Telemarketing: Choosing Inbound or Outbound?

Telemarketing gives small business owners a quick and cost-effective method of identifying and contacting, via phone, a specific large market of prospects for the purpose of selling a product or service. With an effective script and enthusiastic telemarketers, small business owners can generate sales without having to spend large amounts of money on traditional marketing vehicles. There are two types of telemarketing.

Inbound telemarketing involves prompting prospects to call you. You can achieve this in a number of ways, directing people to call you after seeing your website, social media message, email, media advertising, or direct mail. When the consumer calls, your telemarketers will provide information on the product or service, but their primary function is to take orders rather than proactively sell the product or service to the consumer.

Outbound telemarketing, on the other hand, involves a proactive sales approach wherein your telemarketers make calls from your company to a target group of consumers to sell them your product or service.

Although they may not sound that different, they are actually very, very different animals. Making outbound calls to customers who have not shown any particular interest in your product or service is much, much harder than converting prospects who have contacted you, already with some preliminary interest, into a sale. However, with inbound telemarketing you have the added expense and challenge of getting the customer to call you in the first place.

Legal Restriction on Telemarketing

In the United States, many consumers now place their numbers on “do not call lists,” so as a business, it is against the law to make a sales call to them unless you have a current business relationship.

The cost of a telemarketing program depends upon a variety of factors. These include how many phone lines you decide to install, the number of telemarketers you employ, the number of hours they spend calling prospective customers, the number of calls they make per hour, and the number of leads generated per telemarketer.

Takeaways You Can Use

  • Inbound telemarketing is totally different from outbound telemarketing.
  • With inbound, the big challenge is getting the customer to call you in the first place.
  • With outbound, the big challenge is holding the customer’s interest.
  • Outbound requires more skilled employees and is more difficult to manage.

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About Bob Adams

Bob Adams is a Harvard MBA serial entrepreneur. He has started over a dozen businesses including one that he launched with $1500 and sold for $40 million. He has written 17 books and created 52 online courses for entrepreneurs. Bob also founded BusinessTown, the go-to learning platform for starting and running a business.