There are huge differences between telesales and telemarketing but unfortunately the vast majority of British businesses can't see past the negative image telesales has created. Call centres, both here and abroad, churning out huge volumes of untargeted calls have negatively impacted the public's opinion of the telecommunications industry. In reality telesales and telemarketing are two very different activities executed using different methods with different objectives.
This misunderstanding is holding businesses back when they could be expanding at a much faster rate, as telemarketing is often an affective route to market for many B2B brands. Here's why the two activities are so different:
Generally the objective of a telesales campaign is to contact as many people as possible in the shortest possible time. The hope being that their offer will appeal to a small number of those contacted, even if the vast majority hang up the phone immediately.
Telesales aims to close the deal right there and then on the phone; so even if they speak to someone who's interested in their offer but can't close the deal right at that moment; they usually don't bother to call back. Most telesales campaigns are for consumer products, like double glazing and health insurance, but because the people they call are so unspecified, as usually their databases feature generic unchecked data, they often speak to people who are sometimes completely unsuitable for their offer. Damaging the reputation of the channel and the brand they're representing.
Telemarketing takes a more structured and holistic approach that's much better suited to B2B campaigns. In most telemarketing agencies the staff making the calls won't be paid a commission for the sales they make and they won't be expected to complete the deal over the phone. Instead they're given objectives to open long term conversations with highly targeted and relevant prospects. Once an opportunity has been established between the two parties the prospect is usually passed on to the client's sales team who then complete the deal.
This approach delivers far greater ROI and has less potential to damage the brand in the same way a telesales campaign might. This is because the targets that are contacted have been identified for the actual offer rather than simply bought from a generic data management company. When telemarketing agents speak to targets their objectives are to offer a solution that will help the target in the long run, rather than generating a sale right there and then.
The confusion between the two disciplines is preventing many companies from growing as fast as they could. A well developed and structured telemarketing campaign can deliver long term results. If more sales managers and directors could understand the benefits of telemarketing they could generate a significant competitive advantage over their competitors.