A Shortlist Marketing white Paper
Author: Philip Richardson
Telemarketing has been around for a number of years, but still remains a very powerful lead generation and sales tool, if it is done well. Telemarketing can give immediate results and can be used to reach a wide range of objectives; whether it is lead generation, appointment setting, attendees to seminars, customer surveys or data cleansing. It is a chance to talk to other businesses in a non-threatening, non-sales environment. Telemarketing is, quite simply, marketing through telecommunications.
Why should I use Telemarketing?
Very few companies can survive without sales and for many companies telemarketing is, or should be, the first stage of the sales process. It can be used for database building, lead generation, customer retention, cross selling and market research, the list of the benefits of telemarketing is long. There are also many downsides to telemarketing if it is done badly, expensive, high staff turnover, poor results and ultimately brand damage and lower sales.
Telemarketing delivers reliable information quickly, allowing your sales team to make the most effective use of their time. Telemarketing gathers the specifics that your field sales team need in a non-threatening, non- sales environment. Telemarketing identifies the needs and exact requirements of your customers and prospects.
The results of telemarketing are completely measurable, accurate and immediate. You will always get a response, whether you make the sale or not, which helps with data gathering and data records. Records of these responses will aid when planning your customer relationship management.
Telemarketing is a completely interactive medium. It is an excellent way to speak to the right people and let them know exactly who you are and what you do. Then when it comes to contacting them in the future they will have a good awareness and understanding of yourselves. Unlike mass marketing, there is no delay between the implementation and the response; it is immediate. The communication is completely one-to-one and personalised. Because it is so targeted you know exactly who you are contacting and therefore can refer to them by their name and their past contact.
Personalisation is known to increase success rates by three times more than non personalised messages. Also 80% of customers like to do business by phone.
The marketer can tailor the telemarketing script for the individual to encourage maximum success rates. For example, special offers for new and valuable customers. Telemarketing’s characteristics allows relationship marketing to occur and an increase in loyalty. You can get a lot of information across if the script is properly structured. Telemarketing allows questions/queries to be asked and answered during the conversation which establishes trust and understanding.
Telemarketing is very effective when integrated. Using telemarketing to follow up the leads produced from an email marketing campaign or direct marketing campaigns will increase the leads by at least ten fold.
Whilst using telemarketing, multiple objectives can be fulfilled at the same time. For example a telemarketing team can ring a contact and check their data is correct in the system (data cleansing) while doing this, they can then go onto making a sales call.
How do I get started?
Before you get started with telesales campaign, you must decide what you want to achieve e.g.
• Building or enhancing a marketing database
• Profiling your existing customer base
• Getting customer feedback on your company, service or products etc.
• Assessing the success of other marketing activity
• Generating a sales pipeline to give your sales team future prospects
• Generating immediate appointments for your sales team
• Selling directly over the phone
All of the above can be achieved through telemarketing, it is even possible to combine a number of these objectives to maximise your time on the telephone.
Once you have decided what your objectives are you need to ask yourself a number of other questions.
Is the medium right to achieve your objectives? For some companies the product is too complex to be sold without visual aids and in some industries the average operator may not be able to identify opportunities.
You should also aim to quantify your objectives e.g.
- Building a database of 5000 companies
- Generating 10 qualified sales appointments per week
Once you have answered the questions on the campaign and your objectives you then need to address the operational areas of the telemarketing campaign e.g.
- What percentage of the marketing budget do you want to devote to telemarketing?
- What message do you want putting out, how frequently and to whom?
- What is the content of these messages and who will be devising it?
- Do you have the necessary skills set to conduct a telemarketing campaign in house or should you go through an agency?
The answers to these questions will vary depending on your objectives and your resources. If you have a competent marketer/sales person it is quite possible to begin to make a limited number of calls on your exiting technology. On the other hand, if you are lacking any sales/marketing staff, but do have a substantial database, and if the budget warrants it, then the best option is to outsource telemarketing.
Most telemarketing companies are flexible, depending on your capabilities, you can exert as much or as little control over the campaign. They can just provide you with the resources (telemarketing technology and the telemarketing team) and you yourselves compile the data, set the objectives, create the message and the schedule.
If you are not confident in identifying your objectives or script preparation, the agency will do everything for you (managed service) from data collection and cleansing to collating the results.
Telemarketing as Part of an Integrated Campaign
All companies that achieve good results through their marketing activity will admit that they utilise different facets of the marketing mix to achieve their results. This may be advertising, Internet marketing and telesales, or a combination of any other forms of marketing.
Getting through to high level decision makers is challenging. Getting a positive response from them is even more challenging. Carefully timed multi touched campaigns are much more effective than single isolated campaigns. There are many illusive contacts that may not respond by telephone but require email or contact through the web site, other prospects will only respond to personal telephone calls from knowledgeable and skilled sales people. Why limit the response you can get from your marketing effort and budget, it makes sense to use a multi-faceted approach.
If you are not already marketing yourselves through the telephone then do it.
Telemarketing has been proven to work that is why £11 Billion is spent on direct marketing in the UK every year. Do not be perturbed by initiating telemarketing into your company; it is surprisingly easy to implement. You can start small in house using your own telephone systems or alternatively go to an agency who will do it all for you. Many telemarketing company’s websites go into detail of the benefits of telemarketing, and many offer a special trial for a limited period of telemarketing.