Are you thinking about hiring a call center that does pay-per-appointment telemarketing?
If your main telemarketing goal is to book appointments with prospects, then it may be a good idea to consider compensating your telemarketing provider on a pay-per-appointment basis.
There are beginning to be more and more call centers that offer pay-per-appointment (PPA) or similar pay-per-lead plans. There’s no doubt that you should consider this option if the purpose of your telemarketing efforts is only to book appointments with prospects.
If this isn’t what you’re looking for then it probably does not make sense for you to go down this road.
What is pay-per-appointment telemarketing?
It’s exactly what it sounds like. Instead of agreeing to a price for a full campaign beforehand – based on call volume, duration, and other factors – you simply agree to pay the vendor a fixed amount for every appointment they book for you.
Sounds perfect doesn’t it?
How much does a service like this cost?
We’ve heard of plans paying as little as $10 per appointment (really?) and as much as $2000 (holy smokes!), but most plans pay between $50 and $100 per appointment.
When you consider how much revenue an appointment can lead to, that sounds like a huge bargain—especially when you pay nothing for all the calls that don’t secure an appointment!
Can it really be that simple?
Here are some important questions that you should ask yourself:
How long-term are your goals?
What are you trying to achieve?
A pay-per-appointment plan is, by necessity, very short-sighted. Since the provider only gets paid when its agents book an appointment, that’s all they train their agents to do. If that’s all you want, then it might be a good match.
But what if you expect more from a telemarketing campaign?
What if your goals include:
• Lead development and qualification?
• Answering prospects’ questions?
• Database building and maintenance?
• Gathering market intelligence?
• Long-term branding?
All of those goals require professional, well-trained agents who can adapt on the fly and engage busy professionals in a productive conversation—agents focused on more than just nailing down an appointment.
What Do Your Prospects Think?
People who are paid to accomplish one goal pursue that goal as aggressively as they can. It’s human nature.
In a pay-per-appointment plan, agents will pursue appointments aggressively. Some of your prospects may appreciate this approach, but others are likely to be turned off by it.
Are you willing to turn off your prospects?
A call center with traditional pricing, on the other hand, is more interested in engaging your prospects, with classroom-trained agents, customized scripts, and multi-touch campaigns.
It’s not that they won’t campaign aggressively toward your goals. A top business-to-business call center can execute 30-50 targeted dials per hour and pitch between five and seven of them—quadruple what an average person can do. Is that aggressive enough for you?
Be Careful What You Pay For
Most pay-per-appointment call centers are reputable and honest. Still, before signing up for a plan, make sure you only pay for qualified appointments that actually happen. After all, an appointment with an unqualified prospect, or with someone who fails to meet you isn’t worth a dime, let alone $100.
Also, watch out for non-refundable “set-up” or “assessment” fees. And if a vendor asks to be paid in advance for appointments they haven’t booked yet, don’t walk away—run!
Booking appointments is a great goal for a telemarketing campaign. But it’s usually not the only goal. Ask us how a complete telemarketing campaign strategy can generate qualified leads and build long-term business—oh, and book appointments, too.
Post written by: Amy Schiller
Call control is an extremely important skill for customer service representatives to have.
It may even be the most important skill.
When a representative finds themselves receiving a call where there doesn’t seem to be an end, finding a way to resolve the situation and move on to the next call can be a challenge. This is especially true if the representative has not been in the industry for long or they were never properly trained.
So, what exactly is call control?
Controlling a call involves getting information proficiently and quickly so that customer service representatives remain productive.
Why is it important?
Customer service representatives are the first contact for customers and clients calling into a business. Not only do they address questions and concerns but they nurture relationships. This is why you need to be sure that your customer service representatives remain professional, friendly and courteous while leading the conversation.
Here are a couple of tips you can use or give to your team to make controlling a call a little bit easier:
1. Make sure the customer’s problem and desired solution are stated as early in the call as possible.
2. Have specific questions prepared for customers or clients who have issues explaining the problem.
3. Use close-ended questions – questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no”.
4. Always wait for a pause in the conversation in order to redirect the conversation, don’t interrupt the caller.
5. Be sure to stay on topic and have the end solution in mind. This will set the tone for the entire phone call.
6. Remember to be friendly but not a friend. Answer questions that are off topic with short responses.
7. Quickly wrap up calls in a pleasant tone.
Some simple language that you can use to set the tone:
“I’m sorry to hear this. In order to fix this today, we need to…”
“What we need to do first is…”
“I’ll talk you through the process…”
“There are several different ways that we can solve this issue. They are…”
“I have a couple of options that might help and save us time…”
“I’ll call you on Thursday afternoon to follow-up…”
“Sounds like we’ve covered everything…”
“I’ll get started on this right away…”
“I don’t want to take up any more of your time, so…”
“I have everything I need on my end…”
As you know time is valuable, especially when dealing with customers and clients. It’s important to be accommodating when on a call. It’s also important to have the capability to lead and remain in control during the phone call in order to resolve issues efficiently.
Post written by: Amy Schiller
QCSS, bringing the cool back to the call center!
Video created and produced by: Gini.TV
As you may know, hiring a B2B telemarketing company can be a great way to increase leads and sales.
Outbound calls can become the first interaction someone has with your business while inbound calls can drive in revenue and become the determining factor in lead generation. A well-trained B2B telemarketing company will know exactly how to efficiently process these calls.
Knowing what is involved in caring for another business’s customers is what separates an outstanding B2B telemarketing agency from the pack.
What makes the best B2B telemarketing companies?
The B2B telemarketing company that you choose will interact with your customers and clients on a regular basis. They will become an important extension of your sales and marketing efforts.
Before choosing your telemarketing company, here are a few factors to consider:
1. Strong Customer Service Skills – The best B2B telemarketing companies treat your customers as if they were their own. Strong customer service skills means handling questions about the finer details of your business on the fly. It also means knowing how and when to vary the scripts. Not every call is identical, and not every situation can be resolved in the same way.
2. Inbound Lead Generation – As you may know,the people who take the time to call your business are often your most qualified leads. These phone calls need to be serviced promptly and professionally, and these customers need to be left satisfied. The best B2B telemarketing companies understand and value these phone calls as an opportunity to truly make a difference for the client.
3. Attention to Customers – Customers have options and competition can be high. Because of the internet, customers have grown accustomed to immediacy. Immediate attention and a quick resolution can make all the difference in lead generation and sales.
4. Commitment to Multiple Roles – Finding the right B2B telemarketing company can help your business with more than just sales and lead generation. That’s an important part of it, but they can also help with important communications services such as market research through outbound surveys, database maintenance, voice broadcasting announcements, and live web chat.
5. Quality Training – When handling another business’s phone calls and leads, it is important to be ready in any type of situation. Remember, the call handlers are an extension of your business, so training is a crucial element to a successful relationship. Find a B2B telemarketing company where they train call handlers to be well-versed with your company and understand client interaction. Callers should understand the FAQs, for quality product knowledge. They need to understand the qualifiers to be a solid lead, appointment or sale.
Ultimately, the best B2B telemarketing companies will treat your customers as if they were their own. They put an emphasis on helping you to build your business, and work to add value.
The best B2B telemarketing companies understand that the job entails more than simply answering or making phone calls. It is about becoming an extension of your sales and marketing efforts so that your customers and clients are happy.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
Inaction is often safer than action.
The thing is, most successful people will tell you that they got to where they are because they were willing to take risks that no one else was.
Taking risks opens you up to new challenges and opportunities and it also empowers you to establish new limits in your mind.
This is the year of doing and there are less than 100 days left.
Ask yourself: what would I do if I weren’t afraid? And then go do it.
- We're leveling up our focus on Instagram, and we think that you'll enjoy it. Check out the content that we've been posting and comment on our latest post.
- It's time to bring the cool back into the call center. We posted a new video on our YT channel last week. Check it out here.
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Written by: Amy Schiller
So, you’ve decided to outsource your telemarketing to a call center.
The first thing that you need to know before you even start the process of picking a center is that call centers do not need to be geographically close to serve its clients. Sure, proximity might have its benefits, but a good call center is structured to be able to serve clients locally, nationally and internationally.
There are lots of factors to consider when you are looking at how to find the right call center in the United States.
Centers in Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles often require evaluating these four factors:
- Call center technology
The best call centers have built their business with people like you in mind and all of these factors are important in order for them to deliver the best possible services to you and your company.
Pay Attention to Call Center Technology
Call center technology is a critical part of being able to handle client needs nationwide. Call centers are built to handle multiple clients at the same time. This requires the ability to handle a large inbound and outbound call volume. Things like dialing technology, IVR systems, reporting, network infrastructure and compliance should all be taken into consideration as you are choosing your call center.
Questions you can ask:
1. What kind of technology does your call center use?
2. What is inbound/outbound call blending?
3. Does your system provide inbound/outbound call blending?
Consider the Services
It’s always good to know a call center’s capabilities, in case there is a service they offer that you may want but weren’t aware of.
Make sure you understand the various call center services available to you, and that the call center will be able to accommodate your needs.
If you are looking to expand your customer base, you probably need some form of outbound telemarketing. If you are experiencing a high inbound call volume then you should be looking for a call center that has inbound telemarketing capabilities.
Questions you can ask:
1. What different services does your call center offer?
2. Which services would you recommend for my company when (insert service here) is what we are trying to accomplish?
3. Does your company offer inbound AND outbound marketing?
Remember that the call center that you choose is going to become an extension of your business and will be making lasting impressions with your customers. It is important that they have had proper professional training and are also educated about your brand. Agents need to be able to answer as many questions about your brand as possible.
Questions you can ask:
1. Does your call center treat training as a continuous process?
2. How do you train your employees?
3. Are agents being provided constant coaching, feedback and skills related to performance?
Culture is Everything
A company’s culture will dictate what they do and how they behave in certain instances. This is hugely important because call centers need to learn every aspect of your businesses, and communicate with your customer base.
Make sure that the call center that you choose values your clients’ business and takes the time to truly learn about it. This means involving you in the training, and learning every aspect of what you do.
Questions you can ask:
1. How do I know that your call center can align with my brand?
2. How are you sure that your agents are following procedures and company policies?
3. How do you hold employees accountable?
4. How do you motivate your employees so that they deliver exceptional results?
Taking It All In
All of these factors are important when it comes to finding the right call center so make sure that you do your homework. Let us know if you are looking for the right call center for you.
Written by: Amy Schiller
New platforms, websites, and software are popping up on a continuous basis, and businesses are taking major advantage. With the boom of social media, there is no shortage of ways to market your business.
Today’s businesses can thrive off telemarketing leads, especially when using methods with a well-managed marketing plan.
Let’s talk about 5 reasons that you should commit to telemarketing.
Why Commit to Telemarketing?
To Give Your Brand the Voice It Deserves
How often do you hear marketing agencies talk about the importance of developing a voice for your brand?
Sometimes it can be a challenge to get your brand to have one familiar voice, especially if you have an entire marketing team working on content and promotional materials.
Telemarketing will give your business, products, and services a human voice. One of many reasons that businesses decide to begin a telemarketing campaign is because the phone can be more personable than social media platforms.
To See Immediate Results
Whether it be an inbound or an outbound campaign, telemarketing can bring quick results if you do it right.
On the phone, you know that you have the attention of your clients and customers. This means that the chances of scoring a meeting or another phone call to introduce your product or service are higher.
With a strong telemarketing campaign and a dedicated team, you can see results almost immediately depending on the purpose of the campaign. Want more leads or to set more appointments for your business? Results can be seen within weeks of launching the campaign.
To Receive More Qualified Leads
Not every single person you call during your campaign is going to love your business but that’s life and you can’t always please everyone.
This means that sometimes people are going to ask you to remove them from the call list. Having this happen can sometimes feel like a failure but in fact, it’s the opposite.
If you want qualified leads to end up in your sales pipeline then this feedback from consumers is almost necessary. This process allows you to remove unqualified leads from your marketing efforts so that you can nurture relationships with more qualified leads.
To Raise Brand Awareness
The phone calls that your telemarketing team makes and receives can help your business develop lasting impressions with customers and prospects. When done correctly, telemarketing can result in additional leads as well as increase brand loyalty and awareness.
Besides the obvious benefits like customer recognition, customer loyalty, and enhanced credibility, committing to telemarketing to improve brand awareness will land you more leads for your company in your specific target market.
What more could you possibly ask for?
To Stay Connected the Old-Fashioned Way
Older technology has remained a critical part of B2B and B2C communication. When someone has an urgent issue with a product or service, what do they do? Call the company to get everything resolved.
Why? A phone call is a quick and easy solution. As long as it doesn’t turn into the customer or client being put on hold for hours.
Having a live person making outbound calls and receiving inbound calls shows your customers and clients that they matter to you. Instead of waiting hours for a solution, they have the opportunity to call in and resolve the issue within minutes.
Don’t neglect telesales as a possible way to increase your business. It has worked for many years and continues to be an extremely successful business tool.
The Outsourcing Advantage
So, the next decision that you will have to make is whether to keep this telemarketing commitment in-house or to outsource your needs.
Outsourcing your telemarketing can be a distinct advantage for your business.
Outsourcing allows your business to:
- Focus on core business activities
- Rely on experienced telemarketing professionals to expand your customer base and sales funnel
- Free capital for research and development, advertising and other aspects of your business as needed.
- Reduce overhead expenses
- Increase sales and profits
If you are looking to see what a quality telemarketing agency can do for business lead generation, we would love to have a conversation with you.
Post written by: Amy Schiller