It may feel like you have to run faster and faster to keep up on the treadmill of customer acquisition, growth and retention. To do so, you may need to establish a call center or expand an existing one. If so, should you go in-house or outsource your call center needs?
To help you with this decision, I compiled a list of the benefits of outsourcing your B2B call center as well as some concerns you need to address.
The Benefits of Outsourcing your B2B Call Center
- Avoid the Cost of Delay
Any delay in acquiring new customers or servicing existing customers comes with an associated cost. For instance, the sooner you have increased call center capacity to onboard new customers, the more rapidly you’ll be able to add clients to your roster.
Outsourcing your call center is likely the fastest route to expanding your business, and it may enable you to preempt your competition. So you need to ask, “How much would it cost our business to delay our customer acquisition initiative by the few months it will take to set one up?”
- Focus on Closing Sales
You don’t have to outsource all of your call center functions. Instead, you could outsource the prospecting and have your team dedicate their time to closing sales.
Bypass People Problems
One of the most significant challenges in running a call center is staffing it with highly professional representatives. That’s because it’s no easy task to hire and retain the right people. After all, unemployment is low, competition for good reps is high, and the job requirements are demanding. Also, if you put the wrong person in an agent’s position, they will likely burn out rapidly. In fact, turnover, whether voluntary or involuntary, averages around 20 percent, adding replacement and vacancy costs to your burden.
- Save Time and Money on Infrastructure
Before launching a B2B call center initiative, whether to expand an existing one or create a new one, consider whether you have the time and money to invest in an array of required equipment: computers, workstations, headsets, telephones, phone lines for local dialing, automated dialers and call monitoring. Also, recognize you’ll have to develop systems, tools and processes to monitor and control telemarketing campaigns. Any purchases you make are not of the one-and-done variety. You’ll need to maintain the equipment and provide technical support. Plus, regular updates are required to keep up with the rapid pace of technology. On top of all this, you’ll need the space to house your team.
- Minimize Monthly Costs
Also, weigh up the ongoing costs, including salaries, commissions, bonuses, CRM licenses, recruitment and training. Don’t forget the exorbitant cost of turnover — experts estimate it to be between 150 and 200 percent of the employee’s annual salary.
- Gain Flexibility
For many companies, the need for inside sales and customer support fluctuates based on seasonality and corporate initiatives, such as promoting an upcoming event or introducing a new solution. With an outsourced team, you can quickly scale up your call center when you need extra help and pare it down when you don’t.
- Stay Out of Trouble
While business-to-business telemarketers are exempt from some government rules, there are others with which they must comply. Are you up to date on laws regarding autodialing, cell phone telemarketing, auto texting, telemarketing licenses and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)? To make compliance even more complex, the rules vary by states and countries. Keeping up with the laws is a hassle. It may be easier to leave it to the experts.
- Expand Internationally
Today, leading companies cannot afford to be limited by geographic borders and languages. Going multi-lingual, however, adds another layer of complexity to a call center initiative. You can overcome this obstacle by outsourcing to a vendor that has already hired qualified agents native to the countries where you wish to sell.
Addressing Concerns about Outsourcing your B2B Call Center
Despite all the benefits of outsourcing the call center function, there are some valid concerns that leaders need to address.
- Call Center Providers Serve Other Clients
It’s reassuring to know your in-house call center is 100 percent dedicated to your business. So it’s only natural that you might be concerned that a vendor splits their time up between several clients.
You can overcome this worry by agreeing with your B2B call center partner on key performance indicators for every project. Also, look for a vendor that is willing to assign agents to work exclusively for your company, acting as your remote team.
- You Lose Control of Your Brand
Another possible worry is the chance of losing control of your brand. To ensure this problem does not materialize, choose a vendor that commits to training their sales professionals thoroughly on your product, industry, target markets and competition. The more they know, the better they will be able to have intelligent free-flowing conversations with your prospects and customers.
- Ability to Relate to In-House Personnel
With an outsourced team off-site, you may worry about their ability to relate to your employees in sales, marketing and service. You can avoid this problem by setting up a schedule of regular communications during which you can bring in stakeholders to discuss challenges, goals and new programs.
There’s a lot to be gained from outsourcing your B2B call center, ranging from speed-to-market to maintaining your focus on your core competencies. While there also will likely be some concerns about relying on a vendor for this function, you can set guidelines to address them. It’s critical, of course, to hire a reputable call center provider. So make sure you check client references and review expectations before making a move.