A precise telemarketing definition is difficult to settle on. One definition, as seen at https://www.neilsonmarketing.com, expands on the dictionary to include “creating relationships and engaging others.” Whatever its exact meaning, telemarketing has become the practice of using communication technology to reach out to consumers.
Using a telephone for sales is thought to have originated with operators on early telephone systems. Modernization and widespread adoption of telephones in homes and businesses created an opportunity for marketers. The 1970s saw increased telephone use to reach prospective customers with offers of goods and services. By 1995 there were an estimated 900 telemarketing firms employing 4.5 million workers.
Over time this industry has matured and specific types of calls have emerged as common methods. Here are a few.
Outbound telemarketing is the practice of making phone calls to consumers to sell products and services. Some of these calls include attempts to close sales over the phone while others try to set follow-up appointments with sales staff.
Inbound telemarketing is the answering of incoming calls from individuals to place orders or to get more information about a product or service. These calls are usually the result of other advertising efforts.
Lead generation calls are aimed at qualifying consumers as good prospects and collecting more information. These qualified leads are then passed along to outbound sales departments.
Telemarketing, as an industry, has provided companies with a cost-effective method to market their goods and services. It has adapted over time becoming more sophisticated. Its proven effectiveness makes it an attractive option for companies to reach consumers and generate sales.