Telemarketing is one of the selling strategies businesses use to move their products and services.
At one point, telemarketing was heralded as a highly cost-efficient way to sell to both a qualified and unqualified customer base. Offshore telemarketing firms sprung up in droves, delivering even greater returns on investment.
To the chagrin of many business owners, those days are over. The groundswell of telemarketing campaigns led to a consumer revolt that spawned stricter controls over the entire industry. "Do Not Call" lists and other mechanisms were implemented to protect consumers, making it harder for companies that rely on telemarketing to achieve an adequate conversion rate for their efforts.
Despite the challenges, telemarketing continues to be a viable sales strategy for some business models, especially those that can bypass the "Do Not Call" restrictions by upselling current customers or focusing on other legal techniques. But to succeed in telemarketing these days, your telemarketers need to be at the top of their game and implement a handful of essential telemarketing tips into their everyday work routines.
- Develop a high quality script. Telemarketing managers can't bypass the necessity of a call script. Unlike other types of sales, telemarketing is a highly controlled selling process. By design, telemarketers have little or no authority to deviate from the approved routine and the units that perform at the highest levels are often those that have invested time and effort in the creation of a top-notch script.
- Focus on quality (and quantity). Some telemarketing units attempt to compensate for unrealized sales goals by pressuring reps to increase call volumes. Although call volumes play a part in achieving sales goals, it's a mistake to focus exclusively on increasing the number of calls your team makes. Instead, evaluate the quality of the calls that are being made and work to improve your team's selling skills.
- Review call performance. The best telemarketers routinely record calls for later review. In addition to performing real-time call monitoring, managers should record calls and review them with telemarketing reps, offering tips and suggestions to help team members achieve individual sales goals.
- Perform conversion analysis. Conversion is the primary goal in telemarketing. Although it's difficult to compare conversion rates from one industry to the next, it's worth the effort to track call outcomes and thoroughly analyze the factors that may be limiting sales conversions.