by A.J. Windle, Director of Operations
Outbound Marketing is a performance driven channel and everyone is working to pull the right levers to maximize results. Think of it like a NASCAR race, just like there are hundreds of cars vying for the winning position there are hundreds of Outsourced Telemarketing firms looking to produce the highest results. So if everyone has a car with an engine and every Outsourced Telemarketing firm can make outbound phone calls then what separates the competition? It’s management, technology, dialing strategies and the levers each team pulls to maximize results. Quality Contact Solutions is a highly specialized Outbound Marketing firm that has a tremendous amount of management experience and knows exactly what levers to pull to increase results on each client program. Let’s take a look at some dialing strategies that will help your organization rev up your outbound marketing engine.
Predictive vs Preview vs Manual
Think of these three dialing options as engines in a vehicle. Manual dialing can be compared to a standard 4 –cylindar engine. Typically you will find these type of motors in an economy vehicle that doesn’t need much power and they are designed for extremely great gas mileage. They won’t get you from 0 to 60 very fast however if you’re a commuter then this might be exactly what you are looking for. Manual dialing is the same way. The efficiency of dialing manually is much lower than preview or predictive dialing however it certainly has a place in the outbound marketing industry. If you are running an outsourced telemarketing campaign and wireless numbers make up a good chunk of your records then it’s not about how fast you get there but that you are effectively able to reach all of your customer base to improve results. Plus remember that dialing wireless or VoIP phone numbers requires manual dialing to ensure compliance with the TCPA. Click here to refresh on what the TCPA rules are.
Next up is the V-6 of the outbound marketing dialing strategy or as most of us know it “Preview” mode. Preview dialing is a more aggressive method that allows you to reach your customers faster than a manual option while still giving you the passing power you need to get in front of that Ford “Prius” and beat the yellow light. Preview dialing is highly effective on outsourced telemarketing campaigns that require account review before calling. This method of dialing allows you to set parameters and “Preview” accounts before the record is called by the dialer. Be careful with this as you don’t want your staff sitting for too long when it is not necessary. Gauge the necessary preview time to maximize your dials and results. Most outbound dialing systems allow you to set a maximum preview time and then force the dial after the maximum preview time has expired on a call by call basis. This allows you to pace the calls and maximize productivity.
Lastly let’s talk the Hemi V-8 of dialing or better known as Predictive. If you have the staff, and the records necessary to properly run this dialing strategy then strap in, put the pedal down and be ready to smoke the doors off the competition. This outbound dialing method uses predictive algorithms to predict when an outbound call agent is going to be available. Predictive dialing will significantly increase dials per hour, resulting in higher contacts per hour which in turn will increase the sales per hour that you derive from your outbound marketing.
The key is to know when to use each method. Not every situation requires a car that will go 500 miles on a tank of gas, nor does every situation require a sports car that will do 0 to 60 in 2.1 seconds. It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish and the situation that you are in. Know what your campaign objectives are and you will be able to utilize the correct Outbound Marketing dialing strategy.
Max attempts are the number of attempts you are willing to make on a record before you give up on calling it. I’m usually an advocate of not giving up however there are times when we all must throw in the towel for the better. Take for instance, Greg Sacks, a previous NASCAR driver who had one of the worst records of all time. Sacks raced a total of 263 times in his career so he no doubt had a passion for persistence. The problem is that out of those 263 races he only won one time. The point here is that you need to set a good max attempt so you don’t continue to call on an account that is nearly impossible to reach, wasting valuable telemarketing hours in the process. I have heard a lot on what this magic number should be on outbound marketing campaigns and they range anywhere from 3 attempts to 12+. One of the hardest things to do on most programs is get a hold of the decision maker and that’s why this decision is difficult. People don’t want to give up too early. My recommendation has always been to start your max attempts on 6 or 8. Watch this for a while, look at your average number of attempts to contact and then adjust as necessary.
Attempt dialing priorities
Now that you have set an outbound dialing maximum attempt rule on your records it’s important to strategize on how you will call through your list. In my professional opinion I would recommend setting your system to call these records in order of least attempts to most attempts on the record. The only exception to this rules is that specific time-bound callbacks take priority over the previous rule. The major gain here is that you will call your most important records (callbacks) when you promised and that you will not end up with a large pool of records that haven’t been dialed because you spent too much time on higher attempt records. This outbound marketing dialing parameter is one that has worked wonders for me over the years.
Time of Day
Driving a race car in the snow and ice is sure to end in disaster. Knowing when to dial in an outbound marketing program whether that be time of day or day of the week is just as important so your results don’t end up in the ditch. I know this seems like a no brainer, however, it can really make a difference. Take for instance, a business to business outbound marketing campaign. Many organizations choose to dial these programs Monday through Friday from 8 to 5 Local time. While that would seem to make the most sense; I have seen in a lot of circumstances where it is better to increase your hours on Monday through Thursday in order to run a short shift on Friday. Friday afternoons in my experience are typically the worst days to reach contacts and even if you do get someone on the phone they are so focused on their weekend that they have no attention for your outbound marketing call. For those number crunchers out there, pull a report that shows your contacts by hour by day. Use several months of data on this if you can and use that data to select the most appropriate times for your outsourced telemarketing team to be calling.
Outbound marketing requires shifting gears quickly and your reward for doing so will be results that propel your program to all new speeds. If you’re looking to bring in the checkered flag we would love to help. Give us a call at 1-866-963-2889 and press 1 for sales. Or email me at [email protected]
A.J. Windle is the Director of Operations of Quality Contact Solutions. A.J. is responsible for ensuring every client program is successful on a daily basis, including achieving the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that matter most. With a deep call center operations background, A.J. is a hands-on leader and has built his career on creating win-win-win relationships for his team, his clients and the owner-operated call centers he is responsible for. A.J. loves to keep score and he is proud of his team’s scoreboard. A.J. knows that great leaders find a way to make sure their team wins. A.J can be reached at [email protected] or 516-656-5106.