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The events of 2020 have changed the world and business profoundly. In sales, travel and in-person visits have slowed way down or stopped completely. Companies can’t wait to resume selling; they have to figure out how to stay in the game. As they find ways to cut costs and continue operations, outbound telemarketing becomes a clear, sustainable alternative for renewing and building customer relationships.

The change is bittersweet. The lost revenue hurts, but there’s a twist. Now that many customers won’t allow face-to-face meetings, online conferences are preferred. This presents a chance to change how things are done forever.

To a sales representative, reduced or no travel can bear significant positive meaning. For one, it means spending more time with family.

The impact on business includes increased efficiency. Less time on the road means dramatically reducing travel expenses and more time spent on sales activities.

With outbound telemarketing, P&L managers now see how they can save thousands of dollars per month. And, they’re wondering how they can keep it up to improve profitability once sales rebound.

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Outbound Telemarketing, Not Robo-Dialing

You should know that telemarketing calls are not synonymous with robocalls. And yes, we understand that bad practices by some telemarketing companies have created a stigma around cold-calling. 

The kind of outbound telemarketing we are referring to isn’t what some might expect. On the type of calls we mention, automated dialing doesn’t have to be a component. Nor does the telemarketer have to blindly make calls to a high volume of random numbers. 

In the scenario we describe, a knowledgeable salesperson is making the calls.

Imagine a person trained to consider their prospects first and maintain professionalism. They call to make an introduction and offer value, never to annoy or harass their potential customer.

Briefly, let’s go over some details of what we as cold-calling experts say outbound telemarketing should NOT be:

  1. Calling prospects and using tricks or coercion to get them to agree to a sale.
  2. Pushing people who will not benefit from your product or service to take an appointment with you or buy it.
  3. Being rude to prospects to that tell you they’re not interested.

Salespeople in door-to-door sales expect rejection. As they do the same kind of work over the phone, cold-callers should expect to hear “no.”

Most calls will not result in an immediate sale. But, if the salesperson calls a prospect that will need their service someday, it can start a great relationship.

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Business To Business Marketing Gone Virtual

Let’s face it, remote selling isn’t something new.

Pre-2020, companies looked for ways to save on expenses related to sales travel. After slimming down their outside salesforces, they saw how much they could increase profitability when they instead hired an inside sales team. 

Some companies maintained a balance between in-person sales and virtual sales by making the tasks of inside and outside sales reps complimentary. The inside rep’s work can be administrative by nature, and typically they support outside sales in many ways, like handling customer service issues.

“Inside sales” has also meant boiler room telemarketing. The primary technology was the phone, and representatives would just “sit down and dial.” In this case, not much has changed over twenty or thirty years. This kind of dialing can be tedious, and unpleasant. The pressure can make is hard for salespeople and customers alike. 

As telemarketing became less enjoyable, salespeople and their busy prospects grew to prefer text and online communication. Then, online advertising blew up, and rumors began to circulate that the age of cold-calling was over. 

Because outbound telemarketing is what we do, we’ve always known that the rumors weren’t right. But, what really brought everything to light was the COVID lockdowns. 

Prospects that were usually very hard to reach suddenly were working from home offices. For us, it became possible to connect with people who hadn’t answered even after months of outreach.

With that in mind, we knew it wasn’t the time to throw out a hard pitch. We knew this was the time to make a real connection. And so, that continues, with more people being open to calls and virtual meetings than ever.

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Staying Proactive

As consumer demands change, we see businesses and individuals reinventing themselves. Entire industries are morphing before our eyes.

As a small business owner, you have a special position in all of this. As you watch it all unfold, your main thoughts are how to stay in the game; be relevant. 

It’s crucial to pay close attention to what’s going on around you. You must be proactive; ready to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves unexpectedly. You must work with foresight and be optimistic.

This point of this article has been to jog your imagination as to how telemarketing can help your business in today’s climate.

If you don’t feel that outbound telemarketing is right for your company at the moment, that’s OK. But keep it on the back-burner as a possibility. The world will continue to become more virtual, and it may be one of the few ways left to maintain a personal touch.

Ask yourself, what will be your strategy to keep things personal?

Here are some questions you can ask yourself and your sales team:

  • How have your sales and marketing strategies changed over the past six months?
  • What is better now, and why? 
  • If something is not working, what’s the reason?
  • If there was something you could do to quickly generate more sales, what would it be? 
  • Could you use the phone to help it happen?

There are many resources online today that can help you to grow your business through sales with minimal investment. Great sales and marketing resources include the HubSpot and Zoho libraries where tons of templates, training, and videos are available to help you plan your sales outreach.

You can follow sales trainers on LinkedIn and YouTube for daily useful advice as well. Or, you can subscribe to our blog for free ideas to be sent straight to your inbox.

Do you have any thoughts on how outbound telemarketing has changed in today’s world? Let us know, or feel free to ask any questions down below!

SEE RELATED: Outbound Calling For Discovery & Market Research

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