Setting Up Successful Outbound Call Campaigns: Best Practices for Sales and Lead Gen Dialing
June 15, 2023 | Convoso
Calling leads and driving conversions at a high clip is no walk in the park.
Success in phone sales and lead gen requires careful planning and confident execution. Not to mention the right tools.
Whether you’re getting your first campaigns up and running or you’re a seasoned contact center pro ready to break through to the next level, there’s something for everyone in this guide to outbound call campaign management. Brush up on the basics or dig into best practices below as we cover:
- What are outbound call center campaigns?
- The key to effective outbound call campaign management
- How to create more effective outbound dialer campaigns
- The tools you need for better outbound (and predictive) dialing campaigns
What are outbound call center campaigns?
Outbound call center campaigns are efforts made by contact center agents to reach out to customers or potential customers with the purpose of promoting a product or service, conducting a survey, confirming orders or appointments, or for various other reasons. These calls are initiated by the call center, hence the term “outbound.”
There are several types of outbound call center campaigns, including but not limited to:
- Sales Calls: These are perhaps the most common type of outbound call center campaign. Agents call potential or existing customers to try to sell them a product or service.
- Lead Generation: This type of campaign is focused on gathering information about potential customers (leads) who might be interested in a product or service. The goal is often to pass these leads onto a sales team for further engagement.
- Appointment Setting: This specific type of lead gen or sales campaign involves scheduling appointments with potential or existing customers. This could be for a variety of purposes, such as a sales appointment, a service call, or a meeting.
- Customer Retention or Loyalty Programs: These campaigns involve reaching out to existing customers to keep them engaged, often through special offers or loyalty programs.
Efficiency drives effective outbound call campaign management
Every outbound campaign requires careful planning and management, from acquiring or creating a targeted contact list to scripting the calls to dialing in the right contact cadence. In order to drive maximum results, each aspect of a campaign must be designed to be as efficient as possible—and then executed.
Of course, a diverse set of challenges must be accounted for to achieve efficiency in three key areas:
- Agents: Dialer software needs to empower agents to use their time as efficiently as possible, eliminating time-consuming or tedious manual processes as well as unprofitable idle times and wait times.
- Leads: Contact centers need to understand who they’re calling, what they need, and what they expect in order to contact and convert as many prospects as possible. This should be reflected in their outreach timing and methods as well as their scripts. Outbound callers also need to overcome issues with call blocking and labeling to improve contact rates.
- Managers: Overseeing both agent and lead performance, managers also need to be able to efficiently and effectively make decisions that drive campaign improvements.
How to Create More Effective Outbound Dialer Campaigns
With these areas of call center efficiency in mind, implementing these best practices and tips can help you develop more effective (and profitable) outbound dialing campaigns at your contact center.
Get to Know Your Customers
Outbound calling campaigns may rely predominantly on phones but, when it comes down to it, they’re no different than other types of sales efforts: a thorough understanding of your customers is still fundamental to successful campaign planning and management.
To get to know your prospects and develop campaigns that better suit them, consider:
- Creating detailed buyer personas using past experience and data
- Soliciting and analyzing existing customer input through Salesforce surveys, interviews, or 1-on-1 communication
- Examining the sales approaches of your competitors to understand their strengths and areas they can be improved
- Segmenting your lists according to different buyers’ places in the customer journey
Give Agents the Right Scripts
Your knowledge of your customer’s needs and pain points should inform the message that your team delivers over the phone and in emails and texts.
While there’s no way to script everything that will happen over the phone, developing call scripts that draw on customer information and past experience is crucial for campaign performance. Each of your call scripts provides a foundation for great conversations that lead to more sales.
Creating detailed scripts can help support agents as they adapt to new campaigns and new products—and they can even shorten training times and help new agents get up on the phones even faster.
So, what do top campaign scripts include?
Ultimately, creating an effective script is about striking a balance between the universal and the personal. That is, you need to have an overarching vision for your brand and the product/service that you’re selling, but you also need to deliver the personalized experience customers now expect.
Focus on creating scripts that can succinctly offer value as well as overcome common sales objections. Meanwhile, make sure there’s room to draw on data and insights from your CRM that are unique to individual prospects.
To execute campaigns with agent, lead, and manager efficiency, contact center automation is absolutely essential. Intelligent automation helps eliminate wasted time as well as human error, giving you the ability to optimize your campaigns.
Virtually every corner of contact center operations can now be automated in some way, shape, or form. Be sure not to overlook these especially important automated capabilities in your call campaigns:
- Speed to Lead: To maximize contact rates and conversions, you need to be able to reach leads while your offerings are fresh on their minds. Dialer automation that prioritizes your warmest leads is key to reaching them as fast as possible.
- Outreach cadences: Don’t just dial individual leads like crazy. Use workflow dialing tools to automate contact cadences over the life of your campaigns.
- Dialing pace: For auto-dialer campaigns, rely on an intelligent predictive or power dialer that can automate the most efficient dialing pace based on your agents’ availability.
- Agent workflows: Use software with an easy-to-use interface that eliminates unnecessary clicks and cumbersome data entry.
- Quality assurance: Supplement the QA work done by your dedicated team with AI-powered tools that can track behavior across more calls, detect harmful or successful patterns, and streamline agent coaching.
- Reporting and analytics: Call campaigns are rich in data, which means they offer ripe for insights and analysis. But if you’re still tabulating data manually in spreadsheets or surveying performance only after hours of activity, you’re missing out on opportunities to improve efficiency and drive better results.
Measure Your Performance and Adjust on the Fly
Picking up on that last point, your call center’s reporting tools need to automatically track performance in real time. Because if you’re managing campaigns, you can’t wait until you’re all the way through all of your first call attempts to know whether or not customers are picking up.
Of course, speed and automation aren’t enough on their own. Your software needs to shed light on the right KPIs, too. Use only robust reporting tools that can track all of your most important performance metrics across every aspect of your operation and do so on a list-by-list level.
With real-time, granular visibility into the right metrics—from contact rate and talk time to your true cost per acquisition—you can understand what’s working with which lead lists and have your agents only focus on what’s most effective and profitable.
Support Compliance Along the Way
All the while, your call campaigns need to be set up to support compliance with call center regulations at both the federal and state levels. Be sure that you only contact leads at the right times, with the right consent, and using the right disclosures in your scripts.
Want to learn more about supporting contact center compliance? Explore our TCPA best practices and download a call center compliance checklist.
The Tools You Need for Better Outbound Dialing
A Powerful (and Flexible) Dialer
In the end, much of your ability to be successful in your outbound calling campaigns comes down to whether or not you have the right dialer software. Without a dialer that can penetrate your lists effectively and deliver the reliability and speed to lead you need, sales and lead gen efforts are going to struggle.
So, when looking to support your campaigns with the right tools, start with the dialer engine that’s driving it all.
Today’s dialers are—or at least should be—much more than that, though. They should offer a suite of interconnected solutions to help you optimize performance and overcome challenges in each of your campaigns.
Outbound lead generation and sales in 2023 is a data-driven business. Your dialer should be able to directly integrate with your CRM software and leverage all of the customer data you have at your disposal.
Omnichannel and Intelligent Virtual Agent Software
Customers’ contact preferences are evolving. Your campaigns need to adapt. That means that “call campaigns” can no longer be just call campaigns, per se.
Outbound calls should be made in tandem with approaches in other important channels like SMS and email as part of a comprehensive, integrated omnichannel contact strategy.
Better yet, they should harness the power of conversational AI to achieve this. A conversational AI SMS and voice solution for sales like Voso.ai can help your team contact more customers, more efficiently while lessening the burden on your agents.
Answering Machine Detection
As you scale up the number of leads you’re calling, even a few seconds of idle time and inefficiency here and there can really add up. That might not be clearer in any aspect of high-volume dialing than in reaching voicemails. When your agents get connected to answering machine messages instead of live humans, nobody wins. Agents lose their momentum and your business wastes valuable time.
Answering machine detection (AMD) software aims to help prevent that. The most accurate voicemail detection tools can detect voicemail messages with up to 97% accuracy, ensuring that your campaigns maximize talk time with actual customers.
Caller ID Reputation Management
There may be no bigger problem facing today’s outbound contact centers and sales teams than Spam Likely labels. When your legitimate calls to consenting leads get marked as spam or scams, contact rates drop precipitously.
The only proven remedy to this widespread issue is transparency. Your dialer needs to deliver that transparency with the right caller ID reputation management tools.
Convoso’s ClearCallerID™ gives you a comprehensive collection of tools to fully manage the health of your caller IDs. See when each major carrier flags or blocks your numbers, then quickly swap out affected numbers, and automatically update campaigns to keep them ticking along at maximum efficiency.
Together with the fastest, most powerful predictive dialer for lead generation and sales teams, ClearCallerID can help you boost contact rates and conversions and make the most of every outbound call campaign.
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