As a director of a B2B telemarketing agency, on a regular basis we have people approaching us who know their telemarketing activities aren’t producing the results they want, but don’t know how to identify what the issues could be. Whether you’re outsourcing your telemarketing to an agency or calling internally, understanding how to measure performance is key to identifying and solving any underlying problems which could affect the end results. We’ve put together five metrics we always look at when evaluating performance.
Is your database actually relevant?
Are you ringing the right companies? Measuring the percentage of businesses you qualify is important for understanding if the data you have is right for your offering. If your team is getting through to the decision makers only to find they don’t meet your qualification criteria then the profile of the data could be improved.
By regularly comparing the metrics you’re achieving across different data segments, you can understand how to narrow down data for your offering. For example, if the results show that one industry sector is proving more receptive to your offering than another, cut out the less relevant data to boost your results.
How many decision makers have you identified or confirmed?
One benefit of conducting a telemarketing and lead generation campaign is the additional information which can be gathered throughout each call. Even if initial calls are not resulting in large decision maker speak to rates, each telemarketing call should include building up the data you hold. While you can purchase data with very specific decision maker details already built in, you can use each call to enhance this, and refine the contact details you hold to make them even more relevant to your product or service. By analysing the proportion of records you are account mapping, you can check if you’re building the data as you go.
Are you getting through to the relevant decision makers?
High calling rates are only beneficial if you’re getting through to the relevant decision makers. Analyse the percentage of calls leading to a conversation with the decision maker to understand if you’re having difficulties getting through. If so, your focus needs to be on improving how you engage with gatekeepers. A secondary consideration is the relevancy of the data - if this is low it may be that calls are being blocked from above.
The number of decision makers you speak to in a day can vary massively depending on the size of the businesses and the decision makers targeted. If you’re promoting an ERP solution to director level contacts in large organisations for example, speaking to four or five decision makers a day could be an achievement. At the other end of the scale, if you’re contacting the person who orders refreshments for the office, you’re likely to be able to speak to anything up to thirty or forty relevant contacts.
Are you getting results when you’re speaking to the right person?
When looking at conversion rates, analyse what percentage of decision maker conversations are generating leads as this provides insight into how effective your telemarketers are when speaking to the right person. If conversion rates are poor, further investigation will be needed to understand why; is it that your product or service is being pitched to the wrong companies, to the wrong individuals, or in the wrong way? Only digging down into the reasons why contacts say they are not interested can tell you this.
Be cautious about making assumptions around what conversion rates can be: these vary massively depending on the type of sale and typical buying cycles; the business size and sector; the decision makers targeted and the product or service offered. If you’re working with an agency, ask what similar campaigns they have conducted, and what conversion rates were achieved.
Are you making the right number of calls?
Calling activity will vary across each individual telemarketing campaign, however to give yourself the best chance – make enough calls! We would expect this to fall between 70 to 140 outbound calls per calling day. If you are making calls internally, make sure you are monitoring calling activity regularly and if this is falling short, try to understand the reasons why and how this can be rectified in the future. For example, it can be important to understand the background to the company you’re contacting but this needs to be balanced with making an appropriate volume of calls. Try to make sure you’re not over researching each company before you pick up the phone and do the research before you even start the calling session. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
Similarly, when call rates rocket beyond what can be deemed as conceivable this in itself can be a warning sign. Many large call centre operators prioritise numbers over quality of calls and this can have a massive impact on how effectively they engage with the decision makers they’re contacting, especially if it’s a limited market.
While these metrics can identify areas for improvement, bear in mind that issues can’t be fully captured in the numbers alone. Use these metrics to identify potential problems areas and then look in to the details of the calls to get the full picture.
By Faresh Maisuria, Managing Director of B2B telemarketing agency Blueberry Marketing Solutions.