Trusting the reputation of your business to a company you’ve never worked with before is a daunting prospect. But that’s exactly what you’re doing when you hire a new telemarketing agency.

Most telemarketing agencies will talk a good talk. They should do, selling is at the very heart of what they do. But before you allow a room full of strangers to start calling your prospects on your behalf, there are a few signs to look for to ensure you’re making the right decision.

First of all, look at their capabilities around data, technology and people:

• If they are are providing the call lists, question them on the quality. How do they know the contacts fit your buying profile?

• Do they have the right technology to work efficiently on your behalf? Is it all properly integrated?

• Who’s making the calls? Are they smart, professional and personable? These people need to leave a great first impression of your business.

A good telemarketing agency should be invested in its clients’ success and good at building long-term relationships. Ask how long their clients have been with them, and whether repeat business is factored into their agents’ bonus scheme.

Don’t assume pay-per-lead is the best business model – this can shift agency interest to lead quantity rather than lead quality. You want to partner with an agency where the benefits are balanced. When a client is more profitable for the agency, it will always be in their best interest to provide the best possible results in order to retain that client.

And no matter how good a telemarketing agency seems, walk away if they don’t have solid experience within your industry. The learning curve will rarely be worth the effort.

Finally, I strongly recommend a site visit. Get in the call centre and feel the atmosphere. Speak with some agents and listen in on their calls. You’ll soon get a sense of whether they are the kind of people you want representing you.

This article was originally published in the ebook ‘KPIs, Remuneration & Retention for B2B Telemarketers‘.