Telemarketing often receives a bad wrap because people associate it with an interrupted dinner. To the business community, however, it can be an essential method of increasing profitability.
In general, telemarketing entails contacting potential customers via the telephone to either build or expand a client base and generate sales leads.
Benefits of Telemarketing Services
While telemarketing plays a vital role in reaching prospective clients, organizing the process in-house can be time-consuming and costly. Telemarketing companies help businesses that rely on this service by handling all operations offsite. This allows businesses to focus on other endeavors as well as save on technology and personnel investments by using someone else’s resources.
When looking to outsource telemarketing, keep in mind that a high-quality service should perform each of the following functions:
- Integrate business sales processes that work with a current company’s focus
- Mine company databases
- Generate qualified leads through cold calling and follow up on Web-based, television, or mass-mail campaigns
- Create brand awareness
- Set up appointments for demonstrations
- Provide an in-bound customer service problem resolution resource for customers
Getting a Telemarketing Quote
When searching for a telemarketing quote, a company should first assess its overall goals and then forecast the call volume of its campaign. This will help determine both the cost and the resources needed to get the campaign up and running. The following are some key questions to ask when contacting a telemarketing company for a quote:
- Do you require a minimum number of calls per month?
- Will my company be charged by the call or by the minute?
- How many sales representatives will my company need to accommodate call volume?
- What are the initial startup costs? Are travel, training, and script writing included?
- Are you located within or out of the United States?
The Dilemma in Outsourcing
In today’s uncertain economy, businesses looking to outsource their telemarketing needs face the decision of whether to use an offshore or a domestic service. The cost of an offshore service can be 25 percent less than that of a service based in the United States. However, regardless of whether you outsource at home or abroad, you should keep in mind the following factors when narrowing down your search:
- Offshore telemarketing sales staff should have good English-speaking skills.
- All sales representatives should have excellent product knowledge and understand the industry for which they are working.
- A good reporting system is essential to monitoring customer satisfaction, types of sales, and revenue. Companies such as Grindstone and Intellitarget, for example, offer Web monitoring to help their clients keep track of campaign effectiveness.
- Call center reps should have a positive attitude and training and project themselves and the service in a professional manner.
- A service that provides a telephone monitoring system allows companies to listen in on calls to check for quality.
- Every telemarketing company must adhere to Federal Communications Commission regulations.
- Every telemarketing company should have an existing customer base and a good reputation.
- Quality telemarketing companies provide system integration between in-house computer systems and their own technology.
Telemarketing sales can be an essential and profitable part of a sales campaign. It’s always important to keep an open mind and research options thoroughly.