Never cold calling again
For many sales professionals, cold calling is the most dreaded part of the job. While this tactic was necessary for prospecting for new clients until only a few years ago, the Internet has completely revolutionized the B2B buyers cycle, and there are far more effective online marketing methods that can lead to better results.
If your sales representatives are spending too much time prospecting and your organization isn’t gaining many qualified leads, it’s time for you to make a change. Marketing automation platforms can help your team capture leads and nurture them, which nearly eliminates the need for cold calling. Your employees can spend more time focusing on revenue-generating activities.
The Internet has ended cold calling
In the 1990s, executives and other decision-makers were generally tolerant of cold calls because it was their primary means of finding information about new products and services, Frank Rumbauskas wrote for Business 2 Community. Companies wanted to stay competitive, so they had to consider new offerings to keep up.
However, the Internet quickly changed the customer journey. With the advent of blogs and social media, executives don’t have to wait around for calls from salespeople to make informed decisions. If anything, decision-makers are more skeptical of branded information. Most B2B buyers rely on reviews and commentary from their peers or trade discussions in trusted industry publications online.
This surge of information has empowered buyers and given them more independence than ever before. It’s commonly accepted that B2B decision-makers are more than halfway through the process by the time they ask to speak to a sales rep. This trend means people are less receptive to cold calls. Why listen to a well-rehearsed pitch over the phone when you can conduct research at your own pace?
Rumbauskas said he hasn’t made a cold call since 2000. Using Internet marketing methods like lead capture from your website, search engine optimization, social media and email campaigns can significantly expand your reach compared to the number of phone calls your reps can make in a given day. It’s become almost second nature for people to seek what they need from search engines, and this concept definitely applies to B2B purchasing. Using the Internet as a prospecting tool may prove to be far more efficient than cold calling.
Adapt to the modern B2B buying cycle
If your employees are still making cold calls while competitors provide informative online resources, you could be losing time and revenue. While it may seem complicated, you can easily turn your website into a lead generation machine with the help of an online marketing system. The B2B buying cycle has grown a lot more complex with the expansion of the Internet, and your sales reps can spend their time more productively if they focus on other activities besides cold calling.
Rather than prospecting over the phone, your company can turn to Internet lead generation to capture contact information, AllBusiness.com said. In the past when sales professionals did cold calls, they may have offered special incentives or limited-time offers. This can now be done with your website if you offer a free trial or a white paper download, for example.
As potential customers move through the sales funnel, they are interested in different types of content. Their initial research process may start out with Google searches and reading industry blogs. When prospects are closer to making a decision, white papers may be a more relevant form of content marketing, and you can require contact information for access. This starts the process of an individual becoming a lead, and it can be a lot more effective than cold calling.
Marketing automation platforms can help you gain better visibility into the sales funnel. Your reps can easily see what stage prospects are at based on their interactions with employees and marketing materials. Depending on how interested prospects seem, salespeople can decide when to follow up with a phone call. Because these individuals will have already interacted with your company online, they most likely won’t be caught off guard. Your employees can have more natural sales conversations with prospects and build the relationship.
Stop cold calling and be more efficient
Cold calling is outdated. Marketing automation helps your sales team identify, capture, score and nurture leads without picking up the phone right away. These tools can support employees in a number of ways throughout the sales cycle, which allows your company to close more deals and generate higher revenues.
Prospecting the old-fashioned way is a lot of work without a lot of pay-off. The insights provided by marketing automation tools can also improve how reps follow up, which can prevent your team from alienating potential customers. These platforms can streamline most aspects of sales processes so your reps can focus on the most important parts of closing deals.