by Kraig Kleeman
Publisher / Chairman
Optimizing Offshore Lead Generation for Complex Sales
Blaire Group analysts recently completed its study entitled Optimizing Offshore Lead Generation for Complex Sales. During the research we observed 4,650 cold-call presentations made from twenty-five (25) different Call Centers based in The Philippines. We observed 250 call agents conducting outbound calls. 63% of all observed, call related projects were centered on b2c related projects versus 37% centered on b2b related projects. Most Filipino-based call centers are equipped with a solid physical infrastructure that typically includes modernized telephony systems, updated information technology infrastructure, and formidable security systems monitoring all flows of people, data, etc. Comprehensive backup power systems to insure uptime from power outages are particularly commonplace at call centers based in metro Manila.
Perhaps the biggest, single surprise that we observed was how quickly target buyers abruptly hang up on Filipino call agents. In fact, we had to create a new metric that we have never seen as a statistically significant metric in our prior, North American observations. We refer to this new metric as the initial kill rate. The initial kill rate simply measures the percentage of calls where the target buyer hangs up on the agent before he / she has completed two full sentences. The initial kill rate during our observation study was a staggering 69%. The underlying, root causes were clear. Most call agents adopt a presentation style that it is out of step with North American culture. Poorly written call scripts, heavy accents, and cultural mis-uages of English language were identified as the three most prevalent obstacles that hinder call agent effectiveness. These and other challenges generally encumber offshore call center deployments from being successful at conducting call campaigns targeting executive buyers of complex solutions.
Closely Controlled Testing / Training
We conducted a series of closely controlled, Must-React training sessions with 143 Filipino based call agents. The training sessions were designed to specifically address the afore-referenced talk-time challenges. This portion of the research began with revising all call scripts to be centered in principles of persuasion. We eliminated harmful “unsolicited sales call” language and replaced it with culturally relevant language. We conducted structured role playing sessions specifically designed to correct cultural mis-uages of English language, as well as to train call agents for best practices regarding objection management, among other vital areas of quality talk-time training. The results were nothing short of remarkable. Table 1 below identifies the significant improvements achieved. Notice the initial kill rate metric was reduced from 69% to 30%. Ineffective objection management activity was reduced from 22% to 10%. What’s most compelling is that the success rate (example: sale / appointment / qualified lead conversion rate) increased from 3% to 12%.
What might be the single most important metric to note is that 24 of 143 call agents (17%) that we trained achieved the equivalent of Must-React certification. This is an elite group of call agents that were able to quickly adjust to our customized training and produce powerful results. After the training, their outbound prospecting results were as strong / productive as Must–React certified call agents we have worked with in North America. After examining the background profiles of these elite call agents, a clear construct of background and commonality of skills has been established. We now have identified the appropriate essential skills, functions, and background profile information that leads to recruiting elite agents that exist within the Philippines. Our comprehensive search and interviewing process insures recruiting success.
Metro Manila Call Center Certified in The Must-React System
Blaire Group has partnered with a fully operational call center based in Metro Manila that is trained and certified in The Must-React System. This team is poised to recruit, train, and deploy productive call agents that are equipped to produce powerful lead generation results so as to build sales pipelines for companies that sell complex solutions. The founder and CEO of this call center was educated and lived in the USA for 15 years. As the result of our joint leadership, there is finally a low-cost, offshore alternative for complex lead acquisition that produces remarkable outcomes.
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