In an integrated marketing campaign telemarketing, teleprospecting (also known as lead generation) and inside sales techniques can be used in conjunction to move leads through the sales pipeline. However, there seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding the definitions and differences between telemarketing, teleprospecting and inside sales efforts. These practices can play a very similar role in many business scenarios but differences do exist.
Telemarketing is a cold calling technique that is typically used in transactional selling. A sales agent calls on a prospect list to sell business services. Typically telemarketing is a very scripted environment that involves a one call close. There is no lead nurturing or handoff to sales, it is simply calling to assess interest or need for the product using heavy sales techniques with the objective of closing the sale.
As a result, telemarketing generally gets a bad rap. Most think of it as a nuisance based type of outbound marketing in a “smile and dial” environment. However that is not always the case. If used in the correct industries with the right selling strategies, telemarketing can be responsible for drumming up a whole lot of business.
Telemarketing can also be used to verify prospect contact information which can help with direct mail and email campaigns. It can also be used for polling to aid in research studies. As MarketingSherpa found “contact discover campaigns can be used to maximize the ROI of other marketing efforts, and were among the tactics that saw the biggest growth this year.”
In fact, best-in-class marketers reported:
- 127% increase in the use of telemarketing for lead nurturing
- 83% increase in the use of telemarketing for contact discovery/data hygiene
Similar to telemarketing is teleprospecting which is the practice of generating interest for a product or service over the phone. However, it is more broadly known as lead generation. The purpose of teleprospecting, or lead generation, is not to actually close the sale, but to further qualify the lead to determine if a hand off to sales is necessary. Generally lead generators will verify budget, authority, need and timeframe of each lead.
While teleprospecting can also be a heavily scripted environment, it does provide a lot of flexibility on the calls to further the conversation. Lead generation requires a sales professional to dig deeper into the conversation to find prospect ‘pains’, or trigger points, that will cause the prospect to feel the need to find a solution. Once lead generation professionals have fully qualified the lead, including any lead nurturing, they then hand it off to sales to close the business.
Teleprospecting is beneficial as it allows the sales groups to continue selling instead of focusing on cold calling efforts. It also helps fill the pipeline which allows businesses to forecast growth and ultimately increase revenue.
Inside sales shows similarities to both telemarketing and teleprospecting efforts except inside sales teams move a lead through the full sales cycle and usually carry a sales quota. This type of selling does not require a one call close and involves building a relationship with the prospect through multiple touches. The purpose of inside sales is simply to convert leads, either from their own prospecting efforts or from telemarketing and teleprospecting initiatives, into sales.
Inside sales teams also call from a lead list, but these sales efforts can be strengthened by incorporating telemarketing and teleprospecting into the overall strategy. Through telemarketing and telesprospecting, leads have been fully qualified and inside sales efforts become more targeted. As a result, more and more businesses take this approach as a way to generate additional revenue.
Inside sales is also a great way for businesses to expand their reach into a new market or increase sales of a new or existing product. Because the sales calls are done remotely, inside sales professionals have the ability to reach more prospects and it is commonly a more cost effective alternative to outside sales.
While each sales technique is operative in its own way, telemarketing, teleprospecting and inside sales is most effective when used in an integrated marketing campaign. Telemarketing is great for finding the right contacts, cleaning a database, or used in transactional selling. Teleprospecting is effective for further qualifying sales leads by determining budget, authority, need, and timeframe prior to passing it on to sales. While inside sales, when done correctly, is a cost effective way to reach more prospects and increase sales. Because of this, smart businesses know that telemarketing and lead generation through teleprospecting are beneficial in filling the top of the sales funnel, while inside sales is effective to close business.
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Contact Invenio Solutions to hear how we have used integrated marketing efforts to help multiple organizations grow event participation, increase their lead pipeline and generate more revenue with lead generation and telemarketing programs.