When hiring a telemarketer for your MSP, you have to choose between recruiting two different types of candidates. You can hire an experienced caller or someone who’s brand new to calling.
At first glance, hiring an experienced caller appears to have many advantages. You know for certain they aren’t call reluctant, you know they can perform (you checked references, right?), and you’ll have less work to do to get them operating effectively without the need for your day-to-day attention. Sounds good, right? Hiring an inexperienced caller sounds like it will be a daunting task compared to what you hope will be a plug-and-play solution.
Disadvantages of hiring experienced callers
There are some definite disadvantages to hiring an experienced caller, though. First, they’ll be more expensive. After all, better callers cost more. However, “better” in one industry at one company may not translate to “better” at your MSP. If you’re going to on-board a telemarketer correctly, you’ll need to do exactly the same amount of work and follow the exact same process that you would to hire a brand-new caller. Your costs associated with training, support, and development will be identical. If you have to do the work anyway, why not hire the less expensive asset?
Second, a more experienced caller will have a “way” they like to work, and that way may not mesh with your established processes. They sold a different product or service, in a different way, using a different set of tools. One of the challenges working with an experienced caller is breaking them of their old habits. What worked for them there won’t work for them here, and there’s going to be a frustrating learning curve for both of you. You’ll need to spend the same amount of time training them, and a telemarketer who was successful using a different process will be reluctant to give up what they know worked for them before. A new caller has no bad habits yet — that’s a plus.
What about hiring someone who has worked for a competitor? That may seem like the best idea — especially if they used the same systems that you do — but this person has spent a year (or two or three) actively selling against you in the market you now want them calling into on your behalf. Are they promising to bring their pipeline with them? Well, they’ll be doing that to you in a year or two, so proceed with caution when someone talks about violating a non-compete to come work for you.
So, if experienced callers aren’t the best fit, who do you hire? What do you look for?
How to spot a good telemarketer
To hire successfully, we rely heavily on personality profiling. Great telemarketers for MSPs should have personalities much closer to customer service representatives. Your sales process should include a great deal of data collection and a fanatical approach to timely follow-ups. A sales-oriented telemarketer won’t be focused on the tiny details that create strong pipelines for years. They’ll be focused on quick wins, and there aren’t many quick wins left in the managed services space. Successful telemarketing lays a foundation for long-term sales success, and your new telemarketer will be key. The personality is more important than the resume.
The next thing you should look for is stability. Regardless of the last job the candidate had, they should have been there for at least two years. Great MSP telemarketing candidates are reliable and risk-averse. They’re assets to the company they’re with currently, and they’re loyal. Avoid people who change jobs frequently. You’re going to invest a lot of time in training and development, so you want to know they’ll be around a while.
No matter what kind of candidate you decide to hire, new or experienced, make sure you’ve got a process to teach them, metrics to measure them against, and a training plan. If you’re not sure what you’re going to do with them on day one, day five, day 15, day 30, and so on, you’re not ready to hire yet. Get your processes established and documented, and then work on hiring. There are lots of great candidates out there looking for an opportunity to shine, and they can shine for you if you give them the tools they need to be successful.
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