Everywhere you look there are sales teams who are for and against telephone marketing. How often have you heard that cold calling is dead? But how often have you also heard that cold calling is alive and well? 

We speak to hundreds of clients on a daily basis and we are strongly in the camp of cold calling being more than alive and well! It is the driving force behind not only our growth but also that of our clients.

The telemarketing industry is due to be worth over £2bn in 2019 and has been seeing steady growth since 2014, showing that many businesses see the value in this channel to increase sales. These numbers do not include the many businesses out there who have their own inhouse teams and the thousands they invest in staff and training on a monthly basis.

It is difficult to argue against these figures, so we joined up with VTM Versatile Telephone Marketing to get some useful insight into their success as a Telephone Marketing Agency.

With over 22 years in the business, VTM is well placed to share some of their trade secrets in how you can achieve maximum results with your next telemarketing campaign.

As you might expect, any telephone marketing campaign should start with ‘having a plan and an end goal in mind’. This might sound obvious but sometimes its importance is overlooked.

So what does type of planning does this entail? What is the next stage?

What are you trying to achieve?

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? This is the first thing you are taught to consider when you are studying business and marketing. Some of the common objectives include appointment-making, updating and cleansing your existing data, reconnecting with existing and lost customers, running customer surveys, lapsed client surveys and increasing your pipeline.

The most expected ones would have to be winning appointments and increasing your sales pipeline but actually there is equal value in cleaning and enriching your current database. You might find that you have new users of your business or key decision makers you are not in touch with They might have a different view on the direction of the business and you could be presented with an opportunity that you didn’t realise even existed.

Timing of your campaign

It is critical that you get the timing of your campaign spot on for maximum effect. There are many things that you need to consider, to ensure you have the best ‘kick off date’, eg. are you launching a new product or service? If you are then you might have your hands full pushing this internally with ‘all hands to the pump’.

You also might want to get your best customers to give you testimonials prior to starting your campaign that will assist in your sales and marketing efforts.

Other scenarios to bear in mind include:

Exhibitions – are you exhibiting and want to let potential delegates know you will be there, and therefore warm up leads prior to the event?

Have you received an accolade or award that would be a real head turner?

Do you have naturally slower months? If the industry sector you target shut down at certain points, then it would be ill advised to invest in resource during these periods.

Budget months – it is well known that there are key months budget cycles span, and typically 2-4 months prior to the beginning of a new budget, work is being carried out for the coming year.

How many and what ‘touch points’ do you want to optimise? Again, this can come down to what you are looking to achieve from the outset. One call and getting a decision maker name, DDI and email address might be enough, or you might want to look at doing an email campaign with follow-ups based on certain behaviours.

Data (our favourite subject)

This is the day to day conversation for Marketscan and we often tell people that you can have the best data in the world but if your sales and marketing isn’t delivering, then the business will not see the results. This also works the other way round, you can have the best sales and marketing processes but without data you can trust, and which isn’t focused to your target audience (industry sectors, geographical area, number of employees, company turnover and a contact of the correct decision maker(s)), it is highly unlikely that you will achieve the results you want.

Ability to respond to positive leads

It might seem a little strange that you are looking at a situation of ‘can we handle this’ but it is an important element to look at. Once VTM or your chosen telephone marketing agency/team has identified and received a positive outcome from a lead you then need to move this forward.

What is your internal resource like at the moment? How many leads are a realistic target for you? The last thing you want is to have more than you can deal with and look unprofessional as a result. You can look at this at the start of a campaign but also if something changes within your organisation then don’t be afraid to speak to your agency about pausing the campaign until you can respond effectively.


Processes and systems are vital to any business which is running as a well-oiled machine so you need to think about how you would work with an outside agency, if this is what you’re planning. Would you want to give access (limited of course) to your CRM? Would you want to use a system that your chosen telephone marketing agency has in place already? Would you be giving email access to your agency?

The list of things here really does depend on your business setup and also what you can and can’t do based on the industries in which you operate but process is something that should not be ignored. If the agency and client are not aligned it increases the chance of leads being lost/missed which would be to the detriment of all concerned.


It is important for both parties to have effective and digestible reporting on any campaign. This is where the agency can show they have delivered on what they have committed to and your management team can ensure that the sales team is being equally efficient once a lead is received.

As an example, VTM work with their customers to suit their requirements, as some customers are looking for a daily run down on progress where others are happy with weekly or fortnightly reports.

As you can see there are minor areas that could potentially be the difference between success and failure. Business is no different to other walks of life when small margins make all the difference over a set period of time. If you are working with a Telemarketing Agency and are not getting the results you had hoped for, then make sure your agency is asking you the right questions so you can work in partnership to achieve your goals.

About this blog

This blog was written in collaboration with VTM Telephone Marketing Ltd. VTM is a Telephone Marketing Agency with over 20 years’ experience.


Related Topics: Telemarketing