Is there a difference, aren’t they all just an inconvenient waste of my time?
Turns out no, they can both be incredibly effective depending on your reasons for undertaking the calling campaign. It all boils down to the volume of calls required, the seniority of the decision maker and the depth of conversation needed. Whether or not the caller is any good depends on your choice of company.
Think high volumes, scripts, yes or no interest, surveys, headsets, pounding the phones, signing up there and then, and more to the point, incredibly resilient staff. You’ve got to give them credit, cold calling on an auto-dialler is not for everyone.
The end product, depending on the quality of data, can be likened to the scatter gun approach. Hit and miss, relevant to some (most hopefully) but an annoyance to others, you’ll have your data, your sales/ leads and can act accordingly. When you have 1000s of contacts and a quick interaction will suffice there is nothing that will get you results quicker.
Think targeted contact lists, interesting conversations and business intelligence gathering. These calls will take longer bringing achievable call volumes down, but will be more personal and can create lasting relationships.
Leads, appointments and information gathering are the usual objective with the biggest area of focus on ROI. If your offering has a reasonable profit margin this may well be the best approach. The standard of telemarketer on your behalf is now more important as they must understand your product/ service and have the capacity to think outside the box and most importantly, care that the campaign is a success.
Intelligent Telemarketing is Telemarketing’s smarter cousin. Think of your perfect clients, 50 of them? 500 of them? Most likely they will be very senior so you know they can take time to get hold of. This makes it even more important to have someone ready to maximise the opportunity when that small window for success opens. The caller must convey the passions, knowledge and ethos of your company and really understand why the prospect will benefit from using you.
This is the type of call one of your senior members of staff would make should they actually have the time. It’s not easy but the rewards can be great. There is a considerable amount of trust handed over to anyone calling and representing your company so choose wisely and demand someone who can deliver. They will want to spend a decent amount of time with you before any calls are made to understand exactly who you are and what you want to achieve.
Telesales: High volume, sell on call, surveys.
Telemarketing: Medium volume, lead generation, appointment setting and intelligence gathering.
Intelligence Led Telemarketing: Lower volume, high target profiling, engaging with high level decision makers at their level.
So now the question is, could you benefit from speaking directly to your ideal prospects, and if so, what option would suit you, and them, better?
The author Martin Dugan is the Head of Operations at www.thebusinessgenerationgroup.co.uk