|The cost and efficiency of your telemarketing will inevitably hinge on the quality and accuracy of the telemarketing calling list that your telemarketers use in their work. Here are some facts and figures on telemarketing calling lists...|
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About telemarketing calling lists / lead lists
Some call it a calling list, others prefer the term "telemarketing lead list," and some speak of "mailing lists" or "prospecting lists."
But whatever it's called, it means a list of contacts or potential customers with some specific contact data and information on each.
Obviously the telephone number and name of the company represent the data that MUST be present in a calling list.
Extremely useful is the name of the specific decision-maker (whose responsibility it is to make purchases / obtain subcontractors or service providers in the industry you represent) as well as some definition referring to the size of the business.
This approximation of size of the company can be deducted from the number of personnel or annual turnover or sometimes from other aspects such as number of outlets and so on.
Now, there are many ways of acquiring telemarketing calling lists, ranging from the ones costing nothing or nearly nothing to the calling lists that cost quite a bit.
Essentially anyone can pick up names of companies and their phone numbers from various directories.
While strictly speaking there are limitations to using a phone book or an online directory as a data source for your telemarketing, the point is perhaps more that such generalised listings bring a lot of unnecessary problems that often over weigh the saving in obtaining the list.
For one, you have to know whether your country has legislation concerning telemarketing, such as the Do-Not-Call List in the USA or the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) in UK which allows for business registrations as well. What this means is that you can get fined heavily for cold-calling someone who has registered in such a registry for avoiding telemarketing calls.
For the other, a telemarketing calling list is a two-edged sword in that its accuracy and selection criteria basically govern the success ratio of your telemarketers.
Let me explain. About 20-30% of businesses relocate annually, which means that the average any telemarketing calling list will be 10 percent inaccurate within three months... not from the moment YOU purchase it but from the time each contact data was last verified by a telemarketer calling the person.
Thus, the longer the listing has been there without verification, the likelier it is to be outdated which you'll find when you try calling them.
Of course, most online listings as well as phone books are redone annually AT BEST (with the data being on average six months outdated by the time it comes off the printing press), so we can see that using such "free" listings is not always the best solution.
Yet perhaps the most important aspect of a telemarketing calling list involves the accuracy of information regarding your specific targeting for your telemarketing campaign.
You want a certain type of prospect, you want a specific industry, you want the name of the actual decision-maker whom you should call... and you probably also want some indication of their size too.
This data is not usually available in directories that are freely available.
Thus, what you save in cost of the telemarketing list you will usually pay for several times over in USING that list.
Calls cost money, the time of telemarketers more so... thus every call that's made to an outdated phone number, a company not within your target group OR every chance lost because you have to find out WHOM to interview... these end up costing you an arm and a leg.
But perhaps even more important is that the accuracy of the telemarketing list directly influences the SUCCESS RATIO of your telemarketers.
Save on the calling list and you'll make your telemarketers FAIL a lot more than they would with an accurate lead list... and the MORE they fail the likelier they are to GIVE UP and leave.
Success in telemarketing is not an easy thing to achieve in the best of circumstances unless you really know how to go about it, how to set up gradual achievements for telemarketers and basically run the telemarketing operation with several "incremental successes" so it's not just "a prospect or no prospect" proposition.
There are a number of vendors offering telemarketing lists or lead lists. Do remember to check how often they verify their listings on the average so you can estimate what part of it is outdated when you get the list and how much will go out of date before you've gone through their list of leads.
My advice is to go with small groups at first, honing your target group closely and investing in accurate information about each prospect.
Never purchase listings at one go on a CD or such unless they have an updating service that runs monthly or minimally quarterly... and be sure that these updates are included in the price.
Don't overlook checking your own industry's (or that of your clients) media and other organisations who may be working closely with most businesses in the field and thus they have high-quality and updated databases on those clients which they may sell / rent for extra income.
Telemarketing lead generation
When we consider telemarketing leads and/or calling lists, it's important to understand what is a prospect.
A prospect is someone who is INTERESTED in whatever it is that you sell. A prospect is NOT someone whose position or profession or industry proves that he BUYS these services and/or products on regular basis.
See. What do YOU want from your existing (and new) clients? You want long-term client-relationships, loyalty... you want them to stay on as your clients for the eternity, right?
Not surprisingly that is what your competitors also want. And what you want (what you set up as a goal) you get to some degree.
Thus, there are buyers out there who would not even CONSIDER changing their vendor simply because they're totally satisfied with their current service provider or goods deliverer.
Reversely, those buyers who are NOT satisfied with their current vendor are POTENTIAL prospects most definitely... provided that you can FIND them before some competitor does (and signs them on at which point they cease to be prospects until dissatisfaction arises again which would then "activate" this person as a prospect).
This may sound like splitting hairs but it's important to realise that even the most accurate and up-to-date telemarketing list purchased from a leading vendor of leads contains a lot of "no-prospects" of the afore-explained kind.
In other words, those telemarketing calling lists are perhaps more than half filled with buyers who ARE LOYAL TO THEIR CURRENT PROVIDER and will remain so a good while after your telemarketers have exhausted that telemarketing calling list.
Of course, there's nothing underhanded here. It's just how it is with any listing of buyers for any chosen industry.
But it brings us to the subject of the headline, namely that of telemarketing LEAD GENERATION.
This is a different approach or philosophy of telemarketing really.
Telemarketing lead generation is the act of using really fast telemarketers who simply ask one or two carefully planned questions whose purpose is NOT to sell anything but to map out the POSITION of this decision-maker on this scale of "customer-loyalty to dissatisfaction/looking for a new vendor," if you wish.
The telemarketing strategy is then to have a far more detailed & extensive interview (performed by a different and more advanced telemarketer) with those who ARE PROSPECTIVE BUYERS in this meaning of the concept... those who are no longer satisfied (loyal) with their current vendor or service provider.
This system is good in that it enables you to utilise two types of telemarketers.
One is the personality who has the capacity to do monotonous routine actions in quick succession for hours on end... and the other is what I call "the thinking, communicating telemarketer" the personality with a natural communication skill and inability to do highly repetitive actions.
The benefit of this telemarketing strategy is that the "thinking telemarketer" will have a significantly high success ratio which makes him or her STAY ON... which means your telemarketing activity keeps on going and producing.
The "unthinking" telemarketer performing the routinely lead generation tasks will NOT be as likely to stay but he or she is easier to replace... there's little training involved and anyone who can dial and ask a couple of questions can do the job.
Telemarketing lead generation can be done in-house in this manner... or it can be out-sourced.
The problem with outsourcing telemarketing lead generation is in its cost. Telemarketing lead generation companies usually charge heavily for these leads, considering how little they actually do to influence the preferences of those leads in the process.
These could be called "undeveloped leads" and you will probably have a higher level of failure with these prospects than those who are acquired in-house.
This is partly due to the DELAY in processing these prospects the longer you wait to call such a lead, the "colder" he goes and partly because you can supervise and adjust an in-house telemarketing lead generation activity faster and easier than the out-sourced alternative. In fact, often you cannot influence the quality of the work of the out-sourced telemarketing agency at all...
Of course, your own industry, field of services / products and, above all, the extent of your market and the volume of your target group govern whether or not it is feasible to set up a telemarketing lead generation activity.
One lead generating telemarketer can dial out 90-100 calls a day, making it more than two thousand a month... and the minimum grace period before recalling is three months, so you need a target group of 6,000 plus to employ one lead generating telemarketer full-time.
Of course, the follow-up "thinking telemarketer" will need a LOT more time to handle a single lead, so for him or her, some 3-5 leads per day (along with follow-up actions, letters, e-mails, faxes, offers, and whatnots) is probably quite sufficient for keeping busy.
Now, one method of generating telemarketing leads is head and shoulders above the rest IF it suits your volume of marketing and target group.
A lead generation web site the highest quality of leads for your telemarketing
The best way of generating factual leads for your telemarketing actions is to set up a web site concentrating wholly on giving articles and information ABOUT your subject matter, written from the viewpoint of the average client.
This is a site like the one you're reading just now. The idea is to give information freely, thus creating a positive, open image while actually "educating" your target audience to understand the benefits of your services or products.
It does require some Internet marketing too, but the principle of such a prospecting / lead generation web site is that IT PRODUCES THE BEST PROSPECTS, THOSE WHO ARE TRULY INTERESTED IN CHANGING THEIR VENDOR.
You don't go looking for services for which you have a provider UNLESS you're no longer happy with their services.
You don't read articles on the subject if you believe the matter is reliably in hand by a trusted vendor.
You don't subscribe to a newsletter of a competing service provider unless you suspect their assistance offers MORE for your money...
You get the idea. If this approach is of interest to you then why not read the article "B2B web design: An impressive corporate image... or a continuous flow of prospective clients? " that is on another of our B2B web sites, namely www.competitivebranding.com.
Alternately contact me by email or phone to discuss your ideas and needs for generating leads for your telemarketing and/or sales.
A good source of information on telemarketing calling lists, lead generation and telemarketing strategies is the Professional B2B-sector Telemarketing Guide. It gives the successful actions in creating / improving and stabilizing a telemarketing unit for your company.
If you already have a telemarketing activity, consider the Telemarketing Result-Optimization Analysis for finding out the strengths and weaknesses of your lead generation and telemarketing so that you can improve the results.
And if you want to maximise your success for an in-house telemarketing unit one you're planning or one that already exists then you can have a telemarketing system created and tailored to your specific needs... see HDK Custom-Made Telemarketing Systems for more information.
Go for accurate telemarketing calling lists or outright lead generation. The quality of your leads will definitely determine the success ratio of your telemarketing!
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