Telemarketing is Dead. Here’s Why.

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(Image: Michael Mroczeck / Upslash)

You will often hear the argument these days that telemarketing is a dead end, that it doesn’t work, and it’s for people who can’t think outside of the box.

There are complaints and qualms galore about this sector. Admittedly, if you have a history of telemarketing failures, either in-house or agency-based, and you’re spending money on a service that consistently doesn’t deliver, it makes sense to run as far as possible from the problem.

But before we throw the earth on telemarketing’s coffin, let’s take a look at a few of the reasons people have started to think this way.

People don’t like to be pestered with phonecalls

Telemarketing is always going to be a divisive sector, with some people preferring one-to-one conversations, and others disliking the ‘cold calling’ approach. Clarity is useful here, as people often get confused between Telemarketing and Telesales. They are very different; Telesales sells your services directly to customers over the phone, while Telemarketing serves your business by generating interest, creating opportunities and arranging appointments over the phone, which you then follow up.

The reaction you get from your prospective clients is often based on their initial assumption that the two sectors are the same, so it is a good idea to establish exactly what you’re calling them for at the start of the conversation.

Our leads lack the quality we’re looking for

If you aren’t happy with your leads, you need to take a closer look at your lead generation, whether it’s in-house or outsourced. The data gathering stage of telemarketing is crucial, as this goes on to create your pool of potential clients.

If this data is sub-par, you’ll be wasting your time and money contacting people with little or no interest in your services. Data quality is a huge factor in the success or failure of your campaign, and it is imperative that you concentrate on procuring the right leads.
If you outsource your lead generation, you should look for a company with a history of sourcing and securing quality leads, and with proven experience in your industry. Ideally, it should know your sector and its influencers as well as you do.

The lead results you get aren’t worth your investment

So you’re spending a large portion of your budget on obtaining leads, but you’re not seeing any return. Does this mean that what your investment isn’t worthwhile, or is the problem actually the means by which you’re obtaining those leads?

The lead generation needs to be delivering high-quality, interested and engaged leads, but this level of quality isn’t solely dictated by the amount of money you invest. In general, the more money you invest, the more leads you will reap in return, but you need to find the right balance between how much you invest and where you invest it. You must ensure that the investment you make in a third-party lead generation specialist is going to a company with a proven track record.

This goes back to the point above about data quality, because if the data isn’t up to scratch, the rest of the campaign will suffer as a result.

We can’t explain our products/services properly over the phone

This is simply an excuse. You most certainly can talk about your product/services on the phone – what makes it difficult is whether people are willing to listen or not.

You must ensure that either your in-house telemarketing team is proficient and confident in your products/services and the language used in the sector, or that the telemarketing company you outsource to, is proficient and confident in your products/services and the language used in the sector.

We tried it for a few months, but nothing fruitful came from it

Telemarketing is not an overnight fix, but given the time and attention it needs you can reap the benefits of well-structured campaign.

As a general rule of thumb, three months is the minimum time it will take to see tangible results from your telemarketing efforts. This will give your telemarketers time to establish high-quality leads, engage them professionally and build a rapport that will enable you to follow up and convert.

So is telemarketing dead? No, not by a long shot, and with the focus on marketing now leaning towards the data side of things, ensuring that your telemarketing campaign is strategic in its data collection is more important than ever.

Virtual Sales has a long and renowned history of client satisfaction and lead generation in various sectors, including Software, Fintech and Technology. Contact the VSL team today to develop your telemarketing campaign and start generating high-quality leads for your business in 2017.

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Andy Dickens

Andy Dickens is a veteran of IT Sales, used to leading by example. He is the CEO of Virtual Sales Limited (VSL) who offer telesales, telemarketing, lead generation and appointment setting services to B2b businesses. He previously was Sales Director EMEA for Red Hat and before that ran sales at Visio before it was acquired by Microsoft.