Telemarketing has been a longstanding sales method for brands, businesses and entrepreneurs in almost every industry. Regardless of whether a business prefers an in-house sales team or external telemarketing services, this method of capturing and converting leads has been one of the most popular methods to date. However, with the rise in negative attitudes towards cold calling, turning consumers away from answering the phone to unknown numbers, is telemarketing still an effective way to drive sales? We’re exploring, below.
What Is Telemarketing?
Telemarketing is a marketing channel used by businesses to contact potential customers and generate leads. Generally, companies will make telephone calls to potential customers or previous leads in remarketing techniques, in order to sell their product or service. Businesses in the internet services, home security, financial and vacation industries are often most likely to use this method, but charities have also been known to utilise this with people that may have previously donated or expressed interest in donating.
Is It Still Effective?
As the millennial generation becomes a core part of the consumer base, sales methods tend to be moving towards a more digital landscape. This includes anything from email marketing and social media, to live chat systems and videos. For this reason, it’s an understandable concern by traditional salespeople that telemarketing could soon be on the way out – but is this a validated worry?
The answer is, in essence, a no. Or, at least, a ‘not yet’. While 50% of consumers find salespeople too pushy, when done right, telemarketing remains a cost-effective sales method that builds brand awareness and offers both the consumer and business immediate insight, in regards to both how the consumer is reacting to a sales pitch, and details about the product itself.
Consumers want to find out how a product works, the budget, authority of the brand and timeline of getting the product or service they’re being called about and it’s this that telemarketers need to focus on to give themselves the best chance at closing a deal. Nowadays, it can take weeks worth of calls with a customer, building a relationship and a knowledge base before they’re willing to make that all-important conversion.
What Are The Alternatives?
So, if telemarketing isn’t the core sales technique anymore, what else can brands try as a good complementary service? It’s been suggested that the likes of email marketing, content marketing, social media, trade shows and face-to-face meetings are becoming more and more common in the world of marketing, as follows:
- Email Marketing – Email marketing is quick to produce, cheap to send and offers a direct way of getting information across fast. You can include your KPIs before you’ve even said hello, giving the consumer the information they want before all of the formalities.
- Social Media – Social media is a rapidly growing marketing medium, and understandably so. It offers sales teams the chance to expand their reach further than ever before and capture attention with just an image or a post.
- Content Marketing – Content marketing is another way to put across the information that a consumer wants and enables them to take time to make the decision as to whether to get in touch. It can provide value and direct details to capture informational intent.
- Trade Shows – This one is particularly good for B2B businesses. Exhibiting at a trade show will give you the chance to show off your products or services physically, and speak to the business owner or consumer face to face. By seeing them face to face, you can better change your techniques to adhere to their reactions, which isn’t always possible over the phone.
Telemarketing is a valuable marketing tool if you get it right. Consumers want information, and if you cut to the chase and provide them with exactly that, you could see higher returns and conversions.