Whenever we hear the word ‘telemarketing’ we instantly think of those annoying calls that are completely irrelevant to what we’re doing, disturbing us at the most inconvenient times.
Cold calling has damaged the reputation of telemarketing, which is why many businesses feel uneasy about using this traditional form of marketing against the much less intrusive methods of digital.
But in a recent study carried out by B2B Marketing amongst 200 business managers, 90% of marketing managers found B2B telemarketing was either effective or very effective for their business, with 60% describing that it was critical.
As a key tool for B2B brands, especially in the means of nurturing prospects, where does this traditional method site amongst the new digital kids on the block, and how can businesses really utilise it to its best effect?
Encourage the Calls
Contact forms, email address and social profiles, there’s so many ways for customers to contact us, but all a little impersonal don’t you think?
Whilst text and email contact is preferred by Generation Y, there are still many that would prefer to pick up the phone rather than having to continuously go through emails and contact forms to get the information they need.
It’s surprising in this modern age that many businesses are still reluctant to issue their telephone number on their websites, when as this is the first port of call it can be an easy way to deter potential leads.
If you don’t feel that your audience is telephone savvy then issue set numbers for each of your current marketing tools including your Facebook profile, website and literature. There are companies that can allow you to track these calls and help you to determine which marketing channel is the most successful for your business.
Encouraging a call rather than an email can significantly increase your conversions. Enabling to start off communication via the phone, will make it feel far less intrusive when you use this method again to contact them in the future.
Have a Clear Goal
The nature of telemarketing can be lost on those who are desperately seeking business, as they hound old and new customers with offers to entice them back.
But this targeted sales approach rarely converts because it’s being dishonest to the customer. There’s no authenticity in just trying to boost your sales. You’re not checking to see how they’re getting on with their product or how you can help them, you’re in it to line your own pockets.
So it’s time for telemarketers to re-access the goal of the telephone conversation.
Essentially it’s a tool for both customer retention and lead generation, but as business you need to understand your audience and know what they need from you.
Take the time to educate your team on their attitude and approach, and you’ll find that telemarketing can be the most effective way of giving the best customer service, and being more relatable to your audience.
There’s no doubt that digital marketing has taken over like wild fire, with eMarketer estimating that digital advertising alone will grow by 12% this year to £8.1bn spend, it can seem that the traditional methods of marketing are going to be shunned to the back of the queue.
However, the crucial criteria that many businesses forget to realise, is that there’s no gold ticket with digital marketing, you can’t just use one method and become an overnight success.
As clearly illustrated in surveys and reports, traditional telemarketing still works, it now simply has to play nicely with digital marketing. Whilst digital will play its role in gaining the data we need about our audience, telemarketing will be the tool that helps us to use this data to contact our customers on a more personal level.
By David Walker, Business Consultant at DW Consultant.
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