3 List Management Strategies You Can’t Afford to Miss for Your Outbound Call Center

3 List Management Strategies You Can’t Afford to Miss for Your Outbound Call Center

March 6, 2024 | Convoso

In outbound sales, you’re only ever as good as your data. 

Without the right lists—and the right list management—you risk losing valuable time chasing down unprofitable (or uncontactable) leads, burning out agents, and leaving profits on the table for your outbound call center. 

That’s why your business simply can’t afford to miss these list management strategies. Find out how your outbound sales team can make the most of its data in this guide to list management that covers:

  • Developing automated, lead source specific workflows
  • Personalizing sales approaches with data filtering capabilities
  • Optimizing performance and ROI with real-time, list-by-list reporting

What is List Management?

List management refers to the processes and techniques used to maintain, organize, and optimize lists of potential customers or leads. That might include segmenting leads, updating and scrubbing lists to support compliance, prioritizing leads based on readiness to convert, and more. 

Effective list management is essential to ensuring that outbound sales agents are reaching out to the right people, avoiding wasted time, and maximizing sales opportunities. However, as call center efficiency expert Heather Griffin knows well, many teams make some big list management mistakes—failing to keep up with real-time performance or not making use of all of the rich data that’s contained with call center lists.

You need to understand which list is converting. It’s really opportunity cost. It’s the time you’re spending talking to data that doesn’t convert to leads.”

Heather Griffin, CEO, Jenova Solar

In this 2-minute video, Griffin talks about the importance of list management—and shares practical examples as well as some of the insights that we dig into within our breakdown of top list management strategies below.

1.  Use Workflow Automation Based on Lead Source

If you’re unable to manage your lists and your approach by lead source, you’re bound to miss out on crucial contacts and conversions. Why? Because no two leads are the same—and your contact center workflows and call cadences should reflect that.

According to Convoso CEO Nima Hakimi, a dialer with workflow automation can make all the difference. “With high-intent leads vs. low-intent leads, you’re going to have different strategies around them, so your dialer should have the capability to automate that process.”

Working with High-Intent Data

Take high-intent data sources. Broadly speaking, these are the data that have shown an interest in your product or service. They’ve either opted in on your company’s own website or shown interest on another domain, but one thing is for certain: they are your most valuable kind of lead, and you need to treat them like that.

Call center expert Heather Griffin says that this high-intent data is “your ‘gold.’ So, what you’re not going to do with that data is throw it into the dialer and dial it really hard like you might with the high-volume, but lower-intent, data that you have.”

Your dialer software, Griffin says, should give you options. “One of the benefits of using something like Convoso is that you can set up separate workflows for every single list or lead type that you have.” This means that, with your most valuable and interested exclusive leads, you can take the gentler approach that’s warranted. 

Automating Your Omnichannel Approach

Incorporating omnichannel outreach strategies into your high-intent workflows can help you reach customers where they want to be reached.

For instance, texting a lead first can let them know to expect a call and build interest. It can also give them an alternative way to respond. Future outbound texts or emails that are based on call count or outcome can then be added to a later stage of your workflow to nurture your lead.  

The best part? Every step of the workflow can be optimized and then automated, leaving you time to take on other tasks.

Dial Smarter to Make the Most of Your Low-Intent Data

Meanwhile, you can create separate workflows for lower-intent or incentivized leads that might require more aggressive dialing approaches to move them down the funnel.

You can’t just dial harder and expect results, though. You need to dial smarter. And your dialer can help you do that.

“[As you’re dialing certain lists,] you’ll find that the contact rate does not improve after a certain [number of] call attempts,” says Nima Hakimi. It’s a normal part of outbound sales. Sometimes increasing calls just isn’t the answer. But that doesn’t mean that you should stop calling altogether either, according to Hakimi.

“You need to have automation in place that will move that lead into another list and maybe call it back again in 30 days from now and try it again at that point. And maybe then again, in 60 days from now.”

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Redial and Recycle to Save on Lead Costs

Fine-tuning this redial strategy and then automating it can make all the difference. When Kyle Andersson was Director of Operations at Digital Market Media, he told us,

“Redialing strategy is huge. We spend a lot of time finding out the correct redial strategy schedule. By making sure that you have good lead providers as you continue to do these optimizations, you can actually scale back your lead buying because your contact rates are going up so much that you’re able to convert just as many, if not more sales with fewer leads.

2.  Use Data Filtering Capabilities to Personalize Your Sales Approach

The importance of omnichannel and playing to the various preferences that customers hold points to another crucial lead and list management strategy that your dialer needs to offer: data filtering

Outbound call center expert Heather Griffin sees this capability as key to effective list management. “What I’ve learned over the years is that with the right technology you can do zip filtering, state filtering, territory filtering. Long gone are those days when you upload a 100,000 list and just dial through through the list. Now with filters, especially when used with dynamic scripting, you can get really niche and really granular.”

Don’t Leave Valuable Data Out of Your Lead Gen Process

Just like campaign workflows, data filters enable your call center to raise its lead efficiency and conversion ability by tailoring your sales approach to each individual customer’s needs and preferences.

Depending on how you get your leads, you should know some things about them. That is, each of your leads will encompass much more than just a name and phone number. You might have demographic data like their age, location data from their address, or even more particular information like their credit score.

With the right third-party software integrations, you’ll have a world of actionable data at your fingertips. “There’s literally data at every point in your sales process,” says Dylan Graham, VP of Sales at Retreaver, a call tracking software provider. Each of these data points is info that can inform your call strategy, from dial cadence to sales script.

Putting it to use can pay serious dividends. “I’ve seen ridiculous upticks in revenue and in profit when you integrate [customer] data points into your call process,” says Graham.

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Use Data Filtering to Reach Leads at the Right Time

With the right list management capabilities, each and every one of these data points is something that you can leverage to deliver the right message to the right people.

According to Griffin, this is the case with predictive dialer software like Convoso. “In Convoso, anything that is a field header, you can make a filter for it. Even if you just want to call people named Lisa, you can filter for all of your Lisas and that’s who you will dial.”

While she kids, there are virtually limitless options here that Griffin says you can take advantage of with the right list management approach. “Say you’re a mortgage company and you have a really good interest rate in one state, and you’re looking to pitch reverse mortgages for only a short time. You can set a filter in your dialer for people over 65 and in that single state, and only dial that portion of your data population. Whatever the reason is—I can database my own data by putting a filter on it.”

Leverage Data to Personalize Your Sales Message

But filtering isn’t just about who you dial and when, it’s about how you get them to convert once you get them on the line. All of the data points you have on your prospect are things that you can put to use in your call centers’ scripts to boost credibility and offer increased value. 

High-level information like location can inform a localized approach to your sales call, help to ensure that agents not only hit important points to maintain TCPA compliance but greet and pitch customers in a way that makes sense. After all, Griffin says, you probably wouldn’t like to approach somebody from New Jersey in the same way you would someone from Texas.

Meanwhile, more granular prospect data like credit score can help you craft your pitch around the particular pain points that will matter most to them. All in all, filtering your lists is yet another way that you can drive increased conversions and boost your call center’s profitability.

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3.  Use Real-Time List Performance Reporting to Optimize ROI

So, you have automated, omnichannel workflows in place that can be optimized to contact your diverse data sources. And, on top of that, you have the ability to personalize your approach and pitch to each lead within those sources. 

But there still might be something missing from your list management strategy: The ability to see, in granular detail, how well your improved tactics are working as things are happening across your contact center.

Get Granular List Insights in Real Time 

Real-time call center analytics reports enable you to do just that as your agents act on the approaches we’ve detailed above.

Having a customizable dashboard that matches the speed of action on your sales floor—or across your virtual call center—is critical to success, according to Nima Hakimi.

“[At a call center,] every hour counts, right? And especially if you have hundreds of agents, every minute counts,” says Hakimi. “So, if you can’t make those critical decisions on the fly, and you don’t have the data available to you, you’re going to lose productivity for that day, or hour, or whatever [timeframe] it might be. And it’s really costly.”

While many call centers might be informing their actions with high-level and historical data, when it comes to truly optimizing your outbound sales performance, the devil is always going to be in the details. Aside from seeing real-time data, “one of the biggest problems that call centers have,” according to Hakimi, “is that they don’t have the ability to look at the information at a granular level.”

Particularly as call blocking and flagging are on the rise and STIR/SHAKEN regulations are set to be implemented, Hakimi says that it’s increasingly important to be able to dig deep and look at performance on the list and agent levels—and to understand your call center’s true cost per acquisition (CPA).

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See Your True CPA with the List Conversion Report

CPA, which shows the true cost of converting leads, should be the top KPI for your outbound call center. That’s because an understanding of CPA gives you the ability to optimize your call center’s ROI by implementing opportunities to spend and save. What’s more, it will help you identify and improve on any shortcomings in your current dialing strategy or agent performance.

“You need to be able to break down [costs and conversions] on a lead source level to tell you specifically what the ROI is on an hourly basis by agent and by lead source,” says Hakimi. “If you do that, you’ll be able to quickly optimize your call center.”

Convoso’s List Conversion Report gives managers the real-time data they need to determine their true CPA and calculate ROI on a list-by-list basis, which Kyle Andersson of Digital Market Media says enables call centers to increase profitability. The report can be run by the minute, hour, or over a select period of time to understand which lists are driving profits and which are not.

By comparing lists’ performance, call centers can not only implement smarter dialing and redialing strategies but also ultimately cut costs associated with lead purchases. “Leads are one of the biggest expenditures of a call center,” says Andersson. “[By] making sure that you have good lead providers as you continue to do these [dialing strategy] optimizations, you can actually scale back your lead buying.”

More contacts and better conversion rates with less money being spent on leads? That sounds like a recipe for a profitable call center—one that keeps both agents and decision-makers happy and productive.

Of course, the features Convoso’s dialing software provides to boost lead efficiency and call center profitability don’t end there. See for yourself what a full suite of features and our state-of-the-art dialer can do for your business, and schedule a demo today.

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