Use Common Sense to Outsource Telemarketing
If your core business demands the majority of your time, you might want to consider hiring an outside company to run your telemarketing functions. While this need not be particularly expensive, you do want to make sure the firm you contract is in tune with current telemarketing regulations. If the firm is credible, they will know the law.
Not every company will benefit from an outsource arrangement, but yours could be a candidate. For example, you may wish to explore available options if you lack space, or can’t afford to set up or staff an internal center. Perhaps your need comes in cycles, you don’t want another team to manage, or you wish to give new projects a time-limited trial.
If any of these scenarios sounds familiar, outsourcing can offer definite advantages:
- A qualified telemarketing firm trains and employs workers specifically for the field.
- Professional telemarketing companies know how to motivate and reward their employees.
- Telemarketing firms use state-of-the-art equipment and technology most small businesses could not otherwise afford.
- A solid telemarketing company uses sophisticated, in-depth tracking and reporting functions.
dentifying Telemarketers You Can Trust
Don’t make the rounds of local telemarketing firms until you conduct some research. Major elements include a company’s call-volume data, as well as customer and employee feedback. Once you’ve identified a couple promising candidates:
- Investigate the firm's references and track record.
- Compare a candidate’s service offerings to your list of needs.
- Assess whether a candidate’s services are flexible enough to meet your circumstances. A provider should be responsive to you.
- Decide if the service costs dovetail with your budget.
Ask the Right Questions
Once you’ve set up an appointment or two, build your interview questions around critical qualifiers:
- Experience. Questions should address business history, capability to generate B-to-B sales-leads and the firm’s ability to represent your company and its products and services to the right market. It also is helpful if the candidate has solid experience in your industry.
- Data. If qualified sales leads are your objective, get some hard numbers around how many your candidate’s firm can generate. Likewise, ask about what leads-to-sales ratio you can expect, as well as how the telemarketing company measures ROI.
- Facilities. Visit the telemarketing firm you’re considering and request a backstage tour. Spend some time on the production floor - you’ll be able to listen in on phone calls and observe data entry. Make sure you meet and talk with both call teams and their managers.
- Proposal. Reviewing a candidate’s written service description lets you know if you are looking at the right company. The proposal should include corporate background, licenses and credentials, detailed program descriptions and related costs. Frequently, a clean, detailed proposal reflects quality and high standards on a broader perspective.
- Protocols. Ask your candidates about their call scripts, equipment, schedules, call rates per hour and results. It is also important that the telemarketing firm can correctly integrate their systems with yours.
References. Request lists of current and former customers. Then, call several of each. Ask happy customers why they liked your candidate and staff, and whether they would hire them again. On the dissatisfied customer side, ask them to detail their complaints. They may or may not be valid.