|Outsourcing your B2B telemarketing function can be a tempting alternative as it rids you of many problems in finding, training, and supervising telemarketers. But outsourcing telemarketing is not always the best solution for a B2B company...|
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Outsourcing your telemarketing function the pros and cons of telemarketing companies
What with all the trouble and headaches that go with setting up & running an in-house telemarketing activity, wouldn't it be much easier to outsource the function to some telemarketing agency?
Well, it might be just that...or it might not.
As with any outsourcing solution, there are pros and cons with commissioning a telemarketing agency to do your prospecting for you.
It all depends on your priorities and the specific circumstances of your line of business.
So let's take a look at the pros and cons of outsourcing telemarketing... the good, the bad and the ugly!
Outsourcing B2B telemarketing functions the good...
The great thing about outsourcing telemarketing functions is that you are relieved of a lot of work and headaches almost instantly.
No more recruiting of telemarketers, no more training or supervising teleworkers, bygone are the confusing supervision activities, bonus schemes, detective work on who's produced what... and so on.
An outsourced telemarketing function doesn't give you sick-days, it needs no vacation or compassionate leave, it cannot appeal to your heart with "don't know why it just doesn't go..." -excuses and so on.
It's just a no-nonsense business arrangement. You pay your money and they produce that which you've agreed to pay for.
Sounds great, doesn't it?
Well... it can be that.
But it can also happen that what you assumed to be a simple business arrangement turns into a bit of a nightmare, giving you TWICE the trouble your in-house telemarketing unit ever could...
Outsourcing B2B telemarketing functions the bad...
Telemarketing agencies basically consider QUANTITY in selling their services. It's this many hours, that many callers, so-and-so many calls made and target persons reached, and so on.
They measure their services in quantities of "doable" actions and activities, things whose production is not ever going to be a major challenge as such.
They're seldom willing to agree to a definite quantity of RESULTS in terms of "how many target group decision-makers made interested in your services and committed to a scheduled meeting or phone interview."
Yet some do just that. They offer 20 prospects a month at £800.00 plus VAT.
But here, you'll again run into the unwillingness of QUANTITATIVE specifications.
HOW do they acquire those prospects?
Many refuse to use YOUR script at all... some say they will but then don't... and some use it but you have no way of verifying whether or not they use it as INSTRUCTED... and so on.
Provided that you can get a deal that cements the QUANTITY of prospects acquired, the question in weighing the pros and cons of outsourcing telemarketing is mainly that of QUALITY.
What quality of prospect do they deliver?
Will those prospects be as good as the ones you obtained with your in-house telemarketing activity, performed by telemarketers to whom you have direct access so you can educate them on your services and the exact points on what they can (and cannot) promise target persons?
How long does it take before you NOTICE a change in the quality of prospects acquired through an outsourced telemarketing service?
Now, let's not kid ourselves about one point:
The quality of prospects from an outsourced telemarketing solution can rarely be at the level that in-house telemarketers can produce.
Like it or not, you're going to take a drop in the quality of prospect by outsourcing your telemarketing.
There's just no way a telemarketing agency could CARE as much as the client, or would have resources to put as much ATTENTION on every aspect of the telemarketing project.
They have lots of projects.
You have just the one.
Believe what you like but I know the above to be true. Got the T-shirt (and scars) to prove it too!
All right. All the points so far have been more or less moderate.
Granted, the quality may suffer a bit from outsourcing the telemarketing but it's equally obvious that one can save a lot of money and trouble by accepting a slight drop in quality of prospect.
That's IF it is slight, of course. For there is one possibility that outsourcing telemarketing can produce and if that occurs it will take you down faster than anything.
Outsourcing B2B telemarketing functions and the ugly.
The worst possible outcome from outsourcing your telemarketing is if the end results the prospective clients thus acquired turn out to be of significantly poorer quality than those you produced (or could have produced) with an in-house telemarketing activity.
It needn't be so much the level of interest of prospects acquired. It can also be that the APPROACH and METHOD used by the telemarketing agency for acquiring those prospects has been altered from what you asked.
Whatever the cause, the effect is always the same:
Your sales will work like mad with little or no results.
Now we enter a zone wherein the outsourced telemarketing not only produces anything but also draws energy (money) from your mainframe business activity.
Obviously not a good thing. Especially so if it goes unnoticed for a longer period of time...
It's rather pointless arguing the quality of prospects with your telemarketing agency. Such quality cannot be contractually obtained and exists only if THEY understand it and bear responsibility for delivering that quality in the main.
And that's the one ugly thing or, rather, a possibility about outsourcing your telemarketing.
Before outsourcing your telemarketing activity
My advice is to obtain knowledge before you make the final decision on outsourcing your telemarketing.
Acquire the Professional B2B-sector Telemarketing Guide to acquaint yourself with all the possibilities of telemarketing, whether outsourced or in-house. Write down a list of pertinent questions and ask them of each short-listed telemarketing agency.
Don't listen to the soothing tone of some telemarketer's voice on the phone. Don't believe their advertising claims. Ask questions and listen carefully what they say.
Are they put off by your questions? Do they sound like they're winging it? Or do they reply without pause or hesitation, giving you exactly the information you asked for?
Asking questions and listening for the reactions and replies carefully is the best way I know of to find a good telemarketing service provider.
And then just trust your own instincts.
Don't be "understanding" if you notice indicators to poor quality of prospect.
Don't allow yourself to be rushed into making a decision.
Sometimes it's best to embark upon a fact-finding mission about outsourcing of telemarketing if you're in doubt about the benefits of having in-house telemarketers...
... and sometimes the end result is that you stay with an in-house solution but now with full certainty of its superior benefits to your all-round business activity!
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