Telemarketing Vs. Teleprospecting – How are they different? Which one is right for your business?
What is the difference between telemarketing and teleprospecting? These two terms are sometimes thought of as the same thing and may even be used interchangeably. However, there is a big difference and there are key factors that differentiate the two.
Both terms refer to using the telephone to initiate communication with a prospect, but that is where the similarity ends.
In breaking down the aspects of a sales call, you can see clearly the differences between the two and how they lead to different outcomes. It is important to know the difference so you can decide which type is best suited to your business and will bring you the best results.
Who is making the call?
Telemarketing generally involves a high volume of sales calls made to long lists of recipients. The goal of the telemarketer is to reach a large amount of people and move them along a structured sales process. It most often involves a scripted pitch by the caller, and thus the call can be very one-sided.
The interaction is not usually very complex as the caller is offering a simple product to a wide audience.
Because of this, telemarketers are often entry-level and can begin making calls with little sales experience.
Telemarketing can be very successful for the business to consumer market, in which the company has a product designed for a large audience, as well as less complex business to business markets.
According to SiriusDecisions, telemarketers are responsible for three jobs:
- Adding new names to a database
- Enriching current records
- Registering prospects for events
Teleprospecting is a more complex process using B2B solution selling practices and also requires cold calling methodology expertise. Teleprospecting is generally reserved for B2B sales and the list of prospects is more targeted, while the product or service offering is more complex and high ticket.
Instead of scripts, the goal is to engage a decision maker in a meaningful interaction to gain an understanding of their business needs and to help match those needs with a solution, service or product.
Because of this, a caller needs to be more seasoned, with the experience to understand the nuances of a business conversation, and with the ability to listen intently and ask the right questions to draw out qualifying lead information.
The goal of the call is to learn and determine if your product or service will be able to meet the specific business needs of the prospect and then set next steps in the sales process.
Who are they calling?
In telemarketing, the caller is assigned a list of prospects and “calls down” the list with the goal of making either a sale or an appointment by the end of the conversation. They are trying to reach a direct consumer, or any representative of a business.
There is not much time given to who the contact actually is before the call is placed. Who they reach on the other end of the line is not very crucial, and it is more important that a high number of calls are made to ensure successful sales numbers.
In teleprospecting, before a caller picks up the phone they will have researched the best title contact(s) at a company who would be involved with the decision making process.
A teleprospector will make calls to multiple high level evaluators and key decision makers with whom they can start a conversation, often using referrals to target the key decision maker. Because of the complex nature of the sale, it is appropriate and necessary to reach the highest level executive in the organization responsible for the business solution being pitched.
How do you measure success?
Perhaps the most defining aspect between telemarketing and teleprospecting is how success is determined.
After working through a list a telemarketer will have a number of successful calls based on numbers of dials, numbers of actual sales or appointments made, or even the number of people they were able to pass along down a sales pipeline. It is unlikely that they will revisit those prospects again as the call will have ended in a simple yes, no, or incomplete.
In teleprospecting, the success of the call is not as easily measured by numbers. The goal for a complex B2B call is to develop qualified, actionable sales leads.
According to SiriusDecisions,“ contributing leads that consistently convert to pipeline is the essence of the modern b-to-b marketing function. Quality leads are the result of a number of things going right – an understanding of the buyer’s need, a compelling value prop, a compelling message, and timing.”
The goal of a teleprospector is to professionally contact and interview decision makers at prospect organizations to develop highly qualified sales opportunities or determine why the prospect is not a good fit.
When deciding between telemarketing and teleprospecting it is important to understand the nature and needs of your business. The two are not generally interchangeable and one will be more beneficial to your company than the other. Questions to ask yourself before determining your needs:
Questions to ask yourself before determining your needs:
- Is your solution, product or service complex or commodity?
- Do you have a defined niche market or can you cast a wide net?
- Will your business benefit from high volume transactions or a targeted, complex sale?
Both telemarketing and teleprospecting have their place in a successful sales strategy – applying the right methodology in the right situation will determine the success of your telesales efforts.
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