Call center telemarketing

For many companies, telemarketing is an essential step in acquiring new customers. Telephone prospecting is certainly an effective acquisition method that has proven its profitability and efficiency.

However, for telemarketing to be successful, the telemarketers’ strategy must be tried and tested. This is a real challenge for companies that need to keep their telemarketers motivated and put a long-term strategy in place! We have listed 5 practical telemarketing tips to help telemarketers become more productive.

What is telemarketing?

Let’s start off by defining telemarketing. It is a sales technique that consists of contacting targets by telephone with the aim of selling them products or services or suggesting scheduling an appointment.

Telemarketing is a complicated exercise for companies as it is often perceived as time consuming and intrusive at the customer end. Telemarketers are often under pressure to deliver results and the reception they receive from customers is usually mixed. Although the exercise has ‘got a bad press’, there are a few tricks to make it more productive and improve its image!

5 tips for increasing efficiency

Here are our five tips for increasing telemarketing productivity and improving employee performance.

1. Select technology tools that suit your needs

The first step to becoming more efficient in telemarketing is to define your expectationsabout your staff’s work. . Do you want to maximise the time spent on calls by operators? Do you want to cut down waiting times between calls? Do you want to make sure that an operator is available before making a call?

The answers to these questions will help determine the type of dialler (call triggering system) you might use. Telemarketing tools offer several campaign modes, the best known being progressive and predictive campaigns. Each type of campaign impacts the prospect and employee experience differently.

Dialer Predictive dialer Progressive dialer
Definition The system automatically dials phone numbers and waits for an answer before transferring the call to an operator. The system automatically initiates a call when an operator is available.
Benefits The time spent on calls by the call centre operators is maximised. Improved first contact with prospects, the conversation 'gets off to a better start'.
Disadvantages The prospect's experience can be compromised if they have to wait a few seconds before being put through to a call centre operator. Sometimes there are waiting times on the operator's side between the time the call is initiated and the time the call is answered.

Once the campaign mode is decided, there is a trick to boost its effectiveness. To make the campaign more effective, personalising the greeting as much as possible will help to improve the prospect experience and set you apart. While productivity remains one of the main objectives, putting the prospect in the right frame of mind is essential for successful results.

To do this, we recommend that you choose a tool that provides “file upload” functionality. Once connected to the prospect, this feature will allow your call centre operators to contextualise and personalise the conversation. By having automatic access to CRM data, telemarketers save valuable time and are armed with information that will help them suggest the right products and services to the target.

2. Provide training tools for operators

Telemarketing is a complicated task that cannot be improvised. Once contact has been successfully made and the target audience is listening, the telemarketers must be very persuasive if they are to achieve their goal. In addition to using a well-honed script, it is vital that they listen so as to detect requirements and obstacles. This information is then used to adjust the response and the offer to the type of prospect.

It is ideal to provide a call script to facilitate the operator’s work and maximise his or her efficiency while maintaining control over your company’s image. Based on the most frequent conversations between your telemarketers and your targets, call scripts can help advisors stay focused on their objectives and regain control of the conversation should they become ruffled.

Even better, in order to help them deal with every possible situation and demand, one of the tricks is to provide knowledge bases. That way, depending on the situation and type of prospect, your call centre operators can use the knowledge base to maintain control of the conversation and achieve your objectives.

Obviously, for these tools to be appropriate and used, lthey need to be kept updated on a regular basis, using recent call scenarios experienced by the call advisors.

3. Actively support your operators

Coaching is essential in order to achieve your company’s objectives and to keep your call centre staff motivated. Call centre managers have a key role role to play in the success of the company. Their position is complex as they must manage staff who often experience failure and pressure to perform.

Managers therefore have a tricky remit, as they are both caretakers of their staff’s optimism and responsible for their call centre operators’ results. To keep staff turnover to a minimum, achieve good performance levels and maximise the department’s efficiency, we advise managers to work hand in hand with the call centre operators and to monitor them in real time. One of the tricks is to use supervision and quality monitoring tools such as discreet listening or whispering.

Discreet listening enables the manager to understand the operators’ difficulties with a view to helping him/her to overcome them. By understanding the employee’s sticking points and suggesting solutions, the manager will be able to empower the operator and improve his or her skill set at the same time.

Whispering enables the manager to work with the call centre operator operator to help him or her deal with complex conversations. By whispering appropriate responses to the situation, the manager will help the operator to achieve his/her objectives and to cope with every situation.

Quality monitoring enables managers to better understand operator behaviour during calls and to give guidelines for improvement. The aim is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each employeein order to help them improve their skills.

In this business, where the human aspect is the most important, the manager’s remit is complicated. Supervision tools and quality monitoring are nevertheless good practices to take on board so as to actively support staff and boost their productivity.

4. Use test & learn methods

Telemarketing is not an easy field to grasp. Target profiles are very diverse, and the method of approaching them is constantly shifting.

Target responses are often impacted by societal events and other factors that are much more complicated to anticipate. Call centre operators therefore work in a sector where nothing is set in stone and where today’s successful script may not work tomorrow.

To better understand your targets, we recommend adopting “test and learn” methods, which involve testing different techniques and then learning from the responses. For example, you might envisage testing two different types of greeting (one of which is more personalised than the other) and observe which one gets better results. This constant learning process makes it easier to perceive changes in the target’s mindset and requirements, and to respond to them quickly.

To be able to observe these changes, it is particularly recommended to make use of statistics. By comparing statistics from previous years, months and weeks, you will be able to understand your results and see if any changes you have made are having a real and positive impact on your business.

End-of-call questionnaires can be used to help you measure the results of these test & learn initiatives without impacting on your employees’ workload. The answers to these simple, short questionnaires can help understand the customers and the situations your employees have dealt with. The main objective is to fine-tune the canvassing process.

5. Use different canvassing platforms

Our final tip for boosting operator productivity is to use alternative prospecting channels. While the telephone remains the tool of choice, it is certainly possible to contact prospects by other means. It is possible to create sales opportunities through other channels if your target audience lends itself to it.

For example, you might conduct outgoing SMS campaigns including a web link inviting them to make an appointment. As well as improving the prospect experience by being far less intrusive than a phone call, this method maximises your resource allocation. As a first step, this technique can help identify the prospects to be contacted as a priority!

In conclusion, although telemarketing is a complex exercise for companies, there are several little tricks for improving team productivity and therefore, in the long run, enhancing the call centre department’s performance.

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