How to Choose the Best Outbound Call Center

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An Outbound Call Center is an excellent cost saving alternative to an in-house sales development team. However, if your company has never outsourced lead generation, choosing the right provider will be difficult. There are nuances, which become apparent only over some time.

Many outbound call centers are present in the market today. However, only a few are a good fit for your company. You want to outsource your lead generation for a reason, namely to boost your sales,and you want to make the most of it. Picking the wrong business can become a big waste of time and money.

CIENCE has a vast experience in outbound prospecting. We’ve been building it from scratch and learned from multiple successful projects. We also collected feedback from our clients, which is why we know what the best practices are, and we have outlined the most important criteria of the best outbound call center.

Price of services

The primary reason for outsourcing will always remain the same – the reduction of costs. However, companies find it hard to compare the expenses of an in-house employee and paid services. First of all, it’s because they have troubles in setting the right criteria.

In reality, it’s not that difficult, if you estimate the costs, according to your goals. For outbound prospecting, it is (depending on your model):

  • To set an appointment
  • To pass a qualified opportunity to AE
  • Both.

How much money does your company spend to attain this goal? We suggest that you take this parameter to estimate the difference between in-house and outsource. As a result, you will find out if an outbound call center fits you or you should look for other opportunities in the market.

How will you calculate the cost of one opportunity passed or one set appointment? You simply divide the monthly expenses for your SDR by the number of achieved goals.

Let’s take a look at the statistics. According to the Bridge Group’s SDR research 2016, the average quota for the accepted qualified opportunities is 9. However, only 68% of SDRs manage to attain it, so you can expect that the achieved goal of one SDR will be 6.12 opportunities per month.

Meanwhile, the  average monthly expenses for a work of an SDR is about $10,043 as shown in a chart below:

It means that an average cost of one lead will be $1,640. You can make similar calculations for the services of an outbound call center. Simply, divide their monthly price by 6.12 opportunities passed.

Please keep in mind that the stats above can vary depending on your industry, your product, and your buyer persona. If you are looking for very specific companies, e.g., hotels of the West Coast that use a particular software, your lead pool will be small. As a result, you can’t expect to have many appointments.

Similarly, if your product is complex and its sales cycle is long, e.g., you develop software for hotels on the West Coast, you’ll be lucky to have three qualified opportunities per month.

The lead generation process of an outbound call center

Uncertainty, in the results, of the in-house team, comes second to cost savings. Companies understand that outbound lead generation is a reliable way to increase the number of closed deals. However, sales have changed dramatically over the decade and became more sophisticated.

It’s not enough to just take random people with minor sales experience by making them learn a script by heart, putting a headset on their head and handing a list of unsegmented companies over to them. Not only will it waste the time of your employees and their contacts, but it will also damage your reputation.

Furthermore, in less than 18 months, your sales reps will ask for a promotion or leave for good; consequently, your sales team will have to start all over again, wasting more precious time. If you are looking for an outbound call center, you do have to understand all of what goes into it. You need experienced professionals to succeed in lead generation.

As we mentioned before, statistics vary in every project. It depends on many parameters, and it’s hard to predict how many leads your company will gain from outbound prospecting. The above infographic shows average stats. Your company can achieve less or outperform other businesses.

However, it’s essential to stick to the cadence and repeatable actions. In particular, a professional outbound call center would contact your quality leads on a regular basis via several channels. It’s a well-organized semi-automated process, and it bears the appointments or qualified opportunities to your sales team.

Learn more about the efficient lead generation process, cadence and typical schedule of an SDR.

Reporting of the outbound call center

One of the reasons why a company opts for sales development outsourcing is its inability to keep track of the SDRs’ activities and measure their performance. The secret of successful reporting is in how the whole process is organized.

At CIENCE, each SDR fills in the Mastersheet several times during the day. In such way, we guarantee that no lead, and no event goes beyond our watch. Daily tracking consists of a weekly and monthly digest. Eventually, they form one final document for a certain project. Like small springs, they gather into rivers, and then come to a big pool.

We make sure that each report is brief, but at the same time comprehensive. We cherish the time of our clients, especially since we know that companies outsource prospecting to free their sales teams for more important tasks.

That’s why when you choose the right outbound call center, ask about the reporting. Inquire which statistics they provide and how often. Some of the important stats include bounce rate, auto-replies, open rate, response rate, conversion rate, daily/weekly/monthly number of sent emails and number of dials and conversations.

Email services of the outbound call center

Lead generation is more effective when you combine phone calling with email send-outs. A letter can “prepare” your potential clients by providing initial information and pressing on their pain points. Furthermore, an email can be the beginning of a conversation with your prospect.

Today’s emails are a powerful means to deliver your ideas to a lead. They must be short and targeted. You need a good copywriter to create a message that actually works. Inquire to the outbound call center, if they have their own person to write letters. You can also ask them to send you a sample of an email they send out to their own leads.

There’s one more nuance here. No matter how good a copywriter is, the supervision is required. If the open or response rate to your email waves is below expected, then something is wrong with the message, and it needs changes. If an outbound call center doesn’t do the reporting, it won’t simply discover this problem.

Research services of the outbound call center

To guarantee the quality of the leads, you need a targeted research of prospects. Email send-outs and phone calls are costly in terms of time and money you spend. You won’t want to waste them on companies that don’t fit your buyer persona, or people whom don’t work at required firms anymore.

Professional outbound call centers have their own research teams. Thereby, they guarantee that their SDRs attain quotas and don’t put forth their efforts in vain. Don’t hesitate to ask where a potential sales development provider obtains their lists of contacts. If they tell you that they use the contacts of previous clients, think twice before working with them. In this case, your contact list might also be handed to another firm.

Explore the Day in Life of a Researcher.

The flexibility of the outbound call center services

We believe that every business is unique in a way. This is why flexibility is the best option you can provide to your clients. We’ve worked with 350 firms and every campaign was different, and we like to adapt to a variety of challenges. They taught us a lot and made us better in service delivery.

People in the outbound call center

Lead generation is a human-to-human work. Personal relations are critical. You’ll need very good people whom can cope with stress and constant rejection while remaining positive. To do that, they need the support of teammates. The more SDRs there are, the better off everyone is in reaching their goals. They can find friends, mentors at work as well as share their emotions and experiences.

Ask to talk to your SDR before concluding an agreement with an outbound call center. Do you feel comfortable with this person? Do you like his or her voice? You should also ask about their experience with other projects. Inquire how they find an approach to the people they don’t know.

Client reviews and success stories of outbound call center

The last, but not the least, is to hear the feedback from the customers. Read the reviews. Call to them to ask about their experience with the outsourcing provider.  Ask about the problems they have experienced.

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Finding a good outbound call center can be difficult. However, now that you know the nuances of this type of services, it will be much easier.

Anastasia Voitehina
Content Writer

Anastasia Voitehina is a Content Writer at CIENCE Technologies. She creates passionate articles, witty infographics and smart charts dedicated to B2B Lead Generation. Anastasia also records the company's history and writes inspirational stories about her colleagues.

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How to Choose the Best Outbound Call Center