At Polk Three, we’ve recently had a number of clients interested in putting a charge into the volume of leads generated to the sales team. They have a steady flow of leads for their sales teams to pursue, but want more. So there are only a few ways to quickly ramp up lead volume and one of those may be outsourcing a telemarketing team.
I’ve been leery of this approach given all the obvious pitfalls that could happen, but after doing considerable research I think there may be a way to create an objective that could generate some results. My original expectation was that outsourcing some calls could generate conversions, but after my research for clients I think moving back up a step or two in the marketing pipeline would be more efficient:
Here is what I mean:
- Instead of asking this outsourced telemarketing team to sell a free trial or demo request, let’s ask them to get us to the right people. If you’ve run or been a part of an inside sales team, you know there is a mountain of calls to be made when and if you ever get to the right person. I’d rather my primary sales team make more targeted calls than simply working through a corporate phone system and working all the gatekeepers.
- There has to be shift in mindset from this being ‘telesales’ to ‘telemarketing’. As marketers we have to view this as another channel for marketing. Just like SEO, PPC, email marketing, social media, webinars, etc. Once you see this as telemarketing to drive prospects into the sales funnel you start thing of how this could possibly work and less about how it won’t work.
So, through this effort for clients I’ve come up with my Top 8 Considerations for Outsourced Telemarketing
- American business standards
- I’m beginning to grow more interested in the Phillipines as a solid player for call centers viagra bestellen. There are a number of both American and Australian businesses that have setup shop there. When an off-shore company can operate at the American, European, and Australian way of doing business it creates much less friction and anxiety in the relationship.
- Examples would be: contracts, communication, performance, technology used, service levels, and much more.
- Language and acsents
- We’ve all been on phone support with a technology company or credit card company. There is nothing more challenging than trying to understand the person on the other end of the phone or having to explain yourself 4 times and still not have the whole message very well understood.
- In the case of my clients, outsourcing to a country where English is just about the primary language is important. In the Philippines for example, English is a primary language and taught in early stages of their education system.
- In the providers facility or distributed call team (home based)
- Ask a lot of questions about where these telemarketers will be located. If you assume they will all be in the same building, you’ll be sorely mistaken. Many times they will have what is called “outbounders”. These folks will be calling from their home and distributed all over the world. You’ll have limited control over these resources and the quality of work could be suspect.
- Hourly rates
- I found rates from $7.00/hr to $15.00/hr. I’d stay away from the low end considering they could do more damage to your brand than help. These are likely very new resources to that organization and you’d rather them cut their teeth on someone else’s business. Most of the time you get less than what you paid for.
- Attrition issue
- Ask the hard question about employee attrition. Many times these call center companies are geographically in a very competitive area. Everyone is competing for the same talent and the talent is in a constant pursuit to provide for their families. The whole game with these companies is recruiting so the talent pool is constantly being recruited to work elsewhere.
- What is the conversion
- The more questions about marketing conversions I asked of these companies I researched, the more uncomfortable I became. This caused me to take a step back and ask “what is an ideal client for your telemarketing organization?” What I found was that they were better at the front end list work than they would be at selling a free trial or demo request.
- This is where I had to re-think my approach to conversion expectations. If they could work to get to the right person within an organization, then does that have value for my sales team? I think it can. I can use that as a marketer.
- Again, think of this as another marketing channel. If outsourcing initial calls can get a more qualified leads list for my sales team, then that is a marketing success.
- Ultimately a qualified call list is a better call strategy for your own inside sales reps
- Size of your team to outsource
- Several of the companies I spoke with disqualified my clients or I disqualified them. This is a good thing. I found that certain companies could handle a 50 person telemarketing deal and others just weren’t equipped. Likewise, targeting 5 telemarketers wasn’t a fit for companies looking at 50 telemarketing agents as their wheel-house opportunity.
- What is their wheel house client
- Which brings me to my last point. Not only is deal size a factor, but what industries or target conversions has their team handled in the past. In my instance, the clients were software companies looking for telemarketing. If the call center organization hadn’t handled technology or software companies in the past then we probably would be talking much longer. The expectation level of the telemarketer is very different for a software company than a roofing company.
- Another great question is B2B or B2C. Ask the prospective provider if their primary focus has been in calling residential or commercial target customers. Focus on providers with the experience that fit your target audience.
There is always more to learn, but this list of 8 considerations for telemarketing is a great start for you to start with. If you enjoyed this post be sure to comment below and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog or newsletter.