What is telemarketing?


Telemarketing is when a business sells products or services over the phone. It is also known as telesales. Telemarketing can be used to complete the sales process or to arrange further face-to-face or online sales appointments. It is a type of direct marketing. 

You can outsource your telemarketing to an agency or carry it out in-house. There are software options available to manage telemarketing. These can be integrated with your customer relationship management system. 

There are advantages and disadvantages of telemarketing. There are also legal issues to consider. 

Outbound vs inbound telemarketing

Outbound telemarketing is when a business directly contacts customers and prospective customers by calling them. Inbound telemarketing is when a business receives calls from customers and potential customers to place or orders or get more information. The business usually generates interest by using other marketing channels, such as advertising, to encourage calls. 

Uses of telemarketing

There are a number of ways your business can use telemarketing. These include:

Direct sales

Sales people aim to close a sale on the call. This may be effective for relatively low value products and services. 

Appointment booking

The telemarketing team call potential customers to arrange appointments for salespeople. This can be used for high value products, long term contracts and business-to-business sales. 

Lead generation

For business-to-business sales, you can use telemarketing to identify the right contacts within an organisation and build marketing lists.

Market research

Learn more about your customer's needs and how you can meet them. 


Get in touch with potential customers who have engaged with your business in other ways - eg at an event or registering online. 


Contact customers who have not ordered in a while and learn what you can do to meet their needs. 

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