Can business telemarketing continue to work if the volume of calls continues to rise? Wijnand Mes, Marketing Manager for IBM Software Group UK, feels there are problems caused by a more general information overload:
‘We are approaching market information saturation point. Individuals are receiving messages from so many different sources that it becomes impossible to digest the information. I think this is already having an impact on response rates’.
Steve Massie feels that telemarketers must move with the times:
‘They may need to be more imaginative in future to get past the fatigue recipients feel at getting so many calls. Traditional techniques are wearing a bit thin’.
It’s not only a case of telemarketers having to develop new approaches. With the growth of Internet and e-commerce usage new types of business telemarketing will start to grow. The biggest change will probably come in the handling of inbound requests for first-stage information on goods and services. Customers will expect to be able to receive such information at the push of a button on a keyboard or mobile phone. The more complex functions of outbound business to business telemarketing will still require a more personal touch, requiring telemarketers to have a detailed knowledge of the business, products and services they are representing.
Growth areas will be linked to the new technologies, such as tours of company web sites – personal, responsive and tailored to the individual. Such ‘high touch’ services will become increasingly in demand; the emphasis will change from the quantity to the quality of staff. Businesses using external agencies will expect telemarketers to become surrogates for them.
Of course no matter how well planned and executed your business telemarketing campaign, human nature plays its part; the effects of traffic jams and towering in-trays can block the most skilled approaches. But get the right people offering the right product in the right way – and the outcomes could surpass expectations