted for someone with a wealth of experience in the software market. VSL have now been working with Digital Union for over 18 months and they have been instrumental in building a cohesive sales team that enjoys constant leads generated from various marketing campaigns.
They have a good understanding of working with partners and have used this to ensure that we are always in the thoughts of Companies like IBM whenever they are looking to do joint activities. I would have no hesitation in recommending Virtual Sales."
"Triaster, a leading software developer of Business Process Improvement Software, were looking for help with their sales and marketing and turned to Virtual Sales. We appointed Virtual Sales to help Triaster put a bit more structure in to our sales and marketing operations. One of the key reasons for appointing VSL was their vast experience in the software market and particularly because of the history behind Visio where Andy Dickens was Sales Director before the acquisition by Microsoft. This is particularly relevant to Triaster because our solution Process Navigator is based on Microsoft Visio platform.
Virtual Sales brought a depth of understanding to Triaster in working with different partners like Microsoft and the BSI and have enabled our sales team to present more accurate forecast and pipeline data."