Tag Archives: Outsourcing

Hiring Freelance TeleAgents

When it comes to working from home, there are some that will and some that wont.

As an Employer, what are your options when it comes to hiring telemarketers? You can go the route of hiring inhouse staff, but with that comes paying for Advertising; State & Federal Taxes; Social Security Benefits; the cost of recruiting; costs of phones and last but not least, the cost of training such individuals on your project only for them to leave a day, a week or a month later, only for you to go through the process all over again. For Employers nothing is as frustrating as going through that cycle over and over again.

Now while this may be the option for many businesses still, there are more and more businesses and start-ups opting to find Freelancers to do get the job done without the hassle and cost that comes with recruiting, hiring, training and replacing staff.

Freelancing or Outsourcing is becoming a rapid change in the world we live in, and gone are they days when a person is limited by geography. With high speed internet and a reliable VOIP such as Skype readily available, a Freelancer living in Australia (for example) can easily work for a company in the US.

While the costs are cheaper in the long run for any company, there is still the factor to consider of “why run a campaign“? Are you looking to run a campaign for a week or two, or are you a company that is looking for the long term investment?

Over the years I have seen projects come up where a company will want to run a campaign but are limited by their own capital to have a project for the long term, and while you as the employer are seeking “the best of the best“, a Freelancer in the same regard is seeking stability from you, as the client. It is frustrating for any Freelancer to place a bid on your project (which costs the Freelancer money, not the Employer), only to find out that the Employer is only “putting out feelers“, “has to get approval from someone else“, or “will be running the campaign for 6 months if his business gets capital“.

Some companies have asked why they need to pay an added fee on top of the amount they are quoted. Simply said if you use E-lance or Guru, Freelancers are the ones who actually pay for the service to place bids on your project. Now while you may expect work done “on the cheap“, also consider that while you may not necessarily have to claim it on your taxes, the Freelancer does pay a fee for using the service then they pay additional fees if you award them the project. Usually from 10% to 17%.

Freelancers are doing you a service, by being your front-line of attack to get the message out about your product or service, and while they may be only “telemarketers” to you, just remember that without them you would be left to do the calling yourself.

These are things many Employers will need to take into consideration when hiring Freelancers, and the best options for them and their project. Yes you want the best job done, so why not pay the added fee. It sure beats the alternative of trying to hire staff in-house….

Topic – Data

DATA

In recent weeks, some data has been presented to me for review.

While some companies will have their own style of keeping track of their call logs and data for the client; there will be on occasion some call centers that will present to the client data that is unformatted and quite frankly looks like a train wreck.

One such example was a call center in the Philippines who provided a client of mine with data that was a mess from the first tab. In reviewing the data, notes, details, and contact names were spread across 17 tabs, and completely un-readable by myself and my client. There was no headers, business names with mixed with the name of the prospect, and notes on the calls were spread across 3, 4, 5 and 6 columns.

To maintain a professional image to the client, your data should always be clean and easy to understand. There is no need to enter notes across the spreadsheet, one column after another, as I will point out in the example image below.

Not only does keeping a sloppy Database reflect unprofessionalism, but it also creates a lot of work for the next person to clean up the data so that it is more manageable to import into CRM’s such as Access, ACT etc.

Business Name – This is self explanatory. Keep the details of the company prospect in that column. Do not put incorrect data, such as the name of the person. Yes, it may seem pointless to mention this, but some call centers do make this mistake. Such as the call center who in their data, mixed Company Name with the name of the Prospect.

Name & Title – Again self explanatory. Name of Prospect and their title goes in this column.

Status – This should reflect the Status of your most recent call with the prospect. I usually stick to the absolute basics, which are:

  • BAD – Lead is bad, usually the number is Invalid, Disconnected, Wrong Number etc.
  • CALL BACK – If the prospect is not in the office, or you have been asked to call later etc.
  • LEAD – Self Explanatory. The prospect is interested in the product or service. Don’t forget to ask for their Email!
  • SALE – You have closed the prospect, well done!
  • DUP – Duplicate lead
  • INCUBATOR – Prospect is interested but they have a long RFP (Request for Proposal), RFQ (Request For Quote) Process.
  • Not Interested – Prospect has stated that they are not interested in the product or service. Don’t worry, just recall in 3 months.
  • VM – Self explanatory. You got the VM of the Decision Maker. Recall

NOTES – Keep your notes on the call current. What did the DM say? Keep the record detailed enough so that when you recall you will have the details on what you discussed. Small details matter. But keep your notes to to point of the conversation. Don’t add things like “Ran out of Skype Credit. Cannot call“, as one such call center put in several of the records I checked. The client is not interested to read if you have Skype credit or not. Your job is to call the prospect, not keep a running agenda on what you are doing.

CALL TALLY – How many times have you called prospect.

Keep your data clean at all times. It reflects how professional you and your organization is. A well maintained DB is one of the keys to repeat business.