Best practices for setting up an outbound call center
For any outbound call center to be efficient, profitable, and competitive, it needs several things in place. A clear strategy, well-trained call center agents, and a strong leads list. But the glue that holds them all together and maximizes their potential is good outbound call software.
To understand the true nature and value of an outbound call center, we must look at how all these components work together. So, in this in-depth guide to the best practices of outbound call center companies, we examine what an outbound call center is and how these crucial factors interact.
First, let’s define an outbound call. Outbound calls are calls that are made to customers (or prospective customers). There are different reasons for outbound calls, but they typically center around telemarketing and promotions, lead generation, and sales.
While customer service usually falls under the category of inbound calls (customers calling in), this can also be the focus of outbound calls. An example would be when customer service representatives call customers with feedback on a query or inquire about their satisfaction with a service or product.
Despite the fact that there are a variety of outbound call types, telesales agents make the majority of them and concentrate on lead generation and sales. How does this happen, and why is lead generation so important for sales?
Lead generation entails building up a list of leads, or potential customers. Your list of leads will contain all the people who have shown an interest in your product or service but have not yet committed to making a purchase. But where do you get all those leads from in the first place?
There are quite a few ways, actually. They may have visited your website and left their details, asking for further information. Or they could have provided their details to one of your company’s promotional teams. Perhaps they just signed up for your company newsletter.
But generating leads is only the initial stage in the sales cycle. It’s the grand task of your sales and marketing divisions to turn these leads into prospects and ultimately into customers. And this is achieved through the outbound call process.
During outbound calls with these leads, some will fall away, but others will become prospects. That means your team will have identified them as your target market, with a higher chance of them buying your product or signing up for your service. All they need is the nudge - the sales call.
To turn leads into prospects and then into customers, and hopefully retain them as regular or repeat customers, takes great skill and dedication. Your staff will rely on their training and your business strategy, to move leads along the journey to purchase. But that’s not all they rely on.
Good outbound call center software, like AutoReach's innovative Predictive Dialer, gives call agents the support they need to succeed. It's the best outbound call center software solution for the modern call center environment.
But what exactly is the difference between an inbound and outbound call contact center’s strategies?
There are a few differences between inbound and outbound call centers.
Outbound call centers:
Naturally, this calls for different strategies. In an outbound sales strategy, the aim is to create leads, qualify them as prospects, and turn them into customers. In other words, the goal is to make sales.
On the other hand, in inbound call centers, sales have usually already been made, and the objective is to keep customers happy by ensuring their questions are answered and problems are resolved.
Both call center environments rely on call software to carry out these duties. But what are the differences between outbound call center software and the software used for inbound calls?
When choosing call software for your inbound or outbound call center, there are some key features you need to look out for.
The best small business call center software for startups is usually power dialer or auto dialer software. Whichever dialer you choose, it must integrate with your CRM so your agents have all the information they need about a lead.
However, as you scale your business and possibly transition to a remote or hybrid workforce, you may want to consider upgrading to an online predictive dialer. In the comparison between the power dialer vs. predictive dialer, the latter wins hands down for its ability to maximize the sales outcomes of larger call volumes.
This state-of-the-art software helps you keep track of your key outbound call center performance metrics, too.
Multi-channel inbound call software is key for handling a large influx of calls and routing them to the next available agent. If customers have to wait too long to speak to an agent, it creates a bad impression of the company’s customer service.
Another key factor is in-call recording. Existing customers usually call in if they are experiencing issues with the product or service sold to them. A recording of the conversation will prevent misunderstandings down the line.
The agent also needs to be able to pull up info from their CRM to better address the customer’s needs.
There are different types of call centers, though. Although many of them are sales-oriented, that’s not their only function. An outbound call center can fall into any of the following three categories: It’s not uncommon to have more than one, or even all three, in different divisions of the same premises.
Collection agents deal with existing customers. They’re responsible for thanking customers for payments, reminding customers about upcoming payments, or restructuring new payment plans for customers who have missed payments.
In-call recording may be just as useful here as it is in inbound customer service departments or other outbound call departments like telemarketing or telesales. Automation makes your collections agents' jobs easier too, but a power dialer or auto dialer will suffice in most cases.
Telemarketing can be very similar to telesales. Like telesales, the telemarketer aims to market products and services in the hopes of generating interest that will lead to sales. However, the approach, although also proactive, is not as assertive a sales pitch as with a telesales team.
A telemarketing and telesales team may collaborate closely because the interest that a telemarketing team generates can result in leads for telesales teams to follow up on. Therefore, they need the same type of outbound call software as telesales teams do.
In a telesales outbound call center, sales agents make outgoing calls to potential leads and guaranteed prospects to encourage sales. But they are still dealing with potential customers. They carry the burden of convincing them to take the next step and commit to a purchase of the product or service being offered.
Unlike customer service agents in an inbound call facility, they have call targets to meet and sales targets to reach. Both telemarketing and telesales can be stressful work environments, but with the right technical support and the best outbound dialing software, you’ll equip your staff with tools they can rely on.
Are there any benefits to using outbound call centers for sales? Yes, there are! There are several benefits.
Outbound call centers used for sales will:
And best of all, it will save you money on your operational costs. An outbound call center can maximize your sales and increase your profits exponentially. But to reap these benefits, we recommend that you incorporate these tried-and-trusted call center best practices.
These three best practices have proven effective for all types of outbound call centers but are of the utmost importance in telemarketing and telesales environments.
When you have a clear campaign, it makes it easier for your agents to strike the right tone in their outbound calls.
They know what is expected of them and can adjust their conversational style to meet the needs of the campaign’s target demographic. With the right outbound calling strategy, your campaign will be a success.
Training is not a once-off thing in the call center environment. Just like the promotional and salespeople in a retail environment, so too do telemarketing and telesales people need ongoing training. This keeps them up-to-date with your latest products and services, as well as any updates to them.
Regular training and refresher courses are essential so that your sales agents can close more deals on outbound calls. And that brings us to the third best practice.
In an outbound call center, nothing is more important than choosing and using the right dialer tool. It can make or break a sales campaign. If you want to increase your call volumes, improve the quality of your calls, and reduce the time wasted between calls - a good dialer is the solution, every time.
Are you thinking of opening an outbound call center? Are you already running an outbound call center and looking to scale up your operations? Do you have the experience and the expertise, but not the sales figures to match?”
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to invest in outbound call center software that is proven to work. And with a wide array of options, from auto and power dialers to more progressive software like the brand new Predictive Dialer from AutoReach, you’ll never look back.
By investing in top-performing call software, trusted by leading companies for their outbound calls, you’ll help your call agents smash those lead generation and sales targets. You’ll give them the confidence they need to excel. And you’ll take your call center to new heights of efficiency and productivity.
Are you unsure if your existing outbound call center software is making the grade? Here are some ways to measure outbound call effectiveness.
How many of your attempted calls have been successfully placed? If too many of them end up as dropped calls or connect to voicemail or a busy signal, that’s valuable time wasted. Time that could’ve been put to use making sales, if your software had weeded out the dud calls.
Do you have a large number of agents, but the call volumes just aren’t meeting expectations? You need call software that will automate your calls, and increase call volumes.
With the right dialer, you’ll make far more calls in a fraction of the time. And remember, more calls lead to more sales.
Are all your agents busy, taking calls, and making deals? If not, you need new dialer software that keeps them busy and productive.
By using a progressive dialer or predictive dialer, multiple calls can be placed at once. Unsuccessful dials will be skipped over and answered calls will be routed to your waiting agents.
What’s your average call duration, and are the longer ones leading to definite sales? We’ve found that the longer it takes to wrap up a call, the more likely it is that the customer will lose interest.
With in-call prompts and an integrated CRM, your agent will be both motivated and prepared to close deals faster and with confidence.
At AutoReach, we have the technology that will drive your outbound call success. That’s why so many outbound call center companies trust us with their dialer software needs. Whether you need basic automation or the very latest in progressive dialing, we’re here for you.
Don’t settle for meeting sales targets. Make the choice that helps you exceed them, again and again. Start your obligation-free trial today, and start your journey to bigger and better outbound call center success.
Learn how AutoReach can take your outbound to the next level