Category Archive: OutSourcing

OutSourcing

Jun 27

Business Challenges in Economic Recession and Outsourcing

There are a variety of economic indicators hat suggest the US is entering a recession.  This poses challenges for businesses to maintain their existing and future revenue streams.  A business will generally review opportunities to reduce costs, including the elimination of personnel or reductions in their labor costs.  Often discretionary investments, such as advertisement and marketing promotion are also reduced as a short term savings until things “get better”.

Touching existing and potential customers is key during a period when a business is in competition with many others, all in survival mode trying to last out the recession.  (This recession period is normally a period of two quarters, assuming that the normal business cycle holds true to form.  It is more likely that this business cycle will be different in my opinion given the critical events that are taking place in the world today.  E.g., BREXIT, US presidential elections, China instability, potential military conflicts and central banks impotency and others.)

A business client base requires protection and leveraging during this recessionary period.  A business should be in constant contact to determine whether new business opportunities are available as well as to solicit potential new customer referrals.  Whether the client base is Business or Consumer, generally the same process should be used to “touch” and “mine” the client base.  The process may include a combination of  telemarketing, Email, social networking.  Likely this process will be performed by an outsourcing provider as part of the business reduction in labor costs rather than in-house.  The fastest and most direct is telemarketing since it provides an immediacy of impact and response with little filtering of the response.  As part of this telemarketing response is the opportunity to do a quick survey, drop a note of appreciation, request a referral and clean up the client list for other related followup marketing activities.

A business should have some idea as to the value of a new “sales lead”.  If not, the business should be able to respond to the general question of “How much would you pay for a new client, based on $XXXX revenue in the first year of the relationship?”   What is the conversion rate of sales leads during a reasonable period of time (e.g. 6 months)?  The math is not complicated to draw a conclusion to determine the level of investment required in telemarketing along with other marketing activities.

Nexus Teleservices would like to offer your business the means to generate new clients in an affordable, easy to understand, measurable process with limited risk.

Sep 09

The Reality of Outsourcing Sales Lead Generation

Ok. You know the importance of generating qualified sales leads for your internal sales staff. Good, quality sales leads are the life blood of any sales operation.  Generate more sales leads should keep your internal staff busy closing more sales and generating more revenue.  Do you keep the sales lead generation process completely in-house or do you outsource some or all of the process?  By whatever evaluation criteria you use, it is likely that you will decide at some point to outsource a portion of the lead generation process.  Depending upon how you manage your outsourcing vendor and the lead generation process will significantly affect the results, good or bad.

Listed below are recommendations on how your company´s investment of time and resources with your outsourcing partner can result in a successful sales lead generation program.

  1. Set the proper expectations. Be pragmatic.  Your decision to outsource the sales lead generation process reflects a variety of factors.  If this process has not been meeting expectations internally for your company, what suggests your outsourcing partner will be more successful?  Perhaps more experience, better infrastructure, greater focus of resources, whatever the reason, your outsource provider needs to be able to deliver.  How will your company deem the outsourcing relationship a success?  Lower sales lead cost?  Lower cost per sale?  Shorten time from sales lead contact to sale conversion.  Average sales leads generated per agent hour?  Improved quality of sales leads versus internally staff generated?  This list can be extensive.  It is better at the outset to provide your outsourcing partner some type of guidance as to how your company will judge the project success or failure to avoid surprises.
  2. Start with baby steps. Your company knows its market.  Your outsourcing partner knows how to generate sales leads.  (If it doesn´t you already made your first mistake and it is better to gracefully exit as quickly as possible.  No harm, no foul – just some damaged credibility with your internal staff.)  This may be in the form of a pilot-project, with a limited commitment of resources to minimize risk.  Alternatively you can limit the amount of resources (hours, personnel, daily sales lead caps) until both parties are satisfied with the results and it moves to the next phase of growth.
  3. Frequent communication. Since this is a new relationship between your company and your outsourcing partner, be prepared to invest the time to respond to the volume of questions as the sales lead generation program starts off.  Notwithstanding how well you know your market, your outsourcing partner is guaranteed to have first-time questions that were not anticipated.  The sooner doubts are eliminated, the sooner the outsourcing representatives will improve their ability to promote your product or service.  You want to get the outsourcing reps to “speak your language” as soon as possible.  This “teething period” will provide your company valuable real-time, market feedback that will help your company fine-tune the sales lead generation program.
  4. Do Your Job (Well). Clearly understand what will be your company´s role.  You define what will be the criteria for a qualified sales lead.  You define the characteristics of the calling list data that the outsourcing reps will use.  You define the telephone script.  You define the sale lead contact information to be captured.  You define key benefits that need to be communicated by the outsourcing reps to get the sales lead.  You define how your internal sales staff will follow up and work the sales leads.  You define how best to communicate with your outsourcing partner.  If you do not do your job (well), you are setting up your outsourcing partner to fail and not meet your company´s goals.
  5. Quantity versus Quality. Is your company´s internal sales staff starving for leads of any type or is it more of too little quality?  If your outsourcing partner´s sales representatives are the “fronters” pre-qualifying sales leads, is your internal staff ready to act as “closers” and turn that sales lead into a sale?  If your internal closers are not converting enough sales over a reasonable period of time for the sales cycle, is it the quality of the sales leads being received or the quality of your closers?
  6. Prepare the Back-End. If your outsourcing partner hits a home run, is your company prepared to convert the sales leads into sales?  There is a process from initial contact to sales close that may span several days to many months.  Depending upon the product or service and whether it is Business-to-Business (B2B) versus Business-to-Consumer (B2C), the sales lead can take many different forms and timeframes.   Is it a “call-back” from your internal staff (the experts), an appointment, an on-line sales presentation, sending an Email or fax then follow up call, etc.?  You really don´t want to tell your outsourcing partner that you need to “pause” the sales lead generation program because your company is having problems with the follow up back-end process.  (You did NOT do your job well.)
  7. Listen. Your outsourcing partner is talking to your potential market on a daily basis.  In a very short span of time, the outsourcing representatives will have heard many, many things:  the perception of your company´s offer versus the competition, whether this is the right market for your offer, whether the presentation of your company offer is hitting the “sweet spot” of the customer, etc.  Invest the time to listen to the sales representatives and their conversations with potential customers.  You will learn from the experience, allow for adjustments and improve the results of the sales lead generation program.

To paraphrase a movie from the ´90s:  “Help me…help you.  Help me, help you.”  Help your outsourcing partner to help your company to be successful.

 

For more information, please visit:  http://www.NexusTeleservices.com/

 

 

Jan 07

Outsourcing and Network Marketing

Nexus Teleservices was recently involved with a client related to network marketing. The client had an interest in using our outsourcing services of telemarketing to promote their business opportunity to “network prospects”. That is, promoting the business opportunity to potential distributors, not to consumers. The results of this effort were somewhat “mixed” from our perspective. From the client´s viewpoint the results were generally positive. Why the discrepancy between the two? Let me explain.

Network marketers generally promote the business opportunity, not the product or services. The network marketer´s income is primarily derived from the size and depth of his/her reseller network, not the amount of product sales of the network. Where does the income come from if it is not primarily related to the purchase of a product or service? It comes from the initial recruitment fees of and monthly follow up purchases of the reseller network. So in order to make money, a network marketer needs to grow the network (recruitment) and help the network grow (downline recruitment).

Our company´s outsourcing services were exclusively focused on network reseller recruitment (sales prospects). The client would do the follow up and closure. This was a very limiting and shortsighted view by the client of the potential in the oursourcing relationship. Maybe this was a client budget issue, maybe not. This was probably not the first outsourcing relationship by the client. For example the client´s lead tracking system (CRM) that we used had been outsourced via a third party vendor. Since Nexus was not privy to the client follow up process, the level of resources dedicated to convert the sales prospects into resellers in the network downline, or other activities after conversion to a reseller, we do not know the return on investment.

We do know that as a trial test we listed ourselves as a “reseller prospect” and received lots of follow up emails from the client´s CRM system using an auto-responder. The emails were nice and informative, but lacked any personal telephone follow up to “motivate” us to make a decision to join the business opportunity. Additionally no thought had been made after sale conversion as to how to make the new network reseller “productive” by aiding his efforts in recruitment and sales.

Maybe because this was a new business relationship the client simply wanted to “maintain control” of the follow up sales lead process.

What should the client have done? The client should have outsourced to Nexus the basic follow up after identifying the sales prospect. After the reseller prospect had received 3-4 emails from the CRM autoresponder system, the Nexus representative would have done a follow up call to confirm receipt of the email, determine what questions or concerns were lingering and if ready for a “close”, Nexus would have scheduled a conference call with the client as the “expert” to answer anything else to bring the sales prospect into the network family. Afterwards our client could also have considered “remarketing” our outsourcing services to the new network reseller to help in sales lead prospecting and conversion, helping the network downline.

If we continue with this client in the future we will provide an update as to the outsourcing results.

For additional information contact us.

Jul 12

How to Build a Better Business with Outsourcing

When Laura Lee Sparks left her job as a law firm manager to launch her own business, she knew from the beginning that there were certain tasks she didn’t want to handle. The owner of Legal Marketing Maven–a firm that helps law firms streamline their practices through outsourcing–Sparks practiced what she preached from the start, hiring an outside bookkeeper and slowly adding to her virtual team of contractors. Within months, her business revenues reached six figures.

“Most entrepreneurs have great talents but many times they think they can do it all,” Sparks says. “That can really stall the growth of the business. By outsourcing the day to day back-office tasks, the business owner has more time to focus on generating income.”

To read more

Jul 12

Innovation: The subtle skill of outsourcing

The need for the Government to slash public spending continues to generate commentary, as does the speculation as to which areas will be subject to the cuts. But less attention to date has been focused on the precise mechanisms that can be used to achieve these cutbacks.

The report from An Bord Snip, led by Colm McCarthy, highlighted the potential for outsourcing to deliver cost savings for the Irish public sector. This is consistent with international experience which shows that public bodies can cut costs by up to 25% by outsourcing specific operations to external suppliers.

To read more

Jul 05

What is Outsourcing?

Outsourcing is a term used to describe almost any corporate activity that is managed by an outside vendor, from the running of the company’s cafeteria to the provision of courier services. It is most commonly used, however, to apply to the transfer of the management of an organisation’s computer facilities to an outside agent. This transfer of management responsibility is frequently accompanied by a transfer (from the buyer of the outsourcing service to the vendor) of the specialist internal staff who are already carrying out that activity.

To read more

Jun 26

Obama, Romney, the 2012 Presidential Election and Outsourcing

We are fast approaching the 2012 presidential election, which promises to be a tense, tightly contested battle between incumbent President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. The outcome of the election will likely hinge on the health of the US economy and the overall economic trajectory from now until election day. If the economy seems to be improving and adding a substantial number of jobs each month, the advantage goes to Obama. If the economy appears to be weakening and job growth is miniscule, Romney holds the edge. “It’s the economy, stupid” was one of the more memorable campaign slogans produced by Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign and it holds true today.

To read more

Jun 26

Why smaller outsource suppliers have an edge?

The economy is picking up again and companies are looking for opportunities to grow. Flexibility, innovation and speed to market are shifting to the top of the wish list. This adjustment has not only an impact on the internal organization, but also on the sourcing strategy. A sourcing strategy which focused the last couple of years on signing contracts aimed at lowering cost through standardization and economies of scale.

To read more

Jun 12

Outsourcing Is Beneficial For Enterprises When They Doing Online Business

We know that currently some enterprises might be just starting out. However, it is really worth seeking the use of outsourcing. In addition, outsourcing should be something worth to be considered in enterprises’daily Internet marketing business. Enterprises might ask themselves some questions such as: Is it suitable for our company? Can we afford it? Should we try it? Is it too early in our Internet marketing business? Let us explore that why some enterprises have used outsourcing for many years and why some other enterprises that haven’t used outsourcing should consider it now.
Why enterprises should consider use outsourcing now? Initially, in order to reduce manufacturing costs, enterprises began to use outsourcing. They would outsource their business to overseas countries where with low commodity price and labor costs. Definitely, they could earn more profit by paying low production and labor costs. This outsourcing method is still very popular. Country like China has witnessed one of the largest outsourcing business receivers. It has undertaken huge outsourcing businesses from Western countries and with a lot of experience. Therefore, if enterprises have demand in outsourcing your businesses, China will be your good choice. Let’s go back to talking about the key advantages of outsourcing.

To read more

Sep 20

Call-Center Outsourcing and Transparency

If you are in the process of considering outsourcing some aspects of your company´s business activities you are probably using the Internet to do some level of investigation. This might include basic topics, what to do and don´t do, success and horror stories, vendors, checklists, etc. In your process of investigation you may run into the concept of “transparency”, an often abused business term with increasingly nasty political overtones if one spends any time observing the emotionally charged election season in the US. If you choose to look up the term of “transparency” in a dictionary you will get a lot of different contexts based on its type of use (politics, business, media, financial, etc.) but for this discussion let us simply focus on business. In this context as related to call-center outsourcing, let us view transparency as a management philosophy that minimizes barriers of communication to facilitate the flow of information between the outsourcing provider and the client.

In particularly you will likely find that “transparency” or “transparent” are commonly used marketing terms used by call-center outsourcing providers. Why? As a basic starting point, the outsourcing providers know that if you have little experience in outsourcing, you will likely be “uncomfortable” with the thought of letting go of part or all of the basic business process. Business managers by nature like control (i.e., manage) of the resources in the business process. So, the call-center outsourcer wants to alleviate the uncomfortable feeling of the decision-making by offering a “full-disclosure” of who, what, how, and when. The call-center outsourcing provider wants you to have the warm fuzzy feeling that by opening up the clothes, by working together as a trusted teammate, things won´t be as bad as you fear. If you have previous experience in outsourcing, the same still applies, but for substantially different reasons. In the latter case, you have been burnt at least once in the outsourcing business relationship. Things were not as they seemed and did not go as advertised. You now an instinctive ability to smell if things aren´t right and thus the call-center outsourcer, acknowledging that experience, wants to “share the pain”, to verbalize what didn´t go right, to let you know that they are going to be different and that this time it will be much better.

What do most businesses desire once they have made a decision to outsource? They want to reduce their costs, improve the quality, focus on core strengths, increase revenue/profitability and be more competitive. They basically want more for less with maybe a good surprise thrown in.

OK., so how do the call-center outsourcers provide transparency, to give you that good surprise? Some examples include: allowing you to interview and select the personnel assigned to your business process: listening to your agents talking to your customers whenever you want; conference calls and status reports with your assigned team; voice recordings of your agents and customers to listen to, access to production reports by agent to determine levels of productivity, access to outsourcer vendor management in real-time (chat), etc. These tools provide a means to facilitate the communication and accountability (transparency) of the personnel assigned to your outsourcing process. They provide a sense of “control” and direct involvement to the client of the outsourcing personnel and the process.

If transparency offers the perception of a higher likelihood of success, what would be the ideal outsourcing process for your needs? It is perhaps easiest to think of it from the vantage point if you were managing the process internally, that is, that you are NOT GOING to outsource the process. You know the process, you have the infrastructure, you choose the personnel, you determine the metrics for evaluation, you select the forms of monitoring and reporting, etc. If cost, time and management bandwidth were not considerations, you would probably not outsource. Given that is not the case, you would do all the above, with the exception of the daily management of personnel and associated costs. It is primarily the labor component in the business process that gets outsourced (and possibly infrastructure costs), with the assumption that the difference in labor and infrastructure costs is sufficient to justify the outsourcing decision.

In a good outsourcing transparency model, your outsourcing provider replicates the process with the personnel assigned having your company´s logo stamped to their foreheads. They walk and talk your company´s language to your company´s customers, but are simply located in another location, with the labor costs and management assumed by a third party.

Nexus Teleservices

Aug 23

Outsourcing Telemarketing Cold Calling Services

You’re in business to make money. Maybe the business is simply you and your business card. Maybe it’s all in the family. Maybe it’s of average size (less than 10 employees), maybe it’s larger. Regardless of its size, you need new customers and need to maintain your existing customers. You have limited resources: time, capital, personnel, inventory, etc. You have competition, locally and probably nationally. The economy is in the dumpster. You’re in a tough spot. Your competition is in the same situation. Your competition may have more physical resources, but certainly not time and business savvy. So what to do? Increase your business revenue, reduce your costs, get stronger, and grow. Your business has to grow or it will die.

How? Start by reducing costs that do not contribute to revenue growth. Ask yourself “if I were to do it over again, would I make that investment, that purchase, which personnel hire all over again, knowing what I know now”? It´s time for you to make some cold decisions. On the revenue side you need to review the volume and profitability by product or customer type. You may need to streamline (i.e., cut) your product/customer set to focus of your resources to make the major impact on the bottom line. You may also need to reevaluate your business relationship with your customers. Your customers may be taking you in a direction that you do not want to or shouldn’t go. Remember Eastman Kodak? It was the dominant company in photographic film technology for generations. They were wed to their film development business customers. Then in like an instant the business vanished. Where are they now?

Your business has made some type of investment in marketing and sales resources. For example, Internet site, Email, advertisement, telemarketing, promotions, etc. Time to evaluate what is working and in what time frame it should be evaluated (short, medium and long term). Your Internet site is a long term investment and may be a simple online brochure or a direct selling tool. Regardless it should be kept “fresh” to keep the visitors interested. Email and advertisement usually require a series of “impressions” to spur an action from your target audience. That’s assuming you have the right message, the right timing, the right audience. Maybe it is time for you to refresh the content. For telemarketing (B2B or B2C), the more contacts and frequency will increase a buy decision from your target audience. It’s time to reevaluate how you are doing this as well.

Yes it is a good time to determine your “bang for your buck” in dialing for dollars. If your sales staff is doing the initial telemarketing prospecting, it is engaged in a “cold-calling” process. Regardless of the source of the prospect telephone number (yellow pages, membership directories, telemarketing list, etc.), this is the first time they are receiving a call from your business. Since there is no prior relationship, the reception from the prospect is probably cold and indifferent, not unlike the experience of a blind date. Add to this the uncomfortable reality that most sales reps HATE to make cold calls. It literally turns their stomachs. While sales reps know they need to make cold calls to feed their sales channel there are a multitude of reasons why they can find excuses for delaying this process. It takes a special type of sales rep to withstand 50-100 telephone hang-ups a day, every day and still have a positive attitude for the 10 really interested prospects, which with time get converted into customers. What is the general advice to the sales rep to get through a day of rejection? “They aren’t rejecting you, they are rejecting your proposition.” That is easier said then done.

If your company is in B2B there is less telemarketing hang-ups since businesses hire and pay people to answer the phone. They also pay these people to screen, block and filter sales reps from talking with the decision makers. So while it is easier to get in it takes generally multiple calls to get to the contact that you desire to begin a meaningful dialogue. It then generally requires a waiting period while your offer is evaluated before a decision is made. If your company is in B2C there is a lot of telemarketing hang-ups, but if you get past the first 15 seconds, you generally get to the decision maker, can discuss your offer and usually have some type of decision: yes, no, I’ll think about it, call me tomorrow. In either scenario your internal sales personnel, spend a lot of time (remember you can’t buy this) and physical and emotional energy getting rejected and abused by the universe of potential customers. This is not a good way to use your company’s resources. Stop doing this.

Instead outsource your cold-calling, sales prospecting to a telemarketing company or buy qualified sales prospect leads that have been verified via telemarketing (third party outsourced). Want more control of process? Have the telemarketing call-center provide your sales personnel live transfers to interested prospects, who want to discuss the product now. While a good sales prospect lead list is filtering a lot of sales noise, your sales team still has to get in contact with them. This is time-consuming and takes resources away from closing business. You will find that the cost of a live transfer sales lead is probably double that of telemarketing verified sales lead. You will find however that the conversion rate to a sale is much higher with the live transfers, generally resulting in a lower cost per sale conversion. In either case, you will improve the productivity of your sales personnel, increase revenue and reduce your cost per sale.

For any business today this translates into higher revenue and lower costs. That’s the name of the game.

Nexus Teleservices

Jul 21

Business Lead Generation Alternatives

With the US economy on life support mode, your business should be thinking “outside the box” with a variety of strategies to survive, grow and prosper. This is important since the US economy is in a long-term, structural recession, implying that business growth will likely come from a combination of increased revenue per existing customer and taking business away from the competition. It is not likely that the “economic pie” will grow substantionally (1-2% per annum), forcing businesses to adopt an eat thy neighber mentality or be eaten first.

Let´s start with existing customers, the hanging fruit. Whether they purchase a little or a lot from your business, you probably need to “touch” them with more frequency and tell them how much you love them. They are keeping you and your employees with paychecks and keeping the lights on. It is pretty rare that a customer will say “Man, abc company is always contacting me about something, I wish they would take a break.” If your business has gotten that type of feedback, congratulations, you´re probably one of the first and you can mark that customer´s file as “contacted enough”, for a while. Remember your customers are what your competition is hunting for, to woo, to begin dancing with, to consumate, to get a first purchase. to get a second purchase, to get your business thrown out of the account. Face it, your competition wants to eat your lunch by getting your customers. So, you better protect your customers by reminding them all the time why they are so important to your company and why your company is best for them, now and in the future.

But we haven´t discussed how you contact your existing customers, or why you haven´t been loving them to death as you should. Yes, we know that most businesses are too busy focusing on getting new customers, but that is really an excuse for not prioritizing resources to leverage the current customer base. Since your current customers have names, addresses and telephone numbers, its prudent to start with the basics. Send them a note (regular mail or fax has more impact but an Email will also suffice) or make a telephone call letting them know that their business is appreciated. Let them know about something new about your company´s products or services and ASK THEM them if is there anything that your company could do to improve the relationship with them and then listen. Amazing what the human voice will discern that a chat, tweet, an Email will not provide.

So your time and resources are limited to make this outgoing touching excercise? Then hire a call-center outsourcing company to do this under your direction. The cost versus benefit is easily justified. As an example, assume that your company has 1000 custromers, an average sale is $500, with a 30% margin and via an outbound telemarketing campaign you increase sales 5% within a 30 day period. This corresponds to $25,000 in additional revenue (1000 x 0.05 x $500) and $7,500 in gross profit ($25,000 x .3). However, if you have a longer view of your marketing investment, some percentage of those existing customers that you “touched” will make purchasing decisions with a 3 to 6 month timeframe. Also, you will likely lose less customers to your competition (remember they are out there all the time trying to find the crumbs of where you last ate your lunch), since your customers have you positioned in a positive, warm and fuzzy light.

Remember all those existing customers that did not purchase in that initial 30 days? That is, the 95% that were not sufficiently motivated or needed to make a purchasing decision at that time? If you planned well, you also took the time to ask them for a referral, that is a potential new customer. This is probably the least expensive means of prospecting for new customers and one of the most effective since there is tremendous credibility when you subsequently do the not so cold, cold call. Don´t want to do the cold call at this stage? Ok, then hire the call-center outsourcing company to do the follow up cold call and simply pass back to you the “hot leads” for your internal staff to close. By the way, these potential new customers are some of the crumbs left behind by your competition where they last ate lunch.

What are you having for lunch tomorrow?

Nexus Teleservices

Jul 06

Outsourcing and Cultural Affinity

When a US company chooses to outsource some portion of it´s business activitiies, there is an implicit interchange of trade activities between the two parties. The level of trade activity will reflect a variety of factors, including a hard to quantify cultural affinity. That is, the cultural distance or trust between the US and another country will be a factor in the level of trade activities. Given that companies rather than individuals determine the level of international trade, what factors influence this level of “cultural trust”? These would include: race, nationality, networks, recognized group associations, with attributes as reliability, good communications, references, etc. In many instances these are the result of cultural lore and personal experiences, that is, public perceptions and beliefs.

In a study of US public attitude of cultural affinity with other countries, factors that influence this (in declining importance) are: political, ethnic and religious similarity, per capita income and English as a language. The political axis ranges from most democratic (+10) to least democratic (-10) reflecting the openness and competitiveness of political participation and whether it is a Communist regime. Other factors that negatively influence the perception of cultural affinity and the corresponding the degree of business activity are both physical distance and genetic distance (correlate negatively).

What might be driving this? This might be attributed to greater trust and reduced assessment of risks and costs between the parties (company and outsourcer).

How does the cultural affinity fare for Nexus Teleservices as a provider of offshore call-center outsourcing services for a US company?

Nexus Teleservices is located in Nicaragua, Central America. Politically Nicaragua has been democratic since the early 1990´s with various issues related to stability and governability as to be expected in a new democracy. Ethnically its population is heavily Hispanic, with a large US and European influence due to population emigration in the 1980´s. This can be contrasted with the US as it increasingly has a greater Hispanic cultural footprint given the rapid growth in the Hispanic population. Nicaragua´s population is predominately Christian, similar to the US. Per capita income is much lower than US, with the labor cost differential allowing Nicaragua to offer competitive outsourcing services. Spanish is the dominant language in Nicaragua, with increased English usage due to growing emphasis in educational programs and influx of returning expats from the US. However, in Nexus Teleservices it is the reverse. More than 85% of Nexus employees have previously lived in the US, with English being their primary language. Since Nexus Teleservices offers a US nearshore location, the distance by air is roughly 2.5 hours from Miami, FL, shorter than a commute from Chicago to LA. And while electronic communication is now “instant” there is much to be said for communicating between business parties in the same US time zone (MST). Genetically Nicaragua is a mixture of races and cultures, very similar to the US Hispanic communities.

When all is considered, Nexus Teleservices demonstrates a high cultural affinity with the US and is well positioned to offer companies a successful outsourcing business strategy.

Nexus Teleservices

Jun 27

Leverage Sales Lead Generation

A company´s sales organization is constantly challenged with the search for new potential customers, their conversion to actual buying customers and the maintenance of the existing customer base. Each of these aspects of the sales process are distinct and requires the investment of time and company resources. An organization can implement a strategy of totally “inhouse” or a mixed strategy where portions of the sales process are outsourced to third-party providers. The former strategy offers high control of the sales process, with inherent high costs of personnel given the trend of US Federal government imposed higher regulations and taxes. The latter strategy, in contrast, reduces control of the sales process, leveraging a balance of costs versus benefits related to the cost of acquiring new buying customers. Let us discuss this further.

The majority of US companies have less than twenty-five (25) employees. These small companies are the primary source of new job growth in the US, not Fortune 500 companies. More than 50% of such companies fail within five years for a variety of reasons. Such companies are generally challenged by limited experience, capital, resources and most importantly customers. A small company in such a competitive environment needs to “leverage” its strengths and focus resources to increase its chances of economic survival.

This leveraging often takes the form of outsourcing. Various examples include:

  • Use of external legal and bookkeeping services (third-party providers rather than employees).
  • Use of external documentation processing rather than capital purchases.
  • Use of external advertisement and marketing services (third-party providers rather than employees).
  • Use of external sales prospect lead services (third-party providers rather than employees).

In the case of outsourcing sales prospect lead services the sales organization can either: purchase the sales leads or work with an onshore (local) or offshore call-center to generate the sales leads. If the decision is to purchase the sales leads, these are in turn generated by a third-party company via a combination of Internet responses (forms or Email) and inbound or outbound call-center telemarketing. Such sales leads may either be exclusive to the purchasing sales organization or shared with multiple customers.

Which is the best strategy for an organization? This should largely depend on the quality and the conversion rate of the sales leads over a normal sales cycle period. That is, sales prospect leads are converted by the company into new customers during an established period of time (1 week, 1 month, 3 months, etc.) Ultimately what is the relative cost of converting a sales prospect into a new customer? In addition to the direct “cost per sales lead” the organization needs to factor the associated savings of personnel time and resources and the additional revenue generated (or prevented from being lost) due to increased maintenance (leverage) of the existing customer base.

For many companies, the cost for generating new customers is difficult to quantify, with sales prospect leads being only one component in the process.

For additional information, contact Nexus Teleservices.

Jun 13

Make Your Customer Feel Special

Every business has customers, whether external or internal. By one means or another every business employee provides services (i.e., work) to others (i.e., customers). Often it is the external customer that receives the most visibility and attention (from the sales, marketing and production departments) since they ultimately pay the bills. Internal groups (Administration, HR, IT) provide services to their respective internal customers, often without receiving the similar public recognition of success or failure.

Regardless of the profile of your customer, types of services, types of expectations, processes and strategies, it is fundemental to start at the most basic: Your customers are PEOPLE. People wish to feel special and important. We all want that. We will voluntarily maintain relationships with those persons, institutions and businesses that give us that special feeling.

Listed below are suggestions as to how you can make your customer feel special and important:

  • I have a name, use it. I understand that I might need to provide you with a customer identification or registration number. However, once you know who I am, use my name and make me feel like a real life person.
  • I have an opinion, ask me. Informal means of surveys are fine, but if you have the opportunity to ask me I will tell you, the good and the bad. But I will feel better about you and your company or organization and will reward you with more loyalty. You might even get a great idea from me.
  • I am here, acknowledge me. I don´t mind waiting (too long) if you have a others to serve ahead of me. But let me know that you know that I am waiting and am important to you. A simple smile, knod of the head, “I´ll be with you shortly, I appreciate your patience.” Don´t pretend to not notice me or ignore me.
  • I like to be surprised, surprise me. Do something unexpected and it doesn´t have to be big to make the difference. A free sample, unexpected discount, a special thank you.
  • When you are wrong, apologize to me. We all make mistakes. Commitments are not always kept. Things happen through no fault of anyone. But you are the face of the company or organization. You can turn something frustrating and bad into something positive and good. Let me know that you are sorry and will make things right as best you can.
  • I am important, listen to me. There is passive listening and active listening. When you can repeat back to me what I meant (i.e., the message) rather than what I said (i.e., the means), you truly have listened to me. You will make me feel more important and I will feel more loyal to you.

Do these things each day in both professional and personal life, and we will feel better about ourselves and nuture and grow our customers and personal relationships.

For additional information, contact Nexus Teleservices.

Jun 08

Offshore Call-Center Outsourcing

As the US economy continues to struggle, with limited short-term prospect for domestic growth and employment, businesses increasingly look to maintain profitability by stingent cost management since increasing prices for products and services are difficult to pass on to the US wage-strapped consumer. One means for cost management is the continuing trend of offshore call-center outsourcing. The offshore call-center becomes an increasingly important communication channel to a company´s customers. The offshore call-center ideally provides the bond between a company and its customers, pre and post sales.

Call-centers outsourcing services range from post sales customer service (telephone, Email and chat support) to presales telemarketing, sales lead generation, sales closure and market research. These services have become the integral part of almost all-major businesses worldwide due to the competitive environment given that an offshore call-center will likely have a 40% cost advantage versus a US based call-center. Businesses will use offshore call-centers to “off load” less value/lower risk business activities to allow greater focus on the return of internal resources (that is focusing on their “core strengths”). The offshore call centers offer standardized and uniform services to consumers and through which, a business can make a consistent effort to interact with their customers.

With a society that is increasingly “electronically on” and connected to immediate information sources, the consumer has greater expectations of their relationship with their company. Need information? If it is not readily available on the company Internet site, there will be a general Internet search, then a phone call or Email to the company call-center. A consumer not satisfied with the call-center response has a multitude of public options highly visible to “vent” and send a message of their dissatisfaction.

Does the offshore call-center provide the personal touch required to strengthen the relationship between the company and their customer? It MUST given the role it serves in the business model. Rather the offshore call-center should be a competitive business advantage to foster more future business by having happy customers recommend their products to their friends and family.

There are many reasons to consider call-center outsourcing. Today businesses have little choice but to give customers what they want and need, at a level of quality and cost that fits their business model. Ideally the relationship between the business and the call-center should be mutually beneficial, long term and profitable.

For additional information, contact Nexus Teleservices

May 30

Listen-Live To Our Reps

Ever wonder about the personnel assigned to your account/project when you decide to outsource to a third party call-center? Well, so have we. Ever wonder how your reps and your clients interact? Well, so have we.

While we are an outsourcing company (call-center), we also outsource services to third-party providers. Things like telecom services, facility mantenance, cafeteria, etc. Knowing how our internal company works, we also would like to know whether our outsourcing providers work the way we expect them too.

To help perspective and existing clients to understand how our staff deals with their products and services, we have introduced the Listen-Live service. Basically, if you have a telephone, you can listen live, unfiltered to the Nexus Teleservices personnel and their interactions with your customers. What will you learn? Probably a lot more than what you might expect. Are the staff presenting your product/services in a consistent, professional manner? Is the staff capturing the customer information as expected? How well is your “marketing message” being received from the field? What about all those sales objections you didn´t think about? More training required? A 10 minute real-world session will likely open your eyes.

What´s in it for us? Well, we believe in the quality of our personnel. We want to showcase our staff, since at the end of the day that´s our most important service. (The technology, training and management are all important but secondary to the human touch.) With apologies to Field of Dreams, “If they listen they will come… ”

It takes just a minute to signup for a no obligation Listen-Live Session.

May 26

Sex, Lies & Telemarketing

We are in an age of increasing distrust of politicians, communication medias, our neighbors and what we believe in as a society. We have the head of the IMF and the former governor of California in various level of public disgrace. We still haven´t seen photos of Usama Bin Laden´s end of days. Are we really sure that the Prez of the US was born there? Is there any person or group that the average Joe can believe in? Probably not too many.

So what does this have to do with anything related to telemarketing? There is an old adage about “Don´t confuse marketing with the truth”. So when you get that telemarketing call from that call-center agent, that opening introduction is the make/break moment of credibility. And its only 15 secounds. You only get one chance at credibility.

If you are a call-center manager, you invest lots of resources in training telemarketing agents. They practice the script. Oh, do they practice the script. They practice inflection, change of pace, listening skills, how to handle objections, etc. However, how often to they get training on how to be sincere and believe in what they are communicating? Like religion, if they believe it, they communicate in a much more natural, non-threatening, credible fashion where the receiver (your potential customer) has a greater willingness to listen, then perhaps be persuaded, then perhaps make a decision. Think about it. Would you listen to your telemarketing agents without hanging up?

Remember, credibility like virginity, once gone, gone forever.

For additional information, pleas visit: Nexus Teleservices.

May 24

Another F#$%& Telemarketing Call!

You sit down to relax at the end of the day with family when the telephone rings. “Hello, my name is John and I´m calling on behalf of….” We get them all the time. Why? There is a very simply reason: these telemarketing calls are VERY EFFECTIVE at generating business. Similar to TV infocommercials, telemarketing calls provide the sponsoring company, immediate market feedback and quantifiable return on marketing investment.

What are some of the factors that will influence the “success” of the telemarketing campaign? The offer, the calling list, the outsourcing call-center, the telemarketing agent, the follow up with the sales leads.

How will you determine the success of your telemarketing campaign? It is generally somewhat subjective to the goals of the company or organization. If your a politician your success rate may be determined by the cost for generating incremental voters to support your particular cause. Is $10 per vote too much? Depends on how close the election. Or perhaps if your campaign is AGAINST your opponent, it may be the the number of voter who do NOT turn out to vote. If your an online educational business, an interested potential student (i.e., sales lead) may represent several thousands of dollars in revenue during the course of a 2-4 year program. Is $15 too high for such a sales lead? Depends on the conversion rate from lead to completed sale. If there is a 25% lead to sales conversion rate, for a $60 telemarketing cost this will result in a minimum of $2,500, approximately 2.5%. Very efficient and inexpensive.

For additional information, visit: Nexus Teleservices to discuss how we can help your company or organization increase your business or voter turnout using telemarketing.

May 23

Sales Lead Generation

The US economy is in very bad shape.  It is likely to get worse as Fed stimulus programs are schedule to end.  Businesses need to find new customers, retain their current ones and increase their average revenue and profitability, all the while holding or reducing their costs of doing business.  For small to medium size businesses (less than 100 employees), the importance of generating new customer prospects (i.e., filling the sales pipeline) takes on new dimensions together with the conversion process from prospect to customer.

A business has various options for sales lead generation:  Internet Email/Site, direct mail, publicity, telemarketing, social networks, etc.  Whatever the method the sales leads, they are at best sales prospects until they have been qualified or filtered by the business in some fashion.  If the business chooses to do this qualification in-house, it has complete control of the process, with an inherent cost versus outsourcing to a third-party.  Generally there are sufficient cost benefits between inhouse versus outside to outsource as the expense of some lost of control of the process.  This cost benefit of outsourcing is further justified when the inhouse personnel resources are dedicated to sales lead conversion from a smaller, filtered number of leads.

Whether Business-to-Business (B2B) or Business-to-Consumer (B2C), sales lead generation and qualification requires a balance of internal versus external resources (outsourcing).  As such there is an inverse scale of volume (B2B – low, B2C – high) to sales value (B2B – high, B2C – low).

Call-center telemarketing may be used for initial sales lead generation from a general population of customer propects (cold calling) or for qualification/filtering of preliminary sales lead inquiries (warm calling).  A latter  example would be follow up responses from an Internet site response form.  The result is a filtered subset of qualified sales leads for subsequent processing by the business inhouse staff.  The resultant cost per lead or cost per sales is likely to favor an outsourcing relationship.

For additional information, visit: Nexus Teleservices

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