06/12/2013 03:04 pm ET Updated Aug 12, 2013

Telemarketing Services Headache for Small Business Owner

Let's talk about B2B telemarketing. Telemarketing has a number of pros and cons: It has proven effective for years, and targeted managers reported feeling more valued through telemarketing compared to other less personal options of direct mail, mobile marketing and email marketing. But in the digital era, it seems passé and it's certainly time intensive.

For many business leaders, the pros of telemarketing outweigh the cons. My friend Jim, an owner of a small B2B business, recently dealt with the challenges of telemarketing. Here's Jim's story:

He has 10 loyal customers who love his service, and he is anxious to grow, but he was at a loss on how. Jim has tried yellow pages, online ads and other form of advertising and has failed. He knows specifically what companies would benefit from his service, and he wants to target local owners only. For his situation, he understood his best lead generation option was telemarketing. He couldn't do it on his own, though. On average, it takes 80 calls to get an opportunity. Who has time for that?!

He then started researching this space and various telemarketing options. When sharing stories, I was baffled by how difficult it is to solve this seemly critical function for business owner.

Jim realized he had two options. The first: hire an independent telemarketer.

Jim considered brining an employee on staff to make phone calls. There are a number of websites, like oDesk or Guru, that could connect him to the right folks. These sites are two popular freelancer provider services that house thousands of potential employees and even facilitate escrows, making payment a breeze. One can always go to the good old (I can't believe it we're calling it "good old" these days) Craigslist and find local talent.

But, my now Jim was knee deep in HR and technicalities. Then, as expected, the telemarketer started asking: "What is my script? How do I handle the call? What data should I use? Do I send follow up emails?" Wow. This was getting technical, and Jim didn't have the experience to handle this.

He then started exploring his second option: hire a telemarketing services company. A telemarketing service would take care of prospecting potential clients, making cold calls, setting appointments and everything else in between.

Hiring a telemarketing service is easy right? Pick up the phone, ask for telemarketing services, and you're up and running? Not so fast. Jim immediately ran into a problem; the company wanted one month payment up front. He wondered: But what if I don't get results? The answer: Too bad.

Then Jim came across, which offers no-commitment telemarketing services. First, he selected an agent. He listened to audios right online and then picked the right person. He then made a pre-payment for one week to reserve the agent and start building a relationship by
working as a team.

The hard work didn't stop there; getting results was hard, too. But Jim now had an experienced agent and a company to offer guidance. It's certainly enough to get him started. After all, almost 70 percent of B2B sales involve human interaction, be a phone call or a meeting, so he's heading in the right direction.

Idea2Results has shown promise, but if anyone has found a better way to address telemarketing services function, let me know.