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Unformatted text preview: Telesales/Telemarketing Gets A Face-Lift Last Sunday evening, and despite the disastrous Washington Redskins loss to the Dallas Cowboys, I was finally beginning to relax. Unfortunately at that point and during the next 60 minutes, I became the recipient of five consecutive telesales/telemarketing calls. Normally I respond negatively to such intrusions, but this time something was different. Each of the calls dealt with areas of interest to me and my family. How, I wondered, had the callers done such good homework? Enter the new and improved changes to the telesales/telemarketing functionality of customer relationship management (CRM). These changes have taken place during the past two years and have changed the dynamics of this classical CRM functionality. Lets look briefly at the more significant changes. Campaign management front ends : Several CRM suite vendors (e.g., Dimitri to provide two CRM software company names but not if possible to repeat the vendor names provided below) have integration points and relationships with best-in-class campaign management point solutions such as Prime Response, Rubric, and others. This means that outbound telesales/telemarketing campaigns now are capable of focusing in on specific customer segmentation (all the way down to segments of one), and often take into account past customer behavior. Result: more relevant outbound telesales/marketing efforts. Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) : Whilst not entirely new, CTI increasingly is finding its way into telesales/telemarketing CRM software applications. Multiple CRM suite vendors have integrated CTI functionality into their software offering (e.g., Dimitri to provide two CRM software company names but not if possible to repeat the vendor names provided below). You know when CTI is installed since your inbound call to a telesales/telemarketing agent begins with a friendly greeting from the agent who actually calls you by your correct name. The way CTI works is rather simple. Your incoming phone number automatically triggers a cross reference of your phone number against the telesales/telemarketing companys customer database or the local phone directory, and your customer profile pops up on the agents screen. Integration of knowledge management : Increasingly, CRM software vendors (e.g., Pivotal, Vantive) are incorporating knowledge management functionality into their software. Knowledge management software allow a telesales/telemarketing agent, while talking with you, to tap into information sources that are directly accessible from the agents computer screen. This allows the agent to immediately send you (via fax, mail, e-mail) information such as white papers, competitive comparisons, etc. The agent also may access inference engines that contain, for example, responses to your question based on historical responses to prior customers. Alternatively, if you are initiating contact with the telesales/telemarketing center via their web site, you too may have direct access to the agents information sources as well as to their inference engines. Better real-time interfacing into e-commerce...
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- Fall '08