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3 Critical Factors in Outbound Lead Generation Success

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CRITICAL
FACTORS
IN OUTBOUND LEAD
GENERATION SUCCESS
Everything you need to know to
conduct successful outbound
lead gener...
3 Critical Factors In Outbound Lead Generation Success:
Everything you need to know to conduct successful outbound
lead ge...
3 CRITICAL FACTORS IN OUTBOUND LEAD GENERATION SUCCESS  3
3 Critical Factors
In Outbound Lead
Generation Success
Everythin...
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3 Critical Factors in Outbound Lead Generation Success

  1. 1. CRITICAL FACTORS IN OUTBOUND LEAD GENERATION SUCCESS Everything you need to know to conduct successful outbound lead generation campaigns 3
  2. 2. 3 Critical Factors In Outbound Lead Generation Success: Everything you need to know to conduct successful outbound lead generation campaigns Copyright © 2019 by Transparent BPO No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without prior written permission of Transparent BPO except in the case of brief quotations included in reviews. TRANSPARENT BPO P.O. Box 5133 Laytonsville, MD 20882 Phone: 800-276-5140 www.transparentbpo.com
  3. 3. 3 CRITICAL FACTORS IN OUTBOUND LEAD GENERATION SUCCESS 3 3 Critical Factors In Outbound Lead Generation Success Everything you need to know to conduct successful outbound lead generation campaigns Companies choose to outsource their lead generation and customer acquisition programs for a variety of reasons. They may lack the expertise to do it themselves, preferring to hand the work off to professionals; it may be a regular part of their marketing mix; or they may wish to spare their sales team the hard work of cold calling, letting them follow up on warm leads instead. Regardless of the reason, how companies decide to choose an outsource provider — and the characteristics and qualities they should look for to avoid picking the wrong one — is critical to success. Of the many factors that go into making the right decision, three carry the most weight: agents serving the program, messaging (script or offer), and contact strategy. Let’s begin by talking about the vital part agents play in the lead genera- tion program mix.
  4. 4. 3 CRITICAL FACTORS IN OUTBOUND LEAD GENERATION SUCCESS 4 CONTACT CENTER AGENTS Contact center agents are the cornerstone of any successful outbound lead generation or customer acquisition program. Their ability to connect with prospects, garner their attention, present a solid value proposition, and close on the opportunity, all without face to face contact, is a skill set that is both acquired and innate — and certainly to be admired, for it is no easy task. If you ask most in the industry, they’ll agree: Agents are the heart and soul of the business. What elements go into making agents so well prepared they continue to reach or exceed a client’s sales metrics day-in and day-out? Consider these eight: Correct Hiring Practices Call centers should always hire employees who best fit the client’s needs, the company’s personality, and its core values. That’s where a hiring profile that starts with the job description and continues through the successive testing and interview phases and background checks comes into play. At Transparent, we pair the client’s hiring profile with our best practices, use our TalentPitch assessment tool to identify those who match the key characteristics we’ve found to be most successful, and follow a defined interview process to confirm alignment with the sales program. Continual Training and Development Agent success starts with an organized, disciplined, ongoing process of training and leadership development. We hope you won’t mind us being self-referential, but we put a great deal of value, time, and energy into training our agents at Transparent BPO, and not just for the initial two-week period before graduating them to the floor, but throughout their career. We teach agents to understand the metrics they will be responsible for meeting (such as contact rate, conversion rate, upsell percentage, or wrap time), the relationship each has to the other, and the sales-catalyzing domino effect that can occur when just one is met. 1
  5. 5. 3 CRITICAL FACTORS IN OUTBOUND LEAD GENERATION SUCCESS 5 Training for metrics isn’t our only goal, however. We also emphasize training for behaviors. We know teaching agents how to interact with prospective customers, respond to their questions and objections, and understand the value of the brand’s products or services will lead to a successful outbound program. Our team leaders are also essential to agent success, and we put much effort into imparting leadership skills, such as making agent engagement a top priority, providing real-time feedback, becoming program experts, and keeping the program’s structure and process consistent. It’s also why we offer the “Rising Stars” program, which incentivizes growth for employees who want to make working in the contact center industry a career path. Flexibility Often, the greatest successes come from programs where agents are given the flexibility to insert their style and personality while staying within the confines of the offer. There are some points where the agent must communicate with the customer verbatim, sticking to the script, but it’s best when agents inter- ject their personality and speak from experience, knowledge, or personal testimonial. That’s one reason Belize has seen such great success in outbound acquisi- tion programs — its citizens are naturally friendly and customer-centric. It comes across in every conversation. Belizeans also speak English natively (we teach our agents to do so with a neutral accent), and due to their familiarity with U.S. culture, can be very conversational, making the prospect feel much more at ease. Clear Goals, the Right Tools Providing agents with clear goals and giving them the tools to know how they are doing and how they compare to other teams is another way to ensure success. The ultimate goal, however, should be to empower agents to control their success. The more ownership stake they take over their performance, the better for all concerned — the agent, outsourced provider, and client.
  6. 6. 3 CRITICAL FACTORS IN OUTBOUND LEAD GENERATION SUCCESS 6 Celebrating Successes Celebrating the success of the team and each member builds excitement on the floor and instills confidence that goals are attainable. At Transparent BPO, celebration equates to recognition, and we create a variety of fun and collaborative ways to celebrate success. In a job where a 95 percent rejection rate represents a good day, it’s important to keep things lively and fun. Engaged Floor Support With any contact center channel, the team leadership plays an essen- tial role in the success of the program — a factor that is especially true in the world of outbound sales. Team Leaders can drive excitement, offer support, or just lend an ear. Andwhile there’s no requirement to be a full-time cheerleaderforthe team, the most successful floors always have a buzz in the air. That’s why team leaders should be actively engaged with agents, walking the floor, offering support, listening to calls, and even taking over a call if when necessary. Keeping agents enthused pays an additional benefit: lower attrition. No customer service VP or director wants to work with an outsourcer that suffers from high attrition where new agents are the only ones working on their program rather than those with experience. Partnering with Seasoned Agents Partnering new agents with tenured, successful agents and adopting proven processes — buddy system, morning huddles, sing praises — are guaranteed to foster growth. To become the best, you must learn from the best. Don’t lose sight of accountability and the importance of achieving the expected results, however. After all, in outbound, you’re only as good as your last calling day. Disposition Analysis Look at individual outcomes so you can understand where your agents need coaching: Quick hang-ups might indicate the agent’s opening is weak or that the agent is disengaged while longer call durations with a “No Interest / No Reason” may mean agents need help closing or presenting the right offers.
  7. 7. 3 CRITICAL FACTORS IN OUTBOUND LEAD GENERATION SUCCESS 7 It’s fair to say that the success or failure of any outbound program hinges on the agent and his or her abilityto connect with prospects quickly, turning them from strangers to friends to customers. It’s a skillset that agents gain over time as the result of the right hiring processes, continuous training and leadership development, the freedom to interject their personality, having clear goals and the right tools, their successes celebrated, and proper support and coaching from team leaders on up. With that combination, your outbound lead generation and customer acquisition programs are bound to be a success! MESSAGING Words are powerful. The right words spoken by a skilled contact center agent are not only powerful but persuasive as well. And in an industry where relatively low conversion rates may be considered a “good day,” the words used in a message (the call script or call guide) can make the differ- ence between a closed sale and a prospective customer hanging up. Most contact centers use call guides, for good reason: They help reduce errors, nurture consistency, develop agent confidence, decrease training time, and boost performance and customer satisfaction. If using call guides is part of your outbound lead generation and sales process, follow these guidelines to improve message quality and achieve greater success. Ensure the Message Resonates with Prospects Program managers responsible for the message contained in the script must ensure it resonates with prospective customers. Messaging is not a set it and forget it proposition, after all. The agent is competing for the prospect’s time, so you must pay attention to scripts the agents present. There are a couple of ways to identify whether a script is working: Listen to phone calls in monitoring and calibration sessions. The key here is not to listen just to the agent’s delivery but the message itself. Are you connecting with the customer? Are you addressing their needs? 2
  8. 8. 3 CRITICAL FACTORS IN OUTBOUND LEAD GENERATION SUCCESS 8 Analyze call results. Every time an agent makes a phone call, they should code it with the outcome that best reflects the reason the person did not buy. Get granular with the disposition and try to understand why the pros- pect is saying no. Is the product or service too expensive, not what the person needs, or is there another reason? Knowing the specific reason could uncover a script improvement. Understand the Importance of the First 15-30 Seconds The agent’s ability to connect with a prospect in the first 15-30 seconds (the most critical part of the call) cannot be understated, particularly as it pertains to outbound sales where removing any language or cultural barriers is essential. Having a script to rely on can tip the scales in their favor. Another reason to understand the importance of the 15-30 second time frame regards drop-offs. Do prospects end the call in the first 10-15 seconds or longer, three to four minutes for example? Knowing this will help you determine what part of the script you can change in those first few seconds to keep the person on the line. Test Messaging and Offers Test the messaging and offers using metadata, when available, to ensure you get the best delivery — whether it’s recognizing you called the pros- pect three months ago and wanted to check back or use the data on file to customize your presentation. Conduct a Needs Assessment Conducting a needs assessment during the call helps the agent under- stand the prospect’s pain points, needs, and wants. As with any problem, customer pain points are as varied as the prospects themselves. Not all will be aware of the pain point they’re experiencing, so it’s up to the agent to bring it clearly into view. One of the best ways to learn prospects’ pain points, needs, and wants is by listening. At Transparent BPO, we train agents to actively listen to what the prospect is saying and then ask insightful follow-up questions. The more our agents know about the prospect’s problems, the more likely they will be able to make a sale.
  9. 9. 3 CRITICAL FACTORS IN OUTBOUND LEAD GENERATION SUCCESS 9 Tailor the Offer to the Prospect Tailor the offers or value propositions based on what you know about prospects regarding demographics, psychographics, and other segment- ing data. You can tailor the sales approach based on demographics such as gender, maturity level, or the presence of children in the household. Psychographic tailoring could include such factors as lifestyle, values, social class, and personality. For example, we tailor the approach for a nutraceuticals and supplements client to the ailment, which agents uncover in the needs assessment or through previous indicators in the lead file. Train Agent on Soft Skills It’s vital that you train agents on soft skills, to help them better engage and have a meaningful conversation with prospective customers. Merely reciting a script can be a turnoff and take away from the value your product or service may bring to the consumer. Reinforce the behaviors that will lead to greater success and a better customer (and agent) expe- rience. Professionalism always, whether when “closing a sale” or handling rejection, is essential. Soft skills training should also include equipping agents with the ability to go off-script or deviate from the call guide. While some points must be verbatim, you also want the agent to have the freedom to interject his or her personality and speak from experience, knowledge, or personal testi- monial. Agents are the front line of your contact center, and your success is firmly in their grasp. It’s vital, therefore, that you provide them with the best call guide tool (and training) possible to ensure they not only represent your company well but also achieve a high level of lead generation and sales success.
  10. 10. 3 CRITICAL FACTORS IN OUTBOUND LEAD GENERATION SUCCESS 10 CONTACT STRATEGY To run a successful outbound lead gen or sales acquisition program you must also focus on the contact strategy: how efficient your program will be at reaching the right prospects at the right time. That’s where a combination of “high-tech” and “high-touch” — using the latest in dialing platform technology coupled with effective hands-on lead file management — play a critical role in your contact rate success. How Technology Supports Outbound Success The righttechnology(and oversight ofthattechnology) ensuresyouragents are productive throughout the day. Unproductive agents increase labor cost and, just as importantly, cause boredom that can kill the momentum or inherent motivation agents bring to the office each morning. Choose an outsourcing partner who will evaluate the needs of your program and the best dialing technology to support it. Your partner should ask questions about the lead source (Is speed-to-first-dial important?) and define a dialing strategy that will ensure the right redial plan is in place to avoid exhausting your dial attempts at the wrong time. Gone are the days when a large file is loaded, and we hope for the best contact and conversion rates. The tools we use today are better, their data and analytics are more readily available, and they make it easier to adjust the calling strategy on the fly. One word of caution, however: While dialing platforms can help apply some of the basic rules for successful lead management, they do not replace the hands-on oversight necessary to ensure you’re calling the right leads at the right time. Our advice is to use technology as far as it will take you, and then oversee with manual intervention when needed. 3
  11. 11. 3 CRITICAL FACTORS IN OUTBOUND LEAD GENERATION SUCCESS 11 Additional Dialing Strategy Tactics There are two other tactics to dive into, to ensure you’re making the most of your dialing strategy: Skill Routing. Most technology platforms can skill a set of leads to match the skill of the agent. Let your new agents “get the marbles out” with less expensive lead sources, and reserve those leads with a higher propensity to convert for your experienced or better-performing agents. Don’t forget the human element: If you are skilling leads to specific agents, share that strategy with them and align goals accordingly. DialerSettings. Outbound platforms come with a host of settings designed to reach the contact at the right time delivered to the right agents. These settings are also critical for compliance in the outbound dialing environ- ment. Partnering with experienced professionals who not only know the rules but also how to set up technology for optimal performance can help your program achieve a strong ROI. A Final Word About Technology Outbound lead generation and sales programs are only successful when each element functions well — agent, messaging, and contact strategy alike. Technology’s role, as vital as it is to the overall operation, is to support the agents, making them more efficient and productive. That’s why technology should never get in the way of the basics: hiring the right agents for the program, training and managing them well, and ensuring you have the best scripts and call guides possible to generate the most leads and sales possible. At Transparent BPO, we want to accomplish one goal with our technology — be flexible and responsive to our clients’ needs. We believe technology should fit the business requirements, never dictate them.
  12. 12. 3 CRITICAL FACTORS IN OUTBOUND LEAD GENERATION SUCCESS 12 Experience the Transparent Difference U.S. companies are looking for outsourcing locations closer to the States, which makes visiting a proposed site even easier thanks to short flight times, the prevalence of English-speakers, and close cultural affinity. We invite you to visit our facilities in Belize where the sun is shining (most of the time), the climate is warm and inviting, and the people are friendly. Plus, Belize is easy to get to. Many airlines offer direct flights, and travel times are only a few hours from most major airports. We will pick you up at the airport (Philip Goldson International), get you situated at your hotel or our comfortable corporate apartment, and transport you to and from each of our three facilities. While you are onsite, we encourage you to speak with agents and managers, see them in action on the floor, hold focus group sessions, and view the facilities and work environment first-hand. We aren’t called Transparent BPO for nothing. Our doors are open, and we welcome you anytime. Call us at 800-276-5140 to schedule your visit or learn more about the services we offer. To learn more: TransparentBPO.com • 1-800-276-5140

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