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Lead Generation

The 2.0 Lead Generation Call Center Keys to Efficiency and Profitability

By | Call Center Solutions, Lead Generation, AI, Work From Home Agents, TCPA and Compliance, KPIs and Measuring Performance, Webinars & Events | No Comments

The 2.0 Lead Generation Call Center

 

LeadsCouncil logoA LeadsCouncil Leadership Series web discussion on how forward-thinking lead generation call center operations increase key efficiencies.

 

Convoso CEO Nima Hakimi joined two lead gen call center ops experts to share insights about “The 2.0 Lead Generation Call Center.”

Kyle Andersson, Director of Operations at Digital Market Media, and Michael Velardi, SVP at Resource Marketing Corp have both really pushed the envelope in managing their remote call centers for efficiency and profitability.

Watch the video, hosted by LeadsCouncil Executive Director Rob Seaver, to pick up experience-driven advice on how to maximize your Agent Efficiency, Lead Efficiency, and Manager Efficiency while staying compliant. Be a next gen call center.

The experts discuss managing remote call center agents, staying in compliance, the impact of AI, automation and dialing strategies for lead efficiency, understanding the profitability of your lists and list sources by digging into the right set of KPIs and reports to get the biggest ROI.

 

Discussion Highlight Quotes from “The 2.0 Lead Gen Call Center”

 

Jump to any discussion topic from here:

 

STIR/SHAKEN and TCPA Compliance*

 

LeadsCouncil's Rob Seaver hosts 2.0 Call Center webinar

Rob Seaver

Rob Seaver 
There’s a lot of activity right now that impacts the quality of leads from a compliance standpoint…In the STIR/SHAKEN side of things, we’re now seeing the telco companies being forced by the FCC to block some of these calls.

There are a couple of other things impacting the industry. As it relates to call center fraudulent submissions and forms, there are people who you get on the phone and you hear that dreaded, ‘I did not sign up,’ which is impacting TCPA because if they did not fill out the form, or they were not the owner of the phone number that they submitted the form with, you possibly could be looking at a TCPA violation.

 

Nima Hakimi

With STIR/SHAKEN, Telco carriers are being mandated to implement it by June of 2021. It’s basically Caller ID authentication, which helps the telecom carriers detect the legitimacy of a caller through a token. So you cannot spoof through Caller ID.

When your caller IDs are getting flagged, that will decrease your contact rates. Calling excessively is just a recipe for disaster.

In the big picture, that is actually a good thing, right? Because the bad actors are the ones typically spoofing the Caller IDs and using Caller ID’s that are not valid. So you cannot get back to them. My prediction is that once it goes into place, call volumes will go down considerably, but the businesses that are doing it legitimately will thrive.

There’s a lot of pressure that’s being put on, and the FCC is really going to start regulating these things.

 

Kyle Andersson

A lot of it starts pre-call – we are hyper focused on compliance with data before it even hits the dialer. The ideal lead…has intent for the product or industry that you’re selling…So, for us, it’s all about having high intent users, not just pure volume.

We scrub our leads vigorously. And then within Convoso, there’s a lot of great things such as automatic DID reputation checks. So you’re not having to worry about if your DID is becoming potential spam.

And then regulating your redials, not hammering one number 30 times in a day, maybe eight times back over a course of three weeks…There’s little things that you can do to continuously armor yourself to make sure that you’re of the highest quality.

 

Michael Velardi
I never want to call somebody who goes, ‘Who are you? Why are you calling? Where did you get my number?’ Because that’s the worst thing you ever hear in our business [which is why] my data is source-reliable, opt-in-only, Jornaya lead ID.

 

[*Views expressed for educational purposes and should not be taken as legal advice. Please consult your attorney regarding matters of compliance with current laws.]

 

AI + Quality Monitoring and Coaching

 

Nima
AI in terms of quality control is really going to play a huge role in that regard for better conversations, more compliant conversations, and just ultimately, increased results in the agent performance… For example, there’s an integration we have that will coach and listen to your agents in real time, and let them know if they’re off script or not, or if they’re using the right rebuttals or not… Are they talking too fast?

You need to have AI incorporated in one way or another if you want to go remote and grow it and scale it, in full compliance.

 

Kyle
When you talk about quality assurance—the traditional listening to calls, scoring calls and making sure that they’re compliant, they’re quality, they’re getting through the qualification questions that you need from your clients—this is all streamlined with AI because it’s not a person or managers listening to calls, it’s the systems listening to every call.

And you have statistics on every single call, all of the details, everything that you want to see in calls or don’t want to see. It’s very scalable. So, that’s one huge thing that AI will play into remote or in-house call centers.

It’s all about being proactive instead of reactive, which is what [AI and streamlining] will help with.

 

Lead Efficiency

 

Nima

Convoso CEO NIma Hakimi at 2.0 Call Center webinar

Nima Hakimi

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? 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 a hard cost,… 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 and by lead source. And if you do that, you’ll be able to quickly optimize your call center.

 

READ NIma's blog on Improving Lead Efficiency

 

Dialing Strategies & Effective Lead Management

 

Nima

Sometimes it’s not your quality of leads that will have an impact. What is the dialing strategy? How are they working those leads? How are they recycling those leads?

Most people’s dialers are not set up effectively to convert their leads.

You’ll find that the contact rate does not improve after a certain [number of] call attempts. Now that doesn’t mean that you should stop calling it altogether, but 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.

Customers need the understanding, the mentality to stop buying so many leads. [Some call centers] are always thinking, ‘We want to buy more and more and more leads.’ Guess what? You’d hit the wall, you can’t catch up with the new leads. Now those get stuck and you’re just dialing the old ones. I mean, it’s just a big mess….

You really have to shift your mindset if you want to do things right. And leads cost… it’s one of your biggest expenses at the end of the day.

 

Kyle

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…You can actually spend less money and make more money.

 

Reporting Capabilities

 

Digital Market Media Dir of Ops Kyle Andersson at 2.0 Call Center Webinar

Kyle Andersson

Kyle 
We use a lot of Convoso reports for data. And as long as you organize and separate your lists and your providers, and real time and all that inbound, you have all the reporting that you need. You have the contact rate by list. You can do it by date. You have the conversion and transfer of sale, you have the average duration of the call, abandoned… All of that stuff by list, by date.

We have so many different lead sources coming in everyday. 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.

 

Remote Outbound Call Centers

 

Nima

For companies that don’t consider the value of remote] you’re missing out on a huge opportunity, a huge talent pool to take your call center to the next level.

This pandemic has really forced call centers to look at the metrics, the numbers, the data. 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…

When we look at these efficiencies of lead efficiency, agent efficiency, management efficiency, it’s really the combination of all three of them that will make your call center more profitable in a compliant manner. Because, especially now, if you want to go remote, if you don’t have those processes in place across all three efficiencies, it won’t work.

You have to have good accountability in place for the agents [especially as you grow and scale]…Having systems in place that will automatically have checks and balances in terms of productivity is absolutely key. Otherwise, there’s just no way you can manage that process manually.

 

Call Center 1.0 vs 2.0

 

Michael

Michael Velardi at 2.0 Call Center Webinar

Michael Velardi

The 1.0 model was literally to shovel weeds in, beat them to death, call the new leads 12 times. And then give me more. Just, I killed them. They’re dead. Give me more. And it never valued longevity.

Where 2.0 is, you’re measuring the data and your agent’s rest time, your live contact rates. And it’s really allowing you to do more with less because your contact rates increased so much that it becomes a detriment if you buy too much new [data].

The days of too much new data is just as bad as, ‘Oh no. All we have is old data.’ Because, you have to use both, you can’t have one without the other. And I’ve learned a much more manageable approach for the company based on data usage, data costs, and modeling. And we’ve reduced our outbound cost on data by 25%.

What most of these 2.0 things sum up is quick, actionable information…[with] movements such as agent efficiency, manager efficiency, dialer efficiency. I think what the focus and the shift has become is the data is so readily available [with real time metrics] that now I’m able to make a move—where I’m not post-Tuesday looking at what Monday’s results were. So there’s no, ‘Good morning, I couldn’t save the game.’

 

 

Are you using strategies that maximize efficiencies for your lead generation call center?  Find out how you can improve your call center’s profitability with Convoso.

 

Schedule a Demo

[Convoso works best for call centers with 10+ seats]

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Improve Call Center Lead Efficiency to Boost ROI

Outbound Calling Strategies: Accelerating Lead Efficiency

By | Uncategorized, Outbound Sales, Lead Generation | No Comments

Top Outbound Call Center Strategies to Accelerate Lead Efficiency and Drive Profitability.

 

Improving lead efficiency is critical to making your outbound center profitable. You could say everything points to improving your contact rate, and we’re going to talk about ways to do just that by analyzing the right reporting metrics to calculate your true CPA, using smart dialing strategies, and maximizing the power of lead efficiency. So today I want to share some insights and strategies about:

 

Looking at the Right Metrics    |    Smart Dialing Strategies    |    The Power of Lead Efficiency

Tools to Improve Lead Efficiency   |   Metrics & Reports that Improve Lead Efficiency

 

 

The 3 efficiencies that drive call center profitability

The 3 efficiencies that drive call center profitability: Lead Efficiency, Agent Efficiency, and Manager Efficiency

After 15 years serving outbound call centers, I can tell you that the best approach to boosting your profitability is to improve performance efficiency across these three areas:  Lead Efficiency, Agent Efficiency, and Manager Efficiency.

[We talked about this in a panel discussion at Lead Generation World on the The 3 Efficiencies That Drive Call Center Performance —back when the world was attending conferences— and again recently in a webinar with LeadsCouncil on the 2.0 Call Center.]

 

The focus of this article is to show how you can accelerate LEAD EFFICIENCY to dramatically improve profitability for your call center.

 

learn more about how to drive efficiencies for my call center operation

 

Are You Looking at the Right Metrics? In Real Time?

 

I’ve talked to hundreds of call centers about ways to improve efficiency. No matter your company size, the most helpful advice I can give about improving lead efficiency is to understand your true cost per acquisition. 

 

CPL vs CPA – Know your true Cost Per Acquisition 

 

The best in class contact centers focus on their cost per acquisition at a lead vendor level, and how much revenue comes out of those leads. Many call center managers zero in on their cost per lead (CPL) numbers. I agree that CPL is important. Who wouldn’t want to pay less for leads?  

 

But CPL is just one piece of the puzzle. What’s more critical is to know your true CPA. The best in class contact centers focus on their cost per acquisition at a lead vendor level, and how much revenue comes out of those leads. 

 

Unfortunately, many contact centers don’t measure CPA – they only look at it on a cost per lead basis. They’re making strategic decisions about how they’re operating their call center, but they don’t have the whole picture. 

 

If I opened a restaurant, and set menu prices based solely on the food costs, but didn’t take into account what I pay the chef, the cooks, the waiters and waitresses… I’d be out of business. 

 

Metrics Lead the Way

 

The smartest path to lead efficiency is to really understand what’s going on with those leads by persistently monitoring real-time reports that show you specific, active lead metrics. 

 

Your agents, your leads, and the cost of the dialer are the major numbers in determining your cost per acquisition. But you also need to break that down on a lead source level so you know what the ROI is on an hourly basis by both agent and lead source. 

 

Proof Positive True CPA 

 

Here’s an example of what a difference it can make to your bottom line when you measure your true CPA. 

There was a credit repair lead gen company out of Atlanta that was buying leads from several different sources. Some leads cost them $0.50 per lead, while another lead source cost them $1.00 per lead. The $0.50 leads were converting at about $37, whereas the $1.00 leads were converting at about $52. 

So the company thought they were getting a higher return on the $0.50 leads. 

The problem was they didn’t have a way to factor in other relevant costs: the call center agent’s time trying to convert the leads and the cost of the dialer. 

They were making critical decisions about their call center’s operations based on only a part of an equation, an incomplete picture. 

Once we got them working with Convoso’s real-time analytics to calculate their true Cost Per Acquisition, they determined that their agents were spending 50% more talk time trying to convert the cheaper $0.50 leads. 

With this new data they shifted their budget to the $1.00 leads and increased their profitability by about 40%

 

<< Jump down to METRICS & REPORTS THAT IMPROVE LEAD EFFICIENCY >>

 

Smarter Decisions from the Right Analytics

 

I can’t stress enough how critical it is that call centers have a system with these reporting capabilities.  The best way to improve lead efficiency is to arm yourself with real-time analytics so you can get insights at the list and list vendor level. Then you’re making smarter decisions right away. And here’s some of what will happen:

You’ll stop wasting agent effort on low performing lists

You’ll increase effort on higher performing lists

You can redirect your budget to vendors offering the higher performing lists  

 

John Gallagher, numbers guru and call center KPI expert, gives a great example of why you want to analyze your call center lead metrics from a more comprehensive perspective.

Call Center KPI expert John Gallagher

“You pay $1000 for a list that converts into $15,000 in revenue and it takes 100 leads, which is $150/lead in revenue. Another list bought for $1000 converts into $30,000 in revenue, but takes 400 leads. In the second case, your revenue per lead is very low at $75/lead. 

Now factor in your agent’s time in terms of how much you’re paying them per hour to get that conversion. And, you have to look at your manager’s time. In this way you get a more accurate picture of total revenue when you look at the value of your lists and leads. Then it becomes really apparent where you should spend your time, and where you want to invest in the future.”

 

Show me the video where John talks about metrics to improve efficiency and profitability

 

Are You Using Smart Dialing Strategies?

 

You may have quality leads. But if you’re applying a low-grade dialing strategy with inadequate tools, you’re still a long way from Lead Efficiency. And that good money you spent for quality leads is a waste. 

 

Stop Overdialing 

 

The problem call center operators run into is the impulse to call and call and call. The same number. Over and over. And, that’s OVERdialing. 

 

When call centers buy more expensive, quality leads they sometimes resort to calling those leads as much as possible to try to “get their money’s worth.” But the real trick to lead efficiency is the strategies you’re using to contact them. And, the metrics you’re using to track and manage the lists and agents.

 

When I talk to a call center manager, I want to know how they’re working those leads. How are they recycling their leads?  Most people’s dialers are not set up effectively to convert leads. They just keep dumping the leads in and dialing. 

 

Recently I participated in a LeadsCouncil webinar “The 2.0 Call Center” that included a couple of high producing call center operators. Kyle Andersson is Director of Operations at Digital Market Media, and when we talked about dialing strategies, he had this to say:

 

Call Center Ops Expert, Kyle Andersson“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. 

If we’re talking about call center profitability, lead costs are one of the biggest expenses. So being able to grow your agent force numbers-wise, but scale back your lead purchasing—you can actually spend less and make more money.”

 

 

Breaking Up the Calling Pattern

 

We approach it very differently. 

 

We encourage call centers to start breaking up the pattern of just persistently calling leads and hoping somebody answers. Use workflow dialing with omnichannel scheduling capabilities to increase chances of contacting the lead.  You might start with the phone call, followed by an SMS message, then an email. 

 

The more you call somebody, the less likely they’re going to answer the phone. That’s just the reality. You also need to look at how many times a lead goes to voicemail. Because, at some point, you want to stop calling that lead.

 

A better dialing strategy is to use automation that will move that lead into another list and perhaps call it back 30 days from now. And maybe again in 60 days.

 

 

The Power of Lead Efficiency

 

Once you understand your true cost per acquisition and you're implementing smart dialing strategies, you're on your way to optimizing lead efficiency.Once you understand your true cost per acquisition and you’re implementing smart dialing strategies, you’re on your way to optimizing lead efficiency. Your contact and conversion rates will increase.

 

On top of that, even though compliant data is getting more expensive, you can still be profitable. Then, one of two things will happen. 1. You can buy fewer leads while converting more  OR,  2. You can buy the same amount of leads, but add agents to grow your business.

 

Leads costs are one of your biggest expenses [which is why we look at CPL and CPA]. So you need to shift your mentality away from buying and dialing increasing numbers of leads.

 

Buying more and more leads is NOT going to solve your problems. You’ll hit a wall and you won’t catch up as new leads get stuck and you’re just dialing the old ones. It becomes a big mess.

 

 

Good Leads = Productive, Happy Agents

 

With good quality data your agents have more conversations and convert more leads. These happier agents not only produce more [increased revenue], but they tend to stick around longer [lower turnover and training costs]. 

 

That’s when we get into Agent Efficiency—because Lead, Agent, and Manager Efficiencies are, of course, inter-connected and work together to drive ROI. 

 


 

Tools You Need to Improve Lead Efficiency

 

The number one dialing strategy to improve lead efficiency is to INCREASE CONTACT RATES. The number one dialing strategy to improve lead efficiency is to increase contact rates.

 

Contact rates go up when you wrangle the right efficiency tools that optimize your dialer with the best dialing strategies. Here are some of the tools we recommend to help improve the effectiveness of your dialer.

 

Omnichannel Automation

Intersperse your dialing strategy with a sequence of text messages, emails, and voicemail drops.

 

Lead Recycle/Redial Logic

Configure your dialer with a custom schedule to redial at different time gaps based on the outcome of the call. For example, a new lead is called instantly, but if there’s no answer, set the schedule to try again in 10 minutes, then again in 1 hour, then again in 3 hours, etc..

 

Caller ID Reputation Management

You don’t want to get flagged. Your dialer should limit the number of calls placed per caller ID and rotate multiple Caller IDs per area code. When you get new DIDs, make sure they weren’t previously used and marked as spam. 

 

Smart Voicemail Drops

Automatically leave a series of different pre-recorded messages based on when and the number of times the call goes to voicemail to make it sound more personalized and get more people calling back. For example, on 3rd dial with voicemail leave an introductory message, skip the 4th time, and on the 5th attempt with voicemail, leave a final reminder message.

 

Answering Machine/Voicemail Detection 

Work to reduce false-positives in voicemail detection to keep agents from burning out.

 

Use Tier-1 Telco Carriers to Improve Connection Rate

Using Tier-1 telco carriers means a higher connection rate,  giving your agents an increased chance of reaching a lead.

 

 

Metrics & Reports that Improve Lead Efficiency

 

You can’t improve what you can’t measure. Tracking metrics for lead efficiency requires you to stay on top of specific metrics, while also taking a more comprehensive view. 

 

How many leads were transferred? What’s the revenue from those leads? What’s the actual ROI on it—meaning what was the cost to convert those leads? You want to track which agents are producing, with how much revenue on an hourly basis.

 

In our blog 16 Essential KPIs for Lead Gen Call Center Profitability” we outline the key metrics to guide your day-to-day management decisions and boost call center ROI. Here’s a summary of top lead and list KPIs tracked by most successful outbound call centers.

 

TOP LEAD KPIs

 

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

Understand the true costs of converting each lead. 

 

Connection Rate

A short term, daily snapshot related to the efficiency of the leads.

 

Lead Conversion Rate

The percentage of calls/leads resulting in a successful sale or transfer. A low conversion rate increases your cost per lead and impacts your company’s overall revenue. 

 

 

TOP LIST & LIST SOURCE KPIs

 

Contact Rate

The key to understanding list quality and how well your campaigns are performing. It also indicates whether your agents and software are reaching the right leads at the right time.  Your dialer needs to dial fewer leads while delivering the same number of qualified leads to your agents, so you’re spending less to earn the same or better results. 

 

Average Talk Time

If talk time is higher than average on a list, make sure it’s converting.  

 

Total Revenue and List Profit-Loss

Use a List Conversion Report to view profitability of different lead and agent costs per List. Analyze the right metrics to know data quality of your data by combining revenue, billable hours, and the number of dials to determine list performance and lead source trends. Get statistics such as # of dials, avg talk time, # of sales / transfers, answering machine %, etc. 

 

Call Center expert Heather Griffin

Heather Griffin, SVP of Inside Sales with Momentum Solar, explains the value of a List Conversion Report for her contact center : 

“This report will show you who you’re talking to and if it’s 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.” 

 

Outbound call center managers need to access reports and metrics all in one dashboard. That’s why we developed flexible customizable dashboards where admins can pull in the metrics they need most for their operations. 

 

Wrapping Up

Once you’re making decisions based on your true CPA and using smart dialing strategies you’ll definitely see improvements in your lead efficiency…and profitability. 

 

learn more about how Convoso can help my call center be more efficient

 

Win Solar Lead Gen by Contacting More and Converting Faster

By | Lead Generation, Solar Energy Call Centers | No Comments

How solar-focused call centers can drive lead generation and conversions

 

Growing demand for clean energy, solar tax credits, the promise of lower utility bills, and declining hardware costs have contributed to a 10-year boom in the solar industry that’s exploded in a sunburst of growth at nearly 50% annually

 

There’s a lot of potential business out there!  Which means there’s also a lot of competition. And to be competitive, companies in the solar residential market need to corner the best leads. 

 

Jump to tips to increase contact rates and convert leads faster.

 

Lead generation is the make or break for solar sales 

 

Whether your company buys leads or generates them in-house, the primary objective for solar telemarketing agents is to find potential buyers who meet your established criteria [for example, amount of sun exposure, roof suitability, and credit worthiness, etc.]. 

 

Who’s on first

 

Equipment and labor costs are relatively similar across the board for solar companies, which means the real competition comes down to customer acquisition. 

 

When 46% of Americans polled say they’re considering solar panels for their home, you know you’ve got a hungry market. The question is, who’s going to feed it. 

 

The answer is, whoever gets there first. The second answer is whoever gets the most qualified leads on the phone and converts them. 

 

 

To Be COMPETITIVE in Solar, Contact More and Convert Faster

 

It doesn’t matter if your call center is cold calling to generate leads, or calling leads from a qualified list, you have to move through a massive quantity of data, as quickly as you can, and you have to be efficient about it. 

 

To be a player in the game, you need to drive efficiencies for your leads, your agents, and your management team. That’s where your solar dialer comes in. 

 

The success of your telemarketing efforts—of your entire solar business—depends on the power, capabilities, and flexibility of your call center software. The automated power of a predictive dialer will dramatically improve your campaign productivity and effectiveness.

 

To increase your company’s bite out of the solar market, here are 5 ways to convert leads faster: 

 

      • Driving campaign effectiveness with lead management, dial-level scheduling, and recycle/redial logic

      • Automating a scheduled cadence of communication with multiple channels [email, text, ringless voicemail drops, in addition to calling]

      • Employing powerful lead followup automation tools

      • Managing list, lead, and agent performance with insightful real time analytics

      • Streamlining processes to save time and costs

 

How Solar and Energy Businesses Convert Leads Faster

 

Tracking the costs of your leads

 

Don’t focus solely on your cost per lead. You need to look at the entire picture. Your real focus should be on understanding your true CPA, or cost per acquisition. 

 

The trick is to be able to get a quick read on how lists (or lead vendors) are performing. If you can get real-time insight into the CPA being delivered by a list or list vendor, then you can make smart, metric-driven decisions.  If it’s sorely underperforming, you can choose to pull that list and stop wasting more agent time on it.  Or if you’re getting great results, then you’ll be in a position to purchase more leads from the same list/list vendor.  

 

To do this, you’ll need access to real-time analytics. When you know your true CPA and implement smart dialing strategies, your solar call center will improve lead efficiency. This will translate to increased ROI.

 

 

Quality leads save you money

 

Yes, you’ll pay more for quality data. Especially in today’s highly regulated world where compliant data is more expensive.

 

But if you buy higher quality [more expensive] leads for your solar company’s outbound sales, you can make back the extra cost by converting more leads. 

 

The best dialer on the planet won’t help you if your agents are calling from a bad list. Your staffing costs just go up, morale goes down, and the savings on the cheaper lists you bought are void, AND, you don’t have the revenue expected from your list purchase.

Likewise, the best list on the planet won’t help if the script your agents are using isn’t effective. Make sure you have sales scripts that get results and your software gives you the automation of dynamic scripting. Outbound call centers convert more leads when their agents know the right thing to say at the right time.

 

Speaking of agents, outbound solar marketing call center expert Michael Velardi shares the top 5 metrics for improving agent efficiency that he dives into and balances on a daily basis to maximize his team’s dialing effectiveness.

 

Generating leads on the web with inbound marketing

 

With the right persistent efforts, over time solar companies can naturally develop a flow of interested solar prospects reaching out to them directly. The lead just knocked on your door.

 

Rather than only dialing out, fingers crossed you’ll find leads that maybe might be even a little bit interested in PV on their roof, once you develop your inbound flow, your success rate and profitability will dramatically improve.

 

As solar consultant Erik Curren says, “the day may come when you can start to cut back on buying lists and eventually generate all your solar leads in-house. With better leads, your conversion rate will rise and you’ll sell more solar.”

 

The point is, residential solar companies need to take other actions to improve lead generation by leveraging digital marketing that builds an online presence and uses ad campaigns to attract prospective solar panel customers. You need to enhance the SEO of your website, blog posts, and social media to elevate your search engine ranking for solar energy. 

 

 

Let the sun shine in

 

Good Data + Powerful Dialer = Strong Lead Conversion 

 

And that’s the formula for solar lead generation success. Soak up the rays!

 

 

Convoso’s cloud-based dialer dramatically improves contact rates and boosts ROI for telesales contact centers, while supporting TCPA compliance.

 

Solar call center CTA_schedule demo

Measure Your Call Center’s Lead Efficiency With These 3 KPI’s

By | Call Center Solutions, Lead Generation | No Comments

Lead Efficiency Questions

 

Is your outbound call center spending too much time qualifying leads?

Are agents frustrated by how few people are answering their calls?

Are they spinning their wheels dialing as much as possible?

Do your lists include old data like inactive and cold leads?

 

These are all symptoms of a lead list that isn’t qualified enough. As a result, your call center may be working hard to simply stay afloat.

The first step in improving lead efficiency is measuring your key performance indicators, or KPIs. From there, you can make informed decisions to improve your lead qualification practices and convert more leads with your dialer — with less time, effort, and cost.

 

16 KPIs used by most successful outbound call centers to boost ROI

 

The three KPIs below will help you measure lead efficiency by answering two key questions:

  • Do we have enough high-quality leads?

  • What is the cost of engaging with these leads?

 

Contact rate

Contact rate measures the percent of leads reached out of your total leads. At a quick glance, it shows you the quality of your lead list. It also indicates whether your agents and software are reaching the right leads at the right time.

The higher your contact rate, the better. It means agents can spend their time productively by reaching the right people, thanks to a lead list with higher-quality leads. This has a direct impact on revenue. Your dialer was able to dial fewer leads while delivering the same number of qualified leads to your agents. In other words, you can spend less to earn the same results.

 

List penetration rate

Your list penetration rate measures the number of prospect records closed versus the total number of records in the campaign. It highlights the accuracy of your call list and its data.

The higher your list penetration rate, the better. It shows that you’re working with clean data. List penetration rate lower than you’d like? Look at your data and see if your agents are calling cold or inactive leads.

You should regularly analyze these reports and vet your data vendors on the leads they are giving you. In doing so, you’ll help agents reach more viable, warm prospects — ideally closing more often in the process.

 

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

CPA measures the total cost to get one specific acquisition, whether that be defined as an agent-sold lead or a billable lead that you pass off to your client.

It’s the top KPI we recommend measuring at your outbound call center. Your CPA gives you a singular, high-level view into the costs associated with converting leads. Once you’re armed with this information, you can:

  • Optimize your call center’s return on investment (ROI).
  • Get clear insights into spending and saving opportunities.
  • Reflect a lot of your call center’s moving parts in one simple metric. This makes sharing marketing’s performance across the company much easier.
  • Calculate the KPIs that impact your business’s bottom line: lifetime value of each acquisition, marketing costs, and expected profit.

 

More on Improving Lead Efficiency

For a deeper dive into accelerating lead efficiency for outbound call centers, check out the article by Convoso CEO Nima Hakimi, “Outbound Calling Strategies: Accelerating Lead Efficiency.”  In that article, you’ll learn about

  • The Right Metrics
  • Smart Dialing Strategies
  • Tools to Improve Lead Efficiency
  • Metrics & Reports that Improve Lead Efficiency

Definitely a value-packed post worth your time.


learn more about how to drive efficiencies for my call center operation

 

7 Must Know Tips To Improve Your Cold Calling Today 

By | Outbound Sales, Lead Generation | No Comments

Cold calling has often been likened to bull riding. The first eight seconds are the toughest, but if you can get through that period your prospect will calm down and your success rate will increase.

First impressions are critical in sales. In cold calling this first impression happens in a matter of seconds. In fact, according to leading sales author Collin Francis, “Salespeople will generally have between 4 and 30 seconds to make a first impression on prospective clients that will compel them to want to engage.”

Here are seven helpful tips for call center agents to make cold calls more effective. 

1. Use a Script

Top performers don’t leave those first few seconds to chance. They (or their companies) invest significant time in designing precisely what they are going to say when they get a prospect on the line, or when they leave a voicemail.

What’s interesting is that average performers are the ones who more often resist utilizing scripts, claiming that they feel better “going with the flow.” While these mediocre reps complain about scripts, it’s really the next two tips that get them.

Call center softwares now offer dynamic scripting. Which has completely changed the game for outbound operations and the way they run their campaigns. Dynamic scripting brings a “mad libs style” to your call center. Your agents will simply enter answers in free form–allowing for more natural and sales driven conversations with your potential customers.

2. Practice makes perfect

A script is only as good as the person delivering it. It’s true in acting and it’s true in sales. Like all great actors, top performers don’t “wing it” on calls. They rehearse their script making it a natural and normal part of their routine. When they connect with a prospect, they move into the script as a natural part of the process.

3. Humanize Yourself

Nobody wants to be sold to. A good script matched with rehearsal allows you to sound like a normal person. When you begin speaking on a cold call, your prospect should feel as though a friend were calling. You should be conversational and sound like a real person.

4. Actively Listen

Believe it or not, your ability to listen (even on the phone) has a dramatic impact on how your prospect will react to you. A good cold call gets the prospect talking early. Your job is to listen – really listen – to what is being said (and what is not being said). Don’t make the common mistake of listening so you can formulate a response; listen for the intent of what they’re saying. You’ll connect with them faster that way.

For call center managers, Convoso’s end-to-end call center software features: “Coaching,” which will allow managers to listen in on agents calls, whisper for help, or potentially barge in when necessary. This will allow managers to assess how their agents are actually performing on call and allow agents to see tangible ways that they can improve cold calling. Thus improving confidence within your sales operation.

5. Script Your First 3 Questions

Bill Walsh, multiple Super Bowl winning coach of the San Francisco 49ers, made the idea of scripting the first plays of a football game famous. Ironically. What makes a good sales rep, is equal to what makes a good sales rep. Like preparation in football, sales reps should always be prepared for their calls with questions that can lead them to a sale.

As we just mentioned above, you need to be actively listening and if you’re trying to figure out the first couple of questions you’re going to ask you won’t be listening effectively. Script your best first questions so you confidently know how to advance the conversation.

6. Be Prepared for Resistance

You know your prospect is going to resist in the beginning of the call, so be prepared for it. Have a question or comment prepared for when the resistance shows itself.

Too often, salespeople are surprised by the resistance they know is coming, fumble for a response and lose the prospect. Don’t let that happen to you.

7. Talk, Don’t Pitch

Lastly, ditch the pitch. The more you sound like a salesperson the less effective you are going to be.

 


 

The Only Lead Generation Metric That Matters

By | Lead Generation | No Comments

lead_velocity_imageThere are lots of things you need to keep track of when managing an outbound sales program. There is, however, one metric that should be tracked above all others.

Qualified Lead Velocity Rate (LVR) is a real time metric that indicates the health of your lead pipeline. A positive lead velocity rate indicates that you are consistently growing your qualified leads on a month-over-month basis. A decrease in velocity rate quickly alerts you to a potential problem before it affects your sales pipeline.
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Cold Calling Is Dead (And Other Lead Generation Myths)

By | Lead Generation | No Comments

coldcalling“Cold calling? Cold calling is dead!”

“When it comes to sales, it’s all about numbers. More calls, more sales.”

“Salespeople? They all sound the same.”

Does any of this sound familiar? You’ve probably heard some variation on these observations and complaints from competitors in the field, ongoing and potential customers, and even people who just ask what you do for a living. One of the biggest challenges for outbound sales is struggling against outdated or misguided perceptions about what sales staff does.

In the last several posts, we’ve talked about the importance of honing your sales message and respecting the customer’s needs; today, we’d like to talk about the ways in which that message and customer service can intersect with myths about outbound sales methods and goals. Here are 3 commonly circulated myths about lead generation and outbound sales and why they are false.

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