Hiring a great telemarketer isn’t easy. While their salaries may not be the costliest part of your payroll, the opportunity cost that comes along with making a poor hire is very high.
Think of sales prospecting like an opportunity bank account. With a savings account, the more money you put into your account and the earlier you do so, the sooner interest accumulates and the more it grows. Prospecting is the same. The real benefit of outsourcing over hiring in-house telemarketers doesn’t lie in the skill of the talent or in the “magical” messaging an outsourcing company uses. The real benefit is in time to execution and the consistency of that execution.
To put it more clearly: My team can start dialing productively today, and your new in-house hire is six months away from being effective. The amount of lost sales opportunity from inactivity (or worse, badly executed activity) between today and six months from today is enough to change your sales pipeline for several years.
If you review the chart below, you can see the difference that “head start” with an outsourced firm makes.
And if that in-house hire quits or is terminated six months in to your engagement? The chart looks more like this.
So that might make a pretty strong case for outsourcing, and I’m obviously invested in you thinking that outsourcing is a great idea. There are, however many advantages to hiring an in-house caller — if you make the right hire.
In a larger market, you can use telephone-based outbound prospecting as a lead generation tool forever. You’ll never run out of leads, and once you figure it out, your second hire doesn’t have the learning curve of your first. If your goal long term is a successful in-house lead generation team, then you’ll need to take your lumps and hire one.
There are ways to make that first hire far more painlessly, with much less error. Here are four of them.
1. Use personality profiling
The ideal lead generator is not a sales rep. In fact, the top five personality traits for a sales rep don’t even overlap with the top five personality traits for a lead generator. If you’ve been skewing your search to telemarketers with experience closing on the phone, you’re looking in the wrong places.
A great sales prospector is detail oriented. You want a rep who is going to show their work, take great notes, stick to a follow-up process, and focus only on win-win appointments. They aren’t motivated by “spiffs” or “bonuses.” A good prospector will thrive in a predictable work environment with a fair salary. Look for a prospector with a customer service background, not a sales background. You’ll get better meetings, better data, and a better long-term outcome.
2. Don’t hire a telemarketer planning to make them into something else — make them into a better telemarketer
Many companies hire with the intention that the career path for their new employee will be telemarketer to inside sales to field sales. In reality, all three of these roles are very different, and they require different skills and personalities. If you want a sales rep, hire for that. You can’t build a sales rep out of a lead generator. Sales prospecting is a unique skill.
3. Don’t cheap out on this important hire
Don’t look at sales prospecting as the most junior role in your sales department. This is the person who speaks first to every company you’re trying to do business with. They will make or break your sales pipeline. Find the best person you can afford, the one who will require the least day-to-day management from you. A $10/hour asset is only a $10/hour asset if you’re not spending your valuable time supporting them.
4. Be ready to hire
Before you make this important hire, make sure you’ve established their plan and your process. Do you have a sales process set up? Do you know how you’re going to measure their success in the first three months when there are no meetings, and in the first six months before deals start closing?
You will need a process in place day one that ensures your new team member will thrive and produce great opportunities for you. If you’re not able to train, manage, and mentor your new prospector, everyone involved in this process is going to be frustrated. You’ll find yourself back at step one looking for another telemarketer again very quickly.
Would you like to learn more about how to successfully hire telemarketers? I’ll be joining Intronis on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. Eastern time to share what we’ve learned over the past three years. Here at Managed Sales Pros we’ve hired more than 50 sales prospectors, and we’re able to have them up and running (successfully scheduling sales appointments unassisted) within two weeks. Join us for the webinar as we share what worked for us and what didn’t.
About the Author: Carrie Simpson is the founder of Managed Sales Pros, a lead generation firm dedicated to providing new business opportunities for MSPs. Carrie teaches IT firms how to build, manage, and grow their sales pipelines. You can follow Carrie on Twitter @sales_pros and connect with her on LinkedIn.