Case Study | Sales, Data Science, Paid Search

Clearlink Outperforms a Top Telco’s
In-House Sales Team by 35%

Clearlink’s dedicated sales agents outperform a leading telecommunications company’s in-house call center by 35% in sales volume.

“Increase the volume.” One of the top telecom companies in the United States came to Clearlink with a unique challenge: compete with their in-house call center and current marketing agency to see who could deliver more customers and revenue in an eight-week period.

Conversion and units per sale were the primary metrics for the test. Our sales team is expertly trained on conversion tactics and fueled by data science insights to boost its effectiveness, so we knew this was an area in which we could really shine. The test kicked off in December 2015, and by the end of the test period, Clearlink had crushed the competition—converting customers 35% better than the company’s internal sales center. 

The Problem

A top-three telecom company was looking for opportunities to increase their sales volume. They were utilizing an outside agency to manage their marketing, with calls going to their in-house call center. Agents in their call center are trained to take a blend of support and sales calls, while our agents are focused exclusively on sales. A core part of the test was determining whether that dedicated focus could help our team outperform theirs.

With our data science, marketing, and sales teams all working in collaboration, we created a plan to maximize the effectiveness of paid search listings, directing customers to our call centers.

The Methodology

The telco divided up their service areas nationwide and the competing teams received an equal number of serviceable households and service types to compete for.

Each was then given the freedom to manage the paid search landscape as they saw fit—with the ultimate goal of maximizing inbound sales opportunities, conversions, and units and revenue per sale. The calls generated from their paid search efforts were directed to each competitor’s respective call centers. It was then up to the each competitor to close the sale and convert as many opportunities into customers as possible. For unbiased facilitation, the global consulting firm Accenture was hired to administer the testing and reporting.

The Approach

With our data science, marketing, and sales teams all working in collaboration, we created a plan to maximize the effectiveness of paid search listings, directing customers to our call centers. From there, our dynamic routing and consumer profile matching would connect the callers to the optimal sales agent—one who was skilled at selling the product the customer was interested in or, in some cases, from the same geographic area as the caller to build rapport faster. The data science team was monitoring the online and offline behavior of the customers and plugging the data into a self-improving feedback loop by which we continually optimized the process throughout the test.


The Results

After the testing period, Accenture determined that we had consistently outperformed the telco’s internal teams by 35%. An impressive number, for sure, but Clearlink’s performance-based pricing structure meant that the client would also save the 6% media spend fee that their current marketing agency was charging them. As a result, the company awarded Clearlink 100% of the inbound sales calls.  

  • Clearlink outperformed the internal call center by 35% in sales volume.
  • Our performance-based pricing saved the telco 6% on media spend fees.

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