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Documenting Contacts
Virtually every conversation with a decision maker or decision influencer, and most conversations with gatekeepers and other contacts, potentially contain a wealth of information. From a marketing perspective, this information can be as valuable as professional, customized, primary market research - and a lot cheaper if you can get it as part of your marketing program.

Certainly, if your lead generation firm books an appointment, you should want to know more than simply the location, time and contact name for the lead. It's always helpful to know what was discussed. What needs and problems did the prospect talk about that you could potentially solve? Did he discuss his process or criteria for making a purchase decision? Did he talk about his goals and objectives? At a minimum, you should want to see this level of detail on every lead. But you may have to ask for it (and remember, it's going to take some time to write); but most typical telemarketers have no clue how to do it, and most low-price vendors don't offer it.

But what if the prospect doesn't grant an appointment? Wouldn't you want to know why? Wouldn't you want to know what objections he raised, and their context? How can you improve the results of the campaign if you can't analyze the negative responses, as well as the positive ones? Good documentation is critical to continuous process imporovement.

And what about all the information that comes up in conversations with non-decision makers? Gatekeepers, lower level managers and "coaches" can provide priceless information that can be used to develop a successful strategy, or improve one that has drifted a bit.

If your telemarketing firm reads a script, though, or uses low-level people, you simply can't get this added value. But regardless of whether they can do it or not, if you want to capture it, then you need to account for the time it takes to capture when estimating the budget, and comparing vendors. So check the box if you want to capture this information.