Guide to Telemarketing Business

Why Do Companies Use Telemarketing?

Telemarketing allows human-to-human interaction, which is much more effective than an ad that shows up as you stroll through social media. It is so common to see ads and commercials today, that people often disregard them. However, getting a phone call from a person is a tactic that immediately gets the prospect’s attention and holds their attention as they engage in conversation with the telemarketer.

Human Interaction

As mentioned previously, telemarketing has the advantage of human interaction. This type of marketing is more personalized because the telemarketer targets their questions around the individual and tries to sell to their specific needs.

Time Efficiency

Being that the telemarketer can talk to the prospects in real-time, it makes for an easier and quicker response time to technical issues and objections.

Talking to the prospect through the phone is also a great way to generate leads and make sales because the telemarketer is able to adapt/customize their approach to the person.

You might be wondering why more businesses don’t sell door-to-door if human interaction is so successful. The reason is that you reach fewer people that way. It’s very time-consuming and while a door-to-door salesman might have sold to 10 customers in a day, a telemarketer could reach and sell to 60+ customers a day. Telemarketing allows for human interaction in a much more time-efficient manner.

Getting Feedback

Another benefit of telemarketing is the instant feedback received by the prospect. Whether good or bad, the information is vital to understanding your potential customers and making changes to close the sales.

Outdated or Inaccurate Data

One common disadvantage telemarketers run into is getting outdated or inaccurate data. This makes your calls’ success rate plummet if the numbers are no good, and it wastes money. To avoid this disadvantage, find a reliable company to buy your telephone list from. Be sure the company updates their information regularly (at least quarterly) and allows your company to filter telephone numbers that will benefit your company’s requirements for the ideal customer (Examples: telephone numbers of only homeowners or certain age groups).

Issues with Tracking and Reporting Data

Another likely disadvantage to run into is issues with reporting information/data. It is in the interest of the telemarketers to keep track of the number of calls made, the number of appointments made, follow-up emails/calls, etc. This task is hard to do when you want to occupy your time calling as many prospects as possible. You don’t want to pause to keep track of your activity. One way to solve this disadvantage is by installing a dialer software to keep track of this information as you work. Features of such software include call tracking and call reporting that provide you an in-depth analysis of all the outbound telemarketing calls. With a power dialer, you wouldn’t face that downside to telemarketing and you would be more efficient than you would without it.

Choose the Right Type of Telemarketing for Your Business

There are four types of telemarketing to choose from:

  • Inbound telemarketing is when the telemarketer receives an inbound inquiry from the prospect and the telemarketer follows up on the inquiry through a “warm” call. Since the prospect has already given an inquiry to the company, they should be expecting a call.
  • Outbound telemarketing is when a telemarketer makes “cold” calls to prospects or existing customers. This indicates that the people receiving the calls are not expecting them.
  • B2B Telemarketing, also known as business to business telemarketing, is where a business promotes its products or services to another business.
  • B2C Telemarketing is a business selling to consumers. The business will research potential customers and gather prospects to call who are more likely to want/need the product or service

Combine Inbound and Outbound Telemarketing

It is possible to incorporate both inbound and outbound telemarketing, but the company will need to put sales strategies in place for both. To keep organized reports and statistics on both the inbound and outbound telemarketing, a dialer is highly encouraged. The Dolphin Dialer is a useful tool to integrate both forms of telemarketing. It gives unlimited outbound and inbound calling, while also generating reports and statistics on the progress of each telemarketer. It also provides a built-in CRM, which makes it especially convenient to share information about prospects and clients.

Find Your Niche in B2C or B2B Telemarketing

Chances are, there are other companies similar to yours, so you will want to find your company’s ‘niche’ and differentiate and market based on that niche. Determine what makes your company different from the competitors and capitalize on it.

The same goes for B2C telemarketing and B2B telemarketing as inbound and outbound marketing. If your company incorporates both, you will need sales plans for both because they are different forms of telemarketing and require different strategies in order to succeed. A tip that goes for both is setting clear goals. Every company thinks they have clear goals and implement them, but are the goals as specific as they should be? Make sure they are not broad and generic but rather concrete and aiming at a certain numeric goal.

How to Start Telemarketing

Incorporating telemarketing into your business is much more than buying phone lists and selling your product or service. It requires experience, research, competitor analysis, and abiding by laws as well. To make your process simpler, we listed the steps you should take to smoothly incorporate telemarketing into your business.

Gain Experience as a Telemarketer and a Supervisor

This step works best if someone in the company has already worked with telemarketing, but if no one has, bring in an experienced individual who will help in guiding the way. Work closely with people who are experienced in this business so they can help in the decision-making process. You might find something curious in our Guide to Telemarketing for Beginners.

It would also be helpful to find software that allows supervisors to easily monitor and coach employees.

Research Your Field and Audience

Not only do you want experienced individuals helping to incorporate telemarketing, but you will also want to do independent research to understand the changes and advances in telemarketing. This will be a constant task, not just a one-time occurrence.

Depending on what your company is selling, this will determine who your company’s audience consists of. This will require extensive market research to understand your ‘ideal customer’. Be specific to whom you are wanting to target your products or services. You will be much more successful if you understand your customer.

Get to Know Competing Telemarketing Companies

Your company MUST know its competitors from what they are selling to how they are selling it. This step is so valuable to your company because it helps to understand what makes your company different. It also helps in understanding what you do and do not like about businesses in your industry.

Make Your Telemarketing Business Legal

The USA and Canada both have laws regarding telemarketing and they differ from each other, so be sure you comply with the laws of each if your company makes calls to and from them.

The USA has three federal laws. The first is The Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which restricts solicitations and the use of automated telephone equipment, although there are some exceptions. The second is the Telemarketing Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act that was put in place to protect consumers from deceptive or abusive telemarketing tactics. The third federal law is the Telephone Sales Rule. This rule allows consumers to limit the amount of telemarketing they receive by using the Do Not Call registry. While there are only three laws enforced by the country, each state has varying laws and regulations that telemarketers must be sure to abide by.

For Canada there are three regulations as well. The first regulation for telemarketing companies is to apply to the DNCL. The second is to subscribe to the DNCL. The third is to follow the unique guideline issued for your line of business.

Comply With the Telemarketing Sales Rules

The first and most important sales rule is scrubbing your telephone list against the Do Not Call list.

In some instances obtaining written consent is required in order to call someone. An electronic or digital form of signature is also acceptable.

When calling mobile phone numbers, there are other rules to consider as well. One of them is that you may not call cell phones using an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS). There is some gray area on whether or not this would include power dialers and click dialers, but it most certainly would include multi-line predictive dialers and traditional auto dialers. Be sure to check with a telemarketing attorney if you’re unsure. A good scrubbing service such as DNC Project will be able to flag mobile numbers and guarantee legality for calling for at least 30 days.

There are many rules and regulations to which you have to comply. Many have been mentioned in the Telemarketing Rules and Regulations article as well, so make sure to read them carefully and research this topic.

Can Telemarketers Call on Sunday?

The answer to this question is yes, there are no restrictions on what days of the week telemarketers can call. There are specific times, however, in a day that telemarketers are not allowed to call people. Legal calling times are usually between 8AM and 9PM, though some states or provinces have stricter do not call times than the country. Example: Not calling before noon on Sunday or not calling at all during a weather emergency.

Consider a Call Management System

A Call Management System is helpful in implementing inbound call parameters that track the routing and screening of calls through a network. Both processes work to give more information about the caller as well as make the calling process more time efficient.

What Does It Mean to Screen a Call

Call screening consists of evaluating characteristics of a telephone call before answering the call. This can include Caller ID, location of the phone call, the business name the number belongs to, etc. A tool like this is useful when a telemarketer wants to have an indication of who they will be talking to. Instead of seeing a phone number, they can see Janice with Washington Realty and have a better understanding of the caller before even answering the call.

What Is Call Routing

Call routing is a process that directs the call based on the nature of the call. For instance, a customer who has a sales question will go to the sales team, if a customer has a question regarding their software they would be sent to technical support. This process cuts out the mediator who directs the call to the correct department.

Make sure to check out our article on how to choose telemarketing software.

Create a Solid Process for Telemarketing Lead Generation

The success of your lead generation all comes down to the source of the leads and how your company plans to use them.

Work With Reliable Telemarketing Lead Brokers

Finding a telemarketing leads broker that understands the goals and vision of your company will help them in determining leads that are beneficial for your business. Though lead brokers aren’t always necessary, they make your process of getting reliable leads much easier.

Supply Telemarketing Leads for Agents

Just as with the lead brokers, you must make sure your leads are reliable and have been scrubbed against the do not call list. In our article on how to buy phone lists for lead generation, we discuss the importance of knowing the answer to some of these questions before buying phone leads:

  • What is the minimum purchase I have to make?
  • How much more will it cost for you to filter the lists I purchase?
  • How do you collect your contact information?
  • How often do you update your telemarketing lead lists?
  • How complete are the individual records on your sales leads lists?
  • Will I own the list I buy from you?
  • Can I get a refund for the inaccurate and incomplete leads on my lists?

Optimize Telemarketing Lead Generation

Make the most of your leads. Put them in your company’s pipeline to track their success, put them in your company’s CRM, and use the leads to understand your prospects better. Keeping track of this information creates a shared database for the telemarketing team to make sales and build relationships with prospects.

💡 Here are some articles on lead generation you might find helpful:

How to Build an A-Team of Telemarketers

If your company is able to hire experienced telemarketers, then your company will be much closer to its ‘A-Team’. Your company won’t always be able to find experienced telemarketers though, so it’s best to find individuals who fit the culture of your company and have a good work ethic. If you find individuals who have good character and a good work ethic, then they can be trained and given tools to be successful as a telemarketer.

Hire the Right People

If your company isn’t able to hire experienced telemarketers then look for individuals that have good people skills, are able to follow scripts, and can resemble the company values. The natural ability to sell is a plus but is not required when a company has a well-thought-out script and a pipeline to give the telemarketers goals.

Upskill Your Telemarketing Team

Once you have employees with good character and good work ethic, you will be able to ‘upskill’ your telemarketing team. The first way is by giving a script that is not only structured but also flexible; to allow for more natural conversations between the prospect and the telemarketer. The second is by using a pipeline that sets goals for telemarketers and lets them see where their leads are in the sales process. The third useful tool to upskill your telemarketing team is by giving them a CRM to share information and keep tabs on prospects and customers. The fourth tool to give your telemarketing team is a power dialer that creates/updates telemarketing campaigns, manages data, and allows managers to monitor or whisper coaches on calls.

How to Manage Your Telemarketing Team

There are managing styles more useful than others in managing your telemarketing team, so it’s important to match the managing style to the culture of the business. These four managing styles are ones to consider:

  • Laissez-Faire: This type of management style is laid back and hands off.
  • Autocratic: A manager who runs a tight ship by commanding obedience from their employees.
  • Democratic: A democratic manager empowers their call center agents to achieve goals, improve performance, and ask for feedback often.
  • Transformational: A transformational leader manages with encouragement, enthusiasm and focus.

#1 Be the Example to Follow

Employees will need someone to look to for standards and reference. When there is a chain of command, employees look to the individuals in the roles above them for a better understanding of the company and the culture.

As the manager of a call center, you must be prepared to pave the way in which the employees follow. The article ‘What Advice Can I Give My Telemarketing Team’ gives practical points on how to manage a call center, while also helping your team thrive.

#2 Show the Team How to Learn from Mistakes

Cover common mistakes that telemarketers make and give tips on how to avoid the mistakes to begin with. Be prepared to cover these 12 common mistakes made by telemarketers:

  • Weak introductions: Give your telemarketers scripts that are successful and instruct them to speak with confidence and speak clearly. You can find some helpful tips in our guide to starting a telemarketing conversation.
  • Pitching instead of discussing: This is very common for telemarketers to do. It makes the customer feel like a sale rather than a person, so create a script that makes it feel more like a conversation than a sales pitch.
  • Not listening to the customer: Teach your telemarketing team to listen to the customer, not only to gain their trust but to also gain information on the customer and their needs.
  • Rigid script reading: Again, it is crucial to make the call natural. It is not an automated call so instruct your team to sound genuine and encourage personal dialogue.
  • Lack of prior research: Your telemarketers need to make a habit out of researching the prospect before calling. Going into a call uniformed is set up to fail. We’ve covered this in our article on sales prospecting techniques that you might find helpful.
  • Forgetting the main goal: Teach the team to focus on the end goal while also focusing on getting to know the customer.
  • Ignoring customer objections: You must give your telemarketers written dialogue to handle objections. You can have a look at our guide on how to handle objections during calls for inspiration.
  • Sounding too familiar: It isn’t in the telemarketer’s best interest to act as if they already know the prospect. This approach should be reserved for loyal customers.
  • Giving up control: Teach the sales team to be authoritative and informative, while also allowing the prospect to talk. Give them practical tips on how to keep control of the conversation.
  • Disrespecting Gatekeepers: While you want the telemarketers to get to the decision maker fast, it is not wise to disrespect or disregard the gatekeeper. They may have more sway in the decision depending on how the telemarketer treated them.
  • Lacking Engagement: Give the telemarketers scripts that keep the prospect engaged and involved in the conversation.
  • Failing to gain commitment: Even if the prospect doesn’t commit to purchasing, the telemarketer should arrange for another call, email, or appointment.

The best way to show your team how to learn and avoid mistakes is by informing them of common mistakes and giving them resources and scripts that help them avoid the mistakes.

#3 Encourage Great Customer Service

A customer will NOT return if they were not treated with respect and kindness. That being said, the telemarketers must be trained to choose words wisely as well as the tone they use. Keep in mind that over the phone people don’t have the non-verbal cues to understand the manner in which you say something. The verbal cues must represent the genuineness and humility of the telemarketer.

In another article on how customer service can end up being your competitive advantage it breaks down how data analysis, tracking performance, and hiring the right individuals can make all the difference when creating great customer service.

#4 Enable Remote Work

Remote work has many benefits, one being you can choose from a larger pool of individuals to hire. Another upside is that today’s technology allows telemarketers to do exactly what they would do in an office, from their home. With the right software that allows management to monitor and coach, remote work can be valuable and successful.

Apply Call Center Management Best Practices

Put the best practices to place within your call center. Consider what will make your telemarketing campaign successful. To learn how to achieve your objective, refer to this article on creating telemarketing campaigns. In the article, it is explained how to implement the three most useful tactics: setting the right goals, preparing scripts, and getting quality phone lists.

Get the Most of All Telemarketing Calls

7 approaches to improve call center conversions is a great resource for tips on how to get the most out of your telemarketing calls. Here are some of them:

  • Self-audit your efforts
  • Work on realistic targets
  • Drive people to your website
  • Build on prospective leads
  • Keep the leads in loop (in other words not dormant)
  • Have the right team
  • Work on web-based system (CRM’s or other web-based systems)

Maintain an Up to Date Telemarketing Database

Do NOT let your database collect inaccurate or outdated data. This is the fastest way to lose productivity, leads, and sales.

The best ways to keep your database up to date is by asking prospects about their information: if it’s changed, if it’s correct, if it no longer applies, etc. This should become a habit of the telemarketing team to ensure accuracy of the data. Another way to keep the database up to date is by purchasing information from a trusted company. It saves you time and will help generate more profit in the long run. For more ways to keep your database up to date, read this article over the three areas to research for more accurate data.

Scrub and Segment Telemarketing Lists

Since the Do Not Call list has such a hefty fine, your company will want to scrub its list against the list before calling the numbers. Often the telephone lists purchased are DNC scrubbed but numbers change so often that it’s best to scrub the list again.

After scrubbing your list, segment them into filters that are useful for your company. The segments can be age ranges, zip codes, area codes, industry type, etc. This keeps your data organized and helps make it easier to find prospects or customers in the list. There are many tips regarding this process and to make your life easier we’ve collected them in this article on managing telemarketing call lists.

Optimize the Telemarketing Scripts

Your telemarketing scripts are powerful tools in sharing what your company is about, its services/products, and help in gaining information from the prospects. That being said, the scripts need to represent the company well and need to get as much information out of the prospects as you can without being too forward. Be thorough with the telemarketing scripts so you can take the prospects through the entire sales process and generate more profit.

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