Outbound calling can be divisive, but as an outreach tool it can be truly worthwhile. Here, we look at 5 vital benefits that telemarketing provides.
Modern companies use all kinds of newfangled methods to keep in touch with clients and prospects; using everything from social media, to blogs, to email marketing, and more!
However, oftentimes in business, the best way to achieve something is usually the simplest. With that in mind – whatever happened to the humble phone call?
Telemarketing may have made a bit of a reputation for itself in the cutthroat business environment of the 80s and 90s; but nowadays, when used ethically and intelligently, it can be an invaluable tool for any marketer. It easily plays into smart, modern marketing practices such as providing a human touch, proactive lead generation, relationship nurturing, qualifying prospects, and (probably most importantly) saving time and money compared to other methods.
Today we’ll investigate all of these benefits to using outbound calling, and we’ll also look at how a great CRM platform can help, so let’s get started.
- The Human Touch
Outbound marketing calls may seem corny to the uninitiated, but you can’t deny that they provide an undeniable human element for both parties. Both the call operative and the call recipient are present and ready to engage.
Simply giving a prospect a ring and having a friendly talk allows you to build up a personal picture. When you have a no pressure chat with a lead, there’s a better chance they’ll open up to you compared to using a rigid script and going in like a “typical salesperson.” This is especially true if you have a particularly complicated or technical product or service; it’s usually easier to explain a complicated idea or technical concept verbally compared to typing out an email.
By talking to people regularly, you can start to put together a picture of how you can help them and where you fit into their big picture, whilst also staying on their radar and building a personal rapport.
- Lead Generation & Nurturing
Using a methodical system of outbound calling adds another string to your lead nurturing bow. Where sales letters and emails can simply be ignored or discarded, reaching out over the phone for a chat adds a more direct method of contact.
Telemarketing can be useful because it’s not mutually exclusive with other sales and marketing practices. You don’t have to stop any of your existing marketing in order to take on a regime of outbound calls. If you already have a great system that works well but you feel it needs a little boost during slow times of the year, you can always “bolt on” an outbound calling regimen when you need it. You don’t have to do it all year round if your staff is needed elsewhere during busy periods.
Outbound calls are excellent for brand awareness because you’re directly making a real person aware of your brand – not just their spam folder! You can also integrate other marketing methods into your calling practice. For example, if someone on social media puts a call out for a reliable provider of what you sell (or indeed if they’re feeling exasperated with their current supplier), you can intercept their post and give them a ring if their phone number is available, offering your company as an alternative.
- Qualifying Leads
On a related note, we have the practice of qualifying leads and keeping your lists up to date. A quick chat on the phone can help your operatives to easily clean up lists and approve quality leads almost instantly.
If you are unsure whether your service is right for a given lead, it’s easy to give them a quick phone call and get up to speed. If they are open to your services, you can start a relationship; if they’re not, then you can always cross them off your list or put them on the back-burner. This is far more direct than doing the same over email; emails can get lost, counted as spam or simply ignored. When you reach someone on the phone, you have the potential to get a straight answer there and then.
Outbound calling can also help your call-centre perform market research functions. If you slip in a few key questions into your usual script or prompts, you can learn a wealth of information about your audience.
- Cheaper than Traditional Outbound Sales Teams
The costs associated with employing a call-centre team is usually far cheaper than employing mobile salespeople who travel from client to client. A call-centre setup also has the potential for far more predictable overheads than travelling salespeople.
Call-centres can reach a far larger geographical area more quickly, and there’s less latency between speaking to clients compared to mobile salespeople. The only downtime between contacts simply involves hanging up and dialling the next number. Therefore with outbound calling, you can reach far more people within one day than a travelling team would ever physically be able to.
Outbound calling regimens can be far more flexible than in-person selling too. All of your salespeople are under one roof and can easily be kept up to date with new offers and developments as they happen as well as new directions on company policies and style guides.
If you’re the kind of company that favours the face-to-face approach, a calling system can still prove fruitful. A quick call can be made to a client to qualify an in-person sales visit rather than sending someone to show up on their doorstep with little prior information. It gives both parties time to qualify the need for contact and generally prepare for the visit.
- Ease of Measuring & Testing
When using a system of recording call activity like a CRM, it’s just as easy to analyse telemarketing efforts as it is accessing reports on email marketing or website analytics. The right software can make reporting a breeze, measuring all sorts of metrics such as average call durations, success rates, hangup rates and performance statistics for each phone operative.
This kind of reporting helps you try new things such as finding out what conversational styles, approaches and times of day foster the best results.
CRM Tools are Here to Help
Hopefully it’s becoming clear that outbound calling is a valuable practice, far removed from the sleazy sales practices of the past. It’s also worth noting that the most important element of a good telemarketing regime is to keep thorough records on call recipients, and what the outcome of each call is. This is where CRM tools really shine.
Our CRM-oriented calling tool CallPro CRM is designed to help you make the most out of outbound calling. Our platform includes in-built call list functionality, dialling management and integrates with a number of popular telephony and VOIP systems. CallPro CRM also helps your team engage with contacts by using with call scripts, conversation prompts and reminders.
Our full software suite, FIVE CRM, provides a wide range of sales and marketing functions as well as the above call management features.
Whether you’re looking for an email marketing package, marketing automation functionality, real-time web analytics or a fully featured CRM with the power to handle outbound calling and marketing email, regardless of the size of your database; FIVE CRM provides all of these tools and more in one package.