DSC Tech Library
Telemarketing Related Information
Organizations looking for outbound and inbound telemarketing services can outsource their IVR and voice broadcasting projects at our affordable telemarketing center. As designers of Interactive Voice Response IVR systems and Voice Broadcasting software, Database Systems Corp. (DSC) is uniquely positioned to manage your outsourcing programs saving your company both time and money. Because our products are created in-house, we can deliver comprehensive telemarketing services quickly -- providing you with a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Plus you will find our inbound and outbound telemarketing outsourcing services to be quite affordable.
The following is an article relating to the telemarketing industry including products and services in our business areas.
Buying Guide: Telemarketing
As a rule of thumb, 80 per cent of your business comes from 20 per cent of your customers. Attracting new business costs money. That's why it makes sense to first work on the 20 per cent of your customers who currently do 80 per cent of your business. That's where telemarketing comes in.
What exactly is telemarketing? What should you look for in hiring a telemarketing consultant? Is it more cost-effective to train your staff to make the calls, or hire a telemarketing firm? How effective is the telephone for small businesses? What is the best way to use the telephone, without turning off consumers who are becoming more and more weary of over-the-phone solicitation? Answers to these telemarketing questions are found in this guide.
1. Assessing your Needs
One of the biggest challenges companies face in trying to figure out how telemarketing works is in actually understanding what telemarketing is. Telemarketing is much like any other business function. Telemarketing occurs every time someone in your company is on the telephone with a client. In other words, consider telemarketing as the effective use of the telephone to improve your business.
In understanding telemarketing, you must define your business needs. Used wisely and planned well, telemarketing can be a powerful tool in keeping your current customers happy and attracting new business. Telemarketing programs can be designed and implemented for that exact purpose. Knowing which program best suits your company's needs is part of the challenge, but one that can prove to be invaluable in the long run.
2. What the Service Does
Telemarketing programs can either be inbound (customers call you in response to an advertised program) or outbound (customers are called by the staff at the telemarketing agency). Programs can be established to promote a product or service, to solicit customer feedback, to ask for survey information for market research purposes, to raise funds for a cause, and so on.
Whether you own a graphic design studio, a computer store or a lamination shop, it is important to clearly define what you want from a telemarketing firm. Before a single phone call can be made or received, you must establish your objective. Write it down. Define it. Keep in mind that while you'd like to directly sell during a calling program, one major benefit of telemarketing is in creating the opportunity to sell later. Remember: a 'lead' generated by a telemarketing exercise does not necessarily mean that you'll be inundated with new clients. A lead is merely a contact.
A good telemarketing consultant will help you define your target market. In other words, you'll need to identify the company, contact name and phone number of everyone you want called. This calling list should include everyone, from Bob the paper supplier across town to Susan, the loyal customer who hasn't been around your store in ages. You should exclude clients or suppliers who are already being covered by one of your sales representatives.
3. Assessing the Costs/Budgeting your Needs
Determining telemarketing costs is tricky. If you decide to conduct your telemarketing activities in-house, your costs involve a host of factors, such as employee salaries, benefits, vacation pay, etc. If you decide to outsource, prices may vary according to the consulting firm and their evaluation of your business objective.
Cost estimates set by average telemarketing firms range from $500 to $1,000 for survey setups and training. While consultants' hourly rates vary, some charge between $25 and $40 per survey completed. Consultants defend their prices by asking companies to consider their employee turnover rates, the consultants' professional services that are available as needs change and a company's inability to hire, train and manage its own telemarketing activities seemingly 'on the cheap.' In the end, in-house telemarketing can be quite costly.
Telemarketing consultants encourage companies to consult them in order to estimate a 'total cost.' This avoids unpleasant surprises later on.
4. Selecting the Suppliers
Experience and credibility are two qualities to keep in mind when looking for a telemarketing consultant. A good consultant will sit down with you and listen to your business objective, helping you to clearly define your goals before providing a cost estimate. When preparing to embark on the phone-out exercise, a consultant with a keen understanding of how to reach out to the public will discourage the use of rigid scripts and bland reading, preferring the friendly conversation approach. Script reading is boring for the callers and unoriginal and rude to the person being called. Some consultants do a lot of 'hand-holding' during the calling program; that is, an account manager is assigned to your file and keeps in close contact to help you adjust to the changes as they happen.
A competent telemarketing consultant will:
- Strongly discourage the use of computers to make calls. Keep it simple, use people.
- Encourage telemarketing as part of a broad marketing effort, providing recommendations.
- Provide a thorough calling list, or work with a company's existing list.
- Provide on-site consulting, training and review of telemarketing program.
- Provide ongoing reports or status on the activities
- Help you keep the process simple.
5. Working with the Firms
A telemarketing consultant's job is to keep the process simple. By breaking down your company's business objective to its most basic fundamentals, the consultant will help you to:
Determining what you want from a telemarketing firm is the first step. Secondly, once your company has established its objective, you will have to decide whether you want to conduct the telemarketing activities in-house or outsource it entirely.
- Reach out to potential clients
- Do follow-ups on recent sales
- Provide technical information or support
- Provide customer service
- Proceed with event registration
- Conduct a fundraising campaign
Once the customer calls have been made and the surveys filled out, you can process the data yourself if the volume is low, and you are able to digest the responses - negative and positive. A consultant will help you to keep a wider picture, even if some of the data may initially prove to be overwhelming. You may prefer to use a marketing consultant, or service agency, that has some computerized capability to summarize the data for you.
In closing, it is important to reassure the public that your business is legitimate when carrying out your company's telemarketing campaign. As reports of telemarketing fraud increase each year in Canada and the United States, more and more people are becoming suspicious of phone solicitors. That is why seasoned and credible telemarketing consultants, who are themselves recognized by Canadian and U.S. law enforcement and national consumer agencies, will advise companies who wish to telemarket to notify their local and provincial police and business bureaus. It is a measure that establishes credibility and reassures the public. The Ontario Provincial Police's Phonebusters' anti-telemarketing fraud unit, for example, has become one of Canada's leading voices in stamping out telemarketing fraud, while upholding companies who conduct legitimate business by phone. Phonebusters are always willing to inform businesses about the dos and don'ts of telemarketing.
Telemarketing: While it is considered to be generating business over the phone, telemarketing happens anytime an employee is on the phone and talks to a client.
Business objective: What you want out of telemarketing.
Calling program: Doing the telemarketing.
Target market: The telemarketing 'turf.'
Sales leads generation: When a contact is made through telemarketing.
Calling list: Who you want called; customers for potential business.
External agency: A professional telemarketing firm.
In-house: Doing the telemarketing yourself.
Outsourcing: When a professional telemarketing firm does your outbound calling.
Cost estimate: A telemarketing firm's estimate of what it will cost to carry out the out-calling and data processing.
Hand-holding: A telemarketing assigns an account manager to help the client through the telemarketing process.
Telemarketing Mortgage Leads - Database Systems Corp. provides products and services for the telemarketing industry. Products include predictive dialers and call center phone systems. These systems are ideally suited for generating and tracking mortgage leads.
Mortgage Marketing Leads - Database Systems Corp. provides products and services for processing mortgage loan leads. Products include phone dialers and mortgage loan processing software for loan officers including generating and tracking mortgage leads.
Mortgage Loan Software - Mortgage software and telemarketing mortgage loan processing software for online management of loan applications. Used in conjunction with mortgage predictive dialers and phone systems.