The five requirements of quality leads
Brokers and retail loan officers have been looking for the ultimate leads from telemarketing companies for years. Are what has changed over time and what remained the same up for debate, or is that just a client excuse? Having managed and trained national and international call centers containing anywhere from four to more than 400 telemarketers, I've noticed the great ones always have two similar traits: training and viable tracking.
First, let's talk about what training is like in much of the telemarketing world. Most call centers provide some type of training, from mentor systems to half-hour introductions of what to do, and if the trainees "get it" by the end of the day, they keep their jobs. Cash incentives are offered to say and do what reaps the most customer information, which will then be sold several times. This has led to our society demanding government intervention, such as the Do Not Call Registry and non-compliance fines.
The fabulous news is that there are many companies that integrate cutting-edge technologies with a detailed, ongoing training curriculum, ensuring the best leads possible. As someone who has managed and trained in the mortgage industry for more than 20 years, I can recognize five of the things to look for.
The first one is the training curriculum and how long it lasts. Don't forget to ask if there are testimonials and statistics of past and present clients to support its effectiveness.
Number two is the tools that are being provided to help ensure compliance/quality assurance is in place and working.
Third is the effectiveness of the lead tracking system, be it in-house or farmed out. How many times has it been sold to clients, and what is the return/credit policy on truly bad leads?
The fourth item is whether you can listen in on live calls to see how the firm conducts itself when dealing with potential clients.
The fifth and last thing to look for is what systems or redundancies are in place to ensure no downtime so that delivered leads aren't outdated.
If you feel that this is a bit too much to manage, please keep in mind what some of the cutting-edge companies provide as enhancements to their services.
GoApply.com, for instance, provides some great training on how to work with telemarketing leads based on Q&A and client feedback. This is a value added to ensure proper handling of their products for their prospects and clients. Many in-house checks and balances are also in place to enhance this process.
Others, like LMS Software, can provide clients the ability to hear the call from the time it comes into the call center to the time it is discharged, including all transfers in between. This provides clients the ability to reward a savvy telemarketer, identify a training/coaching opportunity or determine the validity of a lead dispute.
Another way to track marketing success is through Who's Calling, which offers unlimited inbound 800 numbers, to assign to your staff or campaigns, and, with some adjustments, outbound calls, as well. These can now be recorded and reported on.
Again, this is the common denominator for quality leads, training and compliant quality control, which is used for rewards or improvements by in-house/outside training or support staff. It's really all about working with those that care about the client and being accountable for their products and services.
John T. Moss is the president of University For Loan Officers, a consulting, training and servicing firm based in Aliso Viejo, Calif. He may be reached at (800) 807-0356 or e-mail [email protected].