The real differences between telemarketing, telesales and inside sales: could this be the key to a winning sales strategy?

Even the most experienced sales professional might struggle to pin down a comprehensive definition for each discipline and others might not differentiate at all; so it’s not hard to understand where the confusion arises.

The sales and marketing landscapes have vastly changed in the past decade. Digital marketing, content marketing and sales enablement specialisms have emerged alongside the advent of marketing automation and analytics tools. As a result, businesses are closer to their customer data than ever before, meaning campaigns can be focused and personal, and sales and marketing professionals can become laser-focused on their target market. You might ask what does this have to do with telemarketing, telesales and inside sales? The answer, absolutely everything. 75% of companies say closing more deals is their top sales priority, yet 40% of salespeople say getting a response from prospects is getting harder (source: Hubspot). It’s these solutions that help bring businesses closer to the decision maker, generating meaningful leads and supporting your overarching sales goals and objectives. Here’s how.

Telemarketing – a vital part of your outbound strategy

There’s a huge difference between a telemarketer reading a tired, poorly thought out script in an uninspiring environment and outsourcing the job to a professional and dynamic agency who can demonstrate genuine return on investment through happy clients. Highly trained telemarketers are skilled sales professionals, adept at staying on brand and message whilst nurturing a conversation. They are focused on building rapport with your desired targets and delivering detailed reporting that helps you inform and shape your future campaigns. The best agencies offer you full transparency, connecting you to the team making the calls, live reporting and a dedicated campaign manager. They will provide you with a true extension of your in-house team.

Telesales – professionalism and scalability

Telesales is a slightly different focus. Homing in on the sale of a specific product or service, it’s ideal for businesses that might need to scale up their sales resource around a product launch or campaign. Done well, this approach is far cry from the high volume, light touch methods some might associate with telesales; it can help you increase conversion rates and boost your brand in the markets you need to be known. These skilled telesales professionals can build valuable customer relationships without the hard sell.

Inside sales – turning interested prospects into active clients

Inside sales teams target prospects and customers through email, phone conversations or online through LinkedIn, business groups and forums. These professionals are not only skilled in the art of identifying opportunities for upsell and nurturing conversations through a sales pipeline but a valuable support to traditional ‘outside sales’ identifying key opportunities beyond the scope of their role. Converting a sales lead into a valued customer can be challenging to say the least, this is where inside sales comes into its own, taking greater ownership for nurturing this valuable conversion process.

We understand the reasons driving the decision to outsource are often complex. You might want to save time, protect your internal resource, or bring in the expertise you need, when you need it. Whether you have a project in mind or if you’d like to explore how our services could support your business and sales objectives, we’d welcome the opportunity to take this forward and show you how we’ve helped businesses from all sectors achieve success. Get in touch today or call us on 0345 241 3038. Or hear more from our existing customers here.

Are you losing 17% of the sales year by stopping activity in December and January?

Every year we find the same old chestnut rears its head. As we get past Halloween and December is just around the corner, some of our clients tell us they want to stop their sales lead generation campaigns, saying that they will restart them either in mid-January or early February. After all, the reasoning goes, everything slows down in November and then nobody is at work in December and early January.

But should we really be writing off December and January? After all, allowing sales activity to stop in December and January means losing 17% of the selling year. That’s the same as letting your sales team work a 4-day week for 10 months of the year! Well logic seems to say that this period is not a good time to be filling the funnel and selling. But is that actually true? Is this period just the same as any other time of the year? Might it be even better?

As a global Group, we’ve always found that December and January are a great time for lead generation activity and for years we’ve been saying to anyone who’ll listen that we get our best results of the year during this period. This year, we thought we’d go one step further and run the numbers to prove it. And the answer is a resounding “yes”.

We looked at those clients who kept their lead generation campaigns going over this period (other than during our break from 20 December 2018 to 8 January 2019). We compared the results we got for them during December and January and compared these with the results we got for them in the three months prior (September to November). What we found was:

  • Call rates increased by 26%;
  • Conversations with Decision Makers increased by 18%;
  • The time required to generate a qualified sales lead dropped by 51%

So (as we’ve been saying to anyone who will listen) it turns out that there are people at work during the December/January period – lots of them, in fact. And when you think about it, our results make complete sense.

Sure, our call rate increased because some people are not back at work yet, so we have to make more calls to reach each decision maker, but we still had more conversations with decision makers. And for those people who are back at work, it’s quiet. They’re getting things done and they’re thinking strategically about the year ahead. They have more time to take our calls and are more open to having a conversation with our agents. All of this means that we set many more appointments in December and January than at any other time of the year.

However, the clients that saw the biggest improvement in their results were those who started back with us right at the beginning of January. For those that came back in mid-January or later there was far less of an impact on their results. And on reflection that makes sense too, because there was very little loss of sales momentum on their lead generation campaigns.

Now there are some caveats with this, of course.

  • If your customers are retailers, are running restaurants or cafes, or if they are schools, then you’re not going to want to do much in December and January because these groups either aren’t there (schools) or don’t have the time to talk to us (due to peak season demand).
  • If you have a very niche market (less than 100 potential customers to reach in the market you want to target), it makes sense to avoid December and early January. People are away at this time and with such a small market to reach, there’s too much likelihood that calls will stall.

If that’s not you, why wouldn’t you keep your lead generation and sales activity humming as late into December as possible and restarting in early January? At worst, the results you get will be the same as you got in the previous months. At best, you could see a 51% (or more) increase in leads generated for your sales team.

But what if your reason for pausing sales activity is that your sales team take a large chunk of December and January off? Well, going forwards you might want to think about changing this: should they be away for that period of time when it is such a good time to meet prospects? But in the short term, we’ve found that calls made in late December and early January can be used effectively to set up meetings for your sales team when they get back so that they hit the ground running from day 1. You’re still clawing back as much of that “missed” 17% of the year as you can, giving you and your team the best chances of meeting and exceeding their sales targets for the year.

Are you ready to increase your sales leads by 51%?

If you are thinking about running an outsourced sales campaign, don’t think about putting it off till next year, get up and running now – we’re coming into our peak performance period and you’ll get really great results. If you would like help implementing and conducting a successful outsourced sales campaign, get in touch. Our expert team have years of experience across a broad range of industries and will be able to help you reach your business and sales goals.

Call: 0345 241 3038 or visit our contact us page.

Inside Sales – Inhouse vs. Outsourced Webinar

Presented by Owen Richards, Managing Director of Air Marketing Group, in association with The Institute of Sales Management.

About

Outsourcing your sales, lead generation or telemarketing activity can be a fantastic way to grow revenue. But why wouldn’t you simply grow an in-house team?

The reality is that both models can work well, but without the right systems and processes, both have many potential pitfalls.

In this webinar, we explore the potential risks, upsides, and downsides of in-house vs. outsourced, as well as analysing the differences in investment levels, time and resource.

You should watch this on-demand webinar if inside sales, telemarketing or lead generation is, or could be, part of your growth plans and if you’d like to learn more about which model is right for your business.

Key takeaways

• The benefits if both outsourcing your sales and lead gen
• How to choose the right outsourced sales partner – What to look for
• The benefits of building your own inside sales team
• How to setup and in-house Inside sales team successfully
• The investment level required for both models
• How to measure your investment and return
• Running a combined in-house/outsourced model

Myth busting the ‘disadvantages’ of telemarketing

It’s common knowledge that the telemarketing industry carries with it strong stereotypes. The word ‘telemarketing’ has a negative connotation for many and this has resulted in an abundance of myths becoming associated with telemarketing.

This is extremely unfortunate for one of the most direct routes to market with incredible case studies to back it up. As a company that sees our clients get great results out of telemarketing campaigns, we’ve set out to debunk these and explore why they really are just myths.

FALSE: Telemarketing diallers always have to stick to scripts
Sticking to strict scripts does not result in conversations that are tailored to each and every individual on the phone. Although there may be some structure to the calls, a strict script is not adhered to. This enables real conversations that adapt to the prospect’s needs, build a relationship and trust in your brand.

FALSE: There’s no emotion – each call is just a number
If our diallers had no emotion and didn’t care, we wouldn’t have achieved what we had in the last financial year. Each call isn’t just a call. It’s a conversation which looks in to pain points and reasons why a service or product might help someone. This therefore requires a deeper and emotional understanding that goes way beyond statistics.

FALSE: Complex products or services can’t be sold over the phone
This all comes down to training. We would agree that without the right training, no product or service can be sold over the phone. If you’re looking to work with an outsourced telemarketing supplier, it’s important to understand that full training is carried out in order for telemarketers to be confident in what they’re talking about. At Air, we work on a vast range of products and services, which means we have to be seriously clued up on the details of each and what they could potentially offer a prospect. In the last financial year, we conducted 534 hours 45 minutes of training focused on our clients’ products and services.

FALSE: Telemarketers are inexperienced staff that don’t stick around
The phrase ‘call centre’ brings with it connotations which surround the idea of young and inexperienced team members who leave not long before their seat is warm. At Air, our diallers are ex-directors, business owners and sales professionals from a variety of backgrounds, spanning a wide age range. We take pride in nurturing all employees who wish to build a career with us – read Yasmin’s story here.

FALSE: Dishonest or aggressive methods are used to win sales
The belief that telemarketers hammer the phones, they’re aggressive and their practices are dishonest is one that is far from true. Before any campaign, we ensure that our data is as clean as possible with the right information and that we adhere to any TPS registers. Ethical selling and quality assurance are at the top of our priority list.

FALSE: Cold calling is dead
And this is the biggest myth of them all! There’s an ongoing debate which is based on the concept that cold calling just doesn’t work anymore. This simply isn’t true. Moreover, the results from both telemarketing and multi-channel marketing campaigns are proving this ideology wrong every year. In fact, our clients make an average return of £18 for every £1 they spent with us.

At Air Marketing Group, we don’t throw mud at a wall and hope some of it sticks; we look to nurture leads to encourage conversions. Read our top 10 tips for successful telemarketing blog here.

We’re passionate about the way we work with your business. We’ll ensure that any questions or uncertainties you may have surrounding a campaign with us are answered.

To arrange a free consultation with one of our Sales Directors, get in touch today or call 0345 241 3038.

Air Marketing Group – 3rd Year Business Overview

An epic year for Air Marketing Group!

Packed full of statistics, our third year business overview looks at the number of client campaigns we had running to the number of new sales opportunities we created for our clients. 

View the page here.