When companies are considering implementing telemarketing for lead generation they usually ask themselves:
“Should we set up a telemarketing team in-house or outsource it?”
Doing it yourself has a number of benefits:
- Your telemarketing team is 100% dedicated to your project
- Your telemarketers are down the hall, rather than across town or across the country
- Your telemarketers are behind the “firewall” making it easy to access business systems
- Your telemarketers can also leverage your existing training programs and personnel.
However, before implementing a call centre, you must also take into account all the marketing and sales responsibilities you already have to deal with, and ask yourself:
“Shouldn’t we concentrate on what we do best and outsource the rest?”
In-house telemarketing programs often fail because companies don’t plan appropriately, or fail to keep the telemarketing efforts focused on clear objectives. Others can’t get senior management onboard or don’t know how or don’t have the resources to measure the results.
And many times, companies are surprised by the costs involved!
So, when should you outsource your telemarketing function?
The scenarios can vary from company to company but in general, it makes sense to outsource telemarketing for the following reasons:
- Adding head count is not an option.
- You’re already stretched too thin and cannot manage another team.
- You have peaks and valleys in terms of when leads come in (i.e. during trade show season).
- You need to get up and running quickly.
- You want to test new programs without negatively impacting your existing operations.
Should you decide to outsource your telemarketing function there are a number of KPIs you should look for in a lead generation partner:
Do they have a successful track record?
There are many, many telemarketing service bureaus out there! Of course, they’re all going to tell how successful they’ve been.
Here are some general questions you’ll want to ask:
- How long have they been in business?
- What is their specialty – B2B or B2C lead generation? There’s a huge difference!
- Do they have the capacity to perform for you?
- How many clients do they currently service each week?
- Can they scale their staffing to meet your needs, so you don’t experience peaks and troughs?
- Will they provide you with the names and contact details of some of their existing clients for you to call to discuss their work?
- Are they willing to be paid on results, or do they insist on an hourly rate?
- If it’s an hourly rate, is that rate competitive?
- How are you compensated for bad leads delivered to you?
- Will they provide the lists for their telemarketers to call, or will they expect you to provide the lists?
- What are their processes to ensure compliance with the Do-Not-Call Legislation and Privacy Act?
How experienced are their personnel?
You’ve spent a lot of time, energy and money to establish your brand – it’s extremely valuable!
So, you need to be sure that any outsourced company have the experience and expertise to represent your business in its best light and add value to your brand by adhering to its values.
You’ll want to know:
- Will they provide you with the resumes of the senior managers who will oversee your lead generation activity?
- Where do they hire they’re telemarketers from? You don’t want them to just put anyone on the phone to represent your company.
- What are their recruitment and training process? Will you be able to attend their recruitment and training sessions?
- How do they motivate their staff? Telemarketers take a lot of rejection and they should be constantly motivating them verbally and with other incentives to have minimal staff turn-over.
- Will they have a dedicated team of managers and supervisors who will not only supervise and coach their staff, but also monitor daily and weekly goals?
What facilities and equipment do they have?
Telemarketers require more than a phone at a desk crammed in the corner of a company’s basement.
Your lead generation partner should have work stations with:
- Up-to-date PCs with large monitors
- Software specially designed for call centres including call queuing
- Efficient data entry and links to online information
- Ergonomic chairs
- Quality headsets
- And a clean, quiet and professional working environment.
What technology can they bring to your lead generation campaigns?
- How will they deliver the information you require – electronically via e-mail; to your company’s website form, facsimile; on a floppy disk in ASCII delimited files or paper printouts?
- Can they integrate the phone, email and Web in order to lower costs and improve lead quality?
- Can they record all lead generation calls and provide these to you on a FPT server, so you can monitor the quality of their contacts with your prospects?
What are their Project Strategy and Design capabilities?
- Will they assign a dedicated Account Manager as your single point of contact on all lead generation related issues and develop a Campaign Strategy tailored to your specific needs?
- Can they develop other communication vehicles, such as email or direct mail deployments if necessary, so when they generate your prospects they can position your company advantageously to help your sales team increase their productivity?
- Can they create custom designed reporting structures to ensure that your needs are being met and achieved each week?
- How will they ensure they are optimising the lists they use for prospecting?
- What’s their Campaign Brief and Operations Plan process for:
- Script development and training manuals.
- Database creation and database upload.
- Quality Control & Compliance parameters.
How do they intend to execute your lead generation campaign?
- What’s their process for scale their staffing to meet your lead generation needs and to coach their staff to deliver each and every week?
- Who will write an easy-to-follow script designed to capture the information you require to separate the ‘suspects’ from the ‘prospects’?
- How will they follow up new prospects with relevant communications to meet campaign goals?
- Will they provide daily reports to you outlining the number of leads that have been generated, together with the prospect intelligence obtained and where the prospect is in their buying cycle?