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Insurance Lead Generation that Improves Reach, Converts More, and Retains High Value Customers

By | Insurance, Outbound Strategies | No Comments

Increased competition in the insurance market means that many outbound sales and lead gen teams could use a re-think. In this article, we explore fresh ideas on how to reinvigorate the insurance lead generation process from end to end by looking at:

  • Focusing your insurance lead generation efforts on the right customers

  • How automation can boost contact rates and speed-to-lead

  • Strategies for reducing call blocking and flagging

  • How to leverage customer acquisition data and personalize your sales approach

Times of change or uncertainty affect every industry differently. For much of the insurance industry, the COVID-19 pandemic ratcheted up demand as consumers sought out the security of the right policies in the face of so much change. Greater demand has come with increased competition.

Yesterday’s approach to sales and generating leads in insurance may not be enough to deliver the results you need to thrive. A solid sales foundation is more critical than ever for insurance providers grappling with fast-paced changes in loss ratios, market dynamics, and regulations.

We hope these fresh insurance lead generation ideas bring new life to your sales process—and new growth to your organization. Whether you’re trying to improve life insurance lead generation, health insurance lead generation, home insurance lead generation or auto insurance lead generation – the same understanding and strategies for success apply across the insurance marketplace: focusing on the right customers, consent-based leads, contact rate, speed to lead, personalization, and automation.

 

Focusing Your Insurance Lead Acquisition on the Right Customers

 

In many industries, a hallmark of top-notch marketing is the ability to turn just about any consumer into a customer. Jacob Rodriguez, Director of Sales, Auto and Home Insurance at ActiveProspect says that “Good marketers are willing to market to any customer.” After all, in so many cases, any customer is a customer that you want.

However, that doesn’t necessarily hold true for insurers. “In the insurance world,” says Rodriguez, “too many bad customers making too many claims can really destroy your loss ratios.” Insurance sales teams need a better, more refined approach to lead acquisition. To improve your reach, you’ll need to narrow your marketing and acquisition efforts to focus on customers who fit your company’s ideal profile.

 

Read the recap and watch the webinar Mastering Insurance Lead Generation discussing how to leverage consent, compliance, and contact rates to gain more insurance customers.

 

Your Ideal Insurance Customer Profile

By only going after consumers who fit your model persona, you’re more likely to end up acquiring customers that will uphold better loss ratios and do so over the long term. That is, those that fit your ideal profile are not only going to perform better, according to Rodriguez. “They’re also going to retain a lot better on your books. And retention is a huge factor for growth within this vertical.”

Nevertheless, this better approach still falls short of the best approach to insurance lead acquisition. You might wonder, how do I improve on my ideal insurance customer?

Simple, says Rodriguez: You just add one more layer. “The best option today is to not only market to your ideal customer profile, but to your ideal customer that also raises their hand and says, ‘I’m giving you consent to call me now.’”

This approach, termed consent-based marketing, can make all the difference in driving sales efficiency. That’s because this consent also reveals a stronger underlying intent – the customer that raises their hand has shown their willingness to convert. They have high intent.

 

How compliance and cost concerns figure into the best approach to insurance lead generation 

During a webinar on insurance lead gen, polled participants showed that an overwhelming majority (87%) had experienced issues with inconsistent lead quality. In fact, they ranked this as the single biggest issue in finding an insurance lead vendor or partner.

“It’s unfortunate, but a lot of large [insurance] carriers and large businesses will settle for good and better [even] when the best option is available,” says Rodriguez. So, what’s behind this hesitation from insurance organizations? It’s certainly not ignorance.

Instead, it’s generally driven by intersecting concerns over compliance and costs.

 

Verifying consent of insurance leads

The challenge for many insurance businesses is not only getting consistent, quality leads, but with assuring that the data is compliant – which costs more. But the added expense of generating compliant insurance leads tends to pay off – not only in more efficient use of agent time and higher conversions, but in sparing your company legal fines over regulatory non-compliance.

While a recent Supreme Court ruling may have alleviated some concerns over verifying express written consent and TCPA compliance at the federal level, insurance is a state-regulated industry, meaning that there are still a number of hurdles for sales teams to clear if they’re to avoid legal consequences.

To avoid the high costs and reputation damage that can accompany compliance violations, insurance sales teams must take necessary steps to verify and document the consent of their leads.

 

High volume vs. high intent leads

Challenged with regulatory red tape and the costs of high intent leads, many insurance organizations opt for what may seem like the path of least resistance.

It’s easy to understand the conundrum faced by so many in the insurance industry. Perhaps you’ve found yourself in this position.You want to find people who are interested, who have the intent to learn about or invest in insurance. But that doesn’t mean those prospects are available when you want them.

Convoso CEO Nima Hakimi explains that with the scarcity of high intent leads, many insurers instead try reaching out to a high volume of leads as a sales strategy. “The challenge you find is that people go for something that’s easier to get in volume to try to make up for [the lack of high intent leads].”

But the reality is that with increased regulation and increased frustrations around telemarketing calls, this high volume approach is likely to increase problems for insurance lead generation that will lower your success. Rather, you need smart outreach strategies and dynamic tools to compete in today’s insurance market. 

 

Boost Contact Rates to Reach and Convert More Leads

Once you’ve got your high intent compliant leads, you need to make the most of the opportunities they represent by getting them on the phone, and hopefully converting them to a win for your insurance company. Your top priorities following lead acquisition should be accelerating your speed to lead (get ’em while they’re hot!); boosting contact rates to get more agents in conversations with those leads; and tracking your lead metrics in real time so you know how well your expensive data is performing.

 

Use Automation to Improve Your Speed to Lead

Agility is the winner in this race – especially with those scarce high intent leads. How fast can your agents respond to incoming leads? Too slow? You may have just lost a potential sale.

It’s not just about competition. It’s about psychology.

When a prospective customer completes a lead form online or otherwise raises their hand, in that moment they are ready. And that’s your cue to seize the moment – while your business is still on their mind, before their interest has cooled, and, yes, before your competition may have a chance to reach them first.

Increase your speed to lead, and you’ll increase your contact and conversion rates. Now you’re leaving the competition in the dust.

How do you increase your speed to lead?

Automation is key: When a warm lead enters your sales cycle, your insurance dialer should automatically enter it into a custom workflow according to the priority you’ve set. Hopefully it’s supported by omnichannel outreach and pre-defined cadences that your team has fine-tuned over time.

Think of ways to improve your speed to lead. You may want to hire more agents, automate email replies, and power up your one call close. Speed to lead is one of the best ways to harvest the crop of content-based leads you cultivate.

 

Don’t let poor voicemail detection keep you from reaching your high quality leads. Learn how answering machine detection speed and accuracy can boost contact rates.

 

Reduce call blocking and flagging

Low-quality lead sources are not the only reasons some insurance organizations are seeing declines in contact rates. Call blocking and call flagging are on the rise.

As more outreach regulations come into play, such as STIR/SHAKEN, and telecom carriers and consumers become more empowered to label calls as a spam risk, those low contact rates will continue to interfere with the ability of legitimate businesses to engage in conversations.

Without the right tools and strategies in place, both blocking and flagging can become a runaway problem for outbound sales teams—even those who are zeroed in on high intent leads.

“Insurance companies need to take a multi-pronged approach,” according to Nima Hakimi. He points to two strategies that insurance sales teams need to incorporate into their sales processes: caller ID management and identity verification.

Caller ID management and verifying calls

While some savvy sales teams may already be utilizing a high number of caller IDs, this is only half the battle. Hakimi says, “Even if you’re calling on consent-based leads, you have to manage the volume of numbers that the DIDs use based on geography. It’s not just [a matter of], ‘Hey, let’s use as many numbers as possible.’ You need to figure out where you are calling and associate the right number of IDs that are local to that area based on your call volume. And so your dialer should have the ability to figure out what those numbers need to be.”  You can also register your various phone numbers in order to minimize the chances your calls get flagged as spam or telemarketing.

Pointing to one verification method available to call centers, Verified Calls by Google, Hakimi points out that this verification can also be a powerful sales solution. “It’s something that we’re implementing that you can use to tell [customers] who’s calling and what the purpose of the call is—and that [information] shows up on Android phones. This is a perfect solution [for high intent leads] that will allow those that really want and are interested in your service to know who you are, so they’re more likely to pick up the phone.”

 

Identify Effective Sources with Real-Time Reporting

Inconsistent lead quality is all too frequently an issue in the insurance industry, as our webinar’s polling showed. Outbound insurance call centers and lead generation organizations need to track real-time performance metrics to inform improved decision-making.

Without knowing how your lead sources are performing, insurance lead buyers can easily become stuck in an endless loop of buying and exhausting more and more leads without any recourse.

Tiffanie Gonzalez of Top Healthcare Options describes encountering just such a process before being able to rely on Convoso’s own reporting capabilities: “With VICIdial I ended up spending a lot of money since I couldn’t figure out which vendors the calls were coming from, and I couldn’t optimize. I just kept buying from sources that weren’t doing any good. Now with Convoso, I happily give my money to the vendor that’s making me money, not the vendors that are not making me money.”

Understanding the efficiency of your leads and lead sources is critical to driving success. With a list conversion report, you can drill down on your true cost per acquisition or the profitability of your lead on a list vendor level. Learn more about strategies to improve lead efficiency and drive profitability in this post by Nima Hakimi, Outbound Calling Strategies: Accelerating Lead Efficiency.

 

Find out the most important metrics to track for your outbound insurance operation with this guide: 16 Essential KPIs for Outbound Call Center Profitability

 

Leverage Your Insurance Lead Generation Data to Streamline Your Sales Pipeline and Improve Efficiency

 

To build an insurance sales operation that meets today’s hyper-competitive environment, you need to use tools that help you leverage the actionable insights generated during your lead acquisition. The automated solutions below – skills-based routing, dynamic scripting, and omnichannel outreach workflows – can deliver personalization and efficiencies for success.

 

Smart, skills-based routing

In insurance sales, where a certain number of call transfers are often unavoidable, it’s essential that customers never get lost in the shuffle. Ensuring that leads are paired with the right agent from the get-go is a crucial part of a positive customer experience. Eliminate unnecessary friction within your lead-to-policyholder pipeline by deploying smart, skill-based routing within your outbound calling process.

Using lead location data generated during the acquisition phase to inform skill-based routing, insurance sales teams can first and foremost ensure that agents with the right state licensure are automatically given the phone call, without needing to use a click-to-dial solution.  

But the benefits of smart routing go beyond supporting compliance. Routing parameters can also be customized according to the various strengths of different sales team members. With the power to give the warmest leads to your hottest agents, your team can build and maintain sales momentum. “You have to leverage these data points [to be successful],” says Hakimi. “Don’t just go right into the conversation. Figure out which of the agents do better with it, for example, if the [lead’s] credit score is higher or lower.” 

 

Sticking to the dynamic script that sells

Once your lead is on the phone with the right agent, you can set agents up for success—and further support compliant conversations—with dynamic scripting.  

Given the stringent regulations that govern much of the insurance industry, keeping agents on script, delivering the right disclosures and getting the right permissions, is an important part of sticking to the letter of the law. But even for the most experienced agents, keeping everything straight can be a tall order. Dynamic scripting software serves agents all of the information they need to check the compliance boxes before proceeding with a sale or transferring the call to the right place.

Harnessing the customer data culled during the lead acquisition phase of your sales cycle, dynamic scripting can also bring a personal touch to your calls that distinguishes you from other providers. Even the inclusion of basic information, like the web domain on which the customer opted-in, can help agents connect with customers—and help the customer quickly understand that the call is valuable to them and not unwanted spam.

Once again, making the most of these data points within your scripts is about reducing friction. The more seamless the opening of the call is, the more smoothly your agent will be able to move toward delivering their winning sales pitch. And that’s also where dynamic scripting comes in: Not only will your agent come to a call prepared with the information they need to maintain compliance, they will be equipped with all of the talking points—and helpful answers—they need to soothe customer pain points and turn leads into policyholders.

After all, it’s not just compliance regulations that can be tough for agents to keep tabs on: Insurance plans and policies themselves can be tough to get a handle on. Whether you’re pitching a lead on a new auto policy or easing their switch to Medicare, dynamic scripting helps your agents be the experts they need to be while answering questions, assuaging concerns, and guiding prospects towards confidently closing. 

 

Inform Your Omnichannel Outreach Cadence

Of course, these days, not every consumer wants to conduct their business over the phone. Reaching your customers where they want to be reached—and, perhaps more importantly, not over-contacting them where they don’t want to be reached—can go a long way toward influencing a final sale.

Empowering and expanding your insurance lead gen efforts with true omnichannel capabilities is essential to boosting your success with high value, high intent leads. It’s also another part of your sales process that can be augmented by data gleaned during acquisition.

Say, for example, you know based on your acquisition data that a lead opted in using their mobile device rather than a desktop computer. You might also know that this particular lead is a millennial. Based on these insights, you might include them within an automated workflow that includes a faster follow-up via text or email—or you might even lead with those channels and allow that lead to come to you.

According to Nima Hakimi, “This is how you can get to the point of being able to pay more for a lead that’s consent-based and raising their hand saying, ‘I’m interested’—by being able to prioritize, personalize, and automate your outreach [and] cadence based on all the information that you have available.”

 

Keeping Agents Happy Is Part of the Equation

Grasping the keys to insurance lead gen success—whether it’s personalization, automation, or speed to lead—isn’t only about bolstering your bottom line. The effectiveness and efficiency of your insurance sales process is also crucial to keeping your entire sales team motivated—something that, according to ActiveProspect’s June Chung, only grows in importance as today’s market grows ever more competitive.

“One of the things I’m seeing right now as there’s so much interest in the insurance space, is there’s so much money, so much opportunity now, that the human aspect of labor—getting the right agents, making them stay, keeping them happy, and then growing that base—is becoming a bigger and bigger challenge. And having the right lead optimization systems and the right sales process in place, and giving your employees the right tools is a huge differentiator.”

For Chris Cantrell, with US Health Advisors, it was the Convoso insurance dialer’s capabilities that helped his team discover this kind of differentiator and deliver a new energy to his sales floor. “When you have a sales floor that’s getting immediate results because the system is working so quickly and efficiently, you’re going to have a happier sales floor. And when you have a happier sales floor, obviously you have more sales and more profit—it just goes up and up.”

 

Interested in seeing what Convoso can do for your insurance team? Learn about our full suite of features by requesting a demo today.

 

Blockbuster Supreme Court Case Changes the Compliance Game for Outbound Sales Teams

On Demand Webinar: Blockbuster Supreme Court Case Changes the Compliance Game for Outbound Sales Teams

By | Industry Trends, Webinars | No Comments

Landmark TCPA Ruling Opens Doors for Outbound Sales and Lead Generation Teams

 

On April 1, 2021, the Supreme Court put forward a landmark ruling with major implications for the outbound dialing industry. To get the low-down on the ruling and its wide-ranging impact, Convoso CEO Nima Hakimi sat down with TCPA legal compliance expert Michele Shuster, Founding Partner of Mac Murray & Shuster LLP, for an on-demand webinar.

As with any new case impacting industry regulations, the Supreme Court’s ruling may have raised more questions than it answered. To get to the heart of what matters most to outbound sales teams in the ruling, Hakimi and Shuster touched on:

  • The facts of the Facebook v. Duguid case

  • What the Supreme Court ultimately ruled in the case

  • The implications of the case for Convoso customers

  • How the case might impact the future of regulation

  • The right approach to supporting call center compliance

Webinar Recap

Read the key points from the webinar below, or watch the full video to get a complete breakdown of the situation from these experts.

Note: Nothing in this video or recap constitutes legal advice. Convoso recommends retaining and consulting an attorney for ongoing guidance on regulatory compliance.

 

What Was the Facebook v. Duguid Case All About?

Before getting into the important implications of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling, experienced attorney Michele Shuster set the stage by outlining what was at issue in this complex case.

The issues discussed in the Facebook v. Duguid case date back to the introduction of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991. However, these issues came to head when Facebook began sending automated security text messages to subscribers whose accounts were being accessed.

Duguid, the respondent in the case, was receiving these messages despite not being a subscriber. After apparently making a number of requests for Facebook to stop, Duguid hired a class-action attorney and filed a lawsuit against Facebook for every text message that he received, claiming that Facebook was contacting individuals without their consent under TCPA, using an automated telephone dialing system (ATDS).

In the webinar, Shuster describes how the arguments in the case ultimately centered around the definition of an ATDS.  “Facebook took the position that the definition of ATDS that is contained within the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), was not being properly interpreted [in prior rulings]…[Under the law,] an ATDS is a system that has the capacity to store or produce telephone numbers using a ‘random and sequential number generator’ to dial those [numbers]. 

In front of the Supreme Court, then, the two sides argued over the specific sentence structure of this TCPA statute defining an ATDS: “The [central] question was what does the phrase ‘random and sequential’ modify? Does it just modify ‘produce’ or does it also modify ‘store.’” 

 

What Did the Supreme Court Rule in Facebook v. Duguid?

Shuster noted that, after weighing the nuances in the sentence structure of the law’s language, the highest court ultimately held, in a unanimous 9-0 decision, that this term, “random and sequential number generator,” modified both “store” and “produce.”  

In simpler terms, what the ruling means is that, now, to technically be using an ATDS under the law, a dialer must be randomly and sequentially generating numbers, and either storing those numbers or directly calling them. While it’s easy to get lost in the jargon, the difference has huge implications for outbound call centers. “This distinction is really important,” says Shuster. “Because if you’re using an ATDS you have to have consent, and you have to have prior express written consent if it’s a marketing call, and express consent if it’s not a marketing call.” 

 

What Does the Ruling Mean for Convoso Customers?

Because Convoso’s dialer does not use this random or sequential number generation, and is not considered an ATDS under the law, Convoso customers will now be able to dial leads without opt-in consent under TCPA. While this change opens a lot of doors for outbound sales teams, Nima Hakimi stressed that customers will need to keep compliance top-of-mind and use smarter dialing strategies to effectively reach their leads.

Hakimi: “[Despite this ruling,] you don’t want to just go crazy and call everyone. Besides the fact that you can’t call anybody that is on the Do Not Call list, if you are just going to go crazy and call everybody, guess what? Your calls are going to get blocked even more, [they are going to be] flagged and labeled [as spam].

“You still want to call people that want to talk to you, that have expressed some level of interest in your product or service. Because at the end of the day, the telco carriers have taken the matter into their own hands. And depending upon the leads that you’re calling, if they’re really expensive and you just get blocked…now you’re just losing a lot of money. So just be very aware of what your strategy is and why you’re calling the leads that you’re calling. I want to really emphasize that because some people [in the wake of the Facebook ruling] might let loose and just call anyone and everyone—and I don’t recommend that.”

Shuster agreed, citing the host of regulations that still apply: “If you’re making a marketing call, then you need to scrub against the Do Not Call list unless you have an exemption. If you’re using a pre-recorded message, the same requirements apply for an ATDS because the statutory section that Facebook dealt with is for calls that are using an ATDS or a pre-recorded message to call cell phones…Beyond that, there are state laws to consider…There are a few states with more restrictive laws; they don’t care whether or not you have an ATDS, you need to have consent to call cell phones.” 

 

How Will Plaintiffs and Lawyers Respond to the Ruling?  

According to Shuster, there will continue to be ample material to be considered in TCPA-related lawsuits. After all, the TCPA itself isn’t going anywhere. “They are still going to have those cases where people did not follow the Do Not Call laws. They are still going to have the pre-recorded message cases. The TCPA will still apply to those sorts of things.”

Meanwhile, Shuster suspects that there might be other parts of the law’s language that litigants may try to challenge in the future, even if these challenges may have trouble succeeding. “I suspect that they will try to poke holes in the Facebook ruling. The definition of ATDS has the term ‘capacity’ in it, so we go back to this [question] where you have a computer that has the ‘capacity’ to randomly and sequentially dial. But there’s specific language in the decision that addresses that, so I think that will be a very difficult argument to make.”

 

How Might the Ruling Affect the Future of Regulation?

Even if there might not be much room for relitigation at the moment, Shuster believes that the ruling may have an effect on the way that the outbound calling industry is regulated. “We’ve already had Congressional members saying, ‘We’ve got to change the TCPA. We’ve got to make the language more explicit.’ But we all know, that’s not the issue. The issue is not that somebody is using an automatic dialer versus putting 10 digits in [manually] or pushing a click-to-dial. That’s not the issue they should be focused on, nor are they.”

Even if some of the focus will now be drawn away from autodialers themselves, there is a lot of regulation either out there already or in the works that call centers will need to keep their eyes on. “Regulators have become very aggressive lately…So we have this Industry Traceback Group (ITG) that is policing the telephone networks. We have carriers that are blocking and labeling calls. We have STIR/SHAKEN that’s going to become effective July 1 [of 2021]. We have voice service providers that have to have robocall mitigation plans.”

“There’s just so much that has been put in place to prevent the bad traffic and the bad calls that really, how you dial the call has become irrelevant. So there are groups that we are working with now to stem the potential tide of congressional legislation, and I hope that we’re successful with that.”

The Bottom Line on the Outbound Call Center Compliance

Regardless of what comes of this regulatory activity, both Shuster and Hakimi agreed that the only real way for call centers to navigate the complexity of today’s compliance landscape is by being proactive and enlisting the right resources.

Shuster: “At the end of the day, this is what it comes down to…The folks that don’t get into trouble are the ones that have looked at the issue ahead of time, and they have created a defendable position. And they’ve talked to folks like Nima [Hakimi of Convoso] and they’ve already gotten specifications on the dialer and know that it’s not an ATDS. [They’ve] been able to establish that they have exemptions to the Do Not Call laws, and it’s documented. Because if you can answer those questions ahead of time—usually you’re not going to get an inquiry from a regulator or a lawsuit, but if you do—it’s much easier to make them go away, especially now with this Facebook decision that’s out there.”

Hakimi: “You cannot be reactive and wait for the problem to come to you because once it does, it’s too late. So, I think that’s the message that everybody needs to hear: Be proactive. Talk with your counsel. Get the right advice. Make sure that you’re implementing anything and everything that you can, so that you don’t have the problem come to you [when] it’s too late.”

 

To learn more about how Convoso can help your call center navigate today’s fast-changing compliance landscape with solutions like caller ID management, schedule a demo today. And to keep up with all of the latest developments, stay tuned to the Convoso contact center blog.

Answering Machine Detection: How Speed and Accuracy Boost Contact Rates for Outbound Calling

Answering Machine Detection: How Speed and Accuracy Boost Contact Rates for Call Centers

By | Predictive Dialer, Outbound Strategies | No Comments

In this article we’re going to look at how answering machine detection works and how it helps the sales and lead generation teams of outbound call centers improve contact rates and conversions:

  • What is answering machine detection?

  • How does answering machine detection work?

  • How accurate is answering machine detection?

  • Combining voicemail detection with smarter dialing strategies and lead efficiency

  • Leaving voicemail messages

As an outbound call center manager, you rely on your team of sales and lead gen agents getting into a rhythm over their day of calling. Your predictive dialer is set up to keep your team in a steady flow of conversations. But your agents keep getting voicemails. 

Now your agents’ efficiency and morale is dropping fast. 

Sound familiar? At many outbound call centers, this scenario is an all too common experience for agents and managers—and one that repeats itself as part of a debilitating cycle of wasted payroll, one of the biggest costs for a call center. 

When your company is making hundreds, thousands, or even millions of calls day in and day out, every second counts. The additional disposition time that follows means time lost to answering machines and increased costs, all while your agents deal with the frustration of fruitless calls. If your agents are using a preview mode to dial, you can add in lost dialing time.

These disruptions are all the more exacerbating if your dialer is supposedly using a voicemail detection tool. 

Whether your call center is currently using answering machine detection [AMD] or not, the key to regaining agent efficiency and driving more revenue is finding a dialer with AMD technology that provides both accuracy and speed. 

 

What Is Answering Machine Detection?

Answering machine detection helps to increase contact rates for outbound call centers. 

The technology works alongside call center auto dialer software to determine when a voicemail is reached and to then take appropriate action, whether that means leaving a customized message or adding it to your workflow for redialing. By filtering out these calls, voicemail detection tools can greatly increase the number of live conversations your  agents have.  

When contact rates go up, so do your opportunities for conversions. Good AMD does wonders for your ROI.

 

How Answering Machine Detection Works

Voicemail detection tools filter out calls routed to an answering machine by picking up on the most common cues found in voicemail recordings. For example, they might detect the kind of background noise that’s usually present in voicemail messages. Or, they might identify common phrases that lead those messages, like “Hello, I’m unavailable to take your call right now…” 

Meanwhile, AMD tools are also able to classify other types of call responses, including faxes, SIT tones or disconnections, carrier recordings, and, of course, live customers.

Why speed matters

The best answering machine detection solutions can be customized to detect the presence of a voicemail message, or classify the call and take action, down to the millisecond. That quick determination means better efficiency for your leads and your agents.

Why is speed a crucial factor to consider when choosing an AMD solution for your own call center?  Because every second—or even millisecond—saved adds up to cumulative savings and increased productivity for your team.

 

How Accurate Is Answering Machine Detection?

It’s not just the speed of voicemail detection technology that matters, of course. Your call center needs to deploy a solution that’s as accurate as possible.

 Answering machine detection accuracy rates vary across the market, and the truth is that there is no AMD technology that will be able to deliver 100% accurate voicemail detection. Even the very best AMD tools will lead to false positives and false negatives.

What is a “false negative” for answering machine detection?

A false negative occurs when the system detects a human on the line that is actually a voicemail. False negatives drive up wasted agent time as they’re forced to code for an answering machine before moving to their next call. What’s more, repeated false negatives can be a huge drag on agent morale and productivity.

What is a “false positive” for answering machine detection?

On the other hand, false positives occur when the AMD system determines that there’s a voicemail on the line and disconnects when it’s actually a human that has answered, and that potentially results in a lost lead.

 

Flexible AMD Solutions Adjust for Dialing Campaigns

Contact centers may want to prioritize either false negatives or false positives based on the lead type. The ability to customize this feature on a sliding scale can be critical for the success of dialing campaigns. 

For high-intent or expensive leads, it may be worth allowing more false negatives to occur to ensure as many leads reach an agent as possible – the strategy here is to minimize the risk of losing expensive valuable data. 

Alternatively, it may be worth prioritizing false positives for lower-value leads. Regardless, a great answering machine detection solution will help you minimize both, even if you want to prioritize one over the other.

 

Combine Voicemail Detection with Smarter Dialing Strategies

Both lost time and lost leads hurt a company’s bottom line in a big way. But AMD accuracy is only a part of the solution to improving contact rates. 

Look for a dialer that approaches the issue holistically – a solution that goes beyond simply catching voicemails. Better contact rates are possible when you also have the tools and strategy to effectively manage leads, and the reporting insights to understand lead and agent performance with real time data analytics

What to do with a lead that keeps going to voicemail

Some call center managers and agents are skeptical of the value of their AMD technology because they think they’re losing good leads due to inaccurate designations of calls as voicemails when in fact a person had answered the phone – as described above, false positives. So, what this shows is that not only do you want the accuracy and flexibility of your system to be top notch, but with the right automation capabilities, consistent false positives can be turned into future opportunities. 

With the right lead management capabilities to supplement your AMD solution, you can find further use for what otherwise would have been lost leads. Sometimes it’s not the quality of your leads that impact contact, but the dialing strategy. Review how you’re recycling your leads and how your dialer is set up. 

Dialing and dialing and dialing is not an effective strategy for converting leads.

In a webinar on next generation lead gen call centers, Convoso CEO Nima Hakimi said, “You need to look at the data. And if you continuously get a voicemail, stop calling that lead and your system should have the ability to automatically make those adjustments and changes and move the lead to another list if it hits a voicemail more than X, number of times, because you’re just going to burn the agent out, they hate getting voice fills. It kills their productivity and their momentum.”

Use your dialer’s automation to set up a workflow cadence that follows up and redials leads that have consistently encountered voicemail: you could try again in 30 days, then perhaps again in 60 days.

Data analytics guide strategy 

You can have the best available answering machine detection system, but if you’re not managing your leads efficiently or analyzing your data, the AMD won’t improve ROI. To become efficient with your leads, look at your reporting to evaluate what percentage of those leads pick up. How many of them are transferred? What is the revenue from those leads? 

But it’s real-time reporting you need to track. That way, you can see on an hourly basis, which agents are producing how much revenue? What was the cost to convert those leads? How are you measuring the conversion rate of these leads? What systems and reporting do you have in place?

Improve lead efficiency by dialing smarter not harder

Answering machine detection can actually help inform a dialing strategy that improves lead efficiency. “Customers need the understanding…to stop buying so many leads. Some call centers managers think, ‘We want to buy more and more and more leads,’” Hakimi says. “You really have to shift your mindset if you want to do things right. Especially because lead costs are one of your biggest expenses.” With the right AMD solution and the ability to automate and customize the workflows along with it, call centers can instead make more of the leads they already have.

 

What about leaving voicemail messages?

Leaving voicemail messages can still be an effective method for getting call backs.  To do this you want to use smart voicemail drops to deliver a personalized customer experience in an automated workflow cadence so that agents don’t have to leave messages. Nima Hakimi describes the best approach to smart voicemail drops:  “You want to leave personalized messages. You don’t want to leave the same message each time, or even leave a message on every single attempt.” Instead, set up messages that vary over time, perhaps one message at first voicemail, then a different on the fourth voicemail encounter, and so on. 

 

Convoso’s Advanced Answering Machine Detection Delivers Increased Accuracy and Increased Sales

Convoso recently launched a significant upgrade to its answering machine detection technology. The advanced answering machine detection, which was carefully engineered after analyzing billions of calls, now delivers up to 97% accuracy for our customers—and it’s already delivering some eye-opening results.

Jesse Daniels of One Health Direct, an enterprise-scale outbound call center, said that, before working with Convoso’s dialer software, “Our agents were spending about 70% of their day coding for answering machines.” Not only was this an extremely unproductive use of payroll, but it was also leading to widespread discouragement among the organization’s commission-driven staff. Looking for an alternative to their existing software, Daniels and his executive team trialed two other leading dialers, but the problems didn’t end there.

After learning about Convoso, One Health Direct decided to run a side-by-side trial with their current dialer. The result? An astonishing 70% increase in answering machine detection. Showing just how big of an impact that fast and accurate AMD technology can have, within a month of switching to Convoso, the company had increased sales by 30% and doubled their commissions—the kinds of results that don’t just bolster the bottom line but help build morale and lower turnover.

 

Read the full story of the dramatic turnaround for One Health Direct after switching to Convoso.

 

Ultimately, Convoso’s gold standard answering machine detection is just one piece of the outbound puzzle. Learn how our omnichannel contact center software includes a full suite of tools and solutions to equip your operation with what you need to increase contact rates, support compliance, and deliver a strong ROI.

 

Ready to see the results for yourself?  Test out our advanced answering machine detection and the complete Convoso platform by scheduling a demo today.

predictive dialer or power dialer - which is better

Predictive Dialing vs Power Dialing – Which one should you choose?

By | Predictive Dialer, Dialing Modes, Outbound Strategies | No Comments

A power dialer or a predictive dialer? Which dialer, or dialing mode, will be the most effective solution for your sales and lead generation team to drive revenue?

In this article we’ll review:

  • What is a power dialer?

  • What is a predictive dialer?

  • What are the key differences between predictive and power dialing?

  • Which dialing mode is best for different businesses?

Agent-to-lead contact is at the heart of your outbound call center’s operations. When you look at your top-line revenue, you know that your contact rate is a critical factor in driving results. But how often do you consider revenue from the perspective of the individual agent?

Unanswered calls, voicemail, busy lines, and pause time between calls represent lost revenue opportunities. These opportunities are often overlooked since, for many, they’re a necessary part of getting the job done. That is, they can appear as little more than unavoidable steps in your agents’ efforts to contact and convert customers.

With today’s autodialer software, automated and intelligent solutions of predictive and power dialing offer increased efficiency to call centers’ day-to-day operations. Predictive dialers and power dialers are specifically designed to boost productivity among your agents and eliminate idle moments between calls.

But which is best for your outbound call center’s success? Which one should you choose?

 

What is a Power Dialer?

A power dialer automates the process of preparing and dialing the next caller on behalf of the agent. As soon as an agent finishes a call, a power dialer calls the next number in your data, eliminating the time lost between the completion of one call and the start of the next. This mode automatically calls multiple numbers at the same time for each agent and only connects the call to an agent when a person answers their phone. However, unlike the Predictive Dialing mode, power dialing doesn’t automatically adjust the dial level.

Without a power dialer, agents who finish a call are left to find their next call destination and dial them, which inevitably leads to a delay between each call. While this act of scouring the company’s call list and manually inputting the next number may seem like only a small delay on its own, the aggregate data tells a different story. The seconds, minutes, and, ultimately, hours quickly begin to accumulatewhether you are running a large-scale operation or employ only a handful of agentsand over time can add up to significant losses for your operation.

Power dialing technology can be deployed to virtually eliminate these losses of both time and money.

 

What is a Predictive Dialer?

A predictive dialer also automates the process of initiating outbound calls. As the name suggests though, a predictive dialer does a bit more. Predictive dialing utilizes a complex algorithm calculated through real-time analytics to predict the availability of agentsand the likelihood of successful outreachin order to limit pause time even further.

What’s more, a predictive dialer will also disconnect from unsuccessful calls before the agent is connected to the call. In essence, this means that agents will only ever be rerouted from a completed call to a new, live customer. Plus, the transfer will be made rapidly, seamlessly, and still without the downtime associated with a more traditional, manual approach. 

With its algorithm, a predictive dialer will consider factors such as the average length of outbound calls, the proportion of unsuccessful attempts to successful connections, as well as the downtime generally incurred as the agent waits for a dial tone and for the customer to answer. It is also capable of detecting answering machines and, if necessary or desired, leaving an automated message to unreachable prospects.

Ultimately, a predictive dialer will respond and adjust intuitively as these inputs fluctuate, all while ensuring that you are able to maximize agent resources. In some cases, moving from a manual approach to one based around a predictive dialing solution can improve outbound productivity within your call center by as much as 400%.

 

Key Differences Between Predictive Dialing vs. Power Dialing

While they may sound similar in some ways, power and predictive dialers both offer distinct approaches to the automated outbound dialing process. Most notably, predictive dialing builds upon the core functions provided by power dialers and further lowers that idle time accumulated between live calls.  

Listed below are some of the most valuable features available through predictive dialing software, and not power dialing:

Intelligent Automation

Power dialers respond to a completed call by dialing the next prospect on the list, but predictive dialers dynamically respond to the continuous workflow of a call center, continuously cataloging and analyzing data in order to scale its processes up or down depending on demand.

Exclusively Connect Agents to Live Calls

While power dialing automates the process of identifying and dialing the next caller on an agent’s list, it is not capable of eliminating unsuccessful calls prior to engaging an agent. The line may be busy, or the customer may simply ignore the call altogether. In other words, an agent could potentially be provided with a string of dial tones that do not yield live contact with a customer or prospect—something that no dialing manager or call center owner wants to be putting precious payroll resources toward.

Predictive dialing remains one step ahead of the agent, disregarding calls that are ignored or go through to voicemail before the agent is brought onto the line. And when paired with AI-powered features like an intelligent virtual agent, they can also prepare live, qualified contacts to be ready for the agent as soon as their previous call ends.

 

Discover why AI for outbound call centers is trending in 2021.

 

Variable Call Ratio

Power dialing takes effect as soon as the agent is free: as the previous call ends, it will react instantly, and dial the next number, rather than leave agents to find and dial the number themselves. This process occurs on an “as-and-when” basis, or at a fixed ratio of 1:1, and can result in the agent being connected to a call that does not lead to contact with a prospect.

In the case of predictive dialing, there is no fixed ratio. The software will react in real time based upon a number of conditions, such as call success rate and the amount of time agents are spending on calls. Some predictive dialers also give dialing managers the ability to program select inputs, such as a target drop rate, into the dialer, helping support TCPA compliance even while boosting calling efficiency.

Maximum Efficiency

While power dialers certainly offer an excellent resource for mitigating downtime and streamlining an agent’s workflowparticularly in smaller operationsthey do not offer the same level of support and scalability available from a predictive dialer.

Predictive dialing software ensures that pause time is kept to an absolute minimum. Since agents will not be left waiting on potential connections or answering machines, and will only be put through to live calls, the predictive dialer offers the most efficient means for taking full advantage of your workforce.

 

What businesses benefit most from Power Dialing?

Power dialing helps smaller-scale operations streamline their outbound call processes and mitigate agent downtime.

The benefits of deploying a power dialing solution will be most notable in centers where the duration of outbound calls greatly varies, as an algorithm that attempts to determine a pattern might prove arbitrary. In these instances, the benefits of a variable call ratio will be limited and may result in a higher number of abandoned calls as agents are unable to keep up with the number of live calls available.

Of course, these cases are less common. Most call centers will find that call-duration patterns can be uncovered, even if they might fluctuate over the course of the day.

 

What businesses benefit most from Predictive Dialing?

Predictive dialing offers the most efficient and scalable resource for call centers seeking to amplify their contact rates and reduce pause time for agents. Enabling them to engage their workforce to the fullest extent, a predictive dialer drives productivity by putting all the data your individual agents produce in their daily work to use for your call center as a whole.

Because of this, predictive dialing typically offers the most lucrative solution for those operating on a larger scale, whether they are working on outreach to existing customers, or pursuing new prospects, sales, or market research opportunities. 

 

What About Compliance with Consumer Protection Laws?

Now more than ever, your choice of autodialer software needs to reflect the growing importance—and complexity—of compliance.

State and federal regulations like STIR/SHAKEN are changing the ways businesses approach their call center operations. Proving yourself to be a legitimate and compliant business is integral not only to your success with prospects and existing customers, but also to your ability to protect yourself against potentially catastrophic fines and damage to your reputation.

But it’s not only these types of damage you need to avoid. Call centers also need to be wary of the potential (and sometimes hidden) harm that increases in call blocking and flagging can have on contact rates.  Working with an experienced software provider that is on top of today’s latest compliance challenges is essential to your success. If you’re looking to deploy a new power or predictive dialing solution, make sure that it’s supported by features such as caller ID management, dynamic scripting, and adjustable call scheduling that help your business dial smarter, not harder.

 

Learn what outbound call centers need to know and do about compliance in our post TCPA Compliance Trends 2021

 

What Service is Best for Your Business?

Whether with power dialing or predictive dialing, automating the processes that slow your agents’ productivity levels and hinder your operational efficiency will offer a significant boost to your call center’s performance.

For most outbound call centers, predictive dialing will offer the most effective software option—one that works intelligently alongside your agents to help them improve their output and help your business reach its goals.  For operations running on a much smaller scale, however, power dialing will still offer a fantastic means of augmenting productivity and improving your contact rate throughout the day.

The type of autodialing software your business requires will depend on its scope, demand, and the nature of the business itself, but there is no doubt that any call center of any size will benefit from re-evaluating their manual processes and delegating repetitive tasks to the latest technology.

 

Convoso’s own autodialing software offers multiple outbound dialing modes that your team can choose from based on their needs, even as those needs evolve over time. Learn more about the full suite of dialing solutions and features Convoso offers, and schedule a demo today.

Webinar Recap: How to Improve Contact and Conversion Rates by 30% for Home Services and Solar Sales & Lead Gen Teams

By | Compliance, Solar, Home Services, Webinars, Outbound Strategies | No Comments

This webinar brings insights to sales and lead generation teams in the home services and solar industries about how they can increase contact rates and conversion rates. Convoso CPO & Co-Founder Bobby Hakimi joined solar call center expert Heather Griffin and the CEO of Balto, Marc Bernstein, to discuss key issues facing outbound call centers in these markets and to provide tips and strategies for meeting those challenges.

Two competing dynamics have been at work in recent times for solar and home services businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on crucial door-knocking operations. As a result, and as Marc Bernstein put it while kicking off our webinar, “The call center has never been more important.”

But in the face of rampant call flagging and blocking that makes it harder than ever to connect with customers and close sales. 

So, how do you make sure your outbound efforts translate to effectiveness? The call center experts on our webinar came together to answer just that. Over the course of their conversation, they covered:

  • Why your calls aren’t getting through: The root causes of call flagging and blocking
  • How you can avoid call blocking and flagging: Strategies and solutions that can solve for these issues and boost contact rates
  • Lost opportunities and lost revenue: Best practices for converting leads and maximizing sales
  • An integrated approach to increasing contacts and conversions: How powerful dialing functionality and real-time guidance can combine to drive increased sales in your industry

Catch some of the highlights in our recap below, and watch the full video to take a deep dive into the material and gain even more insights on how you can take your contact rates and conversion rates to new heights.

 

Why Are Calls Not Getting Through?

Starting things off, Bobby Hakimi broke down some of the most prevalent factors driving down contact rates for so many contact centers:

  • Telephone carriers blocking and flagging calls, sometimes erroneously
  • Call blocking apps downloaded by consumers
  • Consumers may block calls they perceive as unwanted and potentially report them to the FTC
  • STIR/SHAKEN legislation was introduced to address fraud

Heather Griffin chimed in to say that it was “night and day” when STIR/SHAKEN was initiated, with contact rates steadily declining from that point on. But while most people fear call blocking, it’s actually call flagging that should be drawing most of their concern:

“The bigger challenge is the ‘Spam Likely,’ the ‘Telemarketing,’ the ‘Fraud’  – all those labels showing up…I have experienced myself, as an owner and as a consultant, just how drastically this has really affected us in the past 12 to 16 months since this law started.” 

There was, however, some hope offered by Griffin:  “The good news: There is software, there are processes, and there are best practices that can resolve this issue.

 

Find out what you need to know about TCPA Compliance Trends 2021

 

How Can You Avoid Call Blocking and Flagging?

Hakimi covered a few categories of solutions that can help call centers protect themselves from harmful call blocking and flagging. It all starts, he said, with looking at your data and developing smarter strategies:

High intent vs low intent leads

“If it’s low-intent data [that you’re dialing], you probably don’t want to leave them with a lot of voicemails and text messages…On the flip side, with high-intent data, you want to be strategic: calling them precisely, leaving them a personalized voicemail, maybe leaving them a text message if you haven’t got ahold of them, and really getting creative about having a multi-channel outreach [strategy].”

Managing caller IDs and the value of DID cost

Also discussed was just how important a role that caller ID (DID) management can play in avoiding costly call blocking and flagging issues. The right DID management solution can automatically help you identify when a number is being flagged.

And although some call center operators might balk at the cost of buying new DIDs, both Hakimi and Griffin said that the benefits far outweigh the costs:

Hakimi: “In the past, I’ve seen people hesitate because people don’t want to spend the money to buy the new numbers. But ultimately what’s going to happen is you’re going to spend more minutes and more manpower talking to people that aren’t interested and answering machines—and at the end of the day that affects contact rate.”

Griffin: “[When I’m consulting], I always get this [complaint], ‘I have to pay extra just for DIDs.’ And it’s always such a simple math equation: If you have the same fixed costs, and you contact 30% more people…the output number [at the end] is going to be massive. And you’ll be compliant and less likely to get lawsuits, and you’ll have better retention.”

 

Watch the full video to hear expert insights on other call blocking solutions like number registration and A/B Testing.

 

Lost Opportunities = Lost Revenue: Best Practices for Increasing Conversions at the Agent Level

Marc Bernstein talked about where call centers are often missing out on opportunities. He identified a common disconnect in approaches to increasing revenue: “We often look at revenue at a macro level, but we don’t usually take it down to the agent level and say, when you have these conversations that your customers are having on the phone with your agents, where can you increase conversions and where can you increase revenue there?”

Some of the opportunities that Bernstein identified include:

  • Appointment no-shows: Failure to confirm information and conduct good discovery results in waste time for outside sales reps.
  • Preventable mistakes: Agents lose up to ⅓ of calls due to human error, leading to higher no-show rates and lost calls.
  • Learning retention:  Agents forget 59% of their training after the first week, according to Bernstein’s framework.
  • QA Bandwidth: Managers are only able to score less than 5% of calls.

To deliver the revenue that’s missed in these areas, Balto’s AI-driven Real-Time Guidance solution analyzes everything agents and customers are saying, and in real time gives agents recommendations for how they can be as effective as possible. 

 

Watch the video to see Balto’s Real-Time Guidance in action—you have to see it to believe just how effective it can be for your agents.

 

An Integrated Approach to Increasing Contacts and Conversions

Of course, Balto’s capabilities are all the more powerful and effective as part of an integrated approach that incorporates a powerful dialing solution alongside AI functionality. With all the right solutions to make sure that you avoid blocking and flagging, boost your contact rates, and connect with your costly data, integrated automation can then help you increase conversion rates and drive revenue. Balto is an integration partner with Convoso.

 

To learn more about how Convoso can deliver these improvements to your sales and lead gen operation, schedule a demo today. And for more best practices and expert insights on the latest developments in the field, head to the Convoso contact center blog.

Predictive dialer for Outbound Call Centers

How Do Predictive Dialers Work?

By | Predictive Dialer, Dialing Modes | No Comments

In this article you’ll learn how predictive dialers work, the benefits of using a predictive dialer system, what to look for in a predictive dialer solution, and key features of predictive dialer software to drive profitable outbound call center campaigns for your sales and lead generation teams.

 

What is a predictive dialer?

A predictive dialer is an automated telephone dialing solution that streamlines and accelerates outbound calls. It will predict call center agent availability, automatically calibrate the dialing rate, and connect agents to live prospects. Predictive dialers are typically used by sales and lead generation teams with high-performance outbound calling.

Predictive dialers are designed to reach the most people in the shortest amount of time. Today’s best predictive dialer systems utilize advanced algorithms to help high volume outbound call centers minimize wait time, maximize talk time, and drive more conversions. 

 

How do predictive dialers work?

Calls are dialed at either a predefined rate or a rate based on variables such as agent availability or past call duration. After dialing the call, the predictive dialer “listens” for an answer. When a live person answers, the call is quickly transferred to a live agent. This listening ability allows the dialer to screen out calls that receive a busy signal or are answered by fax machines, voicemail systems, or answering machines. 

 

What is predictive about predictive dialers?

You’ll find that most definitions about how predictive dialers work focus on algorithms that take into account the typical call duration, past success rate of the dialing list, the amount of time it takes for a call to be answered, and other factors. Over time, as more and more calls are placed, the dialer gets better at predicting when and how many numbers to dial.

By dialing multiple numbers at once, the dialer increases the odds of connecting to a live person every time. And because multiple lines are dialed at once, predictive dialer systems typically assign three or four lines to each agent. The dialer automatically decreases or increases the number of simultaneous calls based on the percent of dropped calls you want to maintain.

 

Think you might need a manual click to dial system?  See why you need a completely separate dialer, not just another feature of your autodialer, to meet TCPA compliance regulations.

 

What are the benefits of a good predictive dialer system?

Using a predictive dialer in your outbound contact center can deliver a number of benefits. They include:

Improved agent productivity. By detecting when a live contact is reached, predictive dialers ensure that call center agents don’t waste time with busy signals, voicemail messages, or incorrect numbers.

Boosted call volumes. Companies can reach out to more people in a shorter period of time by calling numbers in quick succession from a database and dialing multiple numbers for each contact. 

Agent call transfers. Agents have the ability to initiate three-way conference calls, or transfer calls to other representatives, such as sales agents or product specialists.

Better prospect and customer experience. Predictive dialers avoid the risk of annoying or offending existing or potential clients by restricting dialing based on day, time zone, or other variables. They also allow agents to schedule call-backs at a time that is more convenient for the customer.

Tracking accuracy. Agents  have the ability to code each interaction’s outcome, or disposition. Call center managers use these metrics to track trends in list and agent performance.

Improved Do Not Call (DNC) compliance. Predictive dialers integrate DNC compliance into their operation, replacing error-prone practices such as merging or purging spreadsheets or removing DNC numbers from a database. These outdated practices can leave businesses vulnerable to fines or penalties. 

Learn about other auto dialing modes such as Power dialing, Preview dialing, and Progressive dialing:  Autodialers

 

What to Look for in a Predictive Dialer that Will Drive Productivity

Of course, it’s not enough to know how a predictive dialer works. You have to know what to look for when choosing the predictive dialer software that’s best for your company – and you’ll have many options available in the marketplace.

Since you probably have a high volume outbound call center, be sure to look for a system with the capabilities and features that will help you achieve your campaign goals, and drive ROI. Not all predictive dialers perform equally. So when you’re on the hunt for a predictive dialer solution that delivers the best results for your call center, keep an eye out for these critical capabilities and features.

 

Scalability. Picking the right predictive dialer isn’t just about your current needs.   You’ll want to consider your operation’s potential for growth. As you build the success of your sales and lead generation team, you will need a system that can easily accommodate the addition of unlimited agents and has extensive experience  supporting the rapid growth of call center operations.

 

Compliance Support. Regulations governing outbound call centers are extensive, reaching far beyond the DNC issues described above. Since rules and regs are changing all the time, it’s important that, as you’re picking a predictive dialer to help you boost your contact rate, you ensure that your dialer supports compliance.

Especially in heavily regulated industries like insurance or solar energy, having a predictive dialer that can automatically route leads to agents in the right states or with the right licensure, is a must. You should also look for a dialer with feature integrations like dynamic scripting, which equips your agents with state-specific scripts that can be customized to keep them on message and up-to-date on TCPA rules.

 

Technical Support. When choosing a predictive dialer system, check to see that your potential provider any predictive dialer prospects will be available around and able to provide technical support when your business needs it most. Explore if there are any available self-help resources as well, too, to get a sense of how committed each provider is to delivering necessary support.

 

Lead Management Automation Tools. Staying on top of leads and closing sales is not just about making more calls, but calling the right leads at the right time with robust lead management tools that help you track and optimize your campaigns. Build call cadences into your dialing campaigns that include smart redial/recycle logic and customized automated scheduling and outreach across multiple channels.

 

Third-Party Integrations. Finding a new predictive dialer shouldn’t mean that you need to ditch your whole sales stack. Explore the ease and availability of adding third-party integrations to your dialer system. Check if the tools you already use—such as CRM, lead tracking, and lead optimization platforms—can be easily synced up with your prospective dialing solutions.  

 

Real Time Data Analytics.  You need to see how the leads and lists loaded in your predictive dialer are performing so you can make strategic decisions throughout the day. With automatically generated reports you will know how many calls are made, and their dispositions. 

 

Find a Dialer with All the Right Features

Your predictive dialer provider should also be committed to innovation, offering the latest features and functions to support your call center’s continued success. Look for a supporting cast of features like these that can deliver greater efficiencies to your outbound team’s sales and lead gen efforts:

  • Dialing Rate. You should be able to set the dial rate to automatically accommodate the percent of dropped calls you want to maintain (it’s not recommended to go above the 3% maximum as determined by the FCC).
  • Skill-Based Routing. While all predictive dialers should smartly route calls to available agents, skill-based routing adds another level of intelligence and gives managers more room to customize. By layering in additional conditions to your call routing workflow, skill-based routing helps ensure that the agent your customer connects with is the best one for the job—whether that means they’re in the right location or have the right level of expertise.
  • Answering Machine Detection (AMD). Avoid even more downtime with fast and highly accurate AMD technology that can quickly and effectively separate actual live calls from voicemail recordings and fax machines.
  • Omnichannel Integration. In today’s world, it’s crucial that you connect with customers in the way that they prefer. Bolster your cross-channel campaigns and boost your contact rates by picking a predictive dialer that’s backed by automated omnichannel solutions.
  • Multiple Campaigns. Particularly for large volume call centers, the capability to effectively run multiple campaigns simultaneously is essential to maximizing the productivity and efficiency of your agents’ time, and meeting your company’s sales goals.

 

True Predictive Dialing Mode Saves Managers Time

A predictive dialer uses advanced algorithms to predict the ratio of people who will pick up the phone and initiates enough outbound calls to connect all available agents with an active call based on the expected rate.

With a true “predictive mode” managers and admins can set it and forget it.  The dialer will automatically adjust the dialing speed to make more or fewer calls so that agents stay productive on live calls.
The alternative is wasting your manager’s time. Without a true predictive dialing mode, you have to constantly watch the dialer all day to keep increasing or decreasing the number of calls (or lines) going out, and to monitor whether agents are waiting too long between calls (which can happen depending on the time of day or if they’re dialing through a bad batch of leads).

 

Is On-Premise Hardware or Cloud-Based Software Better for Predictive Dialers?

Consider which type of predictive dialer system is best for your outbound call center operation.

Hardware-based, or on-premise predictive dialing solutions 

Predominantly still used by especially large contact center operations, on-premise predictive dialing solutions are far less popular today than cloud-based solutions. Since an on-premise system requires the procurement and maintenance of a complex system of hardware, they demand significant investment both up front and over time. They also come with a much longer implementation time—and the process of expanding on an existing system can be quite complex.  

Hosted, on-demand, or cloud-based predictive dialing solutions

By contrast, cloud-based predictive dialers have no upfront hardware costs, and they’re far easier to deploy. Plus, the cloud-based model shifts all the costs of upgrades and upkeep over to the provider, leaving call centers more time and resources to focus on (and resources to put toward) doing what they do best, instead of maintaining technology.

Another factor in the recent, widespread shift toward cloud-based systems has been the rise of the virtual contact center. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic caused so many to move toward remote operations out of necessity, many call centers had begun to realize the many benefits and savings that a distributed, virtual call center can deliver. Cloud-based predictive dialers that lack the extensive infrastructure of older on-premise solutions are the ideal match for the work-from-home call center, enabling call centers to unify their operations through a common, software-based platform.

 

Learn more about virtual call center trends

 

Finding a Predictive Dialer for Your Future

If you’re looking to bring your outbound call center’s operations up to date and increase the amount of time your agents spend connecting with leads, a predictive dialer system is a safe bet to increase productivity and efficiency at your organization. 

However, when you’re searching for the right solution, it’s important to know that predictive dialers are ultimately much more than the sum of their software. Even as technology plays an increasingly vital role in the way that outbound call centers close sales, it still takes having the right partner behind it all to drive sustainable growth and ensure that you can evolve on the road ahead.

Call center owner and industry veteran Heather Griffin noted recently that Convoso is just the right teammate to have on your side. She said,  “I always say that Convoso is more of a partner than a software – you’re going to get a lot of additional value out of their content. And most importantly, they’re the only telephony system that I’ve seen that has a plan for addressing the new laws that are coming and going to greatly affect all of us, so that you can remain profitable and successful.” 

 

Learn more about how Convoso’s predictive dialer can help your organization maximize connections and multiply sales, and schedule a demo to start boosting your contact rates and conversions today.

What is consent-based marketing and how does it work?

The 5 Critical Steps of Consent-Based Marketing

By | Best Practices, Compliance, Outbound Strategies | No Comments

With regulations top of mind in our industry of lead generation and outbound sales, compliance means not only avoiding fines and lawsuits, but operating efficiently and profitably. Getting consent for customer acquisition is critical, and will ultimately save you money. But not everyone in lead generation is clear on what consent-based marketing is…or, how consent-based marketing actually works.

Our guest author Steve Rafferty, ActiveProspect Founder & CEO, clarifies below:

  • What is consent-based marketing?

  • How is consent-based marketing different from permission marketing?

  • The 5 steps of how consent-based marketing actually works

Our industry partner ActiveProspect is a SaaS platform dedicated to making consent-based marketing the most scalable, efficient, and safest method for customer acquisition. Convoso makes continual efforts to help customers improve contact rates with compliant leads, and supports smart dialing strategies to complement consent-based marketing. Get recaps below from our webinar series with Active Prospect covering different markets, including insurance, solar, and financial services.


 

by Steve Rafferty, ActiveProspect Founder & CEO

What is consent-based marketing?

Consent-Based MarketingConsent-based marketing is the practice of only contacting consumers that have given their prior express written consent to be contacted. The objective is to ensure that only ‘active prospects’, or those who have actively expressed interest in hearing from you, make it into your funnel. 

With this form of marketing, you have the added benefit of verifying that the prospect meets your criteria before you contact them. With many marketing partners, you only pay for the prospects that meet your criteria – a huge advantage over other marketing channels.

 

How is consent-based marketing different from permission marketing?

While they are similar, consent-based marketing is a higher standard. The challenge with permission marketing is that everyone has a different definition of “permission.” Often “permission” is buried in a privacy policy that the prospect never saw. In contrast, consent-based marketing is based on the legal definition of consent, per regulations like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Consent must be clear and conspicuous to the consumer. Brands that truly respect the relationship with their consumers show that respect by only reaching out with consent.

So, how does consent-based marketing actually work?

Consent-based marketing is accomplished through five steps.

 

The 5 steps of consent-based marketing 

 

consent-based customer acquisition

 

1. Capture consent of interested consumers

Consent-based marketing begins with an interested consumer. When that consumer provides their contact information, typically responding to some sort of offer from the marketer, they are asking to start the conversation. That is the start of the relationship.

 

2. Document consent for legal compliance

There are a variety of regulations that govern contacting consumers with marketing messages, in particular the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. If you have documented prior express written consent, you can contact consumers on their cell phones, via SMS, or using automated dialing technologies. Documented consent allows you to demonstrate compliance and protect yourself from liability.

 

3. Qualify & enhance lead data

Once you have received the opt-in lead with documented consent, you can use the information submitted by the consumer to help you identify the prospects most likely to become your best customers. Typically, this involves first checking if you have an existing relationship with this consumer (is this a duplicate of an existing record?). Using real-time data services to enhance your lead data, you can identify more qualifying information about the consumer.

 

4. Filter & reject lead data

Inevitably you will receive leads that, for a variety of reasons, will never become customers. They might be fraudulent, uncontactable, duplicates, or simply not qualified. It’s important to have a system in place that will filter out, in real time, any leads that don’t meet any of your qualifying criteria. Many cost-per-lead marketing partners won’t charge marketers for leads that are rejected in real-time.

 

5. Contact the consumer promptly

After requesting contact, consumers expect to hear from you promptly. It is important that the lead data is delivered into your CRM, database, or call center in real time. For example, every form submission should be followed up by a real-time confirmation email. This is standard practice. In fact, there have been a number of studies on lead follow-up that show the quicker the follow-up, the higher the conversion rates. 

 

With the right processes and technologies in place, consent-based marketing can be the best channel to efficiently and safely acquire customers who truly want to be contacted by your brand.

To learn more about how consent-based marketing could benefit your business, contact ActiveProspect today.

 


Industry Webinars with ActiveProspect and Convoso

Convoso strives to keep customers informed about compliance issues and tools, and to stay engaged with the latest industry conversations, trends, and updates around compliance for outbound dialing and lead gen call centers. Ask for a free demo to see how you compliant leads and smart dialing will improve contact rates and productivity for your outbound call center.

 

How Convoso supports call center compliance

Call Center Trends 2021_Virtual Call Centers_2

Productive and Profitable Virtual Call Centers: 2021 Outbound Call Center Trends

By | Industry Trends | No Comments

Working from home and flexible work arrangements have been steadily on the rise in recent years. But the disruption resulting from the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic thrust many call centers into a sudden, forced adaptation to virtual operations.

Due to the sheer experience of needing to transition to remote management, many call center owners and managers now see that it not only works, but that the productivity of their agents and operations can be managed and highly effective. Many are not going back, or will incorporate hybrid models. 

In 2021 and beyond, the trend toward running virtual call centers isn’t just a stopgap solution. Many see cost, staffing, and flexible advantages to the remote work model. Yes, you can run a productive and profitable virtual call center.

productive WFH call center sales agentOf course, for even the most seasoned call center managers and teams, the WFH call center presents unique challenges even as it offers exciting possibilities. In this guide to navigating the virtual call center trend for your sales and lead generation team, we’ll cover:

  • Why working remotely is here to stay
  • The benefits of running a virtual call center
  • How to equip your virtual call center
  • How to keep your virtual call center productive and connected
  • Ensuring that your WFH call center remains compliant

 

Find out about the other Outbound Call Center Trends to Stay Competitive in 2021

 

Why working remotely is here to stay

 

What factors are driving the WFH future of call centers? For starters, many have learned, or are learning, that this is the way they prefer to work. Even before the pandemic, the Millennial generation—which now accounts for the largest share of the overall workforce—preferred the flexibility of remote work to the old ways of the office and cubicle. 

In fact, in one study, 68% of millennial job seekers stated that an employer offering a work-from-home option would greatly increase their interest. What’s more, many who get a taste of the WFH life aren’t willing to give it up—and, in turn, the word about how great remote work is seems to travel fast: Another survey found that 90% of remote workers polled wouldn’t return to office work, while 94% said they would encourage others to find remote work, too. 

For call center expert and veteran Heather Griffin, this trend is an unsurprising one. “I always thought this is where we were going,” she said. “Now that we’re seeing how effectively it can be done, I think it’s going to change the landscape.”  Because it’s not just the flexibility that the workforce prefers. Agents and managers alike are finding that the work from home environment can unlock new efficiencies and levels of productivity – the past year gave a bit of proof of concept for those who might have been reluctant about its feasibility in the past.

 

Explore More Ways to Motivate Your Millennial Call Center Agents.

 

The Benefits of Running a Virtual Outbound Call Center

young woman WFH sales and lead gen agent for virtual call centerTo some, it might not be all that surprising that—so long as outbound call center teams can maintain similar levels of productivity—the work-from-home model has proven to be successful for so many. After all, it’s pretty intuitive, right? By moving to a virtual operation, call center businesses can:

  • Cut down on expensive office space costs
  • Build their teams from a broader pool of agent talent
  • Function with fewer geographic restrictions
  • Scale their growing operations more quickly

These benefits that organizations are realizing frequently extend to the sales and lead generation agents making all of those calls on a daily basis. Convoso customer George Mueller, VP of Sales at NextGen Leads, noted that after switching to remote at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, they saw an increase in productivity.

Perhaps this ought to be as unsurprising as those organizational efficiencies described above. After all, the absence of a commute, a better work-life balance, and an increase in flexibility are all benefits that call center workers pay back into operations with increased productivity and efficiency.

 

How to Equip Your Virtual Call Center 

Of course, reaping the rewards of these benefits isn’t as simple as snapping your fingers, nor magic words to suddenly enjoy a high-performing work-from-home call center. But with the right support and know-how you can rapidly increase the time that it takes to get there. As Convoso Chief Product Officer Bobby Hakimi says about transitioning to a virtual call center: “It’s simpler than you think.”

So, to adapt to the 2021 call center trend of going remote [even with a hybrid of location based and at-home agents], learn the must-haves and follow WFH call center best practices.

 

Technical Must-haves

Building the lead gen call center of the future starts with making sure your employees have the work station and materials they need to succeed.

 

Equipment Fit for the Job

Start with outfitting your staff with the right hardware. This means first providing them with the right computer. Whether a laptop or Chromebook, agents should have dedicated work devices that offer the technical specs, capacity, and features required by your dialer and the scope of your operations. 

Avoid a situation where your agents are working on their own personal devices: This can not only open your business to additional security vulnerabilities but lead to inconsistent experiences for your agents and your customers.

Agents also need a quality headset that’s compatible with your dialer system. Knowing that your agents have the right hands-free setup can help your team remain as productive as possible and avoid call-quality issues that lose leads.

 

The Right Connectivity

Another critical element of ensuring continuity and quality is a reliable internet connection. Provide support to ensure that your entire team has access to a strong connection at home—and knows how to make sure it’s running as fast as it can. As part of your onboarding information, include instructions on how agents working from home can connect their computer to an ethernet cable and attain the highest speeds for both upload and download. 

 

Super-charged Cloud-based Software

With a cloud-based solution, agents and managers won’t need to worry about the installation and updates that downloadable software requires. Opt for a browser-based SaaS dialer platform like Convoso. With a web-supported solution, your agents will have everything they need in one easy-to-access place, and managers will have the data analytics and agent performance monitoring they require as well.

 

How to Keep Your Virtual Call Center Productive and Connected

Virtual call centers don’t just require any old browser-based dialing solution, though. The best solutions are ready with a suite of tools and features that support all of the tasks in a work day. 

 

Tools to Drive Agent Efficiency, Productivity, and Morale

Choose a dialer that provides an automated, streamlined workflow and saves your agents time as they are completing their calls and tasks. As with on-site call center operations, it’s all about keeping your remote agents in a rhythm and moving seamlessly from call to call. When selecting a dialing solution, look for features and tools like the following:

  • Dynamic Scripting: Get your agents through conversations with the lead information and scripted path they need to meaningfully connect with customers and effectively qualify leads, while meeting the various state compliance regulations. 
  • Customizable Dashboards: Your dialer managers need a user-friendly front-end that automates the number crunching and allows them to get all of the actionable metrics in real time so they can make strategic decisions throughout the day.  They need to be able to pull in KPIs around agents, lists, and leads relevant to your business goals.
  • Workflow Dialing: Use automated workflows to increase contact rates and keep sales and lead gen agents engaged. Connect with leads at the right times without overdialing, by tailoring dial schedules to each lead based on CRM and call history, and avoiding call predictability. 

Underlying all these helpful tools is automation, an absolutely essential facet of any future virtual call center operation. Supporting your agents with automation saves them from the tedious and time-consuming tasks that feed disillusionment and disengagement. As Chris Cantrell, an experienced agent with US Health Advisors, says, automated capabilities like an effective autodialer are not just “how you put time back in your agents’ pockets. [They] also produce more sales, at the best times.” A win-win for your team members and your business’s bottom line.

 

See what other tools you need to boost agent productivity at your virtual call center

 

Call Center KPIs, Reports, and Manager Efficiency

Tools for WFH Call Center Managers That Support Accountability

With staff spread across many locations, keeping tabs on performance and keeping agents accountable to their responsibilities is as important as ever—and will require that your cloud contact center solution comes equipped with tools tailored to effective management as well. Make the job of running a tight (remote) ship easier with tools like these:

  • Agent Productivity Logs: Gain visibility into agent login and logout times with agent productivity logs and make sure that your team is making the best use of their scheduled work time.
  • Wrap Up Time Limit: Set limits on how long agents may take to wrap up between calls with customizable settings.
  • Listen and Whisper Capabilities: Listen in on calls to monitor performance, whisper supportive guidance, and be able to step in when the situation calls for it.
  • Quality Assurance Monitoring and Scoring Software: As Heather Griffin describes, “In the past you needed 5, 10, even 20 QA agents, and they would only be able to score a fraction of your calls.” Now, new AI technology gives you the ability to monitor 100% of your calls. And since you won’t be in the room with your agents anymore, Griffin says, this software plays a vital role in alerting you when calls go awry or off script.
  • Real Time Reporting: Keep things humming along across your virtual call center with real time reporting that delivers transparency into activity and performance—whether it’s team-wide or down to the individual agent—no matter where they are.

 

Hear More Tips on Managing WFH Call Centers in Our WFH Webinar Series

 

Strategies to Keep Your Team Connected and Empowered

The right tools for both agents and admins can support efficiency and productivity at any virtual call center. But without the right strategies for keeping teams in touch and engaged, WFH call centers will run the risk of a workforce that becomes disengaged and disinterested. 

After all, as call center operations trend toward remote work and leave traditional office spaces behind, teams lose the in-person meetings, break-room chatter, and activities that help build unity, camaraderie, and other elements of human connection that form the foundation of shared success.

“Employee engagement is so key to a remote call center,” says Griffin. “At my agency, we’ve found that whenever we fall away from employee engagement metrics and connections, we’ve always seen production slide.”  To build and maintain those crucial connections, call centers moving to a virtual model will need to implement vital channels and strategies of communication. Employee retention also depends on thought out compensation and career-progression structures that allow for growth and rewards.

 

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Remote sales and lead gen team - WFH video chatClear communication that builds connections starts with regularly scheduled time to chat as a team. “If you can make it possible, a daily meeting with clear direction and guidance is so helpful,” according to Griffin. And don’t forget the face time: While it can be easy to slip into the habit of leaving cameras off during morning calls you might take in your pajamas, encourage turning cameras on and holding talks “face to face” to help maintain a necessary sense of personal connection.

Supplement regular updates with one-on-one meetings over video chat platforms like Zoom or Google Meet. These meetings, even if they’re short, provide important opportunities to share both goals and grievances, and ensure individuals that their voices are heard. 

There should also be opportunities to let loose and have a little fun together. Enjoying a happy hour over Zoom instead of at your old haunts might sometimes seem like a tough pill to swallow when you move remote, but holding team-wide events really does make a difference. These meetups are also an opportunity to get creative. Heather Griffin says that her teams have enjoyed everything from scavenger hunts to trivia nights to help stay connected and blow off some steam.

 

Build the Right Progression Programs and Compensation Structures

The nature of outbound call center agent work can get a little monotonous. 

To motivate your remote workforce and give them a transparent, hopeful outlook on the future, you need a well-developed career progression program with clearly defined benchmarks and timelines. “[A good program] gives people hope, and it helps with retention,” according to Griffin.

Back up this progression program with a compensation structure that incentivizes performance and keeps employees plugged in and at their best. Plus, you can easily make your sales leaderboards digital to add a little extra competition and fun.

 

Legal Aspects of Virtual Call Center

 

Ensuring That Your WFH Call Center Remains Compliant

Compliance should always be top-of-mind for any call center, but the move toward remote work presents new hurdles and potential risks. 

Virtual call centers will need to do their due diligence in understanding issues of privacy-related compliance. Attorney Michele Shuster of MacMurray & Shuster advised that performing a risk assessment of your operations is critical. 

“That involves taking a look at the types of regulations that are imposing privacy restrictions on [your business],” Shuster said. Call centers working in industries that might handle sensitive personal information need to be particularly vigilant in their assessments. “You want to take a look at what the business objectives are with that information, and you have to look at what the risk type is. Is it that you would be violating the law? Is [there a risk that] would damage our reputation? Are you concerned about identity theft? Is it trade secrets?” 

By taking stock of your organization’s particular risk factors, as well as the differences in security infrastructure between your office environment and your WFH setup, you can accurately assess and account for new risks that may arise due to transitioning to remote operations.

Meanwhile, to maintain TCPA compliance, you again need to have the right remote contact center software solution in place. Your software should include features and strategies that help your team avoid overdialing, scrub numbers against a Do Not Call list, and offer integration with additional compliance solutions

 

Take a Deep Dive into the Legal Aspects of Running a Virtual Call Center

 

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to incorporating this 2021 trend and shifting your call center toward a virtual model. But at the end of the day, with the right software solution on your side, the process becomes a whole lot simpler. Whether it’s new to you or you aren’t clear how to improve your current remote operation, you should know that you can run a productive and profitable sales and lead generation team with a virtual outbound call center.

At Convoso, supporting virtual call centers isn’t about following a trend—it’s what we’ve been doing for years. Learn more about our solutions for WFH call centers, and schedule a demo today.

 

 

Call Center Trends 2021_Omnichannel

Omnichannel Solutions Improve Call Center Contact Rates: 2021 Trends for Lead Generation and Sales

By | Industry Trends | No Comments

As our connected devices have led us to communicate in ever more diverse ways, it’s become fairly standard for outbound call centers to provide omnichannel solutions that meet consumers wherever they take their business. 

So, with the capability to automate text and email as outreach tools for dialing campaigns, contact rates for sales and lead generation teams should be higher than ever, right?

Unfortunately, many omnichannel approaches fail to live up to this promise. What’s more, not all call center managers use the full range of capabilities in their platform’s arsenal.

But if you want to stay competitive (and compliant) in 2021, it’s time to step back and evaluate the best ways to weave multiple channels into your strategy.

Convoso omnichannel contact center software

To help you do so, here’s what we’ll cover in this post:

  • Supporting smart dialing strategies with automation
  • Navigating compliance and boosting contact rates
  • Meeting customers where they communicate best
  • Why not all omnichannel solutions are created equally

 

Support Smart Dialing Strategies with Automation

Any successful dialing strategy has to consider the best time to call customers. But if you have a large list of data to get through, and you’re calling one by one, you might end up making some of those calls outside of your ideal time slot. 

Of course, with a powerful, automated autodialer solution on your side, you can get through these lists at the best time of day, and only deliver to your agents those calls that connect. Chris Cantrell, an agent with US Health Advisors, says that this capability is “how you put time back in your agents’ pockets—and also produce more sales, at the best times.”

From there, it’s easy to see how your gains might snowball. As Cantrell puts it: “You create more revenue, and you create more profit for more leads and even more opportunity.”

 

Watch VIDEO of Chris talking about saving time and improving sales using multiple channels

 

Not only that, but this smart dialing strategy can and should serve as the backbone for your automation-driven omnichannel approach. 

That time that your agents get back thanks to the efficiency of a powerful autodialing solution? Cantrell says that that’s all time your team can put toward your other channels, like SMS and email. This way, according to Cantrell, “you’re freeing up time to do the things that matter in the downtime, and you’re staying really hot, and really productive, in the hot time.”

With the right omnichannel solutions, though, your SMS and email channels aren’t just being put to use when your agents have downtime—they’re always working in the background, even when your agents are focusing their best efforts elsewhere. 

Cantrell says that having these channels—whether it’s your texts or your email drip campaigns— running in the background, pulling in customers digitally rather than over the phone, helps bring the business to you. 

This kind of automation of tedious tasks is key to building the next generation call center you need to stay competitive. With streamlined processes and improved efficiencies, you can not only drive growth but support a more successful and satisfying experience for your agents.

 

Navigating Compliance and Boosting Contact Rates

Meanwhile, though, that dialing strategy that’s the foundation of your omnichannel approach also has to account for compliance. And that means putting outright overdialing behind you. After all, it’s about dialing smarter, not harder.

That’s because, as TCPA regulations tighten, call blocking expands, and consumers become savvier, wild dialing is just no longer an effective, or ultimately profitable, approach to running a lead gen or sales call center. This tactic will just lead to your calls being blocked or marked as spam, potentially without you knowing it.

 

Learn more about adapting to TCPA compliance trends and staying competitive in 2021

 

But if you’re dialing less, you may be wondering how you’re supposed to convert leads. The answer circles back to omnichannel and automation.

Smarter, compliant outreach begins with understanding the quality of the leads that you’re dialing. You can’t just take the same blanket outreach approach with both high-intent and low-intent leads. 

Low-intent leads call for a little bit of extra caution. Your dialing solution that’s at the heart of your omnichannel approach? It should be able to support dialing that’s responsible—and do so automatically. That means it should utilize tools that automatically rest your leads based on inputs like intent level and prior dispositions, plus offer you to create custom redial/recycle logic. After all, a good way to avoid having your calls blocked is to call less! 

For those ever-valuable high-intent leads, you don’t just need automation, you need omnichannel. The newfound efficiencies we discussed above are as crucial as ever: That time saved on the sales floor with smart autodialing can help give your team essential time to fine-tune and strike the right balance between voice, text, and email. 

This time, combined with the right system, provides opportunities to develop smarter call cadences for high-intent leads. And these call cadences you develop can be synchronized with automated omnichannel workflows that do much of the work for your team.

Automation based on events

The best omnichannel solutions rely on event-driven workflow automation. Event-driven means that you can configure an outreach action—whether text, email, callback, or smart voicemail drops—to take place when it’s triggered by one or more specific events.

For example, you send an email and that email gets opened. With event-driven workflow automation, you can automate an action based on this event, ensuring a call is placed, say, two minutes after this email is opened. 

But the chain reaction doesn’t have to end there. With the right system, you should be able to automate a workflow based on a long list of interlinked events, creating thousands of different outcomes that are tailored to your particular marketing and sales strategy.

In the end, when you automate lead follow-up across voice, text, and email you can dramatically boost contact rates—and, done right, while staying compliant.

 

Meeting Customers Where They Communicate Best

The reason behind these boosts in contact rates isn’t exactly rocket science. Omnichannel is all about connecting with customers in the way they prefer. Giving customers options and adding a personalized touch—it’s basically Sales 101. 

Connect over multiple communication channelsThink about your own preferences as a customer. How do you like to be contacted? Does it depend on who’s reaching out? Or on the time of day? Like you, customers are going to be more easily reached on different communication channels for a variety of reasons.

Speaking about her experience in the solar energy market, industry veteran and call center expert Heather Griffin imparted some words of wisdom for outbound sales teams in all industries: Omnichannel, she says, is critical to dealing with shifting demographics, each of which come with their own biases toward certain channels. As more Millennials and members of Gen Z become eligible customers, it’s on sales teams to adjust, according to Griffin. “Millennials and Gen Z—they don’t like talking on the phone,” Griffin says. “So that’s where SMS and omnichannel come in” and have an important role to play in keeping contact rates up as market demographics change. 

 

Looking for tips to motivate your millennial and Gen-Z workforce?  Check out these 7 Surefire Tactics to Motivate Your Millennial Call Center Agents

 

Regardless of whether you’re trying to bridge generational gaps, though, the key here is to keep the conversation going. That means the prospect’s experience should be easy and consistent across platforms, whether phone, email, or texting. 

Agents need to see all the ways a lead has connected with your company and all the relevant information you have on that lead, which requires a system with robust lead management capabilities and actionable data analytics integrations.

 

Why Not All Omnichannel Solutions Are Created Equally

For many outbound sales teams, omnichannel is apparently easier said than done. Even if some centers think they’re ahead of the curve here, according to Convoso’s Chief Product Officer Bobby Hakimi, “there are centers that don’t have a true omnichannel system.”

Even if they have omnichannel built into their approach, Hakimi says, “many of the channels they use are controlled manually by agents. Or, if it’s automated, they have little to no control over when to automate that channel.”   

To deliver higher contact rates and bring success to your sales and lead gen team, omnichannel is the way to go – and, it’s just one of the outbound call center trends for 2021 in our series to help contact centers stay competitive. From driving smarter dialing strategies and maintaining compliance, to reaching customers between multiple devices and across generations, the right omnichannel solutions for 2021 and beyond are backed by automation that saves you and your team time, so that you can do more of what you do best.

 

Tour Convoso’s omnichannel solution and learn about our automation-driven suite of tools. 

 

Snapshot Insights on Working in a Tech Job from Software Engineer

By | Inside Convoso | No Comments

Replying to a journalist’s inquiry about jobs in tech, one of the women on our team volunteered to share a snapshot of the day-to-day realities of working on an engineering team. Especially during Women’s History Month, we’re proud to share the inside scoop from Ellie, a senior software engineer at Convoso. We hope people considering or looking for work in engineering careers find this helpful. 

 

What does a typical day look like working in your tech job?

Convoso team Chief Architect, CEO, and Sr Software Engineer_r

As a senior software engineer, your day-to-day is solving issues and coming up with solutions. 100% focus and patience is a must, sometimes spending hours to figure out what is causing a specific issue. Browsing the internet to find a solution for some bugs that you are seeing for the first time. Learning new functions/logic/ programming language every day. Overall, every day is a very busy day!

 

What are the pros and cons of your tech job?

Pros of your tech job

You can work from anywhere and anytime. You just need a laptop and that is pretty much it. This flexibility can be really helpful at times. And there is also a good job market. Lots of applications, but also lots of positions. 

Cons of your tech job:

You might feel isolated at times since everyone is working very individually and by themselves – not because of any bad intention though. It is just the nature of this job.

And if you are a woman, you might find yourself the only woman in the whole engineering department. This industry is very dominated by men.  So it really depends on your personality. And there are times when you wish you were doing something else! So many new things to learn EVERY day! There is NEVER an end to the learning process.

 

Read about our award for 2021 Best Places To Work

Convoso is on a strong growth path and hiring in all departments. We’re always looking for new talent who are passionate, full of initiative, and collaborative!

Check out the current openings on our Careers page.