Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Telemarketing: Your Business' Conduit for Optimum Growth

Telemarketing (also known as telesales in the UK and other parts of the world) is a form of direct marketing which involves the use of specialized phone marketing skills by salespeople for the purpose of impelling current and potential customers to purchase a service or a product. Telemarketing is a great way to make direct telephone transactions with customers or schedule in-person sales appointments with prospects.

Telemarketing can be carried out from an organization’s premises, from an outbound call center or from any other conducive location. In order to implement an efficient telemarketing project, a modern telephone system is required. Most of today’s telemarketing firms use phone technologies like auto-dialers and predictive dialers to facilitate phone marketing operations. Others use automated telemarketing which does not require live operators.

The initial calls made by telemarketers should be aimed at determining the demands and needs of customers or prospects. The next outbound calls can be made for the purpose of setting face-to-face or webinar appointments. After these things are accomplished, the succeeding calls can be done for retaining customers or satisfaction surveys.

Telemarketing success can be achieved by systematically identifying prospective clients who may have a legitimate need for a service or product. Businesses can also tap into customer databases which may contain purchase histories or profiles. They can also derive information from market research data or survey reports. Companies may use telephone directories, online business directories or outsource lead generation services. For large enterprises, marketing consultancy can help in obtaining significant information for prospecting purposes.

Below are some recommendations in order for businesses to yield the benefits of telemarketing :

• Telemarketers should exercise professional conduct in cold-calling customers or prospects. They should have the necessary skills to turn each phone call into a buying opportunity. It is important for them to contact prospects at a timely manner. They must observe courtesy when requesting permission from customers to talk about product specifics.

• Telemarketing calls should be used strictly for introducing products and strengthening advertising message or to support other marketing agendas. Telemarketing is designed to generate new business and maintain current ones. It should never be used to manipulate, intimidate, harass or trick people into shady deals.

• Companies and service providers should develop call guides to help sales agents to be effective callers. Scripts must be continuously enhanced to suit a campaign's objectives and telemarketers must familiarize themselves with what to say as opposed to reading the script during a call.

• Telemarketers should have a broad knowledge about the service or product they are marketing to make sure that all customer queries or concerns are answered or addressed properly.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

B2B Telemarketing Companies: Partners in Marketing Success

Many companies today have been helped tremendously by B2B telemarketing firms in increasing their profits. Telemarketing agencies help service-oriented organizations in reaching out to customers and linking their sales forces with their target audience.

One of the most popular and profitable services that B2B telemarketing companies provide is lead generation. This is the process of contacting a huge volume of business phone numbers and asking potential customers some qualifying questions for generating sales leads.

Appointment setting is another important function commonly outsourced to B2B agencies. Arranging meetings with key decision-makers is not easy to do that is why it helps businesses significantly to allow professional telemarketers carry out this task for them. Expert telemarketers are highly-trained on building rapport and handling objections, which are skills needed in order to secure an appointment with a prospect.

Another service that a B2B telemarketing firm offers is database management. Databases of current and new customers are essential tools for businesses, and regular updating must be maintained for customer information to make sure that marketing communications are delivered to the correct individual or organization. Database management includes researching and verifying contact information in order to update contact lists. This can be done through internet and telephone research.

In addition to lead generation, appointment setting and database management, B2B telemarketing firms also provide market research or polling services. This service gives companies information on how and why their services or products are being received by their current and potential customers. In this process, telemarketers contact firms within the clients' target market to obtain relevant product or service feedback. Customer feedback is extremely important in developing products and improving marketing strategies.

Simple tasks like registrations for certain events like seminars/webinars and conferences can also be delegated to a B2B telemarketing company. Telemarketers contact likely participants or attendees to arrange reservations, confirm attendance or register them for the event. In practice, conducting surveys after a product launch or client retention project is done to track and evaluate client response. B2B telemarketing service providers can be contracted to conduct customer satisfaction polls or surveys to determine how efficient a service or product is and if a customer has concerns that need to be addressed. Surveys play an important role in customer retention.

Business-to-business telemarketing companies can provide much more than just cold-calling services. They can help companies in any type of telemarketing endeavor from start to finish without burning budgets or slowing down business operations.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Why Telemarket?

The reality that lies behind the world of telephone marketing is often overshadowed by negativity. Many people do not realize how effective it is in terms of promoting one's business because phone-based selling is often despised by consumers. The fact is, the expected response rate from a telemarketing campaign is between 5% and 10%. This rate is greater than what businesses can get through e-mail marketing, print advertising, direct mailing or the most difficult of all, person-to-person sale.

One of the major advantages of telemarketing is direct communication with consumers which is tremendously important in business development. Through telephone conversations with prospects, companies can make assessments on how well their products/services are received by their customers. This opportunity to immediately reach out to people cannot be achieved with other methods of marketing. Telemarketing provides businesses direct access to the consumers.

But how did telemarketing end up being so hated by the public that millions of Americans listed their phone numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry? It's because a small percentage of the telemarketing industry abused outbound cold-calling to the point of tricking and scamming people to make money.

Responsible Telemarketing

There are several reasons why telemarketing has been viewed as one of the worst ideas of the 21st century. One is the lack of responsibility. When companies engage in a telemarketing program, they must pay close attention to how their salespeople conduct telephone marketing. Some telemarketers forget that getting people into buying something also depends greatly on how they interact with customers or prospects on the phone. Do they treat them with respect? Do they practice good telemarketing or they simply dial the numbers without regard for people's feelings or situations?

Choosing the right people to man the phones is an important aspect of telephone sales. Telemarketers need to have proper training to be able to deal with different types of people and situations. They must be able to overcome rejections effectively and relate to prospects with genuine interest and professionalism.

It is also necessary for companies to pre-identify their target audience to ensure that the product or service being offered suits their needs. Telemarketing is effective if businesses have analyzed how relevant their services/products are for their prospects.

Is It a Dying Industry?

Absolutely not. Surprisingly, even in the face of adversity (state and federal anti-telemarketing laws), telemarketing is a thriving industry simply because it works. But, for companies that are planning to launch a campaign, don't get too excited. It takes time to get telemarketing right. For some business owners, it took them years to develop a successful phone-based sales operation. One thing is for sure, telephone selling can benefit a business, but only if it's done properly.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Choosing the Right Telemarketing Service Provider

Choosing the right telemarketing service provider has got to be the next most important choice a company has to make. Of course the most important choice is realizing that they should be telemarketing their products and or services.

So how do you go about finding the right service provider? What are the things you have to take into consideration? And most importantly, what should you do on your end to ensure a hitch-free operation?

• Given the proliferation of fly-by-night telemarketing call centers or boiler rooms, going for the service providers' reputation first, would be a safe bet. Researching or even asking around might probably be good for starters, checking for references or the industries and different companies they've worked with.

• What can these service providers do for you? Be very clear on what you require from these companies. Do you require lead generation, appointment setting or telesales? Telling the service provider that you just “want more customers” isn't exactly the definition of “clear.” Keep the communication channels clear for regular feedback, making sure you and the service providers are calibrated and both on the same page. If something needs to be changed or you're unhappy with certain aspects of their service, say so. Keeping quiet and retaining their services for months or even years doesn't make much sense.

• After deciding on an appropriate service provider, it's very important to trust their better judgment and the advice they will be giving from time to time.

• Successful companies don’t happen overnight. Give it time to work. Telemarketing services done properly often takes time. Planning, researching, lead generation, everything necessary to ensure an efficient and effective operation, doesn't yield results overnight. To be effective a telemarketing services must run for a minimum of twenty to thirty days.

Choosing the right telemarketing service provider will definitely play an important role your in company's growth and its success. But for how long, will depend entirely on how you choose to work with them.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Telemarketing Amidst the Digital Era

We are all familiar with the reputation of telephone selling. We have, at some point, received unsolicited calls at home and at work from telemarketers offering various products and services. More surprisingly, even with the existence of laws and guidelines for telesales designed to moderate these calls, companies still perceive telemarketing as one of the most effective approach to market and advertise their commodities.

With the advent of new technology and the unrelenting emergence of digital marketing approaches, it is fascinating to know how telemarketing – the oldest form of marketing used by businesses the world over, has managed to survive in the midst of increasing growth of e-commerce and the hype of modern technological advances.

How is modern technology shaping the phase of telemarketing in the 21st century?

Albeit the boosting number of digital gadgetry, social networking sites and internet-based marketing tools, businesses still rely on the good old telephone to interact with customers and evolving technology has tremendously enhanced the power of telemarketing to maximize profits.

Contact centers have been utilizing high tech telecommunication and state-of-the-art computer systems to improve sales and marketing services being provided for clients. Telecoms along with IT companies have been creating and mass-producing modern dynamic solutions to cater to the demands of call centers worldwide.

Among the most popular and widely-used in the industry are automated dialing systems and predictive dialer. Auto dialer automatically dials phone numbers and has multiple dialing techniques such as voice broadcasting and capable of delivering hundreds to thousands of calls at once. A predictive dialer can intelligently predict whenever an agent is available to speak to a prospect and phone numbers are dialed at a proper pace, and calls are transferred to a representative only when a live person has answered.

Modern technology has allowed telephone marketing methods to cultivate along with advancing digital marketing techniques and we can anticipate that sales and advertising channels like telemarketing will continue to weather the challenges of a cutting-edge business world.