We live in the technological age. Things have sped up. Data is everywhere. Content is King. And, there is a proliferation of marketing channels.
It makes marketing decision-making challenging to say the least and traditional channels such as direct mail and telemarketing can sometimes be overlooked.
Why Pick Up The Phone?
Yet, many of the world’s largest organisations still use the telephone to do a job. They have inside or internal sales teams that use the phone to target specific individuals. They use agencies for data validation and building for more targeted marketing. And, they utilise the services of specialist
telemarketing companies for appointment setting. They outsource calling for events, lapsed or dormant customer resuscitation and for projects including cross-sell and upsell to their customer base. They also need to make calls to resellers and partners.
Because of this level and type of requirement, outbound calling persists.
There still remains a perception that cold calling is dead.
Is Cold Calling Dead?
It is fair to say that, in some cases, it has become more challenging. There are more voicemails than in days gone by. Regulations mean that screening data against the Opt-out CTPS register every 28 days is mandatory for B2B calls in addition to B2C. And, organisations must hold suppression files against those that have previously asked to be removed from marketing calls.
Technology also increasingly supports the removal of unwanted
calls. We feel these are good initiatives to weed out unwelcome calls.
However, the thing that possibly poses the biggest threat isn’t regulation or voicemail or any of the other factors mentioned. It’s poor calling technique.
An effective, engaging caller that uses good telemarketing technique to have an engaged conversation with a decision-maker allows organisations to reach out to the people with whom they want to do business.
No waiting around to see if the decision-maker responds to an email or LinkedIn request. No more hoping for the right person to happen upon the video or blog you’ve produced and decide to contact you.
Persistence Is Key
Whilst there’s no guarantee that your target decision-maker will be available at the time of your call, you can at least make a diary note to call back at another time. And, persistence without stalking pays dividends.
Why would you give up on your prime target audience after the first call if you genuinely feel you have something from which they’d benefit?
Other Methods Of Reaching Your Target
Of course, we started this blog with the fact that there are multiple channels. We recommend that clients utilise more than one route where possible. And, we’re big fans of content development and building networks, but, ultimately, it’s about engaging and a well-schooled caller that enjoys his or her art, understands the clients’ challenges and how they can help, is worth their weight in gold.
It’s about ROI. Sales and marketing decision-makers worth their salt will evaluate the return from all their marketing investments. It’s essential to test and measure.
What Makes For Good Telemarketing?
Some telemarketing activity won’t be fruitful. Other calls will produce great return. It’s mostly down to the balance of the quality of the data and clarity of your target audience and the value of your proposition to the recipient of your call. A poor message to the wrong target audience will fail every time. Yet, a clear and compelling proposition to the right individual at the right time will be welcomed.
Too often, telemarketing is tarnished by a B2C, call-centre chicken coop, high volume, low quality brush and reputation. Despite this, it persists, and large companies have not abandoned the approach. But, it’s important to focus the calling on activities that are likely to bear fruit.
In some cases, that may be well-designed cold calls to a qualified database. Other calls may be to customers that haven’t ordered in 12 or 24 months. Communication could focus on customer satisfaction surveys or customer care calls. There are all manner of options where the telephone can still be used to good effect.
So, to intimate that telemarketing is redundant is wide of the mark. It has its merits and it isn’t the solution to every requirement. But that can be said of most marketing.