Telemarketing, telesales, cold calling, inside sales; they’re all the same, right? Sales approaches where a salesperson calls a lead and tries to sell a product or service? There is some truth to that. However, these approaches differ in their methodology and how involved salespeople need to be to convert leads. Learn about the key differences between telemarketing and inside sales so you can adopt a sales approach that is most effective for your business.
The Difference Between Telemarketing and Inside Sales
Telemarketing, inside sales, and cold calling are terms often used interchangeably. This is because they are similar services that make outbound calls to prospective customers and try to convert them. However, each approach and its methodology is different. Here we discuss telemarketing and inside sales so you can better understand the differences between the two sales approaches.
What is Telemarketing?
Telemarketing as a cold calling sales tactic has been around for years. The general understanding of telemarketing is that it is a scripted, one-call closing sales technique. In other words, telemarketing calls are highly scripted and they aim to close a deal or disqualify a lead in one call. These calls or prospects are usually about small-ticket, B2C products while the leads are low value.
Most people have come to expect telemarketing calls as spammy, disrespectful of time, and monotonous. Telemarketers get to the point; they engage with potential customers just once and decide if it is a closed or lost deal.
On the contrary, some businesses view telemarketing as more than just impersonal and monotonous selling. In this case, telemarketers don’t just try to close a deal in one call. Instead, they work on prospecting, building relationships, and sourcing opportunities, all during a phone call. And more recently, there has been a shift from scripted conversations to more personalized ones.
In short, telemarketing is quick and supports smaller sales cycles for low-ticket products.
What are Inside Sales?
The inside sales approach takes telemarketing to the next level. Inside sales includes multiple calls at various touch-points. The selling process in these calls is more complex with the reps taking a more involved approach and working closely with prospects. These calls are not scripted and tailored to the prospect’s specific situation and needs.
Inside calls target B2B and high-end B2C sales; that is, high-ticket sales. And they require longer nurturing and strategic targeting. Salespeople performing inside sales are well-trained and focus on personalization and relevance to bring new customers aboard. Inside sales also include:
- Researching the market
- Identifying and qualifying valuable leads
- Studying customer pain points, goals, and needs
- Understanding the lead before interacting with them
- Building rapport and trust with the customer or prospect
- Providing expertise and information to help prospects make informed decisions
- Developing genuine relationships with prospects
In short, inside sales is more detailed, has a higher value, and a longer sales cycle.
Telemarketing Versus Inside Sales
As you can see, the key difference between telemarketing and inside sales is how involved the salesperson is.
Telemarketers may not be required to study leads beforehand or work closely with prospects to help move them down the sales funnel. They may use call center software and predictive dialing to go through their list of prospects.
Inside sales teams may use more advanced call center software and virtual communication tools such as outbound calling, web dialers, engagement tracking, sales forecasting, and more. The sales acceleration technology used by these teams helps them identify and convert valuable prospects by finding the best times to call and preferred methods of communication. This leads to a better experience for both the prospect and the salesperson.
Making Sales Calls with Outbound Calling
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