5 Steps to a Successful Outbound Call Center

If you have a sales team, retention specialists or contract renewal agents who proactively reach out to customers and prospects on an ongoing basis, you have an outbound call center.

Account development, lead development and revenue generation goals are top-of-mind with the hunters in this call center. They thoroughly understand your company’s unique selling proposition and aren’t daunted by objections or quotas. You want to drive results and engagement, and your agents want an application that helps them feel confident and capable.

The right outbound call center software will deliver on both these sets of expectations. You may already have a cloud-based CRM application in place, however, call centers and multi-channel contact centers need additional functionality to make, monitor and analyze high volumes of calls, emails and/or interactions via web chat or social media.

Here are five key criteria you want to ensure your outbound call center delivers on your KPIs:

1. Preview, Predictive or Progressive Dialing

If your agents are tasked with making a high volume of calls or aggressive talk-time metrics, manual, ad hoc dialing can drag down their performance. Targeted, automated dialing out to consumers or businesses that are likely to answer their phone or have answered their phone is ideal.  

Automating dialing can be made on pre-vetted lists, prevent Do Not Call/Telephone Consumer Protection Act list violations and keep agents engaged by connecting them with more live prospects. VoIP telecommunications and predictive/progressive dialing work well in harmony with each other, especially in contact centers with national or international coverage.

2. Call Recording and Mentoring

If you’ve ever worn a headset in an outbound call center yourself, you’ll know that making cold, or even warm calls all day can be challenging. The ability to record calls and have your team leads, coaches or managers listen to them is critical to understand each agent’s strengths and weaknesses.

It can also help your digital marketing, product management and service delivery teams better understand what customers are asking about and looking for. Not to mention, they can contribute challenging situations to new hire training or coaching meetings. Recording calls and analyzing them for quality should be viewed “under a lens” of helping agents to improve their performance, not as a way to find faults.

3. Activity Analytics

Contact center analytics provide management teams with an understanding of:

  • Staffing requirements
  • Numbers of calls made vs live interactions
  • Length and quantity of calls
  • Agent after-call work time
  • Average login time, break time hours worked
  • Calls made vs calls returned

Assessing these reports on a real-time or historic basis over weeks or months is helpful to manage agents on an individual or team basis. With up-to-the minute, reliable reports, managers can make staffing decisions and understand where motivation and training efforts need to be focused.

4. CRM and Email Integration

If you’ve already invested in a SaaS CRM solution like Salesforce.com, NetSuite or Microsoft Dynamics, the right contact center solution will be natively interoperable with it. Same goes for your office productivity suites like Outlook and G Suite.

The data, workflows and customer/prospect histories you’ve gathered over time have significant value to your business. An outbound contact center solution should eliminate silos and increase ROI. For B2B agents or representatives who have multiple interactions with clients and prospects across phone, web and email, CRM integration is especially valuable.

5. Training for New and Existing Employees

With several call center solutions in the market, the onus of user and administrator training is on the call center. Finding out how to use basic functions like making calls, documenting interactions or importing contacts shouldn’t be a frustrating, time-consuming affair. You need your outbound call center team to ramp up quickly and focus on their customer conversations.

The 8x8 Academy offers walkthroughs and step-by-step instructions for agents, supervisors and application managers. Online courses are available on the 8x8 learning portal on a recurring basis, and the knowledge base offers on-demand support for frequently asked questions.

Equip Your Team With the Right Tools

Outbound call center teams have unique needs to reach their performance goals and quotas. Equipping them with a comprehensive, intuitive application to automate, inform and augment their activities is essential.

Call centers rely on their technology to empower them to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's Virtual Contact Center you get world class technology and everything your call center needs in one place. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

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