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How to Hire Great Business-to-Business Telemarketers
By M. H. "Mac" McIntosh, President, Mac McIntosh Incorporated

Relationship marketing is a conversation with prospects and clients. Use these tips to build a telemarketing team worth talking to.

Finding and retaining your telemarketing staff is an important part of profitable B2B marketing programs. One shouldn't plan on simply throwing people into the call center with expectations of good results. After grasping the primary concepts in a phone marketing campaign, you will have to understand the function of the phone marketer and how they will interface with overall strategy. It's important to know the skills and traits which are needed to fill the position and match overall expectations.

To do this, you may want to ask yourself some questions:
  • Do your candidates possess the right experience?
  • Is it necessary for them to have previously worked with the CRM program?
  • Will they need to already be savvy at hire, or will you train?
  • Are there certain prerequisites which you will require?
  • Do you need energetic, results-oriented or easygoing phone staff?
  • Should your marketers have a particular level of professionalism?
  • Will they be required to think creatively in solving problems?
The top five qualities of great salespeople, according to Workplace Today Magazine:
  • empathy
  • motivation
  • service-oriented
  • conscientious
  • good self-esteem
Finding The Right People

First, let's begin with the right group of candidates. By being aware of the good service-oriented people working at restaurants, supermarkets, and theaters, you may find folks whose friendly and articulate mannerisms could well translate into a good phone marketing repertoire.

It's recommended that you don't write "telemarketing" or "telemarketer" in your ad - it's better to opt for something such as "sales support" or "customer service," as these words attract a wider group of potential employees.

Why not award a bonus to a staff member who helps locate the next good phone marketer, payable at the completion of a ninety day introductory period?

Hiring

For most jobs, you'd most likely ask for a resume first. For phone marketers, instead first let prospective marketers call a particular phone number which sends them directly to voice mail. The out-going message should tell them about your company and the job description, then ask that the caller leave their name and number and offer a couple of minutes' time for them to demonstrate why they are the correct person to have in the position.

By listening to candidates speaking on the messages, and paying attention to the way they pitch themselves, you should be able to take first impressions of who will make it through to the next stage. Those who leave a positive impact from their message can be next invited to a telephone interview. Those callers who pose a question about the business, product, or what you need from them on the job are most likely thoughtful enough to be the proactive type that you'll need to generate leads on the phone.

The very top candidates will attempt to engage you by opening up a conversation. Those potential employees who remain strong should now be requested to send a cover letter and resume. This is the right stage to delve deeper and look more closely at the applicant's history to see if they possess the desired experience. Final in-person interviews can then be scheduled with your best candidates.

Training

Correct training is a top way to avoid disappointment and failure in your telephone marketing campaigns. These sessions will provide new employees with the background and knowledge to reach their goals across a wide range of scenarios. The optimal amount of training is dependent on the type of work they will do and their past experience.

The basics could go over company history and role in the industry, and discuss the field of competition. Next describe your company's offerings, along with an overview of the features which may be important to potential buyers. Of course, phone marketers need to have a good understanding of prices and costs in the sales which they will make.

By taking care to demonstrate the preferred methods of using the CRM program, outlining policy, and being up-front about expectations, your new sales staff can set the bar for themselves and measure their own performance day by day and better use their work hours. Successful recruitment and retainment of the right people is the leading way to ensure positive results from your business-to-business marketing efforts.

M. H. "Mac" McIntosh is described by many as America's leading authority on inquiry handling and sales lead management. He is president of Mac McIntosh Incorporated, a sales and marketing consulting firm specializing in helping companies get more high-quality sales leads and turn them into sales. To request a free subscription to his newsletter, Sales Lead Report, contact him at: Mac McIntosh, Inc., 601 Pendar Rd. North Kingstown, RI 0-2852-6620 Phone: 800-944-5553 or 401-294-7730. Fax: 800-944-5513. Email: mcintosh@salesleadexperts.com Web: www.salesleadexperts.com

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