You might have read or seen customers, businesses, and marketing professionals calling out for ways to modernize telemarketing — that is, adapting it to today’s digital reality and the online, global nature of the new economy. But, do you actually need to modernize telemarketing? Is telemarketing still an efficient way of reaching out to customers? What is telemarketing, after all?
Truth is, while many people find telemarketing sales calls too pushy, when done right, they remain a cost-effective strategy to build brand awareness, increase sales, and make customers happy. Now let’s take a look at the main aspects of telemarketing and different things you need to know about modern telemarketing.
What Is Telemarketing?
Telemarketing, which is also referred to as telesales or telecommerce, is a communication strategy which seeks to promote services and products or share information to prospects through telephone calls.
Telemarketing can be used by virtually all kinds of organizations, but it’s most prominently leveraged by for-profit businesses, non-profit charities, political groups and candidates as well as for surveying, donation solicitation, and marketing research. Since telemarketing is such a broad term, it can be related to any method available to businesses that want to reach potential customers by telephone.
Different Types of Telemarketing
Outbound marketing calls actively reach out to prospects and existing customers. This is known as cold calling, since a company initiates the conversation and there’s generally no indication about the level of interest of the potential client.
Inbound marketing happens when customers reach out to organizations to inquire about products or services, in most cases prompted by ads or other sales efforts. This is known as warm calling as customers have interacted with the company and are more likely to make a purchase.
Lead Generation Telemarketing
Lead generation telemarketing consists of gaining leads through cold calling, face to face interactions or email campaigns. The aims is to collect information about potential customers, such as their interests, demographic data, and purchasing power.
A sales call is a phone call which is made by a sales representative to sell a product or service. The telephone calls are made by telesales professionals who are trained to close a sale while on the phone with prospects.
Why Is Telemarketing Important?
Telemarketing is important because it helps businesses establish contact with prospects, asses the interest of potential customers, motivate them to buy products or services as well as improve their visibility.
Additionally, telemarketing allows you to:
- Interact more with customers
- Establish real-life connections with them
- Explain technical issues more clearly
- Generate leads and appointments
- Increase your sales territory
- Obtain measurable results
Telemarketing is cost-effective for businesses with limited marketing budgets, and it is especially effective when combined with more modern tactics, like email marketing and search engine marketing. According to a study published in the UK, the average return on investment (ROI) for UK-based business-to-business (B2B) telemarketing agencies was over 1,000%, with some campaigns reaching ROIs of up to 12,000%.
All these benefits are proof that, even with digital marketing more present in our daily lives, telemarketing is beneficial for businesses and organizations. In the end, very few lines of action have the same engaging power as conversing with customers individually, in real-time.
How Telemarketing Works
Telemarketing takes place in different workspaces such as call centers or after the 2020 pandemic, home offices with the necessary infrastructure. It is generally referred to as the process by which a business tries to sell its products and services through a telephone contact. However, the definition of telemarketing can vary according to the type of company.
According to a study by the Data & Marketing Association, the main reason a B2C business lelverages telemarketing is to offer a better or more expensive product than the customer already has. As for B2B companies, they mainly use telemarketing to generate leads and schedule appointments.
5 Things You Should Know About Telemarketing
1. Laws Regulating Telemarketing are Strict
Telemarketers must abide by local, regional, and national regulations. For people living in Canada and the United States, for example, there’s the option of registering on National Do Not Call Lists (DNCL) to prevent telemarketers from making unsollicited calls. Registration is free and customers can list their home, mobile, fax or VoIP number to reduce telemarketing calls.
When a consumer is registered in a DNCL database, they can file complaints whenever they receive a telemarketing call, which can lead to severe fines and sanctions for the telemarketing company. If you’re a telemarketing agency operating in Canada or the U.S. and you want to avoid a fine or a lawsuit, you must register with and pay a subscription to have access to the DNCL to make sure you have knowledge of the contacts included in the database.
2. Call centers are filled with skillful professionals
If you think telemarketing is a simple job that can be done by anyone, you might want to think again. Since it involves calling and engaging with strangers to offer products and services, it takes great empathy. Every telemarketer must be able to relate to their client’s needs and worries and acknowledge their frustration.
This job also requires resilience, since some calls don’t go as expected, leading to potential customers being hostile from the very start. Telemarketers must also master the art of communication, in order to overcome objections and motivate prospects to make a purchase. Considering the skills needed to become a successful telemarketer, it makes sense that many businesses prefer to outsource their telemarketing efforts.
3. People are more receptive to telemarketing than you think
Anyone can tell the difference between good and bad cold calls. The bad ones always feel like someone’s trying to sell you something, or, in the worst case, trying to involve you in a scam. On the other hand, good calls sound like well-conducted, natural conversations between a salesperson and a potential client.
Successful telemarketers break the ice and make customers feel at ease, so they are more open to listening and sharing information. When customers don’t feel pressured, they are happy to talk about their lives, aspirations, and needs. This is key to find out if the customer has a potential interest in a product or service.
4. Telemarketing is highly measurable
Being able to measure performance is vital for your telemarketing strategy. Fortunately, every call your telemarketers make provide you with valuable data. You can use those metrics to assess if you’re on the right track or if you need to adjust your strategy.
Apart from standard business KPIs such as return on investment (ROI) and conversion rate, telemarketing provides companies with different industry-specific metrics to keep track of. One of them is the Average Talk Time (ATT), which is vital to identifying areas of opportunity. Another one is the Average Wrap Time (AWT), which gives you an idea of how efficient your agents are to get a new call after the previous one is finished.
5. Outsourcing is, in most cases, the way to go
Outsourcing is generally the best option when it comes to telemarketing. After all, hiring and training telemarketing staff can be quite costly. Outsourcing telemarketing allows companies to focus on the key areas of their business and leave cold calling to experts. It also helps them boost lead generation, better allocate resources and save time and money.
TELUP is a BPO Service & Appointment Setting Company that helps enterprises of all sizes in tasks such as prospecting, appointment setting, sales, customer retention, and front-office outsourcing tasks. We provide clients with well-trained professionals, setting the highest value on constantly improving our amazing team. With every single executive striving to become better than the best, our goal is to always exceed expectations.
We provide different telemarketing services such as:
- Sales and lead generation
- B2B telemarketing services
- B2C telemarketing services
TELUP takes care of the success of your campaigns through a consultative approach in the design and management of telemarketing services. Our project managers stay in close contact throughout each stage of your program to assess results and, if necessary, make adjustments to your services.