Author: Maria Morton
Photo by clickrmeRegardless of your personal thoughts about the appropriateness of being cold canvassed during your evening meal, telemarketing is a thriving industry and could be the new lease on life that your company needs. In the business-to-business arena, effective telemarketing services can serve a number of purposes: increase exposure to new customers, follow-up cold leads, set appointments, raise your profile, conduct customer research, update databases, gain permission to continue marketing contact, or promote new products and services.
While it’s true that telemarketing may add new dimensions of profit to fledgling sales revenue, you have to know how to use it to its potential and put effort into making the most of this well-proven tactic. Telemarketing is like any other marketing activity; it benefits from both commercial planning and creativity, and reflects the amount of effort you put into it.
Choosing a telemarketing service
If you decide that telemarketing is an activity to include in your marketing mix, it may be worthwhile investigating one of the outsourced providers rather than suddenly deciding to include it on your existing staffs’ job description. Cold calling is often considered a less-than-desirable activity by internal staff, and sales people would usually prefer to spend their time contacting warm or qualified leads. Things to consider when choosing a telemarketing provider:
• What is their customer service like? After all, they won’t treat your customers any better than they’re treating you.
• Do they have a pilot program which allows you to ‘dip your toe’ in the water?
• What is the minimum number of contacts you must provide?
• Can you pause or expedite the program depending on your capacity to service new business?
• Can they assist you with leads or recommend list brokers?
• Do they charge per call or do they have some other pricing model?
The first point is telling. When choosing to use the services of any outsourced company, take note of how they treat YOU as a potential customer. Do they respond in a timely manner to your enquiry, are they happy to explain their services to you, are their own processes streamlined and customer-focused? Remember, if you aren’t happy with their treatment of you, would you really want them representing your business?
Before you embark on a telemarketing campaign, it is worthwhile to prepare beforehand the information that you will be asked to provide, which may include:
• Description of your business and your ideal customer;
• Your unique selling proposition (USP);
• Why do your clients currently buy from you, why should they buy from you?
• Who are your competitors?
• What is your current sales process?
• What do you hope to achieve with a telemarketing campaign; e.g. appointment setting, database updating, research?
• How would you define a successful campaign?
If you would like more information about using telemarketing as a marketing option to grow your customer base, Plenty Systems works with a number of full-service providers and we would be happy to make recommendations based upon our own experiences.
About the Author:
Maria Morton is a director of Plenty Systems, an Australian marketing and training services business that assists companies to increase their revenue through strategic goal setting, marketing action plans and by providing the manpower to make it happen. Maria has almost 20 years of experience in marketing, public relations and corporate communications. For additional marketing resources, including her monthly newsletter Plenty News, visit her website at www.plentysystems.com.au