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Telemarketing isn’t what it used to be – it has dipped a great deal in the recent years. But still, this orthodox marketing method stands as one of the most effective ways to generate leads and drive sales.
Telemarketers often get a bum rap for being pushy and intrusive. When you talk of telemarketing, the idea many people get is, ‘pesky sales people calling in the middle of dinner or to interrupt something.”
That’s not telemarketing but cold calling.
Telemarketing can be thought of as a perfectly dry-aged ribeye steak. Cook it right and with the right technologies, and the results are divine.
Cold-calling, on the other hand, can be equated to taking the same steak straight out of the freezer and serving it raw. While a few may enjoy the frosty, bloody feast, you can bet a vast majority would be irked and disgusted by the whole idea.
The ridiculous steak analogies aside – far too many people assume telemarketing is the same as cold calling. As a result, they’re quick to sneeze at it without giving it a closer look – a terrible mistake you can ever make as a marketer.
Telemarketing can be defined as the process of calling up a potential customer with the aim of promoting your products and services. It differs from cold calling in the sense that it does not condone the act of bolting out of the blue and calling your customers.
Telemarketing is the art of selling, soliciting, and promoting your products and services over the phone. It’s a flexible, cost-efficient, and statistically accountable marketing medium.
Telemarketing is a valuable marketing tool, particularly to small businesses – a good way to save both time and money, while offering all the benefits of direct contacting your customers.
Remember, telemarketing isn’t limited to outgoing calls. Your customers or clients are also allowed to contact you in response to an advertisement or sign they saw. For example, where you place an ad with you telephone number, and your prospects contact you in response to it, that’s telemarketing.
Telemarketing can also be used in a “fishing expedition,” where the calls aren’t necessarily meant to sell a product or service, but to find out if the individual you’re contacting has any interest in it.
The names of individuals with interest will then be passed over to your sales teams, who’ll take it upon themselves to initiate second contact and pitch to them about your products or services.
Telemarketing can also be used to follow up on your past clients. It’s also a fact-finding strategy that you may use to find out what your buyers enjoy the most about your products or services.
It’s a human to human interaction, which makes it very personal and intimate.
What’s the Difference Between Telemarketing and Cold Calling?
Telemarketing is a collective term of which cold marketing is part. A better analogy would be to think of it as the weather, and cold calling as the extreme sunny or windy day.
It’s possible to conduct telemarketing without including cold calling. In the same vein, you can cold call but you’re not telemarketing.
Types of Telemarketing
There are two types of telemarketing:
Inbound Telemarketing: Inbound telemarketing is about handling incoming calls. Often, these calls are generated through direct mail, broadcast advertising, or catalogues.
Customers make these calls when they want to place an order or inquire about your products or services.
The representative involved with inbound telemarketing doesn’t need as much training as the representative handling outbound telemarketing calls.
Outbound Telemarketing: Outbound telemarketing refers to the calls that your company makes to an end user. Every time you contact your customers or prospects to sell your product or get their opinion on something, that’s part of outbound telemarketing.
Representatives involved with making outbound telemarketing calls need more training and a comprehensive understanding of your products and services.
Advantages of Telemarketing
Perhaps the biggest advantage of telemarketing is the fact that it allows you to gauge your customers reaction or level of interest as you talk to them.
Adding to that, here are a few ways telemarketing reigns supreme over any rivalling marketing strategy.
- Human Interaction: The first advantage telemarketing has over any other method of marketing to a customer directly is the fact that it’s a human to human interaction.
- Convenient for Small Businesses: Those likely to benefit the most from telemarketing are small business owners with a limited budget. It’s cost effective and less time consuming compared to personal selling, despite offering the same benefits.
- Delivers Excellent Customers Services: The first step to improving the value of your company and setting it up on the path to long-term success is growing a loyal customer base.
Telemarketing is great for inspiring loyalty and gaining repeat orders, all by delivering an excellent customer support.
- Cheaper ways of Communicating with Your Customers: Telemarketing is affordable, and flexible enough to accommodate any budget.
It’s also an easy way of communicating with your target customers and prospects.
In most cases, the campaign is directed towards a select market, which significantly reduces the cost per customer.
- Flexibility: Telemarketing involves contacting a customer directly. So instead of rushing to sell to them blindly, you’re presented with the opportunity to learn and understand your customers so you can adjust your marketing messages to woo them into taking action.
- Gauge Responses: You can gauge the response you’re getting and easily determine whether or not your campaign was successful. You can make comparisons, and use the results your get to make future plans and adjust your campaign.
Disadvantages of Telemarketing
Nothing is without fault or a few issues of concern. Here are a few cons associated with telemarketing:
- Widely Resented: Telemarketing is deemed as a nuisance by marketers and customers alike. Done correctly, and your customers will learn to appreciate you for it. But make the mistake of doing anything wrong, and they’ll live to resent you for it.
- No opt-in: Telemarketing may be a nuisance when not conducted with care. It’s intrusive in the sense that you’re not contacting your customers at their time of convenience.
- Negative Image: You need to be very careful with how you conduct telemarketing. Do it poorly and it could have a negative impact on your brand’s image.
Benefits of Telemarketing
Here’s a condensed list of some of the things that telemarketing can do for you:
- Create instant rapport with your prospects and customers
- Explain technical issues in a simplified manner
- Generate appointments and leads
- Achieve measurable results
- Convince both new and existing customers to make a purchase
- Sell remotely
- Provide personalised and interactive sale service
How to Conduct a Telemarketing Campaign in Singapore
Telemarketing is a great way to promote your products, build a customer database, generate leads, and stay in touch with existing customers.
But how do you conduct a telemarketing campaign in Singapore?
Well, the first thing you need is a plan.
Planning for Telemarketing
Here are a few things you should be thinking of doing while planning for telemarketing in Singapore:
Decide if you’ll be outsourcing the service or going the DIY way
You have two options with this. The first one is setting up an inhouse telemarketing team from scratch. The second one is by outsourcing the services of a specialised telemarketing company.
Make sure You Understand Your Target Audience
Take your time to study and understand your target audience. What products do they like? What interests them the most? In the same vein, try to understand your products and services, as well. Who are they aimed at? What makes them different from other similar products and services?
- Be sure to Update Your Marketing List:
Your marketing list must be reliable and relevant. You want to be sure that you’re targeting the right group of customers, and not just anyone.
This will ensure your list is complying with the Privacy & Electronic Communication Regulation (PECR) of 2013.
And while at it, try to stay away from individuals or organisations that do not want to receive unsolicited marketing or sales calls.
Identify your Target Market:
The more you narrow your list to the right group of prospects or customers the more you’re likely to make a sale.
How Much You’re Going to Pay Your Telemarketing staff:
How are you planning to pay your telemarketing staff? Typically, telemarketing sales staff receive a basic salary that’s fairly low and an additional commission based on the number of sales that they influence.
The more experience a salesperson stacks, the more pay they’ll demand. So, think about the salesperson you wish to recruit, and budget for them accordingly.
Create a Script and Have it on the Ready:
Have a professionally done script on the ready, rather than waiting for your sales staff to pull everything out of thin air.
The script you create must be simple and targeted. You should be able to respond to queries and direct your contacts to take action.
You can start by explaining who you are. Remember to also explain what your business does before moving to other things.
Weigh Your Options and Factor in Relative Costs:
At the end of the day, you want to choose the most affordable option available to you. Look into the cost of setting up your own inhouse telemarketing department or outsourcing it to an agency.
Which option is relatively cheaper? And, at the end of it all, try to break down everything to the cost per sale and do your math and find out which option is more profitable, not just cheap.
How to Choose a Telemarketing agency in Singapore
Before you choose any telemarketing agency in the country, first ensure it can help you generate new leads and retain the existing ones.
If you’ve been struggling with any of this, that’s the first sign that you need to hire a telemarketing expert.
Here are the things to consider before hiring a telemarketing service provider in Singapore:
What services do you need?
You have to decide on the telemarketing services you’re hiring the agency for. Decide if you’re looking for an agency to help you out with cold calling or if your plan is to have the agency handle incoming calls.
Do your Research and Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Referrals:
Don’t settle for the first company that pops up. Do your research and, where possible, ask around for referrals. Visit telemarketing forums and online communities and find out what other people are saying about different telemarketing agencies.
Call the Telemarketing Agency You want to Hire and ask them Questions
Before you hire a telemarketing agency, it helps to call them first and find out more about them. Gauge how they respond to your questions and use your wits to determine if they’re a good fit for your company.
Ask for a Proposal:
Don’t be afraid to ask the agencies for a proposal. You need the proposals to shortlist them and weigh your options.
Visit the Agency:
Visit the agency and interview them in person. You also want to observe their work environment and find out if they’re professional enough to work with.
8 Questions to Ask when Outsourcing for Telemarketing Services in Singapore
Choosing the right telemarketing agency has got very little to do with price, but what the agency is offering at that rate.
Here are 8 questions to ask before you can go ahead and hire any telemarketing agency in the country:
Question 1: What Reputation Does the Company have?
It’s simple logic: this is not a question you ask the company. It’s a question to research on. Scour the internet and other relevant sources and try to establish if the company can be trusted.
Find out if they’re registered with any industry certification, particularly the Investors in People or Customer Contact Association.
Has the company been featured in any recognisable publication?
Question 2: Do Your Agents Have the Experience and Skill to Match My Company’s Need?
This question should never go unasked. The number of years the agency has been in the telemarketing business means nothing at all.
What you want to find out is the level of experience their agents have. A company may be old and experienced, but that’s not to say their agents are experienced too.
Let no one lie to you: in appointment setting and lead generation, skill is of utmost importance. You want to deal with an agency that has plenty of it.
Ask the agency for some evidence or examples of their agents’ success. At the end of the day, you want to make sure that the company assigns you an agent that understands the value of quality in telemarketing.
Question 3: Where are Your Agents Located?
Does the agency operate with a team of freelancers or do they have an in-house team of agents?
Are they Singaporeans or from other countries? If you’re targeting the local market, it does help to hire a telemarketing company with Singaporean agents. You want someone who understands and relates to your target customers better.
Keep in mind that this will also impact the cost of hiring the company. Companies with an in-house team tend to be more costly compared to those with agents that operate from home.
Question 4: Any Relevant Case Studies?
If the company is as good as they claim to be, they must have a case study to serve as evidence.
You want to choose a company that completely understands the nature of your business. The least they could do is have a proven track record that you can use to decide if they’re good enough for your company.
Ask them for testimonials, case studies, and letters of recommendation before you can go ahead and contract the company.
Question 5: Do You Have any Guarantee?
You’re not after a company that offers a guarantee. In most cases, a company will promise you the stars, only to under-deliver on the promise they made and leave your business with a hefty bill.
A good company isn’t one that offers you guarantees to lure you into getting in business with them. But one with a risk or reward model. You can only mitigate the risk by sharing it with a company.
A good company will acknowledge the fact that risks do happen and things don’t always work according to plan, and if that’s the case, they won’t let you shoulder the loss or risk alone.
Question 6: What’s the Cost of Running the Campaign?
This question is supposed to help you understand how a company operates. It’s what you use to gauge the quality of their appointment.
Companies that charge you per appointment often tend to be a huge disappointment in the end. Its either they’re too costly or their appointments are of a weaker quality.
An alternative would be to settle for a company that offers an hourly flat rate. These companies tend to put a lot of emphasis on qualified appointments, which translates to better ROI.
Question 7: What’s Included in Your Cost?
The least the company could do is break down the cost and let you know what you’re paying for.
Often, a company will have a set-up fee, which is not part of the campaign cost.
This is the cost of setting up an account, training your agents, and developing a collateral. Remember, your company needs this to succeed.
And unless you’ll be providing your own data, the set-up fee will also include calling list charges.
Question 8: Will You be Provided with a report for this Campaign?
The telemarketing company you hire must provide you with a detailed report of the progress they make every step of the way.
Any company that doesn’t specify this at the beginning of the project must be avoided like the disappointment they are.
This report must feature the details of all the calls the company makes and the outcome of every single one of the calls they make.
The calls must be broken down and analysed. Remember, it’s the report that determines whether or not you’re on the right track or if there are shortcomings in your marketing strategy or if there’s anything to be adjusted along the way.
Telemarketing Rules to Observe in Singapore
Telemarketing is starting to pick shape in Singapore.
However, there are people who still don’t like receiving calls from telemarketers. It’s for this reason that some Singaporeans have registered with the Do Not Call Registry.
Officially launched in 2013, this registry is meant to protect them from receiving unsolicited calls from marketers.
5 Things to Note about the Do Not Call Registry (for Businesses)
- Before you call or send any marketing message to a prospect or client, make sure the number can’t be found in the DNC registry.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve contracted a telemarketing company. The policy still holds.
- The first six months of starting your telemarketing campaign, you’re only allowed to use your verified call list for 60 days. After that, the number drops to 30 days.
Any attempt to send a marketing message to a contact in the DNC registry will attract a fine of not less than $10, 000.
- You’ll only be violating the DNC registry policy when you send marketing messages. Meaning, there’s a list of messages that you’re totally safe to send, and the include:
- Pure market research and survey messages
- Reminder message
- Messages confirming a transaction
- Warranty messages
- Security or safety information
- Message with information on consumer’s account balance
- The consent a consumer gives to receive messages from you is considered invalid under the following two circumstances:
- If it was obtained through false or misleading information.
- If was given under unreasonable conditions.
- You’re not allowed to make unidentified or anonymous calls. In other words, you must be clear in identifying your identity while messaging or calling your prospects and consumers.
Top Telemarketing firms in Singapore
We tried scouring the internet for the best telemarketing firms in Singapore, and the results were the listicle below:
Single Event Telemarketing
Singapore Event’s speciality is in event marketing, which they do through telemarketing. The company boasts upwards of 9 years telemarketing experience.
During this time, they have helped boost the attendance of trade shows, conferences, or seminars through nothing else but telemarketing.
They’re the right company to contact if you’re looking for someone to help you give your event a boost and get your invitations out.
1 Scotts Rd
#24-10 Shaw Centre
Telephone: +65 3159 1112
ERP Software Leads
Finding the perfect telemarketing agency to help you reach more customers and hit your business goals is one of the challenges that enterprises have to contend with.
But with a telemarketing agency such as ERP Software Leads, nothing could possibly go wrong.
For one, the company has been around since 2004, and until date, no one has been disappointed by the quality of services that they received from them.
Feel like your sales have been a bit of a let-down? Well, ERP software offers to help you apply competent appointment setting practises and woo in your prospects. It’s that easy with them.
No. 14 Robinson Rd
#13-00 Far-East Finance
Building Singapore 04 8545
Tel: +65 3158 9792
Antasis is a customer-driven lead management and telemarketing agency in Singapore.
Their speciality is in enhancing customer experience through telemarketing and a few other marketing strategies.
The company isn’t just interested in turning your customers experience from bad to good. They’re looking to deliver outstanding customer experience through what they do best, telemarketing.
Bt Merah Central
#06-3545 Singapore 150162
Tel: +65 6319 2620
Scenes City Telesolutions
Scenes City Telesolutions have consistently risen to become one of the most sought-after B2B & B2C telemarketing companies globally. We are one of the fastest growing lead generation companies and we are preferred because we deliver strategic solutions to meet the unique needs of all our customers.
10 Anson Rd International Plaza
Telephone: +65 6871 8876
CentVoice understands the hardship you go through when you try to juggle between marketing and managing your business.
So, they offer to relieve you some of the services by taking telemarketing off your plate. You don’t have to worry about recruiting and training telemarketers, while pushing for results.
They have sales people that are trained and dedicated to take over the telemarketing needs of your company and push you closer to your marketing goals and achievements.
Tel: +65 6966 4729
Tele-centre is head-quartered in the hearts of Singapore. It’s acknowledged as one of the leading providers of telemarketing services in the country.
They’re your one-stop shop for outsourced telemarketing services in Singapore with more than two decades of experience.
Or we could just say they’re the pioneers of spoken word in business. They have the power of the gab, which translates to the power to generate leads and crank up sales in this side of the street.
2 Leng Kee Rd
#04-08 Thye Hong
Tel: +65 6337 7488
An even older name in the field of telemarketing, having first stepped into the scene in 1995.
They’re one of the leading providers of transformative digital solutions, a service they offer to a diverse range of clientele.
At the time of writing this, the company boasts over 8000 talented staff with more than eight offices distributed in different parts of the globe.
They’re well reputed, and apparently a trusted partner for many companies in the country.
750B Chai Chee Rd
#04-05-08 Viva Business Pk
Tel: +65 6309 1688
Sitel brings to the table 30 years of telemarketing experience
They’re the master of redefining and transforming contact centres into lead generation machines.
The company is extending a helping hand by offering to partner with you and deliver tailored telemarketing solutions that will get you closer to your marketing goals.
Their agents are well trained, and dedicated to making real and emotional connections with customers, on top of delivering swift solutions.
2 Tampines Central 6
Tel: +65 6781 4333
In the simplest of words: Eagle Outsourcing spends time recruiting, training, and nurturing different digital talents.
It’s the right company to outsource to the following list of services: Telemarketing, IT support, Personal Assistance, Admin assistant, Customer Services, and Account Assistance, to name a few.
546 Serangoon Road
Tel: +65 8101 9304
Call Box was established in 2009, and since then, the company has never relented in their quest to help businesses in Singapore and the whole of Southeast Asia reach their growth and revenue targets.
Their speciality is in creating and managing targeted digital marketing campaigns that shorten the sales process, increase leads, boost conversions, and initiate meaningful follow-ups.
1 Scotts Rd
#24-10 Shaw Centre
Telephone: +65 3159 1112
What to Expect when You Hire a Telemarketing Company in Singapore
Here’s what to expect when you outsource the services of a telemarketing firm to help you out with lead generation:
- Increased Productivity: Hiring a telemarketing agency in Singapore can be interpreted to mean less work for your staff. You can therefore expect them to be more productive as they channel all that energy in their areas of excellence.
- Increased Conversion Rate: Telemarketers understand the market. They know how to best target your customers and get them to soften up and take action. So, you can only expect your sales to swell as more and more leads are warmed up to take action.
- A good way to save money and make more in the process: The cost of hiring a telemarketing agency is much lower compared to the cost of setting up an in-house telemarketing team. And since you’ll be dealing with professionals in the field, you’re guaranteed of even better results provided you choose the right agency.
- A chance to Grow Your Business: Hiring a competent telemarketing agency could be interpreted to mean more business for you. With more sales, you’ll have a better chance to grow, thus targeting an even bigger customer base.
Having a healthy telemarketing operation means your company will have a good source of warmed-up, sales-ready leads.
You have so many ways to go about it, and one is by outsourcing the services of a professional telemarketing firm in Singapore.
It’s simple: if your plan is to make telemarketing work for you, then don’t overthink it. Just seek an experienced telemarketing firm and let them handle that side of business for you.
Types of Telemarketing
2. Outbound telemarketing refers to the calls that your company makes to an end user.