Telemarketing: Good or Bad, It’s Still Effective

When you first think of telemarketing many of us think of the unwanted late night call. There is still no better one-on-one direct marketing approach than telemarketing to reach decision makers.  Not only can telemarketing deliver sales but it is also flexible enough to help with lead generation and even data gathering. It should come as no surprise then that contact centers account for some $900 billion dollars in annual sales (Source: ATA).

Again not everyone wants to receive sales calls whether at home or at work. The national ‘do not call’ registry prevents most telemarketers from contacting people who have added their names to the list and marketers should consider the reaction to their brands that unsolicited sales calls may evoke.

Even still, telemarketing is still a tremendously effective way of developing new business and capitalizing on existing interest.

The Benefits of Telemarketing.

  1. Telemarketing can work with either ‘cold’ or ‘warm’ lists – You can use telemarketing to acquire new customers and clients, close deals and progress leads with people you’ve already contacted or even sell to existing customers.
  2. It’s Direct and Elicits a Direct Response – This means immediate results regardless of your objective and the ability to actually generate immediate sales – providing a direct return on investment.
  3. It’s Human – Good telemarketers can listen as well as talk. Unlike most advertising channels, your message can be tailored to each specific customer. Telemarketing can be used for gathering information and feedback.
  4. It Increases the Effectiveness of Other Marketing Efforts – This is particularly true of direct mail. Using telemarketing before direct mail can identify likely prospects and weed out unsuitable contacts. Used after direct mail it can massively improve response rates, capitalize on interest and even log feedback about the marketing materials you sent. The same can be accomplished with other direct marketing methods – email marketing, SMS marketing and even personal sales calls.
  5. It Can Generate Key Customer and Marketplace Data – Every telemarketing call provides your business with an opportunity to learn. Depending on what information is important to you, you can be filling in the gaps in your knowledge about prospects or getting a read on the state of the marketplace. There’s no reason that your telemarketing team can’t include market research questions as part of the process, helping you accomplish multiple objectives under a single campaign.
  6.  It’s Extremely Measurable – Every call provides data and you can determine what data is useful to you. If you need to know how accurate your contact data is or how effective your sales team are or what percentage of people read your direct mail postcard, the information is there.
  7. It’s Flexible – As soon as you start making calls you will start gaining valuable feedback. That information can be used to refine the process and make changes quickly and effectively. Telemarketing can be responsive to new information too, with almost no lag time. If your prices changes, your telemarketing team can be promoting the savings or softening the blow in minutes.

What is Telemarketing Good At and Should You Be Trying It?

Apart from it’s direct approach, the key benefits of telemarketing revolve around the fact that your message is delivered by people to people. That allows you to improve, refine and adjust as you go. If you can use that flexibility to your advantage and can make the numbers work financially, telemarketing is certainly something worth trialling in your business.

Again, telemarketing doesn’t just have to be about sales either. If you are unsure how your target market will receive telemarketing, start with a non-sales approach that focuses on delivering value to the customer and gathering information and feedback for you.