Technological advancements have revolutionized how businesses promote their goods and services. Proper promotion of goods and services will improve the brand image, generate leads, and boost your customer base. However, promoting a business takes a lot of work, especially for new owners.
For this reason, it’s important you understand what strategy you can use to promote your services. Over the years, businesses have been utilizing promotional strategies such as calling to reach and interact with prospects.
The following blog outlines what you need to know about one type of call—outbound calling. You’ll learn what outbound calling is, the significant difference with inbound calling, how you can supercharge it, and more. Keep reading.
What’s Outbound Calling?
An outbound call is when an agent reaches out to a customer on behalf of the business. The purpose of outbound calls is telemarketing, lead generation, fundraising, and market research. The agent can also reach out to other businesses to request necessary information if you’re in a business-to-business (B2B) industry. Besides new prospects, the outbound can be initiated to existing customers for debt collection, contact list updates, or to renew services.
On the other hand, in an inbound call, the customer is the dialer. It tends to support existing customers. Thanks to technological advancements, you can easily integrate advanced solutions such as interactive voice response (IVR) into your inbound calling system, especially when you’re receiving lots of calls. Some of the major uses of inbound calls are customer support, order processing, and other inquiries.
You can use several providers to boost your outbound calling system due to the increasing demand across various industries. Consider reaching out to reputable providers such as Drop Cowboy ringless voicemail or any other in your locality to help set up and manage your outbound calling strategy.
Before partnering with any provider, make sure they are of good reputation. Aside from that, make sure they can address the specific needs of your business, especially the volume of calls that you get on every business day. Additionally, it’s important to determine whether they’re certified to provide such services and whether or not they have the right equipment to do so.
How To Turbocharge Your Outbound Calling
As discussed above, the primary purpose of outbound calling is telemarketing, lead generation, and market research. However, you might notice its effectiveness is not always up to your expectations. If you’re in such a situation, you may have to supercharge your strategy, improving its effectiveness, and ultimately contributing to increased leads and sales.
However, achieving this isn’t a walk in the park, especially if you need to have the necessary skills and know-how. Don’t worry, though. Listed below are some tips you can employ to supercharge your outbound calling strategy:
- Automate The Calls
Manual handling of outbound calls may increase the chances of human error, compromising its effectiveness. With automation solutions, human errors may be reduced significantly. Automation allows employees to free up extra time that can be utilized to attend to more urgent calls or take care of administrative tasks, increasing their overall productivity in the workplace. Also, a proper automation strategy will help agents prioritize calls, hugely influencing the customer experience.
Over the years, you can utilize several strategies to automate your outbound calling. They include
- Predictive Dialing: This process involves using a computerized system to predict the number of users who will pick up the phone. Once a customer has picked up the phone and a ‘hello’ response is detected, the call will be directed to the next available agent. If the customer doesn’t respond, the dialer may reschedule the call. You can also program it to leave a voicemail message. With predictive dialing, you can also integrate a power dialer to improve the effectiveness of your strategy. This automated system makes it easier for you to call the next number on the list without manually inputting the number, which can otherwise waste lots of time and increase the chances of error.
- Automatic Call Distribution: This system makes it easier for individuals to track and evaluate their call center agent’s performance. With this feature, you can easily track KPIs such as occupancy rate, average call time, and more. This great feature allows your business to identify strong and weak points in your outbound call strategy, then improve on aspects that need more work.
Some of the major benefits of automating your outbound calls include
- Cost-Effective: As mentioned above, automation reduces the need for team members to input numbers manually, which can take most of their time and effort. Additionally, it reduces human error and prevents conflict among potential clients and partners.
- Regulatory Compliance: Your business needs to observe rules and regulations when utilizing this strategy. Data privacy rules and customer welfare must always be observed and upheld. Hence, it might be challenging to keep up with ever-evolving standards. Failure to comply may expose sensitive data to competitors and lead to penalties for non-compliance and compromise your reputation. However, automation ensures you’re up-to-date with changing regulations.
Despite the major benefits of automating your calls, it’s crucial to know that integrating automation into your calling strategy is costly and may increase your business expenses. For this reason, it’s important you get a reputable provider to automate your calling systems, guaranteeing quality results and saving you some money in the long run.
- Train And Incentivize Your Workforce
When developing your team, it’s important you ensure you hire the right talent. However, it might be hard to retain your best talent, especially when they feel stuck, isolated, or alienated in the workplace. For this reason, incentivizing your team will go a long way in improving their morale and productivity.
Besides this, sharing your goals with the team is crucial, guaranteeing you start off on the same boat. Additionally, ensure they’re equipped with the right tools and resources to align them with your goals and calling strategy and help them maintain an upper hand with evolving sales conversations.
Once your team is on board with the outbound calling strategy, the next step is to ensure they’re properly trained to keep up with ever-changing trends and regulations. Integrating training programs into your workforce makes it easier for team members to share, collaborate, and role-play to improve their skills and ideas.
However, when training your workforce, there are several mistakes you should avoid. One of them is separating the training program from the primary line. This makes it seem like a separate activity instead of an embedded part of the job.
You can choose several options to train your workforce, including third-party and in-house training programs. However, technological advancement has made it possible for team members to introduce real-time coaching programs. For instance, when an agent struggles to close a sale, they can easily refer to remote real-time support and coaching programs, supercharging your outbound calling strategy.
When incentivizing your workforce, you must practice integrity and transparency. Ensure each team member is awarded based on their merits and not just because you have a close relationship with them. This will avoid making some team members feel left out and neglected, which could affect their productivity and sabotage your outbound calling strategy.
- Make Your Calls Engaging
As mentioned above, outbound calling is when a business reaches out to customers. For this reason, the call may seem annoying and distracting if the conversation has no clear direction. However, making the call as engaging as possible may help avoid this.
On the other hand, trying too much and making the call seem scripted will not help you either. The customer may feel you don’t value them and may be forced to hang up, affecting the effectiveness of your calling strategy.
To make your call engaging, it’s crucial you have a deeper insight into your customer’s needs or wants. Use available sources, such as social media, to learn more about your target audience. Then utilize the sensitive information to personalize your calls, making the customer feels you value them.
Some of the ways you can use to make your calls engaging include:
- Capture The Customer’s Attention: There is a thin line between intrusive and engaging conversations for outbound calls. For this reason, you have limited time to grab and maintain the customer’s attention. One of the ways you can achieve this is by calling them by their first name. Then say who you are and your reason for calling. Once you have cleared the air, create a friendly environment for an interesting conversation.
- Call At The Right Time: Do you remember the last time a business called you while you were busy filing your returns? It was frustrating, right? But if a business asked you if it’s the right time for a call, you could have spared a few minutes. The same goes when you’re outbound calling your prospects. Ensure you ask them whether you can borrow some minutes from their tight schedule and ensure you deliver within the given time. Most people will appreciate it if you respect their time and not sound too pushy on the call.
When you have engaged calls, the prospects will feel like they’re closer to your brand, increasing the chances of closing sales. Also, if you’re calling to raise funds, an engaged call ensures you get the needed money to expand your operations.
- Define Your Objectives
Identifying your goals at the outset can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of your strategy. When integrating your outbound calling system, it’s crucial you define the goals you want to achieve. Some desired goals include closing deals, collecting sensitive market data, and service renewal. After identifying your goals, it’s now time to note down your success indicators. Proper evaluation and identification of success criteria needs will help track the progress and effectiveness of your strategy.
When defining your goals and success indicators, it’s crucial to consider the bigger picture. For instance, how much will it cost you to achieve your goals? How will it affect your public image? Is it a worthwhile investment? Considering performance against the total cost is vital for any marketing campaign and may help you draw up OKRs (objectives and key results).
You can use several key performance indicators (KPIs) when evaluating the effectiveness of your outbound calling. Some of them include the following:
- Average Handle Time: this refers to the amount of time an agent spends on calls, whether when holding or transferring them. If an agent has a longer handle time, they may need more training to equip them with the necessary skills on how to close a sale.
- Conversion Rate: as a business, you may be calling several prospects. But how many can you convince to purchase a product or subscribe to your services? If there’s a higher conversion rate, you may conclude that the strategy aligns with your goal of increasing sales or leads.
- First-Call Close: This success criterion shows the number of sales you can close on your first call. In most cases, you may need to call a customer more than once before getting the necessary information or closing a deal. However, if there’s a high percentage of first-call closes, it’s a sign of an effective outbound call strategy.
Proper evaluation of the above KPIs may help improve your market knowledge. Thus, it’ll be easier to set more realistic goals in the future.
As discussed above, technology has changed how businesses promote their goods and services. In the modern era, companies are now utilizing call strategies to reach out to prospects. However, you may notice the outbound call strategy is not getting the results you intended. Hence, you may be forced to supercharge it, improving its effectiveness.
To supercharge your outbound call, take note of the tips discussed above. Automation plays a huge role in making your strategy effective and even increases your agents’ productivity. Giving your agents the right training and preparing engaging scripts are also crucial aspects of a successful outbound call strategy. Lastly, identifying realistic objectives ensures your business is set up for success.
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