Successful businesses understand that having an experienced management team is critical to the success of any campaign. They provide vital support to the callers. They oversee coaching, training, motivating, and controlling quality and performance standards. Finally, they maintain ongoing communication with their clients and refine their strategies. Make sure that you fully comprehend a company’s management structure. Proactive communication is essential for keeping you up to date on program activities. Inquire with the provider about how frequently and easily accessible the management staff is.
2. Customer Service
Caller experience is an important aspect of a successful campaign. Maturity and professionalism are essential, particularly in B2B marketing. Companies that hire young children to represent your company should be avoided. Depending on the complexity and difficulty of your campaign, different levels of caller experience are required. The company should offer pricing options for the caller talent necessary for your success.
3. Are Dedicated Callers Exclusive or Not?
Physical call centers typically employ multiple callers working on various campaigns. They usually use pre-programmed predictive dialers with several programs and read scripts. Use traditional call centers as little as possible. They may work well for B2C campaigns but not so well for B2B campaigns. The company should provide you with the option of having dedicated callers who specialize in your program. However, this option should also correspond with the number of calling hours you commit. A reliable agent typically works 5 hours per day. If you choose a smaller block of hours, your agent will likely need to perform other programs to make a living.
4. Structure and Methodology
A reputable company should have a well-defined onboarding and implementation procedure. A company structure should be clearly defined. You, the client, should have clear expectations for your program’s daily operations, including training, launch, and ongoing operations. The company should be able to communicate this to you and provide you with documentation for your records.
5. Charges and Pricing
If they use the United States or Canadian callers, reputable companies charge between $20 and $30 per hour. Performance-based incentives and hybrid plans should be available to good companies. The fees you pay a provider should be proportional to the caller talent required to make your program successful. If you don’t need the best and brightest because your schedule is simple, you shouldn’t have to pay the same rate for that caller. It is natural to want the best possible price for your campaign. However, you can bet that the less you pay the company, the more something has to give to them to make a profit. The caller is usually the one who pays, and that caller is the one who represents your company. You are hiring people rather than purchasing tangible goods where the price can be negotiated. This is critical to comprehend. Remember that your return on investment matters, not how much money you save upfront. The adage “you get what you pay for” is more accurate than ever regarding human resources.
6. Performance-Based Compensation
Although this may sound appealing, you should be aware of the logistical implications for the company for such a program to be implemented. Few, if any, talented callers are lining up to work solely on this basis. Even if the company can obtain some, they will generally force leads to be paid, jeopardizing your company’s reputation. Turnover is extremely high, and the program almost always fails to get off the ground. Furthermore, the numerous variables such as your value proposition, target market, decision maker title, geographic market, and so on make it extremely difficult for a company to predict exact results. However, a reasonable approach would be for the company to conduct a small performance benchmark pilot hourly. Following the completion of the initial pilot, the provider should be able to accurately quote you on a per-lead basis because the metrics obtained during the pilot provided an accurate performance benchmark. This also solves the issue of finding talented callers willing to work your program because they will know what they can produce from the pilot. Of course, you may prefer to stay at the fixed hourly rate, as most companies will charge a premium for a Pay per result basis, if available.
In reality, no legitimate company can make any genuine guarantees about results. Such claims are impossible due to the numerous variables and market conditions. Avoid any company that promises to tell you what to expect. Sure, reputable companies should be able to provide you with some ballpark estimates based on their experience, but these should be estimates rather than guarantees. You will almost certainly lose your money if a company guarantees specific results. These businesses are out to make a quick buck off of your hard-earned money. Run fast the other way. They will make a lot of money, ruin their reputation, and then go out of business under a different company name. That said, it is reasonable for a company to guarantee you the ability to cancel the program at some point and receive a refund for unused time.
8. Minimum commitment and reasonable expectations
A reputable company should be open and honest about your expectations. They should not be afraid to tell you what is true and what is a ruse. Your confidence in the company should be high on their priority list. B2B telemarketing works exceptionally well, but you must understand it is time-consuming. Getting to the right decision maker, sending follow-up collateral, following up, etc. You should expect a few results if you only commit to a few hours. In our opinion, anything less than 40 hours does not reflect what the program can do for you. It’s amazing how often businesses will buy a small block of time, see little or no results, and then claim that telemarketing doesn’t work. It would be best if you were realistic, and the company you work with should be able to tell you how much time is required to pilot your program correctly.
Be wary of any company that claims to be able to double your sales, guarantees results, pushes too hard or uses gimmicky sales language on their website or collateral. This is most likely how they will represent your company. They’re probably looking for a quick buck by stealing yours. Run as fast as you can! These businesses come and go, reappearing under different names. Don’t be duped. Check to see how long the company has been doing business under one name. Reputable firms are concerned with long-term success and want your continued patronage.
10. Refund Procedures
All reputable businesses should have an easy-to-understand refund policy. If they don’t have a policy, avoid them like the plague.
The company should be able to provide you with reports that include all performance metrics, not just the results. It would be best to look at how many dials per hour, leads per hour, information requests, emails sent, etc. Reports should never be charged for. More reputable companies have invested in an online system that allows you to log in and view detailed campaign reports. Request that they demonstrate the system and how it can be tailored to your requirements.
12. Brick and Mortar or Virtual?
It’s not the 1980s anymore. Companies can now use remote callers very effectively, thanks to technological advances. We believe that this model is far superior to a traditional brick-and-mortar model. You are not required to pay for their overhead, such as cubicles, computers, lease fees, telecommunications, etc. They must still make a profit and pay their callers less. Because virtual companies do not have a limited labor pool, they can handpick talented callers from all over the United States and Canada. Because they are not stuck in traffic commuting to a stuffy boiler room call center, their callers are much happier and more productive. Other callers sitting next to them do not distract them. Call center noise, or predictive dialer delays are not audible to your prospects. They will argue to the death to defend their outmoded business model because they have far too much invested in it to lose it.
13. Whether or not to go offshore
If you want to sell your product or service in North America, you should always avoid dealing with offshore companies based in India or the Philippines. You should always use callers who live in the country to which you are selling. The only exception proven effective is Americans or Canadians selling into English-speaking countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia. Yes, there is no doubt that offshore companies are less expensive. However, if you choose to hire them, you will almost always be wasting your money, not to mention the significant communication challenges you will face.
14 Business Development Firm or Call Center
Following implementation of the Federal Do Not Call regulations, many traditional call center “boiler room” types were forced to shift their focus to B2B as B2C business dried up. They were setting appointments for home improvements or selling magazine subscriptions one day and calling CEOs and business owners the next. How is this even possible? The skill sets required for a successful B2B program vastly differ from those needed for a successful B2C program. Professional B2B service providers recognize and value the specific skill sets required of a qualified business-level telemarketer. For example, while establishing rapport with a decision-maker is essential in business, stimulating interest and establishing credibility quickly is even more critical. The company should recognize that good questioning skills are required to supplement business acumen.
15 years of experience and a good reputation
Do your research. Many companies spring up in the industry, making ridiculous claims and guarantees, only to take your money and disappear. They usually reappear under a new business name. If you are serious about moving forward, check the company’s references. For any complaints, check their Better Business Bureau rating. When choosing the right company to represent yours, experience and reputation are everything.
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