Telemarketing is my favorite marketing tool. I?ve used since my first days in business. I personally think every business should practice aggressive telemarketing. I have never seen a product where lead generation by the telephone isn?t a benefit.

The direct marketing expert Bob Stone defined Telemarketing this way: “Telemarketing utilizes sophisticated telecommunications and information systems combined with personal selling and servicing skills to help companies keep in close contact with present and potential customers, increase sales, and enhance business productivity.”

Telemarketing uses the telephone as a direct marketing medium through which a variety of sales and market activities can be carried out. It can also be a key source of information on a company’s prospective and current customer base, markets, inventory, distribution channels, advertising and promotional efforts. When combined with information and management systems, it can bring trained personnel into computerized contact with potential customers, and maintain that contact profitably.

Why Telemarketing?

Modern advances in computers and electronic technology have been astonishing. The telephone, invented over a hundred years ago, still ranks as our number one technological sales tool. Why Telemarketing? The reasons are evident.

  1. Saves Time.

In business-to-business marketing, Telemarketing can be used in an appointment-setting program that can increase the total field selling time available. It stands to reason that if field sales reps can be provided with specific daily appointments, especially at the beginning and end of the day, management can be reasonably assured that the field sales organization is likely to be out doing what it is supposed to be doing: making sales presentations to qualified prospects. When Telemarketing used this way, effectively extends the field selling day, increasing sales productivity and reducing sales costs.

  1. Cost Efficiency

Because Telemarketing is lower cost, it can be used effectively with marginal accounts that normally wouldn’t rate a field sales call. Such customers can frequently be turned into profitable accounts with Telemarketing. It can also be used with almost equal efficiency no matter what the customer’s geographical location might be. Thus, penetration of new markets and major shifts in market geography can be accomplished soon with Telemarketing. Finally, the telephone can be a more flexible device than the field salesperson. For example, to do customers surveys by phone, to set up appointments, to announce significant changes in price of products, to upgrade orders and to check details.

3. Instant Response

Because the person at the other end of the line can react immediately. If customers don’t understand something, they can ask questions at once. If they have objections, they can make them, and you have an opportunity to respond.

4. Improved Cash Flow

Telemarketing programs can have more immediate results than field sales programs, and they can often begin to generate orders almost instantly. Such immediate results, can allow cash flow to cover marketing costs, as well as permitting much tighter inventory control.

5. Expanding Territory

Telemarketing can readily target new customers, efficiently making initial qualification contacts, and closing the sale, all essentially independent of geographical considerations. Where field sales calls are required the prequalification process makes it much more likely that expansion can be accomplished with the existing sales force.

6. Customer Relations

First, a phone call takes much less of the customer’s time than face-to-face sales. Secondly, phone calls can be more regular and frequent than face-to-face sales. Thirdly, since Telemarketing can be either inbound or outbound, the customers familiar with a company’s Telemarketing operation can get much quicker response to ongoing problems or questions.

7. Seasonality

Telemarketing allows the marketer to get around the restrictions of seasonal selling periods. Because of mailing times and delays, Telemarketing allows the marketer actually to extend the buying period by speeding up receipt of the order.

8. Lower Personnel Costs

A Telemarketing staff, despite all the training and experience required, is much less costly to maintain than high-priced field sales personnel. In addition, Telemarketing needs fewer people, and there are no bodies to transport, shelter, feed, and entertain.

  1. Versatility

Once a functioning Telemarketing operation is in place, it can be easily adapted to a wide range of functions. The same equipment can be used among other things, to sell, to do surveys, to announce changes or special offers, to make appointments, to qualify leads, to cross-sell, and to check credit.

10. Ease of Start-Up

Since the equipment used in Telemarketing is readily available, and since Telemarketing operations can often be set up using existing space and personnel, a Telemarketing operation is relatively easy to start up.