Sales and marketing are interdependent functions in a business. The marketing plan is designed to support and smooth the sales process and to make it more engaging. People often use the terms telesales and telemarketing to mean the same thing. When it comes to the phone, things don’t quite work in the same way, telesales and telemarketing are two completely different types of approaches. Which one is right for you will depend on your objectives, broader concerns about reputation and perception and that will determine how you approach your project.
Telesales is raw as a project, it’s cold if not freezing. The whole concept of cold calling leaves people with a shiver and always promotes a response. It feels like something that happened in the 1980s and haven’t we all grown up a bit since then? Well apparently not. There are still companies out there driving telesales campaigns which are direct and aggressive. For this approach, you have to think of it as a numbers game. The data that is sourced is usually pretty basic to keep the costs down and then it’s a question of phone bashing. Companies who take this approach are totally focussed on the sale and that’s it. The sale will be typically lucrative so if 500 people are called to result in 1 sale then it will be judged to have been worth it if the acquisition price is a small enough percentage of the sale.
With a telesales campaign the message needs to be very simple, easily understood, it’s usually presented with a tight script, an alternative close, a ‘take it or leave it’ approach, buy now, offer only available today, make up your mind etc. The very approach of telesales is designed to communicate urgency.
Telemarketing takes almost the opposite approach to telesales. It’s a more sophisticated and intelligent approach designed to create a buying environment. Telemarketing is a slower approach but it considers one crucially important factor that telesales does not, and that is the reputation of the company making the approach. In telesales this is not a consideration, with telemarketing it should be the first consideration.
Telemarketing projects are structured differently. The data will be better quality, the approach will be considered, it will usually be loosely scripted but this is not a ‘tell and sell’ approach, this is an approach that allows the person who is called to say what is important to them and their business and hopefully there is a match between the offering and the requirement.
Telesales is completely one dimensional whereas telemarketing is broader based and encompasses areas such as market research, customer satisfaction surveys, database cleansing and competitor analysis. Both telesales and telemarketing can be applied to lead generation and appointment making and in this situation timing is everything.
Think about what you want to achieve and then decide on the approach. In terms of cost, both will end up more or less the same, but at what cost to your reputation? That is the defining difference and the most important consideration.