Telemarketers hard at work in the office. Learn the answer to the question

What Is Telemarketing? Everything You Need to Know

12 min read
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You might think telemarketing is a new phenomenon, but this word first appeared in print back in 1967. Since then, many companies have used telemarketing to advertise products, increase brand awareness, track potential customers, generate brand loyalty, and move leads through sales and marketing funnels. For many enterprises, telemarketing is a way to engage leads and customers over the phone and drive revenue opportunities. Successful telemarketing can also generate other successful outcomes, such as sales and marketing alignment and improved appointment setting.

In this guide from FiveCRM, learn the answer to the question "What is telemarketing?" and the benefits of this marketing method for your business. While some organizations use telemarketing for fundraising or campaigns run by political parties, this article explains telemarketing in a business context. 

Key Takeaways:

  1. Telemarketing is a direct marketing method where sales agents contact potential customers over the phone. 

  2. Telemarketers call contacts on marketing lists to advertise products and services and increase brand awareness. The goal of telemarketing is to turn leads into bonafide paying customers. 

  3. Both B2B and B2C marketers use telemarketing methods to drive revenue for the companies they work for.

  4. Telemarketing skills include communication, persuasion, patience, and problem-solving.

  5. FiveCRM is the only CRM system build exclusively for telemarketing companies. It offers an incredible range of features, including telemarketing analytics, in-built email marketing, and the ability to use up to 999 separate databases.

Table of Contents

So What Is Telemarketing?

It's a direct marketing method where sales agents communicate with potential customers over the phone. This method involves direct human interaction, allowing companies to engage leads and customers and influence their opinions, brand perceptions, and purchasing habits. 

Say a technology company wants to sell its new software to potential customers over the phone. A good telemarketer will contact leads on their marketing list, explain the software tool's benefits and unique selling points, and encourage contacts to:

  • Set up an appointment with another agent

  • Sign up for a product demo 

  • Purchase the software

All of that can happen during a single call that lasts as little as a few minutes. 

This marketing method isn't always successful. Research shows it takes 80 phone calls, on average, to generate one sales opportunity. Sometimes, this marketing method is more about patience than selling products and services. That doesn't mean telemarketing is not a successful technique. The best sales representatives can generate ridiculous amounts of revenue for their companies and earn lots of sales commissions. 

Telemarketing can involve more than just sales. Telemarketers might use this direct marketing method to accumulate customer data for CRM systems and marketing campaigns, increase brand awareness and create connections with people interested in their company's products and services. 

Telemarketing campaigns can last for weeks or months at a time. Each campaign will include multiple touchpoints where telemarketers nurture leads and move them through their sales funnels. Sometimes, telemarketers might incorporate outbound sales calls with email marketing. A telemarketer can email potential customers about products and services and follow up on these marketing messages with phone calls. 

Regardless of the techniques used, the primary goal of telemarketing is to turn leads into genuine paying customers and drive revenue. All kinds of companies can use telemarketing to achieve this goal. Even the most successful enterprises use telemarketing to sell products and services. You'll find telemarketing in almost every sector and niche, including retail, finance, technology, manufacturing, and professional services. 

Examples of Telemarketing 

This marketing method describes different human interactions with customers over the phone. It might involve 

business-to-consumer marketing (B2C), where telemarketers engage personal customers and advertise products and services. Business-to-business telemarketing (B2B) involves selling products to and building relationships with other businesses. B2B telemarketing can generate greater revenue opportunities (and profits) for companies than B2C. Businesses tend to spend more money on products and services than personal customers do. For example, a personal customer might purchase a license for a software tool for their household. A business customer might purchase 100 licenses for that same tool for their team members. 


What Type of Job Is Telemarketing?

Jobs in telemarketing provide rewarding and lucrative opportunities for anyone who enjoys talking to customers over the phone. Telemarketers typically receive a commission for sales made or when a lead takes action, like signing up for a product demo or creating an appointment with a sales agent. The average telemarketer makes $18 per hour in the United States as of September 2022. However, this salary doesn't include bonuses and commissions, which can add thousands of dollars to a telemarketer's earnings in a given year. Despite what you might have read, telemarketing jobs can be highly lucrative and satisfying.

Day-to-day duties for a telemarketer might include explaining product features, taking credit card information (while adhering to data governance regulations), arranging appointments for face-to-face and videoconferencing sales meetings, building relationships with leads, and tracking potential customers as they move through sales pipelines. Analytical software tools can help agents learn more about the people on their call lists and make more informed decisions that result in greater telemarketing sales opportunities

Telemarketers often work with one another on the "call center floor" to achieve daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly targets. These skilled professionals must maintain records of outgoing calls by updating CRM systems and other software types and monitoring customers at every touchpoint or interaction. 

Telemarketing can be a high-pressure job role that requires patience, teamwork, and excellent communication skills. Challenges associated with this job role include reluctance from people to answer their phones or talk to telemarketers. That's because of the growing problem of robocall scams in the United States and elsewhere. Many people might ignore or reject an incoming call from a telemarketing company because they think it's from a criminal trying to steal their personal and financial information. This scenario is more likely if a telemarketer is ringing from an unknown number. 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) mandates guidelines for telemarketing companies and sets various regulations. These regulations include limits on the number of telemarketing calls a company can make in a day and the time of day a telemarketer can contact a potential customer over the phone. For example, telemarketers cannot call people late in the evening. Individuals and businesses can report telemarketers to the National Do Not Call Registry if they don't adhere to these regulations. They can also leave telemarketing companies negative reviews on social media and other online platforms.

Telemarketers need to adhere to data governance legislation in their sector or jurisdiction. This legislation includes GDPR, CCPA, and for companies that sell healthcare-related products and services over the phone, HIPAA. Inbound and outbound telemarketing companies can receive expensive penalties for not complying with data governance laws. 

Telemarketers often have the following qualities:

  • Excellent communication skills

  • Negotiation and persuasion skills

  • Computer literacy

  • A friendly personality

  • A positive attitude

  • Knowledge of the products and services they sell over the phone

  • Knowledge of telesales, market research, marketing strategies, and different types of telemarketing

  • Sales skills 

  • The ability to explain telemarketing services and telemarketing activities in an impactful way

  • The ability to talk to people from all kinds of demographics, socio-economic levels, and communities

  • The ability to answer the question, "What is telemarketing?"

How Do Telemarketing Companies Work?

All businesses can carry out telemarketing. However, telemarketing companies devote their operations to this direct marketing method. They might work on behalf of a company that has outsourced its telemarketing. 

Companies specializing in telemarketing hire telemarketers to establish relationships with potential customers. These professionals use telemarketing techniques like cold calling and warm calling to build rapport with leads over time. Cold calling involves telemarketers contacting leads on a marketing list without knowing anything about those potential customers. Warm calling involves telemarketers communicating with leads who have previously established an interest in their company's products or services. 

The most successful telemarketing companies might use both cold and warm calling techniques to generate sales. These companies can also provide services for multiple organizations at once. Those organizations might be based in different locations around the world.

What Is Telemarketing? Benefits of This Marketing Method

There are many telemarketing benefits:

  • It can be extremely cost-effective. Telemarketers can target leads from around the world without traveling for in-person meetings and sales pitches. Telemarketing companies' main expenses are sales salaries and equipment such as phones, handsets, and software licenses. 

  • It provides instant access to leads, prospects, and existing and new customers. B2C telemarketers can target customers at home where they feel safe and build relationships that boost sales. 

  • Telemarketing techniques like cold calling can be lucrative for businesses. Research shows that cold calling is five to ten times more effective than email marketing. 

  • It can be useful when upselling and cross-selling related products and services to customers.  

  • It can help companies follow up with customers who previously purchased their products and services and provide related offerings.

Why Is FiveCRM the Best Software for Telemarketing?

For decades, telemarketers have established connections with prospective customers over the phone, resulting in lucrative opportunities for companies wanting to sell more products and services and generate profitable revenue streams. However, for telemarketing to be successful, telemarketers require the latest software tools that execute day-to-day jobs and make it easier to engage leads.  

FiveCRM is the only CRM system designed for telemarketing and lead generation teams. It enables telemarketers to comply with data governance regulations, maintain contact information, handle call center operations, store customer information and telemarketing data, quickly dial phone numbers with its auto-dialing capabilities, create and update call scripts, double call rates, handle callbacks and offer a more successful telephone service. FiveCRM suits B2C and B2B environments and can improve both outbound and inbound telemarketing. 

Other benefits of FiveCRM include: 

  • Improved sales efficiency for outbound calling with workflow automations and the ability to reduce call transition times. 

  • Up to 999 separate databases with the possibility of unlimited data storage. That can help you grow your call center. 

  • Specialized marketing and performance tools that track operational performance and capture sales leads. 

  • Exclusive lead scoring tools that users can customize to their sales pipelines. That helps telemarketing companies focus on the highest-value leads in their sales cycles.

  • FiveCRM's flexible platform access lets telemarketing managers track and obtain real-time data about department performance and use key metrics for sales growth. 

  • You can use FiveCRM to wrap up telephone calls, gamify marketing processes, and switch between contacts. 


In conclusion, telemarketing remains a powerful marketing strategy with its unique ability to engage and connect with customers directly. Understanding the fundamentals of telemarketing, such as building rapport, effective scripting, and compliance with regulations, is essential for success in this field. Embracing technology advancements, such as CRM systems and automation tools, can streamline telemarketing efforts and enhance productivity.

At FiveCRM, we specialize in providing comprehensive CRM solutions tailored to the needs of telemarketing professionals. Our software empowers businesses to manage customer interactions, track leads, and optimize sales processes. Book a free demo with FiveCRM today and discover how our CRM solution can elevate your telemarketing campaigns, drive customer engagement, and boost your business success.


Q: What is telemarketing and how does it work?

A: Telemarketing is a marketing strategy that involves reaching out to potential customers over the phone to promote products or services. It works by employing trained telemarketers who make outbound calls to engage with prospects, deliver sales pitches, and generate leads or sales.

Q: What are the benefits of telemarketing for businesses?

A: Telemarketing offers several benefits for businesses, including direct and personalized communication with potential customers, the ability to address customer queries in real-time, targeted lead generation, increased brand awareness, and the opportunity to build relationships with prospects. It can also provide valuable market insights and feedback.

Q: How can telemarketing campaigns be effective?

A: Effective telemarketing campaigns require careful planning and execution. Key factors include having a well-defined target audience, creating persuasive and engaging scripts, training telemarketers on product knowledge and sales techniques, maintaining compliance with regulations, and leveraging technology such as CRM systems for lead management and tracking.

Q: Are there any regulations or legal considerations in telemarketing?

A: Yes, telemarketing is subject to various regulations and legal considerations to protect consumers and ensure fair practices. Compliance with laws such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and Do-Not-Call (DNC) regulations is crucial. Businesses should familiarize themselves with these regulations, obtain proper consent, and maintain accurate records to adhere to legal requirements.

Q: How can CRM software benefit telemarketing efforts?

A: CRM software plays a vital role in enhancing telemarketing efforts. It helps manage customer data, track interactions, automate lead management processes, and provide valuable insights for sales and marketing strategies. CRM systems streamline workflow, improve efficiency, and enable better customer relationship management for successful telemarketing campaigns.

Q: How can FiveCRM assist with telemarketing campaigns?

A: FiveCRM offers comprehensive CRM solutions tailored to the needs of telemarketing professionals. Our software provides features such as lead management, call tracking, automated dialing, performance analytics, and integration with other systems. Contact us for a free demo to learn how FiveCRM can optimize your telemarketing campaigns, enhance customer engagement, and drive business growth.

Michael King says...

"I can’t think of a time where a client has requested something that we weren’t able to do with FiveCRM. Unlike most systems, it has a lot of flexibility."

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Managing Director, Senior Response


“Each client, and each of their campaigns, has its own unique specifications. We essentially needed to set up mini CRMs on one platform to meet those requirements.”

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Operations Director, Team Telemarketing

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