Telemarketing is a buzzword in corporate board rooms in recent years. Sure there are many anecdotal successes of telemarketing companies. In a span of a few years, countries like India and the Philippines have become hubs of call centers to which a host of sales, marketing, and consumer and customer relations functions are being outsourced from all over the world. Despite the gains purportedly achieved by telemarketing companies, however, many business executives remain skeptical about transferring the execution or implementation of marketing strategies to a third party from an in-house operation. Nevertheless, the number of call centers in the Philippines is growing exponentially.
Such skepticism is, of course, understandable. Many successful business organizations consider sales, marketing and customer relations, as among their core competencies crucial to the delivery of positive results to the company’s bottom line. Hence, a lot of conservative businessmen still maintain the belief that contracting telemarketing companies isn’t a cure at all to lagging sales and dwindling customer satisfaction, and that benefits from outsourcing sales and marketing-related functions are just too incredible.
Going by the logic of this thinking, therefore, certain prerequisites need to be in place before a company can truly benefit from the many advantages that telemarketing companies profess to deliver. Most of important of these are the following three preconditions
Acceptance—The top executives or senior management of an organization needs to be completely convinced on the concept of using telemarketing companies as part of a marketing strategy. Needless to say, some pencil-pushing will be needed to provide hard facts and figures on how much cost can be saved and how much potential sales can be generated if say a call center is chosen from among telemarketing companies offering various types of services. Which of these companies deliver the optimum results at the least possible cost may, in all likelihood, need approval all the way to the chairman of the board.
Support—Managers and rank-and-file personnel involved in marketing, sales and promotion have to be appraised and persuaded on the benefits and values that can be derived from telemarketing. Unmistakably, outsourcing of a marketing function is often seen by these employees as a threat to their job security, something that must be effectively addressed by a communication program from the standpoint of allocating internal human resources
Integration—The services offered by telemarketing companies have to be closely examined as to their fit to the needs of a business organization. An outsourced telemarketing function has to be completely in sync with the marketing strategies a company has adopted. Moreover, there has to be a flawless interface between the company’s own marketing unit and the service providers of the outsourced telemarketing function. Most importantly, the agents of telemarketing companies of choice have to be evaluated if their personality and skills are or can be perfectly attuned to the corporate culture of the company that they in effect will represent with each customer inquiry or call.