Best Telemarketing – KPI s for Success

Best Telemarketing KPI for success 2
When you need to find the best telemarketing person or telemarketing agency, you need some Key Performance Indicators (KPI s) to guide you to success.   According to the once British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics“.  So in order to succeed at finding the best telemarketing person, you need to find the right approach to using statistics.

Telemarketing – Lies, damned lies and statistics

So that you are not fooled by the misleading statistics peddled by bad telemarketing people, the first place to start with telemarketing statistics is to look at whether you should use ‘Input’ or ‘Output’ statistics.  Let’s say that you are talking to 2 people about providing you with telemarketing lead generation.  Both are offering roughly the same price to provide the service.  Yet one is talking about ‘Input’ statistics and the other is talking about Output’ statistics.  ‘Input’ statistics cover things like, “How many calls made per day?”.   ’Output’ statistics cover things like, “How many appointments made?”.

Quite frankly, should you really care about ‘Input’ statistics?  I will try to explain – someone who is totally clueless at telemarketing makes 200 calls per day but makes no appointments.  The best telemarketing person makes 20 calls per day but makes one appointment that leads to a major sale for you.  It is not rocket science to work out that 20 calls leading to a major sale is far more valuable to you than 200 calls that go nowhere.

Be very wary about anyone who uses ‘Input’ statistics instead of ‘Output’ statistics as a Key Performance Indicator, when choosing the best telemarketing person for your campaign.  In fact, be very wary about anyone who tries to tell you that X number of ‘input’ telephone calls leads to Y number of appointments generated.  The common mistake made by many buyers of telemarketing services is that they are led to believe that there is an exact science that can be measured using statistics, which I will try to explain.

Telemarketing – Natural Science or Social Science?

There are five major branches of the Natural Sciences – Chemistry, Astronomy, Earth Science, Physics and Biology.  There are 2 Formal Sciences – Mathematics and Logic that are used as tools.  Then there are the Social Sciences that range from Economics to Psychology.   Anyone who can remember their Physics lessons at school will tell you that Newton’s First Law of Motion states that, “The velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force“.  It is accepted that this is an immutable Law of Nature and that the Law applies to everything in the Universe.  Yet can we apply the Laws of Physics to Telemarketing and is Telemarketing a Natural Science or a Social Science?

Telemarketing is a business activity and is therefore part of the Science of Economics.  Economics is not a Natural Science, it is a Social Science.  A bad telemarketing person will therefore try to hoodwink you by making you believe that telemarketing calls to appointment ratios are based on science – when clearly this is utter twaddle.  So if telemarketing is part of the Science of Economics and Economics is a Social Science – what does this mean?

Social Science is the field of study concerned with society and human behaviour.  In fact, the best telemarketing covers a number of Social Sciences such as – Economics, Anthropology, Linguistics, Sociology and Psychology.  The key difference between a Natural Science and a Social Science is that there are no immutable Laws in Social Sciences.  To give an example – if one takes two twins, one provides them with an identical home life and school life, and one twin becomes a famous rocket scientist – it is not possible to state that the other twin will also become a famous rocket scientist.  In social sciences, one can make certain predictions but one cannot categorically state an outcome.

When it comes to finding the best telemarketing person, it is unlikely that you will be thinking about hiring 2 twins and trying to decide who is best.  As telemarketing is a social science, it is evident that no two people will be identical in terms of the service they can offer you.  In essence, when choosing the best telemarketing person, you need to look at the merits of the individual and never assume that everyone is capable of the same level of output.

Best Telemarketing Person – Education, Application & Experience

Bad telemarketing people or bad telemarketing agencies peddle another lie about their ability to provide an effective service.  Education can be a good thing and in my day I persevered to gain O-Levels, A-Levels and an Honours Degree.  Yet is a University education on its own,  a good reason to describe someone as the best telemarketing person?

One of my clients employs mainly University Graduates to fill their ranks in helping to sell complex engineering technologies.  I was tasked with training these people to improve their sales skill; but my hardest task, was when I realised that a number of these people lacked a basic understanding of the real world.  When I was training this team on how to sell products using a Loan Scheme, one young lady with an excellent BSc asked me, “But I thought a loan was a good thing and went on the positive side of the balance sheet because you get the money?”.  This young lady with an excellent academic education was oblivious to the fact that a loan was an outgoing expenditure and forgot that it had to be repaid!

Education can be a great thing but only if that knowledge can be applied to the real world.  Another client of mine employs University Graduates.  This chap made the assumption that – as his graduates had gained a degree in research, that they could miraculously apply this to lead generation without any sales training.  This chap’s graduates researched potential target clients, their titles and their telephone numbers.  These were genuinely bright people from an academic perspective, but their work failed to provide success.  The graduates failed to apply basic common sense – phone numbers were for shop outlets when we needed to talk to the Head Offices.  Contacts were too junior or too senior to engage in decision making.  In short, education is only useful if it can be applied to the work at hand.

If you combine a good education, the ability to apply that knowledge and overlay life experience – then you have the best telemarketing person.  Life experience is the final and essential key to the puzzle.  A young graduate, fresh from University, is unlikely to have ever run a business or held the role of Buyer within a company.  Theorising what it is like for someone to spend £1000s or £Millions is very different from doing it.  The best telemarketing person will have undertaken a good education, will understand how to research the right potential clients – moreover, they will be able to converse at the same level as the buyer because they’ve been there.

Best Telemarketing Person – Conclusions

Telemarketing is not an ‘exact’ or ‘Natural Science’.  How many calls someone makes per day is almost  irrelevant.  The Key Performance Indicators in judging successful telemarketing, should be based on how many lead-generation-opportunities are created by a person – and how many of these opportunities result in profitable sales.

As part of the Social Sciences, Telemarketing is about the person and their ability to interact with others.  A good education is a reasonable foundation for success.  Knowledge alone is useless – so the application of knowledge is of great significance.  Finally, without relative life experiences, one cannot effectively ‘empathise’ with the prospective customer.  So the best telemarketing person is well-educated, able to apply knowledge and has extensive and relative life experiences.

Finally, one needs to look at cost of the services provided.  A bad telemarketing person may be cheap to hire but provides little or no return on investment.  The best telemarketing person appears expensive in comparison to the bad one – but they provide you with a steady stream of sales opportunities that lead to profitable sales.   The bad telemarketing person is a false economy – sure, they’re cheap as an ‘input’, but there is little or no ‘output’ in terms of profit for you.  Conversely, the best telemarketing person is a more expensive ‘input’, but you reap the rewards on their ‘output’.   In short – you generally get what you pay for in life!

If you are searching for the best telemarketing person to generate sales opportunities – why not email me – stephen@sl-freelance.co.uk or call me on 0203 790 9307.

Stephen Law is a Business Development expert. Over a 25 year period, Stephen worked has worked from a Foot Canvasser and Telemarketing Junior in the 1980s to an Executive Director and Company Secretary in the 1990s. Stephen's sales and marketing career spanned the IT, Communications and Technology sectors, where he was always top in his field. Stephen has also been head of Manufacturing, HR, and R&D for a number of organisations. In 2005, Stephen decided to form his own company offering Business Development via Consultative Telemarketing. Few people enjoy telemarketing as much as Stephen and fewer still understand how to communicate effectively with senior decision makers. Stephen is an Associate Partner of the No1 UK Business Development Agency and an Honorary Director at the LCDA for Business Development, where he has taught the Art of Selling at London South Bank University.

Posted in Freelance Telemarketing, Lead Generation, Telemarketing
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