The terms telemarketing and telesales are frequently used interchangeably. 

The two practices are, however, very different in terms of their values and services. The difference between telemarketing and telesales is unknown to a majority and they, therefore, fail to take advantage of either one effectively. 

Today pretty much everything that involves cold calling, telephonic surveys and research, generating leads, etc. is considered to be a part of telemarketing. All of this makes the difference between telemarketing and telesales even vaguer.

In this article, we will explore what is telemarketing and telesales and what makes them different.


What is telemarketing?

There is no great mystery surrounding the definition of telemarketing, but its function is what should be understood well. So, before defining what is telemarketing, let’s take a moment to talk about marketing.

A standard definition of marketing would be the action of promoting a product or a service to the masses. It is primarily concerned with building brand awareness rather than directly selling a product or a service.

Now coming back to telemarketing, it is an act of sharing and collecting information, creating opportunities and generating leads over the phone.

In order for someone to purchase your products or services, you must first introduce your company to them, share relevant information with them, and arrange a meeting or demo if necessary. Basically, telemarketing sets the stage for actual selling. 

The advantages of telemarketing include being cost-effective, reliable, and most importantly, it is a more personal way to reach out to your target audience.


What is telesales?

While telemarketing generates prospects, telesales converts them into sales. Telesales is the act of selling products or services directly over the telephone.

Telesales is about enticing potential customers to make a final purchase, the same way telemarketing is about promoting an offering. And there are two types of telesales – inbound and outbound. 

In inbound telesales, representatives receive calls from prospective and existing clients, while in outbound telesales, representatives make outbound calls to generate sales. Both cases require patience, persuasiveness, and perseverance to be successful.


What is the difference between telemarketing and telesales?

difference between telemarketing and telesales

As evident from their definitions stated above, both of these approaches involve using a phone and the fundamental difference between the two is that telemarketing involves generating interest and telesales involve selling directly.

Now, we will examine the differences between the two in regards to the job responsibilities of a telemarketing executive versus that of a telesales executive.


For a better understanding of telemarketing and telesales, consider their functions:

What are the responsibilities of a telemarketer?

A telemarketer’s responsibilities include:

  • Reaching out to prospective and existing customers to provide information regarding their business’ offerings and creating an interest in them regarding the brand
  • Assisting the telesales team by identifying and qualifying leads for them
  • Providing the telesales team with accurate and actionable data to help them increase their efficiency
  • Helping the sales team in their work by pre-qualifying prospects
  • Promoting new offerings to customers in order to generate repeat business
  • Creating sales opportunities out of customer inquiries
  • Conducting market research through outbound calls
  • Assessing customer satisfaction by collecting feedback from customers


What are the responsibilities of a telesales representative?

A telesales representative’s responsibilities include:

  • Connecting and engaging with the leads generated through various marketing campaigns
  • Generating highly qualified leads
  • Researching the leads to obtain a better understanding of each
  • Converting leads into paying customers
  • Promoting new offerings to customers in order to generate repeat business
  • Cutting sales costs while boosting conversion rates
  • Making sure that the prospects and customers’ queries are answered and they are provided with excellent service

Combining telemarketing and telesales

Telemarketing and Telesales

Even though telemarketing and telesales have very different approaches, they do not have to be isolated and distinct from one another. On the contrary, these two methods should be combined in order for your company to be more profitable.

In order to obtain accurate customer data, you need excellent telemarketers. The information the telemarketers accumulate is crucial for your telesales representatives to sell your products and services successfully.

Why there is a need for a clear division between these two approaches is due to the fact that not everyone is excellent at both. It may be that you are excellent at selling, but not very adept at marketing. Each of these strategies requires a certain skill set and methodology.

Those involved in telemarketing, for example, must have a comprehensive understanding of your company and all the necessary statistics and industrial information. Telemarketers should also be aware of the latest and emerging trends in the market.

Furthermore, their thorough understanding of buyer persona and people skills act as great advantages to entice leads to book meetings and appointments. As well as to collect information through surveys and other marketing campaigns.

On the other hand, those who work in telesales should be adept at predicting their prospects and customers’ needs, as well as their pain points. Telesales representatives should also have excellent business instincts in addition to excellent communication skills.

When salespeople are on the phone, their approach differs from when they are selling in person. Experience is the only way to acquire excellent telemarketing and telesales skills. Also, here’s an article that elaborates how marketing and sales can work in unison to qualify leads better.


Skills needed for telesales and telemarketing

What does it take to be an excellent telemarketer or telesales representative? Listed below are some factors to consider to be successful in both roles:

  • Ability to listen, communicate and build rapport effectively
  • Pace, pitch, tone, and a conversational style that doesn’t seem scripted and artificial
  • Strong conviction that you can provide something valuable to those you contact
  • Detailed knowledge of the product, but not an overly-feature-laden sales pitch.
  • Firm understanding of the target market
  • Ability to filter out the right prospects
  • Knowledge of the target audience’s problems
  • A talent for posing thoughtful and engaging questions
  • Ability to handle and resolve objections
  • Effective time management skills and consistency
  • Determination and willingness to keep trying even when faced with rejection

In the end, it is great communication skills paired with a great deal of enthusiasm and dedication that make for effective telesales and telemarketing. Otherwise, nothing will work and the goal you set won’t be met.


Wrap up

Now, what exactly is the difference between telemarketing and telesales?

Telemarketing is a marketing strategy that employs the use of telephone calls to market goods and services and telesales is a sales strategy that employs the use of telephone calls to sell goods and services.

They may be separated by the words “marketing” and “selling” but these approaches have distinct purposes. Moreover, it is necessary to understand that the two go hand-in-hand, that is, telemarketing serves as the precursor to telesales.

Thus, choosing among the two is not the real concern at hand. Rather, how the two can be used together effectively is the primary concern.