Whether a business is selling products or services, most business sales people would recognize the need to get the message across to the target audience. The key to success in sales is to get the business in front of prospective clients or customers PRIOR to the sales team coming into the picture. This can happen by building rapport. Rapport helps build a trust; and trust in the business can give the sales team a better chance of securing a sale.
There are various methods of informing people that you have products or services that they may wish to buy or use. One method is to advertise — advertising can take on many different forms, and one method is to place advertisements in a newspaper, magazine, or other printed media that people may read about. Another method may be to set up a website and showcase their products and services, advertising online means that one needs to set up the infrastructure to conduct business online.
A company may also employ representatives to call on prospective customers, understand the customer’s needs, and discuss the company’s products and services. One can call on existing customers to gauge customer satisfaction or do cold calling to new prospects for generating new leads for the sales team. This is usually where a representative will call on a prospective customer without an appointment.
The technical definition is “someone selling or promoting a product or service over the phone”. Most usually this is done via a call center and many times even in the comfort of the telemarketer’s home office. This is one of the direct marketing channels for marketing a service or product. Telemarketing is making an outbound call to either an existing client or to prospects for finding new potential clients.
Of course a telemarketer may not actually be selling anything; they could be conducting market research or making a customer follow up call after a sale. The key really is the outbound call. When someone makes an outbound marketing call, the broad term for this is telemarketing. Many times businesses use an automated voice called a robo-caller. When using this type of technique it often causes the person being called to feel disrespected or that their time was wasted.
Teleprospecting is a specialization in itself. It calls for conversational skills and the ability to improvise on a script towards finding the prospective customer’s real need. It is a tool that continuously feeds salespeople new, significant opportunities, thus reducing the company’s total reliance on them to prospect. Because new leads are always on the horizon, teleprospecting softens the usual peaks and troughs that are typical in sales and allows for a more predictable sales forecast.
The technical definition of teleprospecting is usually defined as seeking and generating interest for a particular product or service over the phone. The goal of the teleprospector is NOT to close for a sale but to find the right person (decision maker) and the right interest (interested in hearing more) via the telephone.
Telemarketers usually make scripted calls. Many times as you may have noticed if you have ever had a telemarketer call you, they don’t usually steer or venture off of the script that they have been taught. They usually have a script or set of questions to ask, and more often than not, will try to keep the receiving person on “THEIR” specific task by over talking or just not listening.
Teleprospectors use a different training technique to gather the information that is needed. Teleprospectors use scripted and unscripted call handling that require a different personality and temperamental factors. Someone with the intellect & ‘verbal artistry’ to motivate an executive to take action in an unscripted fashion is usually a good fit for a teleprospecting job.
There are distinct differences between telemarketing and teleprospecting. However viewing these positions as identical – and therefore attempting to hire, train, develop and manage them in the exact same way is a huge mistake.
For anyone that has a business, the major goal is to increase clientele to further increase business. The main challenge business owners face is having the time to prospect (look) for new business. Identifying a potential client can be very time consuming and could take time away that should be spent on established clients.
However, most people have never heard of teleprospecting. More often than not, they confuse it with telemarketing—those annoying phone calls at dinnertime where someone attempts to sell you everything from newspapers to storm windows to security systems.
Outsourcing teleprospecting to identify the truly hot prospects in a sea of thousands of potential customers can be in the best interest of a business owner. Teleprospecting is a lead generation and qualification process. It is not selling. Teleprospecting allows a company to prime its pipeline by continuously identifying hot prospects that are actively looking to solve a key business problem. The goal of a teleprospector is to clean out the few “pots of gold” from the hundreds in a business prospect database—which then allows the sales force/team to focus on closing those deals.
But to get those “pots of gold” a company must clearly define and qualify a lead. This is the most critical step in teleprospecting. While the criteria for a lead can vary from organization to organization, there are typically five components to consider: budget, time frame to purchase, level of contact (i.e., decision maker), willingness to see your organization as a solution provider, and a detailed description of the actual opportunity. The teleprospector’s job role is to “dig” for this information in conversational ways, and to not be mistaken as a telemarketer trying to sell a product or service. Teleprospecting builds rapport between two businesses that could be a good fit for each other.
Teleprospecting frees up the sales team to concentrate on the job they have been specifically trained to do—sell your product or service—as opposed finding prospects. Generally, if salespeople are not in the field, they are not generating revenue for the company, and the sales team is probably not the most effective prospecting resource. They are trained to sell. More often than not, when a rep gets on the phone, their first instinct is to talk about feature, function and benefit instead of trying to uncover what the actual opportunity or need is. Then once they find a hot lead, they usually stop prospecting anyway. It is a vicious cycle. They pursue a deal, close it—and realize they have nothing on their radar screen to track next.
It can provide information on whether a market is saturated or whether that territory has so many opportunities that more people are needed. It can also lessen the chance of one rep pursuing 10 hot prospects while another is struggling to find even one.
Next time you hear someone talk about needing more leads, encourage them to consider a teleprospecting campaign. It’s hard to calculate the amount of revenue lost by not continuously prospecting, but it is safe to say opportunities are always missed due to timing. Outsourcing teleprospecting is a unique and highly effective way to keep your business on the fast track to growth.
HMS offers a host of business marketing services that include qualified lead generation, customer satisfaction surveys, marketing research and appointment setting. Our appointment setting service is a classic teleprospecting service with well trained teleprospectors filling your sales pipeline and generating qualified leads for your sales team.
Our appointment setters work as an extension of your marketing team, building rapport and paving the way for your sales team — truly partnering your business for success. Get in touch with us today to know more about our teleprospecting services.