All new businesses have one thing in common: they want rapid growth. However, they try to get it in different ways. Some businesses aim for growing their base through social media marketing, referrals, and affiliate programs. Others focus on upsells or cross-sells through telemarketing, improving their customers’ lifetime value. Still others release one new product after another, leveraging PPC and email campaigns.
No matter the approach, though, one thing’s certain–they need to get people to try their offerings and to like these enough to keep buying. Essentially, marketing a product or service is about persuasion. It comes down to how well you can convince a prospect that your offer solves a specific problem they have. Wing Assistants–who are experts at alleviating productivity problems–are no stranger to providing marketing support. Many Wing VAs are hired to assist businesses by handling their telemarketing efforts.
What is telemarketing?
If you’ve been in business for a while, telemarketing isn’t new to you. This method of direct marketing rose in popularity as telephone use grew in the 20th century, and it remains popular today. It’s because this technique allows marketers to establish rapport with prospects in a way that other modern methods (like PPC ads) don’t.
Simply put, telemarketing is the process of interacting with customers or prospects about a business. Depending on the company’s goals, telemarketing can involve lead generation, selling or upselling products and services, gathering information through surveys, or soliciting funds.
Telemarketing saves a lot of time for salespeople compared to selling in person. What’s more, it offers roughly the same benefits that in-person selling does.
Cold calling, in particular, remains a particularly effective sales technique, especially in business-to-business marketing. According to Crunchbase, 57% of C-level prospects prefer phone calls over other forms of outreach. Still, cold calling is the worst part of the job, according to 63% of sellers.
Inbound vs outbound telemarketing
Telemarketing activities generally fall under two categories—inbound and outbound. Inbound marketing is about taking calls from leads. These prospective customers come to the company through top-of-funnel marketing tactics like sales letters, PPC ads, blog posts, and the like. With inbound telemarketing, the goal is to convince the prospect that the company is their best choice, that it can help solve their pain points.
Meanwhile, there is a little more involvement on the part of the salesperson in outbound marketing. Its goal is to secure leads and convert them into customers in as short a time as possible. Outbound marketers require a little more training, and they should be a lot more persuasive and knowledgeable about the product in order to sell it to the lead.
The pros and cons of telemarketing
Whether inbound or outbound, though, sales calling remains a constant part of most companies’ marketing toolboxes. It is because even in 2022, it still brings significant growth. That said, there are advantages and disadvantages to incorporating telemarketing in your strategy. Here are some things to consider.
Advantages of using Telemarketing
Telemarketing advocates tout its efficiency in helping a business network or gather prospects. Here are reasons why believers say it’s one of the best ways to generate leads.
More interactive than single image ads or videos
Telemarketing provides a higher quality touch point than a single image ad or a video. It is because sales calls are more interactive than ads. No matter how flashy and captivating an ad is, there’s no substitute for human interaction. An engaged, actively listening sales caller can make a significant difference, especially to a prospect who’s on the fence about a product.
However, this doesn’t mean a company should scrap its paid advertising and social media marketing efforts. Ideally, PPC and SMM should work together with sales calls and create an even stronger sales funnel, which will be more likely to convert a lead.
Can create immediate rapport with consumers
Telemarketers can create a highly personalized experience for a lead. They can easily create rapport, especially with warm leads who already know the product. Even with cold calling, though, telemarketers can already generate goodwill towards a brand.
This is one thing ads are not yet able to do – gauge the lead’s interest and adjust their scripts accordingly. A telemarketer is prepared to handle leads at all stages of interest, and with different kinds of objections. They will know how to nurture the connection with the client more than delivering information about the brand or pushing a sales message.
Helps businesses save money
Telemarketing also reduces operational costs. It doesn’t cost a lot to set up–many businesses hire virtual sales callers to implement their strategies. There is virtually no overhead; a good telemarketing campaign only needs human resources, a VoIP system, and a stable internet connection.
Highly quantifiable results
It gives businesses the benefit of getting an immediate response from a prospect. When you have a system for taking and analyzing cold calls, you’ll have a clearer picture of which campaigns are resonating with your audience, which ones generate plenty of objections, and which ones don’t elicit plenty of reactions. Telemarketing is also highly quantifiable; having a dedicated cold caller lets you keep track of what kinds of customers you’re bringing in, which scripts converted them, which pricing plans are most popular, and more.
Disadvantages of Using Telemarketing
Telemarketing, for all its perks, isn’t without its drawbacks. There are things to consider when you’re building a campaign around telemarketing. Here are three of them.
Customer lists tend to be expensive
If you don’t have a way to generate leads, it won’t matter if you have the best scripts and the most effective cold callers. Unfortunately, customer lists can get expensive. Brokers sell lists for several hundred dollars apiece, which quickly adds up. You should also know what kind of customer list you’re looking for. Brokers can narrow down lists based on a number of factors, including region, household income, and the like.
Hiring a managed service provider lets you work around hiccups in lead generation. Besides supplying you with a cold caller, providers like Wing Assistant will find assistants who can help you with generating leads and reaching out to prospects, all for a flat monthly fee.
You have to train callers
Besides finding the right telemarketers, you need to onboard them as well. Training can take up a significant amount of time, but it’s a must. Tedious but necessary tasks like these matter when you’re trying to set up your sales funnel.
If you have an assistant from a managed provider, you can be sure that you’re getting someone who can hit the ground running. Having a trained cold caller who only needs minimal onboarding will help you achieve your goals quicker.
Telemarketing has a bad reputation
Finally, telemarketing has a bit of a reputation. Many consumers resent cold calling and ask to be put on Do Not Call lists. There are many reasons why customers would do this. One reason could be because they were previously targeted by poorly executed telemarketing campaigns.
What’s more, customers might not want companies to contact them at home in the evening, or during the weekend. When telemarketers persist with calls during prospects’ “down” time, they might not get the response they want.
Get around this wrinkle by hiring cold callers who will know when to call prospects, how to listen and empathize with them, and have a sense for when to follow up. You can trust that callers from managed service companies will know how to put your company in the best light.
Should you still do telemarketing in 2022?
Knowing all of these pros and cons, is it still worth it to do telemarketing in 2022? The short answer is, yes. The longer one is, it depends. Here are some things to consider that would make telemarketing worth it for your company.
Your success depends on your callers
For better or for worse, your sales calling campaign hinges on the success of your callers. It’s vital that you hire experienced telemarketers who have the right sales skills.
Some things, like prospecting and verbal communication, are easier to cultivate than others, like emotional intelligence and time management. Your callers should have a good mix of skills that could help you reach your target monthly sales volumes.
The training you provide matters too
It’s one thing to have good “material” to work with; shaping it is another thing. Having sales callers with a lot of potential is only the beginning. You need to give them guidance and feedback so they can be their best professional selves.
Investing in a few minutes of giving feedback each week will help your sales callers adjust their technique and refine their processes. The more your telemarketers learn about your company, the better they become at helping it grow.
Can’t discount telemarketing just yet
Telemarketing is just as effective in 2022 as it has been in the past. It is arguably even more effective today, since marketers have analytics tools and customer relationship management software that help them track their sales funnels more effectively. What hasn’t changed, though, is the need for a top-tier sales caller.
Wing offers managed, dedicated sales callers. Get in touch with us today and let’s talk about how our callers can help you smash your business goals!
Aya is Wing Assistant’s blog manager. When she’s not wrangling content briefs, editing article drafts and handling on-page SEO, she is crafting messages for Wing’s other communication materials. Aya writes about SaaS startups, marketing for startups, search engine optimization, and pop culture.