Convoso sat down with LeadsCouncil Executive Director Rob Seaver to ask about the priorities and issues for lead generation and the outbound call center industry as we move forward through 2021. Virtual call centers and regulatory compliance rank highest in his assessment. And he advises not to take the shortcut when it comes to call center industry compliance.
LeadsCouncil is an independent association whose members in the online lead generation industry are united in a common goal of promoting best practices and fostering trust regardless of vertical. Members companies include lead buyers and lead sellers, technology solution providers, and investment professionals. The purpose of LeadsCouncil is to educate, lobby, and set standards in the lead gen space that help to protect consumers.
Read about the 8 Outbound Call Center Trends to Stay Competitive in 2021
Our interview with Rob Seaver
What is the silver lining to the unique challenges of 2020?
“In general, there is a silver lining to the hardships of 2020. There was so much uncertainty and worry, but we somehow adapted quickly to the problem. Today there are still struggles, but I have seen so many companies pivot in major ways. For instance, going remote in the call center industry. Many companies had never closed down their office before the pandemic.
“Our industry adapted and saw the opportunity in a situation where consumers were at home and had only online shopping. This industry truly rose to the occasion with better product placement, better advertising, and better solutions.”
What positive developments do call centers have to look forward to in 2021?
“There are a lot of call centers that only believe in-house operations can allow them to successfully do business. But this has changed since 2020 now that they’ve seen how successful remote operations work for call centers. The transition to virtual call centers has opened up the capacity for remote hiring, management, and calling. Technology is also advancing both for call center operators and consumers; advancements (like AI) are going to bring value to the industry on both sides of the phone.”
What are some of the key challenges for LeadsCouncil members in 2021?
“The lead generation industry is being scrutinized, regulated, and held to higher accountability like never before. Regulatory waters are going to be challenging this year. If you are not aligning with a self-regulating organization or setting your own regulatory standards to be ahead of the legislation, it’s going to be a problem.”
What are the anticipated demands for outbound sales and lead generation teams in 2021?
“Some of the demands go into the complexity a new administration brings. There are new directors of the Federal Trade Commission, new leadership in the Consumer Protection Bureau, and growing demands for legislation on protection and regulation regarding what is in fact a wanted call by the consumer versus a spam call.
Compliance is really complex. You have to adapt and attack it in a variety of ways such as:
- Be a part of an organization that helps educate you and keep you current on evolving regulatory changes
- Surround yourself with people who are committed to practicing compliant dialing strategies
- Be determined to understand what is going on in this space and try to stay as aware as possible”
What are the key benefits of LeadsCouncil membership in navigating these demands?
“On the surface, we have multi-level benefits from show discounts to member product and services discounts. But the true benefit is the content and education that can’t be found anywhere else in one central place. LeadsCouncil members enjoy networking with industry thought leaders – having access to the main leaders in this space and leveraging that.”
What keeps you up at night in your role as Executive Director?
“There is a nature of people to find the path of least resistance. But in doing so, we get off course – especially as it relates to compliance. This industry struggles with taking the right course versus taking the shortest course, but I will tell you this… there are no shortcuts in compliance.”
Is there anything else you wish more people knew about LeadsCouncil?
“Look at our board of directors, and understand what this space has to offer and how important this body of knowledge is. Utilize an organization like this to navigate compliance and regulations, and ultimately continue to help the consumer.”