Telemarketing – Build the Infrastructure First!

Why is the Telemarketing Infrastructure So Important?

I have written a few blogs on the topic of the lead qualification process, however, I continue to find prospects without a clue as to the meaning of a lead qualification process or how to start begin the process.

Here are a few “Best Practice” tips that I share with all of our clients.  Numbers matter and to ensure that your company’s telemarketing is a success, the infrastructure needs to be in place to track the call activity and the progress of each lead.  Without this information, you won’t have the data to track the success of the Telemarketing team.  A successful Telemarketing organization is focused on generating qualified leads that build the sales funnel.  Without a pre-defined process, your team may not be successful.

Best Practices

Start by Mapping Your Lead Process into your CRM Your lead qualification process includes the questions that will help sales to move the sales process forward.  Most companies understand the basic qualifiers, such as:

  • Need– Prospect has a need for your solution or service
  • Authority– You uncover the person or people who can make a purchase decision
  • Budget– Prospect has assigned a budget for the solution or can set aside funds for
    the right solution or service
  • Timeframe– The prospect can make a purchase decision within a reasonable timeframe, for example, in under 6 months

These are generic qualifiers and from my perspective don’t really add value to the quality of the lead.  A lead that is highly qualified will have additional qualifiers that support your business.  These are the questions that provide intelligence that helps marketing build better campaigns and give sales a great overview of the prospect so that they are better prepared for their first prospect call.

Build a list of qualifying questions that are specific to your business and map these intoyour CRM.  Ensure that your Telemarketing team understands the value of this information and make sure that they ask these important questions.

Implement a Lead Approval Workflow

All leads aren’t created equal.  Some leads will need further development or may need to go into a nurture program.  Therefore, it is important to have a process where every lead can be reviewed and assessed before they become sales opportunities.

Build a lead approval workflow that enables your Telemarketing Manager to review the leads and pass on to Sales for final approval.   In addition, the approval process should give Sales an opportunity to validate the lead and approve or reject the lead, before it moves to the sales funnel.

Create a field that captures the “rejection” reasons, so that your Telemarketing team can understand why their leads are being rejected.  You can use this information to train your team and help them to improve their qualification skills.

Create Dashboards to Manage by the Metrics

Build dashboards to monitor the Key Performance Indicators  or Metrics that are important to your business.  These dashboards should include call activity and other sales related activity levels, campaign results and pipeline growth.  Dashboards will enable you to keep a pulse on your business.

Build the Infrastructure

Implementing these basic “best practices” will save your company a lot of grief.  You will capture intelligence that can help your marketing department improve its campaigns.  Sales will love your Telemarketers, because they will receive excellent leads from the team.  The review and approval process will ensure the quality of each lead passed to sales.

 

 

How to Make Sales Love Telemarketing!

The question that Whitney Houston asked in her hit song “How Will I Know” is often asked by Telemarketing Managers. Of course they ask, “How will I know if Sales really loves us?” Here are a few best practices that will make your Telemarketing team loveable, for years to come.

First, make sure that you have a well-defined lead qualification process. Get buy-in from all stakeholders including Marketing, Sales and Product Marketing. Once you have determined the lead qualification process, map this process into your sales automation application. Ensure that the mapping includes workflows that enable approval for leads before they get turned over, officially, to sales. (Check out the SOMAmetrics blog “CRM: Is Your Lead Process Mapped”, to get more details).

Now that you have the infrastructure in place to manage the flow and qualification of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) to Sales Qualified Leads, you are ready for the next step. Here’s the secret sauce that will get your Telemarketing team rave reviews. Your leads need to contribute 3X or more to the sales funnel and contribute a minimum of 50% of the revenue.

Below are the best practices that I have implemented to support these outcomes:
-Pay a bonus for every SQL that is approved by Sales. The bonus amount should be commensurate with the complexity of the solution and the Key contact required for a qualified lead. For example, if your solution is a high priced IT Infrastructure Solution and VP’s and C-Level contacts are required to consider the SQL as “qualified” you may need to pay a handsome bonus to keep your Telemarketers motivated.

-Assign an SQL-to-Sales Funnel Quota for each Telemarketing Rep. For example, if your Telemarketers are supporting 2 Sales Reps (a ratio of not more than 1 Telemarketer to 2 Sales Reps, is highly recommended) and each Sales Rep has a quota of $1M, the Telemarketing Reps Sales Funnel Quota is $6M. Pay a bonus for pre-determined increments of this quota.

-Make sure that Fifty percent (50%) or more, of closed deals, come from SQLs that were generated by Telemarketing. Therefore, using the example above, the Telemarketer should have an SQL-to-Revenue Quota of $1M. The SQL-to-Revenue bonus should be the largest component of the Telemarketing Reps variable compensation.

Telemarketing Managers should be compensated in a similar fashion. If everyone on the team is accountable for highly qualified leads, the Sales Funnel and Revenue, your Telemarketing team will be in complete alignment with the Sales team. Sales will really love you if Telemarketing focuses on what they focus on: sales funnel growth and revenue.