Four Overlooked Benefits of Telemarketing

(and How to Make the Most of Them)

Whenever I can, I include telemarketing as part of a comprehensive lead-generation program. When it comes to setting sales appointments, populating a database with decision-maker names, or filling seats at an event, there’s no contact method that’s more direct or more effective. The results of telemarketing are usually measurable, too, which is also a rare benefit for any campaign tactic.Here are four primary benefits to telemarketing that are often overlooked, but can help you derive even more value from your calling programs.

1. Get in on the ground floor with a new customer
Ongoing telemarketing gives you the opportunity to be that incumbent. Cold-calling enables you open a dialogue with the new, undiscovered people, often before they’ve even begun the buying process. Telemarketing is a very direct method of identifying those people.When you’re in an account first, you can be the one to educate them, help them set benchmarks, and even help them format their RFP. It may be a long and nurturing process, but it can yield a lucrative relationship.

2. Generate key customer and marketplace data

If you have a strategic, targeted list of prospects, your telemarketing operation can help fill in some of the blanks in your database with key information. This information can then be used to focus your future sales and marketing communications. For example, you can generate data of a prospect’s usage of competitive products or services. Eventually, you can segment your database and target specific campaigns to specific situations for greater impact.You can also arm your callers with a few key questions that you would like to have answered. As they log the answers, you’re generating your own primary research.

3. Build brand awareness

Particularly for companies without a significant market presence, telephone contact can serve as another awareness enhancement of your company or brand name.

This is where voicemail becomes your friend. While voicemail suffers the same risk of “trigger-finger delete” as unsolicited emails, some people do listen, at least long enough to hear the company name and the primary message. At best, they’ll hear your offer, your message and your brand/company name. At least, they’ll hear your brand name, which is an impression you wouldn’t have had otherwise.

4. Test your materials and your message

Feedback from your telemarketers can give you an indication of how well your current marketing materials are penetrating your audience, and whether your message is actually being received.You can use calling campaigns to test your new ideas. Change your message, your offer, or your approach and then track your numbers during the month, and see whether the new messaging has made a difference in your results.