Advantages and disadvantages of telephone selling

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Advantages and disadvantages of telephone selling

Telemarketing can be a particularly valuable tool for small businesses, in that it saves time and money as compared to personal selling, but offers many of the same benefits in terms of direct contact with customers.

In fact, experts have estimated that closing a sale through telemarketing usually costs less than one-fifth of what it would cost to send a salesperson to make a sale in person. Though telemarketing is more expensive than direct mail, it tends to be more efficient in closing sales and thus provides a greater yield on the marketing dollar.

Telemarketing is especially useful when the customers for a small business's products or services are located in hard-to-reach places, or when many prospects must be contacted in order to find one interested in making a purchase. Although some small businesses operate exclusively by telephone, telemarketing is most often used as part of an overall marketing program to tie together advertising and personal selling efforts.

For example, a company might send introductory information through the mail, then follow-up with a telemarketing call to assess the prospect's interest, and finally send a salesperson to visit. Telemarketing can be either inbound or outbound in scope. Inbound telemarketing consists of handling incoming telephone calls—often generated by broadcast advertising, direct mail, or catalogs—and taking orders for a wide range of products.

Representatives working in this type of telemarketing program normally do not need as much training as outbound reps because the customer already has shown an interest by calling in.

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Outbound telemarketing can be aimed directly at the end consumer—for example, a home repair business may call people in its community to search for prospects—or can be part of a business-to-business marketing program.

Representatives working on this side of the industry generally require more training and product knowledge, as more actual selling is involved than with inbound operations. Major applications of business-to-business telemarketing include selling to existing accounts, outbound new account development, inbound order processing and inquiry handling, customer service, and supporting the existing field sales force.

As the costs of field sales continue to escalate, businesses are using telemarketing as a way to reduce the cost of selling and give more attention to marginal accounts. Telemarketing programs can be either handled in-house by a company or farmed out to service bureaus. Operations range in size from a one-person in-house staff member at a small business to a major corporation or service center that may have as many as 1, telephone stations.

One of the advantages telemarketing has over other direct marketing methods is that it involves human interaction. According to Robert J. McHatton in Total Telemarketing, "used correctly and by professionals, the telephone is the most cost-efficient, flexible and statistically accountable medium available.

At the same time, the telephone is still very intimate and personal. It is individual to individual. Companies considering the use of telemarketing have to look at such factors as: Some of the roles telemarketing can be used to fulfill include: It can complement the field sales effort by reaching new customer bases or geographic markets at relatively low cost.

It can also be used to sell goods and services independently, with no field sales force in place. This method often is used for repetitive supply purchases or readily identifiable products, though it can be effectively applied to other products as well.

The inside sales force can be used to replace direct contact for marginally profitable customers.Feb 17,  · There is such a thing as too much information, particularly where information technology is concerned.

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Advantages and disadvantages of telephone selling

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