How to Re-Activate your Customer Base

Old customers or clients can be a valuable source of income for your business. However, it isn’t always simple in convincing them to return, and importantly, it can also be extremely time-consuming and expensive.

Here are some useful tips in how to re-activate your existing customer base, keeping both time and costs to a minimum, for maximum effect:

Choose telephone over email
For existing or former customers, email just isn’t enough. Anyone who has already done business with you will feel a certain connection with your branding, and will likely already have had a lot of interaction with your employees, so a more personal touch is needed. Calling customers is the obvious way of achieving this – encourage your employees to tailor each call as much as possible, to make it clear to the former customer that you value their business.

Use a hosted predictive dialler
Automating calls can help your business cut both costs and time when it comes to calling former clients. Employees will be able to reach a larger number of customers in a shorter time – but ensure that you choose a fully unified platform, like Blue Telecoms dialler, that offers complete integration with cloud services and apps that your business already uses, plus reporting features, excellent security levels and 24/7 customer support.

Initiate a review
Encourage feedback and discussion from your former clients once you have them on the phone – what can your business do better? What did they like? Why did they leave? Ensure that the customer feels they can genuinely air their issues or opinions with you, and react with fairness and understanding. By showing them that you’re responsive, you are far more likely to win their custom back.

Consider special offers
Most people cannot resist a bargain, so giving your former customer base a chance to grab an exclusive offer is an easy way to bring them back to your business. You can make the offer relevant for a limited time only, or you can communicate a longer-standing discount if the client purchases a certain amount of products or services.

To learn more about how a dialler can help you re-activate your old customer base, call us on 03334445558 or email sales@bluetelecoms.com

Why Telesales Will Never Go Out Of Fashion

At Blue Telecoms, telesales campaigns will always remain helpful and current. Whilst we’re aware that for lots of people, the idea of telesales can
appear negative and somewhat sleazy – our view is that’s because most people don’t understand enough about the industry.

Why Many Companies Use Telesales As A Default Option

We believe that the biggest reason many clients use telesales campaigns to reach their audience, is that it grants far more control over who you actively market towards. You can only choose to contact the people who you place value against, modifying your pitch to solve the issues of different types of customer. It also ensures you can contact many “quality” clients en-mass, boosting your efficiency ten-fold.

Why Telesales Can Perform Better Than Other Marketing Channels

Some companies can have doubts on the benefit of telesales, especially in comparison with other media channels such as social media or web search.

Our belief, is that telesales campaigns can easily work alongside other channels, like social media. In many cases, the ability to call leads generated via these methods quickly and efficiently can lead to more positive engagements and hopefully increased sales. This is especially true of B2B sales campaigns, were clients will often want to learn about a product before signining the order.

Addressing Negative Telesales Associations

The main reasons we feel that telesales campaigns have a bad name amongst many companies, is through the use of old fashioned telesales techniques. This includes dialling methods such as harassing clients, or simply dialling from a list of clients – regardless of how much those people want to hear from you. Thankfully, these old methods are dying out and in many cases have been actively banned.

By integrating your dialler system with other channels, such as email marketing, seocial media, SEO and PPC leads – you can create multiple ways for your clients to interate with your brand.

Telesales Will Be Around Forever

In our view, telesales and telemarketing will remain to be a force for sales. The personal connection you have with each client cannot be beaten, and any developments will likely well your brands engagement with customers.

Choosing A Cloud Dialler Provider

Cloud technology has moved on leaps and bounds over the past few years, and according to statistics from Microsoft, almost half of the World’s contact centres are now making the switch. For the most part, it comes down to cheaper prices, and the scalability that comes from hosting your services with a reputable tech company.

It’s not all plain sailing though, there are a few things that can hold any company back from taking the plunge with hosted dialler services. Reliability is one issue, whilst concerns about data security and essentially giving over your infrastructure to a third party company is another.

With this in mind, how can you move your dialler to the cloud, whilst ensuring you’re prepared for any downsides? Here are our top tips to finding a good hosted dialler company that will look after your systems.

Double Check Who Owns The Systems & Infrastructure

For a hosted dialler system to really excel, it needs to its own carefully managed infrastructure that’s easily scaleable. You might think this should be the case; however, at the lower end of the price spectrum not all is how it might appear.

Always look for a provider that owns their own systems, and has the capability to control the day-to-day running of their service.

In-House Technical Support

There’s nothing more frustrating than ringing a support line and getting through to a gatekeeper – especially when something is stopping your agents from dialling. Choosing a company that has a well run support function will mean always getting through to someone that can help when you need it most. If the support team is represented by people with good experience of the technology they work with, you should find most issues can be fixed quickly.

All support services should also be backed up by a service level agreement, ensuring that issues are resolved quickly and effectively.

Clients of All Shapes & Sizes

Our last tip, is to try and find a dialler provider that deals with clients of all shapes and sizes. Most dialler companies will be more and happy to introduce you to current clients who can talk to you about their use of the system.

By looking for clients of all sizes, you can get a better understanding of how well the company can scale up. The ideal hosted dialler provider should be able to serve smaller clients and large organisations alike – providing a comparable level of service.

If your dialler company can serve a large company well, they should be able to do the same thing for you.

Finding The Right Team

When looking for a new dialler provider, always listen to what they say during early discussions. They should be happy to answer any questions you have, and be eager to ensure your satisfied with the results. They should also be able to guide you through any transfer to service from your current system to the cloud.

At Blue Telecoms, we tick all the boxes above. From our in-house support team, to our dedicated server cluster and communications systems – we have the power to serve large and small clients alike.

Types of Predictive Dialler

If you’re thinking of introducing an auto dialler to your business, one of the first things you’ll need to consider is the type of dialler you want. There are quite a few different modes you can use, but all of them fall roughly into four categories.

Preview (Sometimes known as Click to Dial)

In this mode, once an agent has selected ready, information about the next call is displayed to them. The number can either be automatically dialled after a set time, or the agents can choose when they want to dial.

This mode is slower than most; however, it’s extremely useful for those who deal with complex clients – such as debt management companies or collectors.

Progressive Dialler

A progressive dialler is far quicker than a click to dial version. Using this mode, agents will see the lead details, at the same time the call is dialled. If the call results in a voicemail or dead line, the dialler will cut the call and move on to the next one.

This method of dialling is quite fast, and most commonly used by small telesales companies who need to canvass large numbers of prospects each day.

Predictive Dialler

Predictive dialling, is by far the most aggressive version of call automation. Here, calls are placed independently of agents, the dialler waiting to hear a human on the other end before placing the call with an agent.

Predictive diallers also assign statuses to the calls they make, often leaving numbers that don’t answer for a period before trying again.

One of the main issues with predictive dialling, is that you’ll almost always get a small number of abandoned calls along the way. This is where a customer answers the phone, but there’s no agent available to take the outbound call. Running a predictive dialler is something of an art form, keeping your agents busy without abandoning too many client calls.

Predictive dialling is used by telemarketing companies, and is a highly regulated industry.

Power Dialler

This is a much older term that can be confusing to understand. Many people use the word “power dialler” to describe all automated dialling systems, whilst others use it to describe older systems developed in the 1990’s. For most purposes, the term power dialler is defunct, and we now simply use the work “dialler”.

At Blue Telecoms, we can offer solutions that use all the dialling methods listed above. Get in Touch to find out more.

Using Your Marketing Database Smartly

Client data is probably the most important part of a telesales company. As the starting block for your campaign, it dictates the customers you contact – helping you match your product with the correct people. Keeping it up to date and healthy, complying with regulations such as GDPR, and using it properly can help you achieve your business goals quicker and with less fuss.

Privacy Policy

In May, GDPR rules finally came into force. These new rules are designed to help protect personal information, and stop the more unscrupulous marketing companies from blindly contacting customers. European Law now gives individuals the ability to prevent direct marketing, and companies have to be more careful to gain consent before making approaches.

For more information about GDPR, visit our GDPR help page and also visit the ICO Guide for more technical assistance.

Being Respectful

As soon as a business or individual asks you to remove them from your marketing list, you need to ensure you’re taking action. By continuing to contact, you run the risk of customers directly complaining to authorities such as the ICO. Even from a purely business perspective, why waste your agents time contacting people who have specifically asked not to be.

By regularly pruning your marketing lists, and ensuring that GDPR requests are actioned quickly – you can keep your list health high and only contact prospects who want to speak to you.

It’s also extremely important to obtain your customers consent before storing their details for future marketing campaigns. It’s always a huge temptation to mass contact clients; however, this can backfire hugely, and cause clients to completely opt out of further contact with you.

Maintenance

Ensuring your agents check client details with every call will help you keep your information up to date. This does take a few extra seconds each call, yet can make a huge difference later on – as your lists remain fresh and up to date for longer. You can even use your lists on later campaigns, safe in the knowledge your contact data is as fresh as it can be.

Getting your staff members into the habit of checking customer details, and then updating them is a great way to keep marketing lists active and healthy.

Technology

Databases are extremely technical beasts. By using a company like Blue Telecoms to host your data, you can rest easy knowing your marketing lists are backed up and stored safely. Want to know more? Get in Touch with the team today.

Negative and Positive questions in telemarketing

Questions are the lifeblood of a telesales agents work. With a well crafted question, you can open doors to conversations with clients you might never have had. Get it wrong, and you’ll end up struggling to close deals. Good questioning can build rapport with clients, and also lead to up-selling – if that’s part of your business model.

Until you ask the correct question, you’ll never know what your customer needs. Until you know what your customer actually needs, you can’t begin to come up with a solution to their problems.

Learning how to use questions correctly, is a hugely important step in a telesales agents career. Simple tweaks to how you phrase a question, can emphasise or limit the impact of a statement – helping you understand your clients better.

Negative Questioning

One of the easiest mistakes new telesales agents make, is phrasing questions in a negative light. By adopting a negative approach, it invites your customers to respond in an equally negative way. A good example is trying to close a client meeting, instead of asking “I couldn’t interest you in a meeting could I?”, we would suggest saying “Would you find it helpful if we met?”.

One of those questions approaches from a negative angle, whilst the other keeps everything positive.

By flipping your questioning to more positive variants, you’ll keep your client interactions happy and helpful – hopefully leading to easier sales too.

Changing Negatives into Positives

Switching a negative question towards a positive one is really easy to do. Once you get used to it, you’ll find it becomes second nature. Almost any negative question can be converted into a more positive variant – this ensures you keep all your interactions positive and helpful.

The easiest way to get started, is to write down and think about the questions you use most frequently as part of your pitch. Do those questions tend to invite a negative response from clients? If so, you should consider re-phrasing the question to become more positive. Try to remove any negative words:

Couldn’t
Shouldn’t
Can’t
Won’t

Until your question starts to feel more positive as you ask it. Role playing can help you hone your new questions too. By practicing with other agents, everyone on the sales floor can improve their questioning ability.

Once you’ve mastered the art of positive questioning, you’ll instantly bring more positivity to your canvassing calls. Hopefully, this positivity will boost your conversion rate, and make each interaction with clients much easier – even if they don’t always close for you.

Improving your ROI and starting a telesales campaign the right way

When starting out with your new direct marketing campaign, the first thing you’ll want to achieve is a solid return on your investment; after all, everyone wants to run a business that earns plenty of money!

There are a couple of ways to try and ensure a good ROI on each campaign. Here are our top picks straight form our client-base.

Contact Data

The data you’re using is possibly the most important thing to consider when setting up a campaign. If you’re dialling the wrong people, it doesn’t matter how good your product is – you’ll never convert. It’s important to think about who your perfect client is, the type of things they do during their lives and most importantly, how you can insert your pitch into their life.

A great example of this is within the Solar Panel niche. If we consider the type of person who might be interested in such a product:

1. Owns their own home.
2. Has access to funds and/or a suitable credit score to finance the work.

We can then think about the types of people who fit this demographic.

1. Older people, who might have paid off their mortgage and have extra cash available.
2. Younger people who mortgage their home, but are highly paid (NRS Social Grade ABC+) and have the funding/credit available.

It’s highly likely that the former is far more likely than the latter, so it’s going to be a safe bet to target:

1. Older married couples.
2. Homeowners.
3. Good credit and/or cash rich.
4. Stability.

With this in mind, we can now contact data providers who specialise in this demographic. We can even contact web lead providers who can specifically target an older, more settled demographic.

Experienced Staff

By employing experienced telesales staff, your campaign will get off to a much smoother start. That’s not to say you can’t recruit talented newcomers later on; however, in the early testing phase you’ll want to ensure you’re giving the campaign the best chance of success.

Experienced operators will already know how to sell, have experience working with your telephony and dialler equipment, and should be able to get started quickly. With experience, good telemarketing staff might also be able to assist you when it comes to making tweaks and improvements.

Target Setting

One of the most important things to do at the start of a campaign, is to work out realistic targets for your staff and the company as a whole. Often, you won’t precisely know what these figures are until you start to receive data; however, use your best judgement at the start, and be open to raising or lowering the figure as you learn more.

As always, challenging but realistic targets are exactly what you need to create. Your staff will enjoy the challenge, and you can feel safe in the knowledge your striving for perfection within all aspects of the campaign.

Launch Day

Our last tip, is to allow enough time to get your campaign off the ground. Many salespeople are eager to get going, occasionally to a fault where they miss obvious details. By giving yourself some time to test, learn and adapt – you’ll be able to make sensible choices about developing the campaign.

Sales and marketing is always a game of patience. Learn to play this game, and you’ll be able to consistently achieve good results and bring your ROI to where you need it to be.

A Dialler You Can Trust

At Blue Telecoms, we operate a telesales dialler that’s backed by a support team you can trust. Even if you’re just considering a new campaign, give us a call and we’ll be able to help you get off the ground.

The Art of The Close, Choosing great telemarketing staff

It’s true that not everybody can be a great sales person, it takes real determination to try and succeed in what can be a cut-throat industry. In this article, we’re going to explore what makes a good sales agent, and how can you develop those skills on your sales floor and recruit the right way.

The Art of The Close

To succeed in telesales, it’s extremely important to develop a solid work ethic. Persistence almost always pays off, and the old adage that sales is a “numbers game” is particularly true. Eventually, the persistent sales person will close on a deal.

The culture within your contact centre can make a huge impact on how your agents view persistence too. “Happy People Sell”, is a mantra that’s as true today as it’s ever been. Telesales staff who feel bored or unappreciated will usually convert lower than their happy counterparts. Making your office space fun, friendly and inclusive is a huge step towards closing sales, and doesn’t have to be expensive to achieve.

Teaching vs Ability

Although many assume sales people have to be loud and aggressive, it’s entirely possible for more introverted agents to become masters of the art. Once that drive and determination is there, quieter people can often bring a slightly different style of selling to the fore.

It’s also important to understand what your clients would like to hear, and adopt a pitch that meets their needs. In order to do this, you need to think about your target client, and construct your pitch and questions around your ability to solve their needs and lessen any pains.

Ultimately, never assume a loud, aggressive agent is going to close sales. You might be surprised at the results different personalities can bring to your sales floor.

Data is Key

In telesales, plus many parts of direct marketing – your client data is probably the most important thing you own. A poor quality data set can undermine a campaign at best, and destroy it worst. None of this is likely in the control of your telemarketing staff, so it pays to ensure data quality yourself.

Here at Blue Telecoms, we’re consistently pushing each other to build on their weak spots, and also pass their knowledge on to staff who need a leg up. This is a process that helps every member of the team become more productive during the day, and for telemarketing companies that can soon build a powerful team!

By using data to identify times when agents are doing well, and times they’re performing poorly, you can improve your training and processes to help give them all a boost.

Wanting To Succeed

Being a great telesales agent is mostly about wanting to achieve it. Everyone has different skill sets; however, if you’re open to new ideas like opening lines, rapport building, closing techniques – you’ll always perform well.

It’s almost always better to employ someone who’s hungry to succeed, rather than an extremely competent sales person who might “coast”, rather than push their way through sales.

Ultimately, our advice is to give anyone who appears hungry to learn the chance, and leave your preconceived ideas of what a good sales person might be. Once you employ those agents, try to look after them the best you can.

How To Handle Telesales Rejection

All good telemarketers develop a thick skin over time. The industry has often suffered from a poor reputation, and there are always some clients who don’t wish to receive sales calls; however, building a solid brand and being consistent with every customer interaction are the main ways to push past this.

Overcoming Anxiety

The number one way to beat any anxiety when dialling is through positivity. Learning to build and develop your confidence in closing will help you keep pushing on with the task in hand – without becoming disheartened by poor feedback or sales. You’ll notice that your own productivity will improve, helping your co-workers to boost theirs too, a win-win situation. It’s important to treat every call as it’s own small task, remaining positive as you play the numbers game that is sales.

Top Tip: Don’t stop when you close a sale. Your positivity from that call will naturally flow into your next batch.

Handling Rejection

Rejection comes part and parcel of the telesales world. There’s always things to learn form every negative interaction, and by continually improving your pitch you’ll be able to slowly boost your success rate over time. This is really important for teams of agents, as by improving the pitch everyone uses, you can boost your entire companies sales by huge amounts – you’ll also suffer fewer complaints too.

Top Tip: Rejection is all part of the job, try not to take it too personally.

Handling Call Backs

Not every customer you contact is quite ready to purchase yet. This doesn’t mean they’ll never become a sale of course; it often takes a number of interactions with a company before a possible client becomes a full time customer. During this time, it’s really important to maintain the quality of each conversation and focus on the longer term sale that could result. It’s also great to take as much information with each call – as this creates a picture of the client that could help close the sale easily when the time comes. The Blue Telecoms hosted dialler allows your agents to set and make call backs easily.

Turning Negatives Into Positives

When canvassing clients, it’s extremely important to convert negative responses into positive ones. Almost all customers will worry about certain aspects of your product, it’s natural buying behaviour. By showing the customer the positive parts of the product, and how they can make the negatives look extremely small.

Above all, it’s always good to avoid wasting anyone’s time if they’re not a suitable client.

Ready to start using a cloud hosted dialler to boost your sales? Get in Touch with us today.

8 Myths About SIP Trunking

SIP trunking is starting to become really popular, and there’s plenty of benefits to be gained from combining data and voice services into one networks. Unfortunately, there are lots of myths surrounding VOIP in general – most of them unfounded.

1. There’s Not That Much To Gain

Leaving aside the huge cost benefit, combining everything into one network makes things far easier to manage. Your existing IT department can look after data cables, with no need to call our telecoms companies every-time something goes wrong. There’s also no need for expensive T1’s anymore!

2. Call Quality

SIP trunking uses it’s own networks and gateways to travel the internet. This means that unlike services like Skype, call quality should never really be an issue.

3. It’s Complicated

Far from being more complex, you’re actually simplifying your network and using one – rather than two separate systems. Blue Telecoms can even assist you with getting everything set up correctly.

4. Dead Zones

Most places in the world accept SIP/VOIP traffic perfectly fine; even when they don’t, traffic can be routed back onto the PSTN network to complete its journey.

5. Interoperability

If you choose a reputable VOIP operator, frequent testing will always ensure that features “play nicely” with each other. By using a company such as Blue Telecoms, you won’t have to spend hours trying to figure out why you cannot get a ringing tone – or why a certain feature won#t work.

6. Sip Trunking Is Expensive

This is such an old argument, and completely debunked! SIP trunking now carries most of the worlds budget VOIP, helping companies save up to 40% off old PSTN systems.

7. It’s Less Reliable

Far from being less reliable, you have the capability of switching trunks if issues occur. Some larger companies even operate different trunks at different sites – allowing communication even if one goes down. This is something you just can’t do using a PSTN system.

8. You Must Dial Between Two SIPS To Make Savings

This is not true at all. For many VOIP networks, calls to mobiles and landlines can be extremely cheap. This is one reason why most telesales diallers are setup using VOIP systems – it’s cheaper!

Why Cost Per Lead Doesn’t Always Work

Within the telesales world, cost per lead is starting to become a popular business model. For the closing company, these leads appear on paper to be perfect – after all – you’re only paying for quality leads right?

Technically yes; however, there’s often more to it.

Lead Quality

Unfortunately, with this type of offer, the quality can start out great, but quickly become less and less as time goes on. Businesses are always looking to drive more revenue, which in the lead generation world means creating more and more precious details to deliver to you.

As always, when companies try to over-deliver and push too much – compliance and quality issues can crop up.

The best leads, are always those delivered piping hot to the closer, hopefully with all the details correct and with a potential client that’s already moved down the conversion funnel – in other words they’ve done their research and they’re ready to buy!

How Can Lead Quality Suffer?

In my own experience, I’ve seen examples of leads driven in a less than perfect fashion. Sometimes, we can even go one step further and discover affiliates who are driving leads with no real thought for quality.

  • Leads driven at night, when the CPC is less as larger companies schedule their traffic flow to stop.
  • Leads driven from spaces where the client isn’t deep enough into the conversion funnel. Social media and traditional media buys can fall into this trap by accident.
  • Leads without enough information, typically because your lead supplier wants to “snare” clients as quickly and easily as possible.
  • Double selling, an issue where affiliates sell hot leads to two or more closers at the same time. A practice that’s frowned upon, yet can rear its head occasionally.

How To Manage Your Lead Quality?

The first step, is to choose a reputable lead supplier. Being a competitive industry, many companies value their reputation – preferring to keep a tight control over the product they offer. Your dialler company may be able to help you with sourcing a top supplier, and this is certainly something offered at Blue Telecoms.

The second step, is to monitor your inbound leads, and always keep an eye on the early warning signs that lead quality is beginning to suffer. For a typical setup, this could include.

  • The overall conversion rate.
  • The delivery time (not all delivered in the early hours of the morning).
  • Contact rates (should be high in the case of genuine hot keys).
  • The correct information always presented with the lead.

By keeping an eye on those metrics, you’ll always have a broad view on the health of your campaigns. You’ll also feel comfortable in the knowledge that you’re in control over the customer funnel through your business.

Need Help? Get In Touch?

If you’re looking to setup a telemarketing call-centre, and want to chat about the best dialler setup and lead delivery system for you – Get in Touch with the Blue Telecoms team today.