Cold Calling, Social Media, Sales2.0: What Does It Mean to Your Business?

So, it is everywhere.  You can’t read anything today about sales without reading about what you should be doing with social media, how you need to jump into the sales 2.0 world and, whatever you do, stop cold calling.  But, is this right for your business and sales efforts?

Like all opportunities that have passed before sales managers in the past, these new mediums and tools must be put to the test for each unique business.  It was not so long ago that we were told that telemarketing would kill direct mail.  Experts tried hard to convince us that e-mail would replace cold calling and now we are told by some that social media and sales 2.0 will replace everything.  My mailbox is still full of mail, I receive plenty of cold calls and there seems to be no let up in the amount of e-mails I receive.  Why? Because these sales and marketing efforts still work for many businesses and provide the best ROI.  Without question some businesses are uniquely positioned to win with social connectivity while others will find a combination of the new and the old to win the day.  For others, they will remain old school and do just fine.  The key is to find out what is right for your business by this tried and true principle: test and learn.

Our company VanillaSoft has moved into social media through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and even this blog.  With that being said, at this point, we are not stopping the marketing and sales activities that have driven our growth over the last five years.  We are supplementing those efforts with social media to connect to our customers and prospects that choose social media as a method to remain informed and feel connected.  We are deploying and testing new sales 2.0 tools that allow us to do more in-depth research on a prospect prior to a call to engage.  But, once again, we are not stopping the efforts that drive our success and replacing them with untested methods.

Without question, there are new and exciting tools, trends and platforms that need to be examined, tested and, if a fit, incorporated into a successful marketing and sales mix.  From my cheap seat, stating that one is dead and one is here to stay carries too much risk.  That statement is probably correct, but I am not willing to place a bet on the winner at this point.  In an upcoming post, I will take a look at how to find balance between the new and the old.

Good selling,

Ken

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21 thoughts on “Cold Calling, Social Media, Sales2.0: What Does It Mean to Your Business?

  1. I think that you are dead on. It is great to know when someone’s birthday is and see photos of thir kid’s bar mitzvah, but if you want to sell you have to eventually pick up the phone and talk to someone. I think these different social media tools will get worked into the mix.

  2. Great points Ken,

    Social media does allow a view of what is important to a specific prospect and thus increase the chances for 1) making a connection and 2) having a meaningful dialogue in a first contact scenario. This is especially true the higher one goes in seeking BtoB contacts.

    But as very smart guy once told me it is a number game – “do the math”. If a salesperson can do the research and make the contact attempt 4 times an hour with this deeper knowledge vs. having a strong, concise message that rings with the recipient based on the market vertical and title then making 30 attempts an hour may actually yield just as high results.

    You are spot on that it is new territory and there remains space for both approaches. I shred a ton of junk mail every day, but it still keeps coming because it has an effective ROI for the sender. I don’t expect it stop any time soon – nor should the cold calling approach to a valid prospect target list disappear from this world. A blended approach can, and I suspect will, drive lead generation activities for many years to come.

    My personal opinion is that as web tools that auto find and populate suspect client data from multiple sources become more mainstream then the educated call can begin to close the gap (somewhat) in efficiency with historic approaches.

  3. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.

  4. Wow!, this was a top quality post. In theory I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real effort to make a good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a lot and never seem to achieve anything

  5. Thanks for some good points there. I am kind of new to the internet , so I printed this off to put in my file, any better way to go about keeping track of it then printing?

  6. Hi Ken,

    You are right on. Sales 2.0 is the need of the hour, because the customers have turned Customer 2.0

    Social Media is the most important tool in the Sales/marketing people’s toolkit. However, people tend to spend a lot of time in Social Media without getting the ROI.

    I have found some tips to be very helpful to me to get the most value out of social media without spending too much time. Please read hem here. http://blog.insideview.com/2010/05/02/investing-too-much-time-on-social-media-how-to-boost-your-roi

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  11. Thanks for your insight Ken,

    I think it’s a “both/and”, not “either/or” disposition. I have no doubt that the old methods still work and will continue to do so. However, as sales professionals we should seize every opportunity out there to connect with new buyers. Social media provide a new, fast and informal way to do this that’s easier than ever before. We would be stupid not to make use of this platform.

    Wim

  12. Lots of Sapm but that is just part of the lay of the land. We use the little math plugin that you saw when you commented. It stops the bots but does not keep the crazies away. Good luck! Ken

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