12 Steps to Your Best Ever 'Telemarketing' Campaign
Special Report-12 Steps to Your Best Eve[...]
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At Tele-help, we recognize that in order to have your best possible results in any outbound telemarketing campaign... You must have a “professional” campaign plan.
Yet many, or even most average business owners or managers, do not know where to start.
We have seen owners try to download, scrape together, or perhaps even buy a list… or they sporadically assign existing employees to make outbound calls… or they write a script without having a strategy or completed plan in place first. Sometimes they just expect themselves or their ‘inside’ sales staff to try and make calls and find new business on their own—with no supervision, training, rehearsal or accountability.
These kinds of calls can appear ‘amateurish’ or even irritating to prospective customers.
Just a quick bit of advice…”Avoid that at your peril!”
Without planning, rehearsal, training, measurability, accountability and realistic, proven goals any call agent, including yourself, is bound to get overwhelmed by rejection, boredom or a lack of motivation.
A haphazard plan or winging a telephone project on the fly is almost bound to produce disappointing results.
If you want to prepare a professional team in sports or telemarketing…you need an acknowledged leader or coach who leads, trains and prepares the team with the Three “P’s” and then holds the players to accountability.
That’s right. If you want your phone calls and contacts to appear professional, just like any professional sports team, you must implement the three P’s. You Need to PLAN your strategy, PRACTICE (or Prepare) your approach, and then PERFORM or execute your game plan. And…you need to hire or appoint a quality coach or manager who can oversee and interact with your players, coax out their best performance and praise them when they do well.
Note: Amateurs often skimp on the first two “P’s” and just go out, wade in, and start talking.
These “Three P’s” are often the primary key to any professional-level, successful, or effective presentations of any kind…whether it be sales, marketing, prospecting, administrative or even social. They are the greatest difference between looking like an amateur or appearing professional. When you establish a great game plan, practice delivering that great plan, and then go out and execute it in the field as practiced—
You maximize your opportunities and optimize your results. A good coach or manager ensures that happens.
So, please remember to MIND YOUR “P’s”!
The “3P’s” approach will give you a viable Telemarketing Campaign Action Plan that can produce the most desirable results you seek when you implement it—if…
…You are willing to follow the 12 simple guidelines we provide for you below.
Of course, there are many other factors to be considered, but following these 12 steps is a great start to launching a professional, effective and successful telemarketing program for your company.
Your 12 Step Checklist for Implementing Your ‘Best Practices’ Telemarketing Campaign
Step 1--Define the Scope and overall Purpose of Your Project
Most owners and managers think only of “lead generation” when they consider telemarketing.
But make no mistake.
Carefully orchestrated outbound telephone calls can also be extremely effective in business research, list-cleanup, lead-qualifying, resurrecting dead leads, re-activating inactive customers, promotions like telephone coupons or special offers, personal invitations to special events, customer service, follow-up on any other kind of event, mailer, or marketing campaign; and even for the pleasant collection of past-due accounts.
At Tele-Help we have experienced each of these be remarkably effective in the right situations.
So you need to carefully define if the call will be made to businesses or to consumers…to existing customers or potential customers. And of course, with whom do you want to speak? What would you like them to hear and understand? What ideal action do you want them to take? How many total calls do you want to make? ... and also…For how long does it make sense for you to keep calling? What would you like to have happen as a result of your telephone campaign?
This will allow you to establish benchmarks, measure your success, and forecast your expected results as well as a project timeline. Decide clearly what you want to accomplish with the calling campaign.
Step 2--Identify Your Target Audience
Create a profile of your ideal prospect or call recipient. Is it business or personal? Where are they located or where do they live? How old are they? What do they like? What are their common characteristics? What causes them problems, creates their pain, or keeps them up at night? What makes them angry? What impresses them socially? What organizations or groups do they belong to? What unleashes their emotion? And etc.
Knowing your target along with their passions and pains and what really “makes them tick”…greatly enhances your ability to capture their attention and create results.
Craft your message very specifically to your target.
Step 3--Determine the Decision Maker(s)
Knowing who the decision maker is…will clarify who the call center agent should be talking to and shorten the calling process. In a long-term campaign shaving several seconds off each call can deliver a significant increase in your bottom-line results.
Length of call time matters. Too much time between calls matters. Wasted time matters. Gaps or interruptions in the calling process matters. One of a manager’s primary functions is to watch for and prevent wasted time.
A few seconds here and there often add up to multiple dollars and significant profit in a professional-level outbound campaign. Results usually diminish over the length of a campaign when calls are implemented by non-professionally-trained amateurs as they find more and more ways to waste time and get distracted.
If you don’t know who the decision maker is prior to the call, craft a scripted approach to identify the DM and collect their contact information in as efficient a way as possible. You don’t want the agent to spend valuable time talking to someone with no real buying power.
And try to discover if there may be multiple decision makers. If you are not sure, always ask…”Is there anyone in addition to yourself who is involved in making the decision?”
Step 4--Develop an Irresistible Offer, A Call-To-Action, or include something in Your Message that will stimulate either an ‘Ideal Response’ or Lead-to-a-Next-Step or Additional Interactions
This step is critical to the overall success of any outbound program. You cannot do this until you first decide and clarify your ideal outcome for the call as well as the entire campaign.
You must have a compelling reason for the prospective customer to RESPOND or REACT to the call. The offer or call-to-action needs to tap into the emotions of the call receiver and EDUCATE them, address their NEEDS, solve their PROBLEMS, relieve their PAIN, or satisfy their DESIRES…or at the very least…stimulate and get them INTERESTED.
Have at least a plan, a transition question, or a process designed to GET THEIR ATTENTION and then KEEP THEIR ATTENTION!
Step 5--Set Goals or Establish Expected Results—Be Prepared to Review and Modify Your Goals as Data is collected—Agents must be Praised when Goals are Achieved
Your goals need to be specific and designed to motivate better performance, but…they must also be realistic. You may need to test-call a segment of your overall target audience to identify and establish realistic goals. You want to develop a time-line through which your goals can be ESTABLISHED, MEASURED, and ACHIEVABLE.
Giving your call center or agents proven, realistic, achievable goals will cause them to produce better results. For any agent to be successful (in-house or out-sourced) they must be paid with praise for results as well as a paycheck.
One of the most important reasons to have a manager or coach is to be sure the agents deserve and receive praise constantly……or they need to be released from the team.
Step 6--Develop and Role Play a Script…and Establish and practice up to Six Response Modules for Common Questions and Issues
After about 100 calls any call agent is going to be using a script…whether they realize it or not. They might as well be working from a script that includes proven psychological triggers and magnetic-action phrases, as well as a message that has been tested and proven for ideal results.
Proper scripting is critical to keeping a call center agent ‘on point’ and to gaining, engaging, and keeping the attention of the ideal prospective customer.
Basic script outlines usually include an attention-getting introduction, a marketing message (offer), value or benefit statements, transition questions, and a solution segment (or closing pitch) to move the prospective customer to take the next step…to RESPOND or INTERACT with the solutions you offer.
It goes without saying, that any call center agent must be trained so that they NEVER SOUND SCRIPTED.
Step 7--Express Appreciation and Build Gratitude into Your Script
Thank them for taking time to speak, thank them for responding, thank them for giving you information, thank them for being interested, thank them for wanting to learn more, thank them for expressing a need, and/or thank them for becoming involved.
Find multiple (more than one) ways to express gratitude and appreciation during your call.
Build in the time and effort to sincerely listen and let them know they have been heard. YOUR CALL SHOULD FEEL LIKE A CUSTOMER APPRECIATION CALL even if the prospect is only a potential future customer and never actually has been a present one. Your call center agent has to be committed to making every call a sincere, pleasant and enjoyable experience for the receiver of the call.
The calling agent should also be taught to enjoy the call and learn the point-of-view of appreciating all opportunities for interaction.
Step 8--Provide ‘Value-based’ Product and Service Orientation (Training)
All of your calling agents have a need-to-know your products and services inside out. They do not need to know all the technical details—but they need to know as many BENEFITS, VALUES, and SOLUTIONS of doing business with your company as possible.
They can be easily trained to re-direct the conversation to a more technically knowledgeable company representative for difficult questions…once a need and interest has been identified and the beginnings of a potential business relationship have been established.
Call agents need to able to clearly describe or present the VALUE of the NEEDS your products fulfill, the PROBLEMS they solve, the PAIN they alleviate, or the DESIRES they satisfy in a way that taps in to the emotions of your prospective customers.
Creating product/service and solutions ‘competency’ will result in increased productivity as well as leaving your prospective customer more satisfied and feeling good about accepting your call.
Step 9--Create an ‘Ideal Timeline’ then Adjust it as Results Roll In—If You are Working with Non-Changeable Deadlines the Call Center Team Must be made Aware of them Well Ahead of Time
Almost every project is more successful when you establish an overall timeline. But it is critical to know the factors that constitute the overall start and end of a campaign as well as any unchangeable significant events that occur during the campaign.
Leave enough leeway for the call center to calibrate the ‘event benchmarks’ and
ADJUST THE MESSAGING or APPROACH if necessary. Leave enough time for proper reactions and follow up to important steps and/or events.
At the beginning of a new type of project you may have to estimate your timeline, but as you collect data and results you will have enough information to modify the timing and establish your benchmarks.
Step 10--Define Your Data Requirements and the Parameters and Digital System you will use to Collect and Document Your Data
Most reputable call centers can collect and ‘electronically document’ database information for you that can be seamlessly imported into your existing in-house database. If your data base layout is accessible online a good call center will train their agents to enter the data in real-time for you, if you desire. \
Of course, if you use your own in-house agents they can and should be trained to use your existing systems.
If you don’t have an updated and efficient Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Contact Management system it may be time for you to consider implementing one.
At Tele-Help we often recommend and/or assist our clients to transition to a more robust and effective contact management, CRM, and/or digital follow up system.
Many marketing and sales activities can now be affordably automated to save time and money and take much of the drudgery out of the marketing and sales processes.
A good digital database or CRM system is worth its weight in gold…and also in customer retention.
Step 11--Review Your Reports and…Make Good Use of the Information and Marketing Opportunities that have been Compiled in Your Reports
Take a close look at your data files, compiled contact information, percentages, digital recordings, research data, and other reports on a daily, or at least weekly, basis.
Create REPORTS and MEASURABLE INFORMATION in all of the critical factors in your campaign.
Again, most call centers can customize a report to suit your exact requirements.
Track and measure your results and use them to increase your effectiveness and productivity.
Step 12--Establish a Courteous, yet Relentless, Follow-up Process to Maximize Your Sales Opportunities and Teach Your Sales Staff How to take Advantage of the Information You have Collected
Customers in the digital age know how to make use of the information available to them. They now usually WANT and even EXPECT MORE than a “Phone Call”. They may expect or prefer to have the phone call accompanied by or followed up with other types of digital content and/or follow up.
Research proves that the majority of sales require anywhere from 5 to 14 impressions or interactions (depending on which study you review).
For example your potential customers may want access to on-demand digital content, video support, email follow up, online references, social media backup, case studies, further educational materials, etc…or even Special Reports like this one.
Your calling campaign will be exponentially more effective if you combine it with MULTIPLE, ADDITIONAL, types of content and follow-up.
Make it as easy as possible for a prospective customer to choose to buy from you.