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The official blog of AG Salesworks, Sales Prospecting Perspectives will give readers an insight to the challenges of managing a targeted outbound Sales Prospecting effort and team.

Come by often for valuable Sales Prospecting strategies and tips.

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The Truth about Teleprospecting vs Telemarketing


I am the first to dodge an unknown number on my cell or abruptly end a call with someone I feel is, “just another person trying to sell me something.” During my conversations with sales and marketing professionals, it is unfortunate that many still don’t understand the difference between telemarketing and teleprospecting. Telemarketing naturally has a stigma, because one generally thinks of the person who calls during dinnertime with your family. It is typically a very scripted one sided pitch. Any questions a telemarketer has are typically in the form of a “read down the list” survey. Teleprospecting is a completely different animal conducted by business savvy, typically well paid inside sales reps. A teleprospector is good at working around an account to find key decision makers and having value forward conversations.  Teleprospecting is typically used for solutions with larger deal sizes and longer sales cycles as this method is ideal for focusing on the value of the opportunity as opposed to the volume of leads. Volume telemarketing is a better option for more transactional sales or a B2C sale. 

A teleprospector is required to think on their feet and overcome the idea that they are “just another scripted telemarketer.” The job of a teleprospector is to successfully engage in conversation, earn the prospect’s trust, and qualify them. Here are a couple tips for teleprospectors to stand out from the telemarketing crowd:

Engage in conversation and earn the prospect’s trust: Professionally introduce yourself and your business and let your prospect know your expectations upfront. Take a few minutes to do some initial research and find a reason to reach out to the prospect.  For example, their company may have closed a deal recently; they may have a new product version, or opened a new office. The goal is to avoid having your prospect think that you are mindlessly calling down a list in effort to talk with anyone who is willing.

Pass a highly qualified opportunity to sales:  If you have already successfully engaged your prospect in a conversation and earned their trust, any inside sales professional will probably argue that you overcame the hardest part of the conversation. The trick is to continue to make the rest of the discussion as personal as possible by not letting your prospect feel surveyed by your qualification questions. You may want to try a couple tweaks to your questions. Try something like, “What makes you most excited about learning how to manage XYZ?” or “What new tech has personally had the biggest impact on you this year?”  If you know your product well, you can easily identify what means the most to your prospect and if you can help them. Personalizing your conversation also makes it easier to help your prospect understand that you actually WANT to help them IF it makes sense to their personal goals. 

While telemarketing and teleprospecting each have their own uses, it is important to understand that the role of any inside sales rep is constantly evolving. For various ideas on how to define each role there are numerous suggestions on great idea exchanging site called I personally find that Craig Rosenberg and Chris Snell have clearly defined the different roles of inside sales reps.

Do you have any other ideas as to what defines and separates a teleprospector from a telemarketer?  


Great post. My clients (IT vendors and resellers) are always looking for inside sales reps with the "special sauce" that discovers more than the prospects immediate needs. By establishing trust and respects, prospects will frankly "spill" on all their current challenges and pain points. Your firm may not have the solution for whatever ails them @ that particular time, but will have the insight for the next outbound call which may result in a closed sales or a referral.
Posted @ Tuesday, January 31, 2024 8:13 AM by Daniel Sullivan
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