Telemarketing Glossary

If you’re considering outsourcing your telemarketing needs, it would be good to understand the terminology of telemarketing. This glossary aims to provide access to all of the necessary vocabulary required to discuss telemarketing like you’ve been doing it for years.

london 4
Image Source – Davide D’Amico (CC License)

A trained telemarketer who makes or receives calls on behalf of a Telemarketing Company.

Appointment Setting
This is one of the tasks of an Outsourced Telemarketing team working on a B2B campaign or project. The aim is create leads for the client’s sales staff to convert by setting appointment times for them to call or visit.

The abbreviation of the term ‘Business to Business’. This is a phrase that refers to doing business primarily with other businesses.

Call Back
A Telemarketing Service that calls back an interested potential customer in order to turn a Prospect into a sale. Recently, Call Back has been a service operated directly from a client’s website. Prospects create themselves by providing the details necessary for a telephone Call Back through the website and clicking a button to ask for a Call Back.

Call Centre
The term often used to refer to the building where Telemarketing campaigns are conducted. Call Centres are often defined as Inbound, Outbound or mixture of both.

Call Recording
In order to provide transparency to all concerned, many Telemarketing companies record all of their calls so that their clients can listen to them and assess their effectiveness.

Cold Calling
The practice of making calls to potential customers with whom you have no prior relationship.

Cold List
A list of people to call who have no prior relationship with your organisation, product or service.

The process of turning a Lead into a Sale.

A term for the vital Lead information that includes the name, address, telephone number and other personal details of the Prospect.

old wooden filing cabinet

(Image: Sanwal Dean)

The filing system (these days it is computerised) for storing, amending and maintaining all relevant information regarding Leads, Prospects and Sales Data for a particular telemarketing campaign.

Decision Maker
A person in a household or business that has the power to say ‘Yes’ and buy or authorise the purchase of your product or service.

The thorough process of ensuring that the Prospect Database contains only a single reference for each customer. This reduces any wasted Talk Time and upsetting potential customers with multiple calls. Also known as Deduping.

Follow Up Call
A call that is made to a potential customer after the initial contact has been made by email, letter or phone.  The aim of the Follow Up is to utilise the momentum of the first contact, increasing the prospective response rate.

The gatekeeper is the person, usually a secretary or PA, whose job it is to reduce the number of ‘unnecessary’ interruptions that the Decision Maker receives.

The process of passing lead information created by an outsourced Telemarketing Company on to their client.

This term relates to calls that originate with potential customers or clients.

Initial Enquiry Call
An initial call placed in the B2B sales environment to tentatively test interest in a product or service. This often forms part of the Appointment Setting process.

Information regarding a potential customer or client that has expressed interest in the product or service offered.

Lead Generation
The specialist process of creating lists of potentially interested customers or clients.  Without Lead Generation, your sales staff will quickly run out of leads to convert into sales.

List Building
This is the process of creating lists of people to call in a Telemarketing/TeleSales campaign.

List Clean(s)ing

List Cleaning or Cleansing involves calling individuals or companies to ensure that their details are correct in advance of a bulk mail out.

Marketing Mix
The entire blended marketing campaign taken by a client.  This could include Telemarketing, Internet Marketing, Direct Mail Out, Email Marketing, and Advertising etc.

This term relates to calls that originate from Telemarketing agents. (Opposite of Inbound)

Outsourced Sales
A method of increasing sales success rates by using a specialist Telesales Company to produce sales on your behalf.

woman with shopping bags on the phone

(Image: Pexels)

The term for a potentially interested customer that is yet to buy goods or services from your company.

Qualification Criteria
A set of criteria that each lead must meet in order to be accepted by the client.

This term relates to the practise of calling previous clients who have become dormant and no longer order your product or use your service.  Reactivation aims to gain continued business from former clients and is often as or more effective than seeking new business.

Response Rate
The amount (expressed as a percentage) of responses received from a particular Telemarketing campaign.

The number of Seats is the number of agents that are currently working on your campaign.  This is occasionally replaced by the word ‘Desks’ instead.

A standard set of remarks that must be adhered to by a Telemarketing agent during a call. Scripts can help to ensure all of the pertinent information is delivered to the Prospect, but they also make the conversation stilted.  Excellent telemarketing agents make each call individual.

Talk Time
The amount of time spent on a telemarketing call.  High quality lead generation and conversion requires time to develop a relationship with the customer.

The overarching generic term for a set of different services offered by a Telemarketing Company.

Telemarketing Company
A business that provides Telemarketing Services as an outsourced service to clients that require Lead Generation and Conversion.

Telemarketing Services
The full range of activities undertaken under the auspices of the name ‘Telemarketing’.  This includes Appointment Setting, Call Back, Customer Satisfaction Questionnaires, Focus Groups, Initial Enquiry Calls, Lead Generation and TeleSales.

The business of selling goods or services by telephone.

TPS – The Telephone Preference Service
The service that allows people to request that they do not receive telemarketing calls.
At Virtual-Sales TPS users are filtered out and removed from our database of prospects.


Now you’re armed with all the Telemarketing terminology you need, contact the team of experts at VSL about managing and exceeding your Telemarketing needs.


Related Posts

Tags: , , , , ,
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.