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Telemarketing & Telesales - The Difference

The words “telemarketing” and “telesales” are often used interchangeably. However, the two marketing practices have distinct values and services that make them completely different. Their real nature is confused even among marketers, which can cause businesses to fail at reaching their fullest potential.

The ambiguity stems from the history of these two terms. Today, many marketing professionals tend to refer to telemarketing when using the telephone to connect with their audiences. Whether it’s making cold calls, generating leads or hot key leads, conducting surveys, research, or selling products—everything is included under the vast blanket of telemarketing. However, telesales has a unique purpose that goes beyond what you would expect. It’s a much older practice and traditionally used as a separate activity.

Still confused? In this article, we dissect these two very different strategies so you can determine which one should you use for your company.


Simply put, telemarketing is a service that uses the telephone to collect information, give information, create opportunities and generate leads or hotkeys. Think of it as a precursor to the actual selling. Before a potential customer buys your products or services, you must first introduce your brand, make appointments, and provide information.

Telemarketing is essential for businesses because it’s a time-saving and cost-efficient way of connecting with your audience on a personal level. It’s also a reliable source of data and an excellent way to gather feedback.


Telesales is the practice of selling directly to your customers over the telephone. While telemarketing creates prospects, telesales converts those leads or hot key leads into actual sales. These two campaigns should ideally work hand-in-hand to drive the best results.

Once you acquire customer data from your telemarketing team, professionally trained telesales operators handle the selling. Your goal as a business is to increase conversation rates while decreasing the costs per sale.

How to Combine Telemarketing and Telesales for the Best Campaign

Although telemarketing and telesales are very much different, these two practices don’t need to stand alone and separate from each other. Rather, they should be used in tandem to boost your company’s profits. Excellent telemarketers are vital for acquiring accurate customer data. The information they can gather is needed for those working in telesales to effectively sell your products and services.

The reason behind having a distinct delineation between the two is because not all people are great at both functions. You may be a great salesperson, but not the best marketer. These two strategies require different skill sets and work practices.

Telemarketers, for instance, need to have a thorough knowledge of your brand, its history, and statistics. They should be in tune with current trends in the market. Additionally, they’re great at customer service because setting appointments and conducting surveys requires good people skills.

Those who work in telesales, on the other hand, need to be savvy in anticipating their audiences’ needs and pain points. They have good business instincts as well as excellent speaking skills. Talking with customers over the phone requires a different approach compared to selling face-to-face. These are skills that are developed through experience.

By knowing the main difference between telemarketing and telesales, you can choose which practice to hire for your company’s needs. To help you boost your brand’s marketing strategies, get in touch with our expert team, and see how we can help!

If you are looking for a marketing agency to help your company with hot keys, telemarketing and telesales, get in touch with us to see how we can help!