Did you know that some reports suggest there was a 50% increase in the number of businesses using telemarketing for lead generation during lockdown?
Let’s face it, with virtual meetings, webinars, and online demos taking the place of face-to-face interactions, it’s hardly surprising that more online methods of generating leads and setting up appointments became more popular. But why telemarketing specifically? Why not more salespeople or more digital marketing (not to say those didn’t see a bit of a surge, too)?
A new salesperson is generally a pretty high cost in terms of budget and time. Especially a good one! Sure you can get some hungry people who work on commission only, but more often than not, you’re looking at a decent outlay for sales. And then they’ve got to spend their time getting up to speed, finding their leads, prospecting, calling, emailing…
Telemarketing resource is often a much lower cost route to market, giving you a source of leads that your existing sales team can then work through the pipeline. You’re not replacing sales with telemarketing; you’re taking the time spent on pounding the phones and giving it to a more cost-effective resource.
If you’re working on digital marketing, you might be frustrated by how long it can take to see results. SEO often takes six months or more to start really showing its benefit, which can be far too long when you need an influx of leads. Even though things are starting to get back to some semblance of normal, a quick influx of leads is still valuable to most businesses.
Taking the time to get results from digital is worth doing, but it’s rarely the only strategy you should be using. Telemarketing gives you a boost while your organic traffic builds up. Of course, if both approaches give you a return on investment, why wouldn’t you keep them both running longer term? You would.
Did we mention lower cost?
One of the digital areas that has a much faster path to results is paid advertising – it’s often used to get that faster flow of leads while organic methods catch up. And, for some, it can be a cost-effective method of doing so. But for other businesses, PPC, Google Ads, and social ads can burn through budget without much to show for it.
Advertising on LinkedIn, for example, can be a much higher cost than any of the other platforms. That’s usually because it’s possible to be much more targeted towards your B2B audience. But if your website isn’t perfectly set up to convert, you can spend a lot to get a just handful of your target market to even see your offer.
Using telemarketing means you’re reaching out to your exact targets directly, not hoping they’ll see your ads, click on them, and take action. It’s a more streamlined method of reaching your specific audience.
Google ads may be cheaper than LinkedIn, but what if not many people are searching for your product or service? You won’t spend much, but you won’t get much either. And if there are lots of searches, you’ll probably find a lot of competition, which can drive the prices up exponentially. Some industries have an average cost per click of £80. That’s per click on the ad, not even per conversion on your website. How many more people could you reach with telemarketing for the same budget? Plenty!
During lockdown, telemarketing became especially popular because plenty of businesses were trying to do more with less – less time, less resource, less budget.
A lot of the people who click on your ads, download something from your website, get in touch – they’re still in an early phase of the buying journey. They may not be suitable customers. They may just be looking for information. They may be doing research for their own business, rather than wanting to purchase anything.
Ramping up some types of activity would mean you get more of this type of “leads”. In normal times, that’s generally ok. But if your team are low on resource, or you need quick results, or half the business was on furlough, then these can take up valuable time.
Many businesses found that telemarketing delivered them more qualified leads and weeded out the tire-kickers and time wasters. How much nicer is it to have a meeting with someone that you know has been qualified as a suitable lead for you?
Just because the lockdowns appear to be coming to an end, doesn’t mean telemarketing will drop off. Those businesses that tried it as a new lead generation tool over the past year have seen great successes with it. So, it’s not too late to add it to your sales mix. Give us a whistle and let’s see if there are opportunities for you.