So what actually is the difference between telemarketing and telesales? Although they are two forms of direct marketing, they are often confused with each other. There is a stark difference between the notions of telesales and telemarketing. As a result, if you want to embark on a successful telephone based campaign relevant for your business, it is vitally important to understand the distinction between them.
Telesales has been around for a long time and has been used as a prime selling tool and a means by which customers and prospects are contacted directly to offer services or products.
Telemarketing is a broader, more overarching term used to describe the process of directly communicating to engage your customer and prospect base, learn more about them and in turn allow them to learn more about you. It is an entire programme for spreading the vision of your business and increasing brand awareness to both prospects and customers alike.
Telesales can be seen in its purest form as the function of approaching customers and prospects directly to drive sales, possibly by using the information gleaned from your telemarketing research.
Both have outbound cold calling in common, but telemarketing has a raft of approaches, whilst telesales has one simple function: to make the sale.
Both are very different and they each have their advantages. Similarly the people required to conduct these forms of marketing are more often than not very different people with distinct skill sets.
Outbound telemarketing enables you to communicate your message directly to the customer or prospect. It can be seen as a multitude of phone based activities all of which are ultimately used to seek out new customers and generate leads and appointments to be closed by telesales all the while helping to increase brand awareness and knowledge of your products and or services.
It can involve research, feedback and gathering information to help improve the knowledge you have of your customers and prospects, which can ultimately uncover leads you possibly didn’t even know existed within your existing client base.
Conducted correctly it can help develop a rapport with those you are trying to target, promoting your values as a business whilst gathering invaluable insight. Polling and market research conducted directly with customers and prospects can provide invaluable data concerning the best way to strengthen your brand awareness and your business offering.
The data telemarketing produces is very detailed and incredibly well researched. It is an invaluable asset to any telesales efforts. Buying trends can be identified by speaking to existing customers, while new markets can be unearthed and identified allowing for a more focused approach for sales. This helps reducing the need for your telesales team to engage in extensive, time consuming and often fruitless cold calling.
Of course inbound telemarketing also has a raft of benefits, many of which are the same as outbound activities detailed above. However it is worth noting that inbound telemarketing provides a customer service opportunity that can later be converted into further lead generation or sales. Telemarketing teams that staff help lines can potentially turn simple requests for information into solid sales leads.
The focus of telesales is much more apparent and serves a single purpose. Simply put, it is following up on leads with the intent of making sales and generating revenue. A strong telemarketing campaign can provide a wealth of new marketing channels, identify potential customers and leads, but effective professional telesales operatives are still required to close those sales and generate business.
The in-house generated data provided by a telemarketing campaigns can provide an incredibly focused and defined information source for your sales team to take advantage of. But sensitive as well as persuasive telesales staff are absolutely vital to reduce customer annoyance and increase conversion rates from leads to sales.
Although telemarketing and telesales are two very different notions, ultimately the end game of all of the different approaches is to aid in one way or another to the growth of the business by means of increased awareness, increased knowledge of customer and prospects needs and requirements, better data, more leads, more appointments, more sales.
All of the efforts involved in both disciplines should be heading in the same direction and just cold calling without effective research and a deeper understanding of your target audience and markets will almost certainly lead to poor conversion rates and an inadequate ROI. If integrated with the overall marketing mix and by fully understanding the differences between these two concepts, both telemarketing and telesales can help yield highly profitable results for many organisations.