One of the questions around telemarketing is often “how big does my telemarketing team need to be?” And our first question in response isn’t “how big is your sales team?” or “how big is your audience?” First, we ask “how soon do you want to see results?” This is because telemarketing is all about narrowing down and qualifying target prospects. It’s about starting with an ocean and dwindling that down to a puddle packed full of people that meet the criteria to qualify, for example they have the required budget and authority, paired with an existing need in a timescale that suits an immediate start of the sales process.
Speed Of Results Not Just Size Of List
Taking an example, suppose you had a list of 5000 IT Directors where you knew or expected to qualify 1 in every ten, leading to your “perfect puddle” of 500 potential clients. You’re looking at between 15,000 and 45,000 calls (3-9 per person) to get there and the average telemarketer makes 150 dials a day. You could have a single person work that list for 5+ months to get to your desired result. Or you could have 5 people do the same thing in a month. You see now how the first question we ask is relevant. It’s all about how quickly you need access to your full list of potential clients.
Knowing Your Market
We did a project for a very niche client working from just 750 company names. But we needed two people for the job. Why? Because it was a very personal and emotional purchase. There was a requirement to do an initial quick pre-qualification around whether the prospect owned or leased the product and then a further requirement for relationship building and more detailed qualification around what they bought and when before that lead was ready to hand to sales. On the surface this looks like an over resourced project, but it was essential to deliver the communication experience the client wanted for their prospects.
The best way to work when managing appointment setting through telemarketing is to allocate one telemarketer for every sales person needing appointments. This allows them to develop as a micro team and enjoy better communication and camaraderie as they work together to get the result. The sales person can work with their dedicated telemarketer to provide feedback on the quality of the meetings, improvements that can be made to qualification and create a closed loop to reschedule cancelled appointments. You also need to be aware of what the contact-call-appointment funnel looks like for your industry. For example commodities like printers need thousands of records to sustain setting two appointments a day.
Allow Space For Lead Nurturing
Much of the emphasis in telemarketing is on the initial qualification of the decision maker and of course that is very important. But lead nurturing and providing your telemarketers with the time, process and incentive to do this is also fundamental to great sales results. If your telemarketer has engaged a prospect and qualified that they have budget, authority and need but that need is in the future, it’s a huge missed opportunity if that telemarketer isn’t primed to check back in and convert that prospect into a qualified lead when the time is right. The number of these calls is generally very low compared to the number processed in a full qualification campaign, but don’t let that deceive you, these micro lists are worth their weight in gold.
Not Getting Good Enough Results? Adding More People May Not Be The Answer
Before you expand your telemarketing operation to increase your ratio of telemarketers to sales people, you need to look at your other ratios first. If you’re not getting a good closing ratio, either from qualification to sales call/meeting or meeting to close, you need to address the reasons behind this first. Successful telemarketing is all about getting the formula right before you scale, otherwise you’re just enlarging the size of the problem you need to deal with and taking on more overhead without that leading to a better result.
If you’d like to have a chat about the perfect telemarketing setup to suit your business or troubleshoot challenges you might be experiencing, please do get in touch.