How to Start a Telemarketing Call Center

Despite the many channels you can reach out to your prospects, telemarketing is still relevant. How to start a successful call center that will help you to turn more leads into your customers? We’ve outlined the main steps you should take.

What is Telemarketing?

Telemarketing is a type of direct marketing where your sales team reaches out to potential customers via phone and sells or markets your products. It also includes working with VIP clients. A telemarketer provides them with the necessary information and conducts surveys of the existing customer base.

There are different types of telemarketing:

  • Outbound telemarketing. Your employees or outsourcing call center agents contact prospects or existing customer base via phone.
  • Inbound telemarketing. Your company or outsourcers handle incoming calls from potential customers after launching marketing campaigns.
  • B2B telemarketing. Your company contacts other businesses. In B2B telemarketing, you pay more attention to establishing relationships between two companies.
  • B2C telemarketing. Your company contacts potential consumers. In B2C, you pay more attention to product benefits.

How Do I Start a Telemarketing Call Center? Main Steps

  1. Decide on a Budget for Your Call Center

The first step is to define the amount of money you want to spend on your telemarketing business. It will help you to determine the number of employees, size and location, type of technology, and tools.

There is no predefined formula for calculating the number of staff for telemarketing call centers. All comes down to your business needs so you should use all the information you have and discuss this with your team if necessary. If you plan to take inbound calls you can use the Erlang Calculator. But it’s useless when you are going to set up an outbound call center or handle both inbound and outbound calls. Also, we recommend taking into account such factors as attrition, shrinkage, abandoned calls, and multi-skilled agents (those who handle non-voice channels as well). You can also use more upgraded tools like this experimental multichannel calculator.

To learn more about call center staffing calculations, read our article.

2. On-Site (On-Premise) or Virtual

It’s no longer necessary to have an on-premise call center to provide call center services. Shift to remote work has started long before the COVID-19 pandemic but numerous and strict lockdowns accelerated it. As it is quite hard and costly to run an on-site call center following all regulations caused by the pandemic, virtual call centers are becoming increasingly popular. This option allows you to save substantial costs on hardware purchase and maintenance as well as rental and utility bills. Moreover, it gives you more flexibility and scalability. You can easily adjust the number of your virtual call center agents according to your business needs and route calls that come outside your business hours to outsourcing call centers that work in other time zones. 

3. Build Your Call Center Team 

The next step is to build a team of professionals. Who are they? The first person we imagine when talking about call centers is an agent. They establish contact with your prospects during telemarketing campaigns, provide them with detailed information about your product or service, persuade them to buy from you. To become telesales professionals, your agents should have the following skills:

  • Active listening: they have to listen to everything that customers say to ask more relevant questions
  • Ability to spark the interest of potential customers in buying your products
  • Ability to overcome objections: customers often say that they have everything they need or that your product is too expensive for them so the agent’s task is to persuade them that you are the best choice 

Aside from agents, your call center team may also include supervisors (team leaders), managers, a head of a call center, etc.

To learn more about a typical call center structure, check out our article.

4. Think Out the Call Center’s Place in Your Company’s Structure

If you aren't an outsourcer, it is very important to understand how the call center will function within your organization. Figure out who provides your telemarketers with the necessary information, who report to, how the sales process is organized, and so on. It will help you to avoid any misunderstandings from the start and ensure seamless integration of the call center into your corporate structure.

5. Establish a Recruitment and Training Processes

Make sure that your recruitment process is transparent, thorough, and quick. Call center management requires time (especially in a virtual call center that has become a pervasive reality) and you can’t spend too much of it on every candidate. Think out every step of the process: interviews, assignments, background checks, etc. It will save you time and help find the most suitable candidates. 

Another important part of setting up the call center is the training process. In remote mode, it has to be as detailed as possible. Your agents won’t be able to learn from experienced colleagues as it would be in the office so you should take it into account when creating a training program.

To find more insights on the topic, read our article Hiring, Onboarding, and Engagement of Remote Agents.

6. Set Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

KPIs are the metrics that help to evaluate the success of your telemarketing business. There are plenty of indicators call centers use to measure their performance so you can choose the ones that suit your business needs. We recommend using the following outbound call center metrics as KPIs:

  • Agent occupancy. It is the percentage of total time an agent spends on call-related activities in logged-in status. It includes not only the talk time but also after-call work (filling in forms, passing information to other departments, making appointments, etc).
  • Sales conversion rate. This metric helps you to understand how effective your agents are in closing sales. It is the number of conversions divided by the number of answered calls. By measuring the sales conversion rate and the average number of sales per agent you can evaluate the effectiveness of your telemarketing campaigns.
  • QA scoring or Call quality analysis. You can analyze call quality by evaluating the call recordings on things like professionalism, courtesy, compliance, and adherence to company standards. This metric is very popular among call centers.

7. Consider a BPO Call Center Solution

Modern call center software can help you to improve your agents’ performance and track the most important KPIs. If you are going to provide BPO call center services pay attention to those software features:

  • Affordable outbound call rates. As outbound calls are the most important element of the cost for this type of business, look for a low price per minute. It can vary from one country to another so you must clearly understand what customers your team is going to contact. 
  • CRM integration. Two-way integration with your CRM system allows your agents to see the prospective client details during the calls in a single interface. All the changes they make in the client card are automatically saved in the CRM after the conversation by API. It’s a real time-saver for your employees because they won’t have to switch between two windows during the call.
  • Call center reporting tools. Outbound campaign reports are crucial to measuring your team’s performance. A telemarketing solution allows you to view data on all call attempts and get ultimate campaign statistics. 

8. Legitimize Your Business 

Get familiar with telemarketing regulations and laws that protect consumers' privacy (General Data Protection Regulation in the EU, Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule in the US, etc). Many countries have do-not-call registries that contain numbers of persons who asked not to contact them so your contact bases have to be DNC-compliant. In some cases, you must register as a telemarketing company to run this business. We recommend you consult with layers before starting your telemarketing call center.

Also, you can check out our guide on telemarketing compliance to understand the basics of telemarketing regulations in different countries.

Benefits of Implementing Voiptime Contact Center Solution

By implementing our versatile telemarketing call center solution, you will have:

  • Quick start (in 2 business days) and impressive scalability
  • Ability to launch campaigns with and without agent involvement. You can make robocalls where robots playback pre-recorded messages to prospects and route interested callees to agents.
  • A solution that saves you costs on call rates and displays local phone numbers as outgoing caller IDs (dynamic routing)
  • A time-saving solution: you can process big contact bases by using auto dialing features (Power and Predictive dialers) as well as flexible redialing rules and time zone settings. Standard cases can be handled by automated calls.
  • Flexible and transparent call rates (discounts for big contact centers) as well as quality IP telephony.


Setting up a telemarketing business in the modern world requires taking many factors into account and efficient call center software is one of them. Paired with a professional telemarketing team, it can open new business opportunities. Contact us and we will be more than happy to help you.

Interested in ultimate call center software?

Contact us to discuss your needs and see Voiptime Contact Center in action!

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