Randstad is one of the world’s leading providers of recruitment and HR services, with operations in 39 countries. It represents more than 90 percent of the global HR services market.
To stay ahead of competitors, Randstad launched a new brand promise, Human Forward. It focuses on “integrating superior innovative HR technology with the human touch of our professional and experienced people,'' shares Rena Ling. Rena is the regional marketing and communications director at Randstad Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia.
Randstad’s marketing team is part of the Human Forward initiative. The team sees itself as both a sales enabler and driver. They use a range of strategies, platforms, and tools to generate quality leads for the business. These include social media marketing, advertising, events, inbound marketing, search, content marketing, and email marketing.
Challenge: marketing-generated leads wasted due to lack of sales follow ups
Despite marketing’s excellent lead generation efforts, their leads don’t always correlate to a corresponding increase in sales.
That’s because not all the leads that marketing passes to sales are ready to convert. Some leads need more time to decide, while others are not a good fit.
But sales does not have the bandwidth to follow up with every lead and find the ones who are interested. For Randstad, it typically takes about six to seven back-and-forth exchanges to arrange an actual appointment with a lead who was “initially very interested”.
“According to a recent research, only 2% of cold calls resulted in an appointment. You will be lucky if your sales reps continue to follow up, because most of them typically give up after two calls. The scarcity of time is also why many companies see a third of their leads’ replies falling through the cracks and not being followed up on” says Rena.
Solution: Use AI sales assistants to scale lead engagement and qualification
The problem with many sales and marketing automation platforms in the market was that they gave little insights into leads’ buying intentions.
These tools enable Rena to send emails to leads and track their responses. For example, how many links clicked, how many white papers downloaded, and how many surveys completed. But the tools don’t tell her whether the leads are ready to speak to sales. Lead scoring was an option, but she found that it was not very accurate in qualifying leads.
Then she discovered Saleswhale. Saleswhale’s AI sales assistants can initiate back and forth email conversations with leads at scale. They are polite, can send documents if requested, and never forget to follow up. Getting an AI sales assistant to handle lead follow ups freed Randstad’s sales team from a lot of tedious work.
More importantly, the AI sales assistant can distinguish between genuinely interested leads and tire-kickers. When it finds a hot lead, it routes this lead to sales.
If the AI sales assistant is unsure of what to do, it’ll get help from a human sales rep by flagging the email for review.
“Saleswhale is not just an automated emailing tool. It’s also a lead management platform,” Rena remarks.
“Our strategy was to continue using our marketing automation tool to generate inbound leads, and then feed these leads through Saleswhale for follow-ups. Combining the power of a marketing automation solution with an AI assistant has allowed us to effectively maximize and qualify all the leads we have generated, resulting in more quality and relevant meetings for our consultants.”
Results: Significant increase in lead engagement, conversions, and meetings booked
Rena enthuses, “Where we used to see our cold and warm leads disappear into a black hole without regular follow ups, we can now re-engage all of them through the bot and push for a specific outcome, which helps the marketing team to gain better ROI on our lead generation, marketing spend, and campaigns.”
One of Randstad’s sales goals was to reach out to the Top 75 employers from the Randstad Employer Brand Research, which puts together customized brand reports for each company. Before the introduction of Saleswhale, Randstad used Marketo, a marketing automation platform that offers email marketing solutions, and the manual effort of their sales reps.
But they were only able to engage about 15 percent of those businesses. It didn’t help that their database was outdated as well.
After deploying AI sales assistants to work alongside their team, they saw a mammoth boost in conversion rates, “ranging between 50 to 79 percent”. Randstad secured a substantial number of meetings, reaching new heights of productivity. Randstad’s operations in Malaysia and Hong Kong enjoyed similar success as well.
Delegating tedious admin tasks to AI, such as lead follow-ups, enables Randstad’s recruitment consultants to focus on the prospects that matter. Those are the people who expressed an interest to meet or work with Randstad on their new hires.
At the same time, marketing no longer has to check with individual consultants to confirm if every lead has received follow ups. “Saleswhale provides a comprehensive and real time report on all the leads we have engaged with, and the stages we are at for each of those leads,” Rena says.
Rena enjoys working with the enthusiastic and innovative Saleswhale team, and is impressed with Saleswhale’s customer care. She also takes pride in the fact that Randstad is the first recruitment company to work with Saleswhale. Today, Saleswhale deploys AI sales assistants in Randstad offices all over the world.
Interested in using AI to get more sales-ready leads? Request a demo of our AI sales assistant today!
Originally published on 1 June 2018, updated on 6 January 2020