In this digital world, many would argue that telemarketing is dead. They say that, with social media and other online channels, buyers are conducting their own research and prefer not to speak over the phone. 

However, these B2B marketers could be in for a shock. Research from the RAIN Group Centre for Sales Research conducted earlier this year found that almost half (49%) of buyers cite phone calls as their preferred contact channel, making it the second favourite method after email. 

So, as far as B2B buyers are concerned, telemarketing is certainly not dead.

That’s not to say that telemarketing doesn’t carry some negative connotations. It certainly does have a bad rep due to old techniques where prospects were bombarded with calls and harrassed by sales teams. 

But, just as email marketing has moved on from spamming, so too has telemarketing. B2B companies, realising the effect these techniques were having on leads and benefiting from a greater understanding of ROI, will now only contact truly potential leads that they think will attain value from their products or services. 

There are still lots of benefits to be gained from telemarketing. Discussing the advantages of telemarketing, Lead Lab managing director, Toby Blatchford-Tagg, commented: “I believe the biggest perk of using telemarketing is that it grants control over who you market your product to, meaning that you contact people who you deem the most important and you can tailor your pitch to conform with different people and their needs.

“It also creates urgency; you get to speak directly with prospects immediately and in high volumes, meaning the efficiency levels are immense.” 

Meanwhile, Outsourcing Insight notes that telemarketing is a versatile method that works as a way to generate new leads, close sales, encourage prospects further down the funnel, and build upon existing customer relationships. 

What’s more, telemarketing could actually help you stand out from the crowded online world. Many buyers undoubtedly experience numerous online marketing messages in a day, but a phone call can grab their attention more than the chatbots and social media posts. Plus, it involves human interaction - a rarity in our digital age. This provides your sales team with a real opportunity to build customer rapport. 

Telemarketing can also help to bridge the gap between the sales and marketing teams. While marketers may generate what they believe to be quality leads, sales will often have a different definition. Telemarketing can ensure greater consistency of understanding lead quality, and provide a more streamlined and higher quality brief for both the marketing and sales team.

But what about GDPR, I hear you say? As ringhello explains, telemarketing will fall under the EU’s new data protection rules. As telemarketing involves personal data, marketers will be required to prove they have consent to contact the leads. The most concrete way of proving consent is call recording, although these recordings will then become subject to GDPR. 

But, as with all aspects of marketing, GDPR will provide companies with greater quality data, ensuring they connect with prospects that are going to engage and are interested in your marketing messages. As the saying goes, it’s all about quality, not quantity, and that’s definitely the case when it comes to a company’s data. 

When you’ve refined your telemarketing data, taking an ABM approach to telemarketing - with a subset of a target audience selected and targeted - will ensure that prospects are given tailored telemarketing experiences for higher engagement, deeper relationships and more tangible results.

When done well - and by that we mean you don’t simply bombard prospects with countless phone calls - telemarketing can play a key role in your lead generation strategy. But don’t simply rely on telemarketing; it should be just one tool you use in your overall marketing mix.