Telemarketing can be an effective way to generate new sales leads, build your customer database, get in contact with lapsed customers and find out what people think about your product and service.
You can assess a prospective customer’s interest immediately over the telephone, ask them questions to target your product more effectively and use the opportunity to cross-sell or up-sell other products.
It sounds easy in practice but telemarketing can be a minefield if not approached in the right way. Training is essential – whether you are using telemarketing for lead generation, to confirm appointments, build a database or as part of a wider campaign. If telemarketing is only going to be a limited part of your overall marketing campaign, it can be done in-house, but bear in mind it will take time to set up and will be an initial drain on people and capital resources. To support a bigger campaign, seek out an outsourced telemarketing provider. The Direct Marketing Association and the Call Centre Association has a list of outsourced telemarketing suppliers that can be searched by region.
Need to know
There are legal issues to be wary of too. Don’t even consider running an outbound telemarketing campaign without first checking that anyone you call is not registered with either the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), which covers residential numbers or sole traders (except for Scotland) or the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS), which includes limited companies or Plcs in the UK, limited liability partnerships in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and any partnership in Scotland, as well as public sector bodies. Communications regulator Ofcom has cracked down on firms calling those registered and has levied some hefty fines as a result. Numbers must be screened as frequently as is necessary as the files are updated on a monthly basis and the TPS website has information on how to be compliant with telemarketing. If you outsource your telemarketing lead generation activity, your supplier should do this for you, but it pays to check first.
Telesales telemarketing is also competing with a growing number of other channels that are fighting for consumers’ and business’ attention, and many of your potential customers will find telephone calls intrusive. Consider running a telemarketing campaign as part of a follow-up to direct mail or email marketing activity – there’s a good chance your prospects will already have come in contact with your business and will be more receptive to the call.