No one would argue with the notion that it's not easy making headway in telemarketing.
A jaded public perception and stricter industry regulations have made telemarketing one of the most difficult ways to market products and services.
But for some product and service categories, telemarketing continues to be the most cost-efficient way to achieve customer conversions. Are the margins tight? You bet. Telemarketing firms and in-house managers fight a never-ending battle to strike the right balance between reduced costs and higher conversion rates.
And that's where the problems really begin. Calculating the success or conversion rate for your own telemarketing operation is fairly simple. It's much more difficult to compare your operation's success rate against other firms since there are so many variables involved with telemarketing conversion. In fact, if you look closely at your in-house success rate, you'll probably discover that there's a lot more to the story than the numbers let on.
Still, it's important to find a way to gauge the success of your telemarketing efforts. Without benchmarks and metrics, you'll have a hard time identifying conversion goals and success rate targets. Here are a few things to consider . . .
Call analysis tools and methodologies are essential, but they don't necessarily require complicated high-end tracking systems. Any system that allows managers to quantify call outcomes is capable of generating information about call conversion rates, staff performance, and other indicators. It's not always about sophistication; sometimes a simple system is all that is needed to generate useful data.
For some telemarketers, a success rate of 1% is dismal; for others, a 1% conversion rate is exceptional. Why the discrepancy? Because every selling scenario is unique and there are simply too many variables to create uniform benchmarks across the entire industry.
Pricing, product quality, call lists, scripts, geographic focus and other factors all have a direct impact on conversion. So although sophistication is somewhat less important in data collection, telemarketing unit managers must take a more comprehensive attitude toward interpreting the data into an actionable response. Boosting call volumes are rarely ever the only solution to success rates that are falling below the company's ROI expectations.