Successful outbound telemarketing campaigns start with creative planning and budgeting.  While new sales and marketing channels blossom in social media, the telemarketing channels remain one of the fastest and most lucrative methods to directly engage and acquire new customers.

So what are those initial questions to help develop a successful telemarketing channel and is telemarketing the right channel for me?

  1. What is the offer and is it right for telemarketing channel? Ask experts… can it be done?  Too often campaigns are created that may not work in this channel and are better suited for other channels such as direct mail, social ads, DRTV and more.
  2. How committed are you going to be to developing this channel? Are you looking to just test or are you serious in developing the budget to invest in the scope and dynamics to launch a robust telemarketing sales channel?
  3. So who will you target? Is this new customer acquisition?  Lead generation? Upselling?
  4. Now you have a budget, what are the targeted acquisition costs and the surrounding metrics needed to hit that CPA (cost per acquisition)?
  5. Does the scripting provide the most intriguing value proposition? You have a limited window of opportunity over a phone call (less than 20 seconds) to create interest.
  6. Do I have the right data? Is it scored or profiled to promote the best CPA?
  7. Insource or outsource? Can it be handled well internally or turn-keyed externally? Outsourcing has its plusses and deltas. Understand what’s involved and make a timely decision.
  8. Have you socialized the scripting with experienced telemarketing professionals?  Scripting is an art form and while there are no magically scripts, a bad script can result in a failed telemarketing channel.
  9. Are you prepared to fulfill and maintain a number of federal and state requirements in order to conduct outbound calls including associated do not call policies and practices requirements? Seek professional legal counsel and talk to experts to ensure compliancy.  Even while conducting some limited telemarketing tests, making outbound calls out of compliance may result in fines or even jail if you contact someone inappropriately.
  10. Are you collecting and validating the best marketing data to help understand your customer? What are customers saying during the call?  How can I use this valuable “voice of the customer” data to enhance my marketing and product or service?
  11. Is the staff skilled for the job at hand? While you can make thousands of calls there is no substitute for proper training and testing. Ill-prepared telemarketers and an appointment setting campaign can quickly fail if the telemarketing agent lacks knowledge and skills.

Finally there is no substitute for testing and validation.  Tweak your campaigns and test different offers and markets. Try different data models and collect the reporting and metrics to see how various programs run to validate your success.

By having these questions answered it will help you develop the right telemarketing channel to achieve better results and boost your sales goals.