The advantages of telemarketing in modern digitally driven age
Telemarketing may fall under the ‘traditional’ marketing category now that digital is here to stay, but just because it is traditional does not mean it should be overlooked as a viable and integral part of your marketing strategy.
As marketers we have always been good at building desire or generating awareness of a product, solution or even a lifestyle. We do this to ensure that we can generate the maximum number of opportunities to create sales, leads or other outcome as required by the marketing strategy.
Where marketing often lets itself down is in actually dealing with people, event specialists not withstanding…
The simple fact is that whilst digital channels are taking larger and larger shares of the marketing department, there is still only so much you can with an ad or a tweet. The same problems remain that marketers had in the 70’s – you cannot answer all the questions all the time. Using just 140 characters to explain your ERP solution… Unlikely.
Bring the human element back
Possibly one of the greatest traits that humans have developed through evolution, other than opposable thumbs, is our communications skills i.e. we can talk!
Having driven your prospects to your website and got them to fill out a form or call you, you have the wonderful opportunity to actually have a conversation and answer all the questions and dispel any myths they may have.
There are two fundamental approaches to talking to leads, either straight after any core action or once they have been nurtured.
The first approach is more aggressive and essentially means that you try and capture a name and number at any given point of the prospects interaction with your brand. This is then followed-up immediately with a view to closing to appointment, demo or sale etc. This way does mean that you are less likely to miss any opportunity, however on the down side you run the risk of frustrating a prospect by following-up before they are ready.
An example of this is if you offer free downloads through whitepapers and in order for the site visitor to access them they must submit some core piece of information such as name, email and phone number. At this point, whilst they have an interest in what you offer, they may not yet be ready to sign up.
If they have submitted a direct contact form then this is absolutely an invitation to get in contact and to get in contact quick! They are actively shopping and talking to companies just like yours, studies show that if you respond to an inbound enquiry within 5 minutes you are 100x more likely to make contact with the prospect and 21x more like to successfully qualify them than if you wait 30 minutes.
Or call only the hottest prospects
The alternative strategy is to lead nurture. This means taking your cold and warm leads that have downloaded your whitepaper or subscribed to your newsletter, and maintain their engagement with a structured cycle of relevant follow-up activity. This results in bringing the cooler leads to a point where they feel they are in a position to have a conversation with your organisation. The outcome of this process is that they either contact you on their own terms; or by using a lead scoring system you pro-actively contact them armed with the knowledge of what they have seen and read throughout the lead nurturing process.
Which is right?
Which method is right for you is something that only you and your organisation can answer. Ultimately, whether you use an in-house team to follow-up or outsource to a telemarketing agency, you cannot underestimate the power of a timely, relevant and informed conversation.