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Telemarketing is a fairly new career option in the country. However, this does not mean that it is inferior to others. In fact, since GE Capital International established its Gurgaon call center in 1998, India has become to the top choice for [/resources/career_choices/bpo/bpo.shtml Business Process Outsourcing] as the country now accounts for almost 50% of the global outsourcing industry. For this reason, more and more telemarketing employees are needed and this career option has become very popular especially among fresh graduates.
Although call centers also engage in Inbound activities where employees receive calls regarding products and services, telemarketing activities are done through Outbound calls made by employees with the goal of generating sales. While some call centers focus on domestic calls, most of the bigger ones are sub-contracted by international companies therefore requiring calls to be made to countries all around the world, primarily to America and European countries.
Because telemarketing jobs are mostly open to anyone who would be willing to undergo training, this career option has become especially popular because of the benefits and remuneration rates involved. Even with minimum qualifications, people can engage in telemarketing activities and enjoy its wide range of benefits.
Nature of Work
The nature of work in call centers greatly differ depending on the employee's position.
The entry level is a position for Call Center Operators or Customer Care Executives. Here, the outbound employee's job basically entails making phone calls to market the assigned company and their products and services. The operator must also identify potential customers and log in relevant information on a computer. Some operators are also expected to send sales letters through fax or email in order to follow up on their phone calls. Some products and services may also require other employees to perform other specific functions as part of a holistic marketing strategy.
After enough experience has been gathered as a call center operator, an employee may move on to a supervisory position. As a supervisor, an employee will be assigned a team or several teams of call center operators. His job is to make sure that each team and each member of the team performs all the functions required in a manner that passes the company's standards. If a supervisor performs well a promotion to a managerial position becomes possible.
Call center managers perform the same functions as supervisors but on a larger scale. Although managers have supervisors to report to them, each individual in the assigned department still falls under his or her responsibility. Furthermore, it is up to the manager to evaluate the performance of each and every employee in the department.
While specific skills such as fluency in the English language, good communication, literacy in computer programs, speed typing, and persuasive marketing are expected of call center employees, certain personality attributes are also important. Perhaps the most important characteristic a call center employee must have is the ability to be polite and upbeat even when required to work at odd hours. Employees must also be sociable enough to take conversations to a more personal level without being unprofessional. Those who are far from being extroverted are not recommended to take call center jobs.
Apart from undergoing training from the call center companies itself, those who want to pursue a career in telemarketing are advised to take up specialized telemarketing courses. In these telemarketing courses, trainees are molded to have the appropriate accent and be familiar with common means of carrying conversations in specific countries. Such is important because different cultures are accustomed to different communication standards. Apart from these, telemarketing training includes the enhancement of listening skills, telephone etiquette, cyber grammar, interaction skills, customer relationship, management skills, and call center terminology. Computer and typing skills are also enhanced in these courses.
Colleges, Institutions and Universities
Below are some of the popular choices among those who wish to pursue careers in telemarketing:
- Akiko Sherman Infotech (http://www.shermanindia.com)
- 13/9 Padam sigh Chowk Ajmal Khan Road, New Delhi - 110005
- Edu Tech India (http://www.edutechindia.com)
- 7/2 Brunton Road, Bangalore - 560025
- No. 8 Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Nungambakkam Chennai - 600006
- 402, Fourth Floor Shri Kant Chambers SION-TROMBAY Road, Chembur Mumbai - 400071
- 62, Second Floor, Lakshmi Market, New Delhi - 110067
- Ian Stern (http://www.holistic-enterprise.com)
- A-62 DDA Complex (Ring Road) Defence Colony, New Delhi -110024
- Hero Mindmine (http://www.heromindmine.com)
- Palm Court, 2nd Floor, 20/4, Mehrauli Gurgaon Road, Gurgaon - 122001
- M-3, 2nd Floor South Extension - II, New Delhi - 110049
- 4th. Floor, Sliver Arcade Marol Maroshi Road, Andheri Mumbai - 400059
- 194, Akruthi Chambers II Floor Double Road Indiranagar Bangalore - 560038
- JTS Institutes (http://www.jtsinstitue.com)
- #35, Infantry Road, Bangalore - 560001, Karnataka
- North Star Call Center College
- B-109, Sector - 5, NOIDA - 201301
- ProEdge Solutions Limited
- Srinagar Colony Main Road, Srinagar Colony, Hyderabad - 500 073
- Trans-India Management Systems (http://www.trans-india.biz)
- 305, University Plaza, Vijay Cross Roads, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad-380009
After training, individuals can pursue careers specializing in different services provided by call centers. In larger call centers, services include Telemarketing Lead Management, Lead Generation, Decision Maker Contacts, Appointment Scheduling, Debt Collection Services, Database Selling, Market Intelligence Services, Product Promotion, Research Surveys and Polling, Customer Satisfaction, Telephone and Web-based Business Development, Up Sell or Cross Sell Campaigns, Direct Mail Follow-up, and Seminar Population.
Of course, fresh applicants must first go through entry level positions and work their way to the top. In call centers, promotions are based on experience, ability, and skills acquired. Apart from these, employees will also be evaluated most often through the average number of sales generated per hour. If employees do well according to performance appraisals, promotions will come easy.
Apart from growth within call centers, telemarketers will discover that it will also be easier to find jobs as marketing, public relations, or human resources professionals most especially in banks and insurance companies. This is because of the training involved in telemarketing that allows employers to be confident in their customer relations capabilities.
A fresh graduate can start a telemarketing career as a Customer Care Executive and be paid with attractive compensation packages ranging from Rs. 6,500 to Rs. 10,000. From there, operators can grow within the company and receive much more depending on performance, qualifications, and capabilities. This pay scale is exclusive of the many benefits call center employees enjoy. These benefits depend on the company but they generally include subsidized meals, regular medical examinations, and transportation allowance. Furthermore, telemarketing employees are given bonus incentives based on the number of sales they generate.