When it comes to choosing any supplier, it’s important to choose the partner that’s most committed to helping you achieve your goals and who shares your high standards. When it comes to selecting a marketing agency, who will be communicating with potential and existing customers on your behalf, this is particularly vital. To help you make the right choice, we’ve got a few tried and tested tips to guide you in finding the telemarketing team that’s right for you.
Know your goals
If you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve with your telemarketing efforts, your agency won’t either. Before you even consider talking to agencies, you need to decide exactly what it is you want to see from your telemarketing campaign. From there, you’ll be able to go into discussions with telemarketing agencies knowing all the questions you need to ask. You can then assess the options available in the light of your priorities, and consider which agencies give you most confidence in their ability to meet your goals.
Consider credentials and experience
Just like any other form of marketing, one size does not fit all where telemarketing is concerned. When looking for an agency, make sure you’re talking to people who are specialists in their field, and yours!
A B2B specialist agency will be more effective on a B2B campaign than one more familiar with consumer marketing. You may want to consider relevant credentials or accreditations, either industry-wide or sector-specific, that indicate expertise or address particular requirements. If, for example, you are in the financial services sector, is your agency FCA authorised, are they a Market Research Society partner if you need research? Your agency should be able to understand the concerns and needs of clients in the particular sector(s) that your customers operate, so experience working with similar companies is important.
However, you don’t want to be working with an agency that has one out-of-the-box solution that they repeat for all their clients, so finding one that is used to adapting across several fields and tailoring their activities to suit individual businesses is equally important.
Bear budget in mind, but value is the key
Of course, there is the inevitable consideration of money. Different levels of service will largely depend on price bands and payment structures, and it’s important to have a clear understanding of what you’re paying for and what the agency will be expected to deliver. Many agencies advocate a pay-per-lead model, which can seem attractive at first, but there are a number of issues to be aware of with this approach, which we’ve written about before, not least that your agency is likely to be motivated to focus on quick wins, rather than long term success.
Understanding your goals is important here as well – if you know exactly what you want to achieve, then your chosen agency should be able to help you work out the best use of your budget, and how and where to spend the money most effectively. Establishing a clear definition of your target outcomes and relevant qualification criteria is an essential part of the process. Quality measures are critical to ensuring ROI, and essential in enabling you to assess the value of your agency’s work. If an agency is a bit hazy on the deliverables or their QA process, they are best avoided.
A word of caution – it pays to work with an agency that is realistic about what they can deliver for your budget. Many agencies will promise the earth to win your business, then inevitably come up short in delivery. Find an agency that you feel you can trust, and look at their case studies to see what results they’ve achieved for other clients in your sector.
Understand their flexibility
Different agencies will approach client relationships in different ways. Do you want an agency that will stick to a very specific remit that you define up front, or are you looking for a partner that can be more adaptive to your needs? Understanding before you start work what expectations each side has of the other and what processes you will each want the other to work to will establish if this agency is a good fit and whether the relationship will be productive for both parties.
Look in their closet
A good agency has nothing to hide, so when you’re looking at prospective partners they should be happy to give you an insight into their activities. From shared call recordings to live listening and online access to live results and live activity, it is important to check the level of transparency your agency offers. How open are they to you visiting and sitting with the callers working on your campaign? A good agency understands that client feedback is one of the most important success factors for any campaign and should operate an “open door” (or “open floor”) policy.
Check the connection
It pays to treat initial conversations with agencies as a job interview; after all, they’re going to act as another arm to your marketing team. These early discussions are the perfect opportunity to get a sense of their skills and experience, but also to understand their culture, how they will integrate with your team and align to your brand.
The telemarketing approach is all about human interaction, so it makes sense to get to know the faces behind the phones. Make sure that the agency you choose shares your ethos and personality, or is at least adaptable enough to adopt this in order to carry out your strategy in a way that’s consistent with the rest of your messaging. If they can make you feel comfortable, listened to and supported, they should be able to do the same for your customers.
At TTMC, we know how important it is to understand our clients’ USPs and brand identity. Get in touch to find out we can support your requirements and whether we are a good fit for you.