What is OBTM?

In one sense, OBTM (outbound telemarketing) can be easily and briefly described. It comprises a range of activities typically conducted through email and/or telephone, designed to contact potential prospects and convert them into those precious ‘live leads’ that are the precursors of real sales.

That may sound easy, but it isn’t!

In every case, an OBTM campaign has to be specifically designed and crafted for a business, taking into account the particular individual characteristics of their given proposition. Why?

In today’s world, few organisations can afford the ‘shotgun scatter’ approach to marketing. Calling or contacting people with a standard scripted dialogue, delivered though partly trained personnel and just hoping to achieve a statistical penetration and conversion level, may in fact lead to an expensive, time consuming and ultimately sub-optimal campaign.

Consumers are becoming more sophisticated and resistant to these types of approaches. They demand ‘value-add’ and credible knowledge from the initial point of contact and marketplace resistance to the ‘robot call’ is growing. A poorly thought-through approach may not only yield disappointing results but may actually be counter-productive and reinforce marketplace resistance.

What may be far better is to have a targeted approach that includes:

· Using contact staff who are domain credible, well trained and who are able to use their own knowledge and expertise to generate consumer interest; · Using human contact techniques that are contained within a scripted framework but where contact staff are allowed to use their own personalities and inter-personal skills to aid lead generation; · Integrating these approaches into total process management including things such as diary and event creation, exhibition invitations and customer re-activation.

There are a select number of companies that can offer these services plus more as part of their telemarketing services. Whether you are looking for a full campaign, data cleansing prior to your own field force campaign or simple customer re-contact, they can often put together a package of options that may help you achieve the results your business needs.

If defining an OBTM campaign is relatively easy, then conducting one is even easier. The problem is that there is a big difference between just ‘conducting’ such an exercise and conducting one successfully. Using a specialist with a proven track record may be highly advisable to reduce your risks and maximise your return on investment.