The importance of telemarketing as a lead generation and sales tool is often underestimated.
Telemarketing is avoided by some businesses because they don’t want to seem intrusive or bother prospects with ‘cold calls’.
However, this view of telemarketing is outdated and it does not reflect how the majority of businesses run their marketing campaigns today.
More Than Words has extensive experience in running successful campaigns to businesses, schools, and the public sector.
Our clients use our telemarketing service to put a human face to their business and help them to connect better with their customers.
In this guide, we will discuss the importance of telemarketing for any business today and how to create a solid telemarketing strategy that works for you.
What is telemarketing?
Telemarketing (also referred to as ‘telesales’), in its most basic form, is the direct marketing of products or services over the phone.
In the past telemarketing calls were something of a taboo in business circles due to the unsolicited nature of them leading to complaints from customers.
But the industry has developed over time as marketers adapt their policies and tactics in order to ensure compliance with laws and regulations and improve customer engagement.
Today, telemarketing has a new image that recognises the benefits of telesales for customer acquisition and retention, when integrated into a solid direct marketing strategy.
Types of telemarketing
The scope of telemarketing is wide and ensures that whatever a business is trying to achieve there will be a way to achieve it through marketing calls.
Telemarketers can perform activities such as sales, setting appointments, database cleansing, following up on email campaigns and market research.
All of these can be fit into four main categories:
Inbound telemarketing is when a business uses telemarketers to contact those customers who have made an inbound enquiry about a product or service or answer calls from potential customers asking questions or making orders.
For outbound telemarketing a telesales representative will make contact with a prospect or customer in order to make a sale or start a two-way dialogue that helps the business to generate leads and sales in the future.
The proactive nature of outbound calls means that telemarketers need to be knowledgeable about the process, what they are trying to do and how to handle the questions or objections of their audience.
Telesales representatives will make calls for lead generation after they have made first contact or researched the contact in advance.
Often lead generation comes after another form of direct marketing such as email or postal communications.
Sales calls are the most persuasive type of telemarketing and are carried out by trained sales professionals.
Features of telemarketing professionals
Although the importance of telemarketing means businesses with low budgets may choose to do so in-house, telemarketing is usually outsourced to professional agencies due to the skilled nature of the work.
The high value of telemarketing professionals with these skills outweighs the cost of the service in most cases.
Among the most important skills required by telesales professionals are:
A telemarketing team that knows how to speak to prospects and generate leads consistently is invaluable, especially in businesses selling to other businesses, schools and the public sector.
In these areas sales cycles tend to be longer and the decision-makers within the organisations need to feel that a business can live up to their promises.
The ability to listen and learn
A business to business relationship will have challenges that need to be overcome and a good telemarketer is able to listen to prospects and take their reservations into account, tailoring their ongoing conversations to fit with the needs of the individual.
A telemarketing script is a great tool for early contact but the best telemarketing teams will also be able to work independently as the relationship grows.
An understanding of the company they are working for
In a situation where telemarketing services are outsourced, the telemarketer needs to understand the individual business they are working for when they head into calls.
It is the telesales professional’s job to sell your prospects on the features and benefits of your product or service and this requires in-depth understanding of what those are.
Why use telemarketing?
Statistics for the features and importance of telemarketing are compelling.
According to research from The Rain Group, 69% of buyers say that they accepted one or more cold calls in 2019.
The study also found that 82% of buyers have accepted meetings with sales professionals following a series of contacts began with cold calls.
The idea that buyers in the B2B or public sectors don’t want to hear from sellers is incorrect.
In fact they are open to the idea of cold calls when they are being offered something that is of value to them.
The importance of telemarketing for sales
Telemarketing for sales works because it offers prospects a more personal sale service.
A person who has spoken directly with a representative often has more trust in the business and the product or service they are offering than if they had just been contacted online.
A sales call allows a business to:
- open a dialogue and create a rapport with prospects,
- a questions and explain technical issues more clearly,
- reach more customers easily, even those who are geographically far away, and
- achieve measurable results
The importance of telemarketing for generating leads
Generating leads and acquiring new customers is easier with telemarketing because the caller is able to expand on anything the prospect wants to know or has reservations about.
After a lead generation call, prospects are warmer to the business and the business has more in-depth information about the needs and requirements of the customer, making it easier for the sales team to make a sale later on.
Lead generation has been found to increase sales opportunities by 20%
What are the advantages of telemarketing?
Telemarketing is cost-efficient
Even if you choose to hire a telemarketing service to perform your marketing calls, the return on investment from telemarketing is excellent.
In fact, research by DMA Contact Centres and Telemarketing Council found that telemarketing had an effectiveness rate of over 90%.
Of course, this requires trained and skilled telemarketers to carry out the calls and this is why hiring a professional telemarketing service is recommended.
Telemarketing helps you to grow your business
Telemarketing is one of the best ways for you to find and connect with new customers, as well as follow up with existing customers and keep them up to date with your newest offers, products and services.
A marketing tool that works well for both customer acquisition and retention is key to business growth.
Telemarketing is fully measurable
The importance of telemarketing key performance indicators (KPI) for understanding the success of your marketing campaigns is clear.
KPIs are the measures of success you apply to any campaign to help you to make decisions about how to proceed.
During telemarketing calls you can measure your responses against KPIs as well as report the individual concerns of your prospects.
Telemarketing best practices
The best practices for telemarketing you should follow include:
Customers often require multiple contacts in order to make a purchase and these are best performed across a number of different channels (such as email, social media, digital advertising).
Telemarketing calls should always be part of a wider marketing campaign.
Company knowledge and understanding
Telemarketers must know who they are calling for, who they are making calls to and what product or service they are selling – with the ability to answer any questions the call recipient might have.
They should also be trained in how to respond to purchase objections in a way that is fair, polite and friendly.
Telemarketers should also know why they are calling the contacts on their list.
Perhaps the contact made an enquiry online, or has previously received a marketing email. Or perhaps they are being contacted because they have clicked through to the business’s website from a sponsored ad.
Knowing this information helps the marketer to tailor their call to the customer.
Find out how to make telemarketing work for your company
More Than Words’ B2B telemarketing and data research team are able to make appointments, perform market research, follow up with old and new customers alike and generate leads on your behalf, ready to pass over to your sales team.
Do you sell to schools or the public sector? When you get in touch, please ask us about our telemarketing to schools service and our telemarketing campaigns to the public sector.
We’re available on 0330 010 3495 or you email us by clicking here and ask how we can help you to reintroduce telemarketing to your marketing strategy.