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Understanding Telemarketing Metrics

Telemarketing is part of the direct marketing, and like any form of direct marketing its metrics play a crucial part in the success of the campaign. Essentially, success in any telemarketing campaign comes from combining a two part equation. Part one involves a complete understanding of practical metrics and then making them effective. The second part of the equation is very difficult; essentially it involves the feasibility of the offer and the demographics of the market it is being marketed to.

Average rate of calls per hour

In essence determining average calls per hour should be an easy question but the reality is that it can be more complex than what meets the eye. Modern call systems and dialers allow telemarketing companies to make massive volumes of calls per hour. However, these systems also allow them to filter out a lot of the calls that waste telemarketing agent dialing times. Some examples of these wasters are fax signals, busy signals, and disconnected telephone numbers. Next look at a typical telemarketing campaign, the average B2B telemarketing program has fewer contacts per hour and fewer calls are made on an average day to day basis. This is because telesales representatives are speaking with secretaries or going through extension numbers, IVR systems, or getting voice mail. Although this may sound like it would only take a few seconds per call, multiply this number by 40 to 50 calls per hour and you can see a big difference.

The actual figures to look for in calls per hour are contacts per hour and delete rates. The average telemarketing campaign list is penetrated to 70%. After this the list can still be called however performance rates often drop. The 70% does not mean that 30% of the records were not called it means that 70% of the list had some sort of response or was max attempted. A quick note here will be taken to mention that penetration rates are a client specific metric. On a few pay per performance programs it may be best to allow the telemarketing group to dial the program until it is no longer performing at a profitable rate. Max attempts are the maximum number of attempts for a record in a telemarketing campaign before it is no longer called. Typically a telemarketing record is max attempted at 7 to10 times. Of course this may often vary. An attempted phone call and for whatever reason a telemarketing agent was unable to reach the decision maker, which is why the record is going to be called again is a telemarketing attempt. So if we have a list with 100 telemarketing records in it and we set the max attempt rate at 10 the most we would call these client records is 1000 times or 100 x 10.

To bring this all together lets go back to the idea of clients per hour. On a typical B2B campaign a sales agent can expect 6 to 8 contacts per hour. These 6 to 8 are actual conversations with Decision Makers (DM) and most likely result in a sale, or a refusal. In addition to this 6 to 8 per hour rate there will also be wrong numbers, out of business, bad numbers, and max attempted numbers. This will mean that the average campaign will have a burn rate or delete rate of 10 to 12 records per hour. For the remainder of these metrics we will focus on the B2B average of 8 contacts per hour. However, it is just as important to look at B2C telemarketing metrics as well.

B2C marketing is responsible for nearly half of all telemarketing campaign programs and are typically dialed at a faster pace using all predictive capabilities available. Typically it is safe to expect 10 to 12 contacts per hour in a B2C program with a similar burn rate of 6 records per hour. The reason for the high telemarketing contact level involves the simplicity of the calls. Most non answered telemarketing calls such as answering machines can be filtered out using a predictive dialing system. This means that the majority of the client records that actually reach the sales floor involve someone at the targeted household answering the phone. Here agents are simply doing an “ask” for the correct lead. Here it reaches down to a “yes” they are here or a “no” they are not. Sometimes there may be some inquiry about the nature and context of the call, which a properly trained agent is able to handle with minimal resistance.

When understanding what your telemarketing campaign will consist of, make sure to know how many hours are going to be dedicated to it, the average record Burn Rate, and client per hour rate. These can be some of the most effective factors. Let’s look at the initial list of 100 records that we started at. If we set a max attempt at 10 and a penetration rate at 70% we will see something like this: 100 records x 70% = 70 records. 70: 10 = 7. This means that the list will run approximately 7 hours. If we take that 7 hours and assume that we were speaking with 5 - 7 leads per hour we can estimate somewhere between 38 and 52 Decision Makers (DMs) were reached with this campaign.

At this point it is time to think of call conversion rates. Call conversion rates are the amount of sales that are created out of the actual number of clients reached. For example, if we had reached 55 DMs and made 11 sales then we would have dialed that program at an average 5 conversion rate.

The final major consideration in a telemarketing campaign is to set goals for the sake of easy math. Let’s say we dialed 7 hours and made those same 7 sales. Then the program would have dialed at a 1.00 SPH (sales per hour). 7 hours multiplied by an hourly rate, for example, $20 per hour. 7 x $20 = $140 for this calling campaign.


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