Telemarketing is one of the most prominent and successful ways a business can keep in contact with their customers, current and new. For many it has become synonymous with unwanted phone calls. But there is no doubt, telemarketing has proven to be an effective method and won’t be going anywhere soon. Used for various reasons, telemarketing can help gain new clients, find new opportunities and conduct market research.
The telephone has been around since the early 1900’s, but it wasn’t until the 1970’s that it started to come into prominence in business. Technology was advancing, as well as computers and databases. This rise in processing power was enough for centralised call centres to emerge. This gave businesses the opportunity to contact a larger amount of people in a single day, revolutionising marketing.
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It was in the early 1980’s that telemarketing became what it is today. According to an article on adage.com, “In 1981, total business expenditures for telemarketing exceeded the dollars spent on direct-mail advertising for the first time”. The effect telemarketing had on businesses was fast and obvious and soon it would become the main game in town. It had become a necessary part of growth and so telemarketing companies began to gain prominence.
So, what are some of the advantages of having telemarketing companies work for you? First and foremost, a telemarketing team, either outsourced or in-house, are your front-line communication. A centralised team that can perform numerous tasks related to using the telephone. This can mean anything from cold calling to chasing down debts. With a dedicated team, you have greater control over your companies voice out in the world.
There are many uses for a telemarketing company. They are extremely good for getting your message out there. If you have a promotion or a new service you wish to sell, a phone call is the most direct way of letting them know of its existence. Client satisfaction is key to any successful business. With good telemarketing you can contact those clients, whom may not be happy with your service any longer; a quick phone call is sometimes all it takes to get them back on board.
A very good use of a telemarketing team is the ability to set up appointments as well. If a potential customer is interested, but a little busy, it may be possible to set up a face to face meeting. This gives you the chance to push your products even more, to really get into the details of why they need your company. Telemarketing gives you the chance to follow up on potential customers with a lot more ease.
It is the most direct way possible to send out your company message on mass. In today’s internet age, email marketing has also become a popular method, but with that, is the danger of computer viruses, and so trust in unknown emails is limited. With telemarketing, the customer has no worries of harm, you are simply a voice on the other end of the phone.
But how does a company target potential customers? Cold calling is all well and good, but when the vast majority of the population has a telephone number, or now mobile number, there has to be a way of minimising the list of people to ring and maximising the effectiveness of your telemarketing?
This has come to be known as lead generation. The website marketo.com describes lead generation as “the marketing process of stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service for the purpose of developing sales pipeline”. In essence, lead generation is the ability to find people with a high probability of interest in your product. This is often utilised online now, as it has become a lot easier to track peoples interests by the websites they visit. This can then be moved onto the telemarketing team, where they can target the correct customer base for their business. It is also useful in business to business marketing, and can be effective in finding important business leads and creating opportunities for growth.
Lead generation is one way that telemarketing can potentially lessen the effect of annoying cold calls, as the people they contact may actually be interested in the call. This is, of course, only in theory and many people instantly reject phone calls from anyone other than trusted sources.
Telemarketing is a big part of business all around the world and generates a lot of money every year. But it does have its disadvantages, as we have stated before, it can be annoying for people to get these phone calls. If pushed too much it can have the potential to create a negative image of your company. This is more likely in business-to-consumer marketing, but the same could be said for business-to-business. Knowing the correct tone and the right time to ring is key.
Finding the right balance for your business is important for success. Telemarketing has undoubtedly changed the landscape of business communication forever. It has made it more efficient and effective, and leads to potentially high returns for a minimum investment. The image of the call centre as a depressing, cold environment with over worked employees has not gone away but this is far from the truth in today’s telemarketing world. From the very first call centres to modern times, the technology has improved immensely and telemarketing has becoming a highly professional career for some with experts of many industries and services under one roof. Telemarketers can now target potential customers with greater effectiveness than ever before, it is certain, telemarketing is not going away anytime soon.