Should A Computer Business Bring Telemarketing In-House?

woman-phone-officeOutsourcing telemarketing for your computer business can be expensive and like most other things in this economy, the costs are constantly going up.  Many IT companies cringe when they hear the price to contract with a outsourcing partner that has the true expertise to deliver the ROI from a marketing campaign.

Often we hear a business owner say glibly, “We will just do it in-house!”  Others ask, “What is the difference between doing telemarketing in-house or outsourcing it?” This is really a great question to consider and one that we will address here.  The main reason we see this cavalier attitude about starting a telemarketing department is because many IT services providers  have  already built a successful business by hiring a good group of technology workers, and assume that bringing telemarketing in-house will be just as easy.

The Challenges of In-House Telemarketing

The first thing that you will need to consider is how you’re going to attract candidates for this new position.  This means that you will have to advertise your position somewhere and spend some money. Of course there will be a learning curve as you attempt to discover where to place ads that can actually get  results.

Sometimes the ads you run on media that have attracted IT workers might not turn out to be as good for hiring telesales professionals.  You could end up running ads at various  media outlets as you try to solve this riddle and you still might end up without results.

Here are the three main questions you will have to grapple with as you’re learning how to attract phone reps:  Is the ad low response due to placement?  Is the low response due to how we wrote the copy for our add?  Or, is the low response due to the compensation that you have advertised?   Experimenting to find the right combination can be costly as you run more and more expensive ads to figure it out.  This is the first major obstacle to hiring in-house telemarketing for lead generation.

Once you have discovered the perfect copy and compensation plan for IT and actually begin getting a good response from your ads, you might end up cursing that day!  This is because many computer consultants forget or were simply unaware of how much time it takes to field calls from applicants and then take time out of your busy day to interview them all.  It’s not uncommon for businesses to run marketing adds before they are prepared to respond to all the applicants.

This is a huge mistake because most of the people that are looking for a job and making calls to get sales leads are looking to make a decision within a couple of days.  So, if your voicemail box blows up with 40 or 50 messages for applicants and you take a week or more to start getting back with them, then you may not end up with a good hire.

However, let’s say you knew all about the onslaught of calls that you would get from prospective job seeker and were prepared to take those call and make time for lots of interviews.  The next potential pitfall would be knowing what to look for and who to hire. The risk here is hiring telemarketers that don’t work out and having to fire them, then getting hit with a bunch of unemployment claims.

Also consider that often the most talented telemarketers that are good closers on appointments don’t present themselves well in an interview.  In my experience most managers simply pick the wrong people over and over again.  The few technology companies I’ve seen that have succeeded in hiring a good telemarketer simply got lucky.

In addition to knowing who to hire, an even larger issue is knowing how to train your telesales reps to actually set some good sales leads. What I consistently find to be true whether the computer business is directing an outsourced telemarketing firm or their own internal sales people is that that they simply don’t know the right way to teach their people.  Also they just don’t know what they should be expecting from them in terms of performance, often due to a terrible compensation package.

Finally, perhaps the biggest downside to having your own telemarketing department is that you will have to manage the people day in and day out.  If you have more than one person in your department then get ready for squabbles, fights over leads, complaints, making loans and dealing with personal problems.  You practically have to be a therapist and psychologist to really end up with any productivity from your in-house telemarketing department.

Trying to bring telemarketing in-house can really be a daunting prospect and if you don’t have a lot of experience doing it, then you might want to really think hard before you venture off into it.  Try to really think about all the failed IT services telemarketing projects, consider all the professional firms that have failed to deliver what the computers consultants needed and realize that they all probably had more experience doing telemarketing than you and they still failed.  However, if you’re still determined to bring marketing in-house then make sure to count all the cost and be well prepared.