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Good News and Bad News: Calls now have Data!
07 January 2016

Good News and Bad News: Calls now have Data!

Yes, that is correct.  Most calls bought and sold today could have data sent with them if you want it…. And you should.  Data on a call, like who is calling, where they live, how much they earn, or what they've recently shopped for can drastically improve your call selection and conversion.

The bad news is that this evolution in the call space has created huge data integration headaches for call buyers and sellers who previously didn’t have to deal much with data integration.  With new technology providing new data sources comes lots of expert vendors who can help you leverage these new data sources in cool ways.  But, you have to get to connect to them….. all of them…. and that’s a lot of work  (Unless of course you are plugged into LeadCloud  of course).

There is valuable data available at various stages of the call buying experience.  There is data available before a call is answered, during a call, and after the call is completed, all of which can help call buyers and sellers optimize and decision those calls.

Call Data before the Call is Answered

There are pretty much two kinds of calls an Advertiser can buy, Transferred Calls and Inbound Calls

Transferred Calls

A Transferred Call is a call that is transferred to your sales rep from the call provider, usually via a three way call with the consumer on hold.  These are usually generated by an outbound call center calling on Lists (a simple list of consumer names and numbers) or Leads (an expression of interest from the consumer asking to be called, like a form submission).  Obviously, calls generated from Leads are usually of higher quality but lower volume than those generated from Lists since the consumer has proactively asked to be contacted about your product or service.

Because of how these are created, these Transferred Calls can usually come with alot of data.  In many cases, the consumer has filled out a complete long form lead, and all of that data can be available before you answer the call.

A few examples of how an advertiser might leverage all of this data prior to answering a call are:

  • Reject calls outside of your preferred geography, risk preference, hours of operation, or daily or monthly caps
  • Perform demand-side checks across many of your call buyers (an agent team for example) to see which calls match which agents filters, caps, & budgets, and deliver the call to the best agent.
  • Score a call with a custom scoring algorithm providing likelihood to convert, and then changing the routing of the call based on the decile score.
  • Confirm that the prospect is not already a customer
  • Confirm that the inbound caller is not using a mobile phone for TCPA compliance

Inbound Calls

An Inbound call is a call that the consumer initiates.  An example would be when a consumer sees a phone number on your website or one of your banner or text ads and calls it, either from their land line or their mobile device.  Sometimes these calls will go directly to your sales team, and other times through an IVR first, but they all initiated by the prospect.  These calls are usually the best converters but also the lowest volume of supply.

Even though the consumer is not usually providing any data when they place these calls, there is a growing list of tools and vendors thatcan provide data on them before you answer the call.  Here are a few examples:

  • Advertisers can now utilize services to give each web site visitor (or Ad viewer) a unique phone number. This will then allow you to tie that inbound call back to things like:
    • The page or ad the consumer called from
    • The original keyword they searched by
  • There are public record vendors that from a simple phone number from caller ID can provide:
    • Name
    • Address
    • Carrier
    • Line Type (for TCPA compliance for example)
    • DNC status
    • SMS Capable
    • Estimated income
    • Estimated dwelling type

Knowing this kind of data before you answer a call can allow you to optimize your call programs by:

  • More intelligently deciding which calls you want to buy
  • Routing calls to different reps or programs based on estimated quality or conversion
  • Adjusting your reps sales script to optimize conversion (ie, don’t pitch Home Owners insurance if they live in an apartment, or cable if not available in their area)
  • And more….

Call Data during a Call

There is also a growing list of vendors who can provide additional data to your sales process while your reps are on the phone with a prospect.

An example of this in the Insurance vertical would be what is known as Pre-fill data services, which look like this:

  • Your agent is on the phone with an auto insurance prospect and gets their name and address to enter into your CRM/AMS.  Once these are entered, a Pre-Fill vendor can be used to get and pre-fill your form or app with the prospects exact vehicles, current carrier, current coverages, accidents and violations, etc.
  • Your agent can then simply verify this info with the consumer, vs. having to collect all of that from the consumer.  This should increase conversion since it would legitimize the consumer’s perception of your organization as well as require less time and info from the consumer.

Call Data after a Call

And finally, there are some really cool advancements in technology allowing call buyers to generate valuable data post-call.

An exciting example of this is the combination of Voice to Text transcription and Big Data Analysis being applied to call recordings at scale.  For example, if you had hundreds or thousands of call recordings from your sales reps over the past year, there are services that can convert those to text (both machine based and human based services available) so that you can learn from this huge and valuable data source.  Some examples might be:

  • How many times did this word or topic come up?
  • What was the most common objection?
  • Find lots of examples of an important topic and share with your team

Summary

So as you can see, there are many ways that data can help you improve your call programs, both as a seller and buyer.  And I expect this trend to continue, with more and more data sources and skilled vendors coming into the market daily providing new and unique ways to analyze and act intelligently on this new data.  So many in fact, that if you were to ask your IT team to physically connect you to all of them, they may all quit, take their ball and go home…. So be careful!  LeadCloud gives you one-integration access to almost all of these vendors, instantly!

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