Outsourced Telesales

I recently attended a seminar on outsourcing telesales by Sridhar Ramanathan from the Aventi Group that I thought was very interesting. Many of us are familiar with the term ‘telemarketers’ which describes those annoying people who call trying to sell us something we don’t really need. Well B2B telesales is much more developed and seems to make sense for business owners in some situations.

Telesales is certainly something to consider to suport the ‘inside sales’ role. These are the people who work in the office and usually do all their work on the phone booking orders and/or setting up appointments for the ‘direct sales’ team. So what exactly do telesales companies do? Well they can actually do three different tasks.

  1. Teleprofiling – researching prospective comapanies to find the specific individuals who may be most interested in your product or service and also identify the real decision makers.
  2. Teleprospecting – calling prospective customers in your targeted market segment and attempting to qualify their needs and interests over the phone so that an appointment can be made at a later date with a direct sales representative.
  3. Telesales – direct calling of prospective customers with the goal of qualifying and closing the sale over the phone.

Obviously you should consider outsourcing the whole inside sales function if you don’t have enough resources internally or your team just isn’t very good at it. It also only makes sense if your average revenue per prospect is high enough to justify it.

To see if telesales makes sense for you then do the math. If the ‘appointment rate’ is about 1% then you need to make 100 calls to generate a single appointment. Assume this generates about 5 appointments per week. If your closed sales rate is 20% then you should end up with at least 1 new (paying) customer per week.  If local telesales personnel make around $25/hr (low-end) to $50/hr (high-end) then  that equates to $1,000 to $2,000 per new customer. Using off-shore telesales personnel can certainly reduce this, perhaps up to 50% less, although many companies have much less success with this approach.

Remember that I made a lot of assumptions here. You need to plug in your own numbers to see if outsourcing telesales makes sense or not for your business. Obviously if you are selling a $100 item it doesn’t make any sense at all but if your average revenue per prospect is >$10,000 it starts to look more attractive. There are many 3rd party B2B telesales companies out there who are very good at what they do. They are also experts at ‘keeping score’ of call metrics so you know what is working and what isn’t.  

Some the 3rd party telesales companies to check out include;

       InTouch Inc      Rainmaker     By Appointment Only

– Steve   (www.SPMsolutions.NET)

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