As marketing budgets have moved away from direct marketing into content and social marketing, the fundamental best practices of telemarketing haven’t changed much. What has changed is where and when it is used to best effect. It’s a numbers game. The challenge is to set your campaign up to maximize your chances of success at every stage.
Here’s a simple ratio to give us a working example:
- Dials per day = 100 – pretty much fixed and up to the agency to manage
- Decision maker conversations = 10% – what can you do to increase this?
- Next action = 30% – what can you do to increase this?
With more protective gatekeepers and more individuals using voicemail to screen calls, getting through to the right people from a cold list is a struggle even when they’re not on the “do not call” list. So, while buying a list and simply calling through it can have some success, it’s unlikely to result in a DMC rate of as much as 10%. To increase this rate, you should be using data that is up to date and preferably populated by the prospects themselves – they’re more likely to provide DDIs and mobile numbers, for example, than a bought in list.
Increasingly, the smart place to invest in telemarketing is at the point where a prospect identifies themselves by engaging in some small (or large) way with your brand and proposition and are therefore that little bit more likely to take your call. So tools that identify social media engagement, web visits, event attendance are crucial. Individual tools that perform these functions individually are good. Better are the marketing automation tools that aggregate all that data back into the CRM for a single, more complete, view of the prospect. When you have this view, you can tailor the call and offer more effectively, leading to a greater proposition of positive conversations and actionable next steps.
So, here are 3 questions you should ask before spending money on telemarketing:
How’s our data? If it’s not profiled and filtered down to the type of people or at least organisations that you really want to be doing business with, then you shouldn’t be calling. We’ve seen entire campaigns fall flat, not because of the quality of the telemarketing, but because the sales teams weren’t interested in doing business with the identified prospects – they were too small. Those organisations shouldn’t have been on the list in the first place.
How’s our proposition? Even if you’re calling warm data, you’re going to need to get through those first few seconds of the call without being hug up on. Do you have a great proposition based on what you know about the prospect already? Have you got a selection of calls to action to suit different call outcomes that still give you the opportunity for future contact?
How’s our process from here on in? There is NOTHING more frustrating for a telemarketer than to get through to a prospect, have a great call and secure a great next step only to find that the sales team it’s been passed to has let it go cold. These leads are gold and should be valued and nurtured accordingly. Accountability, tracking, measurement and reporting of outcomes are essential. If you’ve not got faith in the sales process, there’s no point in investing the money in telemarketing.