05-14-2010 06:58 AM
Anyone have favorable experiences with outbound call centers?
I don't need someone to sell my product, but more inform them that it is there and how it can help. The best description of what I need is probably lead generation. We don't have a complicated product but it sold to IT managers.
I figure I might be able to use a outbound call center as a very cost effective solution to get the word out quickly to alot of prospects in this manner without having to hire a bunch of lead generation type people.
I would love to hear about any positive or negative experiences of other Jigsaw members that have been down this road to know if I should even consider it!
05-14-2010 07:21 AM
Most definitely can using a 3rd party to generate appointments with fully qualified decision makers.
05-14-2010 07:47 AM
Heh, I used to work for an outbound call centre company. Different companies will offer different services. It's worth taking into consideration the level of their staff, the CRM systems they use and the way the staff are incentivised. At my previous company, we were targeted and awared the most bonus on renewed business (as well as generating appointments). This meant the levels of customer service from the account manager had to be kept high, whilst maintaining good results to ensure the client spends more money with you.
However, I would say the biggest pitfall about using outsourced lead gen is the account manager or telemarketer(s) allocated to your project. The rift in quality between the best people there and the worst was HUGE. I was considered a top dog in the company, so was given the juiciest accounts as I was more likely to renew them than alot of other staff. I would suggest taking time to investigate different companies, their process and people, and MAKE SURE you meet your telemarketing team before you sign any contracts. You want to make sure they're capable and will represent you properly, so you get results and maintaint a good corporate image.
You might want to consider hiring a lead gen person in house, perhaps part time or whatever. That way you can check on what they're doing and ensure they're going to get you results, as well as selecting your telemarketer yourself. The benefits of outsourced lead gen though are numerous - for example the infrastructure is already setup. They'll have good quality systems to ensure productivity as well as a good commission plan and team leaders etc...
At the end of the day though, as I touched on above it's down to the person that'll be making the calls for you. Meet your telemarketing team before you get started, that's the biggest tip I can offer
05-14-2010 09:27 AM
I am in the lead generation business for technical products and would suggest an approach that works in today's crowded marketplace. IT managers are pretty resistant to mass cold calling, but are are deluged with them nonetheless. I would suggest that you hire a student intern this summer with some technical background. Have them call the prospect with a very low key approach, not to sell the product, but to alert them that you are sending an email. The caller should have enough knowledge to deliver a 22 second elevator pitch and to close with the fact that the prospect should expect an email from your domain with info on your product. Since you are the technology expert, you should personally follow up in about 2 weeks to determine if there is interest in getting more details. Kenw www.virtualsalesdept.com
05-14-2010 11:15 AM
Many business processes are being outsourced at higher rates than ever before. HR, IT, customer service, and now sales and marketing. I can tell you that there usually is a healthy ROI on outsourcing lead generation. The reason is that economies of scale kick in; a lead gen company of 40+ employees sharing common resources can often execute more efficiently this crucial piece of your sales process at a lower cost per lead than hiring someone yourself.
Vendere Partners has set 1000's of qualified appointments with IT personnel; so, as you continue doing due diligence, I'd be glad to share some best practices with you.
05-17-2010 05:02 AM
The one word answer to your question would be "yes". You can and you should utilize these services for one good reason i.e. “they know the job better”. As it is seen as a trend, and for quite a time now, outsourcing the business functions that are not of core importance to you should be offered to a vendor who has better experience and expertise of handling such assignments.
Now since the lead generation services you are looking for are low skill resources and they do not require to have specific technology /product competency, it does make more sense. In order to get better ROI I would suggest opting for companies providing these services from offshore. So not only you optimize your process and get better results but also get greater value on every dollar spent.
Sales and Marketing process off-shoring is a recent phenomenon which is gaining popularity every day. Check out www.candorworks.com and see it they meet your objective.
05-17-2010 05:57 AM
What you are trying to achieve is very simple. So I will not give a complicated answer. When you want the word to be spread to the IT managers, I believe you will have the lead set with you (here data). So instead of spending tons of $'s to make simple calls and spread the knowledge that your product is up in the market, I suggest you send email's if you have the suspects addresses. Use features as mail received/read alerts, routing mechanisms, etc.
At the end of the day, increasing sales is the ultimate goal. To improve on the numbers, ask them to get the date and the time to apprise the managers of the features of the products and how to reduce the TCO. Now it will make more sense to (near shore/offshore/onshore) outsource your process. Now you can have the productivity model with SLA's added on to it so that you can keep a tap on the agents and process's productivity. You can hold the manager for that process responsible for the delivery.
I will not recommend you to the people who can do this, but you must be smart enough if you are talking about outsourcing lead generation.
05-17-2010 10:20 AM
Yes! I do this for a living and work through Guru.com, in the Sales/Marketing/Lead Generation section. My lead generation has helped many companies similar to yours advance to the next level and they count on my service. I would suggest signing up for a free Employer account and posting a project, to have a selection of bidders experienced in this area. Good luck!
05-17-2010 11:08 AM
Absolutely. There are many ways to set up a campaign specific to your target goals, and to get to your desired objective.
Take a look at Intelemark.com