B2B telemarketing and B2B telesales are often used interchangeably, but their distinctions are important. While both terms describe activities via the telephone to increase sales, telemarketing is a broader function than telesales. Telesales is more targeted with a specific mission, while telemarketing has several goals and methods. Let's examine these differences.
B2B Telemarketing is a suite of services designed to increase brand awareness and to discover new leads and opportunities via direct conversations with potential customers. Telemarketing has outbound cold calling in common with Telesales, but each call can have multiple purposes including:
- Lead generation, qualification and segmentation
- Appointment setting for inside sales teams
- Market research and polling
- Customer feedback and retention
- Turning leads into opportunities
B2B Telesales is much more focused than B2B Telemarketing. The mission is simple - convert leads into sales. Telesales professionals, at least in principle, receive qualified sales leads from telemarketers and other marketing channels and proceed to close them via outbound calling. The most effective telesales people are usually experienced telemarketers who can move leads down the "sales funnel" towards a sale as needed.
Which One Do You Need?
The decision is rarely a simple either-or choice. A B2B Telesales cold calling campaign without effective upstream lead generation will generally suffer from low conversion rates, while a great B2B lead generation campaign without Telesales follow-up and closing may yield poor sales results and negative ROI. A well-planned outbound campaign will combine both disciplines, with excellent collaboration between telemarketing and telesales teams. Even better would be an integrated campaign involving traditional marketing and PR, online marketing, telemarketing and telesales. While potentially expensive, the integrated approach has the best probability of reaching and nurturing the highest number of qualified leads and producing the highest conversion rates.