Lead generation in call centres – is your data all it’s cracked up to be?
A good lead generation company is an invaluable partner when it comes to call centre performance. Simply put, if the quality of the data is good then call centres will achieve a higher daily conversion rate for calls made. In addition, the cost of leads has gone up enormously, particularly as a result of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), so it’s vital that your lead generators are working well for you.
Telemarketing is a difficult job, but good data can really help. So the key to a successful telemarketing campaign lies in an accurate, up to date list of prospective contacts. Accurate data will ensure you speak with the right contact and reduce wasted time on sales calls you can’t convert.
The characteristics of good quality lead data
Good quality lead lists will have the following attributes:
Your leads are in the right target market.
The contact provided is still available at the number given.
The telephone number is correct, and works first time.
Contacts are checked against the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) register to remove any contacts that don’t want to receive marketing calls.
Signs that you have poor quality lead data
Many call centres suspect that their leads are of poor quality, and there are a few indicators that point to this. If you notice the following things happening, it’s a sure sign that your lead generation company is not as good as it should be:
- You call people who are no longer there
- You have to spend time finding out who’s the best person to speak to
- The contact is still at the company, but they are at a different location. You have to spend time finding out their new details.
- The contact you called is not the right type of contact. For example, you are looking for healthcare providers but you get through to a leisure centre.
- The company called is not in your target market. For example, you are looking for companies with more than 50 employees, but you get through to a sole trader.
- The effects of poor quality lead data
The effects of poor quality lead lists in call centres
Let’s assume that you make 100 calls. If 20 of those turn out to be poor contacts that are never going to buy from you, that’s 20% of your calls that are wasted. If each call takes 3 minutes, you’ve lost an hour of your time. Your success rate. If your actual effective conversion rate is 10%, then
10% of 100 is 10
10% of 80 is 8
But your statistics will actually show a conversion rate of 8/100 i.e. 8%. That’s a pretty big difference and wholly attributable to the poor quality of your telemarketing list.
How to deal with bad telemarketing data
If you suspect that your list of leads is not as good as it should be, then it is vital that you adopt a structured approach to identifying this. Otherwise, any feedback that you give to your lead generation provider will be anecdotal, not verifyable and lack impact.
Make sure that you have adequate documented processes in place to identify and manage poor data.
Find out how bad your data really is. Make sure your agents are able to log instances of poor quality data. Make sure that your call centre software allows them to flag the reason why they’ve concluded that it’s poor. Without measuring this, you will be unable to properly address the issue with your data provider, because you won’t have the facts to prove it.
Make sure that poor data is cleansed and updated as appropriate. Once a contact is established, it’s important to retain the details of the successful contact.
Have regular meetings with your data provider where you can address any issues identified, agree key performance indicators and receive a refund if applicable. If the data quality does not improve, select another provider.
Ensure that your call centre software provider focusses on the quality of data, enables you to capture information about data quality and provides good reporting on data quality.
How to identify a good quality lead generation company
Communicate actively with your supplier
Make sure your lead generator understands your objectives and how you work
Do they have a really great reputation?
Only buy from a reputable supplier. Key indicators are direct marketing association accreditation, proof of historical reliability, a focus on data protection, reviews from existing customers etc. The source of the leads list should also be explained.
Make sure that the data provided will work well with your call centre software. Agree consistency between data labels and formatting upfront.
Is the data up to date?
All contact databases should have been checked recently, preferably within the last 6 months.
Is the data of good quality?
Ask for a sample of leads. All reputable suppliers of leads should be happy to give you a representative sample of the types of leads they can provide
Check your rights to use the data
Make sure that the contract allows you to use the lead data as you are intending to.
Is the data appropriately pre-checked?
Effectively pre-screening the data for certain things will save your agents valuable time. For example, for cold calls, have the leads been checked against the TPA? In addition, any contact database that you buy should be checked against any relevant opt-out registers.
Last but not least, make sure you have a really good call centre software provider. They will be able to help you with data quality issues. For example, call centres often have more than one lead generator company, so we add a Vendor Lead Code to each item so that you always know where the lead came from. You can easily upload spreadsheets of leads into your call centre system and track whose leads work best. What’s more, our systems keep track of important data (e.g. never answers, invalid number, gone away etc.).