8 Things to Consider if You’re Running a Telemarketing Tender

October 29, 2018
event, MARKET DOJO, TENDER, Best Practice, Telemarketing
Blogs, Best Practice

Carrying out telemarketing internally has many challenges in terms of management, systems, and the general tempo compared to the rest of the office. Many people who enter this role see it as a stepping stone into a different area of marketing or sales.  To move this forward internally we would suggest either to embrace the challenges and create a team. The telemarketers will feed off one another and with proper management will get the most from the data. And use this pool as a resource for your next salesperson.  

The alternative is to employ more senior people who do this for a job and are happy to.  These people tend to be ‘long in the tooth’ and are comfortable to sit there and just work through calls.  Perhaps more expensive although given time an invaluable resource.

However, maybe you want to outsource this activity.  Perhaps you don’t have the reserves to invest in the medium term ROI from bringing this in-house.  Or perhaps you want to test the water and have an expensive resource that can be turned off if it doesn’t work.   This is always a tricky area to outsource as you ideally want a provider to be an extension of your persona. However, they need to dovetail into your environment over many different areas from the processes, systems and data through to marketing and the day to day company updates.

Here are some criteria to look at when running a tender for outsourced telemarketing services:

Company

As well as obtaining the basic company information around their address and account details, you want to look at other areas which will help you judge their experience and potential risks.  

Look at how long the provider has been in business, turnover, the number of employees, retention and also how their customer base is segmented.  Make sure you think about what type of organisation would best fit your current and future needs.

Data

Data is a tricky area to manage especially given new data guidelines. Either you will supply the data in which case you will need to understand how they will handle it. Will they check for CTPS and what assurances do they need against areas such as GDPR.  Also what format is needed. Or you can throw this conundrum over to them to buy the data and take this activity from your hands. If you do this we would suggest some basic market benchmarking to ensure you will get value for money. Also if you let them take this on, you do alleviate a headache in terms of handling all the other issues that come from buying data such as data wastage and redundancy.

Systems

Ascertain what systems they use.  Is it a spreadsheet, customised CRM or bespoke system.  How do the systems handle incorrect data such as when the current contact is not correct but leads to other contacts and how will this manifests itself in data returns. This will help put together an understanding of how they work, and an idea about what data will be captured.

Reporting

During the campaign, you will want to be kept up to date on the progress.  What we would suggest is that you look at daily, weekly and monthly reporting.  

On a day to day basis you want to be informed of any ‘appointments’ or ‘successes’.  On a weekly basis, you should be updated on the current situation with regards to redundant data, untouched data, in progress data, refusals {soft and hard} and success.  On a monthly basis ideally, you would like an excel data return which you can then examine, use and potentially update your systems with. You will need to understand what format the data can be returned.

KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators)

This really comes down to risk in the contract. What is the other party willing to share in terms of risk.  If you are just paying for calling with no KPI’s then you will ultimately be carrying all the risk. A fair set of KPIs should be examined.  What happens if they over succeed, most likely a small bonus increase in fees (~10%) otherwise what you may find is that they ramp down until the next month.  If they underperform perhaps a margin where it highlights the need to a ‘crisis meeting’. If they largely underperform, will they put the time in to recover? How the agency tackles this will really show you their desire for the business and the willingness to form a real partnership.

Setting KPI’s can be challenging if you have never done this before. Understanding what the short, medium and longterm expected ROI’s can be will help. Find out their typical success rates for various campaigns to help base them on. Obviously, you will look at the high-level successes but what other KPI’s can you use. The number of dials a day isn’t such a useful metric but the number of DMC’s (Decision Making Contacts) that are spoken to does help a lot.  How easily can these stats be reported on?

Process

Many parts of the process should be examined as part of the tender.  This will form the main interaction between yourselves and will ultimately lead to a happy relationship.  Some of the areas to look at;

  • How will you be onboarding
  • How will the training be carried out and will there be redundancy in the callers
  • How are sick days and holiday handled
  • The process for passing over leads
  • Are their voice recordings, how are they accessed and is there a QA team
  • How is the number displayed and how are callbacks handled
  • Is there a full-time account manager and will issues be tracked
  • What will be the process for communicating questions from calls
  • Will they use your email domain or their own

Costs

The cost is obviously important although try not to focus solely on this.  A Win-Win is the desired outcome here and much can be mitigated through KPI’s.  To make this work well you will need to understand what success looks like and the potential ROI to know if the pricing works for you.  You will need to understand your internal costs as well to truly model the situation accurately.

Ideally paying for the caller by the month is the simplest calculation with payment at the month end.  However, there may be a setup fee and other charging options such as per hour or per contact. Also, will there be a need to be break clauses?

Remember this is a sales exercise for yourselves as well.  Don’t forget to sell the potential for the future if the campaign is successful.  Highlight where you are going and the aims of the business.

Also, ask if they have additional services that might complement their offerings such as email campaigns or digital marketing. Potentially they may even help transition this activity in-house in the future.

Meet

You would definitely want to meet any provider.  Ideally at their office to gauge the atmosphere and set up.  Ultimately you are looking for a desire to work together and create a real partnership.  As already mentioned, it is just as important to sell yourselves to them to help create enthusiasm for the relationship.  If you are looking for any type of campaign which will deliver results which are core to your business, finding a partner who cares about your business is the most important.

Footnote:

Market Dojo provide on-demand and enterprise solutions to help streamline your data collection from suppliers.  Why not give us a try. Our customer success managers and templates will help you move away from email to run your tenders more efficiently and even negotiate online.

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