Telemarketing (sometimes known as inside sales or telesales in the UK and Ireland) is a method of direct marketing in which a salesperson solicits prospective customers to buy products or services, either over the phone or through a subsequent face to face or web conferencing appointment scheduled during the call. Telemarketing can also include recorded sales pitches programmed to be played over the phone via automatic dialling.

Telemarketing is defined as contacting, qualifying, and canvassing prospective customers using telecommunications devices such as telephone, fax, and internet. It does not include direct mail marketing.

There are two types of telemarketing. Inbound telemarketing and Outbound Telemarketing.

Inbound telemarketing is also known as soft-selling. Inbound is all the more regularly used when the buyer is still in the decision-making process and is looking for extra data. Buyers are more open to inbound telemarketers since they’ve ventured out the relationship by calling. They have as of now pre-qualified themselves by grabbing the telephone, which indicates interest in the organization, so they are additionally eager to buy from an inbound telemarketer.

Outbound telemarketing are an effective form of generating leads and is often outsourced to an experienced company. When aiming for lead generation, outbound telemarketing can turn out to be your secret weapon. It provides a real boost to push revenues and sales. Many successful companies understand the fact that having more leads in the pipeline helps to grow a business in rough times.

Robotic telemarketing and ringless voicemail

A recent trend in telemarketing is to use robocalls: automated telephone calls that use both computerized autodialers and computer-delivered pre-recorded messages in a sales pitch. Some can simulate a personalized phone call through personalized pre-recorded messages.

Telemarketing has recently been advanced to implement a programmed women’s voice as the operator instead of hiring a real woman to perform the task (see example of Samantha West). This attempt has been shown to be unsuccessful. However, some scholars argue that such technological advancements reinforce commoditization of a woman’s speech as a marketable entity and lead to “gendered hierarchy of communication”.

Others tactics, such as ringless voicemail, can directly deliver a voice message directly to a landline’s or cellphone’s voicemail. Its original purpose was to provide a nonintrusive method of delivering valuable messages. There has been debate on ringless voicemail causing issues relating to “hijacking” of the voicemail by companies, which would disallow family and friends to access the voicemail.

Categories of Telemarketing

The two major categories of telemarketing are business-to-business and business-to-consumer.


  • Lead generation;  the gathering of information and contacts
  • Sales; using persuasion to sell a product or service
  • Outbound; marketing in which prospective and pre-existing customers are contacted directly
  • Inbound; reception of incoming orders and requests for information. Demand is generally created by advertising, publicity, or the efforts of outside salespeople.
  • Call to Action; the implementation of outbound telemarketing to “activate” or elicit an action or response from prospects, i.e. entice prospects to visit a client’s website.
  • Appointment Setting; utilizing inbound or outbound telemarketing to create face-to-face or telephone appointments for sales purposes.
  • Database Cleansing; the outbound calling of databases with the particular purpose to clean and prepare data (i.e. removing out dated and incorrect data) and contact details for future telemarketing campaigns.
  • Surveys; the implementation of telemarketing (can be inbound or outbound) with the particular purpose of collecting data and information from specific target markets for qualitative research purposes.

Importance of Telemarketing to Businesses

1. Telemarketing Works

Telemarketing industry continues to grow for it has a significant impact on lead generation as it creates a wide range of options and opportunities for targeted customers. It is the right way of testing new products and can be a fast way of acquiring new customers. Telemarketing also gives many of the advantages of face-to-face meetings, and even allows companies to contact a large number of potential customers at a distance.

2. It Costs You Less

Choosing telemarketing over other marketing methods is a great idea to promote your products or services. Besides being useful, it will cost you less money because of the many benefits associated with it. One fact is that you no longer have to train employees. It is the telemarketing company’s job to produce trained and dedicated telemarketers. Training sessions include familiarity with products or services, proper call handling, quality calling skills, rejection handling, and many other telemarketing tips. Another benefit is that you don’t have to provide more space for computers and other needed tools for your campaign since the telemarketing company will be offering it. You will not also be paying additional fees for the telemarketer or the agent since you will be spending a fixed price to the telemarketing company.

3. Immediate Feedback on Products/Services

The main benefit of using telemarketing for your campaign and promoting your business is that it allows you to immediately measure your customers’ level of interest in your products or services. Direct communication between telemarketer and customer gives quick responses regarding their questions and needs about the products or services.

4. It Helps You Expand Your Business

By using telemarketing, you can quickly expand your business and increase your sales for there are lots of opportunities that you can create within the industry. It will be easy for you to find new customers and is an excellent way for you to follow up with your existing customers to keep them interested in your new offers for your products or services. It is a significant advantage for your business to gain more potential sales opportunities.

5. Measurable Results

In telemarketing, you can analyse, measure and report individual concerns to provide a detailed view of your campaign’s success by tackling points of improvement. You can always conclude which methods and techniques are most effective, whether it is about the communication style or other strategic plans.

There are so many benefits that you can get from telemarketing as long as it is appropriately planned and executed. You must also keep in mind that the key to success in telemarketing is persistence. Telemarketing is an effective method of leads generation if monitored properly.

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