Top 10 Features to Turbocharge your Outbound Calling Strategy
A call center agent initiates an outbound call to a customer on behalf of a call center or client. Outbound calls are typically made to prospective customers and focus on sales, lead generation, telemarketing, customer surveys, fundraising, and customer support.
Outbound call centers should have essential features that benefit your business for better customer engagement and experience.
Every business has its unique way of implementing an outbound calling strategy. However, the list below summarises five steps that teams must follow to successful run an outbound calling strategy;
- Market Segmentation
- Leads Capturing
- Qualification and Outreach
- Calling and Pitching
- Deal Closing
Now we briefly know about the outbound calling process, let me highlight each step of implementing an outbound calling strategy.
1. Market Segmentation
To have an effective outbound calling campaign, you must segment your market by the targeted audience, buyer type, and category of your products or services. Market segments enable your outbound team to personalize their prospecting approach effectively and as per specific customer needs.
2. Leads Capturing
The next step is to make your consumer develop an interest in the products and services you offer. This process is called lead generation, and the ability to capture their contact details is essential before any business engagement.
3. Qualification and Outreach
Qualification and outreach are when your team starts interacting with the leads captured in the above step. The outbound team pursues a list of qualified customers for the next prospecting phase. It discards those not showing interest in purchasing your products or services.
4. Calling and Pitching
Pitching your customer who is potentially going to be buyers is the final stage in the outbound calling strategy. The pitching process includes showing features, explaining benefits, or even arranging for demos of your products.
5. Deal Closing
Those buyers who have made a firm interest in purchasing your products conclude the business deal by placing orders, making payments, and signing the sales agreement.
Must-have Outbound Calling Features
Given its importance to your business, in this article, I’ll provide you with an in-depth overview of the following outbound call center features that help to turbocharge your calling strategy;
- Multiple Campaign Management
- Call Management Feature
- Call Transfers Feature
- Automatic Call Distribution
- Call Recording and Monitoring
- Integration with CRM application
- Call Center Dialer
- Reporting and Quality Dashboards
- Call Disposition
- Conversational Intelligence
- Integrated business tools
1. Multiple Campaign Management
A successful outbound call center may require different campaigns to run at the same time such as specific agents (telemarketing team) assigned to use maximum channels or lines. This feature helps call center managers to create, assign, modify or delete multiple campaigns in simple clicks. The feature allows campaigns to be automated in such a way that unfinished ones resume on the next business day. Consequently, the outbound call center operation productivity is improved with error-free work efficiency.
2. Call Management Feature
Call management features have different options to enable agents and managers to run outbound activities smoothly while complying with data privacy and regulatory requirements. The ‘Do Not Call’ or DNC option ensures that phone numbers registered in the “do not call” list such as government numbers should be excluded from telemarketing, promotion activities, or customer surveys.
Another option under the call management feature is filter-based calling which helps to set up specific rules for calling, based on time zones, demographics, and location.
The callback schedule option on the other hand allows call center agents to schedule a reminder or callback to dial the number at a later time.
3. Call Transfer
The call transfer feature makes dialing increasingly easier, quicker, and universal. The live transfer feature allows agents to a mobile phone, softphone, fixed landline, or any computer with a CTI popup screen. Most outbound call center with this feature offers to transfer live calls back to the calling computer or to any computer and displays a pop-up window with the caller's information.
4. Automatic Call Distribution
An outbound call center that enables team leaders and managers to create and manage automatic call distribution (ACD) is good for the business. Outbound calls can be distributed amongst agents and managed using ring groups, routed rules, call queues capability, and automatic call settings. The ACD feature allows managers to track agents' performance metrics and efficiency like break time, service levels, drop calls, wait time in queue, and average call time to serve a customer.
5. Call Recording and Monitoring
Any call center must have a call recording feature for ongoing agent coaching and call quality assurance. Call center managers can supervise agents by whispering or bargaining in ongoing calls to improve customer interactions. Call whispering means providing live-call guidance to agents that are inaudible to customers. Whereas, with call bargaining, the manager can interact with both agent and a caller. This feature not only improves outbound agents efficiency but also offers an excellent customer experience.
6. CRM Integration
CRM integration is one of the essential features of an outbound call center software. It simplifies an outbound agent’s work and boosts their performance considerably. With an in-built CRM, agents can view particular contact details, previous call information and interaction recordings, voicemails, support tickets, cases, and much more all in one platform.
You are on the right track when you have your outbound call center software integrated with CRM. However, you must ensure that data in CRM software such as Salesforce have updated information. Your software should support importing/ exporting a list of leads and customers and enable you to work with customer information within the system with real-time data synchronization.
7. Call Center Dialer
The call center dialer is the best tool to have if you are making volumes of outbound calls. It can effectively help to improve agent productivity and make your outbound process automated and quite streamlined.
Modern call centers have different dialers to help supercharge outbound calling strategy. They include a power dialer, progressive dialer, and predictive dialer. The power dialer automates phone numbers in work queues for your agents to call out in sequence, reducing manual searching, calling and copy-pasting of numbers.
A progressive dialer helps you enable a list of phone numbers for your agent to call them simultaneously and saves time as it reduces the call waiting time. A predictive dialer automates calling your system, but it filters out busy or unanswered calls. A preview dialer lets you preview details about the specific contact before you dial. The contact details help your outbound team to preselect and prioritize the leads they want to call.
8. Reporting and Quality Dashboards
This is an essential feature you will find in any call center system. Having a system in place that gives you real-time reports and dashboards enables outbound team leads and managers to determine agents’ workloads and productivity. Insightful reports also help call center teams such as Telesales teams to make proactive decisions pertaining to resource allocation and sales campaign management. Supervising outbound call distribution, call center reporting metrics, and customized reporting become easy and intuitive.
9. Call Disposition Codes
After each call, an outbound call center agent fills the dispositions like call back, wrong number, voice mail drop, or busy with codes or notes related to the call. The disposition information helps determine the point of view of a call for tracking purposes and sharing in the CRM application.
With the call disposition feature, managers can drive data related to call perceptibility, disengagement rate, sales disposition, hang-up rates, and other outbound call metrics.
10. Conversational Intelligence
Outbound call center operations focus on building customer interest through various conversations and interactions. A speech analytics tool carefully analyses the customer voices and communication to identify whether or not they meet certain business criteria. For instance, tool speech can predict the customers’ interest levels in various product options and whether or not they are genuinely interested to buy.
While the conversational intelligence tools may not be 100% reliable, many call centers have used them to identify new business opportunities from outbound calls.
11. Integrated business tools
An outbound call center thrives on information from various business processes into well-structured data. Integration with backend applications such as credit management systems, or real estate tools feeds data into the call center system. The data source could be from a website on which customer interacts or internally generated from backend applications. Recently, I was looking for a workspace through an online system and got an immediate response from an outbound agent located in England who called via a local number. He had comprehensive workspace options with pricing thanks to real-time data presented to him on one platform. With business tools integrated together, outbound calling activity operates smoothly and empowers the agents to never miss a customer.
Other important features include support for multi-lingual text-to-speech plugins, and the ability to support email integration.
The aforementioned features should be a definite must in any outbound call center software and toolkit. These features make your process robust, scalable, and comprehensive which helps in establishing agent performance and existing tech stacks.
I hope you will find this article useful in an effort to implement a feature-rich call center dialer that has the capability of making your outbound teams more productive and effective.