Telemarketing and telesales sometimes come with negative perceptions. They conjure up visions of large, impersonal call centres in far-away countries which feel more like factories than anything else. While this type of operations exists, there is a way to conduct quality telemarketing campaigns which will help grow business without alienating prospects.
The first step to understanding what telemarketing can help you achieve is not to confuse it with telesales, which is all the more common that the latter is often placed under the same umbrella, and that there can be some overlap between the two. While a telemarketing agent may well come to convert a prospect into a customer during the course of a conversation, depending on how well-known the brand is, or how easy to understand the offer is, their roles are very different: telesales, as the name implies, is mainly about turning leads into sales, and builds on foundations laid by telemarketing, as it were.
Telemarketing, like all other branches of marketing, is broadly speaking about identifying your market and market segments, and promoting your products and USPs. It comes with some drawbacks, such as the fact that you can’t see your prospect’s reaction to your offer, nor be sure that you have their attention, or that they can stop the conversation by simply putting the phone down, but it is still very popular with businesses from all industries as it offers a way to reach a vast number of potential customers quickly and fairly economically, and paves the way for your sales team.
A telemarketing campaign can help you grow your business in the following ways:
- By identifying key personnel and decision makers at your target companies
- By warming leads and making appointments for your sales team
- By following up with prospects who have responded to mailshots or advertisements or left their details at an exhibition for example
- By testing the potential of a new product or a new market segment
- By conducting surveys with existing customers, informing them of special offers and generally keeping in touch with them
Success rates of telemarketing vary greatly depending on the business environment and the specific goals pursued, and it is notoriously difficult to predict how well a campaign will perform, but it is nevertheless a tried-and-tested channel which is particularly productive when it comes to following up on mailshots or booking appointments.