The scientific method is a systematic way of testing a theory. A hypothesis is tested by adjusting variables and measuring results against a control. In essence, a telemarketing campaign is a form of hypothesis. A product is chosen for sale, priced, and offered via telemarketing calls on the theory that this overall approach will yield the best results, or at least do well enough to be profitable.
Like any hypothesis, that campaign starts out as an educated guess. That guesswork can be systematically weeded out and replaced by better-proven methods, if a series of measurements and adjustments is made as the campaign goes along.
To systematically improve a campaign using the scientific method, telemarketers can...
- Use past campaigns to establish benchmarks and goals. Past experience should guide not only the methodology used in the telemarketing campaign but also the expectations for results. Success or failure can be more accurately judged within the framework of past results, and telemarketing companies with broad-based experience can be especially rich sources for this kind of benchmarking.
- Try different refinements on the script, and measure the results for each. There are often different script ideas, from using different premises for the call to highlighting different product features to applying different degrees of aggressiveness in making the close. A campaign should consider using more than one approach, and systematically measure the results of each.
- Track the individual results of each telemarketing caller. Besides the script,the telemarketing callers themselves are important variables that should be measured. Particularly ineffective callers need to be sidelined.
- Vary the time of day to find out when calls are most effective. Both audience and product characteristics can determine the best time to make telemarketing calls. Campaigns should start out trying a variety of time slots, and then measuring to see if there is a significant difference in results from one to the next.
- Fine-tune the call list according to response rates. Choosing the target audience is one of the most difficult decisions in telemarketing. Taking a selective approach is a good way to hone in on whether other aspects of the campaign are working, but ultimately if response rates prove to be high, the list should be broadened as much as possible until those rates start to fall off significantly. Within a diverse audience list, any clearly-defined subgroups should be segmented for different measurement so efforts can focus on the most receptive portions of the audience.
- Try different price points to diagnose resistance areas. Naturally, pricing is a key variable, especially if initial receptiveness to telemarketing calls is good, but final conversion rates are bad. Its worth seeing if more aggressive pricing could make a difference, and if so, then exploring whether higher volumes are likely to make up for any price concessions.
- Run parallel campaigns to distinguish between product and process problems. Sometimes disappointing results are due to the product, and sometimes they are due to the approach. Applying similar methodologies to different products helps make this distinction. Telemarketing companies with the capacity to run multiple campaigns in parallel are especially useful for this type of feedback.
The scientific method revolutionized the way people thought, and without it, this would be a very different world today. Why not apply these tried-and-true, genius techniques to telemarketing sales? Companies of all sizes can benefit from this measured approach to improving sales in general and telemarketing calls specifically.