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Lead generation telemarketing: pros and cons of in-house vs. outsourced


In the third blog in this series, we’ll put in-house vs. outsourced telemarketing under the microscope. The first two blogs have established the landscape of outsourcing; this time we’ll home in on making the decision to outsource itself.

In the last blog, we touched on some of the reasons outsourcing was likely to be advantageous when compared to bringing the lead generation telemarketing function in-house. But what’s the other side of the coin; why might you consider the latter (in-house) approach? Generally, two reasons are given. They are:


In-house telemarketing teams are at your fingertips, theoretically making them easier to manage and making your campaigns easier to adjust on the fly even if, as we saw in the last blog, those advantages come at a price. It’s hard to argue that an in-house team isn’t indeed physically closer, but that advantage only really proves true if you’ve recruited the wrong external agency. An outsourced telemarketing firm should be keeping you just as informed about your campaign’s progress as if they were operating in the office next door. Control should not be a factor if you’re working with the right partner.


But you have to spend time finding the right partner. There’s a selection process and an onboarding process and various ongoing meetings required to manage campaigns and track progress when you outsource your telemarketing to an agency. All true, but hardly reasons why keeping the function in-house is advantageous. If you keep things in house there’s also a selection process (it’s called “hiring”), there’s also an onboarding process (it’s called “training”) and there are also an ongoing meeting and management requirements to be met. And if things don’t work out, it’s generally an awful lot easier and cheaper to end a relationship with an external agency that isn’t delivering the results you want than it is correcting things with a team of full-time, contract employees.

What we see above is that, on close examination, the presumed benefits of keeping lead generation in-house aren’t really all they’re cracked up to be. Unless, as a CMO, you have a lot of time to focus on running a cold-calling team, you’re highly unlikely to be better off working that way compared to working with an expert, proven, and professional outsourced agency team. Still, as we’ve looked at the benefits of in-house, now let’s look in more detail about why the latter is the case.

Benefits of outsourcing your telemarketing

Cost efficiency

In the first blog we pointed out the cost of in-house telemarketing (ranging from recruitment fees to training resources to IT support, to admin and HR requirements, etc.) is prohibitive. Imagine bearing those costs for an entire, expert, telemarketing team. Outsource lead generation telemarketing and not only are those expenses altogether removed but you have instant access to an established, experienced, and expert line-up of callers. You spend your budget actually executing marketing campaigns, not on managing yet-to-be-proven human resources who may or may not ultimately deliver results.


Did I just say “proven”? That’s right; telemarketing is a skill and if you bring the function in-house, you’ll have to train your team to acquire that skill. It’s far easier, and there’s far less time to seeing qualified leads, re-purposing an established agency team to work with your product than the time required to set up and bring a new, in-house team up to the level of skill required to achieve the results you want.

Making the decision

So with all this in mind, think about the in-house versus outsourced decision this way.

  • Do you have the budget to add in-house head count?
  • Do you have the time and expertise to manage an additional team?
  • Do you have time on your hands or do you need results (qualified leads) now?
  • Do you want to explore new sources of leads without distracting from what you’re doing in marketing already?

Once you’ve answered those questions, the majority of marketing directors are likely to conclude that outsourcing your lead generation telemarketing is a far more sensible, and a far more realistic approach, than any other alternative. In the next blog, we’ll look at how to select the right agency to partner with.

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