While sales and marketing are different processes, because they are two sides of the same coin, the boundaries between them often get blurred. Telemarketing and telesales don’t escape this confusion – all the more so that telesales is, in effect, a component of telemarketing. Telemarketing is often used even by industry experts as a blanket term for all phone activities related to establishing contact with potential customers. However, telemarketing and telesales have different objectives and outcomes, so it is crucial to understand how they differ to get the most out of your phone campaign.

Telemarketing is primarily about making customers aware of your products or services, and generally exchanging information with prospects to generate quality leads. This is an important process as it will produce a higher conversion rate than you would get by buying in a contact database: because it will produce more accurate information from your customers, your phone campaign will be more productive. This, in turn, will lead to more efficient telesales operations as the agents will have good data and will spend less time on cold calling.

Telemarketing also offers the opportunity to conduct market research, helping you gather invaluable feedback on your products and the quality of customer service you provide, as well as on customer satisfaction. Having this inbound channel is also a chance to turn requests for information into sales leads that can be exploited by the telesales team.

Telesales, essentially, aims at converting these leads into sales of your products or services directly to the customer by telephone. As shown above, their success is dependent on the quality of the telemarketing campaign.

Having separate teams to conduct telemarketing and telesales is effective, as they require different sets of skills – but they do need to work together to implement your strategy successfully. Telesales agents will be highly trained to be persuasive and persistent, and will be particularly valuable to convert specialised or difficult leads into sales.

The size of both operations won’t necessarily be the same, or the teams may not be needed over the same periods of time, so having separate teams will make your phone campaigns more flexible and cost effective. The sales team can also be increased or scaled down to cope with busy periods or your own budget requirements.

Identifying the area, telesales or telemarketing, which requires support will guide your decision about which call centre provider will be best suited for your needs.