Follow these simple rules, and you can make inbound or outbound telemarketing work more effectively for your business:
1. Think creatively about what your telemarketing can achieve. For example telemarketing can be used to generate leads, screen leads before follow up, arrange appointments for field sales staff, provide support, motivate resellers, research markets, test new offers, and of course gain sales.
2. Make sure the person making the call is properly briefed, knows all about your business and knows exactly what you are aiming to achieve. This is equally important whether your telemarketing is being handled by your receptionist, as by a professional call centre or telemarketing agency.
3. Try and match your telemarketing staff to the people they will be calling. For example many colleges and universities often employ and train current or recent students to call alumni to ask for their help in fundraising, because they are more likely to have something in common. If necessary, train your telemarketing staff to identify the type of person they are speaking to and adjust their tone and manner accordingly. Bouncy, jokey and over-familiar telesales staff are unlikely to make much headway with chartered accountants or financial directors.
4. Make sure the right technology is in place so that your telemarketing campaign can be adjusted quickly if it needs to be, and that results of calls can be logged effectively. All users need proper training in your technology system, and you need to have a back up in place in case the technology fails mid sales call.
5. If you are operating inbound telemarketing through a call centre, make sure that staff are trained and motivated to make the most of every opportunity, such as turning complaints into happy customers. An existing customer saved can often be far more valuable than a new customer gained.
6. Don’t waste time and resources in calling prospects who are not likely to buy from you – this just smacks of desperation. You may think that if you call enough of them someone will buy, but this can do more damage than good amongst the larger numbers who really don’t want to receive your call. Try and target to your telemarketing to people who may already know of your brand, and who are likely to have some interest in what you are selling.
7. Following on from the last point, train your staff to ask a few initial questions to identify if the prospect is actually a potential customer or not. Qualifying leads early on can save a lot of wasted time and frustration trying to convert someone who is simply never going to buy.
8. Make sure your administration and fulfilment operations are also of the same standard as your telemarketing – there’s not point in a well trained caller convincing a prospect to have a sales rep call, if the appointment never reaches the rep’s diary, or they forget to make the visit.
9. Test your outbound telemarketing results. After all telemarketing is a direct marketing activity with all the benefits that brings for testing, adapting and measuring results. If a script or approach is not working, don’t be afraid to change the approach and try again.
10. Most importantly of all, always check if the telephone numbers you are about to call is already registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) for consumers, or the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) for businesses. Call a registered number by mistake and your business could be reported, face legal action and even receive a fine.