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Before we talk about how Steam-connect contributed to its success, the story leading up to the creation of Lead Development Company in 2011 is an interesting one.
Owner Jeroen van Ginkel’s sales career started in the 1990s when he arranged appointments for the ICT company where he was working with the Gouden Gids. In 2005 he started his own business as an independent trainer at Kenneth Smit, which works with a franchise model.
“I needed customers, so I called again.” After a while it became a bit busy to do the telephone acquisition ourselves. For three years he hired various ‘calling agencies’, but the arranged agreements were very non-committal, made on the basis of wrong expectations or printed through them.
Getting Started with Steam-connect
Van Ginkel decided – together with fellow trainer Ido Paulusma – to train people himself who would arrange appointments for training.
“Customers asked: ‘how do you actually do your own recruitment?’ We told about those people and they said: can’t we hire them? And so it all started in 2011.”
Right from the start they started working with the high-quality contact center software from Steam-connect.
“We go for quality in our conversations and so you have to work with the best software. The great thing about Steam-connect is that it is very scalable; we grew in terms of customer base and number of employees and you can always add new employees and customers effortlessly.
You should see Steam-connect as the backbone of our way of working. If, for example, we notice during a call that a certain target group is easier to reach than the original target group, we have that data thanks to Steam-connect.”
Van Ginkel is therefore very satisfied with the platform: “The great thing is that it is always under development, there are always new applications. It works well for us that Steam-connect can be integrated with other systems such as Hubspot , which saves us a lot of time.”
Can you explain what you do differently from the competition?
“We always say that we make qualitative new business agreements, but you have to live up to that and Steam-connect helps us realize that ambition. For us, Steam-connect functions as a calling, but also as a reporting system.
We can get all that data out of the system; the reach of course, but also which contacts are already working with the competitor and when they reconsider that relationship. Moreover, with us the customer can check how such a conversation goes.
Our customers have a login code for a portal and – before they enter such an appointment that we have made – they can listen to that entire conversation.
This is only possible because we work with a system in which those conversations are available via Steam-connect. This is possible because we automatically record those conversations in Steam-connect.”
Your distinctiveness lies in the conversations themselves?
“Certainly and that is because we focus on knowledge-intensive companies in the B2B segment. There you are dealing with DMUs, they know that it takes time to convince potential customers to make an appointment. We form that very first contact, it is not for nothing that we call with the customer’s caller ID.”
Why can you offer that quality?
“For example, because we have a lot of experienced people. We want to constantly develop and so does Steam-connect.
They are at the forefront of this and often come up with new things that contribute to the quality we deliver. Of course, this telephone acquisition provides data and we can share that data via an API with our customers’ CRM or marketing system, which is also distinctive.
Steam-connect ensures that sharing is possible without assistance. We can classify this ourselves according to need and insight because Steam-connect makes this technically possible, but also trains us in this.”
How did you get through the corona crisis?
“The great thing about Steam-connect is that you always work in the cloud. When people had to work from home, we simply gave them a laptop. As a result, we did not have to spend any time on the adjustment.
In the week of the lockdown we lost 95 percent of our turnover, but we have benefited a lot from a database of companies with people who once said: we outsource our telephone acquisition, but to a different party.
Then you know two things for sure: they believe in telephone acquisition and they are willing to pay for it. We started calling those people with the question: maybe now is the ideal time for an online meeting? Because many companies had stopped with their current partner.
A good moment for a reconsideration. That resulted in a lot of agreements.”
So for you the corona crisis even yielded something?
“When a crisis breaks out, I always think: we are all at zero. In the end, we only dropped 25 percent in sales in 2020, we didn’t cut staff, but some other things that made our profitability great.
In 2021 we have even improved by 120 percent and we went from 12 to 15 people. And all thanks to the motto: if you criticize telephone sales, don’t stop doing it, but make the conversations better.
That’s how we’ve always done it and Steam-connect has always been a very good partner. This gave us the tools to grow as an entrepreneur.”