We live in a world of data. Big data, small data, we’re all a part of massive amounts of data collection – whether we know it or not. And that trend isn’t about to change.
The lead generation and outbound sales industries depend on data collection and analysis to reach thousands of potential customers – particularly to reach the right customers at the right time.
As any outbound call center manager knows, improvements in sales and lead gen results depend on quality data. But that’s only part of what drives ROI. Your ability to access, to analyze, and to take strategic action on the right metrics are key to navigating your operation toward greater success.
The most effective call center dialer managers track trends in data performance for both inbound and outbound campaigns. They do it in real-time and historically. Insights from both guide their strategic decisions.
In 2021, data analytics will help you operate your outbound contact center with a competitive edge. Consistent data-driven decisions and performance tracking are must-haves moving forward. The better you understand your call center, the better you can guide your sales and lead generation teams toward driving more conversions.
Call Center Analytics
Call center operations today are technology-driven. The most successful lead gen and sales teams will not only use dialer systems with advanced capabilities, but they will base their campaigns and dialing strategies on insights gained from intelligent real time data analysis.
“This pandemic has really forced call centers to look at the metrics, the numbers, the data,” said Nima Hakimi, CEO and Co-Founder of Convoso. “You really have to look at all the pieces of your call center in order to optimize it and manage it in a profitable manner.”
Knowing what to look for and how to apply your outbound call center metrics in your day-to-day operations will guide your success in the long run.
Following the right metrics for agent, lead, and list performance
Do you know the optimal metrics that drive productivity and efficiency in your call center operation? Your most important call center analytics track KPIs for agent performance, lead performance, and list performance. But it’s the insights derived from their relationship that inform the most astute decisions on any given dialing day about which lists to use, tactics for recycling leads, and the managing agent productivity, motivation and success.
Your call center KPIs allow you to pinpoint and address issues quickly.
“The agent’s time is a hard cost; the cost of the dialer is a hard cost. And so you need to be able to break that down on a lead source level to tell you specifically what the ROI is on an hourly basis by agent and by lead source,” Hakimi said. “And if you do that, you’ll be able to quickly optimize your call center.”
1. Agent performance metrics
Tracking agent performance with the right KPIs allows you to quickly identify issues in real time. Are agents waiting for connections due to low contact rates? Are your agents taking too much time between calls? Are call times long without resulting in a conversion? Meanwhile, what’s the quality of the conversations? Are you tracking QA with automated software? Are any agents going off script and putting your company at risk for TCPA compliance violations?
Agent efficiency is critical for an outbound call center to be profitable. You not only need automated tools to streamline tasks, you need customizable automated reports –eg, an agent productivity log– that will show you the detailed trends by the hour, day, week, etc. Once you know what’s going on and why, you can take steps to make improvements.
Any call center operation that wants to scale needs to find a dialer system with automation tools and detailed real time data analytics.
Advanced analytics identify insights on individual agents so you can offer detailed feedback and better training. The upshot of that will not only be more revenue generated per agent, but less turnover. Ultimately, we want to invest in building a strong, motivated team. Tracking the right data will help get you there.
TOP AGENT PERFORMANCE KPIs
- Talk Time
- Wrapup Time
- Pause or Wait Time
- Calls per Agent
- First Call Close
- Number of Sales
- Revenue per Agent
KPIS that can impact agent performance that are more attributable to dialer efficiency:
- Abandoned Call Rate
- Average Hold Time
- Dropped Call Rate
Find out the “Top 5 Metrics that Improve Agent Efficiency and Call Center Profitability” as shared by our guest contributor, Michael Velardi, a high performance dialing manager.
2. Lead performance metrics
Analyzing lead data helps you understand your cost per acquisition (CPA), as well as your connection rates and conversion rates.
At Convoso we say, “Dial smarter, not harder.” Some outbound dialing managers over-call leads for various reasons: they may think that’s the best strategy or that they get their money’s worth that way, and/or it keeps their agents busy. But that approach is going to end up costing you money as you burn through the lists, increase the risks of call blocking or flagging, and potentially land you with expensive compliance fines. Better to analyze your data and level up your dialing strategies.
So, pay attention to your lead performance. Track dialing patterns and use this data to sharpen your campaign strategies. With the right reports, you can also evaluate lead penetration, compare how often you’ve dialed leads on different lists, and define how to contact leads in your next campaign.
According to Nima Hakimi, driving lead efficiency by analyzing the right metrics in real time with smart reporting capabilities is one of the keys to optimizing the productivity and profitability of your call center. As he explains:
“The biggest thing about lead efficiency is you need to look at your reporting to really understand what percentage of those leads pick up. How many of them are transferred, and what is the revenue out of those leads? But you need to have real-time reporting that gives you that data. So you can see on an hourly basis, which agents are producing how much revenue? What is the actual ROI on it? Meaning what was the cost to convert those leads? The agent’s time is hard cost, right? You’re paying them, the cost of the dial is a hard cost. And so you need to be able to break that down on a lead source level to tell you specifically what the ROI is on an hourly basis by agent, by lead source. And if you do that, you’ll be able to quickly optimize your call center. And as someone that’s generating leads and selling them, those are the kinds of questions you want to ask. How are you measuring the conversion rate of these leads? What systems and reporting do you have in place?”
TOP LEAD PERFORMANCE KPIs
- Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
- Connection Rate
- Lead Conversion Rate
- Revenue per Lead
3. List performance metrics
Tired of discovering the low value of your lists after you waste time calling them? The right analytics will show you how your lists are performing in real-time. Compare and sort your lists to find high-quality prospects. You can also determine contact rates, revenue, average talk time, and more from every list you use.
“We have so many different lead sources coming in every day,” said Kyle Andersson, Director of Operations at Digital Market Media. “So it’s imperative that we have it set up, or organized, and we use those reports to ensure that we’re not spending money on data that’s not working, or [for example, finding out] we’re re-allocating to one for the past month, and they’re absolutely killing contact rates and conversions.”
Call center consultant Heather Griffin places a high value on the List Conversion Report for managing call center productivity. The report combines revenue and billable hours, and gives an overall profit-loss for your call center lists over the period you run. She told webinar participants, “You need this report more than you probably know. Having a system capable of doing this kind of reporting is so incredibly important. It’s going to show you who you’re talking to, and is it working. I can see if a list is burnt because our contact rates are super low. I can see a list that’s converting. And more importantly, I can turn off lists where we talked to a lot of people and it didn’t result in sales.”
TOP LIST PERFORMANCE KPIs
- Contact Rate
- Average Talk Time
- Total Revenue
- List Profit and Loss
- Additional KPIs related to transfers
Find out the top 16 KPIs tracked by the most successful outbound call centers. Read the blog or download the pdf.
Tracking trends in data in real-time
The best dialers have both historical and real-time data and analytics. Historical call center data analysis shows how current trends compare to former results. This information is essential for making improvements.
Real-time data lets you see what is happening minute-by-minute. The ability of call center managers to be responsive to what’s happening now can’t be overstated. With this clarity of actual performance of agents, leads, and lists, you can maintain high productivity, lower risks, and drive reliable results.
“I believe that one of the biggest problems contact centers have is that they don’t have the ability to look at information at a granular level to make the decisions they need to run the call center. Every hour counts,” Hakimi said. “So if you don’t make those digital decisions on the fly, and you don’t have the data available to you, you’re gonna lose that production for that day, or hour, or whatever it might be. And it’s really costly.”
Taking the right actions based on call center analytics
Gathering data is important but it’s what you do with this information that is critical. Rather than just checking your call center analytics dashboard to view your numbers, you need to use your knowledge to make data-driven changes throughout your call center.
Your analytics is critical when it comes to major decisions, such as creating call cadences that won’t trigger spam labeling or blocking.
We spoke to John Gallagher, CEO of Thrive Marketing, about dialing strategies. He said that decisions around calling frequency and compliance require assessments based on metrics. “You need KPIs and you need to have somebody who’s really analyzing what is happening in your dialer. What are the returns on it, and what are the associated costs? Because you’re not going to see those costs for a period of weeks or months after you make those dials.”
With key performance indicators (KPIs) you can translate your data into actionable insights. These metrics tell you how well or poorly your team is meeting your goals. Tracking your cost per acquisition, first call closes, average call times, sales per agent, and more gives you a detailed picture of your performance. By integrating this data into every decision, strategy, and action, you’ll see improvements that add up to a better ROI.
Integrating analytics into a single platform for strategic management
Trying to pull together data from a variety of tools can be challenging and has the potential to cause problems. For data analytics to be most effective, use a dialing system that integrates all of your metrics together through your integrated dialer. Create a set of customized, automated call center analytics reports that help your management team make sense of the information. Then customize your dashboard to include the KPIs that matter most to your business success.
John Gallagher also recommends hiring a data analyst who knows how to examine and interpret your call center data.
“Once you have that data, you can quickly pull out the information that tells you what changes you need to make,” he said. “You might need a full-time person, you might not. You could use a consultant who could grab that information, do a quick analysis, and guide you on a way to make changes. A full-time person is nice because you can look at it in real-time and say, ‘This is what’s going on.’”
Though it is an additional cost, having a data analyst on your team is essential for a well-managed call center (particularly growing, large scale and enterprise level contact centers). “Having a data analyst with your call center or your dialer manager, having somebody with them to run numbers and present analysis is very valuable,” Gallagher said. “It’s a luxury but it will pay for itself if you manage it right.”
Using call center data and analytics in 2021
This is one trend that has longevity. Whether it’s 2021 or a future year, the same reality about tracking metrics applies. We measure so we can improve. The right data analyzed the right way can completely change the trajectory of an outbound call center. Use your real time reports to stay on top of your call center’s performance and respond nimbly to trends and problems as they arise.
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