There are two opposing views of telemarketing.
Firstly, the immediate, personal nature of telemarketing is seen as a great way to build prospect lists, boost customer loyalty, and close deals.
A single telesales call can convert up to 5% of customers, with that number increasing exponentially over time.
When compared to direct mail's 1-2% conversion rate, telemarketing's importance to marketers is clear.
However, the second perspective is that telemarketing has a bad reputation as a source of nuisance calls. Unwanted calls could negatively impact your business' reputation, or even violate privacy laws.
Why is telemarketing still important?
Digital, social, and email marketing are more prominent today than ever before. But the personal connection that telemarketing offers still plays a huge role in sales. With data protection and privacy regulations on the rise, companies must follow laws and regulations around the protection of personal data.
Companies and consumers can opt out of being called by marketers using the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS).
Companies undertaking telemarketing must regularly screen telephone numbers against CTPS and TPS lists, that govern who can and cannot be contacted through telephone marketing.
There's just one problem
According to recent research commissioned by the TPS, 71% of SMEs know their legal obligations in terms of telemarketing. But not all are aware of, or know, how to screen their telephone data through the TPS and CTPS.
Steps you can take to avoid breaking telemarketing rules
Businesses must screen any telephone number used for marketing purposes every 30 days against the TPS and CTPS registers, in accordance with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).
Under PECR, organisations cannot make unsolicited live sales calls to TPS subscribers. Exceptions are only made when prior consent has been given for a specific named organisation to be contacted.
Companies must also hold an internal suppression file of individuals who have requested no further contact, so any new data can be screened prior to calling.
Current and accurate databases
Data lists must be screened against the TPS no later than 30 days prior to making any unsolicited telemarketing call, and data purchased from third parties should be screened against TPS before they are supplied.
Proof of screening should be provided by third party suppliers, if not you will need to screen these lists yourself.
Relationship-building with prospects
In a B2B environment, your prospects may be businesses, but it is people within the organisation that will make purchasing decisions. For this reason, relationship-building is key.
With direct marketing, you can monitor prospects' interactions with your messaging.
Consider emailing or mailing them first. A personalised email can also follow up on your cold call - it's a great opportunity to summarise and explain what you can do for them.
Invest in your telemarketing team
Conversations are the crux of telemarketing campaigns, so good telemarketers are essential to their success. For this reason, you need to be smart about the staff you have working on your campaigns. The right person will be able to blend subject expertise with people skills - and have a good grasp of the products and services you can offer.
When a marketing call is well-prepared, carefully planned, and individualised, the outcome will be more positive.
Consider outsourcing your telemarketing
Partnering with a B2B telemarketing company can be a great option if you lack in-house skills to carry out your telemarketing campaigns.
By outsourcing your telemarketing, you have the flexibility to increase or decrease activity according to your requirements. A B2B telemarketing company can stimulate interest in your products and services by contacting both existing and potential customers.
Some companies can also provide industry specific data lists and will have experience of carrying out telemarketing to businesses, the public sector and education sector.
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