It is a common misconception to associate telemarketing with an individual equipped with headphones, a list of sales leads and a deadline, trying to frantically make calls in order to achieve his targets. Telemarketing is more than this. It is a very broad term that applies to both inbound and outbound telemarketing that focuses on a lot of functionalities including lead generation. Call centers these days handle huge volumes of incoming and outgoing calls. These calls are either made to customers or other businesses. If the calls are being made to single individuals seeking for feedback or for the purpose of sales pitching, it is called Business to Customer (B2C) telemarketing. But if the calls are being to another business, it is called Business to Business (B2B) telemarketing. It is quite interesting when we think of the relevance and growing dependence of businesses on B2B telemarketing. As mentioned before, it is not just for the purpose of data gathering. It is more than that. It has become an integral part of a companys sales and marketing campaign. In order to keep the competition alive the market and register their presence, companies depend a lot on B2B telemarketing. The most common functions of B2B telemarketing are:
1. Looking for business prospects: Managers expect to be contacted by the right vendors regarding various outsourcing services. B2B telemarketing provides an interface between two companies so that they can do business together.
2. Improving quality of data: At an entry level, telemarketing is data collection. But at higher levels of business, it is going into the depth of the collected data so that it can provide more in-depth knowledge. This proves to be beneficial for the businesses in a longer run.
3. Planning of a campaign or event: Companies plan a lot of events or run campaigns to market themselves. In these events or campaigns they tell the audience about the business they do. B2B telemarketing ensures that during such events the right audience turns up. By doing so, all the parties attending the event/campaign benefit from each other.
4. Being in touch: It is important to be in touch with your customers and more importantly with your clients you are doing business with. A business should keep its clients in loop regarding the new services it is comping up with or the services it is offering on the old products.
5. Finding the right customer: Sometimes a single phone call bring huge profits to the company. B2B telemarketing ensures that the market is aware of the companys presence and the customers are able to connect with company when required.
6. Cutting the middlemen: A lot of time and resources are wasted when a business reaches another business via a third party. B2B telemarketing ensures that both the business are connected directly and have the full understating of each others operations.
7. Lead generation: Last but not the least, it is all about nurturing leads. Data collected via B2B telemarketing is used for various marketing purposes, for identifying the best sales prospects and or as a follow up to other forms of marketing.
Companies that cannot spare resources to have a dedicated, in house telemarketing department look for outsourcing options. There are a lot of options available in the market to choose from. Almost all the vendors provide satisfactory services at affordable prices. Up and coming business especially start-ups and e commerce have benefited by outsourcing their telemarketing sector. A lot depends upon the skills and conduct of the vendors. Vendors who offer such services have to build a close relationship with the company as it is a big step to trust a third person to take control of such an important department. Outsourcing firms need to develop a good knowledge of the companys target market and have ample of resources, in terms of technology and human resource, to provide professional services. A healthy professional relationship between the company and the vendor is the key to a successful business.