My accountant says ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’. That’s certainly the case in terms of telemarketing KPI’s (key performance indicators). New business lead generation is a process. That process is enhanced or hindered by good telemarketing performance measurement. It will differ in many cases dependent on the business and calling objectives but there are some things that are crucial.
Below are our 20 Key Measurements for Telemarketing success and the performance criteria you need to consider. I haven’t put them in any order and I’m sure they aren’t exhaustive but illustrative of what you need to consider.
- Telemarketing Sales – if the aim to to to undertake sales and sales lead generation by phone the most immediate statistic is to evaluate sales in absolute terms.
- Telemarketing ROI – you need to know what your telemarketing return on investment is. Sales is one aspect but what if it’s costing more than you make? So, work out all the costs attached to telemarketing and the sales you’ve delivered. Then assess if the ROI warrants the investment. We’d suggest you consider both a reasonable time period for this (perhaps 6-12 months) and also consider the size of average order and the complexity of the sale and target market. Higher value telemarketing sales and leads may take more time to crack. At any given time, telemarketing will generate a sales pipeline. You must take this into account when judging success. For example, if the average sales value is £20,000 and you have 20 prospects from telemarketing, if your conversion rate (another thing to measure) is 1:10, you probably have £40,000 worth of business from telemarketing to take into account.
- Telemarketing Conversion rate – This is a tricky one. We can possibly assume that most leads generated are from cold. That isn’t always the case though as some may be contacts via the website or a directory or some other source. However, if we assume that this is for cold calling lead generation then we have to assume that it’s probable that leads will be less warm than referrals or where cross-selling to current clients etc. Therefore, we need to assess telemarketing success factors on this basis. The factors to consider here are: * How speculative or warm is each appointment? * How compelling is your proposition to the prospect * How good are you at selling?
Moving on to the stats themselves, let’s assume again that you record telemarketing notes and outcomes in some form of CRM. If you don’t, we hope that you will at the absolute minimum keep a record on excel that you can use to calculate telemarketing metrics. The key is to benchmark telemarketing performance and measure on a daily, weekly or monthly basis as required. If you have a fast moving business and are doing lots of calls, hourly monitoring may be needed.
- Telemarketing Appointments Setting – the outcome may not be appointments. It may be attendees at a seminar, webinar or some other event. It could be an online demo. It could be to receive a sample or a free trial. Whatever the outcome, you need to measure those booked AND those attended or carried out.
- Time spent – it’s important to know how much time is devoted to telemarketing and, if possible, absolutes in terms of time on the phone to prospects making calls rather than admin time. Admin is important but it isn’t talk time. Try to measure both if possible.
- Telemarketing Appointments per hour – or some other outcome. In some cases, you may need to measure hours or days per appointment if the task is more difficult.
- Calls – This is an absolute but you need to know calls are being made and how many. This tells you about level of activity and momentum
- Telemarketing Calls per hour – call rates are important but not at the expense of quality. Again, it depends on your business, services and marketplace. You don’t want lots of low quality short calls to Finance directors in the FTSE 250 companies. Likewise, you don’t want to see 5 calls per day. In call centres, the figures of 140 calls per day may not be unrealistic for high speed dials using an auto dialer. For quality calls, you may see anywhere from 60-90 but benchmark based on history and you should monitor conversations for the real acid test.
- Decision Maker conversations – ultimately, this is your goal. The more targeted decision maker discussions, the more likely that telemarketing lead generation will occur.
- Distinct decision maker conversations – this is the discussions you have but removing where you speak to the same person more than once. It allows you to monitor fresh calls versus callbacks and whether callbacks are effective
- Decision Makers per hour – this measures the ability of the caller to get through the gatekeepers to speak to decision makers. It shouldn’t be measured in isolation though as some decision makers are out of the office more than they are in (sales people? Facilities managers?) and success inevitably depends on market circumstances, the quality of your proposition, buyer circumstances level of competition and so on.
- Telemarketing Calls per decision maker conversation – again, this shows how successful you’ve been in getting through. It’s a useful metric to enable you to compare campaigns and to compare telemarketers along with the other measures.
- Telemarketing calls per appointment or other outcome– another useful benchmark. How many contacts / calls does it need to get a result? That could be a sales lead, trial, visit or whatever the goal is for the campaign.
- Gatekeeper percentage – we like to track this as a percentage of total call outcomes. It allows us to assess the ability of the caller to overcome gatekeeper blocks. Getting past gatekeepers is an essential skill and measuring the percentages and benchmarking is therefore essential to evaluate performance and assess whether gatekeeper skills training is required. Clearly, we want more decision makers and less gatekeepers.
- Voicemail – it is worth tracking voicemail as a percentage of calls. Again, it tells us if we perhaps need another approach. Maybe trying a different decision maker or calling at different times of day. We don’t want to spend unnecessary time with lots of voicemail.
- Data quality – good data is an essential telemarketing success factor. Poor data means wasted time and cost. Purchase a good quality list but monitor the number of wrong numbers, wrong contact names and so on. It will tell you whether your telemarketer is having a fair crack of the whip when making the calls.
- Comparing telemarketer performance – this may be difficult if campaigns are different. However, if your callers are doing the same or similar campaigns then comparing performance is essential using the benchmarks above
- Emails / information sent – often requests for emails are a fob off on he phone. However, if you can establish that those prospects that received an email are more likely to convert then it’s worth tracking emails to appointment rates.
- New information gathered – we are now into relatively lower importance in so far as outcomes are concerned. But, quality data is important for future contact. If you want to do future callbacks or a mailing, you need accurate data. So, make sure when you record data quality (point 16 above) you also check that you are collecting new contact names if prospects have left the company.
- Brand awareness – somewhat intangible possibly. However, if you are unknown in your marketplace, calling to introduce your services makes potential buyers aware of you. It gets info into people’s hands. Be careful though that your callers represent your business properly. The worst case scenario is brand reputation damage. You will struggle to reverse that. So, make sure callers represent your business in what they say, approach and tone. To measure this, you could run a survey over time, send out a lost sales questionnaire or call back a few weeks after the initial decision maker contact and ask for feedback on the caller. Whatever you do, telemarketing calls should enhance not detract from brand reputation.
These are our 20 key measurements for telemarketing success. To deliver quality B2B telemarketing results, you need to get the strategy right and be prepared to analyse performance and make changes where necessary. Telemarketing isn’t the solution for every type of new business development requirement. However, if you’ve decided that the value of sale warrants an outbound cold calling campaign, make sure you set up your telemarketing measurement in advance and you will be more likely to deliver results.
If you’d like to know more or book a new business development strategy workshop and find out how GSA can help Generate Growth for your Business, by contacting us now on 0845 658 8192 or send us an email.