There came the point when at Enjay IT Solutions, we realized that we needed to move beyond just face-to-face meetings to increase our customer base. We had been far too dependent on our sales team identifying prospects, trying to set up appointments with them, meeting them and trying to convert a lead into a sale. The process took too much time and hampered our growth.
To solve this problem, we built a telemarketing team to generate leads for our sales team and convert incoming inquiries into sales. The result was that our customer base didn’t just improve; the quality of leads we generated increased as well.
In this post, we shall discuss:
- What is telemarketing
- Statistics about telemarketing and call centres which you should know
- The basics of telemarketing for your business
- How to build a useful script for your telemarketing team
What is Telemarketing?
Telemarketing is a service that involves connecting with prospects and customers over the telephone and moving them ahead to take action which benefits them and the company. It includes activities that create interest, generates opportunities, provides information, collects customer feedback, makes appointments and qualifies leads on the telephone.
The most popular form of telemarketing involves calling making calls to individuals and businesses and pitching a product or service to them (also known as telesales). Lately, however, the scope of use for telemarketing in India has expanded.
For instance, if an educational institution can use telemarketing to spread the message about a seminar on how students can improve their focus and study habits. Political parties have started using telemarketing to raise funds, collect feedback, and convince people to vote for them.
Telemarketing is generally of two types:
A.Outbound telemarketing, where the callers reach out to prospects and customers for a specific reason.
B.Inbound telemarketing, where advertising leads customers to reach out to a specific number and speak to callers in search of information or to make a purchase, e.g. Teleshopping Network.
Lately, automated telemarketing, where pre-recorded messages can be delivered to thousands of people each day using an automatic dialer, has gained prominence.
5 Call Center Statistics You Should Know
1.66% of consumers use three different communication channels on an average to contact customer service. (source)
2.95.7% of contact center (and telemarketing) professionals view customer satisfaction as the most important call center metric. (source)
3.83% of callers would avoid a company after a poor experience with an IVR system. (source)
4.The software market for call centers was $16.28 billion in 2018. (source)
5.The Indian company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is the leading call center service provider in the world. (source)
The Basics of Telemarketing for Your Business
If any of the goals mentioned above are relevant to your business, telemarketing can help you achieve them at a larger scale.
Many small businesses and medium-sized businesses have started using telemarketing today because modern technology is not restricted to 100 or 200-seater companies. It can also be used effectively by companies deploying two or three callers.
Here are some basics of telemarketing if you want to set a system like that up for your business:
1. In-house or outsource
Depending on the size of the team you want and what goal you want them to achieve, you can consider whether you wish to outsource the telemarketing activity or keep it in-house.
2. Know your target audience
When you know whom your product or service is aimed at, you can set processes for your telemarketing team to achieve their goals more effectively.
3. Use an updated database
Telemarketers calling wrong or outdated numbers and getting poor responses is a terrible waste of resources. Also, calling numbers on the Do Not Call list can land your company and people in trouble. So use an updated database for best results.
4. Plan the payment structure
How will you pay your telemarketing staff? Will you pay them a standard salary or split it into base salary and incentives for targets achieved?
5. Technological investments to make
Which hardware and software will you use to empower agents to do their tasks? How will technological tools help you track agent performance? How much investment will you have to make in these tools?
Get a clear plan of all these points before you decide to set up a telemarketing unit for your business.
Another essential aspect to consider in the basics of telemarketing is the script for agents. This script, along with voice clarity, plays a crucial role in deciding whether your prospects agree to take positive action or not.
Here are ten steps that decide the success of a telemarketing call:
The introduction addresses the first question on a prospect’s mind – who is calling?
Ensure your agent begins the call by saying, “Good [evening], this is [full name], and I’m calling on behalf of [your company name]. We provide [your products or services] to enable you to [insert how the product helps prospects].
If the recipient of the call is already a customer, make him comfortable by giving a background to the conversation. If not, immediately say something like, “I have an offer which you will find very useful.”
3. Request for Time
A key aspect of getting buy-in is to speak to prospects when they have time. So it’s important to pose a question like, “Can I get just two minutes of your time?” If the recipient agrees, the agent should proceed with the call. If not, the agent should note down a suitable time for a callback and set a reminder for the same in the system.
Probing enables the agent to gauge the customer’s needs and problems. The agent asks open-ended questions in an attempt to qualify the prospect, establish his or her wants and needs, and create the need for the offering. Some questions could include:
If the prospect is currently using a similar product already, the agent should ask: “What challenges are you currently facing in it? What do you wish the product had?”
If the prospect responds positively, it’s a good prospect to thank him or her for sharing their insights. An agent should say, “Thank you for this information. To be sure that I’ve understood correctly, [restate the prospect’s answers.] Is this correct?”
6. Benefits and Features
Once the agent has qualified the prospect, established his or her wants, and created the need for the company’s offering, the remaining steps will become easier.
Now the agent could say: “Based on what you just shared with me, I would like to inform you about how [product name] will benefit you.” The agent can go on to explain not just the features and benefits but also share what other customers say about the product.
7. Trial Close
If the prospect has responded positively, it’s time for the agent to try and close the sale. It could include scheduling a face-to-face appointment or confirming payment details for the purchase.
If, on the other hand, the prospect is not sure, the agent could use a more challenging “trial close” like: “A demo of our product will let you identify how this product will help you. You can check this out and add it as one of your options to think about. How does this sound?”
Objections should get addressed in this step — the key to reassuring the prospect that their decision to purchase your product will be a good one. The agent should understand the objections and answer them in ways that make the prospect feel comfortable. They can prepare convincing answers for the most common questions beforehand and use them as and when needed. If the agent doesn’t prepare for this step, he will find it difficult to close a sale.
9. Final Close
This step is to secure the prospect’s commitment. At this point, if the prospect is interested, the agent should thank him or her for the time and consideration and set up a convenient time to meet or send a sales representative.
10. Post Close
Finally, the agent collects all the important information needed before completing the call. If the prospect wants additional information, the agent can offer to call back with the relevant details or email it to the prospect. If the prospect is happy with the outcome, the agent can close by saying, “Thank you for your time and consideration; you have a pleasant day.”