Successful telemarketing requires skills that cover countless aspects of communication. Apart from being good at interpretation, you need to be a shrewd marketer. At the same time, you should carry the weight of your brand. Today, hundreds of companies all over the globe are outsourcing their outbound marketing services to experts.
What is outbound telemarketing?
Outbound telemarketing is the practice of cold calling a potential customer or client to educate them on a product or service and convince them to purchase it. An outbound telemarketing caller tends to follow a script devised as part of a larger telemarketing campaign. This script will often include instructions on how to respond to questions or objections that a potential customer or client raises.
Outbound telemarketing services include, but are not limited to:
- Lead generation and prospecting
- Appointment scheduling
- Database updates
- Telemarketing surveys
Tip: If you choose to hire an external sales professional or company to oversee your outbound services, make sure that these services are included in their work.
Editor’s note: If you’re looking for a call center service to engage in outbound telemarketing on your business’s behalf, fill out the questionnaire below for more information from our vendor partners.
Outbound vs. inbound telemarketing
Not every telemarketing campaign is outbound. Inbound telemarketing services also comprise a vital part of any telemarketing campaign. While the primary difference between inbound and outbound telemarketing is that an inbound telemarketing sales team receives calls, whereas an outbound telemarketing sales team focuses on cold calling, other differences include:
- Prospect qualification. An outbound telemarketing sales professional can handle prospect and lead generation, but inbound telemarketing teams may be better suited to fully qualify them. In other words, since people reaching out to your sales team may already be interested in your product, they are more likely to share information about themselves relevant to your telemarketing campaign.
- Higher profitability. If your business has a limited telemarketing budget, you may save money if you opt for only an inbound telemarketing team. Assuming you have embarked on other digital marketing campaigns, you can set up an inbound marketing team so that a caller responding to an ad has someone to speak with. Let your other digital marketing campaigns take care of finding the customers – keep your inbound telemarketing team on hand to complete the sale.
- Consultative roles. When contacting your sales team, some customers may view your reps as advisors with a consultative role. This means that, in some cases, your inbound telemarketing team can supplement your customer support team. While it is still advisable to separate your sales and customer service operations, having another starting point for customer support is never a bad thing.
Bottom line: The main difference between inbound and outbound telemarketing is that inbound teams receive calls where outbound teams make the calls.
13 outbound and inbound telemarketing tips
Convincing potential customers over the phone may not be as simple as you thought. You have several competitors offering the same product. As a rule of thumb, a telemarketer has to convey the value of their products or services to the customers. However, the key problem with most unsuccessful telemarketing campaigns is that the agents are unable to get their message across to the customers in the right way.
Whether you’re a small business owner selling your products or services or working as an outsourced telemarketer for another company, these are 13 of the best and most effective outbound sales tips you can use.
1. Be confident.
Whether you are dealing with inbound calls or outbound ones, remain confident. Customers can identify the authenticity of the brand by observing the agent’s tone. Put forward the authenticity of your product with authority. When you have a product, sell it boldly. If you have any hesitation or fear of remarks the customer may make, it will weigh too heavy on your mind. This may deter you from creating the desired impact in the mind of potential customers. Being hesitant not only creates a poor impression of an agent, but also the brand they are representing. Use a script if necessary, but make sure not to sound weak or completely artificial.
2. Maintain a natural tone.
One of the most common problems with telemarketers is that they do not sound natural. It may take time to learn about the product features and get used to the script, but speaking in a natural tone indicates you can answer the queries of the customers with ease. Often, telemarketers take up too much time to answer genuine questions. Experienced shoppers understand that you are either making up a story or reading from a script, which turns them off. Professionals offering outbound call center services always maintain a human tone and never sound robotic.
3. Listen to your customers.
Telemarketers often put forward their own opinions before customers ask relevant questions. The problem with these agents is they listen less to the issues customers face and are more interested in selling the product. This creates the impression of a hard-sell policy, which does not leave a favorable impression with your customers. The ideal approach is listening to the customer’s opinion and then putting forward the benefits of your product. Present your product to the customer, listen to what they say, and then back up your intention with the product attributes.
4. Do not assume.
Telemarketers often complete customers’ sentences for them in a way that leads to a different meaning. This hurts the rapport between the customer and the agent. Remember, every customer is unique, and their experience in using a particular product may not be similar to other people’s. Listen to what they are saying and try not to interrupt their speech. It degrades your image as a company’s agent, and the customer may disconnect the call.
5. Make your conversation interesting.
Quality calls sell goods. You should eliminate all sorts of filler from your calls. Verbal tics like “oh” and “ahh” decrease the quality of calls. Instead, you should use meaningful words that provide solid support to your logic. After your customer finishes off a sentence, you should think of what you can say that helps to create a favorable impression in their mind and come up with your opinion accordingly.
6. Maintain the right position.
You may ask what body position has to do with selling your products over the phone. Sitting up or standing during the conversation makes your voice clearer. You will sound more confident when you maintain the right position of the body. When you sit in an inclined position or speak with your head down, the vocal cord cannot open up freely. This, too, prevents the voice from being clearly heard.
7. Be prepared for objections.
When you sell your products over the phone, you are bound to face objections. Customers will counter your ideas, and you need to explain your point without being irritated. Telemarketers often hesitate in putting forward their argument in fear of inviting the mockery of customers. However, selling a product involves convincing skills along with the outbound calling techniques, so take time to explain how your brand stands apart from other companies.
8. Declutter your space.
The area where an agent works has to be free from clutter. Crowded workplaces do not allow telemarketers to concentrate on sales. The objects draw their attention and they are unable to focus on the call. Decluttering the area will make your approach more methodical and structured. You’ll be able to make your arguments more effectively. Customer interaction is the key area to focus on while you are selling your products. Therefore, it makes sense to declutter the area for enhancing the quality of calls.
9. Develop a rapport.
Enhanced communication skills come into play in the marketing process. You need to establish rapport and understanding with the customers before you go deeper into the deal. At the outset, it is necessary to take note of the problems customers have faced so you can convey the product attributes accordingly. It is also advisable to smile when you are conversing with the customers. Even though they can’t see you, it retains a hearty, human touch in the communication process.
10. Watch your speech rate.
When you are selling your product, it is necessary to make the person at the other end understand your opinions. Speak slowly so that they catch the words properly, especially when explaining the product attributes. You may know the features and technical specifications of your products, but your customers don’t. If you habitually speak fast, try to cut down your speech rate by about 20 percent. This gesture of an outbound telemarketer or service provider will be appreciated by the people at the other end.
11. Use your customer’s name.
One of the most effective ways to grab the attention of your customers is to call them by their names. Use their names at least three times during the conversation. This will generate more interest on their end. Communication experts focus on the importance of using names during conversations, as it intensifies the bond between the two people. Using names also makes your customers feel valued. Interpersonal communication is vital in telesales, so it is necessary to use the name of the customer.
12. Repeat your customer’s words.
When a customer speaks of a certain problem, you need to compliment or validate the opinion to establish a bond. Even if their opinion differs from what you say, first you need to recognize it before coming up with your explanation. However, make sure not to overuse this strategy, as it may become quite irritating.
As a marketer, you must assess your customer’s preferences. Ask questions about their expectations, problems and other aspects that can help you to put your product forward in an effective way. Customers love to interact with an agent showing concern for their interests.
13. Use a trusted telemarketing software platform.
Neither inbound nor outbound marketing is complete without proper telemarketing software to execute campaigns. Several of the most reputable, widely used telemarketing software platforms include services beyond just calling, so purchasing these platforms can have a breadth of benefits for your business.
When looking for an all-in-one dialer to streamline your telemarketing operations, look for telemarketing software options that also include customer relationship management (CRM), lead management, and marketing automation. The last of these capabilities can be especially important for inbound telemarketing teams preparing to receive an influx of calls after an especially widespread, high-spend digital marketing campaign – an all-in-one dialer that can also provide a comprehensive overview of your marketing efforts can inform sales strategies in real time.
Other important capabilities in a telemarketing software platform include drag and drop scripting, live chat, appointment scheduling, advanced reporting, contact automation, and more. No two telemarketing software platforms offer the same suite of benefits – look closely as you research, and you’ll find the platform best for your business.
These outbound call tips will help you to refine your telemarketing approach and fetch more sales. Buyers are hard to convince, especially in a competitive market. Understand your customers, assess their needs, and then approach them with your marketing strategy.
Additional reporting by Emily Watson.