The tools available to a sales team today to identify opportunities, turn opportunities into leads and leads into sales are extensive. Forward-thinking organizations leverage Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to capture information and create a powerful database to ensure advertisers enjoy a better experience and can focus on a more targeted audience. This centralized database can capture behaviors and actions across multiple platforms to create a snapshot of best target opportunities to generate the most qualified leads.

It is critical that important interests and behavior signals are captured, but automated systems often miss specific cues. To maximize the productivity of the sales team and offer the critical access to the most actionable business opportunities, buying signals have to be identified. While signals can be captured online, this is still a finite and limited environment. To truly understand the motives and intentions of the individual, human interaction is needed. For this human interaction, nothing has proven to be more effective than telemarketing.

Publishers often employ telemarketing as a key strategy within their marketing efforts to produce viable opportunities for advertising investments. Does it make sense for publishers to expand their offerings to include full marketing services, or extend their partnerships with telemarketing companies to build out the value of services offered?

Challenges Overcome with Telemarketing

There are a number of unknowns that exist within the sales process, including those parties who are actually interested in engaging with the sales rep to take their inquiries to the next level. Individuals who are attracted to an offer may or may not have an intention to transition to a buying customer. Telemarketing helps to separate the interested lookers from the qualified leads.

“We use telemarketing to offer an important piece of the overall marketing approach for our clients,” says Julie Nachtigal, vice president of audience development at Cygnus Business Media. “Our strategic approach is to capture more information through our databases that will help drive customer retention, while also generating leads for our customers’ sales departments. And, with response rates for direct mail, e-mail, web-generated and other marketing methods not what they used to be, telemarketing has become a larger part of what we do.”

Specific markets also offer unique challenges as buying behaviors can vary greatly among individuals. Haymarket Media has found that telemarketing performs well when focused on specific markets, such as those for higher-priced products. The one-to-one interaction afforded in a telemarketing call helps to identify specifics, such as stage of the buying process, level of involvement, the decision-making process, competitors and next actions.

“Our approach has been to strategically align efforts of our circulation department with those of our sales team to allow us to collectively offer a unique way to reach potential leads on behalf of our clients,” says John Crewe, vice president of audience development at Haymarket. “This allows our sales team an ever-increasing ability to offer and deliver on lead generation programs, frequently with very short turnaround times.  As the circulation department leverages telemarketing to generate leads while building our internal databases, our sales team can monetize these opportunities across our brands and markets.”

Telemarketing Identifies Opportunities

In every circulation department there is a need to capture quality data pertaining to the current audience. One effective method to identify quality subscriber lists is to employ organizations who offer telemarketing services. However, there can be a disconnect between the circulation and the sales department when telemarketing is not used across all company divisions.

A significant opportunity exists within telemarketing when scripts are expanded to combine campaigns. When the sales department is fully integrated with the circulation department, efforts do not have to be duplicated. Additionally, the telemarketing activities that are already underway can serve as the golden opportunity for lead generation to benefit every sales line within a company. Telemarketing is a new profit center for many telemarketing clients, and should be expected from every telemarketing vendor.

In fact, telemarketing can be used year-round even outside of requalification and new name audience development.  Progressive telemarketing providers engage with clients who are using telemarketing as a profit center. Publishers benefit from the flexibility of this approach as telemarketing campaigns can be modified on demand within just hours, matching the changing needs within the publisher’s atmosphere.

Telemarketing leaders work closely with publishers to identify the right market and key opportunities, before developing a list of highly targeted questions. As a result, these clients receive fresh leads daily to drive new revenue opportunities.

This integrated approach to lead generation through telemarketing efforts may be the optimal opportunity created through the broader role of telemarketing.

By reaching out to current and prospective clients in a personal and unique interaction, telemarketing campaigns provide the perfect opportunity to provide information regarding additional offers, capture information for business intelligence purposes and extend out additional marketing services to the client base.

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The marketing department is at the crossroads of the most dramatic changes occurring in media: Digital marketing, content marketing, lead-generation,…