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The Alternative Board Blog

Outbound Marketing Isn’t Dead: Telemarketing, Believe It Or Not

Apr. 25, 2014 | Posted by The Alternative Board
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Telemarketing is probably the least loved outbound marketing activity among both business owners and consumers. Most business owners balk at the idea of telemarketing—it just seems so outdated. True, the days of being interrupted by a sales call during your family dinner are largely done, and I think we can all agree that this is a good thing. However, telemarketing is still a viable outbound marketing tactic for many brands, especially for B2B marketing.

Oftentimes, telemarketing is used for appointment setting, rather than direct sales as in days of old. You can either do your own cold calling, delegate it to an employee, or outsource the activity to a professional telemarketing firm. It is a great idea to coordinate your telemarketing activities with a direct mail campaign to help “warm up” the cold calls and increase brand recall.

Telemarketing Best Practices:

  1. Target your list. Just like any marketing tactic, the more target you become in your audience and messaging, the greater your success ratio it going to be. Think about targeting your list by geographic location, business type, business size, and so on. What other demographics does your business consider important to qualify prospects?
  2. Standardize your script. Have a standard script or detailed outline create whether you are doing telemarketing internally or outsourcing it. You can change the script to test which messages produce higher conversions, but by standardizing the script you are able to test messaging logically. You should also have a script ready for leaving voicemail.
  3. Keep it positive. Have a smile on your face and enthusiasm in your voice. Your positive personality will translate through, increasing the probability of engaging in a positive conversation with the person on the other end.
  4. Track it. Telemarketing is definitely a numbers game, so take a bit of time to determine how many prospects you realistically need to generate one sale. To accomplish this, track how many appointments your sales team needs to generate one sale. Then determine how many calls were made to create that number of appointments. From there you can determine how many leads were needed to complete that number of calls (taking into consideration that one prospect may have been called more than once before reaching them). This may take a bit of time and practice to determine your metrics, but as you develop your telemarketing campaigns, you will gain a better understanding of the number of prospects will convert into sales.

Though this unloved outbound marketing activity seems archaic, consider integrating it into your other marketing activities and track the results. Though telemarketing is far more popular among business-to-business brands, it is also still quite popular with consumer products. Telemarketing firms often specialize in either B2B or B2C calling, so do your research and be prepared to discuss your specific needs.

How do you feel about telemarketing for your business? What advice would you give to other business owners considering using telemarketing as a communication channel in their outbound marketing campaigns?

Outsourcing some marketing tasks can lead to a better work life balance - check out TAB's latest PULSE Survey to hear what other business owners are saying about this topic. 

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Written by The Alternative Board

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