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Preparing an Outbound Dialing Strategy

Improve Your Outbound Dialing Strategy with a Little Preparation

March 3rd, 2021

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin. You can find a hundred quotes about the value of preparation, and they would all be right. No business effort can succeed without the proper planning, including your outbound dialing strategy. You need to prepare an in-depth strategy for your agents so that they can close sales on your products or services.

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Creating a winning outbound dialing strategy takes time and effort, but the results are worth it. When putting together your campaign, consider the following factors.

List Management

Your lead lists are key to any successful campaign. Having a legitimate list with qualified leads is the difference between wasting your agents’ time and closing sales. You need to make certain that any lead list comes from following best practices.

Identify Target Demographics

Knowing your industry's or product's demographic is key. Research will show you the groups you should target with your campaign. You don't want to waste time calling customers who aren't interested. For instance, if you are selling Medicare supplemental insurance, you don’t want any young adults on your list. Making a pitch to the wrong demographic not only wastes time but can harm your company's reputation. You come off as unprepared and careless.

Go to Legitimate Sources

You may have already been burned by buying your list from the wrong place to save a few dollars. Buying leads in bulk can save you money in the short term but cost you lost time and result in angry consumers. When you buy leads in bulk, you risk getting recycled leads or contact information that no longer belongs to the person listed.

To protect your time and reputation, avoid purchasing lists. Purchased lists often contain numerous leads, but many of them are flawed in some way. Your agents end up cold-calling consumers who have zero interest in your product.

Instead, use your website to gather contact information from people who are clearly interested. Also use your social media sources, newsletters, and other opt-in methods to build qualified lead lists that produce results.

Scrub Your List

Use several methods to scrub your list so you can eliminate “bad” numbers. Your company can face fines and customer anger if you are not compliant with your calling practices, so scrub your list with the Do Not Call Registry first.

It's also a good idea to keep an internal list or database of customers that have opted out or who have already expressed disinterest in your products or services. Doing so means you can avoid calling the same individuals who continually express disinterest. You will save your agents time and protect your business reputation at the same time.

Qualify Leads

As you know, all leads are not created equal. You need a strategy for separating interested consumers from those who are unlikely to close. Having a lead qualification system in place can help streamline your dialing strategy and allow your agents to convert leads more efficiently. Consider having opening agents — those who aren't as skilled at closing — make initial contact with leads to qualify them for closers. Then your most effective closing agents have more time to focus on converting interested leads.

Phone Number Management

In telemarketing, your number is the first thing a customer sees. It should represent your company well and not come with bad labels and noncompliance issues. When you prepare a campaign, make certain that your number/numbers are solid.

Buying Numbers

The source of your numbers is important. Many phone number merchants sell bulk numbers to companies that use them temporarily and then return them. If you buy from these same merchants, you are dialing numbers used by other companies in the past. As a result, your lead list probably contains numbers that already have flags, blocks or labels. Your campaign will suffer from poor sales, and your company’s reputation will also suffer.

You should purchase more numbers than you think you will need. Then if any of your purchased numbers are flagged, you can cycle them out of your dialing without hobbling your agents. Also, swapping out your numbers frequently can prevent the overuse that leads carriers to flag them.

Local vs. Toll-Free Numbers

You must consider if local numbers or toll-free numbers will give your agents the best results with your current campaign. Consumers are more likely to trust local calls that come from area businesses or companies with a local connection. The local area code puts people at ease and makes them more receptive to your agents.

Toll-free calls also have their advantages. The 800, 866, and 855 area codes indicate the caller is a national business representing many clients. Also, these calls are toll free, so consumers can call back without paying any fees. On the other hand, consumers also associate them with telemarketers and spam and may not answer. You have to weigh the pros and cons of the toll-free option carefully.

Scan Your Numbers for Flags

When a company has a flagged number, they will often release it since it no longer has value. These rejected numbers can end up in a general pool once more and be resold. That’s why you need to be vigilant about the numbers you use.

Once you have purchased phone numbers, you should scan them for flags from call-blocking apps and phone carriers. Your list is certain to contain some bad entries. Once you locate these numbers, remove them from use.

Swap Out Numbers Frequently

Overusing phone numbers will get your business in trouble. When your agents dial a number more than 100 times a day, carriers may consider it a robocall and flag it as spam. Once your number is flagged, you’ll lose consumer contacts and throw suspicion on your company’s motives. Swapping out your numbers frequently can prevent this issue. Try rotating them throughout the day, especially during heavy dialing campaigns, to avoid flags.

Outbound Dialing Strategy

Once you have completed your initial preparations, you are ready to construct your strategy for successfully executing your outbound campaign.

Select the Right Dialer Type

Choosing the right dialer type depends on your campaign, scripts, and demographics. For example, predictive dialers can reach more leads faster, saving your agents time. However, a preview dialer can give your agents information about their leads before the call begins, thus giving them a better chance of converting the lead.

Your industry also affects your dialer choice. Real estate sales might benefit from a preview dialer. This industry services high-profit sales tailored for particular buyers. A preview dialer can help increase closing rates, but in return, reduces the number of leads an agent will contact per hour.

Have the Right Scripts

Your scripts can set your agents apart. Equipping them with the right training and scripts for your campaigns can be the difference between success and failure. Each script should be customized for your current campaign and not be a cut-and-paste of previous efforts. Words matter, and once connected to a lead, agents have seconds to capture their attention.

Always Abide by Compliance

Stay compliant with the rules and regulations of the industry. This tip is a no-brainer. If you aren't following compliance regulations, your company will face significant fines and penalties. In addition, carriers are likely to flag your numbers, damaging your company’s reputation. Always follow TCPA, DNC, and HIPAA compliance as well as any steps that your industry requires.

Final Note

Your outbound dialing strategy must be comprehensive to be successful. You have many items to consider before you launch your next campaign. In-depth planning brings you results, however, and gives your agents the tools they need to close sales.