Telemarketing is one of the varieties of direct marketing, the aim of which is to persuade purchasers to buy a product or service over the phone or by way of a call center. Telemarketing helps companies to boost profits, reduce sales costs and to increase customers’ satisfaction.
Qualities of telemarketer
People who handle this form of marketing are called telemarketers. They should be characterized by a pleasant tone of voice and an enthusiastic attitude. Initially, telemarketers practice with a prepared scenario and afterwards they improvise. They are instructed on how to terminate a conversation if the potential client does not show interest in a purchase.
An important element here is the proper timing of the calls (in the mid-morning or in the evening), so that the clients are available. Telemarketers are often motivated by rewards if they secure orders quickly or if their volume is large.
Main types of telemarketing
We can single out four main types of telemarketing:
- Telesale: orders from catalogues or advertisements
- Cultivating contacts: phoning clients in order to maintain the existing contacts
- Identification: looking for and assessing potential clients to encourage them to make a purchase
- Customer service and technical help: answering questions and doubts concerning services
Telemarketing can also be looked at under other categories:
- Incoming: answering the calls from clients
- Outgoing: calling both existing and potential clients
- Direct: product offered via phone by the seller personally
- Indirect: offers made on the phone automatically
Developments in IT which affected Telemarketing
- Quick Address - a package that enables telemarketers to handle inbound calls quickly to identify the address and account details of the caller accurately and with the minimum amount of typing required
- Integrated telephony - the caller's telephone number is relayed into the customer database and outlet details appear on the operator's screen before the call is picked up. This service, has become widespread in customer service.
- Computerisation - large databases can store information that can be easily accessed by telephone marketing operators. Call lists can be automatically allocated to operators. Scripts can be created and stored on the computer to make them readily and conveniently accessible on screen. Orders can be automatically processed and follow-up actions (such as a call in one month or sending literature) can be recorded and stored.
- Predictive dialling - makes multiple outbound calls from a call centre. Calls are only delivered to agents when the customer answers, therefore cutting out wasted calls to answer machines, engaged signals, fax machines and unanswered calls. It is claimed to dramatically improve call centre efficiency by providing agents with a constant flow of calls.
Advantages of telemarketing
- It saves time and money invested in reaching a client
- It is useful where population density is low and inhabitants are located in places that are hard to reach.
Disadvantages of telemarketing
- Majority of buyers consider this form of marketing as too annoying.
- There are cases where incomplete information is provided with the aim of preying on gullible buyers
- It employs a tactic in which the buyer has little time to think and so is unable to consider the whole offer thoroughly.
- There occur problems with assessing consumer's privacy (moral principles, legal regulations)
Examples of Telemarketing
- Cold calling: Cold calling involves calling potential customers and introducing the company’s product or service.
- Appointment setting: This is a method used to contact existing and potential customers to set up meetings and appointments.
- Lead generation: This involves using telemarketing to gather customer data and generate leads for the sales team.
- Upselling and cross-selling: Upselling and cross-selling are techniques used to encourage customers to purchase additional products or services.
- Customer service/support: This type of telemarketing is used to provide assistance and advice to customers who have questions or need help with a product or service.
- Market research: Companies can use telemarketing to conduct surveys and gather market intelligence.
- Fundraising: Charities and non-profit organizations often use telemarketing to solicit donations.
Telemarketing is just one of the varieties of direct marketing. Other approaches to direct marketing include:
- Direct mail - sending promotional materials such as brochures, catalogs and flyers directly to potential customers.
- Email marketing - sending promotional messages via email to potential customers.
- Social media marketing - using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to reach potential customers.
- Search engine marketing - using search engine optimization and paid advertising to increase visibility of a company’s website.
- Mobile marketing - using text messages, QR codes and mobile applications to reach potential customers.
In summary, telemarketing is just one of the various approaches to direct marketing. Other approaches to direct marketing include direct mail, email marketing, social media marketing, search engine marketing and mobile marketing. All of these approaches can be used to reach potential customers and to boost sales.
|Telemarketing — recommended articles
|Call system — Marketing information system — Canvassing — Indirect sales — Direct marketing — Promotion mix — Hybrid business — Indirect marketing channel — Incentive marketing
- Kotler, P. (2012). Kotler on marketing. Simon and Schuster.
- Lancaster, G., & Jobber, D. (1994). Selling and sales management. Prentice Hall, p. 341-342
- Moncrief, W. C., Shipp, S. H., Lamb Jr, C. W., & Cravens, D. W. (1989). Examining the roles of telemarketing in selling strategy. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 9(3), 1-12.
- O'Boyle, J. (1983). Telemarketing customer service into a profit center. Telemarketing, 2, 12-15.
- Stone, B., & Wyman, J. (1986). Successful telemarketing: opportunities and techniques for increasing sales and profits. Passport Books.
Author: Adriana Pałaniuk