B2B Lead Generation – Telemarketing V Business Development

Constant Cash Flow demands continuous sales – so sales lead generation is paramount to continuity and expansion for any business.   Telemarketing is still the number 1 for lead generation for all companies who offer a complex product/service to an intelligent buyer.  So why does telemarketing work for some people and not others?  What is the difference between Telemarketing per se and Business Development?

Firstly, here are the main criteria for helping you to decide how to use Telemarketing to find new business:

1)      Low Price + High Volume = use a Telemarketing Call Centre or Internal Staff

2)      High Price + Low Volume = use Business Development Telemarketing

3)      Low Price bulk orders + Low Volume = use Business Development Telemarketing

As a Business Development person, if you call me, the first thing I would do, would be to show you the best route to market – and that is not always telemarketing.  I have a reputation in the business as a straight-talking guy who will only help you if there is a reasonable to excellent chance that I can make you money.  Many Telemarketing Agencies or Call Centres will take your money, regardless of whether you are likely to gain a Return on Investment – that’s the first difference between Telemarketing per se and Business Development Telemarketing.

So are all Business Development people like me?  Well, I’m afraid not.  If I had a pound for everyone who has called me with a sob story about how their Telemarketing went badly, I would be a very rich man.  So before you decide to pay for a telemarketing campaign, consider points 1-3 above and ask yourself which form of telemarketing could work for you?


I specialise in offering high-end Consultative Telemarketing using a Business Development methodology.  If you sell a complex product/service to an intelligent buyer it’s my forte to find your buyers and put you in front of them.   So when trying to find someone to help you consider the following in making your decision:

a)      Without the best data, any lead generation will falter.  The best Business Development Telemarketing people will have this data at their fingertips at no extra charge to you.  It’s a relative no-brainer to find a Company Director who you want to sell to, but you will often want to sell to a particular title with roles in Operations, Facilities, IT, Telephony, Event Management, and so on.

b)      A good Business Development Director will cost you £50k +++ whilst a Junior Telemarketing person will cost you £9k+.  The key difference is real life experiences.  As an analogy, would you choose a formula one driver for your racing team or a youngster who has only driven cars on his Xbox?    For Telemarketing purposes, you probably only need a good Business Development person for 1 x day per week and as they are only performing the Lead Generation role, you will be paying a fraction of what a Business Development Director would cost you. 

c)       Beware of Over-Promising and Under-Delivering.  If it sounds too good to be true – then it is probably too good to be true.  You’ll always spot a true Business Development Telemarketing person by the way they ask lots of questions and work out the Return on Investment with you before you discuss a contract. 

d)      A low-level Telemarketing person will talk about call metrics.  A Business Development Telemarketing person will talk about real objectives.  A million calls made but zero appointments provide a useless ROI.  Meeting or exceeding this year’s sales targets is the real objective.

e)      Always buy what you hear when it comes to Telemarketing.  If the person who sells you the contract is not on the phone selling for you – ask yourself why?  It takes skill, determination, persistency and the right balance of charm and humour to win business.  Never make the mistake of meeting your Telemarketing person before they have sold to you on the telephone.  A good face2face closer does not make a good telephone closer.

f)       A Telemarketing person will leave you feeling like you are in control.  A Business Development Telemarketing person will leave you feeling confident in their abilities.

If you have a business and you’re not sure whether Telemarketing is for you, give me a call.  I turn away circa 50% of people who call me – but I leave them with other ideas that will make them more money.  You can contact me on stephen@sl-freelance.co.uk or call me on 0870 042 1263. 

Stephen Law is a Business Development expert. Over a 25 year period, Stephen worked has worked from a Foot Canvasser and Telemarketing Junior in the 1980s to an Executive Director and Company Secretary in the 1990s. Stephen's sales and marketing career spanned the IT, Communications and Technology sectors, where he was always top in his field. Stephen has also been head of Manufacturing, HR, and R&D for a number of organisations. In 2005, Stephen decided to form his own company offering Business Development via Consultative Telemarketing. Few people enjoy telemarketing as much as Stephen and fewer still understand how to communicate effectively with senior decision makers. Stephen is an Associate Partner of the No1 UK Business Development Agency and an Honorary Director at the LCDA for Business Development, where he has taught the Art of Selling at London South Bank University.

Posted in Business Development, Freelance Telemarketing, Lead Generation, Telemarketing

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