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An Advantages of Outsourcing Telemarketing or Call Center | Finding the Right Telemarketing Company
Some owners prefer to outsource call center functions so they remain free to focus on core business. What's more, outsourcing your telemarketing can be a cost effective and productive option. According to Gartner Group, the cost of external business development is 65% less than the cost of internal selling. An external business development staff is capable of increasing revenues by as much as 150%, compared to internal resources.
Keep in mind, however, that telemarketing laws have been in flux and are subject to state-by-state differences. Reputable telemarketing companies will stay abreast of relevant legalities.
It generally makes sense to outsource when:
- You aren't able to hire more people.
- You can't afford to equip a call center.
- You don't have the space for a call center.
- You can't take on the responsibility of managing another team.
- Your business has peaks and valleys in terms of when leads come in.
- You want to get up and running quickly.
- You want to test new programs.
Compared to in-house telemarketing, advantages of outsourcing include:
- Personnel. The telemarketing company has existing personnel and is experienced at hiring workers in this field.
- Training. Although you will be involved, the Telemarketing company takes responsibility for training your team.
- Motivation & Supervision. Telemarketing companies are experienced at motivating and supervising their employees. It's what they do.
- Space and equipment. You get the benefit of state-of-the-art technology without having to pay as much for it.
- Reporting and tracking. Telemarketing companies have extensive reporting and tracking capabilities that help in evaluating the effectiveness of a program.
Finding the Right Telemarketing Company
Before you visit or hire a prospective telemarketing firm, do a bit of homework:
- Understand your needs (rely on call-volume studies, customer complaints and employee feedback).
- Check the firm's experience and references.
- Choose one that most closely provides the range of services you require.
- Consider affordability the more frills the bigger the bills.
- Look for flexibility of offerings.
- Find a provider with whom it's easy to do business (available and responsive when you need them).
M.H. "Mac" McIntosh, a leading sales and marketing consultant and an expert on outsourced marketing services, suggests following these guidelines when you visit a prospective telemarketing firm:
- Ask about experience. This encompasses a wide area, from how long the company has been in business to whether the company specializes in B-to-B sales-lead generation. You don't want a company that's been selling to consumers by cold-calling at dinner time to take on representing your company and its high-tech products or services to senior business executives. To have the best chance of success, be sure the prospective call center has direct experience in your specific industry.
- Get real numbers. If you're looking for more qualified sales leads, ask how many leads a program should be expected to generate and the leads-to-sales ratio you can expect as well. Also ask how the vendor measures return on investment.
- Tour the facilities. Venture beyond the conference room and onto the production floor. Listen in on phone calls and look over the shoulders of people who enter data and fulfill information requests. Ask to meet account managers and call teams.
- Get a written proposal. The proposal is an easy way to check the company's understanding of your needs. It should include background on the company, its qualifications, a detailed program recommendation and the related fees. Keep in mind that the quality of the proposal and its attention to detail will often serve as a reflection of the vendor's quality and their attention to detail.
- Review their technology. Ask prospective companies what they do to make telemarketing calls more efficiently. Also ask to see reports on activity and results. Are they provided on demand? And does the company have the experience and know-how to integrate their systems with yours?
- Check references. Ask to see a current customer list as well as the names of some clients the company lost in the past year or two, then call both. Ask references about the quality of the company's services and the quality of the company's personnel who handle their account. Find out program results and ask if the client would hire this company again.
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