There is always a certain concern around outbound calling than inbound calling. It is easier to prepare for support calls than for sales. People often confuse cold calling with outbound calling process. These terms are used interchangeably but they are not the same.
Difference between Cold Calling and Outbound Calling
Cold calling is where you call through a provided list of prospects, hoping that a couple of them will respond positively. Whereas in outbound calling, there is more depth. You have to do your prospect research, focus on your pitch, drive value through your conversation and eventually succeed in having a new customer.
I am sure most of us deal with our fair share of sales calls every day. We mostly respond with a blatant no to all of these calls, whereas we do offer the benefit of doubt to some of them. Those certain calls are conducted after thorough research and understanding, and therefore we allow them our time.
Reflecting the same strategy on your contact center outbound process, will also generate improved results. The fault with cold calling is to focus on the volume of calling, whereas outbound calling is more focused on the quality of the leads.
Shortcomings of Cold Calling:
As cold calling in contact center is more volume-focused, it has certain drawbacks which restrict it from being as impactful as outbound calling. Some of these shortcomings are:
- To compensate for high-volume calls, the quality of leads or prospect drops.
- Lack of definite research in the process leads to connecting with uninterested prospects.
- Impersonal and scripted conversations leading to repelled prospects.
- Most calls go to voicemail wasting essential time.
- Unverified calls from contact centres are most likely to be unanswered as customers might consider them spam.
With such drawbacks, the success rate of traditional cold calling is dropping. Changing the way, we approach cold calling can elevate us to a more productive outbound calling process.
How to improve outbound call productivity in your contact center?
Improving your outbound call productivity will require a smart interplay of technique and equipment. Reducing agent labour with automatic dialers while training them to do necessary research will lead to an efficient outcome. Let’s discuss these in details:
Quality of Leads:
One of the primary issues with your sales process is calling irrelevant leads. Just because you are selling a credit card, doesn’t mean you should call every earning person. Shrink down the list of contacts you dial based on certain parameters. It is better to not focus on volume and more on the quality of these leads.
If you are generating these leads through your social media campaigns or email campaigns, then you will have analytical information on them. However, if you are generating leads from a third-party campaign, then ensure that it is thoroughly segmented and meets your target customer profile. An opt-in lead is always a good lead for outbound calling process.
Generating good leads should be a primary concern when focusing on the outbound campaigns. This can save you ample resources with better ROI.
Replacing Manual Dialing With Automatic Dialers:
Agents in contact center often lose motivation and productivity when manually dialing and receiving either rejections or voicemails. It is a tedious process and reduces your agent’s effort on calls that can lead to a successful acquisition. Investing in an automatic dialer is a wiser choice as it can dial automatically all your contacts and then routes the agent in when a customer responds.
The benefits of automatic dialers are:
– It detects dead leads and doesn’t bother the agent with it.
– Reduces agent fatigue while boosting productivity on important calls.
– Reduces agent idle time and ensures more conversion.
– Real-time monitoring is also possible to assist your agents during sales calls.
These factors will create a definite foundation for your outbound campaign to run successfully. Automatic dialers ensure a higher call-connect ratio which in return leads to more conversions. Let me share a success recipe – when you upload the lead on the dialer it will be important to update some custom fields like Interested in product type, demography, company size etc whatever is relevant for the sales agent so that they can refer to it once the call gets connected and make a more personalized sales pitch.
Call Whispering To Assist Agents On Call:
In a contact center, at least some agents get cold feet every day. They might be really good at their task but some situations do get tricky. Getting out of those situations isn’t always easy even for experienced agents. Imagine if you could tell your agents what to do, during these calls and find a way to secure the sale. With call whispering, you can assist your agents and advise them during calls. These whispers are not audible to the prospect on call. This exciting feature has the potential for turning the tables. Agents can really benefit from this, especially if they are inexperienced. Call whispering improves your conversation quality, increasing your outbound call productivity.
Business Call Verification:
How often do you pick up unknown calls? Not too often, right? The same goes for your customers. Everybody assumes unknown numbers to be spam callers and ignores them. When a call goes unanswered, you lose a potential lead.
Getting your business number verified by Truecaller can eradicate this issue. Once your number is verified, a Truecaller verification badge will appear next to the number. A green badge will assure your clients that it isn’t a spam call but from a trusted vendor. This badge will also contain your brand’s name and logo. With such official identification, the prospect doesn’t shy away from picking up the call.
Truecaller’s badge educates the customer on the identity of the caller and the call’s purpose. This increases the call pick-up rate by 51.9%, generating more conversions through your outbound calling campaigns.
Research On Your Leads Before Connecting With Them:
It is important to find out if you can add any value to your prospect. If you don’t then you are just wasting time on a wrong lead. If you are following up with prospects who interacted with your content or went through your website, then understand their interaction journey. Or you can always look them up on LinkedIn and compare it to your ideal customer profile.
Knowing your customer beforehand allows you to go beyond the script and add more value to the conversation. A dynamic conversation can potentially lead to more conversions than dull ones.
It seems the primary issue with sales calls is that they are always like sales call. Once you do your research and call the customer in the right time, your conversion chance increases. With call verification, you immediately build trust with the prospect and maintain transparency. All of these, paired with right technology has a great potential of improving your brand’s outbound call productivity.