A B2B Case Study: Outbound Marketing from Good to Great

By A. J. Windle

Wins and losses: In a world driven by sales, this is how we are measured.

I, like every other person I know, love to win and hate to lose. Whether the scoreboard is based on revenue per hour, sales per hour, completes per hour, or any of the other metrics we track in the telemarketing services industry, there is always one standout metric that your client will consider a win.

Knowing that metric means the difference between winning and losing. But how do you find that metric? How do you evaluate it, benchmark it, and improve it? Business demands continual growth, so how can you continue to deliver sales results once you’ve already hit previously outlined goals?

The answer to finding this magic sauce is to be proactive. The first step is to hit your goals. Once you’ve accomplished those initial objectives, set new goals and strive to reach them, too. Even when you think you’re on top and doing well, remember that good isn’t always great.

A few years back I started a new B2B outbound marketing campaign. The product was excellent, our vendor was wonderful, and the kickoff for calling was fantastic. We hit the ground running. We were reaching our goals, but we quickly realized we had some concerns regarding the quality of the calls. Within a few months, performance started to drop. I wasn’t getting a lot of pushback from the client, but I knew if things continued to decline, I would.

In an effort to be proactive, I broached the subject of launching an additional outbound marketing team in a second location for this client. The goal was to measure performance and quality in an apples-to-apples test. This was a bit of a risk because the second team might not perform well and the test might be a waste of time and money, but we were confident the risk was worthwhile.

We started placing marketing calls with the second outbound team in competition with the first group. Within one month we saw a 10 percent increase on overall productivity, and our quality scores were through the roof. As a reward, our client doubled our workload over the course of about two months. We had found the magic sauce. It was time to put this campaign on cruise control and let it work its magic.

We set the cruise at sixty and ran for several months. We continued hitting our sales per hour goals and maintained excellent quality scores. However, while we were meeting expectations, we still had a nagging feeling that we could be doing even better. We decided to launch a third call center site to test the program. The test was small but measurable. Much to our delight, call center site three consistently exceeded the previous call centers’ performance by another 10 to 15 percent and still hit the same quality metrics critical for long-term success.

As the campaign progressed we continued to evaluate the lists we were running with each outbound marketing team. We delegated hours to the teams that were hitting the goals for each of the segments we were targeting. While this may seem like a no-brainer, it takes constant evaluation and proper tracking methods to deploy. By diving deep into team performance and allocating hours to the outbound marketing groups based on their performance, we continued to see improvements across the board. Within five months we were able to double the workload from the client once again.

From a winning perspective, this is a story that I love to tell. It demonstrates the importance of pushing past thresholds, reaching new heights, and being great instead of merely good enough.

And did I mention that I like to win?

A.J. Windle is senior operations manager for Quality Contact Solutions. He is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of client programs. With fourteen years of experience in telemarketing, he has built his career on creating win-win relationships between his team, his clients, and his telemarketing vendors to drive unparalleled success.

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