Outbound calls are typically used for telemarketing to potential customers for lead generation and sales conversion. During outbound calls, an agent talks to a potential or existing customer on behalf of the company.
Alternatively, the call center agent can also reach out to prospective customers to market their products. They may also reach out to other institutions or businesses to seek funding for different projects.
On the other hand, an inbound call is where the customer initiates the call to the company. The call will be received by an agent who’ll assist the customer throughout the call. In most cases, it’s usually to inquire about the products or seek the company’s services.
Outbound strategies differ depending on the model of your business. However, you can take a few proven steps to supercharge your outbound calling strategy and make it successful. One of the ways is automating your calls using applications like the Call Cowboy Auto Dialer App.
Here Are More Ways To Enhance Your Outbound Calling Strategy
1. Set Clear Goals And Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
The first step in ensuring your outbound calling strategy is successful is being clear about the purpose of the outbound call.
Here are some of the reasons for outbound calling:
- Lead generation
- Conversion of leads into sales
- Setting appointments
- Seeking funding
- Cold calling
Knowing the purpose of the outbound call is essential since it enables you to set the goals for the call. For example, if the purpose of the outbound call is for sales, how many sales are you looking to close in a month? That’s a goal.
Next, you need to set key performance indicators or KPIs. KPIs are an objective way to help you measure the performance of your outbound calling strategy and that of your outbound calling team.
These are some of the KPIs associated with outbound calling:
- Average Handling Time
This is the time it takes to contact a customer or another business. Calls that take a long time are usually an indication of a lack of product expertise on the part of the call agent or an inability to close the sales transaction.
Should you notice lengthy calls, it’s your cue to revise your outbound calling strategy to reduce the average handling time.
- Occupancy Rate
This is the time agents spend on outbound calls in relation to the amount of time available or allocated for that. An agent who spends the least time has a low occupancy rate which means their productivity is equally low.
The ideal occupancy rate is between 85 to 90 percent. By ensuring your company has an occupancy level of this range, you supercharge your outbound calling strategy.
- First Call Resolution
The first call resolution is the number of calls resolved on the first call compared to the total number of calls done in a day. When your outbound calling strategy has first call resolution, it means it’s effective.
2. Automate The Calls
When a process is automated, it frees up time that can be better spent on more pressing yet productive tasks. Automating some areas for outbound calls frees up the agents so that they can attend to as many calls as possible, therefore improving occupancy rate and productivity.
When the agents handle more calls, the goals of the outbound calling strategy become easier to achieve. Therefore, the entire plan stands a better chance of being a success. Moreover, automation also allows call center agents to know which calls need their urgent attention to prioritize correctly.
Below are two ways you can automate your outbound calls:
- Using Automatic Call Distribution
This feature allows you to track the call center agent’s performance by automatically tracking their occupancy rate, level of service delivered, average call time, and wait time in queue, among other factors.
- Predictive Dialing
Another way you can automate your outbound calling is through predictive dialing. A predictive dialing system will help you do the following tasks:
- Dial phone numbers and automatically make outbound calls.
- Disconnect the call when necessary. This enables agents to take more calls.
- Send out a busy signal when necessary or send out voicemails and non-answers when necessary.
3. Make The Calls Engaging
The thing about outbound calls is that you, as the business, reach out to prospects. If not done correctly, an outbound call can quickly appear intrusive. Therefore, you want to ensure this doesn’t happen by making sure the calls are as engaging as possible.
On the other hand, if the calls sound scripted, your prospective customers may feel like another sales prospect and not necessarily valued. This is usually a recipe for a failed outbound strategy.
It would help to research your target audience first to make your outbound calls engaging. You can collect necessary information from online surveys, customer relationship databases, and social media. You can use that information to learn what your customers want and then tailor your strategy to meet their needs.
Here are some additional ways to make the outbound call more engaging:
- Grab The Prospect’s Attention
An engaging call can’t be long, especially since outbound calls can easily be translated as intrusive. Therefore, you have about five seconds to grab your prospect’s attention and keep it. That’s among the first things you need to do to make your call engaging.
One of the ways you can capture your customer’s attention is by calling them by their first name. Additionally, in the first few seconds, it’s best to introduce yourself and tell them why you’re calling. Proceed to create room for a conversation and keep the prospect interested.
- Respect Your Prospect’s Time
As mentioned before, make sure the call isn’t unnecessarily lengthy. Also, it’s always wise to ask your prospects if it’s a good time to call and how much of their time you can borrow. If they say five minutes, ensure you deliver within the given time.
- Set Up A Follow-Up Meeting
You must allot time for follow-ups to have a supercharged outbound calling strategy. The best time to schedule a follow-up meeting is before you hang up the initial call. Bottom line, an engaging outbound call should make the prospect feel like they’re already part of the brand.
Your customers should feel seen, heard, and appreciated. That way, your calls are likely to materialize into closing sales. Similarly, an engaging call will most likely land you the funding you need for your business.
4. Create Better Call Lists
While you may be looking to make as many outbound calls as possible, you should also pay attention to the quality of your call list. Your outbound calling strategy will only be supercharged if you target the right audience. In this case, quality beats quantity.
To create a definitive call list, experts advise that you work with different stakeholders in your business. For example, working with them will help you realize who your target market is. It would also help you to understand what they like and how to approach them best.
On the other hand, the data you collect will give you information on their products, benefits, and the nature of the business. Give that information to the call center agent and let them use it to make more informed calls.
Another way you can boost the efficiency of your outbound calling strategy is by outsourcing the work. Today, many companies specifically deal in outbound and inbound calls. Since this is their niche, such companies have invested in all the necessary tools, technology, and training to ensure they deliver on their work.
Therefore, if the work of outbound calls is a stretch for your team, consider outsourcing it to a good service provider. You may stand a better chance of having a successful outbound calling strategy with their services.
6. Invest In Outbound Calling Tools
In the age of technology and consistent advancement, many tools and software are being developed daily to make work easier. Therefore, if you’ve decided to run your own outbound calling strategy, consider investing in some of these tools:
- Automatic dialer
- Customizable caller ID
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
With these tools, your work is automated. Hence, you’re in a better place to execute quality work, which means your strategy is much more likely to succeed.
7. Identify The Best Calling Hours
It would be best if you were strategic about your outbound calls. That includes studying data patterns to know the ideal time to make the calls. The ideal time here seeks to capture your prospects’ attention, making the strategy more effective. For example, selling at the right hours may catch a customer’s attention. You can easily convince them and turn a lead into a sale.
In most industries, experts recommend that you make your calls on Wednesday or Thursday. As the middle of the week approaches, your prospects won’t be as preoccupied with work on these two days. As for Wednesday, it’s a good time since they haven’t mentally checked out of the office as they would on Friday.
Other than the day, the best calling hours are between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. or 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. However, remember that these times may change depending on the nature of your business. Therefore, it’s up to you to do thorough research and find the ideal times to make the calls.
8. Train Your Call Agents
If you’re running your in-house call center, it’s essential that you train your agents. Training them on how to use the tools, technology, and evolving best practices of outbound calls would be ideal.
Nevertheless, these things are constantly changing. Hence, it’s better to train and retrain your team whenever there’s a new tool, technology, or best practice in the industry. Hiring a professional to train your agents would be best to avoid leaving anything to chance.
9. Record And Monitor The Calls
Having a record and monitoring feature can be very resourceful. These features will help you monitor how the agents interact with your prospects. Afterward, you can review their performance for quality assurance and continuous coaching.
Similarly, supervisors can whisper to their agents through monitoring to help them navigate complex tasks without compromising the customer’s experience. This tactic is called call whispering. It’s when managers offer guidance to an agent through inaudible speaking during live calls.
Another tactic you can use is bargaining. This is where the manager interacts with the agent and the customer to offer the best possible customer experience.
10. Have A ‘Do Not Call List’
Some phone numbers should be excluded from calls meant for surveys, telemarketing, or promotions. For your outbound calling strategy, it’s best to know which phone number you can call and which you can’t.
Otherwise, you’ll waste time and resources on numbers under the ‘Do No Call List.’ Some of the numbers can include hotlines associated with government agencies.
11. Simplify The Calls
It’s important that you simplify your outbound process and language to a level that your prospects can understand. Therefore, you must have sufficient information about your products and services. Secondly, you have to simplify it and avoid using technical jargon that would make the customer lose interest or be confused.
The easier it is to communicate with your prospects, the higher the possibility that the call will materialize and be a success.
The business initiates outbound calls to a prospect, which could be a potential customer, an existing customer, or another company. These calls are mainly used for telemarketing, closing sales, seeking funding, or generating leads. Nevertheless, you can run outbound calls or outsource them to a call centre company.
Outsourcing the workload is one of the ways to enhance your outbound calling strategy. Another way is by setting goals and key performance indicators to measure your performance. Meanwhile, it would be best if you considered automating the work involved and ensuring the calls are engaging.
There are many more ways of supercharging your outbound calling strategy discussed in this article. Consider implementing them for better results and success for your outbound calling strategy.