Telemarketing can be difficult and take long hours to prepare for campaigns, sometimes with few results. But in a time where emails are going unread, telemarketing is still the best way to get in contact with your prospects and customers.
Thus, it’s vitally important to properly prepare, set up and implement your telemarketing campaign.
Identify the database
Your database might include calling into existing customers, former customers or new prospects. You should have a list of existing and former customers, but you might need to develop a prospect list. In building a prospect list, you will have the opportunity to define the target market that you want to reach. Common search criteria include:
- Industry Type
- Geographic Locations
- Annualized Revenue
- Number of Employees
- Single Location, Headquarter, Branch-type Facilities
It will be helpful if you try to manage the database inside a CRM application. It is usually worth the time required to setup some type of electronic database management process in advance so you can effectively manage your information and respond to follow up requirements after speaking with people.
Write a script
Have a purpose for calling customers or prospects. It is important to document this message. Know who you should be talking to, this might be a decision maker or influencer. With customers, you might already have the correct name to ask for. With prospects you might want to identify the common job titles for your target contacts. In most industries it is not realistic to think you will sell products or services during the first phase of your calling campaign. A suggested goal is to ask key questions that allow you to begin the sales process.
Questions that will allow you to start the sales process include:
- Understanding who their current vendor is
- Are they under contract
- When does the contract end
- What is their current satisfaction level
- Do they have needs that are not being met by the vendor or product/service
Consider including a question that asks for permission to include prospects in your monthly newsletter or periodic communications. Typically, email is the method; attempt to capture their email address.
Practice / Role Play
Even if you feel your staff is capable of jumping right in and making calls, it is still a good idea to practice prior to going live with your calls. If you plan to have the calls made by inexperienced staff, you will want to train and role play with them prior to going live. If your calling staff is not experienced, this is okay; their primary objective is capturing answers to the questions listed above.
Telemarketing is a job responsibility that is commonly avoided so it will be smart to develop a calling schedule for the staff to follow. This will help assure that the project gets done. Consider allocating a couple hours each day over an extended period of time rather than making all the calls at one time.
Follow up requirements
Expect the conversations you have with customers or prospects to generate a level of busy work; this is good. Some prospects will ask that you send them information, others will ask that you call back at a specific future date, and others will ask questions that require research and call backs. Respond to these requests timely as these activities give you permission to call the prospects back. This is how the sales process gets started.
Measurement and Analysis
Find out what your productivity levels were. How many dials were completed? Did you complete your goals? Were you looking to increase prospects, qualify prospects, increase awareness, increase attendance at an event? Take a look at your goals and compare your call productivity to them.
Overall, it can be difficult to remain motivated to cold call and telemarket, but with the right processes in place, you can increase your chances for success.
Hungry for more? Get more detailed information about these 6 steps in our follow up articles:
“Identifying Your Database for a Telemarketing Campaign”
“Writing a Script for a Telemarketing Campaign”
“The Importance of Practicing a Telemarketing Script”
“Getting Your Telemarketing Campaign Started”