It’s interesting to see that the debate on cold calling is starting up again. Maybe people are running out of things to talk about.
In my opinion, if you are still debating this, it just shows how far behind the curve you are in terms of understanding where sales and selling are today.
Selling in the 21st Century is all about data. Social data. I was recently at an EY digital selling work shop where their B2C digital team highlighted how B2C sales tactics, and more importantly the technology behind them, is driving how they sell.
This matters especially when you are trying to deliver a frictionless purchasing experience. By the way this doesn’t just apply to digital. I would bet my house on the fact that when you have a great buying experience, be it online, on the phone or in a face-to-face environment, you remember it. Why do you always go to the same hotel, use the same airline, go to the same restaurant, buy from the same online website?
I bet a large part of it is that you are given a wonderful experience. From the start of the buying process to the end.
The four-star personalised experience
This can be as simple as the waiter at your favourite restaurant remembering your name and greeting you when you walk in on your second visit. The reason you chose to go there in the first place was that it was recommended to you by a trusted friend. Or the anonymous 4 star review. And now you know why.
Ah! I hear you say, we do that! We ask all our sales reps to record their notes into CRM. When is their client or prospect’s birthday? Do they have a family? Have they been on holiday? Just so the next phone call they make they can reference it.
I did this 15 plus years ago. But based on our client base – and first-hand experience – this doesn’t happen. This is why you see the rise of technology such as Vyn to make this as easy as possible for reps.
Outbound, going nowhere
Oh well. Still, you have a website, your marketing team churns out content regularly into the market, and you map your market based on historical, probably inaccurate data, which is part pulled from CRM, finance and excel. You have LinkedIn and may well use Twitter and other social networks to push your message. All followed by relentless outbound calls or emails.
Yes, and, so what. The so what is the quality of your data. Including analytics from your website. Do you even care about this? You should because the data available today will tell you so much about their intent.
Intent, intent, intent
And look at LinkedIn. You get basic analytics about who is reading your posts, which companies look at your profiles. Signalling intent. If you have Sales Navigator, and a half decent personal network, you are one referral away from pretty much anyone you want. Data, data, data. Intent, intent, intent. They are telling you want they want. Sentiment, they are telling you how they feel. This puts you in the shoes of the waiter who remembers your name, capable of delivering outstanding customer service in your business’s equivalent of a four-star restaurant.
“Get out there – you got the prospects coming in. You think they came in to get out of the rain? A guy don’t walk on the lot lest he wants to buy. They’re sitting out there waiting to give you their money. Are you gonna take it? Are you man enough to take it? What’s the problem, pal? You” – Glengarry Glen Ross
One thing you will never hear me say
There will be those of you who don’t agree with my thoughts and views, and that is fine, I have zero problem with that. In fact, I don’t care. I am consuming as much knowledge about sales and marketing data analytics right now: how to do it, what technology is out there, how to use it, how to interpret it, how to build this into a social selling strategy.
And I only want to work with those of you who want to learn more and recognise that the way we sell – I have been there, done it, so don’t tell me I don’t understand – is not fit for purpose in the 21st Century. One thing you will never hear me say is don’t pick up the phone.
10 times the sales power
But I will work with you to help you understand how you can build sales and marketing data analysis into a social selling strategy. So the next phone call you make is 10 times more meaningful for your prospect – and your sales team.
If you think this too hard, then it’s time to wake up. One of our clients, a global information provider is trialling a business called MRP for its Tax & Accounting division and seeing a massive increase in close rates.
Still don’t believe me? Check out what Thunderhead does for its clients.
Finally, if you are Microsoft Dynamics 365 client, or are considering Dynamics 365 – I will let you into a little secret. You already have their proprietary technology in the platform, (or you will be getting this technology as part of the license). As a Microsoft Partner, we are working with their Dynamics 365 clients to help them understand, use and build social selling strategies around it.
Still cold calling? Get on board now!
Field Sales, Inside Sales, New Business, Account Management, Business Development, cold callers, warm callers, email blasters – all of you just need to pause and just think about what you are doing. All of you are in the same boat, and it’s sinking. Fast. You have a choice, stay in the old wooden row boat, and sink, or jump onto the new semi-automated carbon fibre speed boat so that you can keep up with your clients. They were on these boats ages ago, you need to get back ahead of them, or at least on an even keel.
Did you like Alex’s style? Try this too – Rethink Sales.
Digital Leadership Associates: We are Global Social Media Management Consultancy. We do three things: Social Media Strategy, Social Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email or call one of our founders on 00 44 7823 534 557 and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.