Inbound vs. Outbound Telemarketing Services

BusinessMarketing & Advertising

  • Author Chris Davis
  • Published March 17, 2010
  • Word count 656

Technology has changed the way companies do business. Companies can now easily reach consumers by launching targeted online pay per click campaigns and market via social media. While this hands off approach has helped business become more efficient, outbound telemarketing continues to be a great way to reach prospects and get them to take action. Business process outsourcing services have been a direct beneficiary of technology. BPO call centers have grown across the globe as a means to provide affordable services to companies in locations where labor is expensive. Savvy business owners can harness this new technology and continue the tried and true practice of generating sales through outbound telemarketing. Call centers around the world now provide companies with a way to implement B2C, B2B telemarketing, and appointment setting services at a low cost. To launch an effective outsourcing campaign, you must first decide your approach. Decide whether you want to utilize inbound telemarketing, outbound telemarketing, or a virtual assistant who can fill multiple roles.

Inbound Telemarketing

Most people think of inbound telemarketing as the same thing as customer support. Inbound telemarketing is slightly different than customer service in that it involves the telemarketer in the sales process. Customer service typically requires a representative to answer questions on behalf of an existing customer. In recent years, lenders have done a particularly good job outsourcing mortgage telemarketing services. Typically, the lender will generate leads online, and the telemarketer will handle inbound inquiries. The telemarketing representative will answer basic mortgage related questions, and set up an appointment with the prospect and the loan officer.

Outbound Telemarketing

Outbound telemarketing involves the telemarketer cold calling prospects who are not expecting a call. The first step to launching an outbound telemarketing campaign is to define your market. Once you have determined exactly who you are trying to reach, put together a telemarketing list for your telemarketer to call. If you don't have a database of target prospects, you can buy a list from a third party. There are many companies who can provide a list of contacts based upon parameters you define. The next step would be to write a script. Customize a short script that will help your telemarketer effectively promote your products or services to your target market. Determine whether your campaign will be B2B or B2C. Business to business campaigns typically involve the telemarketer getting past a secretary, or gatekeeper. If your project is B2B, your script will have to incorporate a "getting past the gatekeeper" element. Send the script to your telemarketer and have him practice overcoming potential objections. Set up a phone call to role play the script with your telemarketer. This will give you your first idea of how the telemarketer will sound on the phone. If there are any stumbling points, refine your script to make it sound better. Once you have completed the script, have your telemarketer call prospects for a day or two, and see how it goes. Check back in with your telemarketer, and get some feedback. Find out what kind of objections they are hearing and continue to refine the script accordingly.

Telemarketers or Virtual Assistants?

Some entrepreneurs have hired virtual assistants through call centers overseas. This can be advantageous to companies that need a variety of services to performed in addition to telemarketing. Outsourced virtual assistants can handle appointment setting, data entry, inbound telemarketing (customer service), and outbound telemarketing. Determine what role you want your virtual assistant to play for your organization prior to launching your project. Your call center service provider may have different requirements for telemarketer than they do virtual assistants, so it is important to define their role in advance. Typically, a telemarketer will have superb voice skills, but may be lacking in written communication. Tell your service provider if your project will require a lot of data entry and email marketing so they hire the right employee for your company.

Chris Davis is a business process outsourcing call center consultant. He has helped companies around the globe successfully outsource inbound and outbound telemarketing services.

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