If you're selling complex and expensive products or services, the telephone is a key marketing tool - with an emphasis on the word "marketing". It's not just for sales people anymore. Here's what telesales can do for you:
Generate leads. Telesales along with direct mail and e-mail marketing is currently the best 1-2-3 combo for generating and maintaining awareness among business-to-business prospects.

Find hot opportunities.
It's the best way to find out what opportunities exist right now inside your telesales prospects/ clients companies. Telesales experts say they are almost always able to find active opportunities that the company didn't know about -- no matter how big or well-known the company is.

Communicate one-to-one.
Telesales allows you to put a voice to your marketing and sales efforts long before the prospect is ready to meet with a sales person. It's easy to customize the message and to adapt to special needs of the specific prospect.

Qualify prospects.
Telesellers can follow-up on inquiries from your website and other marketing activities and determine fairly quickly just how qualified the prospect is and whether or not - and when - this company is likely to become a customer.

Engage at the top.
Many experts agree that telesales is the best way to get through to and start a dialogue with top executives.

Increase sales team effectiveness.
Telesellers can take a load off your sales people. A Gardner study called Inside Sales: Selling More at Lower Cost found that adding a teleprospector to support a direct sales person can increase that sales person's closing revenue by from 50% to 150%.

Advance the sale.
Telesellers are often able to identify hesitation in a prospect. By handling questions or objections that might not otherwise be voiced, telesellers can eliminate friction and move the prospect along sales cycle.

Promote other marketing activities.
Telesales can increase webinar participation, trade show attendance, white paper downloads and many other useful methods of interacting with your prospects.

Build and clean your database.
With each call, a teleseller can add to and confirm information in your marketing database. This is critical to reducing waste and expanding your reach within a given company.

Some companies prefer to handle telesales with an internal staff. Others outsource it to one of many telesales services. Either approach can be successful, and the decision more often than not depends on the culture of your company.

Source: Susan Pascal Tatum