The success of outbound call efforts depends on a strategy and agents’ ability to execute all points in that strategic plan. The benefits and effectiveness of outbound call campaigns are indisputable. According to the report, 62% of marketers say that their company’s outbound marketing efforts are effective. Another statistic shows that 75% of executives are willing to take an action in response to a cold call or cold email alone. Those numbers prove that the outbound call strategy works. The question is how to make it work? That is what we are going to discuss in this article. Keep reading to discover effective outbound calls tips.
First of all, let’s clarify what outbound calls mean. An outbound call service is a process that involves customer representatives making outgoing calls to prospects or clients. Usually, outbound calling is used in sales, telemarketing or fundraising. Its primary purpose is to ignite customer’s interest in a product or service, however, it is also used to upsell, close a sales deal and for other business-related goals.
More specifically, outbound calling is normally used for customer service, NGO and charity, telemarketing sales cold calling, research and surveys, business information inquiry, customer notifications and more.
Now that we know outbound calls meaning let’s dive into the main tips to maximize its efficiency.
In order to create an effective outbound strategy, you have to outline specific goals that would guide your agents throughout their work. Think about what results do you expect to accomplish from your outbound calls and how to get there. For example, set a specific goal for a sales number you want to achieve every month or the number of conversions you intend to make each quarter of the year. This will give your reps an idea of what is expected of them and incentivize them to work towards those specific outcomes. The key here is to be ambitious but at the same time realistic when setting those numbers.
It’s important to measure the effectiveness and progress of your outbound call strategy as it can show you whether you’re moving in the right direction or not. Key performance indicators or most commonly known as KPI can help you evaluate your agents’ performance and their ability to keep up with your organization’s goals. Here are three main things that should be measured:
First call close
This measurement shows the number of deals made only with one call in respect to the total number of calls made by agents. If the percentage number is below average it indicates the weakness of your strategy or your agents’ performance or both.
Average handle time
The length of a call can show how persuasive and efficient the agent is. Normally, if reps spend too much time on a call and it becomes a pattern it means that they have poor selling skills or insufficient knowledge of a product or service.
This measurement shows the percentage of calls converted to sales. If your outbound calls strategy is effective your conversion rate will be pretty high.
Though you are the person who develops the outbound call strategy, your agents will be the ones to put it into practice, so it’s extremely important to provide quality training for your employees. Whether it’s a customer support outsourcing agency or an independent company, any organization needs to invest in training its agents. Create a training strategy that would help new hires assimilate a company’s principles and get familiar with your product/service well enough to be able to promote it.
Once your reps have a solid knowledge base focus on training their communication skills. Since the most common purpose of outbound calls is selling, agents have to be good at persuasion and winning customer trust. Make sure your agents possess those skills before letting them start making outbound inquiries.
Calling up every customer in an effort to make a sale would be a waste of your agent’s time. That is an aimless process that contradicts the concept of strategy. Instead, make a list of qualified leads and have your reps contact those prospects. To draft up such a list you have to do thorough research on your prospective and existing customers and find out whether your services can fulfill their needs.
Furthermore, use your CRM to track qualified leads. The CRM data can help you determine the lead’s level of interest in your service and whether it is worth pursuing that prospect or not. The key point here is that targeting qualified leads can transform your outbound sales calls strategy by focusing on the right prospects.
Up until this point we have been talking about how to prepare for outbound calls. Now let’s talk about the principles to utilize during the call. It’s important to talk to a customer in a respectful and friendly manner. Because outbound calling is sometimes perceived as something annoying and that only aims to make a sale customers oftentimes are reluctant to listen to an agent and take the call seriously.
To avoid that kind of attitude you have to create an engaging conversation and make a customer feel like you try to help them rather than impose something. People don’t like to feel like they are being pressured or tricked into doing something, so your goal is to use a communication style that would make them feel the opposite of that.
How you begin the call will determine the level of customer’s interest and eventually the course of the conversation. So when your prospects pick up the phone don’t start overwhelming them with information about your services. Instead, show them your interest in their business and its needs.
Moreover, make customers feel valued and that their opinion is important. Ask them if they made any attempts to fulfill the needs you’re calling about and what were the outcomes. Give them some control over the problem-solving process while leading the conversation towards your offer.
An outbound call outreach can only thrive with a strong strategy. The three key elements of developing such a strategy are making a plan, implementing it during the call and measuring agents’ performance. Following that pattern will ensure a consistent positive outcome and progress.