When in 1881 a Berlin pastry chef decided to use the telephone to contact customers and sell his products, it was clear that he did not know that he was laying the foundation for what we know today as telemarketing and the scope that it would have in the future. This innovative system not only managed to retain existing customers, but also brought in new ones, allowing the pastry chef to double his sales .
In 1962, the Ford car company replicated the pastry chef’s technique and, like him, increased sales . Since then, many companies have replicated the technique of telemarketing, but it is true that, along the way, their image has been damaged by misuse. In spite of everything, it continues to be one of the most effective techniques for getting clients , and, fortunately, its image is being replaced again by that of a very useful resource thanks, in part, to the use of new technologies that incorporate intelligent systems that They prevent clients from perceiving it as an invasive technique.
Today I want to offer you an overview so that you can learn in depth how to carry out a telemarketing campaign in a way that benefits your company. Keep reading!
What is telemarketing?
As I have well introduced at the beginning, telemarketing is a communication technique in which the telephone is used as the main tool. Its final objective is the sale perceived in an integral way, that is to say, composed of different related activities that are also considered part of the process. Every time the client interacts with our company, an opportunity opens up for us to improve the relationship we have with him and thus guarantee a future sale.
Telemarketing vs. inbound marketing: are they the same?
The reason for this question is that many people confuse both terms. Despite the fact that the combination of these techniques can be carried out and that they have the same objective (attracting clients), they have a fundamental difference: how directly the client is contacted .
Normally, although there are exceptions, telemarketing is characterized by the fact that it is the company itself that contacts the customer to offer a product, which is why it falls within the outbound marketing techniques , which are usually classified as “invasive”. On the contrary, inbound marketing has the particularity of using relevant content that naturally attracts the customer, that is, they encourage them to get in touch with our company.
But then, are they exclusive? Of course not. Both techniques are perfectly compatible and make it possible to increase efficiency. There is, as we will see below, a type of incoming or reactive telemarketing in which it is the customer who calls the company after having been previously contacted. Instead of the latter, it is always possible to offer the customer relevant and attractive content, for example, through videos, texts, infographics … on the corporate website to encourage them to be interested in the product and leave their contact details in a form .
What are the advantages of telemarketing?
Telemarketing has one main advantage: it has a low cost compared to other techniques. However, the immediacy of direct contact with customers offers a huge number of additional benefits that allow tangible results and that can be measured in the short term. These are the most important:
- Direct communication with the customer: today, despite the fact that instant messaging applications have become a preferred means of communication, telephone calls continue to be a form of direct contact with consumers, especially when it comes to the first connection with them. The reason is that it allows you to know more in depth your needs and concerns to be able to offer you a solution according to them.
- Accurate results and with real-time measurement: related to the above, by being able to speak directly with customers, we can obtain results about the development of the interaction. It does not matter if it is positive or negative for the sale, as this will allow us to improve and observe the strengths and weaknesses of our campaign.
- Personalization of the service : the calls allow us to offer close attention, so we can personalize and direct the conversation based on what the client needs at all times.
- Immediate obtaining of customer opinions: by obtaining first-hand information directly from customers, it is possible to inquire into their opinion on different aspects and thus obtain valuable information that will help us improve the service.
- Efficiency: thanks to advances in new technologies, telemarketing can be carried out using specialized software that dispenses with the need for a telephone. In addition, they reach a high level of automation, which allows us to reach a large number of people without the need to carry it out manually, increasing the efficiency of our processes.
- Access to a large amount of information: a telephone conversation allows the agent to obtain information that cannot be obtained in writing. In addition, the tone of voice, expressions and additional questions may provide us with information that we cannot acquire by other means.
- It can be done from anywhere thanks to current tools : as I mentioned earlier, new technologies have made it possible to use virtual solutions with which it is possible to establish communication from anywhere in the world. This is so because, with telemarketing software, calls are made over the internet, without the need to install equipment that cannot be easily moved.
Types of telemarketing
Due to the extension of the sales concept to other processes, telemarketing has also been adapted and can be classified using different criteria:
According to its purpose
Telemarketing is not only used to carry out the typical sales action, but it goes much further and has other possible uses. Among others, the following stand out:
- To expand our client portfolio: it allows us to contact those users who have shown interest through any means (either through a previous call, a form …) and that can be converted into a sale.
- To provide customer care and support – Used to handle customer complaints and concerns and provide quality pre- and post-sale service.
- To carry out satisfaction surveys : it is aimed at obtaining the opinion of customers to measure their satisfaction or not with the product or service that was purchased, and even certain aspects of customer service.
- To issue communications: a good way to keep our current customers up to date with new products and even the actions carried out by our companies is through a call. However, it is true that it is rarely used, since there are much more direct means of communication in these cases: instant messaging applications.
- To confirm or remind your clients of appointments: either with human intervention or with the use of artificial intelligence systems, you will be able to schedule and personalize automatic outgoing calls, so that your clients do not forget any appointment with your company.
According to the origin of the call
Depending on whether it is the client or the company itself that takes the initiative of contact, we can distinguish between:
- Incoming or reactive telemarketing: when it is the customer who contacts the company, for example, to obtain information about a specific product. Again, we should not confuse it with inbound marketing , since, normally, we will be the ones who have contacted you previously.
- Outgoing or proactive telemarketing: when the company is in charge of calling the customer to offer a product.
According to their membership within the company
- Internal: it is the type of telemarketing that is carried out from a specific department that is within the company. That is, there is an integrated section within the organization itself that is in charge of making the calls.
- External: in contrast to the previous one, in this case, the company subcontracts to a company specialized in telemarketing that will be the one who is making the calls all the time.
Depending on who triggers the action
- Automated: through an automatic dialing tool, it is the telemarketing software itself that dials and launches the calls automatically, without the need for an agent to dial the numbers one by one, which allows several contacts to be made simultaneously and brings with it an increase in productivity and efficiency.
- Manual: each call is made individually, and it is the employee himself who enters the numbers and triggers the action.
Tips to succeed with a telemarketing campaign
For a telemarketing campaign to be successful and help your company, it is necessary to deal mainly with the attention provided by agents, as well as using the correct technological tools. Thus, it is required:
- Train the team to provide uniform service: the client must feel that every time they contact the company, regardless of who attends them, the treatment is homogeneous. All agents must have the same objective and follow some basic guidelines.
- Personalize the care provided: use the data collected about the customer and execute a sales and communication strategy based on that information. This includes analyzing the language, the best contact hours, the type of message you can convey …
- Speak clearly and precisely: we must ensure that agents have good diction, good tone and an adequate volume of voice so that the message arrives clearly and precisely.
- Actively listen to what the customer has to say and what their needs are: we must pay attention to what the customer communicates to us in order to offer them what they really need from the product or service.
- Use the right tools: it is important to acquire telemarketing software that has the appropriate functionalities to support the execution of the campaigns.
- Pay attention to suggestions and feedback from customers: we must be aware of what the customer has to say about the service in order to implement improvements in your company and in your strategy.
How to start a telemarketing campaign?
Before starting a campaign of this type, it is important that, in addition to designing the strategy, you have a software for mass calls. Once you have it, you will be ready to launch your calls, but you must know how to use this technology correctly to avoid errors. To help you do it, we give you some basic notions on how to start a telemarketing campaign through this system.
- Load the database in the system. This document may contain all the information that we want, but one of the data that it must necessarily contain, of course, is the telephone number. To save time, we can transfer them from our customer management tools, such as a CRM.
- Customize your campaign by selecting the language, the message that we will deliver to the voicemail if the call is not answered, how many attempts will be made before abandoning the attempt and the transition time between one call and another.
- Choose the automatic dialing system that we will apply. Specifically, we can choose between the following automatic bookmarks:
- Predictive: the software launches several calls simultaneously and assigns them to the available agent, counting on a system that detects busy numbers and voice mailboxes, only being delivered when they are answered.
- Progressive – Will launch calls as agents are available to handle them.
- Preview mode: allows the agent to view the contact that follows and decide whether to launch it.
Through artificial intelligence , the automatic dialing system also evaluates customer information to determine the optimal time to contact them.
As simple as that! Telemarketing software has a simple operation and also frees agents from repetitive tasks so that they can focus on elements of greater added value, such as offering personalized attention.
After completing a telemarketing campaign, the systems generate a report with its results so that we can evaluate and measure the impact it has had based on our objectives.
As I have been developing, telemarketing is full of advantages. And the fact that it is possible to use new technologies to carry out campaigns makes it very practical and efficient. Currently, it is already possible to integrate it into all areas of a company to serve customers effectively. There is no doubt that it is regaining the prominence that it had lost in recent years. With the help of digital transformation, success is assured.