Telemarketing has grown on the back of technology. With advances in telecommunications and databases it has become much easier to use the telephone as a marketing tool. Costs have come down as the monopoly of providers of telecommunication services has relaxed. Databases are now easier to use and can track the movements of your customers and prospects (prospective customers).
There has been considerable growth in the number of people responding to direct advertising methods whether this is from the television, radio, newspapers and magazines and, of course, the internet.
Today around 25 per cent of television commercials carry telephone response mechanisms which equate to nearly £800m of TV advertising expenditure. This means a phenomenal growth in the number of telephone call handling operators, whether employed directly by the company in-house, or through a telemarketing call handling agency. The telemarketing industry has grown from virtually a cottage industry to a multimillion pound sector.
Consumers now are much more willing to use the telephone to order goods and services.
The use of the telephone as a business marketing tool has many advantages, not least of which are cost savings. Companies are learning that it is far more cost effective to have a telemarketing sales force officebound, rather than expensive sales representatives on the road. This does not imply that the days of the sales representative are numbered but it does beg the question of how they can be used more effectively.
A telemarketing operator can qualify leads then send a sales representative out to sell face-to-face to someone who is interested in making a purchase. This can be far more cost effective than sending a representative out to tour the area on a cold calling speculative basis.