InfoUSA to Offer Teleservices

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InfoUSA, which makes over 17 million outbound calls per year to research and verify entries in its business and consumer databases, will extend that calling capability by offering custom teleservice campaigns focused on lead generation.

InfoUSA, Omaha, NE, will build its InfoCall service by hiring senior and operational management and call center staff over the next four months and through acquisition. The company will add predictive dialing and call center software and offer customized integration into its other data applications. InfoCall is slated to take on new business in the fourth quarter of the year.

InfoCall grew out of trials the company is performing for Network Solutions, Herndon, VA, and one other client. It's meant to simplify and cut costs in the calling process by having InfoUSA as the supplier of the telemarketing lists handle teleservices as well. InfoCall aims to handle a monthly volume of 1 million calls per customer.

"We kind of stumbled onto this as we were building services for a customer," said Monica Messer, InfoUSA president of database and technology. "We had all the pieces here so it was a natural extension of a service we could provide to our customers.''

Clients can elect to have a question added at the end of a verification survey on a standard InfoUSA research call or set up a custom lead generation program. For the custom programs, the clients determine the script, call to action, target universe and the number of prospects to be contacted. Clients that use InfoUSA lists to prospect can refine their universe dynamically during the campaign, Messer said. Outside telemarketing lists also are acceptable.

Network Solutions started trials this month by adding a question to surveys asking businesses if they were interested in getting online. If so, calls were transferred to an InfoUSA sales representative to sell Network's Solutions domain name registration service. Neil Edwards, Network Solutions vice president of business development, has seen very good success in the trials.

"The question is can you take a verification call from a teleresearcher and transfer it effectively to a selling environment,'' Edwards said. "Things look real promising so far. You can see if a product or service a company needs could be offered to them rather than being intrusive. It like when you call the airlines and are transferred for a car rental.''

Network Solutions is moving forward with additional trials and will soon decide whether to send leads to its own teleservices reps or pay InfoUSA a fee for closing the sale.

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