How To Run a Successful Outbound Calling Campaign

The telephone is one of the most effective media for marketing. 

Salespeople consistently report achieving better results when they can speak to a lead directly. 

This is backed up by the numbers at most organizations. However, many organizations find that their outbound calling efforts are not sufficiently effective, and their inbound calls are not frequent enough.

Fortunately, you can make some changes to improve your outbound calling campaigns. With the right strategy, you can empower your sales team to take more initiative and increase your sales.

Calls Are Best Served Hot

First and foremost, it is important to understand that even if you are running an outbound campaign, the leads should be hot and qualified, not cold. While cold calling may have its place in some organizations’ marketing mixes, it simply isn’t that effective. In many cases, it is a waste of time and resources.

Your lead generation techniques should focus on generating qualified leads. Furthermore, your sales team should be following up on those leads promptly. Time is the enemy of sales.

In a sense, your outbound campaign should be an extension of your inbound marketing efforts. Draw leads in and qualify them, then your sales team can reach out. Don’t think of them as separate channels!

When To Call Cool (But Not Cold) Leads

You may have some leads that have cooled off but were qualified and interested at some previous point. For example, you may have someone who previously bought from you but hasn’t recently. This is an especially significant pool for subscription services. People who have canceled a subscription may be good targets for your outbound campaign.

Additionally, if someone requested information previously and was unreachable or decided that it wasn’t the right time, that can serve as a cool lead. Whenever your flow of new, hot leads slows down, you can draw from this pool of cool leads to try and reignite them. This can help keep your sales team busy, and converting.

A Well-Prepared Team Makes All the Difference

If you have an experienced sales team, you are in good shape. However, it isn’t always possible to be entirely staffed with veterans. Creating a strong training program to prepare your people to sell effectively on the phone is a good idea.

Even if you are bringing in people with experience, they may not be familiar with the common objections raised for your products or services. Preparing them to respond to these key objections is an excellent way to improve the efficiency of your outbound calls. They will convert more sales when they are able to anticipate concerns that leads may raise.

It’s All About Measurement

Ultimately, the right strategy for your business will be different from your competitors. The most important technique for optimizing your campaigns is to measure them.

If you have strong measurement techniques, you can make well-informed decisions. Chances are that you are implementing measurement in your other marketing channels. You are likely already tracking your phone sales as well. Try to find additional metrics to track and establish your key performance indicators.

With these in hand, you will be able to run A/B tests and other techniques to optimize your campaign. You can adjust everything from call scripts to lead qualification questions. You’ll gradually be able to hone in on the details that work best for your brand.

Techniques for Measuring Success

Many teams struggle with identifying good data points for their outbound call campaign. It may seem like either a lead converts or they don’t. However, there are some finer points that can be measured. These are the three main categories of performance analytics for calls:

  • Contact List: When you generate leads for your sales team to call, you want those leads to be high-quality. They should be qualified and hot. If you are calling the wrong people or have inaccurate details, you are going to struggle. So, the first point to measure is how accurately you are qualifying leads and capturing their information.
  • Dialing Effectiveness: The second aspect to measure is whether you are getting through to the right people at the right time. Some calls may reach your leads at times when they aren’t receptive. If you are getting a lot of requests to call back later, that is an indication that your timing isn’t right. You also want to make sure your phone system isn’t getting in the way of calls.
  • Conversion Data: Finally, when you have someone on the phone and conversing, you need to measure how effective your team is at converting them. If they are getting through to interested leads and not converting, you have a problem you need to resolve.

The simple way to measure these categories is to tag your reasons for call failure. A successful call was a success on all fronts (although you can get bonus points for identifying issues that were overcome!). However, a failed call didn’t work out for a reason. Keep track of those reasons and you can determine where in the sales funnel your leads are dropping off.

Always Be Ready on Inbound Calls

One of the best ways to ensure that your outbound campaign always has qualified leads is to always be ready for inbound calls. If you are letting callers go to voicemail or ring for too long, you are missing out on qualified and interested leads.

Plan your phone processes so that callers can always speak to a real person. This first interaction can be as simple as qualifying the lead and getting callback information for the sales team. However, just letting the call go is a huge missed opportunity.

Of course, not every organization has the in-house resources to provide 24/7 responses. Fortunately, you can turn to an outside solution to help.

Empower Your Phone Marketing With HelloSells

HelloSells is a 24/7 lead qualification service. 

We provide valuable services and features including 24/7 lead response, appointment scheduling, form response and click-to-call. Explore our solutions to see if we can help your business improve its inbound and outbound phone marketing processes. 

Call us at 800-550-4955 to speak with a representative and learn more about how we can empower your business.

How Slow Response Times Destroy Your Marketing Budget

Have you ever received an auto response from a company you emailed or contacted online? If so, it probably stated that you would hear back from the company within 24 hours. While 24 hours is the common standard for responding to customers, it’s simply too slow for today’s fast-paced world.

In fact, slow responses could be one of the main reasons you aren’t hitting your growth targets or reaching your sales goals. Here’s how slow response times can waste your marketing budget and why faster responses to your leads are so important.

What’s Considered a Slow Response Time

If you’re looking for ways to speed up your response times, you first need to know what’s considered “slow”. Research shows that the average response time is 38 hours, which is way too long. By that time, your customers will think you’ve forgotten about them. Even 24 hours is too long. That may have been the standard years ago, but it is no longer acceptable. Conventional wisdom is that a response to emails and web forms within 12 hours is acceptable. If you can respond within just a few hours, that is even better.

When a customer or potential customer reaches out to you, he or she wants answers NOW, not in 24 hours. If you wait 24 hours simply because you think it’s OK to do so, you could lose your lead. You’ve got to hustle to keep leads happy and interested.

Why Response Times Matter

If you’re wondering why it matters if you respond to an email in two hours or 20 hours, you’re underestimating how valuable a fast response is to your customers. According to one survey, customers rated fast response times as the most important aspect of their experience with a company. Therefore, if your response times are slow, you are failing to meet customer expectations. That’s a surefire way to lose business.

Unfortunately, only 12% of surveyed customer service managers reported that they were focused on sending quick responses to customers. If you are not one of these rare few, you need to re-evaluate the importance you place on responding quickly. Make sure all of your customer service representatives know how important it is to respond quickly to all leads.

What Potential Consequences Can Come From Slow Response Times

The modern consumer is impatient, and it’s easy to see why. Gratification is instant these days, and if people have to wait too long for a response, they’ll probably move on out of frustration. Here are some of the potential consequences you could face if your response times are too slow.

  • Non-converting leads: If a lead contacts you and you don’t respond in a timely manner, that lead will probably never convert into a paying customer. If you’re struggling to convert leads and you don’t know why, you may want to take a second look at your response time. Shorten it, if possible, and see if you are able to convert more leads as a result.
  • Damaged reputation: Did you know customers are more likely to complain about bad experiences than they are to talk about their good experiences? As a business owner, that means you need to work extra hard to make sure every customer has a positive experience working with you. One of the first steps you can take to maintain your good reputation is to respond to customers quickly. If you take too long to respond and the customer feels ignored, he or she is more likely to complain about you to others and damage your reputation.
  • Loss of loyalty: Take a moment to think about companies you’re loyal to. What have they done to earn your loyalty? While the list may be long, it most likely includes fast response times. When companies respond to you quickly, it means they value you. On the flip side, if a company takes a long time to respond to you, it is sending the message that it doesn’t truly value your business. Be the type of company that values others and earns their loyalty.
  • Loss of revenue: Every business wants and needs to earn revenue. In order to do that, you need to make enough sales. If you’re not converting leads and keeping current customers happy by responding to their questions and needs quickly, they’ll probably take their business elsewhere. When that happens, you lose out on revenue.

In addition to all these negative consequences, you’re also losing the effectiveness of your marketing dollars when you don’t provide good customer service response times. If your response time is slow, it could also result in an overflow of leads. Since all leads aren’t created equal, it can be difficult to separate the qualified leads from the rest if there are too many waiting for a response from you at the same time.

How To Improve Your Response Time

Now that you know how important it is to respond to emails and webforms quickly, you may be wondering how to do it. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Use email autoresponders
  • Use templates to save time on responses
  • Hire a lead response team

Email autoresponders can assure your customers that you’ve received their query and are preparing to respond to it. Ideally autoresponders should be sent out within a couple of minutes of the email or web-form submission.

If you receive the same types of questions on a regular basis, you could save a lot of time by preparing templates. Supply your team with templates that answer the most common customer questions. This will make their jobs easier and help them respond very quickly to customers. Keep in mind that not all questions or concerns can or should be answered with an email template. When deciding whether to respond with a template or a customized response, use your best judgment.

If you don’t have a large enough customer service team to keep up with emails and web-forms, consider outsourcing this part of your business. You can hire a lead response team to take care of these matters for you.

Start Responding to Interactions Instantly

Are you tired of losing business because you can’t respond to customers in time? Hello Sells can help you solve the problem. Contact us to learn how we can help you turn leads into customers.