woman in front of outsourced call center map

Telemarketing is a $24 billion industry powered by local and national firms that employ nearly 200,000 representatives, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most telemarketing firms appear to offer the same services, yet some companies tower above the rest. If you’re interested in changing providers, here are five things to consider before making the switch.

1. Specialization

Inbound and outbound call centers are two different animals that require specialized skills, strategies and equipment. In fact, outbound telemarketing covers many disparate areas, including prospecting, which is one of the most difficult aspects of sales according to professionals surveyed by HubSpot.

Other areas of emphasis include appointment setting, welcome calls, data upkeep, market research and lead generation. In all cases, it’s worth hiring a company that understands your objectives and specializes in that particular area.

2. Relevant Expertise

Telemarketing does not favor jacks- or jills-of-all-trades. The most successful firms stay within their verticals of expertise, which enhances project outcomes. Specific industries target different kinds of customers and use unique sales strategies. Many areas require in-depth knowledge.

For example, the healthcare field has complex legal requirements to protect patient privacy. A telemarketing firm with relevant expertise benefits your organization by giving you access to a workforce of experts who understand your business and your customers.

3. Qualifications

Third-party certifications tell you a great deal about a company’s qualifications. Accredited outbound sales representatives protect your business from liability issues and customer complaints by respecting all federal regulations.

If the company handles financial transactions, make sure it complies with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard requirements. For healthcare representatives who interact with patients, HIPAA and HITECH qualifications are essential.

Other certifications that might be of note are issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

4. Longevity

When you ask how long a company has been in business, there’s no right or wrong answer, but the number is quite revealing. By working with an established brand, clients gain access to the company’s infrastructure and a team of experienced service representatives and managers.

It’s also a good idea to ask about how long, on average, team members stay with the company. Experienced representatives are almost as important as an experienced provider. Research from the Quality Assurance & Training Connection shows that turnover rates are substantially lower among telemarketing professionals who have a dedicated area of expertise. These providers also generate superior results.

5. Results

For businesses, proven results provide increased value per dollar spent. As a prospective client, the best way to gauge a company’s performance is by reviewing the data. Established providers woo prospective clients with case studies and customer references that document their performance and prove their worth. In the telemarketing industry, results change by the minute. It’s essential to select a company that has a transparent reporting system to ensure that KPIs are being met and the client is receiving the expected level of service.

If you’re interested in partnering with an onshore telemarketing service, contact Ameridial today. Our 100 percent U.S.-based staff will take your business to the next level.