If youre new to outsourced telemarketing for Lead Generation – then you may be puzzled about the difference between a Telemarketing Consultant and a Call Centre? I will try to explain the differences and which one will work best for your Lead Generation.
Personally, Im a Telemarketing Consultant with 25 years experience. Ive built and managed small teams of telemarketing people and Ive hired Call Centres for projects. So Id like to think that I know a thing or two about the industry and how to utilise these different resources.
There is a huge difference between a Telemarketing Consultant and someone you find in a Call Centre, so lets explain from the top, starting with the Call Centres.
What is a Call Centre?
Put simply, a Call Centre can generally be thought of as a building that houses anywhere between 20 and 300 people who are manning the telephones every day. Many Call Centres specialise in what is known as inbound telemarketing think about when you buy your insurance policy over the telephone and youll get the idea. Remember that inbound telemarketing people do not hunt for business they simply pick up the call that comes in and answer it.
Why the Inbound Call Centre has turned telemarketers in to Zombies?
Inbound Telemarketing is generally the lowest-skilled form of Call Centre Telemarketing and this is generally reflected in the price you pay for their wages. Over the last decade, the quality of inbound Telemarketing has got lower and lower due to outsourcing to offshore Call Centres. Companies such as Lufthansa were the early drivers in moving their operations to India. By 2010, there has been a backlash against offshore Call Centres who have built a reputation for not understanding the British Culture; but the image of inbound Telemarketing has been tarnished by these cheap and poor services.
Call Centre managers have spent the last decade using technology to streamline their operations, reduce costs and improve efficiency. Like many people, I consider that this has dehumanised the entire process and turned many Call Centre people in to mindless automatons.
The Outbound Call Centre for Lead Generation
If were looking at true Lead Generation (as opposed to you calling the company in response to an advertisement), then were talking about Outbound Call Centres. This is where the telemarketing staff makes cold calls to potential buyers. The problem for Outbound Call Centres is that UK centres are competing in a price war with the offshore centres.
Pick up a copy of a Call Centre magazine and youll see that it is riddled with articles about technology and how to stop losing your staff. Put simply, UK Call Centres cannot compete effectively with offshore Call Centres on price. Quality and value are the only way that a UK Call Centre can compete with an offshore centre but unless buyers have been forced to switch to UK telemarketing people by complaints from customers, this still pushes down the quality and the price.
So will you find a Telemarketing Consultant in a Call Centre certainly not! If anyone in a Call Centre has the cheek to use the title Telemarketing Consultant that would be akin to a hospital porter claiming that they are a Consultant. Whilst many hospital porters may be budding doctors, I think youd be very upset if you were advised on your health by someone pushing trolleys around the ward for a living. The same is true in Telemarketing where the distinction has been blurred between a novice and an expert by Call Centre staff being given grandiose titles because its cheaper to inflate someones title than to pay them a higher wage.
What Makes a Telemarketing Consultant?
A Telemarketing Consultant is at the top level of Telemarketing. Like me, many Telemarketing Consultants began their working life on the bottom rung. The vast majority of people who try to choose Telemarketing for a living fail miserably. Some plodders stay at the low-level inbound Telemarketing phase; the vast majority cannot hack the pace; but a tiny percentage move up the ladder.
The best telemarketing people soon move up to a management position. From there, a good telemarketing person will often either move in selling advertising space or move in to Business Development. At this point, the tiny percentage of people who remain in the industry is again whittled down to an even smaller number of potential Telemarketing Consultants.
To become a true Telemarketing Consultant, one needs something that cannot be bought experience. The top Telemarketing people will generally move in to senior roles such as Sales / Marketing or Business Development Director. With umpteen years under their belt selling complex offerings to intelligent buyers, a true Telemarketing Consultant emerges from years of experience and success in their field.
What does a Telemarketing Consultant do that a Call Centre employee cannot do?
A Telemarketing Consultant is able to define who you should be meeting to win business. Then with wit, charm, flair and acumen they will put you in front of a willing buyer. So why cant a low-level Call Centre person do this?
Firstly, a Call Centre comprises Directors, Managers, a technology team, and a raft of employees. For efficiency purposes, it would be rare to find a Director or a Manager making calls. Likewise, it would be rare to find Telemarketing people winning new business, managing the finances or providing account management. Conversely, a Telemarketing Consultant will fulfil all these roles in one person.
So if a Call Centre person does not understand the roles of Admin / Finance / Legal / Marketing or Operations, how can they converse in a meaningful manner with a prospect that does this for a living? This is why most Call Centres aim at the consumer market, because thats the level at which they can communicate effectively. Yet with offshore Call Centres, it is even debateable whether their callers can effectively communicate with Joe Public.
A Telemarketing Consultant understands business; they understand what its like to be a senior manager or director. Why? Because theyve probably held that role in their career.
When to choose a Telemarketing Consultant or a Call Centre
If you are selling to the masses (Joe Public), then this requires a lot of telephone calls to be made. So the Call Centre may be your ideal platform.
Also, if you are in business but you need to sell high-volumes at a low-ticket value to lots and lots of customers then the Call Centre may work for you.
Yet in many businesses, you will probably be selling low-volumes with a high-ticket value (for example a consultancy service at £10k per sale upwards). Your offering may be complex, so this requires a highly skilled Telemarketing Consultant to find new business and engage effectively with senior buyers.
If youre still confused give me a call Stephen Law, Telemarketing Consultant 0870 042 1263 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org .