How to measure telemarketing ROI is a subject which is both important and frustrating. Having appropriate KPIs for telemarketing is as essential. Yet, that’s the case for any marketing and lead generation activity. However, in many cases, telemarketing is viewed differently to other methods of marketing even though, to a large extent, they all have the same objectives. The desired outcome is generally sales. Of course, some marketing is rightly focused on brand development and awareness, but doesn’t that ultimately arrive at the same end-point?
Different levels of scrutiny
It seems though, that telemarketing is often subjected to different and stricter levels of scrutiny and expectation. Perhaps it’s because telemarketing is one of the very few person-to-person marketing methods that persists. Perhaps, it’s because the outcome is very clearly defined i.e. lead generation. However, you could argue that for any number of marketing and lead generation methods. Perhaps it’s just that business expectations and needs have changed.
What is telemarketing?
Maybe this is an irrelevant question since we all know that telemarketing is where an individual picks up the phone to another person with a desired sales-related outcome in mind. That could be an actual sale, pre-sale qualification, booking a face to face sales meeting, setting up a demo, booking a webinar or gaining attendance at an event. Yet, to some extent, several aspects of the intrinsic value derived from telemarketing are lost. These are minimised in favour of the need for immediate payback. In many ways, other marketing disciplines aren’t subject to this level of immediacy.
Of course, the end game for telemarketing is usually precisely defined. Typically, those utilising telemarketing want a given number of sales appointments or demos or sales. However, whilst that can be said of advertising, PPC and alternative methods, other marketing solutions are judged by different rules even though telemarketing can deliver some of the same outcomes and, in some cases, more. Naturally, telemarketing doesn’t have the power to provide large-scale brand awareness that can be delivered by an advertising campaign or through PR. But, telemarketing usually comes at a much lower cost. What’s more, can you “guarantee“ that your specific target decision makers will see your advert, a piece of editorial or a post on social media? With telemarketing, you can laser target the individual decision maker for your specific product or service without much of the wastage associated with traditional marketing.
Basis of remuneration
In many instances, purchasers of telemarketing expect almost instant payback that isn’t required from other methods. As a consequence, there can be an expectation of a basis for remuneration that is ‘pay per lead’ regardless of the difficulty of reaching the desired decision makers and of the quality and uniqueness of the offering.
Are other marketing methods evaluated similarly? Of course, there are hybrid models for remuneration and some methods such as pay per click are based on solely paying per lead. Yet, there can be a significant level of wastage with other methods. With telemarketing, you’re investing time to target the specific decision maker for your business.
How to measure telemarketing ROI
So, how do you measure telemarketing ROI. The key here is the timeframe. There is clearly value in a sales pipeline that can develop and bear fruit over time. There is value in the awareness that is created amongst the target audience. There is value in identifying the businesses with a future interest alongside identifying those with immediate opportunities. But, how and when do you measure overall success and, specifically, ROI? This comes down to what’s reasonable for what time-period and how much you pay.
It’s also very different if you’re pitching a new product to an existing customer as opposed to a commoditised product to a cold prospect. Equally, a clean database will deliver better than where the contact information is years out of date.Of course, budget will dictate your ability to generate leads regardless of the target. And, there is no hard and fast rule for the number of leads per day or per pound/dollar spent. It depends on factors such as:
- Budget available
- Timeframe for calling activity (to build the pipeline)
- Quality of the data used
- Strength of proposition – uniqueness, solving a problem etc
- Depth of competition
- Likeliness of prospects being in contract elsewhere
- Seniority of the decision maker
- Size of the organisation
There are also other factors, But, the ones above usually dictate the likely outcomes. In many ways, it also depends on the typical value of sale. Clearly, if your value of sale per customer is £100, you will need many more leads to demonstrate ROI than if the value is £10,000. Yet, a high value sale is harder to achieve and, often, has a long gestation period which calls into question the timetable for lead conversion and, thus, measurement. Does the lead need to convert before the end of the telemarketing campaign and is that achievable?
So how should you measure telemarketing ROI? In all fairness, it should be subject to no more or less scrutiny than other forms of marketing. And, equally, it should be given the same amount of time to work. When it comes to hard to reach decision makers, it probably needs more time to work.
There are several measures you can use to judge the value you’re getting out of telemarketing:
- Leads – for leads, also read sales, appointments, demos or whatever other metric or outcome is relevant to your business. Agree what a reasonable number of leads is with your provider and ensure that you measure progress on a daily/weekly basis.
- Awareness – making your specific target decision makers aware of your solutions is crucial. You can measure this by the number of decision-maker conversations and emails sent following a discussion with the decision maker.
- Data building and validation – building targeted databases of the right decision makers for your services is essential for targeted marketing. This includes valid email addresses, LinkedIn profile and accurate contact information. Having a ready to market list of profiled prospects is an asset since well targeted marketing is essential to maximise results and reduce wastage.
- Qualification – identifying contract renewal dates and those in the market for your business services is the lifeblood of good lead generation.
- Pipeline building – identifying those with current and future interest that feed the sales funnel over time is a fundamental part of an effective sales process and good business development.
- Lead nurturing – making customer service calls through to keeping in touch with relevant prospects to move them into the sales funnel is another core element of lead generation. Calls can be to fresh prospects but also to current customers, to lapsed customers or simply those you haven’t been in contact with for some time
- Market insight – providing timely market intelligence on your services and competitive offerings can allow you to identify best approaches and change direction where needed.
In some ways, telemarketing persists as a route to market due to the inadequacies of other methods to reach and convert business. After all, in our online world, it is still a person to person method of communication where you don’t have to wait for customers to come to you. And, for higher values of sales, where prospects don’t find you online. that’s essential.
Enhancing your chance of success
It isn’t a panacea. It can’t deliver the impossible. It isn’t a quick fix. And, you need to ensure that you are compliant with the relevant data protection laws when running telemarketing campaigns.
Telemarketing doesn’t work for every requirement. But, what marketing solution is genuinely guaranteed? Telemarketing still offers a range and breadth of benefits that other channels can’t deliver.
The best thing you can do for telemarketing measurement is to evaluate success over time. You need to give your telemarketing the time it needs to build your database, qualify the prospects, nurture them, identify quick wins, stimulate interest and generate awareness and to fill the sales funnel.
How GSA can help
If you need to generate new business for your company and you need to re-engage with lapsed customers, introduce new products or services to current customers, book sales appointments, demos or generate quotes for your sales team, give GSA a call now. We can help with;
- High quality bespoke data building to generate fresh targeted marketing lists
- Data cleaning and validation to ensure you have up-to-date information on your customer database
- Telemarketing Appointment setting for you or your sales team
- Lead generation
- Customer care telemarketing to drive customer satisfaction and to unearth new opportunities to do business
- Cross-sell and up-sell to your current customer base
- LinkedIn network building
- Integrated marketing including email and LinkedIn campaigns