Outbound telemarketing is not dead

By Megan Hottman, Operations Manager and Brand Evangelist

outbound telemarketing agent It’s A-L-I-V-E (queue creepy music), outbound telemarketing is A-L-I-V-E (end creepy music)! For those who say it is dead, here’s why I am convinced it isn’t and won’t be. It shouldn’t be written off so quickly, as it often times is. Outbound telemarketing is an untapped resource that should be used more. Maybe I’ll be persuasive enough to convince you?

When it comes to sales, I feel like I’ve kind of seen it all. I’ve been an individual contributor, started new segments of business, lead large teams, etc. I’ve worked for smaller organizations, startups and for Fortune 100’s. Across the various roles I’ve held and size of company I’ve been employed with, there have been some universal, err, we’ll call them universal consistencies when it came to sales people and their (our) grumblings. Do any of these phrases sound familiar?

“I was hired to sell not to hunt for new business!”
“You expect me to find new business, maintain my current customers AND upsell?”
“Marketing doesn’t know what they’re doing!”
“I thought we were supposed to have inbound leads?”
“I can’t hit quota if I continue getting customer service issues from my customers!”
“Who made the decision to acquire that company? They can’t give me a higher quota as a result!”
“YOY growth rate of 15%? Yeah right. It’s not happening.”

Yep, I thought so. They are all phrases that have been thought while some choose to verbalize from time to time (or often, depending on the individual…we all know who ‘those’ people are. Anyway, I digress.)

I believe that organizations often miss an incredibly important aspect when it comes to their sales teams. One that impacts productivity and morale of the entire department. Organizations that choose to have their sales teams focus on a mix of different responsibilities rather than having a distinct responsibility. When a salesperson is tasked with hunting their own leads, qualifying, closing, account management, marketing, etc., it dilutes their ability to focus on core objectives of the business. Isn’t what they are hired to do?

When roles aren’t specific enough and the salesperson does “everything”, it’s not uncommon to see these two things occur:

1. A decline in motivation because experienced salespeople enjoy closing, not prospecting. Let’s face it, they are most likely not great at it either.
2. Focus begins to fade when pipeline begins to build because salespeople are too busy to continue prospecting. It’s isn’t sustainable as we very well known to prospect the right way while supporting and growing the current client base. Let’s not forget to mention the lack of proper training on effective prospecting.

Outbound telemarketing plays an important role in the success of sales organizations

Rather than dilute a salesperson’s focus between 6 responsibilities, have them focus on one or two and work with an outbound telemarketing partner for the rest. Internal sales teams know the business, the industry and the customer profile. They are well aware of what dominos need to fall first before the sale can close based off of their experience. They know the client success stories, what market factors are going on and how to mitigate potential risks with such issues with customers. They are the experts and have a distinct skillset they were hired for and are expected to use in achieving their sales objectives.

Use outbound telemarketing to help augment the sales pipeline with qualified leads for your internal sales team. Let the outbound telemarketing team do the dirty work of getting repeated rejection, phone call after phone call, leaving voicemails, attempting new prospecting strategies and doing the other work that needs to be done to hit organizational objectives.

Slicing and dicing outbound telemarketing

When it comes to dividing up sales roles and responsibilities, consider breaking into functions of specialty. Such as:

Sales Executives: these are the best of the best internal team members and typically carry quotas and close deals. It’s not uncommon for SE’s/AE’s to check in regularly with their clients and look for opportunities to grow the account.

Lead Generation: this is the sweet spot for many outbound telemarketing organizations. Lists are created based on certain criteria sets. This specific function is to identify new business opportunities through cold calling, email or other tactics to funnel to the internal sales executives. This is the dirty work. Outbound telemarketing organizations are highly efficient and have specific processes dialed in to identify the right opportunity for the sales team.

Appointment Setting: outbound telemarketing partners have experts where appointment setting is their primary job. They know the levers to pull to gain commitments from the lead for a specific time regarding a desired or targeted product/service.

Reactivation of Lapsed Accounts: there’s a gold mine of accounts in your CRM. Let the SE’s focus on what will drive the most business and send the rest to an outbound telemarketing partner. In my personal experience with this specific segmentation, I was pleasantly surprised by the results. Chances are this is an untapped area of opportunity for you as it is for many organizations. While it won’t drive 50% close rates, it will likely provide the incremental revenue needed to help support the outbound telemarketing efforts.

Inbound Customer Support: sales teams really shouldn’t handle this function, there should be a dedicated team. Consider outbound telemarketing as a solution to free up the SE’s time so they can focus on hitting their sales goals. A distinct advantage in working with an outbound telemarketing partner is their natural ability to cross-sell other products and services based on the nature of their specific role. Take the time to invest in a handful in training of products that can be presented while the customer is on the phone. It’s a natural way to add revenue to the business.

This is a subject I am passionate about because I know how well it works. There are so many advantages to outbound telemarketing,  There just isn’t a possibility to be great in a sales role when taking on the entire sales process from start to finish. For organizations who are unfamiliar with outbound telemarketing, I get it. Your perception is likely to be the same as others who haven’t had the opportunity to partner with one or perhaps you’ve had a miserable experience. Either way, it’s a worthy exercise to explore; what segmenting roles through using outbound telemarketing looks like for your company.

Want to hear more about my personal experience on this topic? I’m happy to share. Reach me directly at 516-656-5120.

Ready to speak with someone now? Call us now at 866-963-2889 or schedule an appointment.

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Megan Hottman is an Operations Manager and Brand Evangelist for Quality Contact Solutions. Megan’s experience includes working as an outbound telemarketing manager for a Fortune 100 company for many years. Megan has been both a client and an employee of QCS, so she knows first-hand the quality, productivity and passion the team brings to work on a daily basis. As Brand Evangelist, Megan is a freelance contributor to our website. You can reach Megan at https://www.linkedin.com/in/meganehottman