Many organizations effectively run their telemarketing operations in-house, and this may appear to be a very cost-effective choice that utilizes spare capacity on the surface. You could believe that anyone who can communicate over the phone can be a telemarketer. And obviously, someone from your own company would be a better representative than someone from another company......right? It isn't quite that simple, as with most things...
1. Specialist Skills
A qualified, competent telemarketer or telesales professional does not need to be able to hold a conversation over the phone. Maintaining high volume calling at the level required to deliver good quality outcomes, especially in the B2B lead generation environment, necessitates a unique set of skills and natural aptitude.
An agency will go to considerable lengths to recruit the correct people, putting a pool of callers at the client's disposal to be dispatched according to the campaign's demands - including bilingual agents for international campaigns.
Some talents can be taught, while others, such as self-confidence and the tenacity to stay focused and maintain performance despite repeated rejection, are inborn in a person's mentality. Cold calling is neither easy nor appealing, and even seasoned salesmen, especially those accustomed to warm, sales qualified leads, avoid it. Demand generation requires strong persuasive abilities that are considerably different from those necessary for a research activity or survey, and agencies recruit and match skills accordingly.
At P3, our agents receive industry-standard training to provide them with foundational skills in their specialties, such as solution selling, rapport building, and listening. The client's brand and proposition, the competitive environment, product benefits, and customer pain points are then augmented by campaign-specific training.
This degree of training gives agency employees access to resources that aren't available to the average person in a conventional office setting.
2. Proactive Account Management
While the term "telemarketing" can be used to describe a variety of activities, it includes lead generation, appointment making, transactional telesales, inbound call handling, and, in some situations, before and post sales telephone research.
Because no two campaigns are the identical, an expert account manager with broad and deep knowledge of these areas will apply best practices from prior campaigns while also striving to identify what needs to be done differently.
They'll do the following:
Assign agents to your campaign who have the necessary abilities and experience.
Use a framework like BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timing) to grasp the essential factors that determine value for you by creating a detailed brief that captures your offer, USPs, key messaging, and intended outcomes.
Implement a campaign review at an early stage, recording client and agent input, so that any hurdles or pain points not addressed in the brief are remedied right away.
Listen to call records to figure out which agents and techniques are the most productive, so that best practices may be shared throughout the organization.
Identify areas of data and industries that are gaining momentum faster than others so that resources can be directed where they will have the greatest impact.
To improve campaign performance, create an ongoing feedback loop with reporting tools, regular reviews, and regular communication with agents and clients.
The high degree of account management means that each campaign has the best opportunity of generating a high return on investment.
3. Structured, Systematic Approach
An account manager within an agency also has the benefit of detailed insight into campaign performance provided by a bespoke calling platform:
The calling platform improves call flow by allowing agents to watch pipelines, take notes, and provide feedback. In this context, productivity levels are naturally greater (15-20 calls per hour) than in-house, when the employee may be struggling with a normal CRM or phoning from and manually updating an excel list.
Reporting and Metrics
This type of platform also offers a variety of reporting and metrics, providing account managers more visibility and allowing them to optimize campaign performance at both the agent and campaign levels.
Management of data
Data management is a natural cornerstone of any successful calling campaign, and the platform and reporting it enables make it easier. It will show where data quality is lacking and which data sources are feeding the pipeline and producing outcomes. Agents can nurture the pipeline, schedule callbacks, send material to follow up, and generate opportunities for the short and long term, rather than burning through data for fast wins.
Call recordings provide an additional layer of visibility and transparency, making them the ideal tool for tracking ongoing performance. They provide customers with a clear understanding of how their proposition is presented and received, allowing them to provide feedback to improve results.
Increased visibility, a consistent, disciplined approach, and bespoke platforms and technologies create a much better basis for success than a normal office architecture.
4. Resource Management
Callers to the agency are in a competitive, results-driven environment where everyone is focused on the same, or comparable, duties. When you're juggling reactive and proactive activities, it's tougher to focus, and it's easy to get sidetracked in a less regulated atmosphere. Individuals making calls in an office atmosphere where no one else is phoning may feel self-conscious, especially if they haven't received any training.
If finances allow, a call center environment can be recreated in-house, using the same strategy in terms of personnel recruiting, training, and continuous coaching, as well as IT infrastructure. Even with the necessary expenditure, matching the capability and flexibility of an outsourced staff may be difficult.
The agency can shuffle calls around to ramp up or down a campaign as needed to ensure a continuous flow of leads, or adapt to peaks and troughs when managing inbound leads, thanks to a larger pool of agents shared across different campaigns.
If you're wanting to expand internationally, an agency can not only supply multilingual agents, but also support out-of-office calls, which are common in the industry but may be less acceptable in a traditional office setting.
According on the target sector profile, agency resources can also be used at very particular times of day. Calling schools, for example, is generally more successful later in the afternoon, when you have a better chance of getting through to decision-makers. An in-house team may not be as flexible with their time or ability to focus calls as an outsourced team.
A wide team of trained, seasoned callers provides a greater skill set and experience base to deal with varied levels of decision makers, functions, sectors, and outcome types, as well as market stage. If a particular area gains traction, agency resources can be quickly transferred to where they would yield the best results, without incurring large training costs.
Apart from resource flexibility, an in-house team necessitates a substantial amount of management time, not only to ensure campaigns operate smoothly, but also to deal with personnel concerns such as vacation, sickness, turnover, and training and development. With an outsourced solution, the agency will handle all of these details, freeing up time and resources for in-house management.
5. Brand Reputation
You may control how your brand is displayed by using a structured framework that promotes a consistent approach. A detailed brief, careful supervision, and constant monitoring via call records and detailed reports ensures that the message transmitted reflects your brand values and that your proposals are correctly positioned.
Although an in-house employee may be more familiar with your brand and appear to be in a better position to answer technical or probing inquiries about products or services, an agency with a strong brief can be highly effective in presenting a client's pitch. Agents receive detailed training on the products they sell, as well as a clear mechanism for raising questions and arranging follow-ups with sales or in-house teams as needed. They usually take a solution-selling approach, asking open questions and gathering feedback and insight, but with a clear knowledge of their scope of responsibility.
Your brand's reputation will be safeguarded by a planned, measured approach based on a strong, complete brief with a consistent message that is constantly monitored for quality and consistency. An atmosphere and strategy that is less structured and monitored may be less effective.
6. Return on Investment
Telemarketing, whether done in-house or through an agency, can be one of the more expensive marketing strategies. However, if done well, it can yield a very high return on investment, especially in the B2B sector, where the value of the outcomes is generally higher.
A regulated, measured approach is vital in this regard to ensure the quality of product you require. Investing resources without a way to track them can be a false economy, resulting in an erratic flow of low-quality leads that eat up sales time and divert resources away from more important tasks.
Once you have a large workforce, making sure they are effectively utilized and minimizing downtime is critical to getting a return on your investment, but this can be difficult as needs change. An agency with a big pool of callers that manages numerous clients can shift resources around and re-deploy callers if demand changes unexpectedly.
Many companies have created highly effective in-house telemarketing teams that provide a consistent stream of high-quality opportunities for their sales teams over time, but this has obviously resulted in hurdles and low points. Furthermore, it is rarely the most convenient or cost-effective solution. Aside from the apparent cash outlay, there are a number of other factors to consider, such as managerial overhead and time, hidden costs such as call charges, IT infrastructure, and, of course, increased human counts and prices.
Outsourcing may not be right for every company, but it does have benefits. At the top of the list must be the high levels of productivity that dedicated agency teams can accomplish, as well as tried and true campaign management on purpose-built technology platforms. If you're new to telemarketing or telesales – perhaps experimenting with a new method or dealing with a short-term demand – an outsource option allows you to compare multiple models and techniques, including 'create or buy,' to see which is best for you and your company.
We'd be pleased to talk about your needs if you'd want to learn more about our flexible, outsourced solutions.