Sales and other outbound services mainly use phone calls to connect with existing or potential customers. In fact, 70% of outbound teams connect with prospects using the phone.
Since outbound and inbound phone calls remain one of the top communication channels for many businesses, knowing how an outbound call works is helpful. So, let’s get started.
The Basics of Outbound Calls
“Outbound” signifies the way these calls travel.
An outbound call is an outgoing call. These occur when your business initiates or places calls to third-party telephone numbers belonging to customers or prospects. On the other hand, an inbound call is when your business receives calls from existing or potential customers.
Cold and warm calling are terms often used to describe two types of outbound calls. With cold calling, you contact prospects that are unaware of your business’ products or services. So, cold calls are usually unexpected and tend to catch prospects off guard.
Alternatively, warm calling is when you contact people who expressed interest in your products or interacted with your business. These calls tend to be less of a surprise to customers since they’ve engaged with the company before.
There are different reasons why businesses place calls to existing and potential customers. Common reasons for outbound calls include:
- Market research
- Notifications & reminders
- Surveys & feedback
- Inside sales
The goal of an outbound call is usually to entice people to make purchases or educate prospects on your company.
Additionally, outbound call performance is measured through metrics such as average handling time (AHT), conversion rates, first call resolution, occupancy rate, average numbers of calls per user, and customer satisfaction.
Handling Outbound Calls and Legal Requirements
Outbound calling is generally handled by sales reps, marketing teams, customer success teams, and so on. The way, your business approaches outbound calls depends on your company’s size, the average number of calls, and your frequent call types.
Here are some methods for handling outbound calls:
Outbound Call Handling Methods
- In-house call centers – With this approach, your staff directly handles all outbound calls in-office. This setup will look different depending on your company’s size. For instance, a small business may utilize a small team of sales reps, while larger companies might have an entire team or internal call center for outbound services.
- Outsourced contact centers – You can also outsource your outbound calling services. This means a third-party contact center (existing outside your business) manages your outbound calls on your behalf.
Outbound calling services also include legal requirements that are important to note. Let’s dive into a few significant regulations.
Legal Requirements for Outbound Calling Services in the US
- Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) – TCPA covers Do Not Call (DNR) requests, limitations on when businesses can call (8 am – 9 pm local time), business contact information requirements, and more.
- Telemarketing Sales Rules – This regulation requires telemarketers to disclose material information, bans misrepresentations, prohibits repeat calls to customers who asked not to be called again, and restricts payments for certain goods and services.
- Call Recording Laws – US federal law dictates that at least one party must be notified of call recording. However, recording regulations are up to state governments; this means they vary from state to state. Most states operate on one-party consent, while others require two-party or all-party consent.
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) – This establishes security standards for all companies that accept, process, store, or transmit credit card information – ensuring that they maintain a secure environment.
How to Build an Outbound Call Strategy
You can boost sales, generate qualified leads, and drive business growth with an effective strategy. But how do you build a strong outbound calling strategy? Let’s take a look.
1. Set Obtainable Goals
Outlining your goals gives you and your team something tangible to aim for. It also helps you focus your strategies and efforts toward a specific objective. Once you’ve defined the main goal of your outbound service, communicate it with your team. You can track your progress and success rate using metrics like average handling time (AHT), conversion rates, and first call resolution (more listed above).
2. Develop Segmented Call Lists
Instead of creating one master call list, develop smaller, segmented call lists. For example, you could generate a call list for customers up for renewal, another organized based on their job role, or one for those who abandoned their cart. These segments will vary depending on your business needs, industry, customer pain points, target audience, etc.
With this method, your team targets customers and prospects better while simultaneously learning about their preferences and behaviors. And in the process, you boost your business’ conversion rates.
3. Use the Right Technology
When choosing outbound calling tools, consider your goals, budget, and the number of concurrent outbound calls.
Most outgoing calling services use cloud telephony for their business calls. This is because VoIP delivers higher flexibility, better voice quality, and more cost savings. Many of these services also come with useful features for better outbound call management.
Here are a few cloud communication features that benefit outbound calling teams:
• Caller ID management – You can hide or mask your outgoing caller ID with another phone number. This feature also protects your team’s caller information, especially when working from home or on the go. Additionally, you can display a country-specific caller ID when placing international calls.
Configuring a familiar, local caller ID encourages recipients to answer your calls. By simply getting the customer or prospect to answer, you can increase conversion rates, boost sales and grow your revenue.
• Softphones – A softphone is a keypad tool that lets you make and receive business calls through an IP-enabled device. As such, you can use softphones for both inbound and outbound calls.
Softphones are especially useful for outbound services, as it turns any device (including computers and smartphones) into a business telephone. This gives your team flexibility and allows them to connect with international clientele cost-effectively.
• Customer Relationship Management (CRMs) software – CRMs help you manage your company’s relationships and interactions with prospects and customers. So, they come in handy for outbound calling teams. With this software, you can record and note vital customer data and engagements. This helps to build a better overall service and improve customer relationships.
4. Empower Employees with Training and Incentives
While well-designed goals, call lists, and the right technology can certainly help reps, it’s up to your employees to close deals and reach goals. So, training and re-training agents is essential.
Empower your team by equipping them with knowledge of their product, target audience, and, of course, their role. Teach them how to deal with rejection and challenging situations. You can use tools like call recording for training purposes and to monitor their progress.
By providing thorough training and support, you’ll help build your team’s confidence and ensure they operate at their full potential. And don’t forget to reward your employees’ growth! Use prizes, healthy competitions, or commissions to incentivize and celebrate their great work.
5. Analyze and Optimize your Outbound Calling Strategy
After implementing your strategy, it’s important to keep track of your progress and success rate. This allows you to make changes and improve your outbound strategy as necessary. And it ultimately brings you closer to reaching your goals. You can use VoIP features like call detail records and call analytics to access vital call metrics.
Best Practices for an Effective Outbound Calling Service
On top of a well-designed strategy, it’s helpful to know some industry best practices for an effective outbound calling service:
• Conduct customer and market research
To build a successful outgoing calling service, you need to focus on the customer. But how do you focus on the customer if you don’t know them? This is where customer and local market research comes into play.
Conducting this research provides your business with valuable data on your target consumer’s pain points, preferences, and behaviors. You can use surveys, interviews, feedback, and more to collect this information. Market research allows you to craft a more personalized, effective, and targeted service, leading to higher sales and conversion rates.
• Create a user-friendly script
If your teams use a script for outbound calls, make sure it is easy to understand. Eliminate any roadblocks in the customer’s journey. This includes removing industry or technical jargon from your script. Break down complicated products and services as much as possible. This way, the customer is always on the same page as you.
• Deviate from script
Don’t be afraid to drift from your script! Use it more as a guide rather than a mandatory procedure. This helps humanize the business, leaving room for personalized interactions.
• Follow up
Sales and other outbound services require follow-up calls to prove successful. Research shows that 80% of sales close after the 5th follow-up.
So, it’s crucial to follow up with all your leads and clients. This doesn’t necessarily mean calling the same person over and over. Agents could send the customer additional information via email after a chat or even ask for feedback.
This practice drives both conversion rates and sales. And it allows you to answer any questions or concerns once they’ve had time to think about your initial conversation.
9 Benefits of a Strong Outbound Call Strategy
Using the strategies and best practices mentioned above, you’ll deliver the best outgoing service possible to existing and potential customers. In fact, a strong outbound call strategy is beneficial to businesses for many reasons:
- Boost outbound sales
- Generate more leads
- Increase awareness of brand, products, services, and campaigns
- Target customers more effectively
- Raise conversion rates
- Develop long-lasting relationships with customers
- Increase revenue
- Drive business growth
- Improve customer loyalty and customer lifetime value (CLV)
Outbound Calling with Global Call Forwarding
Global Call Forwarding provides high-quality outbound calling services and international business phone numbers in over 160 countries. With our cloud telephony services, you can access advanced communication tools and features to support your outbound calling efforts.
To learn more about how we can help your business manage calls more effectively, chat with us online or call us at +1 (561) 908-6171.