Recruiting suppliers can sometimes be a challenging exercise. Selecting the right partner can be difficult. It can be hard to judge whether a particular agency is the right one for you. To help with this, we’ve put together our top tips on recruiting a telemarketing agency.
If you’re considering employing a telemarketing agency as a supplier, there are certain things that you need to consider. Ideally, you should go by recommendation, where possible, and look for quality testimonials and results. Speak to a few of their clients. Look for the right kind of organisation. For example, if your service is commoditised and lower value and b2c, maybe you need a call centre type operation with lots of operators. But, if you’re selling higher value services or consultancy to blue chip finance directors, perhaps you should opt for a more high quality niche operation with more mature callers. Do your homework and ask around.
Assuming you’ve done the above, I wanted to give you a perspective from the telemarketing supplier point of view. This is especially relevant where the client wants the agency to work on a commission only basis. It’s also relevant where clients ask an agency to just cover costs and have a high level of commission and / or appointment bonus.
But what things should a client provide for their telemarketers to help them be more effective? What questions should clients ask when doing telemarketing? I have jotted a few down below. The list is far from exhaustive and would never substitute a thorough written and verbal briefing. But I hope it helps shape your thinking as to how to get the best out of the relationship. There are certain things a telemarketing supplier cannot control. For example:
- Are you any good at what you do? Is what you offer actually of real value to potential customers or is it the same as every other company doing what you do?
- Do you have credentials, case studies, blue chip clients or known clients that can be name-dropped in a call?
- Are you trading in a sea of sharks in a commoditised, price driven marketplace where the recipients of the call get lots of calls every day from companies like yours?
- Is your proposition (price, quality, call to action, pitch) good, bad or indifferent?
- Is the list any good?
- Do you know the decision-maker role and thus who buys the product / service?
- Have you got the names for the decision-maker on your list? If you have a list of facilities managers or FD’s that’s great. But a good telemarketing call does NOT start with the words ‘Can you tell me who is responsible for…?’ This slows the caller down, sucks time and reduces appointment ratios. It’s much better to know that the IT director makes decisions about CRM systems.
- Are you calling large companies with IVR routers, No-Name policies and layers of bureaucracy including Rottweiler gatekeepers to get through
- Is the person you are trying to get in touch with shielded by a tough PA? Do you have ideas how to handle this?
- Is the target likely to out a lot (e.g. often field based like sales managers or in meetings like HR)?
- Is the type of company you are targeting likely to already have incumbent suppliers?
- Is the contract size likely to be very large leading to slow conversion?
- Is the kind of service or product you are offering likely to lead to you being bumped down the organisation to a lower level manager if the director feels it isn’t his or her decision. This absorbs time.
It’s about Collaboration
From the above, it perhaps sounds like I’m saying don’t use telemarketing. That’s not true. Just ask our clients! What I am saying is that it’s a partnership. Telemarketers are not miracle workers. Good telemarketing where the value of sale is worthwhile can be hugely lucrative if you give a campaign time to work. You also need to recognise, if the answers to the above aren’t all positive, that it will take more time to deliver appointments and outcomes. At that point, there must be a fair assessment of where the value is added (i.e. making the outbound calls) and for what the remuneration is provided.
Any remuneration structure can be valid if it is based on partnership, openness and honesty as well as thorough briefing and regular communication. We’re all in business to make profit not cover costs. I turn business away where I don’t feel the balance is right or where I feel that the proposition and/or audience is ill-defined and I can’t work with the client to change that.
Clients should not expect or demand the earth and expect the supplier to take all the risk e.g. commission-only telemarketing. If you contract an external supplier, think about how you fare with the factors above. Consider which remuneration and incentive structure would best work to deliver the results you want. It should be about shared success. After all, it’s about win:win.
If you’d like details on GSA’s telemarketing services or to find out how GSA Business Development can help Generate Growth for your Business, contact us now.