Difference between call center and telemarketing

Smith, Emma

Publish: Wednesday, Feb 03

The objective of any company is to have the largest possible client portfolio. Sometimes it is very difficult to reach these customers and maintain a contact that ends in a sale. You have heard for sure about telemarketing and a call center. Two concepts that are closely related to the objective we have mentioned. Throughout this article we will see the differences between a call center and telemarketing. Are they as different as we think? Do you think they can be combined for greater efficiency?

What is telemarketing and a call center?

To begin with, we are going to define the two concepts that we will delve into later. We have all heard about telemarketing and call centers. But do we really know what they mean?

A call center, also called cloud contact center, is basically the space where contacts with customers are made mostly by telephone. Although there are exceptions, call centers are designed to make outgoing calls and receive calls with a high volume. The most common thing is to have a call center in companies with a large customer service or sales made by telephone.

Telemarketing is a technique used to create a relationship with the customer. It is about identifying the needs of the client and being able to offer, throughout the relationship with the same, the best possibilities within our products or services. With this we achieve a much more personalized sale for the client.

What is the difference between a call center and telemarketing?

We have seen that both are used to have contact with the client, but there are small differences between the call center and telemarketing that adapt the service offered to the client to the different needs that the company is looking for at that exact time. The first difference that we have to bear in mind is the purpose of each of them. Whereas telemarketing is more focused on offering information, opportunities and interest to the customer so that he or she considers a possible purchase, the call center’s main purpose is to achieve sales and offer customer service.

We will see now more differences between telemarketing and call center:

  • When making calls, they both have the same objective, which is to make a sale. However, the process that each one follows is different. In call centers they look more for general sales and in telemarketing for more detailed sales.


  • Making these calls generates the contact databases. These bases are also different. While telemarketing generates good databases, created by them and with relevant customer information, in call centers automatic databases are generated through the coordination with some of their functionalities, such as the integration of a CRM.


  • The way in which the client perceives the calls are also different. In call centers the calls are more direct, also due to the volume of calls they generate, and the time that the agent dedicates to each call is less.


  • The way to communicate is another difference between call center and telemarketing. In the call center only the telephone is used, while in telemarketing other means are used apart from the telephone, such as e-mail for example.


  • If we talk about a strategic plan, we will also find differences:
    • In the budget, since in a call center the budget will be more limited as it does not take so much time and so many resources. On the other hand, telemarketing tries to apply relationship marketing and provide the client with not only a product or service, but an experience. Which makes the budget have to be bigger because it takes more time and more resources.
    • On the targets. Telemarketing adapts to the objectives of the plan that has been approved, while in call centers it focuses on a single objective, to achieve sales.


  • The last difference would be the treatment of the information. In telemarketing, the information is organized and there is a control with the customer data. While in the call center, since normally the strategy is to get the sale in a call, the contact information is not so important for the seller to have a very detailed contact base. That is why databases contain much simpler data than those found in telemarketing.


What would happen if we combine them?

After all, the two strategies have the same final objective, although it is true that the way of acting of each of them is different. That is why we can find the way in which these two techniques come together and make the process quicker without losing the purpose of offering interest and opportunities to the client. You can, for example, make a first contact as it is done in telemarketing. Identifying the client’s needs and creating a good database that is organized. And once we have this data, make more direct calls like they are made in call centers to get sales. With this, we will streamline the process of identifying customer needs and reduce the speed of calls to the call center. And this way, we will offer the customer a personalized sales experience and reduce the process of making the sale.

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