[011] A Culture of Values: Building a BPO Provider with the Right DNA, with Scott Newman from Transparent BPO

Episode 11 August 11, 2021 00:49:21
[011] A Culture of Values: Building a BPO Provider with the Right DNA, with Scott Newman from Transparent BPO
Scalable Call Center Sales
[011] A Culture of Values: Building a BPO Provider with the Right DNA, with Scott Newman from Transparent BPO

Aug 11 2021 | 00:49:21


Show Notes

What does it take in running a Call Center Company? How important are your company’s basic principles, mission, and vision statement to you?

While your mission and vision will evolve over time, your core values should remain constant.
These are the factors that will determine how you will run your company.

In this episode, Scott Newman, CEO of Transparent BPO, and I talk about his experiences in building a BPO company at a young age, then now leading the space in helping their clients succeed.

Learn more about creating a good company culture, core values, and Scott’s tips in achieving success.

Find out if your Sales Operation in Scalable

Buy Selling With Authentic Persuasion: Transform from Order Taker to Quota Breaker

Get help with your sales team

Connect with Jason on LinkedIn

Or go to Jason’s HUB – www.JasonCutter.com

Connect with Scott on LinkedIn

Scott‘s Bio
Scott is the Founder and CEO of Transparent BPO, a Maryland-based outsourcer with operational headquarters in Belize City, Belize.

In 2009, he landed in Belize City to start a customer care company. He rented the space and hired the first 30 employees to get to work. Today, Transparent BPO has about 1,400 employees in Belize, over 400 agents in the Philippines, and has become a leader as part of their client’s success.

Scott’s Links
Company: transparentbpo.com
Email: [email protected]
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/transparent-bpo/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TransparentBPO/

Jason: [00:00:00] Hey, what’s going on to everybody so glad that you’re joining me for another episode of the scalable call center. Journey. This podcast is all about helping call center owners and people in the call center environment, whether it’s two salespeople, right in a small telephone sales team or thousands.

[00:00:16] And, uh, I am really, really excited to have on the show today, Scott Newman. So Scott is the founder and CEO of transparent BPO, which is a Maryland based outsourcer company with operations headquartered in Belize city, in Belize plus many other locations. Belize now the Philippines. Uh, basically in 2009, he landed in Belize city to start a customer care company and rented out some space, hired 30 people to get to work on some projects.

[00:00:46] And today transparent has around 1400 people in Belize 400 in the Philippines. Uh, and they are leading the space to help their clients succeed in any way they can with any telephone related, probably non telephone, whatever outsourcing they can do. And I have had the pleasure, which is very cool with me to be a client of transparent through another company where they helped us with some outsourcing.

[00:01:11] And then also have them as a client where I was helping them with some of their teams. So it’s coming full circle and super fun. Scott, welcome to the scalable call center sales.

[00:01:23] Scott: [00:01:23] Jason, thanks for having me. I’m excited to be

[00:01:24] Jason: [00:01:24] here. So obviously you’ve been in this game for a long time. You built this.

[00:01:30] Amazing company, an amazing culture. I’m not just saying that. I don’t want this to sound like a promotional transparent BPO show. Uh, but having been there, I can see it and I’ve seen lots of call centers. So I understand that. Tell me about like for the people listening, who want to create a culture of success in their business, in their call center, share some of the lessons you’ve learned how intentional you are from the beginning versus what you’ve learned over the years of doing this.

[00:01:57] Like, what does that look like from your personal. Oh, well, how long has this podcast, as long as you want, I got enough quarters. I’ll keep feeding them in the machine. All

[00:02:05] Scott: [00:02:05] right. Good. Well, I think, you know, it feels like I’ve been doing this forever. Um, you know, I started the business in 2009 when I was 27 years old and I actually kind of uprooted my life.

[00:02:17] Um, I have a puppy and nothing else. Right. And I moved to Belize because I felt really, really positive about what the country had to offer, you know, English. Primary and native language it’s that we Latin American country where that’s the case. And I guess maybe being a little naive 72, I, you know what, I, I didn’t know what I, wasn’t what I didn’t know.

[00:02:37] And I would just kind of learn it, but I was super hungry, you know, I think it’s, I’ve learned a lot over the last 12 years of running transparent and a lot of really tough lessons and some really good ones. And, and I think that the two or three that really kind of stick out in my mind is the first thing.

[00:02:55] And I love by the way, the name of your book, and you’re selling an authentic persuasion because I think that being authentic and we call it like, you know, making sure you have a really seamless DNA throughout your organization. I think that goes a long way and whether you’re starting a context center or anything else.

[00:03:11] And so for me, it was always about trying to do something genuine and different. Do it the right way, not to try to cut corners or to only focus on margins and profit. It was doing something that had a, I don’t wanna call it a higher purpose, but it had more meaning than just running a contact center. So I think.

[00:03:32] That has sort of permeated throughout the business over the last 12 years. And as the company has grown, I’ve grown in my job. Now I look at it and say, my job, I’m a core. The keeper of the four core values of the company. My job is to ensure that we’re always sticking to the four core values that the decisions we make, the policies we put in place live up to that obligation that we made in 2009 when we started the business.

[00:03:55] So I think, you know, part of the journey really is just being authentic and. Uh, genuine in what you’re trying to do. Um, and then the other thing is just, nothing comes easy and it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice. And so a lot of people see the end state of companies and those kinds of luxuries that it may afford, but they don’t really understand the journey and the kinds of things that we’ve gone through.

[00:04:21] So I think those are the, maybe a couple of the big lessons that I’ve taken out of the last 12 years of doing it.

[00:04:27] Jason: [00:04:27] Well, and going backwards. I think that last point is, is key, which is, uh, you know, I forget what the line is. Something about, you know, I’m an overnight success. It only took me 20 years to get here.

[00:04:39] You know, one of those kinds of things, where there is no overnight success, people look at that and hear the stats. I mean, when I was there. Uh, centers in Belize two years ago, I think you were at 800 people and now you’re at 1400 plus other countries now that you weren’t even in at the time. And so to look at that, a lot of people go, wow, it’s just amazing, but it’s been a lot of work and I’m glad that you mentioned.

[00:05:01] With the core values. I think one of the other interesting things for people who are running companies that a lot of times there’s this pressure expectation, chef core values, mission vision early on, you may not know, or it may be kind of fluctuating. How much has stayed the same in those buckets for you from 12 years ago, versus how much has adapted and changed?

[00:05:22] I mean, is it the same core, four core values that you knew it, that you knew that you knew, or you had an idea and then you solidified them over.

[00:05:31] Scott: [00:05:31] Yeah, the core values are something that have been there since day one. And I, to me. You know, uh, the timing of the question is interesting because I’ll give you a little bit of backstory, but we just went through a whole, uh, mission statement re-evaluation of where we are.

[00:05:46] Right. And so we’ve looked at and said, you know, the core values is how you go about doing business. That should never change, right? Whether you’re a two center, a two seat contact center, or a 10,000 con center seat contact center, those should be the same throughout any part of the organization, because that’s really what.

[00:06:04] Decided how you’re going to run the business. But you know, up until literally two weeks ago, we’ve had a mission statement that existed since 2009, a vision statement since 2009 and a commitment to our employees and they’re on our website still. And we went back to the beginning of the year. What was the intention of that and what are we trying to accomplish now?

[00:06:28] Because your mission, your vision, these things change over time. And so we actually went through a whole modernization of all of those. And one of the questions we asked ourselves, why do we have three different statements? Shouldn’t inherit. Or mission or vision and are committed to employees be the same.

[00:06:44] So we actually went through all this process and we landed on a very simple mission statement for the company, which is our passion is the success of your brand period. And that’s, that’s it, that’s our new mission statement that is going to be throughout the company that we’re rolling out. But those four core values, those will never change.

[00:07:02] Um, that’s how we’re going to go about accomplishing that mission as the mission and vision evolve.

[00:07:08] Jason: [00:07:08] I love it. And I love the fact that you got to a point where re-evaluating readjusting that mission statement, but that’s separate from the vision statement. I think, you know, I’ve seen a lot of organizations that have nothing written down.

[00:07:21] There’s always a company culture. There’s always values in place. If they’re not written down, then it’s a little more fluid and unknown maybe to people, but then just how that evolves. I don’t normally dive into a lot of backgrounds story, but I think it’s important, especially since you’re the CEO and founder of this, you have a different perspective.

[00:07:42] You moved to Belize 2009. You’re like, I’m going to start this thing and do this. What was that problem that you were trying to solve? Let’s say, especially in the state of the world of contact centers, customer cases, And, you know, what was normally done versus what your approach was going.

[00:08:04] Scott: [00:08:04] Yeah. I mean, it was interesting because I got my start on the other side of the industry.

[00:08:08] Um, I actually was the director of operations for a direct response merchandise slender out of the Maryland area, uh, where I live and my job in there really I’ve managed the customer life cycle from the initial sales call. Right. And making sure you’re getting the conversion to the customer service retention, if it got there and then.

[00:08:26] Hopefully not, but collections, if it ended up into that, uh, that arena. And so I saw the customer life cycle through and we outsource all of our contact center seats. I joined the company a week after they had begun outsourcing 220 in-house agents overseas. That was an experience. I’ll save some stories for another time, but, um, you know, Work with outsources all over the world.

[00:08:51] We had, uh, you know, centers in Pakistan, Dominican Republic, India, the Philippines, Costa Rica. Um, and really w what I found is that I was opening and closing contact center vendors more than I was actually working in the business to optimize the channels and ultimately the customer experience. So I never really was being effective at my job.

[00:09:13] And after, I mean, it’s like clear as day in late 2008, early 2009. I had just gone through another poor implementation call with a new vendor and I’m sitting in our CTO’s office. It was my business partner at the time. And we’re just looking at each other. We’re like, How have we not been able to find somebody that can do this?

[00:09:33] And we literally started scratching ideas on the back of the napkin of like, what would we do if we were going to do it differently. And that’s really where the idea was born. And one of the core things we wanted inside of it was transparency. So I always felt like with these vendors, it was this black box and they wouldn’t like, see what was going on.

[00:09:52] And they would lie and deceive and you know, where was the honesty and integrity ethics and, and that full transparency into what was happening it was missing. And so that’s where the idea came from. That’s where the name came from and things started to evolve over time. And that ultimately led me to quitting my job.

[00:10:10] Moving my life.

[00:10:13] Jason: [00:10:13] I love it. Had those similar experience. I was cringing slash smiling, mostly cringing. As you’re talking about the onboarding and offboarding of various outsourced vendors, uh, been there unfortunately many times. What do you think usually leads to. Is there any insight that you have of where companies, you know, specifically, and what I’m curious about is what companies are doing.

[00:10:35] That’s leading to that turnover as a service provider, why they’re not successful for their clients as some kind of outsourced provider, and then what could be put in place instead, other than just saying transparency. That sounds nice, but like actually, what would help the service providers or any services?

[00:10:53] Yeah.

[00:10:54] Scott: [00:10:54] I mean, I think that the way these relationships unravel, there’s probably dozens and dozens of actual reasons over the years. And I didn’t know it when I started the business, but I think I’ve realized that over the last, you know, probably decade of running transparent, I think that it comes down to one common theme, usually more than, more than not.

[00:11:15] And that’s really a poor choice of vendor upfront. And the reason is that we call it a lack of DNA. That you know, a client’s looking for X and they go and select a center that fits Y. And so there’s always some variable that doesn’t align perfectly. So here’s like the, the easiest example. I want high quality, but I want to pay bottom dollar.

[00:11:41] Right? I mean, you hear it all the time. I have a tight budget. I’ve got to run the tape. And so, you know, you ultimately select the cheap or less expensive provider, but are expecting world-class service or sales. You’re not going to get it. And I think that that’s just the beginning of the unraveling of the relationship.

[00:12:00] If you’re looking for digital transformation in your business, You’re probably not coming to a company like mine, right. A smaller mid market BPO. You’re probably going to someone that has a thousand people in their software development department, you know, doing digital or software development and digital transformation.

[00:12:18] That’s what you’re looking for. You need to align yourself with a partner that’s going to deliver on that. And I think that ultimately people select markets because they think they’re cool markets to be in. I want to be close to home, or I want a cheap provider, or there’s always some aspect where if you’re not perfectly aligned in, you know, your company’s DNA with their company’s DNA, it’s going to unravel over time.

[00:12:40] And so if you want a sales contact center, they need to bleed sales inside and out, how do they recruit? How do they train? You know, how do they onboard? How do they nest? How do they promote inside of there? And I think it’s evaluating those sorts of things to make sure that what your expectations are, are going to work.

[00:12:57] With how the center is going to operate are

[00:12:58] Jason: [00:12:58] critical. Yeah. I love both those points. The first one you’re talking about somebody who wants it, who wants it cheap, but once quality is the, uh, you know, the Axiom of a good, fast and cheap two out of the three, but definitely not all three. Uh, where someone, Hey, I want this idea.

[00:13:15] Provider, uh, of anything. And I want it quality and I want it cheap and I like it right away. And especially when, and this is what I see with a lot of companies who try to make that shift on the client brand side is they’re trying to outsource what they’re currently not successful with doing in house.

[00:13:33] With the expectation that somebody else is going to be, do it better. And then also way cheaper than what they have failed to do themselves. And where is that expectation? And then I love what you said too, about the sales side, which is interesting having that DNA. But I also think it’s super important.

[00:13:50] This is where I deal with a lot of clients where they want to outsource. They might want cheap, but cheap might end up being in a country that the culture. And the waste sales or services done isn’t necessarily going to fit with their brand, their company and their clients. Right. And so it’s not, it’s a square peg in a round hole anywhere in that region, if you will, versus like finding the right fit.

[00:14:15] Have you seen that a lot?

[00:14:17] Scott: [00:14:17] Oh, for sure. I mean, this is just my personal opinion, but I think you also have to look at the. The type of sales that you’re doing well. I think when people use the term sales, it’s such a general term. I mean, I’ve seen people who literally, they’re not taking credit card or asking for payment, they’re doing a lead generation turn in enrollment into something and they’re calling it sales.

[00:14:38] It’s not sales to me. Like when I think sales, I think that there’s a transaction happening. There’s some something that you’re, you’re trying to, you know, a, given a take on the phone call, it’s a credit card, it’s a bank account. It’s something that a disclosure that they have to agree to there. So there’s some transaction has to take place.

[00:14:57] I think looking at what it is that you’re trying to outsource and deciding where that will fit. I think you can find sales in any geo in the world. The question is how big, right? If I want to open up five or six seats someplace. I think geo becomes less important in that scenario. If I want 50, a hundred, you know, knowing contact center has a term, you know, issue that everybody deals with the combats in their own way.

[00:15:27] Um, you really have to start looking at the culture of the market you’re going into as well, a hundred percent agree with you.

[00:15:34] Jason: [00:15:34] And that’s a great point because I’ve had many owners I’ve worked with in the past where we’ve had that same discussion, even within the U S which is okay, well, this market’s hard to hire him.

[00:15:44] Well, how many do we need? Well, we want to have 20. Okay. We can find 20 good people in any market, right? Like, it doesn’t matter. Like to your point, you can find if you need five or 10 people, it doesn’t matter. The geo doesn’t matter anymore. If you need a hundred, then at scale, That might become an issue.

[00:16:01] So let’s talk a little bit about, you know, what you found to be successful. So one of the challenges. I know for both sides of the fence, especially let’s talk about sales campaigns since this is the scalable call center sales podcast. Even though I know that a lot of your businesses, the customer care support service side is what does it take to set up campaigns successfully on both sides of the equation for that sales thing?

[00:16:28] Like what you were talking about, how it’s, you know, making sure it is sales and then getting it set up.

[00:16:35] Scott: [00:16:35] I think you have to look at the whole employee life cycle, first of all, to make sure that you’re setting that up. Uh, one of the common mistakes that I’ve seen with a lot of outsourcers is that their recruiting and interview process is just as general.

[00:16:49] It’s the same for everybody. And I think that’s a mistake because if, again, setting up that sales culture has to start from the very first interaction with that employee or prospect for you. So how you recruit. The communication you use the interview techniques that you use, the assessment testing that you use just, just in the recruiting process has to be aligned with a sales culture.

[00:17:15] You’re looking for something fundamentally different. The new hire training, it’s gotta be sales focused. What we call phase two, moving into the client training, and then even the onboarding part is different for our service for sales. You know, really, because in the sales side, we’re very in tune with the idea that every call or interaction is it’s a dollar, right.

[00:17:38] It costs something to ring the phone. It costs something to buy a lead, to make an outbound dial. There’s a cost there. And so we have to find ways to shorten that, that life cycle and learning curve. So I think that the first thing is you’ve got to make sure, yeah. From the first touch at the center, it’s a sales DNA all the way through to the point where they’re hitting production, but then I’m going to go back to the word transparency because I’ve our best relationships with clients where we’ve done really great sales programs is full transparency.

[00:18:09] I think there’s this, sometimes this lack of trust. That happens between clients and vendors where, well, if I show them how much money I might be making, they’re going to want more per hour or something. But, you know, from my perspective, as a CEO is running a contact center, who’s, you know, try to our business in general.

[00:18:29] And the best way to describe it as volatile, right? Is that, you know, you’re, you’re onboarding new clients and clients are turning in the sales side and, and it’s, it’s, you’re constantly looking for stickiness, right? You want to make programs work because we invest tens of thousands of dollars into onboarding programs, which we don’t recoup for a year.

[00:18:49] And so for me, I look at the stickiness and so the best relationships have been chasing. What are you trying to accomplish? Tell me, what success is. Is it a cost per acquisition? Is it an enrollment factor? Give me those dollars and cents because I can help you drive to those numbers. And if we hit them, I assume you’re going to grow and I’m going to get my revenue and my profit on the growth.

[00:19:13] That’s where I want to live. And so I just think that not being afraid to be open with the contact center, the outsourcer, and making sure that all the efforts are aligned rather than trying to. Why I’m concerned that if we show too much, we show our hand, uh, the contact center is going to become a back asking for raises.

[00:19:32] Jason: [00:19:32] Yeah. And I, I seen that trend in many organizations externally, like you’re saying with the outsourced partners, as well as internal, when leadership owners are keeping everything too close to the chest and not helping everyone understand. And there’s always that delicate game, right. Where people are going to want more.

[00:19:51] If they know the numbers are involved, However, if you have a strong culture and people are bought into the vision, then they understand that it’s, everybody’s got to do what they’re doing. And then, you know, there’s enough for everybody. And I love that point. I think that’s obviously fits with the transparent piece.

[00:20:06] Uh, but having that communication one trend I have noticed, and I’m curious where you fall on this is that company. It’s going to outsource or build a new office or build some center or use some service provider. And then there’s the debate at who should be doing the training. If I’m hiring you as this service provider, you should be doing the training and it’s on you.

[00:20:33] What else? The, the, the, what am I paying you for mode kicks in, right? Like, where’s that balance for success, um, in who is responsible for what, in that relationship and that day.

[00:20:47] Scott: [00:20:47] You know, it’s, it’s a great question and a great point. And funny enough that literally two weeks ago we turned a client away because we said to them, you’re not ready to outsource.

[00:20:58] I do think there’s a prerequisite before you go to look to outsource and that’s organization and document. Um, I can’t possibly, as an outsourcer replicate or even enhance on something that’s up here. You know, I have to have a process that I can work with. I have to have something. I mean, you know, you know, your business.

[00:21:19] Infinitely better than I do. I will never be as good as selling widgets as you will be. But for me, I have best practices and processes that I can lay on top, which will help enhance that. But I have to have that foundation from you. So I think the first thing is that you have to be ready to outsource you.

[00:21:35] Can’t hand me a pile. Jumbled mess and expect that we’re going to make it work right in the next week. Right. I need bodies next week. Um, there, the prerequisite is being ready to source. I think from a training perspective, the formula that we really advocate for and use, it’s a shared training methodology.

[00:21:55] It should be my job to become completely independent of view as, as the client, over time, not day one. And so what we believe we do is that, and we promote is that the client trains the first class with our trainer in the class, the second class we’re coaching. The third class, we’re training the clients observing.

[00:22:18] And so by that transition, by the end of that, we should be self-sustaining and ready to handle it ourselves. Um, and a quick tangent. But the other point is that you talked about markets you go into, I think clients also have to be really conscious of just cause I have a great training deck that works in.

[00:22:37] Doesn’t mean it’s going to work in Billy’s or the Philippines or Costa Rica that there have to be changes. And you have to understand that if you can train an Iowa in the three days, you might need a four or five days. And Belize or other countries to make sure that you’re getting the appropriate culturation training background, foundational training to set it up for success.

[00:22:58] And so sometimes there’s a little bit more of an upfront investment that clients go well, that’s, that’s not something I’m willing to do. So that’s a lot to unpack, but I think those are three main points to consider around. Hey,

[00:23:09] Jason: [00:23:09] it’s Jason here. We’ll be right back to the podcast in a moment, but first are you ready to help your inside sales team close more deals?

[00:23:15] In my experience, there’s a certain percentage of your team that acts more like order takers than sales professionals. The first step to creating a scalable sales team is to equip your reps with the right mindset and proven strategies to transform them into quota breakers, to build a team of authentic persuaders that will crush their goals.

[00:23:33] Email [email protected] or go to www.cutterconsultinggroup.com. Well, I love it. And that last one. It’s interesting. Yeah. I haven’t thought about that a lot, but I know in practice I’ve realized that, and also dealt with that objection from owners, uh, you know, leadership saying, well, normally our training is three days.

[00:23:54] It’s four days. Why is it a week? Like we need people closing deals fast. Eh, there’s all these things, right. People innately know in a local area. And that just makes sense. And it’s, you know, it’s just there versus helping someone understand. I mean, I’ve seen that. I’ll give you just

[00:24:12] Scott: [00:24:12] a really funny, a real example.

[00:24:14] We have a client that sells collectibles and they were pushing a Beatles memorabilia and we had zero traction, none. And we have no idea why, like, why are they not selling the Beatles? Everybody knows them. There wasn’t that foundational training Belize hadn’t been exposed to the Beatles and it was a younger generation, right.

[00:24:36] That we’re dealing with inside the contact center. And so we went back and we trained on the Beatles and we gave them the music and we showed them the videos. And the next thing you know, that come out the other side and they’re like gangbusters selling the product. And so I think that’s part of it too, is you got to remember that translating things that we inherited.

[00:24:58] Yeah, in our market into others, it’s just, it’s not an apples to apples.

[00:25:03] Jason: [00:25:03] No. And that’s a great example. I have generally worked in the space of personal consumer debt. So people who have credit card debt or student loans, or are in trouble with their mortgage. And what happens I see is that when companies go and outsource offshore, they’re going into countries that don’t have that, right?

[00:25:21] Like Belize, for example, they don’t have credit card debt. Right. They don’t have student loans. So then, you know, we all take it for granted that everyone knows. Credit card, debt, socks. And you know, you want to avoid it. You go to some other places they’re like, we don’t get it. Like, what is that? It’s just, it might as well be an alien that just landed.

[00:25:39] Cause they just, it’s not a part of their thing. Like your Beatles example and uh, going to another point that you made too, regarding that training and having the systems in place. I see that a lot, where organizations, they have it in their head, it’s not structured. They don’t have systems. They have some people who kind of know what they’re doing.

[00:25:57] It’s more, uh, you know, head knowledge and institutional information than not structured. And really what they’re looking for is to abdicate the system building and the training and the sales to somebody instead of, you know, delegating it. A process or having a partner in the process being like, well, you figure this out because we haven’t been able to, so hopefully you can make it succeed.

[00:26:22] Scott: [00:26:22] Yeah. And I, that’s a great point. And the thing is that we can do that. Yeah. Right. I mean, we could do, we can develop your split. Those it’s two engagements in a sense, because we have to have that first, before we really talk about implementing. And usually when that comes to us. All of this has to happen at once.

[00:26:40] And it’s just, again, it goes back to, it’s not possible to do all of that. It’s it is possible. It’s just not going to set up a long-term relationship that everyone’s going to be happy with. And I think that’s, that’s the main point. It says an outsourcer. We L we view our S our job is to identify risks. I listen to what you need.

[00:26:58] We give feedback, but then my job has identified the risk with what it is you’re asking me to do. And then we can either compromise on something that we feel like meets both of our needs, or we, if we proceed ahead, we just need to know what the risk is that we’re assuming by expediting an onboarding before the sales materials are.

[00:27:16] Jason: [00:27:16] Yeah. And one of the challenges I have found is that when a company doesn’t have all of their systems and processes buttoned down, rarely do they know what success truly looks like and how to accurately hold anybody accountable for actions. Activities and results. Right? Cause I’m sure if you build it and you put together their training and all of their operations, and then you run it, they still could say, well, this isn’t working well.

[00:27:43] It’s like, well, how would you know, like you didn’t have it built. Right? Yeah.

[00:27:47] Scott: [00:27:47] That’s a very good point. And, and, you know, talking about KPIs and other metrics, I mean, sometimes if it’s a new, fresh program that we’re looking to outsource. We’re going to have to learn what’s possible just because it works on your, your paper Excel model that we got to do, you know, a one doc to SPH to make it work.

[00:28:06] It doesn’t translate. And so I think having, you know, some patients and budget to make sure that we’re evaluating what’s possible because again, in the contact center world, it takes what, 90, 120 days for someone to get to full proficiency. So it takes a lot.

[00:28:23] Jason: [00:28:23] And on that note, what is the expectation guideline you would set?

[00:28:28] I mean, I know there’s no general one size fits all because it’s all going to be different. But when, if someone’s going to outsource or even build a new center or, you know, make a new office in another state for themselves, what timeline have you seen is fair for knowing if something’s on the trajectory of working or not?

[00:28:49] Scott: [00:28:49] I think it has to do with how much proven statistics and reporting there’s available first, right? There’s already a baseline established or, uh, we’re being brought in and a champion challenger model. I think that there’s already a sort of a precedent and an understanding of what that looks like. And in general, 30 to 60 days, 90 days is probably a reasonable timeline to say, yeah, they’re making the right progress.

[00:29:12] Or third, if it’s a fresh implementation that just came out of the box and we’re standing it up for the first time, or it’s the first time that they’ve taken in-house and gone outsource your at least 90 days. Uh, and that really. Patience is the, and I get it too, right from sitting on the other side of the fence and outsourcing that’s a tough one because you’re talking about spending money without the actual return, but there’s gotta be some buildings.

[00:29:40] Period where you’d know that it’s going to take some time to really flush, I think, 90 to 120 days or something like that. Hopefully a reasonable timeline to evaluate it again. And you know, you’ve been doing this a long time. There’s red flags. You’ll see it 10 days, 30 days, 45. But assuming those red flags don’t present themselves, I think from a performance evaluation standpoint, that’s probably the time.

[00:30:04] Jason: [00:30:04] Makes sense. They don’t want to talk about the future relative to a pandemic. Just talking about in general, what you’ve seen. So you’ve been doing this specific thing for 12 years. If we’re looking at sales, not on the sales rep, but on the consumer side, on the buyers customer side. What are some changes or evolutions or things that you see that your dealing with, or having to take an account for buyers now versus let’s say 10, 12 years ago.

[00:30:35] How has the buyer changed over that time?

[00:30:39] Scott: [00:30:39] Well, I think you get, you know, looking at the millennial generation and how they prefer to interact and to communicate. I think the phone channel will continue to dwindle over time and, uh, you know, things like, you know, the best example I can use. And I don’t even know if it’s.

[00:30:54] Happening, but, you know, with, without, I think it was Domino’s pizza where you could go on your, your website and you could trade your favorite order. And all units to do is text a pizza emoji to a number and your favorite order got placed and it would show up at your front door, I think more automations and things where you’re not interacting with humans as much.

[00:31:13] And you’re going through social media or text message or even email. I think that people are going to continue to buy like that in the Amazon age. And I know you’re, you’re thinking not pandemic, but you know, even in the pandemic time, I’m seeing people that would refuse to adopt technology, adopt technology.

[00:31:32] You realize how kind of amazing it is and have continued to use it. So I think just in, we’re seeing the channels change the makeup of channels and how buyers are purchasing, which means. Very difficult for sales people because that voice interaction and being able to talk somebody into the value of what it is that they’re were buying that opportunity is dwindling over time.

[00:31:56] And so I don’t have the answer for it, but I think that how do we create that same kind of informational journey, consultative sales journey without the phone channel is where we’re going to see things go, uh, more.

[00:32:12] Jason: [00:32:12] Makes sense. And, you know, I think that applies to any vertical, any product or service being sold.

[00:32:18] I think there are some that will just inherently have a higher rate of phone calls interacting, right? Maybe not through centers like yours, but, you know, think of things like mortgage or real estate, you know, there is a portion of the population that will get a mortgage online and never speak to somebody.

[00:32:34] But then there’s a bunch of people, especially their first time they’re going to want some help. Right. There’s a group of people that will literally. Car through a vending machine, on an app and get it delivered. And then there’s the people who still want to talk to somebody and buy a car. So, yeah, but I, it makes sense.

[00:32:50] And it’s interesting too, with the pandemic, how the people who might not have been online technology as a consumer, just realize that embrace it. Like totally shifted and accelerated things. Obviously, you know, one of the conversations I had on the podcast with one of your team was Jason Sterns. Who’s the VP of biz dev.

[00:33:08] Um, so I talked a lot, hit him about like what the pandemic has done for him and his sales cycle and things like that. From your perspective at the top, and having, you know, built this organization over the past dozen years, where do you see. Trends happening as the pandemic, kind of let’s say if it, if it does go away, but what are the long lasting effects?

[00:33:32] What do you see that doing to your clients, to your employees? Like where do you see that shift happening? Longterm short term. Yeah.

[00:33:41] Scott: [00:33:41] You know, it’s interesting. So couple of thoughts, one is we thought, so when we, when the pandemic first hit or travel and hospitality, science, almost zero. Right. Um, but then, um, E-tail retail vertical just went through the roof.

[00:33:57] And so we had, uh, we hit our goals for, you know, last year because of that makeup in the shift. And we thought for sure, that emerging from the pandemic that travel and hospitality would slowly come back to a hundred percent and that the e-tail retail, which was, we felt was a bubble in a sense, but come back down to more of a normal level.

[00:34:16] That is not how it’s shaping up right now. You know, that e-tail retail is continuing to perform very strong. And I think it isn’t that idea we just talked about as people have adopted a new buying behaviors that they’d never expected before, and that’s going to continue to some degree. I think it’ll normalize at some point, but where that is, I think is to be determined from like a sales cycle though.

[00:34:39] The market is really right now because there’s two things that are happening. One is. Clients who got left behind during the pandemic because they couldn’t get taken care of in their markets are now going back into the market and looking for work. Other options, um, where historically they might’ve worked with one provider in one market.

[00:34:59] Now they’re looking at a multiple sourcing strategy and getting more to the boutiquey type centers, um, in different areas. So we’re seeing that trend, but the other piece that’s happening is there’s been a number of major acquisitions in this space. Uh, even in the last 30 days, you know, the, uh, psych Cytel acquisition that just went through, uh, last week, enormous.

[00:35:22] Task us went through an amazing IPO for billions of dollars. And Teleperformance is buying companies that are at an alarming rate. But what we’re seeing because of that, like the psych Cytel is a great example. A lot of clients didn’t want to be just with Cytel. So they went elsewhere with psychs and now they’re back into one provider again.

[00:35:42] And so those clients are now back in the market, looking for other opportunities as well to get to that multi-sourcing model. So I think the market is very hot for a number of reasons right now, because clients are really reevaluating this and saying, look. No one predicted COVID, uh, it happened and we got caught with our pants down, but would never happen again.

[00:36:02] And I think that they’re now looking to correct that for the future.

[00:36:07] Jason: [00:36:07] And I can see that too, where, you know, as a customer you’re picky. The center you want to work with or anybody because of who they are, maybe their size, the level of service, the interaction. Uh, I know for me as a customer in general in life, I like a brand or a company where I know the people, right.

[00:36:28] Even if it’s like my cell phone provider, I like to have the store I go into where I know the people and they get to know me. And then if I need help, like I’m calling a person, right. Into a center. And so I could see that with acquisitions, people get rolled into it and they wait, wait a second. I don’t want to.

[00:36:45] In, uh, you know, a small piece in this giant machine, I liked a different service. So, and I think there’s just different, you know, obviously there’s scale too, with the big companies, they might be able to pull off things that others can’t. So, uh, it’s both sides. I’ve got a few questions floating in my head.

[00:37:01] One is let’s talk about, um, the, the brands that you’re working with and, or just in general, what’s the biggest piece of advice you would have for them on the sales side. Internal. And they’re thinking about outsourcing or they’re going through that campaign from your perspective, what’s the best, best practice thing, or put it another way.

[00:37:24] If you could just get ahold of each one of them, whether they’re listening or not, and just shake them and tell them something that you want them to know, what would that be?

[00:37:33] Scott: [00:37:33] Oh man, that’s a hard question because I think. The relationships that we’ve established with our clients are really solid and it’s, uh, you know,

[00:37:42] Jason: [00:37:42] non non-clients, uh, the clients who haven’t chose you, that you’re just like, oh, I wish you had done.

[00:37:49] Okay. X, Y, and Z.

[00:37:50] Scott: [00:37:50] Yeah. It goes back to making sure that you’re selecting the provider for the right reasons. I also think that when they’re looking to go to outsource, you got to understand the reason you’re going to outsource. I mean, right now in the United States labor, It’s such a huge problem, right? I mean, you can’t staff, the centers, unemployment rate is low it’s wages are higher of spiking and in many of the states now, or they will, in the next few years, there’s a major labor issue.

[00:38:20] If you’re going to solve a labor problem, solve a labor price. Don’t then try to solve a process, problem, a pricing problem, and try to solve all the world’s problems at one time, moving that outsourcing relationship. So if it’s cost driven, make a cost driven approach to solving it. If it’s labor, make it labor, it doesn’t mean you can’t change things over time.

[00:38:45] I just think that it’s like. I think you made this point earlier, I’m going to go outsource. So I should get this, this, this, and this for outsourcing. And in reality, can’t change too many variables at once solve the problem you have at hand and enhance it over time.

[00:39:01] Jason: [00:39:01] Makes sense. Which is, you know, what you would do with most experiments or most process improvements is.

[00:39:08] The fewest number of variables possible. So, you know, what’s working and what’s not working. And, uh, I think that’s great advice for

[00:39:15] Scott: [00:39:15] others. You also said, sorry to interrupt you, but I think I, to give you credit when, when you were working with our company and looking at some of our PR or sales processes, to see how we can make them better.

[00:39:25] I remember one conversation we had where you’re like, I want to make some changes to the sales script. I think we can change it, but you were very methodical and specific about what you wanted to change specifically. Reinvent everything. Because if we’ve seen where you’d literally changed an act to a there or something that can influence a conversion change.

[00:39:46] And so you go and you rewrite everything and throw it out there, you really know what’s working and what’s not to build on that. And that’s why I think when we’re talking about how long it takes to evaluate a program, small changes need time to stabilize measure and evaluate before you do the next. So I just wanted to make that point, but I think it’s an important.

[00:40:07] Jason: [00:40:07] Well, and I appreciate that. And I remember that conversation because I’ve tried to focus on messing with the least number of items possible. So we know if it works, what was it that worked versus, okay. Let’s try changing recruiting training. Let’s get a different manager in here, change a different script and try different schedule on the dialer.

[00:40:25] Uh, and then it’s like, okay, well, we’re doing better about why who knows or it’s doing worse. And who knows why? Um, for outsource. Service providers centers. What’s a piece of advice you would give to them like that. You know, some things that you’ve learned,

[00:40:44] Scott: [00:40:44] you know, for me, it just comes down to always trying to do the right thing.

[00:40:48] I think that when our industry historically has a really bad habit or the old concept of cheeks and seats, right. And it’s like billable hours, revenue, revenue, revenue, I think. It just deteriorates relationships over time. I think it puts a black guy on the industry at a time. I think on one of your podcasts and what you talked about, like the used salesman, car salesman sort of thing.

[00:41:14] At one point, like I think about our industry that way, sometimes that people view it as the used car salesman. And I think that it comes down to, at the end of the day, it’s being true to what your purpose is, making sure you align all your efforts with that and, and build relationships with clients that stick.

[00:41:32] I hate seeing these contact centers that build 20 to 30% customer churn into their business model year over year. I mean, it just, it’s just not a way to do business. And I think that we should, as an industry to better from a quality standpoint across the board,

[00:41:48] Jason: [00:41:48] I obviously couldn’t agree more and I think it’s really important for several reasons.

[00:41:54] There’s the state of the industry and the reputation and the way that the world views that. Right. Which is something I say all the time, the way that the world views salespeople, just because of historically what salespeople have done from their own motivation and anyone who disagrees and argues with me, then look at how many companies don’t even call their salespeople, salespeople.

[00:42:13] They come up with some other name, account executive, for example, you’re a salesperson and you just don’t want to admit it and tell the world and announce that. And I think that’s good. And then also what you’re talking about. That churn leads to so many challenges, internally morale. It’s tough to keep morale high when you’re constantly, let’s just call it failing or losing clients.

[00:42:33] That is always a tough.

[00:42:35] Scott: [00:42:35] Yeah. A hundred percent agree you think about, um, everybody’s got the call about the IRS calling you right. For something. Or I used to get these fog, like the cruise lines. I would get the fog horn that would blast my ear when I answered that call. Right. And it just it’s those kinds of things where you’re purposely not doing things the right way, that makes it infinitely harder for guys like you or for me or others to do business the right way for our clients.

[00:43:03] Uh, right now, as we sit here, there’s a telemarketing law. That’s sitting on the Florida governor’s desk that goes into effect until I first, which is going to completely change our industry if it goes into effect. And these are the kinds of things where there is a way to do this correctly and to make it work for everybody and have a good solid sales process.

[00:43:25] But, you know, we just got to, we got to the ethics and morals need to be at the forefront of our industry and what we’re trying to do.

[00:43:31] Jason: [00:43:31] Got it. I love it. One last question I have for you when you look back at where you started and where you’ve come to, and I know we’ve touched on many points, so if it’s the same answer you’ve given for some other things that I’m super happy with as well, but what would you say is the key to your success?

[00:43:48] Building transparent, especially in the way that you wanted to, because I know it’s, I know it’s in line with what you wanted 12 years ago. Like I know that a and you’ve shared a lot about that, but what do you think is the key to that success?

[00:44:01] Scott: [00:44:01] Um, learning quite frankly, I think it’s ongoing learning the idea that, um, I’ve had two strategies that are growing this thing.

[00:44:10] Well, three it’s one to stay true to what we’re trying to attract. The second is to always go and educate myself on something new. You know, I have to develop myself and my decision-making and how I operate and how I manage over time. Um, and I think that a lot of people who start their own companies, I I’ve said this for years.

[00:44:28] I think entrepreneurs make horrible bosses. Um, and whether you agree or not, but I, I just think that the characteristics of an entrepreneur are fundamentally. Good to be an effective manager. And so if an entrepreneur, because think about the characteristics that makes an entrepreneur successful, they’re risky.

[00:44:48] They like they’re, it’s almost like I felt like the ADHD, right. I’m constantly looking for the next thing. And I have to challenge myself. Um, but as a manager, people want stability and they want predictability and they want open communication. When you have an entrepreneur that is trying to run a business and manage it.

[00:45:08] I don’t see it working like I, and I think there is a lot of case studies of people that are inherently great inventors and entrepreneurs. That aren’t great managers. So for me, part of it was how do I transform myself to be a better manager? To kind of push down some of the entrepreneurial spirit without using it.

[00:45:27] Cause that’s what is fueling the company, but also to bring in the third one to bring in better people around me, right? Is that, you know, you’re bringing people that that is their core strength and that know a lot more than I do. And then I can keep the company young and innovative and, you know, striving for that next thing and true to the core value.

[00:45:46] But having people. That are really good managers and leaders that can help build the business. And I think that’s what I’ve learned over time. Is that being humble enough to know what you’re not good at and being able to recognize it is I think a key characteristic to building any business or being successful.

[00:46:04] Jason: [00:46:04] I love it. And it sounds very much in line with one of the lessons I learned early on. And then I’ve carried through when I was in companies. And then as a consultant, which came from the E-Myth revisited from Michael Gerber, talking about those three different parts of a business to be successful, right?

[00:46:21] There’s the visionary, there’s the, the manager. And then there’s the actual technician who’s doing the work. And most businesses are started by one of those. And they’re not good at the other two, but they try to do it all and it just doesn’t work. And I appreciate the fact that you recognize that, and you’re either adapting yourself in some way, not losing it completely or finding the good people and the right processes and systems to fill in those.

[00:46:44] So everyone. In their best spot. So I appreciate it. I think that’s great. Um, I know that the main thing for people, if they’re curious, they want to reach out, they want to find more about your company, transparent bpo.com. Is there any other places where you’re active or they can find any, anything related to you reach out to you or the business in

[00:47:03] Scott: [00:47:03] general, what you guys are up to?

[00:47:04] Yeah. My personal email is stocked out Newman, a transparent fee. bill.com. Check out our website, follow us on the social media. LinkedIn, Facebook are posting a lot of great content. We have a monthly newsletter that goes out. That’s fantastic. That has industry news. So if they’d like to follow us and gets more information, please check us out and, uh, look forward to having additional time.

[00:47:25] Jason: [00:47:25] Perfect. I love it. And as I knew, I knew this was going to be a great episode. Hopefully everyone else enjoyed it. I know I did because I thought this was fantastic. I appreciate it though. All this stuff that you shared, uh, Scott, thanks again for coming on here. Thanks for what you’re doing and you know, kind of, cause we’re both focused in similar ways in different areas, uh, helping set a different framework.

[00:47:47] The outsource call center world and shifting that narrative about what it means and what the public views. So I appreciate that and what you’re doing and thanks for being here on the.

[00:47:58] Scott: [00:47:58] A lot of fun. Thanks, Jason. Appreciate it. Did you get some inspirations of ways to help your call center sales team win bigger, stronger, and faster.

[00:48:08] Hope you are fired up to scale your sales operations. If you got value from this podcast, please go in and leave a rating and review also make sure to forward this episode to anyone else, you know, in the call center space, we appreciate your support in growing the scalable call center sales podcast, Pam.

[00:48:27] And if you have any comments, ideas, or feedback, contact us at cutterconsultinggroup.com.

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