Tips for Evaluating Telemarketing Firms

Any marketing and sales program you implement for your business should be under the same objectives and strategy of your business model. When you implement a telemarketing program, it is important to not only find the firm with the price structure that fits within your marketing plan budget, but to pick a vendor that will portray a positive image for your company.

Policies and culture

The agents, phone staff, and outbound call center carry your reputation so it is extremely essential to understand the company’s pay structure and hiring requirements. Typically if TSRs are paid higher by the telemarketing firm and are commissioned-based, they will perform better for your business and campaign versus if they just log the number of hours called.   

Companies with solid reputations also understand how important it is to appeal to your potential customers as well as what tools are needed to succeed in today’s telemarketing world.

Last, consider what security measures are in place at the company so that your confidential materials and valuable customer data is protected.

Pricing models

Gather costs from three to five telemarketing companies that are similar in size, resources and services. When you compare the costs make sure it includes the number of dedicated reps or per-minute rates and monthly minimums. Training and set up costs can be incremental so if you require international services, make sure to request with quotes.

TSRs (Telephone Sales Representatives)

Ask the TSRs to do a mock trial with you and your team. This will determine what approach the firm typically takes and if it is aligned with your company and creates synergy with your services. Pay attention to how the agent presents the product or service they are selling, if enthusiasm and passion is projected in their voice and how they are able to improvise if needed.

Some outbound call companies actually allow the ability to dial in and listen to TSRs without any notification so you can keep control of the sales process and provide real-time feedback. Be sure to ask the telemarketing service if they provide this service when evaluating.

Ask how many TSRs are in the company and the typical turnaround for employees. If the TSRs are long standing employees (more than a year with the company), it is a positive sign.

Also ask how many companies your dedicated TSRs handle. If the TSRs are spread across several different accounts instead of just a few at one time, it could be harder to train.

Specific and incremental services

You want to consider the telemarketing firm a “partner” with your business and evaluate what additional capabilities they offer. Some appointment scheduling firms offer additional services such as expert reporting and recommendations, and script development which can be important if your company does not have the resources to train and create forms for the telemarketing company or evaluate the information at the end.

Evaluating results of the telemarketing campaign is key to determining efficiency. You will want to make sure the telemarketing firm offers adequate reporting. Typical reports should include total sales and revenue, sales and revenue per list and per rep, number of calls and duration and revenue produced from campaign. 

Non-disclosure agreements

Ask each outbound telemarketing firm what the guidelines and rules are for non-disclosure clauses in each contract, especially if your product or service is highly competitive. The last thing you want is for the telemarketing firm to sell or share your database and business information with your competitors.

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