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Friday, July 24, 2009

I'm currently in the middle of a campaign with one of my associates that reminds me how tough telemarketing can be at times.

It also underlines my view that you need different types of telemarketers for different campaigns (which is also one of the advantages our associate model).

Just like different sports, I think that there are different styles of campaigns that demand a different approach and temperament of telemarketer.

Using the analogy of cycling, since I've been following the Tour de France recently, in one camp you have the "sprinters".

These are people are best to deliver power over short distances, much like a short, very targeted telemarketing campaign. Think here about niche campaigns with a small list of targeted contacts that require a specialist touch.

Great sprinters, from a telemarketing perspective, are specialists with deep domain expertise. This enables them to maximise results over a short distance (which means a small list). It's all about power; they're typically referred to as "heavy hitters".

We've got a number of associates that fit into this bracket. Typically, though, they're not that good at longer campaigns which require more stamina to complete.

For that, you need an endurance expert.

These telemarketers are the ones that legends are written about. Calling into functions such as IT, HR & Marketing has become a herculean task.

Most of these people have put in place systems and protocols to stop you getting through. It's an often hostile environment that requires a think skin and determination to keep going. Dial rates of 120+ a day are not uncommon, and expect to only actually pitch less than 10 decision makers a day.

Attributes of telemarketers in this category include perseverance and a dogged determination to keep going. They know their numbers and watch metrics such as dial and pitch rates since they know that if they speak to enough people they will deliver.

Again, we have some excellent associates who are endurance specialists. They are a rare breed are are the real deal when it comes to old school cold calling.

So, as ever, it's all about horses for courses, as they say.

If you have a niche proposition with a small target universe, invest in a heavy-hitter who can make every call count. Just don't expect them to put in days on the phone or bother about how many dials they did.

If you have a more generic offering, possible targeting SME's or the mid-market, then you are going to need someone who can crank out the calls and keep going when others give up.

Occasionally, you can get people who can do both. Jonathan Vaughters, team manager of Garmin (in the Tour de France), says: "In athletics, you can turn a miler into a marathon runner, but you can't do it the other way round."

I'd agree with that in telemarketing too.

A heavy-hitter, which the right attitude, can pound the phones like the best of them. However, in my experience, the traditional endurance telemarketers struggles with the short campaign as their style often relies on a high % of blow-outs before they strike.

With small campaigns you just don't have that luxury.

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Posted by: David Regler @ 10:05 am |   | Links to this post  

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