Telemarketing for SMEs
Employing the services of a telemarketing agency can provide SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) with a good way of targeting potential new customers. However, with fees that vary by the campaign and sector, it certainly does not present a cheap, quick fix and businesses may have to wait weeks before they see the benefit of their investment.
It is vital for all start-ups and small businesses to optimise lead generation rates to promote productivity and growth. When first employing telemarketers, it is highly advisable to ensure that they are capable of delivering results that meet the specific needs of the business.
Types of telemarketing for small businesses
Although less common for smaller businesses, with many preferring to save on the cost and handle their own incoming calls, inbound telemarketing can still offer several benefits:
- Outsourced team can focus solely on handling incoming calls
- In-house team is free to pursue more profitable avenues
- Increased opportunities for cross- and up-selling when customers call in
- Increased customer satisfaction thanks to prompt resolution of queries
- Issues and queries can be handled in a timely manner by dedicated experts
- No need to hire more staff and increase payroll expenditure – just hire the agency when you need them
- Contact data can be cleansed as leads call in and their details are checked and updated
Most small businesses are more likely to be interested in undertaking a money-spinning outbound telemarketing campaign as it helps them reach more customers and increase sales. Besides profits though, outbound campaigns can benefit SMEs in numerous different ways:
- Simplify B2B/B2C communications with a dedicated outsourced sales team
- You can specify precisely how to sell the product/service and inform the telemarketers exactly what they need to know, as well as how to address the prospect.
- Professional telemarketers will ensure that they don't accidentally call anyone on the TPS register
- In-house team are free to focus on converting the leads generated by the agency
- Professional telemarketers are experts at lead-generation and prospect research
- Fine tune upselling and cross-selling opportunities to get maximum ROI
- Generate large quantities of high-quality prospects in a short period of time
- Software used by telemarketing agencies can focus on specific target markets so that you reach the people you need to
Telemarketing costs for your small business
There are a few different telemarketing pricing options available to small businesses interested in running a telemarketing campaign.
Pay per lead
Pay per lead telemarketing provides a less risky option for the small business as the service provider is literally 'paid per lead' generated. This is not a model widely offered by telemarketing companies as it offers them less return on their investment of time.
Pay per appointment
Pay per appointment is also not an option widely offered by providers, and those who do can be very selective about their clients, only working for those who will offer the best net return. Closing the sale following the appointment will still be the responsibility of the customer who may find that, following 10 arranged meetings made by the telemarketing company; they have managed to generate no sales but will still be liable to pay the fee.
Pay per hour/day/month
Pay per day (or hour, or month) - As already discussed, this can be the most risky option for the small business with a limited marketing budget as costs can soon mount up with little or no return on investment.
Remember: It is always worth contacting providers to discuss specific requirements and to ask for advice. There is a good chance that they will be able to offer you a solution to suit your needs.
SME recommended telemarketing agencies
Of course there are many options for small businesses to choose from when looking into telemarketing campaigns. Below are three of the top UK agencies, who we recommend as ideal for smaller businesses. You can find out more about each by following the links:
An award-winning telemarketing agency that has valuable experience working with SMEs in the financial, tech & professional service sectors.
Market Makers are experts in lead generation, appointment setting and telemarketing. Their team are communication experts and are competent when explaining product benefits and features to prospects.
Expert Market rated Marketmaker’s service offering as five stars our of five.
BMG Marketing lead the way in generating prospects and ensuring that contact lists are only populated with clean data.
Whether you need new prospects or a team of pros to push a new product and book sales appointments, BMG won’t let you down.
We rated BMG Marketing’s services at four stars out of five.
As a telemarketing agency with almost a decade’s worth of experience, Estadia have come a long way and have the track record to prove it. Although focusing on telemarketing, Estadia also offer training to sales teams who want to equip themselves with expert-level telephone sales skills.
Estadia focus heavily on the earlier stages of campaigns and are definitely one to consider if you need to book in a large number of sales appointments.
Expert Market rated Estadia Ltd’s services at four stars out of five.
Ensuring telemarketing success
Hiring a telemarketing agency doesn’t guarantee immediate success. There will be tweaking and adjustments throughout as both companies become better acquainted with each other. To maximise your ROI, we suggest the following precautions:
Know what you need
Telemarketing agencies offer a wide range of services and it can be easy to get swept up and agree to a bunch of campaigns that may not be relevant to what you actually want to achieve. Likewise, if your brief is unclear, muddled and demands too much from a campaign then you can expect poorer results and fewer sales.
Before starting, think carefully - what is the point of your campaign? Do you want to:
- Generate new leads?
- Market products/services to an existing contact list?
- Book sales appointments with hot leads?
- Clean existing contacts and update their details?
- Conduct market research / complete a customer survey?
These are just a selection of potential reasons that might make a telemarketing campaign a necessity. However, each incurs different costs and unless you are being backed financially, it is wise for small businesses to consider their individual needs and focus on achieving these first. You’ll always have the opportunity to push your boundaries further if the first campaign is a success.
Do your homework
Whilst it is important to know what you want to get out of a telemarketing campaign, it is just as important to know who you are working with.
Like any other business, telemarketing agencies cover and specialise in a wide variety of sectors. So if you have received a very cheap quote from one agency and a slightly more expensive quote from a second company, you should take a serious look at both. Why does one charge more than the other? Do they have more relevant experience, which will generate more leads? What are their track records like? How long have they been in business? Where is the agency located?
Regarding that last point, you may find that some agencies offer cheaper rates because they are located overseas, which drastically reduces overheads. Although overseas call centres have traditionally been an object of derision, in our ever-more-connected world, there is no reason to buy into this tired cliché any longer. Agencies in the Phillipines and beyond have gouged a foothold in the market by offering, cheap, dependable services that deliver results.
We recommend that you also research any telemarketing agency you think could be a good fit with your business. If they’re not – and you still agree to work with them – you’ll only be wasting time and money that could be better spent elsewhere.
To find the best telemarketing agency for your small business, just complete the form at the top of the page. We’ll match you a select number of top suppliers, who’ll be ready and waiting to help kick-start your next profitable campaign.