Is “Calls/Hour” a Meaningful Measurement?

When you think “Cold Calling” and “Metrics” one measurement quickly comes to mind:  Calls/Hour.

I want to dedicate this piece to both the benefits and downsides of this measurement.

Calls/hour is a key metric for VSA, as it should be for any outbound cold calling organization.  But, this metric is not as clean and pure as some would think:

•    At VSA, it just so happens that the caller who produces the greatest opportunities also makes the highest calls/hour.  This woman is amazing.  She encourages decision makers to take action much more quickly than most on our team.   Because of her strong and quick closing skills, making more calls per hour allows her to produce more opportunities.

•    But, we see just the opposite with new callers.  Some new callers produce the fastest calls/hour on our training account, but generate virtually no opportunities.

These new callers are focused and hard-working, but are actually skimming […]

By |May 9th, 2014|Telesales|Comments Off on Is “Calls/Hour” a Meaningful Measurement?|

Personality and Telesales

Does a great cold caller always produce great results?

VSA serves as the inside telesales team for many clients across the country, acting as appointment setters and identifying qualified opportunities.

We’ve been doing this for years.

So, you would think that a great caller for one client would also produce excellent results for other clients. You would think that callers could essentially be interchangeable. Not so fast!

VSA has learned that a great producer on one program is not always the best caller for another program. Additionally, it’s almost impossible to know in advance who the best callers will be.

We work hard to select the right personality to fit each program, even from among seasoned and proven appointment setters.

Here are two examples:

•    IT Consulting
VSA has a long-time IT Consulting client. We can be successful only if we reach decision makers at exactly the time they have a need, AND if we are able […]

By |May 5th, 2014|Telesales|Comments Off on Personality and Telesales|

Telesales Helps with New Product Launches

Good News. VSA is seeing increasingly more companies bring new B2B products and services to market. Because many of these offerings are so new, we’ve taken note of common challenges:

•    Companies don’t always know who the exact decision makers are. Often they don’t know the size of the company, or department that will need the offering.
•    Clients don’t know what kind of targets to set for results. (VSA’s response is always: “That’s why we do a pilot.”) Still businesses like to have some way of projecting results.
•    Even more important, clients don’t know for sure if the telephone is a good way to introduce their services.

Whether VSA supports the effort or whether the companies do the work through inside sales – cold calling can help address these challenges.

Identify the Decision Maker

True story: VSA was working with a new client who had an amazing new offering. The firm was targeting […]

By |April 21st, 2014|Telesales|Comments Off on Telesales Helps with New Product Launches|

Hiring a Strong Telesales Team

Some companies wonder how to build a staff of great cold callers who can set qualified appointments for the sales team. Here are some valuable tips we’ve learned at VSA over the years, focusing on the telesales hiring process.  Hiring a great team can be a lengthy, expensive, and frustrating process, and firms like VSA can take this burden from you.  However, if your company wants to build your inside sales team, we welcome you to adopt some of our best practices.

First, when promoting the position, make sure candidates know you’re looking for a “sales” assistant. Most – but not all – candidates will self-select away from your job posting if they have an aversion to sales.  You want to find those who actually WANT to sell.

Next, schedule a telephone interview. Listen carefully over the phone, since this is how future employees will be communicating. Ask yourself, can this […]

By |March 31st, 2014|Telesales|Comments Off on Hiring a Strong Telesales Team|

Telesales Means Working the Phones!

Last week we identified an amazingly attractive B2B sales lead for our client.  This is a lead we had been pursuing for about a month.  Our client had provided the company name but no decision maker name.  The company is huge, with multiple locations across the globe.  We needed to navigate to learn who the decision maker was, and try to reach him/her.

But, it all came together and we were successful in not only in reaching the decision maker, but in setting the appointment, too.

Our client greatly acknowledged our thorough efforts, and praised the cold caller who set the appointment.

What a high this creates for all of us: the appointment setter, our client, and the entire VSA team!  It’s a recognition for hard work and tenacity. Our client’s investment in telesales had paid off.  We are now motivated to do it again.  We have hopped back on the saddle […]

By |March 10th, 2014|Telesales|Comments Off on Telesales Means Working the Phones!|

The Truth about Telesales

Telesales, especially in the B2B space, is not about making a sale over the phone.  It is about using the telephone to support and influence a B2B sale.

As a B2B sales marketing firm, VSA uses the range of our prospecting services to help our clients make sales, often when other approaches are not effective.  The telephone is particularly successful as a prospecting tool when their products are relatively unknown, have unique and superior benefits and the clients are not generating enough sales traffic through other means.

Let’s take some examples.  We work as the inside sales team with a specialty medical billing provider.  This company is large, but not as large as its national competitors.  It is well known, but not as well known as the giant firms it competes against.  Sure, this firm generates leads through trade shows, Internet marketing, and other sales activities.  But, there are so many […]

By |February 20th, 2014|Telesales|Comments Off on The Truth about Telesales|

How Companies Make Telesales Work

Can you really sell a B2B product or service over the phone?  Can you make a B2B sale through outbound phone calls, talking to decision makers who are probably unfamiliar with your firm and actually get a PO or credit card number to complete a sale on the spot?

It’s a real challenge to secure payment for B2B telesales on a cold call, with no prior relationship.  But, here are some other ways to use the telephone to drive B2B sales.

Hire a telemarketing company to call your former customers, those who have not made orders in the past 6 months, and have the callers transfer any interested clients to your inside sales team to take the order!  If you don’t have an internal team, the call center can take the order directly.

VSA has been quite successful with this approach.  As an example, we have a client who sells supplies to […]

By |February 10th, 2014|Telesales|Comments Off on How Companies Make Telesales Work|